AQD AND WALEEMATU’ n- NIKAAH IN PERSPECTIVE – Part 3 By Sirnucy Lafiagi
Comprehension 101: ‘Aqd and Waleematu n-Nikaah in perspective (Episode 3)
In the last episode, we have established that the wedding feast is primarily the duty of the groom at his convenience, except where he chooses to concede that to his in-laws. In addition, we also mentioned that the most appropriate time for organizing the event is after consummation and not before it. This was the practice of the Prophet in all his marriages and also the Sunnah of the Salaf. However, if one chooses to hold it before consummation, then, there’s nothing wrong with that, too.
Moreover, it’s not necessary to hold any feast for the ‘aqdun-Nikaah as is common today. It should be deferred until after consummation. From this, it becomes clear that the Waleematu’n-Nikaah should not be delayed unnecessarily. It should come immediately after the ‘aqd to avoid stories that touch. If one intends to follow the Sunnah, he should consummate his marriage immediately after the ‘aqd (2-3 days minimum) and hold the feast.
Recently, I’ve heard of so many instances where the waleemah was delayed for months or even years after ‘aqd with spouses losing interest in each other. In between the ‘aqd and waleemah, some have found love elsewhere. Some have had petty disagreements and irreconcilable differences and decided to call it quit.
One of the major causes of disagreements is whether or not couples can start being together in seclusion without the lady’s mahram. (Remember that the Prophet prohibited a strange man and woman being together in seclusion). Some parents insist that their daughters cannot stay with their suitors after mere ‘aqd until after waleemah. But the question is, can we still consider two lovers as strangers to each other after ‘aqd?
The Shari’ah is very clear on this issue. What constitutes marriage and confers legitimacy of consummation on the couples is the consent of the bride’s father, his designate or her guardian. As soon as he expresses his consent to marry his daughter to her suitor, he has granted him permission to be in seclusion with her and to enjoy her sexually and otherwise (with or without waleemah). Let this sink into your heads.
In the event that they separate after ‘aqd and before consummation, there’s no ‘iddah (waiting period of 3 menstrual courses after divorce) on her. She’s also entitled to half of the mahr promised to her, if such agreement is reached. And if such agreement has not been reached, then, she’s entitled to some benefits based on what he can afford. But if it has been consummated, then, she will receive her full mahr and will do the ‘iddah. (Q. 2:236-237).
In this world of deceit and lies, where no one can absolutely be trusted, parents and guardians, and indeed bachelorettes live in serious dilemma as to which to follow between consummation before waleemah and after it. This fear is necessary to avoid being scammed by irresponsible brothers who ‘taste and dump’ sisters just a few months after marriage. Indeed we have heard about marriages that only lasted 4-7 months before Talaaq. This is why most parents insist on waleemah before consummation.
However, for me, the only solution to this dilemma a return to the Shari’ah and not by trying to outsmart it. We have also witnessed wedding ceremonies of the rich and influential where millions of naira were spent on the waleemah and which did not last but for a few months/years. And because the Shari’ah implores us to be simple does not mean that we should be stupid.
The Messenger of Allaah said, “If there comes to you one with whose character and religious commitment you are pleased, then give (your daughter or female relative under your care) to him in marriage…”. The onus is thus on the parents/guardians to make due diligence (note: not “checking it” with Jalabi criminals ooooo) on their prospective son-in-law before consenting to the marriage. They should ask everyone that know something about him; his siblings, friends, neighbors, colleagues, anyone. The family should designate a responsible and wise man to carryout a secret investigation about him. It may take months, but it surely guarantees that their daughter is not going into the wrong hands.
This is the more reason why the Shari’ah commands the prospective suitor to meet the lady’s parent first even before wooing her. The danger in doing otherwise is that parents are no longer in control of the situation once her mind is made up (most times without neither istikhaarah nor due diligence). Most ladies are blinded by lust and infatuation. They are like a lamb to the slaughter once they fall in love with the guy.
A sister told me last month that she’s afraid of leaving her two year old marriage because she acted against her father’s advice not to marry the brother (I don’t really know the reason for his objection as she never told me). Now, she’s tired of the marriage but fear what her father will say. Another said that after the ‘aqd, she realized that the guy only acted saint, that he lied his way into her heart. Now, she wants out, what should she do?
In conclusion, let’s all be sincere in all that we do and stop embarrassing Islaam. Do not propose to a sister except you’re satisfied with her religious commitment and character. If you want a hijaabi/niqaabi, go for her. There are so many of them out there. Stop the shenanigan of marrying a “scarfite/ pashmerite” because of beauty or wealth and then, divorcing her a few months later because she refused to adorn the hijaab/niqaab. Do not delay your waleemah unnecessarily lest Shaytaan causes dissent between you during the waiting period.
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