Fatwa: 132

Category: fatwas of marriage

Using henna in wedding ceremonies

The question:

To our sheikh Abu `Abd Al-Mu`iz Muhammad `Ali Farkûs, May Allah grant him more knowledge and grace.

All praise is due to Allah and peace and blessing be upon the Prophet صلَّى الله عليه وسلَّم, upon his Family, his Companions and those who follow him:

There is in our country a habit, which is the use of henna in weddings. This habit is associated with the following things:

- People think that if the bride does not make henna, she will not bring children.

- After having done the henna, the container in which the henna is mixed should be hidden, lest it fall in evil and envious people, who will use it in sorcery and in prejudicing the bride. Also, the henna in the bride’s hand should not fall in the hands of one who will use it in sorcery, may Allah protect us.

- Sometimes, the henna is mixed with eggs, as women believe that eggs are among the signs of procreation and reproduction.

After stating the aforementioned beliefs which are associated with this habit, what is the ruling regarding it? Knowing that women deny these beliefs and argue that it is just a habit, a sign of joy and that their intentions are good. However, if one asks them to not do it, as it is just a habit and that the fact of not doing it does not prejudice [the bride], they refuse and insist on it.

The answer:

All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds. Peace and blessing be upon whom Allah sent as a mercy to the Worlds, upon his Family, his Companions and his Brothers till the Day of Resurrection.

Know that the good intention does not justify the forbidden act anyway. So, if this habit is associated with that belief, performing it is, then, a kind of Shirk (polytheism) that the Sharia reproves. In fact, it is stated in the hadith, “Spells, charms and love-potions are polytheism”(1). In another hadith, which is Marfû`(2), it is stated, “Whoever hangs something will be referred to it”(3).

Moreover, referring to a thing whose origin is forbidden under pretext that it is a habit contradicts the Sharia, because if a usage or a habit makes something licit illicit or illicit thing licit, it is then corrupt and vain. Consequently, relying on it is religiously forbidden. Accordingly, its author is sinful.

As long as this belief is spread among people as a whole in the forbidden described way, the fact that some reprove it with their hearts does not make it licit, because this habit is known to be associated with that prohibited belief. So, sticking to the will of beautifying and embellishing [the bride with henna] does not mean that the corrupt belief is not persistent in the mind of the individuals. Accordingly, acting in this way is a kind of helping one another in falsehood and sin; Allah عزَّ وجلَّ said:

﴿وَلاَ تَعَاوَنُوا عَلَى الإِثْمِ وَالْعُدْوَانِ﴾ [المائدة: 2].

The meaning of the verse:

But do not help one another in sin and transgression﴿ [Al-Mâ'ida (The Table Spread With Food): 2].

For this reason, one should prevent the corrupt way which may lead to it absolutely, and apply, by the fact, the principle of obstructing the means of evil. In addition, repelling the evil of the prohibited belief has priority over bringing the benefit of adornment and embellishment, as it is stated in the rules of human interests.

The perfect knowledge belongs to Allah. Our last prayer is all praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds. Peace and blessing be upon our Prophet عزَّ وجلَّ, his Family, his Companions and Brothers till the Day of Resurrection.

(1) Reported by Abu Dâwûd (hadith 3883), Ibn Mâjah (hadith 353) and Ahmad (hadith 2682) on the authority of `Abd Allâh Ibn Mass`ûd رضي الله عنه. This hadith has been authenticated by Al-Albâni in “As-Silsila As-Sahîha” (1/648) (hadith 331).

(2) A Marfû` hadith: is a hadith which is attributed directly to the Prophet صلَّى الله عليه وسلَّم.

(3) Reported by At-Tirmidhi, chapter of “Medicine” (hadith 2072), Al-Hâkim (4/216) and Ahmad (hadith 19294) on the authority of `Abd Allâh Ibn `Ukaym رضي الله عنه. It is judged Hassan (good) by Al-Albâni in “Ghâyat Al-Marâm” (p.181) (hadith 296).

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