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Articles 
The haunting banquet of a civilized culture?- By: Aziz Amin Ahmadzai
Tuesday, 11.13.2012, 08:50pm (GMT+1)


Why has Marriage nowadays become an obstacle for every single Muslim man who desires chastity? Had we become so materialistic that even the ceremony itself is the main criteria for a man to fulfill rather than to seek the fulfillment of the life ahead of them and to please Allah? Have we seen so many young men who rather choose to become engineers, doctors and managers to seek good money just so he could save for his dowry and a handsome banquet for the wedding? No wonder many of the youth tend to draw back from Islamic studies because the gold that they get from working in the manager’s desks or anywhere are far more attractive than the pleasures of serving Allah swt.

 

It has become a fashion in most of the wedding ceremonies nowadays to get the best designer outfits to flaunt for few hours, where the bride takes pride wearing an expensive dressfor a price that could purchase her a wardrobe for a year, and the once blessed ceremony becomes a show off parade. This is obviously a selfish, arrogant attitude. It seems as though the once simple way of life becomes too hard to practice because we replace it with extravagance.

 

We see far lavish weddings where much money is splashed, extravagance is clear, religious rules are blatantly disregarded, the poor are not invited and where people forget that it is meant to be a sacred union and a gift of the Almighty. Furthermore,these will not bear many blessings and can even return to haunt the families later on.

 

It has never occurred that the matrimonial alliance has toobecame acloudy affair of theMuslims, to the point where customs and practices alien to Muslim Culturehas been adhered to in the modern society; not in accordance to the Shariah. These practices have crept into the Muslim Society and become an integral part of our matrimonial fabric. Ofcourse, the canker of alien influence has eaten into every aspect of life of a Muslim these days, but nowhere has this poison spread so conclusively as in the matrimonial sphere. What is required to save the Muslim Society from this hydra headed incubus is nothing short of a total revolution in the matrimonial field. Only success in this field can ensure success in various other fields where the laws of Shariah have been challenged with impunity by our so called social superiors in Islam.

 

Marriage, the most important aspect of the social life, has become an occasion for ostentation, which has no place in Islam. Those Muslims whom Allah has blessed with the good wealth in life feel it beneath their dignity to marry off their daughter without an extravagant reception. The idea of a nikah being performed in the sacred precincts of a mosque has become repugnant to the heave of our society, for such a wedding ceremony might besmirch their reputation. A Muslim owning a big business, large mansions and a couple of cars feels his equals in affluence might look down upon him for opting for a simple nikah in the mosque; as though he could not afford to solemnize his daughter's wedding in a five star hotel or with an extravagant reception with all its attendant adjuncts to ostentation, or worst still he will be labeled as the stingy money greed-filled man.

 

Here ostentation takes precedence over the dictates of Shariah. Is this not arrogance? And Allah has a short way with those who, in spite of the fact that all the worldly riches they are possessed of have been His gifts, defy His commandments and compete with one another to project the image of their affluence through extravagant receptions, video coverage of the wedding ceremony, loud speakers blaring, and sumptuous but wasteful dinners and so on. Thinking not of the banquet they spent on that single day could have feed a hundreds of people.

 

The most blessed of all weddings are those full of simplicity where religious rules are givenprime importance and the whole function considered a spiritually filled celebration of a sacred gift of the Almighty.Our Prophet Muhammad (salAllahualaihiwasallam) said: “The most blessed nikah is the one with the least expenses.” [Bayhaqi]

 

The type of seed sown is determined by the type of wedding we have. How can we expect to reap beneficial fruit when we chose to sow the seeds of cactus?

 

The criterion of the society, laboring under the delusion that the ostentatious path blazed for them by the standard they must have is the right path. They try to emulate the standards with disastrous results. The expenses of a wedding in extravagant receptions with the inevitable dinners and so on, coupled with the insatiable dowry demands, reduce a lower middle class family to the verge of bankruptcy. The plight of one such family with two or three daughters waiting to be married might well be imagined. By the time aII the daughters are married off, with all dowry demands properly settled, the poor parents have nothing left but to recourse to the beggingvessel. A marriage becomes a disaster, a veritable curse. Did Islam make it so? Or is it the society that has made it so? If the society has a conscience it is not too late to mend matters by reversing the trend and making a nikah performed in a mosque into a status symbol.

 

Moreover, it is important to note the extend these extravagant weddings have gone in breaking the codes of Sharia. Free mixing, which, has become an acceptable norm of our modern liberal society stems the root evil of all sins. Women dresses in explicit cloths, some even wearing dresses that barely cover their aura; loud music, mixed dancing and men drinking alcohol all create the most un-Islamic environment for an event that is meant to tie two people in a sacred bond. How can we expect Allah to shower his blessings over the marriage of such people? How can we expect long-term happiness for them? Perhaps we fail to realize that the increasing numbers of divorces are linked to this; And why shouldn’t we, when the beginning of a journey is based on evilness, sins, corruption and displeasure of Allah the ultimate fate of this journey is bound to be doomed. Is it not the time for our people to wake up and realize this?

 

The revolution must be so total that every Muslim must fight for the right to perform the nikah in a mosque and extravagant receptions must become a thing of the past, a shameful but forgotten past. It is up to the actions of the society to undo the mischief which lies at their door. If they set the trend of a simple nikah ceremony in a mosque with no frills, the rest are bound to follow suit for the affluent can afford to go simple. When those who can afford to waste money through ostentation prefer simplicity, it has all the makings of a revolution.

 

In this context it is heartening to note a change in the trend creeping in lately. Marriages are now being solemnized in mosques more frequently and the idea is catching on. Like a silver lining in the clouds the trend is gaining momentum. Now, if ever, is the time for all thinking Muslims to lend the weight of their support to this happy trend and usher in the long awaited revolution.

 

The sad reality is that people incur debts to hire lavish venues in order to live up to the Jones. They then suffer paying back whilst the food has long been digested, the function outdone by most and at times the divorce already taken place.

Remember, you can never achieve pleasure through the displeasure of the Owner of eternal Pleasure.

The Almighty, who gave us this day of happiness, will indeed be unhappy if we choose to express our happiness through sin.

Let us seriously take heed for the future and repent for what has passed by.

Extravagance is not allowed in Islam. Following the proper sharia code is the way to eternal happiness.

 

With many thanks to my sister for helping me in making this article more meaningful.

 

 

 


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