Photographing the wedding ceremony

Question 27: All praise be to Allaah Alone, and peace and blessings be upon His last Prophet.

The Permanent Committee for Scholarly Research and Iftaa’ has read the letter that has been sent to his Eminence, the Grand Muftee from his Eminence the President of the province of Al-Mjardh, under the number (37 / 584) and dated 15/02/ 1420 A. H. Attached to the concerned letter is a question that was submitted by the shaykh of Al Sumayd tribe and transferred to the Committee by the secretariat-general of the Council of Senior Scholars under the number 1423 and dated 25/02/1420 A. H. Such a question reads as follows:

I would like to inform you that Al Sumayd Al-Malha’ tribe made an agreement based on the attached convention,which is dated in 12/08/1408. Then some new matters happened lately with regard to marriage occasions, so that we held another convention of which a copy is attached and we hope that you, may Allaah safeguard you, could raise it to the Grand Mufty of the Saudi Kingdom so that he may issue a Fatwaa’ regarding that issue. May Allaah grant success to all to do whatever He loves and is pleased with. Verily, He is the All-Hearer, the One Who responds to Du`aa’ (Supplication). May Allaah safeguard you and peace be upon you. Written in 14/2/1420 A.H.

Answer:  Firstly: What is mentioned in the first three paragraphs to the effect that a financial fine is to be taken from whoever does so and so is impermissible. This is because such a fine is a financial discretionary punishment which is stated by people who do not have the Shar`y (Islamic legal) capacity to do so. Rather, such a punishment is to be decided only by judges. Accordingly, it is Wajib (obligatory) to abandon these fines... read more here.

Fixing an amount to be paid to the Waliy in return for holding the wedding

Question 26: Our tribe agreed that the bridegroom is to pay to the Waliy (a legally accountable person acting for a woman regarding marriage) six thousand Riyals instead of paying the costs of the wedding ceremony. To pay this sum, an amount of money is to be collected from every married person in the tribe, whether solvent or insolvent. What is the ruling of the Sharee`ah regarding this? Please enlighten us, may Allaah reward you and forgive your sins. It should be noted that the Waleemah (wedding dinner) is served at the home of the Waliy.

Answer: This agreement obliges people with something that is not obligated by Allaah (Exalted be He). It may arouse dispute, envy and hatred among the members of the tribe. The money may be given unwillingly. Moreover, it equates between those who are solvent and those who are not in payment, and this is unfair. Based on the facts mentioned above, it is not permissible to make an agreement to this effect nor continue one which has been concluded according to these terms... read more here.

Is it lawful to forbid sisters from attending weddings?

Question 25: I prevent my sisters from going to the wedding parties held in our neighborhood. Since this matter upsets my mother and sisters and makes them call me ‘unjust’ as all the girls of the neighborhood attend such parties, I ask about the Shari`ah ruling on my act; is it injustice, as my mother claims? Am I a sinner? Please guide me. May Allaah guide you!

Answer: If the Waleemah (wedding dinner) includes forbidden acts such as men mixing with women, or serving forbidden food and drinks, or singing using musical instruments, and so on, then it is not permissible to attend. It is permissible for women to sing while using the tambourine at marriage weddings. If the Walimah does not include serving forbidden food or drink, there is no harm for women to attend... read more here.

Helping a man to hold a wedding

Question 24: What is the ruling on women attending weddings and birthday parties? Although they are Bidd`ah (innovation in religion) and it is known that every Bidd`ah is a deviation from what is right. Female singers perform at these parties. Is it considered Haraam (prohibited) for women to attend such parties in appreciation of the bride’s family and not to listen to the singer?

Answer: It is permissible for women to attend these parties if they are free from evil such as men mixing with women and obscene singing. She should attend these parties to celebrate with them if she is able to change the evil, for attending in this case becomes necessary. On the other hand, it is prohibited for her to attend such parties if she cannot change the evil due to the general meaning of Allaah’s Saying... read more here.

Ruling on Secret marriage

Question 23: There is a young man whose parents asked him to marry a woman whom he dislikes. If he does not marry this woman, they will never forgive him. Is it obligatory on him to marry this woman whom he dislikes to avoid the wrath of his parents and to seek their pleasure? Is `Urfi marriage (without an official contract) which is kept secret permissible? Is it obligatory on the husband to tell his parents about his marriage?

