Recently, my colleague wholeheartedly invited me to his Hindu wedding ceremony. It got me pondering on how I would maintain a healthy balance between my Islam religion and friendship. I did my research and spoke to my Imam on things to know when attending a non-Muslim wedding.
So, Can a Muslim attend a Hindu wedding? Yes, Muslims can attend any wedding they choose to attend or be invited. The only thing that a Muslim can’t do is worship in the ways of the Hindu religion. You can attend the wedding, but you must be careful that you may not do evil deeds such as alcohol, bad music and zina.
Under Islamic law, it is not permissible for a Muslim to take part in religious celebrations of the kuffaar and it is not permissible for them you congratulate them on such an occasion at all. Islam considers it the most serious kind of celebrations in terms of sin, because it may render the one doing it to kufr.
It is essential to note that congratulating the kuffaar on the ritual that belong only to them is considered haraam by Islam. It is like congratulating sinners for prostrating to the cross. It is considered a grave sin as congratulating someone for drinking, murder, or taking part in illicit sexual relations.
Many scholars have differed on rulings on attending celebrations of non-Muslims on their special occasions like marriage. The most correct scholarly opinion is that a Muslim can attend a marriage ceremony if it serves a legitimate sharí interest like opening their hearts to Islam or calling them to Islamic faith.
On marriages and occasions that are unique to the kuffaar, it is not allowed for the Muslim to imitate the kuffaar in eating foods, dressing or other exclusive activities. That includes lighting candles on burning incense. Generally, Muslims are allowed to single out celebrations of the kuffar for any of the customs and rituals performed.
When it comes to adornment, if it is something worn specifically by Hindus, it is not allowed to wear it. It is considered haraam to imitate the non-Muslims in that which is unique to them. Since the wedding is done according to Hindu customs, this means that you will be imitating them in their customs, adornment or clothing, which is haraam.
However, Islam is a religion that does not separate family members or render family relationships obsolete despite having different religions with each other, and Islam does not also prohibit friendship and brotherhood with other non-Muslims.
A Muslim is allowed to attend a Hindu wedding at a temple, it is Sunnah if the bride and groom is from his family members, neighbors, friends or the attendance could be beneficial to dakwah of Islam. The above statement is based on the many hadiths that state numerous companions of the Prophet praying and entering inside other places of worship.
When attending the marriage, it should be only a mere attendance, you are required not to have any involvement with any ritual of the wedding. For instance, you should not take part in prayer, accompaniment of the bride or step on the altar with the priest when the marriage is being solemnized.
Consequently, an activity that does not embrace the Islamic law like dancing, promiscuity between a man and a woman, and drinking alcoholic beverages should be refrained from at all costs. It is in line with the concepts of fiqh al-ta’ayush that is recommended by Darul Iftaa’ and also Syeikh al-Azhar al-‘Allamah from Egypt that allows the entering of Islamic believers to other religious houses of worship for the purpose of attending a wedding or a funeral, provided that it does not violate the Islam rule of law.
What Should a Muslim Know When Attending a Hindu Wedding?
The Hindu and Islamic religions have an array of similarities regarding their laws and customs in relation to any wedding ceremony. A Muslim understands that a wedding festivity is believed to be both a social and religious obligation. As a result, Islam puts great weight on social, cultural and religious dimensions of the celebration which tends to be fundamental in nature, in line with Islamic beliefs.
Hindus also place lots of importance on marriage celebrations which signifies customs, elaborate celebrations and rituals. Hindus marriage are perceived to be sacrilegious while in Islam it is viewed as contractual agreements.
When attending a Hindu wedding you will notice that the service is performed by a male Brahmin priest in accordance with holy verses. Often the ceremony occurs in Sanskrit which gets its fundamentals from Hinduism and utilizes practical and philosophical texts as well as a rich tradition of poetry.
The venue for a Hindu wedding is usually the bride’s hometown. It is usually conducted in a city hall or a hotel, depending on the budget of the bride’s family. There is always blessing in the temple after and before the services. The wedding embraces more on the religious elements as well as culture. While urban dwellers might not be interested in religious characteristics as their rural individuals, the culture and family lineage of wedding ceremonies are essential.
In a Hindu wedding, fashion is everything. No matter where you originate from, fashion is a table to discuss for women as well as the men. While it is unacceptable in Islam to upstage the bride, it is not uncommon in a Hindu wedding.
This does not mean that a wedding attendee would put on a neon pink Sari adorned with a feather hat, this means that a wedding guest, especially if you are married, should wear a significant amount of gold. And the amount could be higher than the bride, since a married woman has a few more years compared to that of the bride.
A married woman should wear a fancy or a hand loomed Sari to assert her position in the society. Henna is as well utilized to decorate for feet and hands. Similar to what happens in Islam culture, the groom also wears either traditional Indian suit or outfit.
Guests are permitted to wear what they wish, although it is advisable to refrain from wearing black. Your attire should not be revealing as this would seem improper. You should figure out how many outfits you need. You may be required to change outfits. You should choose colorful clothes because the celebration is about happiness.
The receptions are long. There is dance and singing. There’s cake cutting which is becoming more popular in fusion weddings. Both Muslims and Hindus love dancing, singing and henna. In both cultures, you find the incorporation of the Sangeet and Mehndi as part of the wedding festivities.
Depending on how public and large the families wish the events to be, you will definitely fit in. Hindu wedding takes numerous days that are full of numerous events and poojas. Be sure to figure out the number of events that you should attend.
At some Hindu weddings, the guests are required to pour water into the cupped hands of the marrying couple. When the ceremony involves unfamiliar rituals and customs and is conducted in a foreign language, you should always watch out not to violate the rules stipulated by the law.
As a conclusion, I hold the opinion of the original ruling that states Muslim entering other religious places of worship is allowed if the purpose is directed by the Islamic law, such as for dakwah, implementing an invite for dialogues between non- Muslims and other religions. However, attending the temple for worship and other religious functions is prohibited.