INVITATION AND WALIMA
O Allah (The Exalted) bless our lord and master Muhammad (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) as much as You know him.
The Prophet’s Walimah
Anas (may Allah be pleased with him) states that, “When the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) got married to Zainab, (may Allah be pleased with her) and invited people, no one from the wives of the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) had an invitation like this. People were fed with one goat.” i
Meaning that from all the invitations this was the biggest invitation as meat of a full goat was cooked.
In Sahih Bukhari another narration states after the first night the invitation that was made people were fed with full stomachs with chapatti and meat.
Anas (may Allah be pleased with him) states that, “In the Walimah of Saffiya the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) invited the Muslims, there was no meat nor bread. The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) ordered the floor mat to be placed and dates, cheese and fat (Ghee) was served.” ii
The Sunnah is to provide the guest with what is easily available. Those who get in debt with borrowing money to make sure that the guests get the best food available is against the Sunnah. One should only provide with that which one has the ability to do so.
‘Abd-Allah Ibn ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) narrates the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) states, “Whoever is given an invitation he should come.” iii
Jabir (may Allah be pleased with him) narrates the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) states that, “Whoever is given an invitation you should accept it, then it is upto you to eat or not.” iv
If you are not hungry does not mean you don’t attend, but it will please the host if you at least attend but are not obliged to eat.
‘Abd-Allah bin ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) narrates the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) states that, “Whoever has been given an invitation (in a wedding) and did not accept it they have disobeyed Allah (The Exalted) and his Messenger (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) and whoever came without an invitation, he came as a thief and left with stolen goods.” v
Allahu Akbar! It is necessary to go to an invitation and if not invited and you attend then you have left as a thief. For instance, if you made arrangements for an event, in this case it’s a wedding. You invite so many guest and others that are not invited attend then those who have been invited may not get the food that has been arranged for them as it may finish and the venue may be overcrowded and the guest may think what kind of organisation is this and people will have the wrong opinion of the host etc. Islam takes everything into consideration and the manners and etiquettes for everyday living have been laid down by Allah (The Exalted) and His beloved Messenger (may Allah bless him and grant him peace). If you have a valid reason for not attending then that should be explained to the host.
A companion narrates the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) states that, “When two people come to give an invitation at the same time then accept the invitation of those whose house is closest first and if those who came first then accept the one who came first.” vi Subhanallah!
Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) narrates the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said that, “The worst feeling is that Walimah that is where only the rich are invited and the poor are left out and whoever did not attend (without reason didn’t go) has disobeyed Allah (The Exalted) and the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace).” vii 2 www.GardensOfSunnah.co.uk
Islam is not only for the rich but the poor have a right too. It is better to feed the poor as at least they will appreciate it more.
‘Abd-Allah bin Mas’ud (may Allah be pleased with him) narrates the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) states, “(In weddings) You have a right to fulfil, that is to eat on the first day, (meaning it is proven you have to do this) and to eat on the second day is Sunnah and to eat on the third day is to let people know (meaning to let people know and to get known) whoever does something to let people know, Allah (The Exalted) will show them, meaning they will be punished.” viii
Many go against this and feed guest for more than two days going against the Sunnah getting into unnecessary debt. Even if one can afford to feed for more than two days it is against the Sunnah.
Rights of the guest
Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) narrates from the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said that, “Whosoever believes in Allah (The Exalted) and the Last Day should look after their guest.” ix
To look after also means to respect and make sure they are happy and fulfil their needs.
‘Aqrama (may Allah be pleased with him) narrates that, “Two people who invite to compete and show, the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) disallowed to eat at such an invitation.” x
Unfortunately this is the position of many. People want to compete with friends and family to have a bigger wedding with more expenses and show others so they talk about it. Fear Allah (The Exalted) and do not go against the Sunnah.
1. Walimah is a Sunnah
2. Walimah is on the morning of the first night of marriage. Call your friends, family, close friends and the people of your society in accordance with one’s capacity and honour the guest. xi
3. Those who are invited should go, as the host will be pleased. xii
4. To accept an invitation is Sunnat-e-Muakedah, which is close to wajib. xiii
5. Besides Walimah to go to other invitations is also virtuous in order to attend a Muslim brother’s invitation and to please him.
6. If one is fasting (voltentry) then go and make dua for the host. xiv
7. The same rule applies besides the invitation to Walimahs, if you are not fasting then eat and make supplication.xv
8. If the intention is for pride or so people praise you as it is seen in today’s day and age then it is better not to go to these types of invitations. Especially those with knowledge should not go. xvi
9. It is Sunnah to go to an invitation when you know there is no music or any acts against the Islamic law. If you know these things will take place then do not go. After you got to the invitation you found that acts against the Islamic law are committed then return. If you can, stop them and if you do not have the power to, then have patience, this is when the person is not a leader or an Imam. If you are a leader for example if a Scholar or a Spiritual guide can not stop them he should leave and not sit nor eat there, if you knew from the beginning these things would take place. xvii
10. The invitation for the Walimah is only for the first day or the following day. Meaning it can only be for two days after this the wedding and Walimah is over. xviii
i Bukhari &Muslim
iii Sahih Bukhari & Muslim
iv Sahih Muslim
v Abu Dawood
vi Ahmed & Abu Dawood
vii Bukhari & Muslim
ix Bukhari & Muslim
x Abu Dawud
xi Bahare Shariat
xv Alamgiri and Raddul Muhtar
xvi Raddul Muhtar
xvii Durre Mukhtar & Hidaya
xx Bahare Shariat
11. Those who are eating on one mat (dastarkan) and if you take something and give it to someone else on another table; then is only permissible when you know the host will not mind. If you know the host will mind then it is not permissible but if you are in doubt and you do not know if he will mind then do not give. xix
12. Four things are important for the guest, 1) Sit where you have been asked to sit, 2) Be happy with what has been put in front of you. One should not say I could have eaten something better than this at my house or say things like people at invitations do today, 3) Do not get up without permission 4) When you leave make supplication for the host. xx
13. The host should ask the guest to take more food but do not force them. The host should not stay completely silent and should not leave the food and go away but stay there. Do not get angry with those who are serving in front of the guest. xxi
14. If there are not many guests then the host can sit down with the guest as this is good manners. If there are many guests do not sit with them but look after them and help in feeding them. Do not make the guest sit with those who they do not like. xxii
15. If someone has sent presents and the person has both lawful and unlawful goods. Then if majority of it is lawful there is no problem in accepting the present. The same rule applies when eating, if what he has presented, majority of it is unlawful then to accept the present or to eat there is not allowed until you find out it is lawful. xxiii
May Allah (The Exalted) give us the ability to follow the Sunnah of Walimah closely, Ameen.