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the wedding of fatima (r)

by moulana m. saleem dhorat, with notes (in blue) from the webmaster

fatimah (radhiallaahu �nha) was the youngest daughter of our beloved prophet
�layhi wasallam). out of all the children, he was the most beloved to him. he
said, 'the queen of the ladies in jannat is faatimah.' he also said, 'faatimah
is part of my body. whoever grieves her, grieves me.'

when faatimah (radhiallaahu �nha) reached the age of fifteen, proposals for her
marriage began to come from high and responsible families. but the prophet
�layhi wasallam) remained irresponsive.

ali (radhiallaahu �nhu), 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 faatima (radhiyallaahu

anha). the prophet (sallallaahu �layhi wasallam) was extremely pleased and asked,
'�li! do you possess anything to give her in mahr?' i replied, 'apart from a
horse and an armour i possess nothing.'

the prophet (sallallaahu �layhi wasallam) said, 'a soldier must, of course, have
his horse. go and sell away your armour.'

so, �li (radhiallaahu �nhu) went and sold his armour to uthmaan (radhiallaahu
�nhu) for 480 dirham and presented it to rasulullah (sallallaahu �layhi wasallam).

bilaal (radhiallaahu �nhu) was ordered by the prophet (sallallaahu �layhi

wasallam) to bring some perfume and a few other things and anas (radhiallaahu
�nhu) was sent to call abu bakr, uthmaan, talhah, zubayr with some companions
from the ansaar (radhiallaahu �nhum).

when these men arrived and had taken their seats, the prophet (sallallaahu
�layhi wasallam) recited the khutbah (sermon) of nikaah and gave faatimah
�nha) in marriage to �li (radhiallaahu �nhu). he announced, 'bear you all
witness that i have given my daughter faatimah in marriage to �li for 400
mithqaal of silver and �li has accepted.' he then raised his head and made du�
saying, 'o allah, create love and harmony between these two. bless them and
bestow upon them good children.' after the nikaah, dates were distributed.

when the time came for faatimah (radhiallaahu �nha) to go to �li's (radhiallaahu
�nhu) house, she was sent without any clamour, hue and cry accompanied umm ayman
(radhiallaahu �nhu). after the �esha salaat, the prophet (sallallaahu �layhi
wasallam) 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 �li (radhiallaahu

�nhu) and faatimah (radhiallaahu �nha) and made du� 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-
mill, one bedstead, a small water skin and a leather pitcher.

in this simple fashion, the wedding of the daughter of the leader of the worlds
was solemnised. in following this sunnah method, a wedding becomes very simple
and easy to fulfill.

some methods derived from the abovementioned marriage

"engagements" are contrary to the sunnah. a verbal proposal and answer is


to unnecessarily delay nikah of both the boy and the girl after having reached
the age of marriage is incorrect. (note: but on the other hand, some parents
pray day and night endlessly for a quick marriage to a good-looking, highly
educated, well-off person who comes from a grand family of great the
case of a groom, a groom with a high-flying job, etc. the minute we find such a
groom or bride, we jump to grab him/her. but how many of us spend sleepless
nights praying not for a speedy grand marriage but a marriage which is filled
with love, happiness, blessings and piety?)

there is nothing wrong in inviting one's close associates for the occasion of
nikah. however, no special pains should be taken in gathering the people from
far off places. (note: the money could instead be spent in charity, to gain the
blessings of the poor.)

it is appropriate that the bridegroom be a few years older than the bride. (note:
the prophet's first marriage was to khadija, who was 15 years older than him.
she was a widower and he was a virgin. they were so happy together that he did
not remarry until she passed away, even though polygamy was widely practised
during that time - before the advent of islam)

if the father of the girl is an �alim or pious and capable of performing nikah,
then he should himself solemnise the marriage.

it is better to give the mahr faatimi and one should endeavour to do so. but if
one does not have the means then there is nothing wrong in giving less. (note:
the dowry is an obligation upon the groom's family, not the bride's family!)

it is totally un-islamic for those, who do not possess the means, to incur debts
in order to have grandiose weddings. (note: on the contrary, weddings are
arranged on such a grand basis that often parents cannot perform obligatory acts
like hajj for the next few years because they lack funds, which were spent on
the weddings of their children)

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 rasulullah (sallallaahu �layhi wasallam)? (note: we spend thousands of
dollars to impress people. we are sentimental - "i want my daughter/son to have
the best." however, think about it this way...the people you impress will forget
the wedding after a few weeks, your daughter/son's marital happiness may float
on the extravagance of her/his wedding for a short while but ultimately, it will
depend on just one thing: god. what is the use angering and disappointing god
when it is his blessings, and nothing else - not even the grandest, most
impressive wedding, that will ensure your children are happy? ask yourself, are
you getting your children married so you can show off and enjoy a grand wedding
or because you want your children to experience happy, guided and blessed
married lives?)

