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Ruling on having a wedding in the masjid...

Ruling on having a wedding in the masjid...

Q: What is the ruling on having a wedding in the mosque?
Shaykh al-Albaani:
“An innovation.”
[silsilat ul-hudaa wa nnoor 132/17 - asaheeha translations]
Conducting Marriages in the Mosque
by: Shaykh Haanee al-Jubayr, presiding judge an the Mecca District Court
Conducting marriages in mosques is a common practice. The people of Mecca and Jeddah, for instance, are quite keen on holding their marriages in al-Masjid al-Haraam, since the mosque is quite close to them. This has led some people who are concerned with following the Sunnah to ask whether this practice is actually sanctioned by the Sunnah.
First, we must consider the hadeeth evidence. To start with, there is a hadeeth where it is related that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Announce the marriage, hold it in the mosques, and beat tambourines on its occasion.” [Sunan al-Tirmidhee (1089) and Sunan al-Bayhaqee (7/290 – 15065)]
However, the hadeeth has a weak chain of transmission, since it contains the narrator `Isaa b. Maymoon, who relates the hadeeth from al-Qaasim b. Muhammad from `Aa’ishah from the Prophet (peace be upon him).
Al-Bayhaqee says: “`Isaa b. Maymoon is a weak narrator.”
Al-Tirmidhee says: “`Isaa b. Maymoon al-Ansari is considered weak in hadeeth.”
Al-Dhahabee informs us that al-Bukhari said: “`Isaa b. Maymoon who relates the hadeeth ‘ Announce the marriage …’ is a weak narrator who amounts to nothing.” [Mizan al-I`tidal (3/326)]
Al-Dhahabee also informs us that `Abd al-Rahmaan b. Mahdi said: “I confronted him (`Isaa b. Maymoon) about it and said: ‘What are these hadeeth that you relate from al-Qaasim from `Aa’ishah?’ He replied: ‘I will not repeat them again.’” [Mizan al-I`tidal (3/325)]
Al-Albaani declares this hadeeth to be weak, both in Irwaa’ al-Ghaleel (1993) and in Silsilah al-Ahadeeth al-Da`eefah (978).
I am not aware of any authentic hadeeth where the Prophet either commanded or prohibited holding marriages in the mosques. I have, at least, not come across anything of the sort. Shaykh al-`Uthaymeen confirms this in his commentary on the Hanbalee legal treatise Zaad al-Mustaqni`, where he comments on the issue of whether it is preferred to hold marriages on a Friday, saying:
Ibn al-Qayyim mentions that it is appropriate for the marriage to be held in the mosque as well (as on a Friday) due to the honor of the time and the place. However, this is questionable on both counts, unless there is something in the Sunnah to establish it. If there is, then good and well. However, I know of nothing in the Sunnah to attest to it. [Al-Sharh al-Mumti` (5/132)]
With regard to the practice of the Prophet (peace be upon him) we have what is related in the following hadeeth about the woman who approached Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) and offered herself to him in marriage:
She said: “O Messenger of Allah, I have come to you to entrust myself to you.”
A person from amongst his Companions stood up and said: “O Messenger of Allah, marry her to me if you have no need of her.”
He (the Prophet) said: “Is there anything with you (which you can give to her as a dowry)?”
He said: “No, O Messenger of Allah. By Allah, I have nothing.”
Thereupon Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) said: “Go to your people (family) and see if you can find something.”
He returned and said: “I have found nothing.” Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) said: “See, even if but an iron ring.”
He said to him: “Do you know any part of the Qur’an?” He said: “I know such and such chapters (and he counted them).”
Thereupon Allah’s Messenger said: “Go. I have given her to you in marriage for the part of the Qur’an which you know.” [Saheeh al-Bukhari (5149) and Saheeh Muslim (1425)]
Ibn Hajar al-`Asqalani, in his commentary on this hadeeth, informs us that in a narration of this hadeeth from Sufyan al-Thawri, it is mentioned that this incident took place in the mosque. [Fath al-Bari (9/113)] Here we have a situation where the Prophet (peace be upon him) conducted a marriage in a mosque, though admittedly, it appears that the location was more incidental than intentional.
Secondly, when we turn our attention to the opinions of the jurists, we find the jurists of all four schools of thought to be agreed that it is Sunnah to hold the marriage in the mosque.
Ibn Taymiyyah says: “It is preferable to contract the marriage in the mosque.” [Majmoo`al-Fataawaa (32/18)]
Ibn Qasim writes: “It is Sunnah to hold it in the mosque. This is what Ibn al-Qayyim said, and he is a trustworthy, erudite scholar who does not declare something to be Sunnah except when there is a legitimate basis for doing so.” [Haashiyah al-Rawd al-Murbi` (6/243)]
Lastly, we need to consider that the reason for contracting the marriage in the mosque is to seek the blessings of doing so in that location. Al-Mubaarakfooree, in his commentary on Sunan al-Tirmidhee discusses the hadeeth “Announce the marriage, hold it in the mosques, and beat tambourines on its occasion” and says:
With respect to the statement “hold it in the mosques ”, this is either on account of it making the marriage easier to announce publicly or to attain the blessings of the location.” [Tuhfah al-Ahwadhee (4/210)]
Without doubt, Allah has made certain locations more blessed than others, and mosques are among these locations. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “The most beloved places in the land to Allah are its mosques.” [Saheeh Muslim (671)]
The share of blessings held by al-Masjid al-Haraam in Mecca is greater. Allah says:“Glory be to Him who betook His servant for a swift journey by night from al-Masjid al-Harâm to al-Aqsâ Mosque whose precincts We did bless.” [Surah al-Israa' : 1]
The Prophet (peace be upon him) said about Mecca : “Indeed, it is the best of Allah’s Earth and the most beloved of Allah’s Earth to Allah.” [Musnad Ahmad (4/305) and Mustadrak al-Haakim (3/7) with an authentic line of transmission]
What remains, however, is the question of how we are supposed to realize the blessings of these localities.
`Urwah relates from `Aa’ishah that she said: “Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) married me in the month of Shawwaal and consummated the marriage in the month of Shawwaal. So then, which of the Prophet’s wives was more favored by him than me?”
`Urwah then comments that `Aa’ishah used to prefer that the women of her acquaintance enter upon their marriages in the month of Shawwaal. [Saheeh Muslim (1423)]
This hadeeth provides us with two things. The first is that it dispenses with the superstitious hatred of contracting or consummating a marriage in the month of Shawwaal that used to exist amongst the pagan Arabs before Islam.
More important for what we are discussing is that the hadeeth shows us the permissibility of following the mere action of the Prophet (peace be upon him) even when there is no evidence that the circumstances surrounding the action were specifically intended or were anything other than a coincidence. If the Prophet (peace be upon him) had specifically intended the month of Shawwaal as the time for the marriage and for consummating the marriage, he would certainly have expressed this in unequivocal terms, since his words provide a more decisive indication of such things than his actions.
The mere fact that the Prophet (peace be upon him) conducted a marriage in the mosque prevents us from construing a person’s preference for doing so as an innovation, since giving preference to a place (the mosque) is no different than what `Aa’ishah did by giving preference to a time (the month of Shawwaal).

In brief, we say that it is permissible for a person to give preference to the mosque as the place to conduct a marriage. Doing so is not an innovation or unprecedented act. However, there is no evidence for saying that in Islamic Law it takes the ruling of being something preferred or that it is a Sunnah to hold the marriage in the mosque. At the same time, we do not censure those who regard it as being something Islamically preferred, in consideration of the fact that this is the opinion of many of the greatest scholars.

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