WEDDING OF FĀṬIMAH
Fāṭimah رضي الله عنها is the youngest daughter of our beloved Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم. Out of all the children, she was the most beloved to him. He said, ‘The queen of the ladies in Jannah is Fāṭimah.’ He also said, ‘Fāṭimah is part of my body. Whoever grieves her, grieves me.’ When Fāṭimah رضي الله عنه reached the age of fifteen, proposals for her marriage began to come from high and responsible families. But the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم. remained irresponsive.
‘Alī رضي الله عنه رضي الله عنه, 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 Fāṭimah رضي الله عنها. The Prophet صَلَّى اللّٰهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ was extremely pleased and asked, ‘Alī رضي الله عنه! Do you possess anything to give her in mahr?’ I replied, ‘Apart from a horse and an armour I possess nothing.’ The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم. said, ‘A soldier must, of course, have his horse. Go and sell away your armour.”’
So, ‘Alī رضي الله عنه رضي الله عنه went and sold his armour to ‘Uthmān رضي الله عنه for 480 Dirham and presented it to Rasūlullāh صَلَّى اللّٰهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ. Bilāl رضي الله عنه was ordered by the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم. to bring some perfume and a few other things and Anas رضي الله عنه was sent to call Abū Bakr, ‘Uthmān, Ṭalhah and Zubayr with some companions from the Anṣār. When these men arrived and had taken their seats, the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم. recited the khuṭbah (sermon) of nikāḥ and gave Fāṭimah رضي الله عنها in marriage to ‘Alī رضي الله عنه. He announced, ‘Bear you all witness that I have given my daughter Fāṭimah in marriage to ‘Alī رضي الله عنه for 400 mithqāl of silver and ‘Alī رضي الله عنه 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 nikāḥ, dates were distributed.
When the time came for Fāṭimah رضي الله عنها to go to ‘Alī رضي الله عنه’s house, she was sent without any clamour, hue and cry, accompanied by Umm Ayman رضي الله عنه. After the ‘Īshā Ṣalāh, the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم. 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 ‘Alī رضي الله عنه and Fāṭimah رضي الله عنها 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 fulfil.
The many customs as regards engagement are contrary to Sunnah. In fact, many are against the Sharī‘ah and are regarded as sins. A verbal proposal and answer are sufficient.
To unnecessarily delay nikāḥ of both the boy and the girl after having reached the age of marriage is incorrect.
There is nothing wrong in inviting one’s close associates for the occasion of nikāḥ. However, no special pains should be taken in gathering the people from far off places.
It is appropriate that the bridegroom be a few years older than the bride.
If the father of the girl is an ‘ālim or pious and capable of performing nikāḥ, then he should himself solemnize the marriage.
It is better to give the Mahr Fāṭimī and one should endeavour to do so. But if one does not have the means then there is nothing wrong in giving less.
It is totally un-Islamic for those, who do not possess the means, to incur debts in order to have grandiose weddings.
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 سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى?
The present-day practice of the intermingling of sexes is an act of sin and totally against Sharī‘ah. There is nothing such as engagement parties and mendhi parties in Islām.
Great care must be taken as regards to ṣalāh on occasions of marriage by all – the bride, the bridegroom and all the participants. It is un-Islamic to display the bride on stage.
The unnecessary expenses incurred by the bride’s family is holding a feast has no basis in Sharī‘ah.
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 ḥijāb.
It is un-Islamic for the engaged couple to meet each other and also go out together.
Three things should be borne in mind when giving one’s daughter gifts and presents at the time of nikāḥ:
- Presents should be given within one’s means (it is not permissible to take loans, on interest, for such presents);
- To give necessary items;
- A show should not be made of whatever is given.
It is Sunnah for the bridegroom’s family to make walimah. NOTE: In walīmah, 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.
To delay nikāḥ after the engagement is un-Islamic.
In the following modern day trends, we have adopted many customs that are un-Islamic and contrary to the Sunnah.
Some examples are:
- Displaying the bride on stage;
- Inviting guests for the wedding from far- off places;
- Receiving guests in the hall;
- The bride’s people incurring unnecessary expenses by holding a feast which has no basis in Sharī‘ah.
We should remember that walimah is the feast arranged by the bridegroom after the marriage is consummated; It is contrary to Sunnah (and the practice of some non-Muslim tribes in India) to wish, hopes for or demand presents and gifts for the bridegroom, from the bride’s people. We should always remember that our Rasūl s did not give ‘Alī رضي الله عنه anything except du‘ā.