Praise be to Allaah.
The general principle according to which a man should conduct
his spending is the same general principle according to which he should
conduct his life, which is the middle way and moderation. Allah, may He be
exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning): “And
those, who, when they spend, are neither extravagant nor niggardly, but hold
a medium (way) between those (extremes)” [al-Furqaan 25:67].
The middle way and moderation cannot be indentified by
specific amounts or specific limits, that if a person oversteps steps that
mark he can be described as being extravagant and if he falls short of it
then he is being a miser or niggardly; rather that varies according to the
individual’s situation, whether he is rich or poor, whether it is a case of
ordinary expenses or an emergency. It also varies from one place to another,
one time to another, and so on. The ruling on whether something is
extravagance or not takes into account all of these things. Allah, may He be
exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning): “Let
the rich man spend according to his means, and the man whose resources are
restricted, let him spend according to what Allâh has given him. Allâh puts
no burden on any person beyond what He has given him” [al-Talaaq
See also the answers to questions no.
Wedding parties are among the things in which it is
prescribed to express happiness and joy and to instil that in the family and
the wife, but that does not mean that one should fall into extravagance or
spend unnecessarily. The argument that it is only once in a lifetime cannot
be an excuse tospend too much. Being extravagant only once is not allowed
and is haraam, just as being extravagant more than once is repeatedly
falling into something that is not allowed and is haraam.
The scholars are still urging people not to be extravagant in
wedding parties and other expenses that have to do with weddings in general.
They suggest that this is one of the factors that make the issue of marriage
complicated for those who want to get married, to such an extent that the
numbers of young women who remain unmarried have increased.
Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih al-‘Uthaymeen (may Allah have
mercy on him) was asked:
What is your opinion on expensive dowries and extravagance in
wedding parties, especially preparations for what is called the honeymoon,
which includes high expenses? Does Islam approve of this?
He (may Allah have mercy on him) replied:
Expensive dowries and extravagance in wedding parties are
things that are contrary to sharee‘ah. The most blessed marriage is that
which is affordable; the less the expenses are, the greater the blessings.
This is something that in most cases is the fault of women, because women
are the ones who force their husbands to pay for expensive parties that are
not allowed in sharee‘ah. This is something that is included in the words of
Allah, may He be glorified and exalted (interpretation of the meaning):
“…but waste not by
extravagance, certainly He (Allâh) likes not Al-Musrifûn (those who waste by
extravagance)” [al-A‘raaf 7:31]. Many women
force their husbands to do that and say “So and so had such and such in her
party” and so on.
But what is required in such matters is to act in the way
prescribed in Islam and not overstep that mark or be extravagant, because
Allah – may He be glorified and exalted – has forbidden extravagance and has
said that He does not like those who waste by extravagance.
With regard to what is called the “honeymoon”, it is even
worse and more reprehensible, because it is an imitation of the non-Muslims
and it is a great waste of money. It also leads to neglect of many religious
matters, especially if this time is spent in a non-Muslim country, after
which they come back with habits and customs that are harmful to them and to
their society. These are matters which are dangerous to the ummah. But if
the man were to travel with his wife to do ‘Umrah or to visit Madinah, there
is nothing wrong with that, in sha Allah.
End quote from Fataawa Islamiyyah, 3/176
The Council of Senior Scholars in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
has researched these issues that have to do with people going to extremes
with regard to dowries and competing in extravagance in wedding parties,
overstepping the mark with regard to wedding feasts and what accompanies
that of lighting systems that go beyond the limit of moderation, and
entertainment, singing and musical instruments that are haraam being played
at loud volume which may go on all night and in some cases be louder than
the voices of the muezzins giving the call to Fajr prayer, and what precedes
that of engagement parties and feasts to celebrate the drawing up of the
wedding contract. They also discussed what has been narrated about reducing
the dowry, being moderate in spending and avoiding extravagance and waste.
The Council commented on that by saying:
Because of this going to extremes in dowries and competing in
offering lavish wedding feasts leads to overstepping the mark, and because
there are so many celebrations that are done before and after the wedding,
and because of what accompanies that of haraam things that lead to
immorality, such as singing and mixing between men and women on some
occasions, and men serving women in hotels if the party is held in a hotel,
which is regarded as one of the greatest of evils, and because going that
path of extravagance means that many people are unable to afford the
expenses of marriage and indeed this indecent extravagance may lead to many
young people, both boys and girls, going astray… for all these reasons the
Council of Senior Scholars thinks that it is essential to take this matter
seriously and deal with it by doing the following:
The Council thinks that there
should be a ban on singing that has recently become popular in wedding
parties, along with what accompanies it of musical instruments, hiring of
male and female singers and of loudspeakers, because this is an evil and
haraam action that should be disallowed and those who do that should be
There should be a ban on mixing
of men and women in wedding parties and elsewhere; the husband should not be
allowed to enter upon his wife when she is among unveiled women. Those who
allow that, such as the husband and the guardians of the woman, should be
punished in a way that will serve as a deterrent to committing such evils.
There should be a ban on
extravagance and overstepping the mark with regard to wedding feasts. People
should be warned against that through the officials who record marriages and
through the media. People should be encouraged to lower the dowry and
extravagance in such matters should be discouraged from the minbars of the
mosque, in learning circles and through the media.
The majority of the Council
thinks that those who are clearly extravagant in spending on wedding feasts
should be punished and that they should be referred to the courts to impose
disciplinary punishment on those who are proven to have overstepped the
mark, according to what the shar‘i judge sees fit as a deterrent punishment
that will discourage people from getting involved in such alarming
The Council thinks that
encouragement to reduce dowries should be given from the minbars of the
mosques and through the media, and that some cases should be mentioned as an
example of making marriage easy. If cases are mentioned of someone who has
returned part of what was given as a dowry, or as being content with a
moderate wedding party, this should be mentioned as an example because that
is very effective.
End quote from Fataawa Islamiyyah, 3/251.
To sum up:
Extravagance is not allowed and is blameworthy in all
matters, whether it has to do with marriage or otherwise. What is prescribed
in Islam is that the individual should not make things difficult for himself
and should not burden himself with more than he can bear. Rather he should
spend according to his means and what he is able to afford, whilst avoiding
extravagance and going to extremes in spending.
But this does not mean that spending on wedding parties and
marriage should be like spending on ordinary days, for example. Of course
this is not appropriate; rather it is prescribed to spend more generously
than usual at this time. For that reason it is Sunnah for a man to offer a
feast at his wedding and to invite people to it. This is an expense that is
greater than usual, but what matters, as we have said, is to avoid
extravagance and wasteful spending in all of that. Each individual should
pay attention to his own situation and what he can afford.
See also the answer to question no.
And Allah knows best.