Nikah (Marriage) & Walima (Reception) in Islam
(The Wedding Feast)
Hadith 1: It is in Sahih Bukhari and Muslim on the authority of
Anas ؓ◌ that Nabi saw signs of yellowness on Abdur Rahmaan ibn
Auf ؓ◌ (in other words he noticed sandy saffron like colour on his
body or clothing). He asked, ‘What is this?’ (i.e. this colour should
not be on the body of a male. How did this colour appear on your
body?). He said, ‘I married a lady and this yellowish colour rubbed
off from her body on to me’. Rasoolullah said, ‘Allah allow it to be
blessed for you! You should arrange a Walima (wedding feast) even if
it is with a single goat, or (he said) with just one goat’.
Hadith 2: It is in Bukhari and Muslim from Anas ؓ◌. He says that
Huzoor hosted the Walima of Zainab اعن عا االله
ر in with such
grandeur, that he did not do so for any other of the Azwaaj-eMutahiraat. He did the Walima with one goat. In other words this
was a very grand Walima compared to all the others, as the meat of
an entire goat was prepared during this Walima. It is mentioned in
another narration cited in Sahih Bukhari Shareef on the authority of
Anas ؓ◌ that after the Zifaf1 with Hazrat Zainab bin Jah’sh اعن عا االله
Huzoor hosted the Walima in which everyone was treated to
stomach full of Roti and meat.
Hadith 3: It is in Sahih Bukhari from Anas ؓ◌ that on the return
from Khaibar, between Khaibar and Madina, due to the Zifaf of
Hazrat Safiya اعن عا االله
ر Huzoor remained there for 3 nights. He
invited the Muslims to a Walima. There was neither meat nor bread
at the Walima. Huzoor gave the command and the eating mats
were spread out. Khajoor2
were served. It is
mentioned in the narrations of Imam Ahmed, Tirmizi, Abu Dawud
and Ibn Majah that during the Walima Feast of Hazrat Safiya اعن عا االله
and dates were served.
1. The Zifaf refers to the night of the consummation of marriage.
Hadith 4: It is in Sahih Bukhari and Muslim from Abdullah ibn
Umar ماعن عا االله
ر that the Huzoor said, ‘When a person is invited to
a Walima, he should attend it’.
Hadith 5: It is in Sahih Muslim from Jaabir ؓ◌ that Huzoor
said, ‘When someone is invited to a meal, he should accept (the
invitation), then if he wishes, he may either eat or not’.
Hadith 6: In Sahih Bukhari and Muslim from Abu Hurairah ؓ◌ it is
narrated that Huzoor said, ‘A bad meal (feast) is that Walima feast
to which only the wealthy are invited and the poor are left out.
Whosoever rejected an invitation (i.e. he rejected it without a valid
reason), he has disobeyed the command of Allah and His Rasool ’.
It is mentioned in a narration of Muslim Shareef that a Walima feast
is regarded as a bad feast, when those who attend it (i.e. those who
attend such gatherings happily) are shunned from it, and those who
reject it (i.e. its virtue) are invited to it. Whosoever has rejected an
invitation has disobeyed Allah and His Rasool .
Hadith 7: Abu Dawud reported on the authority of Abdullah ibn
Umar ماعن عا االله
ر that Huzoor said, ‘One who was invited and did
not accept it, has disobeyed Allah and His Rasool and whosoever
attended without an invitation, has sneaked in as a thief, and
emerged after plundering’.
Cont. from pg.86…..
2. Khajoor is the name given to dates in the Urdu language.
3. Paneer is a non-melting farmer cheese or curd cheese made by curdling heated milk with
some lemon juice etc. and does not contain rennet.
4. Ghee is pure butter oil.
5. Situ is a sweet non-alcoholic beverage made from parched barley.
Hadith 8: Tirmizi reported on the authority of Abdullah ibn
Mas’ud ؓ◌ that Huzoor said, ‘(During Weddings) the feast of the
first day is Haq (i.e. it is proven and should be done), the feast of the
second day is Sunnat, and the Feast of the third day is Sum’a (i.e. that
which is done for attaining name and fame). Whosoever does
anything so that it is heard about (for fame) then Allah will cause
him to hear. In other words, he will be punished’.
Hadith 9: Abu Dawud reported from Ikrama ؓ◌ that Rasool
disallowed us from eating at the home of two people who host
banquets (invitations) to compete (with one another) and to be
Hadith 10: Imam Ahmed and Abu Dawud reported from a certain
Sahabi that Rasool said, ‘When two people come over to invite
you at the same time, then accept the invitation of the person whose
door is closer to your door and if one of them came first, then accept
the invitation of the one who came first’.
Hadith 11: It is in Sahih Bukhari and Muslim from Abu Mas’ud
Ansari ؓ◌ that an Ansari, whose epithet was Abu Shu’aib,
commanded his slave to cook an amount of food that will suffice for
five people. He said, ‘I wish to invite Nabi and five of his
Companions’. A small amount of food was prepared and he
presented himself to invite Huzoor . Another person went along
with Huzoor . Huzoor said, ‘Abu Shu’aib! This person has come
along with us. If you wish, you may permit him to join us and if you
wish you may refuse’. He said ‘I am permitting him’.