Answer: First, obedience to parents is obligatory.The son is also obliged to honor and treat them kindly as the texts of the Qur’aan and Sunnah indicate. But, he is not obliged to obey them with regard to marrying a woman whom he does not want. He disobeys them for his fear of the bad consequences of such an unwanted marriage which may lead to divorce. He should in all cases consider his parents, treat them gently, avoid the clash of opinions, and be careful of harsh treatment. He should therefore go ahead and do what he sees is beneficial for himself, as he is aware of his own needs and personality... read more here.

Men beating drums at circumcision and wedding celebrations

Question 22: Certain occasions; such as marriage and circumcision, are sometimes held in our town. Celebrating these occasions, the men gather in a separate place where they beat the drums, dance and amuse themselves. It is noteworthy that no instrument is used but the drums, there is no mixing between men and women and the obligatory Salaah (Prayer) is performed in their due time. What is the ruling on these practices? Please answer us, may Allaah reward you with the best.

Answer: It is impermissible for men to beat the drums on occasions, whether circumcision or others, as this entails prohibited amusement. Rather, it is proven in the Sunnah that women are recommended to beat the duff to announce the marriage.This is granted to women only when there are no men present... read more here.

Having poets at the wedding night

Question 21: A habit that has spread widely amongst many tribes is bringing together some of the so called debate poets. People, in weddings for instance and some other occasions, invite two poets, eachfrom a different tribe, and give them a sum of money to entertain them during the whole night. Two rows of men are formed opposite to each other, each one of them for a poet, and men in each row repeat collectively and loudly what their poet says. Doing so involves clapping hands and dancing. Moreover, each poet prides himself on his noble descent and at the same time defames the other poet. Following are my questions:

1- What is the ruling on hiring these types of poets and what is the ruling on this type of poetry?
2- What is the ruling on dancing and clapping hands?
3- What is the ruling on those who stand in the rows mentioned above and repeat what the poets say?
4- What is the ruling on the poets defaming each other? What is the ruling on their poetry that involves defaming others’ lineages and priding oneself on their noble descents?
5- What is the ruling on visiting places in which this kind of poetry is recited?
6- What is the ruling on staying awake at night with such poets until the approach of the time of Fajr (Dawn)?
7- Some of these poets train young men to recite poetry and dance and take them to places where this kind of poetry is recited. What is the ruling on this?
8- What is the ruling on acceptinginvitations to attend occasions in which this type of poetry is said. May Allaah reward you with the best.

Answer: All that you have mentioned are Haraam (prohibited) acts and practicing them is impermissible. Moreover, it is impermissible to visit places in which such acts are practiced even if a person is invited to them unless their intention is to forbid and warn people against them... read more here.

Having shows at weddings

Question 20: Q: We have discussed with some of our friends from this town about the ‘Arda (the national dance of Saudi Arabia, which is a men’s sword dance accompanied by traditional drummers and a poet, who sings the lyrics) that is held in our area of Ghamid and Zahran. Some say that it is Mubaah (permissible), some consider it to be Makrooh (disliked), and others say that it is Haraam (prohibited). Evidence used by those who say it is Mubaah is that the Ethiopians used to have their games and when `Umar ibn Al-Khattaab objected to them, the Messenger (peace be upon him) told him to let them carry on, as it would teach the Jews and the Christians that Islam is a Deen (religion) that permits recreation. They say that the ‘Arda indicates manhood and courage, and it is an ancient custom in the village that is approved of by the government. The evidence used by those who view it as Makruh is that it involves wasting money and time, but if it does not distract people from any Faridah (obligatory act) of their Din, they say that it is allowed. Those who say that the ‘Arda is Haram support their view with the following:

First: The ‘Arda involves playing the Zir (big drum), which is the work of Satan.

Second: All the poets of the region follow the modern artistic styles in their poetry, and so they honor inferior people and degrade honorable ones just to gain money.

Third:Holding the ‘Arda involves squandering, as each poet is given up to 5,000 Riyals, or more sometimes, and the Zir player and his band gets a similar fee. So not less than 10,000 Riyals are spent on the ‘Arda in one night, and this sum increases according to the importance of the occasion.

Fourth: Most of the people who are involved in the ‘Arda or attend it are conceited, arrogant, and like to show-off. People have now started to film the ‘Arda and show it later on in their homes. The matter has been worsened, as dancing is now being included in the event.

Fifth: Women mostly watch the ‘Arda from the roofs of their houses and they watch the videos inside their houses, and this is immoral.

Sixth: When the ‘Arda is held at night, which is usually the case, it continues until after midnight, and so most of those who attend miss the congregational Fajr (Dawn) Prayer, except for those on whom Allaah has mercy, because they are tired and exhausted.

