Islamic Customs and Etiquette
Question asked by .
Answered by Dr. Shehzad Saleem

According to a Hadīth, the best Walīmah is that in which the poor are fed. Considering this, does a Walīmah mean giving food to the poor on this happy occasion?


If we collect and analyze all the Ahādīth on this subject, the picture which emerges is:

1. In Arabic, the word Walīmah means a feast or a banquet. Using it specifically for a post-wedding banquet is a later practice. It is not by any means part of the Islamic Sharī‘ah. It is basically a cultural function that depends on the customs and traditions of a society.

2. The Ahādīth which urge Muslims to call the poor to such banquets consequently do not just pertain to the post-wedding functions of today, but to all banquets.

3. The words poor and the needy in these Ahādīth particularly refer to the poor who are known to the bridegroom – eg if there are some among his relatives or friends; similarly his servants at his house or office. Of course, these Ahādīth do not mean that it is required to go out and hunt for them.

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