Have the norms of society made marriage too difficult? Or have we mistaken culture with religion? Guest Contributor Fatima Moolla explores the subject of bridal showers.
Allah Ta’allah states in the glorious Qur’an:
” And among His signs is that He created for you mates from among yourselves. So that you may dwell in tranquility with them, and He has put love and mercy between your hearts. Undoubtedly in these are the signs for those who reflect.”
Marriage is acknowledged to be the apparatus in life that brings families into existence. This is brought forth through the medium of two souls who have committed themselves to each other and are willing to sacrifice for one another. It is a time of joy and rejoicing, the biggest step that a human takes in life. It marks the start of a new voyage that reshapes your goals and ambitions of the future.
The practice of Bridal Showers seems to be trending in our communities very often. Is that because we have mistaken the Western tradition with our Islamic values and practices? We’ve made it compulsory upon ourselves to have bridal showers before the wedding itself. Now, where did this custom actually stem from? This extravagant culture originated in the 1890’s, so as to provide goods and financial assistance to the wedded couple. Sadly, as time went by the bridal shower has been taken to another level.
Firstly, such un-Islamic, indecent and shameless rituals take place at these events, that we unknowingly demoralise our honour and contradict the Sunnah. Nabi (Salallahu alaihi wasalam) is reported to have said: “Indecency disfigures everything and modesty enhances the charm of everything.” Moreover, at the time of marriage, a girl should mask herself in garments of Haya and be discreet when it comes to matters of intimacy. Nabi (Salallahu alaihi wasalam) taught us to be modest in whatever we do, as modesty is a branch of Imaan. It is reflected through our dressing, speech and actions.
Secondly, a great amount of money is wasted away. That money could have been given as charity with the intention of the marriage to be filled with barakah and muhabbah-immense love. Nabi (Salallahu alaihi wasalam) is reported to have said: “The most blessed marriage is the one with the least expenses.” The guests who are invited to attend feel compelled to bring a gift along, and would choose not to come empty handed. We don’t know the financial status of the next person, what if they just making ends meet? And here we are, indirectly demanding expensive gifts from them. This is a means of causing inconvenience to our fellow Muslim brother or sister, an action disliked by Allah.
Thirdly, by hosting these functions we are imitating the kufaar. Nabi (Salallahu alaihi wasalam) is reported to have said: ” The Jews and Christians don’t dye their (grey) hair, so you should do the opposite of what they do.” We are ordered to oppose the kufaar in every aspect of life. Remember, we will be raised with those whom we love. Let us do some introspection and see who it is that we think we will be raised amongst. That will determine whether our actions are unfortunately contradicting our hearts and tongues.
This is clearly a western tradition and holds no relevance in Islam. There is no evidence in Shariah that condones the bridal shower, nor in the books of history did we ever find Sahaba(radiyallahu anhum) do such things. If we take a glimpse into the life of Fatima (radiyallahu Anha), we find that her nikaah was led in a simple fashion.
Nabi (Salallahu alaihi wasalam) recited the Khutbah at the nikaah of Fatima (Radiyallahu Anha) and gave her hand in marriage to Ali (radiallahu anho) . He announced: ” Bear you all witness that I have given my daughter Fatima in marriage to Ali (radiallahu anho) for 400 Mithqaal of silver and Ali (radiallahu anho) has accepted.”
He then raised his head and made Dua 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 Fatima (Radiyallahu Anha) to go to the house of her husband. She was sent without any glamour and pomp, and was accompanied by Umm Ayman (Radiyallahu Anha). After the Esha Salaat, Nabi (Salallahu alaihi wasalam) went to their house, took permission and entered. He asked for a container of water, put his blessed hands into it and sprinkled it on both Ali (radiallahu anho) and Fatima (Radiyallahu Anha) , whilst making dua for them.
Nabi (Salallahu alaihi wasalam) presented to his beloved daughter, Fatima (Radiyallahu Anha) a silver bracelet, two Yemeni sheets, four mattresses, one blanket, one pillow, one cup, one hand-grinding mill, one bedstead, a small water skin and a leather pitcher. We can’t even compare the amount of items that we gift to the bride, to the possessions of Fatima (Radiyallahu Anha). This is one woman who led a simple and content life, we are to take lesson from it.
The true sunnah way of getting married is so beautiful. It is fallacy to think that one’s respect and honour will be lost if one does not hold, bridal showers, mendi nights, lavish receptions or invite many people. What is our respect and honour compared to that of Fatima (radiallahu anho) the daughter of Nabi (Salallahu alaihi wasalam) , who is the queen of Jannah? The aim in life is not to please creation, but to please the Creator who perfected all that is in the heaven and earth.
May Allah Ta’allah makes us among those who impersonate the remarkable qualities of Fatima (Radiyallahu Anha) and Nabi (Salallahu alaihi wasalam) . May Allah Ta’allah grant pious spouses to all those who are single and bless the marriages of those who are married. Ameen
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