As far back as the 80s, and down to late 90s, wedding introduction as we see it today (especially down South) was not in vogue. Today, a lot of money is being spent on mere frivolities in the name of wedding introduction without doing the proper ‘aqd that makes the relationship between the prospective couples legal. What we witness today is a complete departure from the true Islamic norm and teachings.
As I mentioned earlier in #Episode_One, as soon as the lady’s father (or his designate/representative) agrees to the proposal, a formal sitting is expected to be arranged between himself and the intending couple and a few people (at least two just individuals, males or females) from either or both families (or even strangers) as witnesses.
At the sitting, it is recommended for the would-be bride’s father (or his designate/representative, or the groom to be or any of the witnesses around or anyone who he chooses to officiate the occasion) to recite the Prophet’s Khutbatul-Haajah. Shaykh bn Baaz wrote:
فالعقد يحضره أربعة الزوج والولي والشاهدان، والأفضل أن يكون قبله خطبة، خطبة النكاح هذا الأفضل وهي: إن الحمد لله نحمده ونستعينه ونستغفره ونعوذ بالله من شرور أنفسنا ومن سيئات أعمالنا، من يهده الله فلا مضل له، ومن يضلل فلا هادي له، وأشهد أن لا إله إلاالله وحده لا شريك له، وأشهد أن محمد عبده ورسوله. ثم يقرأ قوله تعالى: يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ اتَّقُواْ اللّهَ حَقَّ تُقَاتِهِ وَلاَ تَمُوتُنَّ إِلاَّ وَأَنتُم مُّسْلِمُونَ، يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ اتَّقُواْ رَبَّكُمُ الَّذِي خَلَقَكُم مِّن نَّفْسٍ وَاحِدَةٍ وَخَلَقَ مِنْهَا زَوْجَهَا وَبَثَّ مِنْهُمَا رِجَالاً كَثِيرًا وَنِسَاء وَاتَّقُواْ اللّهَ الَّذِي تَسَاءلُونَ بِهِ وَالأَرْحَامَ إِنَّ اللّهَ كَانَ عَلَيْكُمْ رَقِيبًا، وقوله سبحانه: يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اتَّقُوا اللَّهَ وَقُولُوا قَوْلًا سَدِيدًا* يُصْلِحْ لَكُمْ أَعْمَالَكُمْ وَيَغْفِرْ لَكُمْ ذُنُوبَكُمْ وَمَن يُطِعْ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ فَقَدْ فَازَ فَوْزًا عَظِيمًا
“Four people are required to be present at the ‘aqd: The husband, the Waliy (bride’s father), and, (at least) two witnesses. It is more preferable to recite the Khutbah of Nikaah before the solemnization. The Khutbah goes thus….. “All praise is due to Allah…..”
After the recitation of this short speech (please, note that it is not compulsory but highly recommended), the father will now join the couple together by saying: زَوَّجْتُكَ/وَهَبْتُكَ/أَعْطَيتُكَ/أَنْكَحْتُكَ/مَلَّكْتُكَ ابْنَتِي فُلانَةَ (I have given my daughter (name must be mentioned) to you as wife. Immediately, the would-be groom will respond by simply saying قَبِلْتُ “I have accepted.”
(Note that apart from the Khutbah which should be recited in Arabic, all other communication can take place in a any other language understood by the congregation, including sign language). In addition, both the offer and acceptance must be made in past tense: “I have given…”, “I have accepted”. Using present or future tense is not acceptable.
Once this is done, the two lovebirds can now be referred to as husband and wife. However, they still cannot be together in seclusion except in the presence of her Mahram (a close relative of the bride who is mature enough to recognize things and report issues). It is for this reason that it is highly recommended for the groom to bring up the issue of Sadaaq (dower) at the ‘aqd sitting to make sexual intimacy between him and his wife halaal.
The dower can be paid by any of the following three means:
- Upfront (completely);
Installmentally (based on mutual agreement);
Promise (to pay later at an agreed date).
To be continued
By: Sirnucy Lafiagi