Fatwa: 567

Category: fatwas about marriage

The ruling regarding the wedding banquet of one in debt

The question:

If the groom is in debt, is the wedding banquet obligatory for him?

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.

It is known that the wedding banquet is obligatory, so the groom should hold a banquet after consummating the marriage, as the Messenger صلَّى الله عليه وسلَّم ordered `Abd Ar-Rahmân Ibn `Awf رضي الله عنه to do this(1). This banquet should be held three days after consummating the marriage, as it is reported about the Prophet صلَّى الله عليه وسلَّم(2). Moreover, the groom should not invite only rich people and let the poor, the most important is that they are Muslims and pious, in accordance with Prophet’s صلَّى الله عليه وسلَّم saying, “Do not take as a companion anyone but a believer and let no one but a God-fearing eat your food”(3).

The groom should also give a banquet with one sheep or more if he can afford it, but if he cannot, it is not required that the banquet be with meat, since it is permissible without it. As for the person in debt, he should ask the creditor to grant him a delay, in order to preserve his honor from denigration and lest he commit forbidden things. However, if he gets married and he is in debt, then his marriage is valid and incontestable, and he must pay off his debt, and if possible give more than he is given.

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

Algiers, Al-Muharram 2nd, 1428H.
Corresponding to: January 21st, 2007.

(1) Reported by Al-Boukhâri, chapter of “ Marriage ”, concerning when one says to his brother (in Islam), “ Look at my wives and whomever you wish, I shall divorce her so that you would marry her ” (hadith 5072), by Muslim, chapter of “ Marriage ” (1/644) (hadith 1427), by Abu Dâwûd, chapter of “ Marriage ”, concerning the slightness of the dowry (hadith 2109), by At-Tirmidhi, chapter of “ Marriage ”, concerning what is reported about the banquet (hadith 1094), by An-Nassâ’i, chapter of “ Marriage ”, concerning marrying a woman against a Nawât (abt., 14 gs) of gold [as dowry] (hadith 3351) and by Ibn Mâjah, chapter of “ Marriage ”, concerning the banquet (hadith 1907), on the authority of Anas رضي الله عنه.

(2) Anas رضي الله عنه said, “ The Messenger صلَّى الله عليه وسلَّم stayed between Khaybar and Medina for three days where he consummated his marriage to Safiyya Bintu Huyay. I invited the Muslims to the wedding banquet in which neither meat nor bread was served”. Reported by Al-Bukhâri, chapter of “ Marriage ”, concerning taking the slave girls; and what about he who manumits then marries his slave girl (hadith 5080) ; Al-Bukhâri reported it also in another version concerning consummating the marriage during a travel (hadith 5159).

(3) Reported by Abu Dâwûd, chapter of “Good manners”, concerning whom the Muslim is enjoined to keep accompany (hadith 4832), by At-Tirmidhi, chapter of “ Asceticism ”, concerning what is reported about keeping a believer’s company (hadith 2395), by Ahmad in Al-Musnad (hadith 11337) and by Al-Hâkim in Al-Mustadrak (hadith 7169), on the authority of Abu Sa`îd Al-Khudriرضي الله عنه . This hadith is judged Hassan (good) by Al-Baghawi in Sharh As-Sunna (6/468) and by Al-Albâni in Sahîh Al-Jâmi` (hadith 7341).

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