Seventh: Once the Zir starts to be heard, the surrounding area becomes full of cars and people start to gather, among whom are very old men who come to watch the ‘Arda. They even come using their walking sticks to participate in the ‘Arda, as they are able to forget their condition at that time.

This is the ‘Arda and the views of different people on it. I have thus represented the matter to you, Your Eminence, and I submit it to your consideration, hoping that you could provide us with a detailed answer. We will strictly apply your Fatwaa’ (legal opinion given by a qualified Muslim scholar), In shaa’-Allaah (if Allaah wills), as we have great confidence that your Fatwas are based on sound knowledge of the Qur’aan and Sunnah (whatever is reported from the Prophet, peace be upon him) – and, indeed, the Truth is more deserving to be followed.

Answer: If the reality of the ‘Arda is as you mentioned in the question, regarding the use of musical instruments, and that the poets exceed proper bounds in their poetry by honoring inferior people and degrading honorable ones just to gain money... read more here.

Firing shots at the wedding night

Question 19: Some people in the villages of Al-Hijaaz have certain habits at weddings, such as: First, colored flags are placed on the cars that move in the wedding procession. Sometimes, the flags are white or green. Also, some flags are put over the house of the newlywed couple for several days, or may last for several months. Second, when the bride leaves her father’s house, her father, her husband or one of her relatives fires some shots near her to announce her coming. The same thing is done upon her arrival at her husband’s house. This phenomenon has been incorporated in the habits and customs of some tribes. Third, women play musical song tapes, with drums and other musical instruments in the background. They dance while listening to them.

I ask your Eminence to answer these questions. May Allaah protect and grant you success.

Answer: You should know first that the Prophet, (peace be upon him) encouraged Muslims to announce a marriage, so that it is distinguished from illegitimate relations between men and women. However, this announcement should be done in a permissible manner, such as calling witnesses to it and beating a Duff (a tambourine-like instrument without bells) by women... read more here.

Different celebrations and their practices

Question 18: There are many ceremonies such as marriage, funerals, and other ceremonies where people bring singers, tambourines, loudspeakers, and they sing and dance to Islamic songs. In addition to this, there are sermons given by some scholars. Are such acts permissible in the perspective of the Sharee`ah? If we attend some of theses ceremonies, will we be rewarded or will we be committing a sin? Please advise me, may Allaah reward you.

Answer: Holding wedding banquets and women’s beating tambourines and singing on that occasion when they are segregated from men is not wrong. It is Sunnah (whatever is reported from the Prophet); however, for men it is not permissible to beat the tambourine or sing. As for holding ceremonies on the occasion of death, it is Bidd`ah (innovation in religion), and it must be abandoned... read more here.

Clapping hands inside the Masjid

Question 17: What is the ruling on women clapping their hands at wedding parties or the celebration of graduates at summer centers or at any other gathering where Allaah and His Messenger are mentioned? I ask this question because I attended a celebration in Jeddah and met a woman in charge of a celebration of graduates of a summer center for the memorization of the Noble Qur’aan. She ordered them to clap their hands at the end of every part of the celebration. I expressed my disapproval of this then she asked me about the evidence for the impermissibility of clapping hands for women. I quoted the saying of Allaah (Exalted be He): Their Salaat (prayer) at the House (of Allaah, i.e. the Ka‘bah at Makkah) was nothing but whistling. She told me that she referred to many religious books but she did not find evidence of the unlawfulness of clapping hands. She asked me to ask his Eminence Shaykh Ibn Baaz about the evidence for the impermissibility of clapping hands. Here I have mentioned her request. I hope you will give me a detailed answer for this question in a message sealed from the Committee; because I intend to show it to the woman in charge of the summer center who is a professor.

Answer: It is permissible for men and women when hearing or seeing a pleasant deed or a prohibited deed to recite Tasbeeh (saying: “Subhaan Allaah [Glory be to Allaah]”) or Takbeer (saying: “Allaahu Akbar [Allaah is the Greatest]”) but not to clap their hands... read more here.

Having a Duff beater at the wedding

Question 16: Tribesmen gather on many occasions most importantly during weddings. They hire what they call Al-Muzlif (a person who plays drums). They give him a sum of money that ranges from 3,000 to 5,000 Saudi Riyals provided that he should stay with them for the whole day. They argue that they make this ceremony at times other than that of prayer and do not distract people from worship. They say that it is an opportunity for the people of the tribe to gather and announce the marriage and so on. When one of our religious brothers advised them to substitute these ceremonies with useful religious lectures which will benefit everyone and bring up a good generation, they asked him to bring forth a Fatwaa’ from the Permanent Committee for Iftaa’ about this. We appreciate your advice, may Allaah reward you with the best.

