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WHO PLANS A WEDDING: GROOM OR BRIDE'S FAMILY





By 
Sanusi Lafiagi

Recently, I was asked to intervene in a premarital squabble between the bride and groom’s families. It started as a trivial misunderstanding but was overblown out of proportion and it immediately became a big issue, threatening the conduct of the marriage ceremony.

What happened?

The groom drafted the contents of the wedding invitation card and programme of events and sent it to his father-in-law for perusal and endorsement. I think that this is the norm here, as the programme is usually co-hosted by both families. The bride’s father made some adjustments to it and returned it to him. One of the inclusions was, “walīmatu’l-Qur’ān”. To this, the groom objected and sought audience with his father-in-law.

At the meeting, he tried to convince his father-in-law as to why the inclusion of “walīmatu’l-Qur’ān” in a wedding programme has no basis in the Sunnah and should be taken out. Sadly, the man was hell-bent on having it included, citing traditional practices. “That is how we do our things here in Ilorin”, he argued. The meeting ended with no retreat by the father-in-law and no surrender by the brother.

Next, the man called his daughter and told her to warn her husband to either agree to leave the inclusion as it were or forgo the marriage. Haaaaa! Kini a gbé, kini e ju??? The bride became terrified and confused. The brother was in a fix. His own father, a Sūfī, not only shared the same view as his in-law, but had also insisted that his son would also do “walīmati’l-Qur’ān” and would be taken round his relatives’ homes to recite to them. Doctor Abdul Abubakar knows this better.

Luckily for him, he was able to convince his dad (partially though), using a respected Sunni scholar to talk to him. However, as soon as the man got the memo from his in-laws, his ego was greatly massaged and he immediately threw his weight behind them.

The bride doesn’t want it but she can’t get married to him except she agrees to it. The groom doesn’t want it but he can’t marry her except he agrees to it.

What genre of music do we sing to this gbedu?

We are still oscillating and arguingback and forth on this matter as I type. Two meetings have been held already. I’ve argued generally on the ruling of organizing a walīmah for completion of the Qur’ān قراءة أو حفظا. For me, such event is needless and detested as it would warrant public recitation of the Qur’ān by the bride to the listening and delight of non-mahrams. Besides, we also need to eradicate this tradition that seems to have been adopted as norm in our society, lest the next generation inherit it as a necessary rukn of the marriage ceremony.

It’s really hot here in this harmattan season.

1 comment:

  1. Ya ustaz, I am of of the opinion that the question has not been answered. Pls tell us in plain language who should organise walimotul nikah.?

    ReplyDelete


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