138358: Who should organise the wedding feast (waleemah)?


Who has to organise the wedding party and waleemah? Is it the family of the groom or the family of the bride?.

Praise be to Allaah.

The basic principle with regard to the wedding feast (waleemah) is that it should be organized by the husband, because he is the one who is enjoined to do that, as it was narrated by al-Bukhaari (5155) and Muslim (1427) that the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said to ‘Abd al-Rahmaan ibn ‘Awf: “May Allah bless you. Give a waleemah even if it is with just one sheep.” 

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allah have mercy on him) said: It (the waleemah) is prescribed for the husband, because the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said to ‘Abd al-Rahmaan ibn ‘Awf (may Allah be pleased with him): “Give a waleemah,” and he did not tell his in-laws to do that. And because the blessing is greater for the husband than for the wife, because he is the one who sought the woman; it is very rare for the woman to seek the man. End quote from al-Sharh al-Mumti’, 12/321. 

And he (may Allah have mercy on him) said: The questioner’s stating that responding to an invitation to a wedding feast is obligatory does not apply in all cases; rather that refers to the wedding feast that is offered by the husband. Accepting an invitation to this feast is obligatory. Similarly, if it is organised jointly between the husband and the woman's family, accepting the invitation to it is obligatory, because the husband is the one who is enjoined to provide the wedding feast, because the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said to ‘Abd al-Rahmaan ibn ‘Awf: “Give a wedding feast, even if it is with one sheep.” If the wedding feast is provided by the wife's family only, and the husband is going to offer another feast when his wife comes to join him, it is not obligatory to accept the invitation of the wife's family; rather accepting it is Sunnah.

End quote from Fataawa Noor ‘ala al-Darb

From this we may note that it is permissible for the wedding feast to be organised jointly between the husband and wife, or the wife's family may organise it. Similarly, the wedding expenses may be shared as agreed between the two parties, and each of them may offer a wedding feast, as is customary in some countries. If there is some dispute as to who is obliged to provide the wedding feast, it is to be provided by the husband, as stated above. But other wedding expenses, such as having a party in a hotel and so on, should be done according to mutual agreement. 

And Allah knows best.

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