In other words, if someone is invited and another person tags along
with him, he should make it known to the host that he did not bring
him along, and thereafter the host has the right to either grant him
permission to join in the meal or not. If he does not make it known,
then it will be offensive to the host in that he brought along others
with him, without being asked to do so.
Hadith 12: Baihaqi has reported in Sha’bul Imaan from Imraan bin
Haseen ؓ◌ that Huzoor cautioned us against accepting the
invitation of fasiqs (open transgressors).
Hadith 13: It is in Sahih Bukhari and Muslim from Abu Hurairah
ؓ◌ that Huzoor said, ‘One who has Imaan in Allah and in the Last
Day, should respect his guest and one who has Imaan in Allah and in
the Last Day should not cause harm to his neighbour, and one who
has Imaan in Allah and in the Last Day should either speak good
words or remain silent’. It is in one narration that the one who has
Imaan in Allah and in the Last Day should keep good family ties.
Hadith 14: In Sahih Bukhari and Muslim it is reported from Abu
Shuraih Ka’abi ؓ◌ that Rasool said, ‘One who has Imaan in Allah
and the Last Day should respect his guest. One day and night is his
assessment (i.e. you should serve him meticulously for an entire day
and you should prepare sumptuous meals for him according to your
means). Entertaining (the guest) is for three days (i.e. after one day,
present to him whatever is available) and after three days, it is
Sadqa. It is not Halaal (lawful) for the guest to remain at his (the
hosts) home for more than three days, thereby causing him
Hadith 15: Tirmizi reported on the authority of Abil Ahwas
Jashmi who reported from his father. He says, I said ‘Ya Rasool’Allah!
Please inform me (what should be done in this case), I went to the
home of a person and he did not entertain me appropriately (as a
guest). Now if he visits my home, should I entertain him or should I
treat him accordingly (i.e. should I settle the score)?’ He said,
‘Rather you should entertain him (as a guest should be entertained)’.
Hadith 16: Ibn Majah reported from Abu Hurairah ؓ◌ that Rasool
said, ‘It is Sunnat for you to walk your guest to the door, when he
Laws of Jurisprudence
The Walimah Invitation (Feast) is Sunnat. Walima means to hold a
feast according to your means, (for the purpose of feeding) your
friends, relatives, elders, family members and those in your locality,
on the morning after Zifaf (consummation of marriage). To sacrifice
an animal and prepare food for this purpose is permissible. Those
who are invited should oblige and accept the invitation, as attending
the Walima will bring happiness to the host. Regarding whether it is
Sunnat or Waajib to attend the Walima when invited, then in this
regard, the statements of the Ulama are in support of both. However,
it is clear that to accept this invitation is Sunnat-e-Mu’akkadah. With
the exception of the Walima, it is also virtuous to attend other
invitations. If the person (who has been invited) is not fasting, it is
Afdal (more virtuous) for him to partake in the meal which has been
provided, as this is to share in the happiness of your fellow Muslim
brother. One should still attend the Walima even if he is fasting, and
make Dua for the host. With the exception of the Walima, the ruling
for other invitations is also the same, i.e. if one is not fasting, then he
should partake in the meal provided, and if he is fasting, then he
should make Dua for the host. [Alamgiri – Raddul Muhtar]
Law: The ruling cited above is only applicable when the person who
is presenting the invitation intends to do so to fulfil the Sunnat, and
if the gathering is being hosted for name and fame and so that
people may praise the host, as we see many people do today. It is
better not to attend such invitations. The Ahl-e-Ilm (People of
Knowledge – Ulama) should especially not attend such gatherings.
Law: It is only Sunnat to attend an invitation when one knows that
it will be free of any singing and music or amusement and games (i.e.
improper entertainment). If one is aware that these obscenities will
take place at such a gathering, then one should not attend. If after
arriving there one notices these absurdities taking place here, and if
this is happening where you are (seated), you should leave. If it is
taking place in another portion of the building and not in the part of
the building where the food is being served, then one may sit there
and partake in the meal. Now, if this person is capable of stopping
them from this (practice), he should make an attempt to stop them,
and if he does not have the capability to this, then he should make
sabr (remain patient). This ruling applies to a person who is not a
religious leader. If he is a leader and one who others follow, for
example, if he is from amongst the Ulama and Masha’ikh, then if
they are not able to put a stop to what is happening there, they
should leave. Neither should they remain seated there, nor should
they eat there. If one already knew that these things will be taking
place there, then whether the person is a leader or not, for either
one to go there is not permissible. This is even if it is not happening
in the section of the building wherein they are, but it is taking place
in another section of the building. [Hidaya, Durr-e-Mukhtar]
Law: If amusement and frivolous activities are taking place at such
gatherings and one knows that if he attends, then such activities will
be halted, then in such a case, he should go with this intention (i.e.
with the intention of having those improper activities halted),
because his attendance at such a gathering, will cause those
activities which are contrary to the Shariah to be suspended.
