Marriage called ‘Nikah’ in Islam is one of the noblest Sunnahs performed by our beloved Prophet Muhammad (SAW) in his life. As we are the believers of Allah and belong to the Ummah of the Prophet Muhammad (SAW), we are obliged to follow his actions and words. He conveyed to all the believers that Nikah is that Sunnah which brings a believer closer to Imaan. Hence, it should be fulfilled with the most simplicity and performed without pomp and extravaganza.
However, we see how lavishly people perform Nikahs nowadays. It seems more show-off than a religious obligation. Maybe people believe that the more money they spend on weddings, the more prosperity they bring to the home. Sometimes the bride’s family forgets the sad truth that she’s leaving them and starting a new life. Such families who spend quite lavishly on weddings take it as a matter of social status and an opportunity to show off their wealth and power in society. I think it’s a deplorable practice.
Kashmiri people have taken to the path of making weddings so loud that people in the whole colony gets distracted. I saw a viral video on social media a day back where a person showed a loud wedding in his vicinity at around 3:30 am, the time when the true believers of Allah get up to pray Tahajjud. The man was unable to sleep due to the loud music being played in his neighbourhood. That video troubled me so much that I picked up my pen to protest against such a thing.
We Muslims must not forget the teachings of our beloved Prophet Mohammad (SAW). Allah clearly says in Qur’an in Surah Israa, Verse 26-27: “And give the relative his right, and also the poor and the traveller, and do not spend wastefully.”
The Sunnah of Islamic marriage is to perform the Nikah in a mosque with simplicity and in the presence of close relatives. The family of both the bride and groom can feed the poor and any traveller who crosses by.
Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H.) said, “A woman is married for four things: her wealth, family status, beauty, and religion. Choose a religious woman if you want to prosper.” (Sahih Bukhari)
He also said, “When someone with whose religion and character you are satisfied asks to marry your daughter, comply with his request. If you do not do so, there will be corruption and great evil on earth.” (Tirmidhi)
You see that the simple parameters of choosing a bride and a groom have already been told to us in Qur’an. Yet, we try to seek spouses to fulfil our worldly pleasures. Our first priority is wealth and beauty because these are important for our social status. We think of Nikah as a business deal where the Sunnah is replaced by our greed. As we deviate from the path of Sunnah, we continue to act blindly. We all spent huge amounts of our wealth on marriage rituals and traditions that are man-made, not ordained by Allah.
An irony, then, that after such grand weddings, many of the marriages turn into divorces. We curse fate without realising that it’s our own deeds that have paid now. While preparing for a huge marriage ceremony with lots and lots of western cultural rituals, we need to think about our brothers and sisters whose hearts are torn at seeing they can’t afford the same. At least do not make bid’ah for others.
I have myself heard a lot of suicide stories where the reason has been that the person prefers death to facing the community that makes them feel inferior. We are all the same and we all have to return to the same God, then why such futile innovations that make others’ lives hard?
I ought to say that lavish weddings are not morally justified at all. I want to remind you all that Allah says in Quran that there is barakah in Nikah. We must follow the path that Quran wants us to, so that our lives are not wasted in worldly affairs.
We all need to realise that the Sunnah made by Allah should be performed in the manner told by Him only. We need to share this message with the whole of Ummah. Let us maintain the beauty of a simple Nikah and set an example for everyone. Let us try to marry with as much humbleness as our Prophet (SAW) did. If somebody has to take an initiative, then why not you?
—The writer is a PhD Mathematics scholar at Lovely Professional University, Punjab. [email protected]