Islam is a natural way of life. It accommodates all the needs of a human being. Hence, it fully accommodates the human need to express joy and happiness on various occasions, including the time of nikah. In fact, one is encouraged to express joy and happiness on such occasions. Nevertheless, such expression of happiness must be within reasonable limits, and definitely within the parameters of Shari`ah. Anything, no matter how beautiful it may be, if taken beyond its limits, loses its beauty. Take for instance the virtuous act of charity. What a wonderful deed. It extinguishes the wrath of Allah Ta`ala, it secures an easy death and multiplies a person’s rewards. However, if someone steals, robs and cheats and thereafter gives the money in charity, this now becomes a curse for him. The same rule will apply to a marriage. If it conforms with the commands of Allah Ta`ala, it guarantees happiness and prosperity. On the other hand, failure to conform will result in misery, and much distress in the lives of the couple and those around them.
When someone is intending to get married, it is a common experience that apart from the happiness and excitement, there is also a degree of concern regarding the marriage. Both families request du`aas from family, friends, the local `aalim or even a visiting `aalim. Some engage themselves in some wazeefah, etc, for the success of the marriage.There is no denial of the importance of du`aa, the effectiveness of wazeefahs, etc. However, the secret for a successful marriage has been explained in the following Hadeeth of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam). Nabi (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) is reported to have said, “That marriage wherein the least expenses are incurred enjoys the greatest amount of blessing” (Baihaqi). Likewise, that wedding wherein every command of Allah Ta’ala and Nabi (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) are respected, attracts the rahmat of Allah Ta’ala. On the contrary, there is no guarantee of blessings in any other way besides that of Nabi (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam).
One of the cornerstones of the Islamic way of life as taught by Nabi (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) is simplicity. If we examine the blessed life of Nabi (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam), we will find simplicity in every action, whether in his eating, dressing, weddings, etc. Therefore it is said, “Make our shaadi (wedding) saadi (simple)”. Nabi (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) is reported to have said, “Indeed, simplicity is part of Imaan” (Mishkaat).
Unfortunately, many practices which are alien to Islamic teachings have gradually crept into our weddings as a result of our association with others. Generally, engaging in such practices is regarded as insignificant and trivial. This is far from the reality. The damage of these ‘insignificant’ practices is tremendous and far reaching. Most of the time, these practices result in depriving the nikaah of blessings, hence paving the way for problems.
The Hadeeth commands us not to delay in getting our children married when a suitable match is found. There is nothing better than marriage for those who are in love. At times, the marriage is unnecessarily delayed. As a result this leads to the couple becoming involved in some degree of illicit contact before marriage.
Perhaps the most serious of all is the intermingling of males and females. Nabi (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) is reported to have said, “Allah Ta’ala curses the person who looks at non-mahrams (people with whom marriage is permissible) and the person who is looked at (due to not having adopted hijaab)”(Mishkaat). Instead of attracting the blessings of Allah Ta’ala, this wedding attracts the curse of Allah Ta’ala.
In many weddings, there is a great amount of extravagance and wastage. Extravagance is greatly abhorred in our Shari`ah. Allah Ta’ala has declared those who waste as the brethren of Shaytaan. From a humanitarian perspective as well, the effects of wastage and extravagance are disastrous. Thousands of people barely have sufficient food for a day, whereas on the other hand thousands of rands are aimlessly squandered without any purpose. Often, left-over food is thrown away. Nabi (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) is reported to have said, “Whosoever has Imaan on Allah Ta’ala and the Day of Qiyaamah, then he will never pass the night satiated, while his neighbour is hungry”(Tabraani). While many starving people may not be our immediate neighbours, but the spirit of Nabi (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam)’s teachings is clearly evident from the Hadeeth. With what conscience can we squander thousands on extravagance while people go hungry to bed???
Another alien practice which has a great impact on depriving us of the blessings of Allah Ta’ala is photography, whether digital or otherwise. Whenever there are conflicting views on an issue, the standard is that preference is given to impermissibility over permissibility. The harms of photography are a separate topic on it own. The severity of photography can be understood from the Hadeeth where Nabi (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) has declared that the severest punishment in the hereafter will be for those who make or take pictures (Mishkaat). Many justify their photography on the grounds of it preserving their cherished memories. While this is no valid justification, the mere fact that both males and females later view these photographs is ample evidence for its evil.
Although there is nothing wrong in any place per se, however, external factors can affect the suitability of a particular venue for this `ibaadat. For example, there is no harm in going to a beach per se, however, due to the type of activities and wrongs that take place at beaches, one is prone to becoming involved in some contravention of the Shari`ah. Therefore, one should exercise extreme caution. Likewise, apparently there is no harm in any venue for a wedding. However, certain venues such as halls, restaurants, etc., are more likely to have the abovementioned evils. Furthermore, the venue should not be merely to impress the public, as this will constitute show and ostentation. Doing anything for show attracts the displeasure of Allah Ta`ala.