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.