Marriage is a formal and blessed social contract between bride and groom. It is a major step in one’s life. Marriage is a matter of great responsibility which should not be taken lightly. In Islam a marriage ceremony is comprised of a Nikah followed by walima.
The Arabic word walima is derived from the word walam, which means together. The Arab people used it for feast where people were invited and gathered. Later the term became exclusive for the wedding feast.
Hazrat Muhammad (S.A.W.W) said:
“The marriage, which is most greatly blessed, is the one which is the lightest in burden (expense). However, if people are well catered for, without extravagance and show, there is no problem with that either.”
In these days, our marriages follow such ridicules traditions on which we tend to waste enormous amount of money and time which is simply not required to do so. Nikkah and walima are both the sunnahs of Hazrat Muhammad (S.A.W.W) . So we should try to remember these joyous occasions in the same way as he did to make them more valuable and blissful.
If one gives a walima after their nikah, they would be in accordance with the Sunnah of the Messenger of ALLAH, and thus receive a huge reward from their Lord; and if for any reason, one did not offer a walima there is no obligation or sin upon them.
There is no specific time limit ordained in the sunnah for one to offer one’s walima after one’s marriage but wisdom dictates that one should offer this sunnah and hold one’s wedding feast as soon as possible or is easy for him to do so.
The way of walima is right after the nikah. Hazrat Muhammad (S.A.W.W) urged the believers to celebrate the joyous occasion of marriage with a marriage feast which is basically a walima. The main wisdom behind holding the wedding feast or walima is to announce one’s marriage to the family, friends and relatives.
According to Islam nikah can be held at the local masjid or at home whereas the walima can be held anywhere.
Hazrat Muhammad (S.A.W.W) said:
“The worst of the feasts are those marriage feasts to which the rich are invited and the poor are left out.”
There is nothing wrong with a grand ceremony of walima being held in an elegant banquet hall and a full course meal if one can afford. But it’s neither a criteria nor a requirement of a successful marriage. Moreover by doing so many people become the victim of debt due to spending lavish on this occasion which is of no use.
Though it’s not that easy to row your boat in the opposite direction to which the society is moving, but it’s worth going against the tides that are against the orders of Islam. We should try our utmost to follow the footsteps of Hazrat Muhammad (S.A.W.W) rather than blindly following the pathetic and ridiculous acts of jahaliyat in our wedding ceremonies or walima feast which lead to nothing but fitnah and do not even guarantee a successful marriage.
Sayyida A’isha (Allah be pleased with her) narrates that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) said:
“The most blessed marriage is the one with the least expenses.”
(al-Bayhaqi in his Shu’ab al-Iman & Mishkat al-Masabih).