Answer: When announcing marriage, it is permissible for men to gather and greet each other and socialize with them and to prepare a wedding banquet. With regards to women, it is permissible for them to play the Duff (a tambourine-like instrument without bells) to announce marriage. However, it is not permissible to bring Al-Muzlif that you mentioned. The money he gets for this is unlawful and it is not permissible for you to pay him this sum of money... read more here.

Groom walking in a procession of women

Question 15: What is the legal ruling on wedding parties in which the groom walks to his bride in a procession of women. After that the bride and groom sit on their bridal throne which is called Minasah where strange women can see him and he can see them in their adornment. Is it permissible to make this bridal throne? If it is a common habit that women go to wedding and participate in playing the Duff (a tambourine-like instrument without bells) to announce marriage, how should the men who have a sense of honor allow their wives to look at the groom who is Ajnabee (men lawful for the woman to marry) to them when he goes to sit on the bridal throne, especially that according to the customs, he has to sit there? What should the Ajnabee (woman lawful for the man to marry) woman do at that moment?I hope your Eminence will explain the ruling on this and guide us to do what is right through a written Fatwaa’ to be read by everyone so they may know what is right with regards to their religion, morals and customs.

Answer: It is not permissible to celebrate weddings by dancing and singing in the Masjid. Moreover, you are not permitted tomix between reciting the Qur’aan and these songs. Beating tambourines is permissible only for women in places other than the Masjid in order to announce this marriage among women... read more here.

Holding weddings at the Masjid

Question 14: Is it permissible to organize wedding ceremonies in the Masjid (mosque) by reciting some songs and some parts of the Qur’aan? What is the ruling on beating tambourines for this purpose?

Answer: It is not permissible to celebrate weddings by dancing and singing in the Masjid. Moreover, you are not permitted tomix between reciting the Qur’aan and these songs. Beating tambourines is permissible only for women in places other than the Masjid in order to announce this marriage among women... read more here.

Women playing and dancing at weddings

Question 13: Is it permissible for women to play and dance during weddings in a place far away from the men’s area? Likewise, is it permissible for men to play during weddings in a place far away from the women’s area?

Answer: The Prophet (peace be upon him) prescribed that marriage has to be publicized to distinguish it from Zinaa (sexual intercourse outside marriage). However, such publicizing is to take place through permissible procedures such as having witnesses to the contract of marriage and women playing the tambourine and singing decent songs that do not involve Fitnah (temptation) or intermixing between men and women... read more here.

Announcing marriage even if only in the presence of witnesses only

Question 12: I seek your Fatwaa’ (legal opinion issued by a qualified Muslim scholar) regarding the ruling on accepting to conclude a marriage contract between a suitor and a Waliy (a legally accountable person acting for a woman regarding marriage) in the presence of four witnesses. This marriage is announced to some people only. Would this announcement suffice? Is the marriage contract valid?

Answer: If the reality is as you have mentioned, the contract is valid, and the announcement will suffice even if the witnesses are only two people... read more here.

Removing the wife’s hymen with the finger

Question 11: What is the ruling on beating drums and uttering cries of joy at weddings and on breaking the wife’s hymen with the finger?

Answer: It is commendable to announce the marriage and cries of joy take the same ruling as singing. However, it is prohibited in Sharee`ah (Islaamic law) to break the wife’s hymen with a finger and it is a despicable custom that contradicts the guidance of the Messenger of Allaah (peace be upon him) which indicates that the only manner of breaking the hymen is through sexual intercourse... read more here.

Lack of evidence supporting the permissibility of men dancing

Question 10: Is it permissible for a Muslim to dance and beat the Duff (a tambourine-like instrument without bells)?

Answer: There is no harm in women dancing and beating the Duff at weddings in the absence of men. However, we do not know of any evidence supporting the permissibility of men dancing, whether accompanied by the Duff or not... read more here.

Is it permissible for Muslim men to beat the Duff ?

Question 9: Is it permissible for Muslim men to beat the Duff (a tambourine-like instrument without bells)?

Answer: Announcing marriage is a Sunnah (a commendable act), as the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “Announce the contract of marriage.” (Related by Ahmad and is regarded as Saheeh [authentic] by Ibn Hibbaan and Al-Haakim) One of the means of announcing marriage for women – not men – is to beat the Duff, as it was reported that women of the first generation did so... read more here.

Many people attending marriage contract

Question 8: Is there any harm in thirty or fifty people gathering for the conclusion of a marriage contract?

