Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said:
_”The wedding with the greatest Barakah is the one with the least burdens (in terms of time, money, effort, preparation and expectation).”_
(Saheeh Hadith recorded by Imam Ahmad and others)
In explanation of the Hadith above, one of the pious scholars of recent times gave a rough guideline that is easy to follow, on the general attitude of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) towards the Sunnah act of Nikah:
_”Nikah is Sunnah. This is well known to everyone. The amount of preparation one makes to perform two Rak’at of Sunnah Salaah that is the amount of preparation one should make to fulfill the Sunnah of Nikah as well. I can’t understand all these (man-made) formalities for Nikah… When someone intends to perform two Rakats of Salat then must he print posters and send everyone cards asking them to assemble in the Jame Masjid before performing the two Rakats?…Since Nikah is also an Ibadat, then what is the need to print cards and gather a large congregation?”_
These were not empty words. The weddings of his own children, and, in fact, the weddings conducted by all the pious (i.e. the truly pious) of each age followed this guideline which was taken from the extreme simplicity, frugality, and informality of the weddings of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) and the Sahabah (radhiyallahu anhum).
Let us take a look at just one of many authentically recorded examples from which we can observe the attitude of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) and the Sahabah (radhiyallahu anhum) towards weddings, and the “extreme” amount of preparation, time and effort they would exert for this Sunnah.
In the Saheeh of Bukhari, it is related that once Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) saw a patch of yellow (from perfume) on the clothes of his close Sahabi, Abdur Rahman ibn Auf (radhiyallahu anhu), and enquired about it. Abdur Rahman ibn Auf (radhiyallahu anhu) replied that he had got married the previous night. Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) became pleased, did Dua for him and advised him to do a simple waleemah (see Saheeh Bukhari, Chapter on Invocations).
It should be noted that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) was more than a father to the Sahabah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) and the most beloved and respected person to them all. Abdur Rahman ibn Auf (radhiyallahu anhu) was amongst the Ashara Mubashsharah – one of the ten Sahabah closest to Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) who were given the glad tidings of paradise in this world.
Yet, Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) was completely unaware of the wedding of his close Sahabi (radhiyallahu anhu). Neither did Abdur Rahman ibn Auf make it “Fard” that the most beloved and respected person to him attend his wedding, nor did Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) take any umbrage that the closest of his Sahabah (radhiyallahu anhu) neglected to inform him of his wedding, leave aside send a VIP invitation card or appoint him (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) as the special Imam who must conduct the Nikah.
Likewise, the weddings of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) himself and all the other Sahabah (radhiyallahu anhum) were just as simple. Only a few people would witness the Nikah and a handful of people, usually the Fuqaraa (the extremely poor), would be invited to take part in a simple meal for the Waleemah.
Just the one example described above is sufficient to demonstrate vividly how far we have veered from the Sunnah of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam), the Sahabah (radhiyallahu anhum), and all the pious (not the fake “pious”) throughout the ages and even of recent times.
In the wake of abandoning the Sunnah attitude and preparation demanded by a wedding, the Nufoos (base desires of man) and Shaytaan find much scope to introduce “Fard” and “Wajib” aspects into our weddings which have absolutely no relation with the Sunnah. Although, we would not yet dare label such aspects as “Fard” and “Waajib” explicitly, our attitude betrays their obligatory nature. If any of these “Fard” and “Waajib” aspects are ever ommitted we would react far more severely and become far more aggrieved than if we were to wake up too late for Fajr salaat, for example.
Here are just a few examples of these “Fard” intrusions into our weddings which have nothing to do with the Sunnah, and are, in fact, anti-Sunnah due to the “Fard” status we have accorded to them, and which today cause much hurt and grief to all parties concerned:
1) So and so must attend the wedding. If so and so does not attend we will die of grief.
2) Such is my VIP status, there must be more than a handful of people at my wedding. In fact, I am forced to squander thousands of pounds on a wedding hall to cater for the number of people who must contribute to my VIP status.
3) My VIP status means that so and so must invite me to his wedding. If he does not send me a VIP invitation card along with a VIP car to escort me, I will die of grief. I am too high and mighty to react in the manner of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) when the people closest to him neglected to even inform him (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) of their weddings.
4) Everyone must dress in a certain way or in a certain colour. The simple sunnah style of clothing is no longer permitted. If someone does not abide by this rule or any other “Fard” rule, then he or she is causing the greatest fitnah in the world. It matters not that thousands of pounds must be squandered to abide by these “Fard” rules.
5) The simple Sunnah style of weddings of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam), the Sahabah (radhiyallahu anhum), and ALL the pious (not the fake “pious”) throughout the ages, is out of the question and treated more “Haraam” than actual Haraam acts of the greatest gravity.
Etc. Etc. Etc. Etc.
It should also be borne in mind that the Sunnah practice of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) and the Sahabah (radhiyallahu anhum) was to boycott any wedding or gathering which contained any anti-Sunnah aspect. One of many Saheeh narrations that can be cited in this regard is the following:
_Ali (radhiyallahu anhu) narrated: “I made some food and invited the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) (to come and eat). He came and saw some images in the house, so he turned back and left (without even offering an explanation).” (Saheeh Hadith recorded by Ibn Majah and others)_
Note that none of these pictures would have been lewd or used for shirk or any other crime, such as the pictures and images which proliferate our houses today. Pictures of animate objects, in and of themselves, were treated by Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) as a grave aberration the presence of which demanded that he (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) boycott a invitation of a close relative. In another narration, when Ali (radhiyallahu anhu) later asked for the reason for the boycotting of his invitation, Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) explained:
_”In the house were curtains upon which were pictures. Indeed the Angels do not enter the house in which there are pictures.” (Recorded with a Saheeh chain in the Musnad of Abee Ya’laa)_
Likewise, the practise of Sahabah (radhiyallahu anhum) and all the pious (not the fake “pious”) was the same.
We end this advice with just two more examples which display the attitude of the Sahabah (radhiyallahu anhu) towards any gathering that contained any aspect which they would consider contrary to the Sunnah style:
_Abu Dharr al-Ghifaari (radhiyallahu anhu) was invited to a Waleemah. However, when he attended there was suddenly the sound of singing, so he returned (i.e. he simply walked out without offering an explanation). It was asked of him (later), “Why did you not enter?” He replied, “I heard the sound (of singing). The one who increases a gathering is from them and the one who displays contentment with a deed is a party to that deed.” (Authentic narration recorded by Abdullah ibn Mubarak in Kitab az-Zuhd)_
In another similar narration involving a different Sahabi, the last statement is attributed to Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) himself:
_Sayyiduna ‘Abdullah Ibn Mas’ud (radiyallahu ‘anhu) was invited to a walimah [marriage feast]. When he arrived at the house, he heard singing. He halted at the door. He was asked: ‘Why have you halted?’ He replied, I heard Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) say: ‘He who increases the number of a crowd is of them. He who is pleased with an act of the people is a partner in its commission.’_
Please share this advice. The one who contributes to reviving a Sunnah gains the reward of a hundred martyrs according to Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam).