“There are two types of gatherings: one that is surrounded by angels and one that is not.”
– From Half:Past:Midnight- What I’ve learnt so far, Saadia Humayun
And that about sums it up when we come to weddings as we know them. Ladies – near or far, close to you or not so much, related or a mere friend – all clamour to get you to shed that off, or put this on. Then there are those poor, innocent, lost gents that keep sauntering between the tables, stopping here and there to chat with folks, making up for lost conversations, and instructing the waiter— wait a second, didn’t you say this was going to be a segregated wedding?
“Always the same,” said Mr. Weasley, smiling. “We can’t resist showing off when we get together…”
– From Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, J.K.Rowling
Showing off. The phrase doesn’t see as much use today as when we were kids, but it hasn’t been more in evidence than today. People always remark how it is no use for you to be donning jewellery or taking pains with a certain dress if, well, ‘it is not seen and appreciated’. In fact, one person even forced their parents that there be no purdah or partition so to speak, at their wedding. Who shall we dress up for then, Mom!
And really, why the need for tonnes of make-up? So far, experience dictates that even if you go to the best of salons, you still end up just fiercely hoping it turns out well, and that little children don’t scurry for cover upon sight. But then, who possesses the strong faculties to endure all taunts thrown their way by eminent guests?
وَالَّذِيْنَ اِذَآ اَنْفَقُوْا لَمْ يُسْرِفُوْا وَلَمْ يَـقْتُرُوْا وَكَانَ بَيْنَ ذٰلِكَ قَوَامًا
And [they are] those who, when they spend, do so not excessively or sparingly but are ever, between that, [justly] moderate. (Surah Al-Furqan: 67)
It all comes down to people then, doesn’t it? To us all. To you and me. To how small our goals and how shallow our thinking is, yet how big our weddings are! Eating in moderation and strictly keeping oneself from waste- be it food or money, lowering the gaze and hiding the ornaments, and then saying only the good stuff, are all that lack from our ceremonies today. I wonder if the angels surround such gatherings..
يٰبَنِيْٓ اٰدَمَ خُذُوْا زِيْنَتَكُمْ عِنْدَ كُلِّ مَسْجِدٍ وَّكُلُوْا وَاشْرَبُوْا وَلَا تُسْرِفُوْا ۚ اِنَّهٗ لَا يُحِبُّ الْمُسْرِفِيْنَ
O children of Adam, take your adornment at every masjid, and eat and drink, but be not excessive. Indeed, He likes not those who commit excess. (Surah Al-A’raaf: 31)