Assalamualaikum my dear readers :)
This year seems to be the year of getting hitched for most of my friends and Iskandar's friends and also some family members. It's a shame we couldn't attend any of the weddings. I LOVE weddings, in case you didn't know ;) But I've only attended a handful of weddings and mostly it's from immediate or close relatives. Being in the UK restricts us from attending some of our close friends big day. I had to miss my own best friend's wedding. Sad sad :( I've now accepted the fact that I am only able to attend 'virtual' weddings. LOL! So if that's the case, then I am ok with it :)
Anyway, Khairaldin's been 'clearing' up our books that we have 'put aside' thinking we won't need it for a long long time. While he was clearing up, I saw a book that my Mom got fairly recently. It's called 'Wedding Customs & Non-Islamic Traditions'. I've read this book before, but it was way after my wedding :( It is such a good book to read if you are ready (or not so ready) to get married.
I know a few people who thinks wedding is a burden. I can't agree more! Wedding receptionS ARE a burden! And guess what, this is self-imposed by ourselves and not our religion- Islam! Most of our friends are not married because of the high expectations on wedding ceremonies. To hold an extravagant ceremony is only an exhibition of one's wealth. Impressing people during a wedding ceremony is a MUST. So we have to incur unwanted costs to make the wedding a 'memorable' one. After all, people who hold simple weddings are labelled as poor or miserly. Isn't that right?
Hosting wedding ceremony is a pressure! You not only get pressure from direct family members but also from social pressure, even from those who are not married! They either want you to hold a wedding that is against Shari'ah or simply an unislamic wedding. I've been through it. However, reading this book has made me realised that these people have personal vested interests. They want you to host such a wedding so it's easier for them to host the same type in the future. After all, you did it, so why can't they? This is only a way of Shaytan trying to say that 'if everybody is doing it, it can't be bad!' Have you not felt that way before? If majority of people are doing it, you'd feel less guilty. After all norm is normal.
Allah (SWT) have made our religion easy for us. A religion where it will fit anyone and everyone (poor, rich, disabled, abled etc etc). HE has always been fair in everything HE planned for us to live with. Why do we have to make life so complicated? Here's an excerpt narrated by Abu Dawud: Anas (RA)reports that Prophet (peace be upon him) said "Do not place hardships upon yourselves, otherwise Allah will put hardships upon you. Any nation that chose hardship was put into hardship by Allah."
So make like easier. Marriage is not a ritual but an act of 'Ibadah. It is a contract between the groom and the bride, with the bride's guardian, two male witnesses and a Mahr. There should also be a public celebration (walimah) open to all to let others know of the marriage. Somewhere along the way, we have made it difficult by getting into debts to do an extravagant wedding that only take into acount the tradition. Nikah ceremony has remained intact but sadly, this is the event with the least number of attendees. It's truly a shame!!!
If I could re-do my wedding, I would try and do it as Islamic as possible. However, that ship has sailed and this is only a mere reminder for my brothers and sisters in Islam. Let us change and start a new wedding reception as Prophet (peace be upon him) said "Most blessings is in matrimony which is simple and free from trouble." Also Prophet (peace be upon him said) "He who chooses for himself or herself the mode of a people (customs and rites) will be regarded as them."
We pray to Almighty Allah this entry (and followups) will become a source of inspiration to conduct weddings in accordance with the Quran and Sharia'h. AMIN!!!
Ps: I will write a follow up entry on the significant of engagement and wedding rings, wedding dress, the tiara, wedding cake & cutting cake and flowers in the Christian belief. We follow other rituals but sometime we do it blindly. Time to open our eyes and think for ourselves. Insha'Allah, I will not delay these entries.