Can You Do Nikah and Walima on the Same Day?

Muslim groom holding hands with bride and staring into each others eyes

When I was recently planning to get married to my wife, I wondered whether having the nikah and walima ceremonies on the same day would be allowed. In the quest to achieve what I wanted, I did some research and talked to a religious leader concerning the restrictions surrounding this topic.

So, Can you do nikah and walima on the same day? There is absolutely no injunction or restriction in sharia law that stipulates time between the nikah and the Sunnah offering feast walima. You can opt to have the walima celebration as soon as the nikah is immediately done on the same day.

In principle the walima is done any time after the consummation of marriage. It is allowed to have walima to a maximum of three days. It is important to pay attention to what is usually done in your society, because there is no sharí that is dedicated to its mustahab or obligation to do it at a certain time.

The hadith of Anas as narrated by al-Buhaari (4793) and Muslim (1428) indicates that as the day dawned the messenger of Allah was a bridegroom to Zynab bint Jash, who he married in Madhinah, and he invited the people to dine in the forenoon. The above hadith clearly indicates that the walima was conducted clearly after the consummation of marriage.

It is safe to say that the time is flexible, it may be done at any time after the marriage contract has been signed until the end days of the wedding. Because the joy is greatest after consummation.

Can Walima be done before nikah?

Many scholars or Jumhur believe that the walima ceremony should be conducted after the nikah marriage ceremony has been concluded. It is considered to be the custom of Allah’s messenger (PBUH) as it is stated explicitly in the narrative of Anas. There have been numerous opinions concerning the topic regarding the correct time.

You can have walima immediately after the marriage contract has been signed or after the marriage and before the consummation of the marriage, or at any given time of the wedding procession [Ibn Hajar, Fath al-Bari, 9/28]. Hanafi scholars or the fuqaha have viewed that the banquet lasting up to two days is considered to be a reasonable walima ceremony. After that it is seen to be no longer a walima.

There is no specific number of guests that can attend the walima celebration. Anyone can be invited including family members, acquaintances, colleagues, associates, academics, men of piety along with others. It is unfair to invite the wealthy or those that are perceived to belong to the upper class as dictated by the al-Fatawa al Hindiyya laws.

Accepting and invitation to the walima ceremony is your obligation, and you will be sinful to reject it. The great scholar of shafi’i and hadith, imam al-Nawawi referred to many scholars’ accounts on this subject that it is your personal obligation except if you have any excuse. It is a general obligation.

Is Walima compulsory?

It is stated in the al-Ikhtiyar that the walima is an established Sunnah, so attending is compulsory. Any person who fails to accept an invitation would be sinful to Allah. If you are fasting, then you are required to attend and make Dua, and if not, you should eat and make dua as well. If you fail to attend and eat, you will have sinned.

This is an indication that accepting a walima invitation is Sunnah al-Makala, contrary to meals and invitations on other occasions. Come commentators like al-Hidaya have declared that it is close to being a wajib. Íbn Abidin stresses that accepting a walima invitation is Sunnah al-Muákkada, and one is expected to accept it. Refusing to attend will be offensive. As long as you do not have an excuse, you must attend the walima celebrations.

There are numerous emphasis on conducting a simpler and easier walima so as not be a burden on the Muslim ummah. People always spend lots of money when feeding people, an amount that would be a burden to other Muslims. If the purpose for a huge expenditure is shown off, it is considered as a serious sin.

The main purpose of walima is to feed people with simplicity and honesty. When you feed the people with the simplest of meals, it is always from the heart. It is far better from feeding them quality food, where the purpose is superficial.

There is nothing wrong with organizing an elaborate ceremony in an elegant banquet hall that is characterized by a full-course meal. You can do it as long as you can afford. But it is neither a criteria nor a specific requirement of having a successful marriage. Moreover, one should refrain from becoming indebted due to extravagant expenditure during such an occasion.

Today, numerous marriages follow the customs and rituals that tend to waste enormous amounts of money and time that is not simply required. Nikah and walima are both sunnahs of the prophet, therefore, we should try to commemorate these joyous occasions in the same way he conducted them to make sure that it is more blissful and valuable.

According to the prophet, the nikah celebrations can be held in a Masjid or at home whereas a walima can be conducted anywhere. Choosing a venue that will help in simplifying things is best for your marriage. This will reduce unforeseen and unnecessary expenditure during your wedding ceremony.

Today individuals fail to embrace the Islamic values. There’s an array of non-religious practices like taking alcohol, dancing between men and women and later reciting the Quran and mawlid. These are acts that are inherently controversial and depicts our community’s spiritual shortcoming. It is a clear indication that some societies have tried much to emulate the west.

A healthy marital life is a consequence of a good relationship that make up prime objects of the nikah and walima celebrations.  For the celebrations to be blissful, the natural inclinations and backgrounds should be shared by both spouses. In absence of unity, existing together successfully, despite great effort is generally difficult.

Marriage is a matter of great responsibility and should not be taken lightly. The decisions you make in your walima feast is a direct superposition on the numerous decisions that you will make to ensure a happy existence in marriage. The ceremonies should therefore be anchored in the teachings of the prophet and should please Allah.

Marriage and family relationships are sacred pillars of our society and culture. Engaging in such kinds of walima celebrations is forbidden. The celebration should be characterized by the spiritual values and attitudes. It should be in accordance with the law and norms of Islamic culture.

The walima gives the family members an opportunity to congratulate the couple. The bride is commended by the women around her and by her friends and family. The groom as well receives the commendations of men. The newlyweds are as well presented with gifts that are given willingly to strengthen the relationships between people. It is always important to keep presents affordable.

Finally, in order for the walima to be valid, it should be conducted after the couple has consummated their marriage. It should take palace by them being in privacy for a few minutes.

The sunnah practice is that the walima celebrations should take place after the marriage, however if you want to have it on the same night after spending time in privacy- it would be okay, especially as nowadays conducting it in the next day lead to lots of other unforeseen expenses, the incurring is of which contrary to the spirit of the sunnah marriage.

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