We picked up the theme of marriage in a previous post. I thought that this important article sent to me, again, by Mawlana Tamim Ahmadi of Fremont, California, was something that most Muslims need to read...
By Shaykh Muhammad Saleem Dhorat hafizahullah
Wedding of Fātimah radiyallahu anha
Fātimah radiyallahu anha is the youngest daughter of our beloved Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam. Out of all the children, she was the most beloved to him. He said, ‘The queen of the ladies in Jannah is Fātimah.’ He also said, ‘Fātimah is part of my body. Whoever grieves her, grieves me.’
When Fātimah radiyallahu anha reached the age of fifteen, proposals for her marriage began to come from high and responsible families. But the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam remained irresponsive.
‘Ali radiyallahu anhu, who was 21 at the time, says:
‘It occurred to me that I should go and make a formal proposal, but then I thought, “How could this be accomplished, for I possess nothing.” At last, encouraged by the Prophet’s kindness, I went to him and expressed my intention to marry Fātimah radiyallahu anha.
The Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam was extremely pleased and asked, “Ali! Do you possess anything to give her in mahr?” I replied, “Apart from a horse and an armour I possess nothing.”
The Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam said, “A soldier must, of course, have his horse. Go and sell away your armour.”’
So, ‘Ali radiyallahu anhu went and sold his armour to Uthmān radiyallahu anhu for 480 Dirham and presented it to Rasūlullāh sallallahu alayhi wasallam. Bilāl radiyallahu anhu was ordered by the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam to bring some perfume and a few other things and Anas radiyallahu anhu was sent to call Abū Bakr, Uthmān, Talhah and Zubayr with some companions from the Ansār radiyallahu anhum.
When these men arrived and had taken their seats, the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam recited the khutbah (sermon) of nikāh and gave Fātimah radiyallahu anha in marriage to ‘Ali radiyallahu anhu. He announced, ‘Bear you all witness that I have given my daughter Fātimah in marriage to ‘Ali for 400 mithqāl of silver and ‘Ali has accepted.’ He then raised his head and made du‘ā saying, ‘O Allāh, create love and harmony between these two. Bless them and bestow upon them good children.’ After the nikāh, dates were distributed.
When the time came for Fātimah radiyallahu anha to go to ‘Ali’s radiyallahu anhu house, she was sent without any clamour, hue and cry accompanied by Umm Ayman radiyallahu anha. After the ‘Ishā Salāh, the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam went to their house, took permission and entered. He asked for a basin of water, put his blessed hands into it and sprinkled it on both ‘Ali and Fātimah y and made du‘ā for them.
The sovereign of both worlds gave his beloved daughter a silver bracelet, two Yemeni sheets, four mattresses, one blanket, one pillow, one cup, one hand-grinding mill, one bedstead, a small water skin and a leather pitcher.
In this simple fashion, the wedding of the daughter of the leader of both the worlds was solemnized. In following this sunnah method, a wedding becomes very simple and easy to fulfill.
Some Points Derived from the Above Mentioned Marriage
1. The many customs as regards engagement are contrary to sunnah. In fact, many are against the Shari‘ah and are regarded sins. A verbal proposal and answer is sufficient.
2. To unnecessarily delay nikāh of both the boy and the girl after having reached the age of marriage is incorrect.
3. There is nothing wrong in inviting one’s close associates for the occasion of nikāh. However, no special pains should be taken in gathering the people from far off places.
4. It is appropriate that the bridegroom be a few years older than the bride.
5. If the father of the girl is an ‘ālim or pious and capable of performing nikāh, then he should himself solemnize the marriage.
6. It is better to give the Mahr Fātimi and one should endeavour to do so. But if one does not have the means then there is nothing wrong in giving less.
7. It is totally un-Islāmic for those, who do not possess the means, to incur debts in order to have grandiose weddings.
8. It is fallacy to think that one’s respect will be lost if one does not hold an extravagant wedding and invite many people. What is our respect compared to that of Rasūlullāh sallallahu alayhi wasallam?
9. The present day practice of the intermingling of sexes is an act of sin and totally against Shari‘ah.
10. There is nothing such as engagement parties and mendhi parties in Islām.
11. Great care must be taken as regards to salāh on occasions of marriage by all - the bride, the bridegroom and all the participants.
12. It is un-Islamic to display the bride on stage.
13. The unnecessary expenses incurred by the bride’s family in holding a feast has no basis in Shari‘ah.
14. For the engaged couple to meet at a public gathering where the boy holds the girl’s hand and slips a ring on her finger is a violation of the Qur’ānic law of hijāb.
15. It is un-Islamic for the engaged couple to meet each other and also go out together.
16. Three things should be borne in mind when giving one’s daughter gifts and presents at the time of nikāh:
i) Presents should be given within one’s means (it is not permissible to take loans, on interest, for such presents);
ii) To give necessary items;
iii) A show should not be made of whatever is given.
17. It is Sunnah for the bridegroom’s family to make walimah.
NOTE: In walimah, whatever is easily available should be fed to the people and care should be taken that there is no extravagance, show and that no debts are incurred in the process.
18. To delay nikāh after the engagement is un-Islamic. Some Customs In following modern day trends, we have adopted many cutoms that are unislamic and contrary to the sunnah. Some examples are:
i Displaying the bride on stage;
ii Inviting guests for the wedding from far-off places;
iii Receiving guests in the hall;
iv The bride’s people incurring unnecessary expenses by holding a feast which has no basis in Shari‘ah. We should remember that walimah is the feast arranged by the bridegroom after the marriage is consummated;
v It is contrary to sunnah (and the practice of some non-Muslim tribes in India) to wish, hope for or demand presents and gifts for the bridegroom, from the bride’s people. We should always remember that our Rasūl sallallahu alayhi wasallam did not give ‘Ali radiyallahu anhu anything except du‘ā.