It’s the norm these days for weddings to take place stretching over days. These involve celebrating customs not related to Islam at all. It also leads to unnecessary and useless expenditure hence taking us away from the purpose: Gaining Barakah and Pleasing Allah Subhana o Ta’ala.
“And [they are] those who, when they spend, do so not excessively or sparingly but are ever, between that, [justly] moderate”. (Surah al Furqan; 22:67)
While planning my brother’s wedding a few years back, it was mutually decided to have a simple wedding. And Alhamdolillah the bride and her family also had the same intention. Both the families never got caught up in the pressure that we HAVE TO do such and such just because it’s the ‘IN’ thing, or to match up with the way others were doing it.
There was no mehndi, mayoun, sangeet, baarat, rukhsati etc. Having no cultural, unislamic celebrations meant that we were relieved of the huge expenditure on themes, dresses, elaborately decorated halls, food, stress and fitnah of arguments between both the families. No sleepless nights practicing dance steps. Not going crazy roaming around the whole city looking for the perfect center piece for each table.
My mother (who is the MIL!!) explicitly stated that no dowry was required at all. Infact she said it quite a few times, so much so, that on returning home one day, we had to tell her politely not to mention it again during the planning discussions lest the bride and her family thinks that we are indirectly stating the opposite. To this day we and my sister-in-love have a good laugh about it!!
On the other hand, my SIL too told us not to buy certain things for her, for eg, cosmetics, perfumes, etc because she already had bought her favorite brands and would be bringing along her stuff she was already using, instead of going on a shopping spree.
The Nikah was done in the Masjid where only the immediate family members of the couple were present with two witnesses.
After the Nikah, an informal lunch was arranged at the groom’s home.
A’isha (May Allah be pleased with her) narrates that the Messenger of Allah (May Peace & Blessings be upon him) said: “The most blessed marriage (Nikah) is the one with the least expenses.” (al-Bayhaqi in his Shu’ab al-Iman & Mishkat al-Masabih).
Even though the wedding was not being conducted in our home country where family and relatives are many, we still had loads and loads of friends and families in our country of residence. Making the guest list was a huge challenge but as we had the number of people in mind already so it was easier to fit in the guests accordingly.
There were two separate halls for the men and women which was really appreciated by everyone. The women were happy and excited that they could dress up in their best attire without having to worry about being in their Hijab and Niqab throughout the wedding in the presence of non-mehram men.
The food and décor was provided by the hotel management. No elaborate decorations were needed as the décor provided by the hotel was simple yet beautiful. We only had to purchase two fresh flower bouquets for the sides of the stage as it was not provided by the hotel.
Food was to be served separately in the men and women halls; not very huge banquets but moderate number of dishes.
The bridal dress was left up to the choice of the bride. She designed her own dress and got it made on order instead of investing in a ridiculously expensive designer wear. The dress was absolutely gorgeous. As with most cases, the bridal wear is worn only once and then packed away, never to see day’s light. But this lovely bride lent it to another bride to be worn on her wedding.
The guests were very happy. There were many mutual friends who met each other after a long time at the waleemah. No music and blaring songs meant that there was no uncomfortable noise and people could talk and not scream. They all thoroughly enjoyed the wedding and appreciated the initiative we took towards conducting a simple yet exciting marriage.
What was avoided?
- Blind following of standards set by society in the name of culture
- Free mingling of opposite genders
- Loans + Riba
- Pleasing People
- Over-exaggerating over dresses, accessories and themes
It’s not that there were no challenges going against the norms (set by society) but the point is that if one is confident of doing the right thing and wants to please Allah, then Allah definitely will make it easy. As a result, Allah Blesses the marriage, and puts love, respect and understanding in the hearts of the couple as well as the families.