In the Islamic society, the component of family plays a predominant role. A secure family is essentially the basis for the establishment of a stable society imbued with values and morals. Marriage is the one, and the only, institution which brings legitimate families into subsistence.
It is avowed in the Holy Qur’an, “Allah created for you from yourselves mates that you may find tranquility in them; and He placed between you affection and mercy” [Surat Ar-Rum: 21]. Further, regarding a man and woman bound by matrimony, Allah stated, “They (wife) are clothing for you (husband) and you are clothing for them” [Surat Al-Baqarah: 187].
Marriage plays an important role in the life of every Muslim. Islam regards marriage as a righteous form of worship and submission to the will of Allah.
At the same time, Islam has clearly laid down the etiquettes involving every facet of life to be followed by Muslims, and weddings are no exception. The Islamic manners observed at a wedding are appended not only upon the host but also the guests.
Marriage is a pious ritual which lawfully binds a man and a woman together forever. It accords legitimacy to the ensuing relationship in the eyes of the society. The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said: “Publicize this marriage, and hold it in the Masjid (mosque), and beat the Duff (a type of drum) for it.” [Tirmidhi]
The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) accentuated the significance of publicizing the wedding by singing and beating the drums as a factor which distinguishes a lawful marriage from an illicit relationship. [Sunan an-Nasa’i]
Marriage is a blessing bestowed upon humanity by Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful. It is important to invite relatives, friends and neighbors to such a blessed occasion. The Messenger of Allah said: “If any one of you is invited to a wedding feast, let him accept.” (Sunan Ibn Majah)
While inviting the guests for a wedding, it is pertinent to extend the invitation to dear and near and treat them equally, irrespective of their financial stature. The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) affirmed, “The worst food is that of a wedding banquet to which only the rich are invited while the poor are not invited.” [Sahih al-Bukhari]
At the same time, a marriage invitation should not be disregarded at any cost. Even a fasting person is not permitted to decline a marriage invitation. The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) forewarned: “And he who refuses an invitation to a wedding banquet disobeys Allah and His Apostle (PBUH).” [Sahih al-Bukhari].
Congratulating newlywed couple
Upon attending a wedding, a guest must remember to congratulate the newlywed couple in the manner taught by the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), “Barak Allahu fikum, wa baraka lakum. (May Allah bless you and your counterpart and bestow blessings upon you.)” [Sunan an-Nasa’i]
A wedding is a unique occasion and calls for a special feast. When a man married a woman, the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said to him: “Hold a wedding feast, even if only with a sheep.” [Sahih Muslim]
Allah has clearly stated in verse 31 of Surat Al-A’raaf, “Indeed, He likes not those who commit excess.” This is applicable to weddings as well. The Messenger of Allah said: “The wedding feast on the first day is an obligation, on the second day is a custom and on the third day is showing off.” (Sunan Ibn Majah)
A Muslim should abstain from spending extravagantly on wedding banquets. There are several hadiths that the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) held the wedding feasts with a meal and dates; on some occasions there was neither meat nor bread.
The marriage ceremony is an occasion which marks the beginning of a relationship between two people, and calls for celebration. In this regard, Islam is no different, and permits singing and beating the duff (a type of drum).
It is reported in the hadith that when Amir bin Saad raised objection to some young girls singing at a wedding, two of the companions of the Messenger of Allah said: “Sit down if you want and listen with us, or if you want you can go away. We were granted a concession allowing entertainment at weddings.” [Sunan an-Nasa’i]
Marriage is an occasion when gate crashers turn out in profusion. The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) strictly forbade the practice of attending weddings without being invited. The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said: “He who enters without invitation enters as a thief and goes out as a raider.” [Sunan Abu Dawud]
In addition to the above etiquettes, a person attending a wedding must be suitably dressed for the occasion, and conduct oneself in a becoming manner.
A wedding is a special occasion; remember to adhere to the Islamic manners prescribed by the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). As is clearly stated in Sahih al-Bukhari, the Messenger of Allah said: “He who does not follow my tradition in religion, is not from me (not one of my followers).”