Answer: There is no harm if the said number or more or less attends, as this is a means of announcing the marriage, which is required by Sharee`ah (Islaamic law). It is confirmed that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, Announce the contract of marriage. read more here.

Having pop singer in the wedding

Question 7: Is it permissible to bring a pop singer to entertain my family and the people of the village at my wedding? What is the ruling if the singer does not drink prohibited beverages, and my father insists on bringing him?

Answer: It is not permissible for a Muslim to bring a pop singer, man or woman, to entertain his family or the people of the village at his wedding... read more here.

What is the ruling on beating the Duff ?

Question 6: What is the ruling on beating the Duff (a tambourine-like instrument without bells)?

Answer: Al-Tirmidee, Al-Nasaa’ee and others reported on the authority of Muhammad ibn Haatib that Allaah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) said: The difference between what is legal and illegal (in marriage) is beating the tambourine and announcing the marriage in a loud voice. read more here.

Weddings, birthday parties, and other celebrations

Question 5: What is the opinion on celebrations held by Muslims in Trinidad on the occasions of marriage and moving to a new house, in addition to individual birthdays and other joyful occasions, during which they recite the Noble Qur’aan and songs of praise about the noble Messenger (peace be upon him), after which, they stand up as a way of revering and respecting the noble Messenger (peace be upon him)?

Answer: First, the Prophet (peace be upon him) has prohibited secret marriages. He (peace be upon him) has ordained for us to announce and celebrate marriage and the moving of the bride to her husband’s house. Therefore it is permissible to do this unless the celebration includes dissolute singing, mingling between men and women, or the like of prohibited things… read more here.

Accepting invitations of waleemah that involve Munkar when change unavoidable?

Question 4: What is the ruling of Islam regarding a brother whose sister is about to hold a wedding in which musical instruments will be used and other matters contradicting the teachings of Allaah and His Messenger. Should her brother attend the wedding or not? If he can save himself from the Fitnah (temptation) by staying in his room, is it permissible for him to remain at home? What should he do if his father asks him to do some things related to the wedding?

Answer: If this young man can assist in reducing the Fitnah in his sister’s wedding, there is nothing wrong with his presence for the benefit of resisting evil. However, if he finds this difficult, he should not attend the wedding so as not to cooperate in or courage the evil. There is nothing wrong with his bringing some things that his father may require as long as they are permissible, not involving any disobedience to Allaah… read more here.

Is it lawful to accept invitations that involve Munkar when change unavoidable?

Question 3: In Morocco, some weddings are held where people are invited to attend, and it is an obligation to attend according to the Hadeeth of the Prophet (peace be upon him). However, many Bidd`ahs (innovations in religion) and prohibitions take place. Is it obligatory to attend such weddings?

Answer: If the person who is invited to a wedding is able to prevent the sins that take place, he should attend for this purpose. Otherwise, he should not accept the invitation… read more here.

Giving a Khutbah in a wedding ceremony

Question 2: Sometimes, when people celebrate weddings, whether in wedding halls, hotels, or elsewhere, the family of one of the spouses ask a seeker of religious knowledge to deliver a Khutbah (sermon) as a reminder and advice to the attendants. The Khutbah is often about marriage-related issues, such as exaggeration in Mahr (mandatory gift to a bride from her groom), extravagance in Waleemah (wedding dinner), and prohibited acts committed in wedding ceremonies, such as Tasweer (photography), free intermixing (of men and women), singing, and the like. Some people object to this on the pretext that nothing was related in this regard. What is the ruling on this matter? May Allaah reward you best.

Answer: There is no harm in delivering a useful Khutbah to the attendants in a wedding ceremony, in order to enjoin good and forbid evil… read more here.

Accepting the invitation in places which involve Munkar such as public party, public park

Question 1: Is it permissible to join a public party in a public park? It is worth mentioning that we are invited to such a party and that one girl or more, Muslim or non-Muslim, will join it. Since the park is big and has very vast spaces that we can sit in, is a male Muslim considered a sinner if he accepts the invitation and sits alone or with some of his male friends far from the place where the ladies sit. It is worth mentioning that all, males and females, will be in one party seeing each other. Moreover, it is most probable that one woman or more may, due to curiosity or any other reason, intervene and sit with men who are far from the place where ladies sit.

Answer: It is impermissible for you to accept the concerned invitation even if you are going to sit in a far place. This is because such a party is a means for temptation, it includes Munkar (that which is unacceptable or disapproved of by Islaamic law and Muslims of sound intellect), and accepting its invitation is tantamount to participating in Munkar, not trying to change it, and being content with the involved sins committed by others… read more here.