the present day practice of the intermingling of sexes is an act of sin and
totally against shari�h. (note: teenagers and young adults, if prompted, will
admit the level of flirting, 'checking out' and showing off that goes on during
weddings, where everyone is dressed to put on a show, not to watch a wedding
take place.)

there is nothing such as engagement parties and medhi parties in islam. (note:
another source attests that a simple gathering of women and girls to apply mehdi
or henna on the bride is allowed)

great care must be taken as regards to salaat on occasions of marriage by all -

the bride, the bridegroom and all the participants. (note: on the contrary, the
bride misses her prayer because her make-up will be washed away if she performs
ablution...guests who are also dressed up delay their prayers for similar
reasons. the couple and guests should perform ablution before going to the
wedding and should perform their prayers there. the organisers of the wedding
should also make arrangments for guests to perform their prayers. how can we
expect our marriages to be successful and blessed if we abandon the first pillar
of islam, in pursuit of the perfect wedding?)

it is un-islamic to display the bride on stage. (note: if she adorns herself and
dresses up, it should be for her own satisfaction, her family's happiness and
for her husband - not for hundreds of male wedding guests that will come to have
a look at her. the bride should not be treated like a trophy - all dolled up,
sitting quietly on a stage for all to see, pretending to be reserved and shy (as
is the custom and culture) - this is demeaning for she is a thinking individual
- not something to decorate and show off.)

the unnecessary expenses incurred by the bride's family in holding a feast has
no basis in shari�h. (note: the islamic tradition is for the bride's family to
hold a simple nikah ceremony where the marriage contract is signed. the big
feast should only take place as the walima, which is the obligation of the groom's

family. sadly, often low-income parents of young girls delay getting their
daughters married because they feel pressed by society to throw a big feast.)

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�nic law of
hijaab. (note: it is rather funny - in most cultures, a man and woman get
engaged and they spend time together like they are already married. but as soon
as the nikah takes place, they are told to stay separate and maintain 'modesty'.
in many cultures, the nikah takes place in the morning and the wedding reception
at night or several weeks or even months, later. strangely, the same couple who
was engaged and mixing freely, is not allowed to mix freely between the nikah
and the wedding reception thrown by the bride's family. it is as ridiculous as
the western concept of mixing freely before and after the engagement but as soon
as the bride puts on her wedding dress, it's bad luck for the groom to see her!
in islam, the engagement is not a licence to mix freely - the nikah is. it is as
good as getting married and the couple can do everything together and have the
wedding reception and the walima later.)

it is un-islamic for the engaged couple to meet each other and also go out
together. (note: in this day and age, every other person around us could be a
weirdo. we rarely become engaged to the children of families that we know very
well so it is difficult to find out what kind of a person we are getting married
to. certain scholars attests that meeting, in the presence of mahram men, and
getting to know each other, within the rules set by the quran is allowed.)

three things should be borne in mind when giving one's daughter gifts and
presents at the time of nikah:

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 sunnat for the bridegroom's family to make walimah. in walimah, whatever

is easily available should be fed to the people and care should be taken that
the is no extravagance, show and that no debts are incurred in the process.

to delay nikah after the engagement is un-islamic.

in aping western and hindu methods sheepishly, muslims have adopted many customs
which are un-islamic and frowned upon.

some examples are:

displaying the bride on stage;

inviting guests for the wedding from far off places;

receiving guests in the hall; (note: the mosque is the center of life for true
muslims and weddings should be held there. according to the tradition of the
prophet(s.a.w.) marriages performed in the house of allah, immediately preceded
and followed by prayers, will attract the maximum of allah's blessings.
obviously, people know very well that the mosque is no place for the unislamic
cultural practices they promote at their weddings and so make alternative

the bride's people incurring unnecessary expenses by holding a feast which has
no basis in shari�h. 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, hope for or demand presents and gifts for the bridegroom, from the
bride's people. we should always remember that our nabi (sallallaahu �layhi
wasallam) did not give �li (radhiallaahu �nhu) anything except du�. (note:
unfortunately, the fathers of millions of daughters across the world, especially
south asia, incur debts and become poor and miserable because 'culture'
pressurises them to give dowry to their future son-in-laws. some girls are
forced to remain single for years because they cannot afford the dowry - some
commit suicide, as do their deperate fathers. in parts of south asia, dowry-
among hindu families, are commonplace whereby - a new bride is tortured or
murdered by her in laws because her family did not give a large enough dowry.
this is completely unislamic - the dowry or mahr is to come from the groom to
the bride, not the other way around.)

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