However, if one knows that by him not attending, it will be an
admonition to them and they will not resort to such bad customs,
because they regard his attendance at this gathering to be necessary
(i.e. of importance), and (they know that) if he finds out that there
will be such activities taking place at weddings and celebrations,
then he will not attend their celebrations; then it is necessary upon
him not to attend under such circumstances, so that it may be a note
of caution to the people and so that they may abstain from such bad
Law: The invitation for the Walima feast is only on the first day or
on the day after. In other words, this feast can only be for two days.
After this, the Walima and wedding ceremony has ended. [Alamgiri]
Law: In India, the series of events pertaining to weddings remains
for many days at a time. To go beyond the Sunnat is to be boastful
and to do it for name and fame. To abstain from this is necessary.
Law: It is permissible for a guest to pass over an item to someone
else, at the same spread, provided he is sure that the host will not be
offended by this. If he knows or if he is unsure if the host will be
offended, he should not pass it to another person. [Alamgiri]
Law: Some people serve the best foods to dignitaries on one spread
and they just serve common (ordinary) things to the poor. Even
though one should not behave in this manner, as it causes the
feelings of the poor to be hurt. However, in such a case if one before
whom the good things are kept, took something from it and gave it
to someone who does not have it, then it would appear that the host
would take offence to this, because if he really wished to serve this
to them, he would have spread it out before them himself. At least,
this is regarded as a doubtful case. It is thus impermissible to give
something to them in such a situation. However, if it is from the
same variety of food, such as bread or meat and the bread that was
kept before one of them is finished and another person took some
and passed it over to them, then it would seem apparent that the
host would not take offence to this.
Law: If one is partaking in a meal at the home of someone else and a
beggar asks for something. Then in such a case, it is not permissible
for him (the guest) to give a piece of roti (bread) to the beggar, as the
host left it there for him to eat, and he did not make him (the guest)
the Maalik (owner) of it, whereby giving him the right to give it to
whomsoever he wishes. [Alamgiri]
Law: If the meal is being eaten on two different spreads, then a
person may not take something from one spread and pass it over to
someone eating on the other spread, unless he is completely certain
that the host will not be offended by this. [Alamgiri]
Law: If whilst eating, the child of the host comes over, he (the guest)
can not give anything from his meal to the child or to the servant of
Law: If the food has become contaminated (become impure – Na
Paak), it is not permissible to feed it to an insane person, a child, or
to such an animal which is Halaal to consume. [Alamgiri]
Law: There are four things that are essential for a guest: (1) to sit
where asked to sit. (2) To be satisfied with whatever has been placed
before him and it should not be so that he makes utterances such as;
‘I eat better than this at my own house’ or other statements such as
people make whilst sitting together in feasts nowadays. (3) Not to get
up without the permission of the host. (4) To make dua for the host,
when he does get up.
The host should occasionally say to the guest, ‘please have some
more’, but he should not insist on this, so that by insisting, the guest
does not eat more than he is able to, thus causing it to become
harmful to him.
The host should not remain completely silent and he should not
serve the meal and then himself disappear, rather he should remain
there (with the guests). He should also not become upset with his
servants etc. in the presence of his guests. If he is a person who has
sufficient provisions, he should not due to the guests reduce the
amount of food of the household. The host should personally be
courteous towards his guests and he should not leave this duty to
the servants, as showing courtesy to the guest is the Sunnat of
Hazrat Ibraheem والتسليم الصلوة علي .If there are only a few guests, then
the host should sit down to eat with them, as hospitality demands
this. If there are many guests, then one should not sit down with
them, but one should be occupied in serving and feeding them. A
person who causes discomfort to the guests should not be made to
sit with them. [Alamgiri]
Law: When all complete eating, arrange for their hands to be
washed. Do not throw away the water after washing the hand of each
person, before washing the hand of the next.1
Law: If someone sent you a gift and such a person has both Halaal
and Haraam possessions, but most of his possessions are Halaal, then
there is no harm in accepting (his gift). The same rule applies to
1. This refers to the customary washing with the jug and bowl.
partaking in a feast at his home. You should only partake in the meal
if you are certain. If most of his possessions (i.e. wealth) are Haraam,
neither should you accept his gift, nor should you partake in a feast
at his home, until such time that you are not certain, that the things
which are presented to you are Halaal. [Alamgiri]
Law: If a person is your debtor and he has invited you to a meal,
(then in such a case), if he used to even invite you in this manner
before taking the loan, there is no harm in accepting his invitation,
but if he used to invite you (to his home once) every twenty days and
now he is doing so in ten days, and he has even prepared more
sumptuous meals than in the past, then do not accept this invitation,
as this is due to the loan. [Alamgiri]