Amazing ideas brought to you by the Youth Club Street Dawah Team
There is an outdated cliche with regards to practicing God fearing brothers and sisters that because they are so ‘boring’, then obviously their weddings will be drab too!
People would complain:
Where is the pumping loud Bhangra music?!
Bhangra and Dhol apparently being the ultimate expression of human bliss!
Where are the funky dance moves?!
Where is the intermingling?!
I mean, don’t we dress to impress? Didn’t we buy the latest designer Versace suit or the latest Sobia Nazir lehanga to get noticed by the opposing gender?!
Marriage between two people is indeed an occasion of great celebration. Islam, in its this beauty and perfection, guides us how to express this happiness within limits- like everything else in life!
If the feeling of joy and ecstasy is not checked, things can quickly get out of control. It can manifest itself in outrageous parties where morality is thrown out of the window and extravagance is practiced on an unbelievingly extravagant scale!
To get things straight, there is no concept of dance and music (in the name of Mehndi, Mayun etc.) before the sacred rites of matrimony. There’s no baraat in Islam, just an elegant Nikah (at the masjid, if you prefer) attended by both men and women in separate quarters. The bride’s ‘rukhsati‘ can take place from there and there is no baraat reception afterwards. Ah! The beautiful simplicity and refreshing convenience of Islam. It is only the people who have shackled themselves to the yokes of tradition and culture who find this strange and awkward.
Then comes the Walima function on which everyone can enjoy the Halal fun. Yes, Halal fun. No sir, that is not an oxymoron. These two go together quite well. We need to provide halal alternatives to the usual haram stuff that goes on at weddings.
Here we’ve compiled some ideas that we’ve witnessed at different Walimas in Pakistan and UK, and being the innovative and creative souls that we are, we’ve added our own ideas too (Hopefully, this should help you to beat the Indian/Hindu influence on Muslim weddings):
1- You can invite brothers to display their vocal skills by reciting the Quran; Have a ‘Quran recital night’ .
2- Somebody with an amazing voice can perform Islamic nasheeds. You could even make the venue all colourful and comfortable, use big floor cushions, dim the lights, create an awesome ambience!
3-Instead of blaring out trashy music sung by idol-worshipping people with shallow lyrics, put on a beautiful soothing Arabic nasheed or even an English one. Perhaps even have a designated DJ who could mix and match! There are actually a plethora of nasheeds available for us to choose from. Or don’t play anything at all; just let the people actually talk to each other!
4- Have a cool dress code for the guests.
5- Share light hearted, interesting personal anecdotes of Dawah. This creates a jovial atmosphere.
6- And why does the food have to be almost the same at every Pakistani wedding? Why not explore the vast Muslim world cuisine and what they have to offer? Perhaps humous and falafel or a signature Malaysian dish! The guests will surely remember your wedding by your bold attempt at trying something different.
7- A brother actually held a quiz at his walima. This created great laughter and was very pleasant altogether.
These are just a few ideas. I’m sure if you think outside the box, then you can come up with your own brainwaves.
A wedding is not an occasion to show off and display your arrogance through your clothing or your vehicles. It is not an occasion to gloat over your power or wealth. Instead of trying our utmost to impress people or to live up to their expectations; we should be concerned about what our Lord is thinking about our conduct!
The style of weddings needs to change. If you really want the marriage to be supremely successful, then keep it halal! Why take away the blessings by indulging in doubtful or explicitly haram activities? Would you expect smooth sailing on a journey that begins with displeasing the Lord?
There must be separate halls arranged for ladies and gentlemen; and female waitresses for the women. Oh, and please keep the video people off the premises. What kind of a Muslim bride sits on a pedestal only half dressed, decked up in all her finery with photographers falling over themselves to capture her from every angle? And even telling her how to pose and behave like a shameless model? And what kind of a wimpy Muslim groom is ready to tolerate this!?
This is a very small attempt at changing the traditional attitudes of how weddings should be conducted in the subcontinent. I hope other readers will pick up on this and expand on it.
I pray that the youth that are reading this show the mettle to go against the grain of traditions and be bold and trendy enough to try something unique, something approved by our Creator.
Do you accept the challenge of becoming pioneers of halal weddings?!