Marriage is a significant part of Muslim life. It is in two parts- Nikah and Walima. To know more about Nikah, you can read about it here.
What is Walima?
Walima is an Arabic word derived from the root word, ‘Walam, ‘ meaning gather and assemble. It’s a Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah. It is the ceremony performed to make the Nikah official.
Walima is performed:
- At the same time as the Nikah
- After the Nikah, but before the consummation of marriage
- At the time of the wedding procession
Walima that is organized on:
- the first day is confirmed (Haq)
- the second day is good (Ma’ruf)
- the third day is showing off.
How is Walima performed?
Traditionally, the Walima event is organized by the groom. Invitations are sent to both sides of the family, friends, and neighbors. It’s wrong to invite only rich people or those from the upper class. According to Islam, it is essential to invite people from all social types.
All those who are invited must accept the invitation. Even if you are fasting, you must go and make a Du’a for the married couple. However, if one is not fasting, one should eat and make a Du’a. Refusing an invitation is disobeying Allah’s command, and thus that man/woman is sinful.
During the feast of Walima, there are certain things to avoid:
- Displaying the bride on the stage
- Receiving guests in the hall
- Hoping for gifts from the bride’s guest
- Money spent by the bride’s family on the wedding feast
As long as these customs are respected, the feast of Walima is successful.
Why is Walima celebrated?
Sayyiduna Anas ibn Malik (RA) narrates:
The Messenger of Allah (saw) saw a yellow mark on Abdur Rahman ibn Awf (RA) and said: “What is this?” Ibn Awf replied: “I have married a woman with the dowry being gold to the weight of a date-stone.” The Messenger of Allah (saw) said: “May Allah bless you, perform a Walima, even if it is only with a goat.” [Sahih Al-Bukhari]
Walima is the union of the families. It is celebrated to make the marriage official. This is an integral part of a Muslim’s wedding. However, the size of the banquet, catering, and decorations depend on the financial situation and generosity of the groom’s family.
Is Walima Farz?
The answer to this is NO because Walima is a Sunnah. Since the purpose of Walima is the union of families and making the marriage official, it is not necessary to have a wedding reception.
If the groom cannot afford to have a wedding reception, he should not undergo any hardships to have one.