January 16, 2015 spiritualfitness.us

Vol III, Issue 2

Assalamu Alaikum,

If you or your loved one is getting married, you might be dreading the cost of the wedding. But here's the good news: the long term health of the relationship depends not on how extravagant the wedding was, but it depends upon the truthfulness and righteousness of the couple.  
So think about the long game. Heed the golden advice from Hazrat Khalifatul Masih. Shun extravagance. Here are some useful excerpts as transcript and video clips:

Jalsa Salana Germany 2003, Concluding Address
Video Linkhttp://www.alislam.org/v/421.html (47:55 - 51:15)

"The Promised Messiah (as) admonishes us not to follow the un-Islamic customs that people have added to their faith because of the influence of the society in which they live. These customs have been adopted from other religions. For example, there are some frivolous customs during celebrations of marriage—like showing off the dowery given to the bride by her groom’s family, or the gifts brought by them, or publicly displaying the dowery given to the bride by her own family. There is quite a show. Islam only enjoins haq mehr [bride’s due right] to be publicly announced as a part of the religious marriage ceremony. All other customs are frivolous. First, when showing off the dowery from either side, those who are well-off want to show that they are giving more than their counterparts did in their marriage. All of this is worldly competition and show.
These days, there are many among you whom Allah the Almighty has blessed greatly after migration. This is one of the blessings of joining the Jama‘at of the Promised Messiah (as). It is a consequence of the sacrifices made by your forefathers and a blessing resulting from the supplications offered by them. But there are some who, instead of being thankful by bowing before Allah the Almighty and spending in His way, become a prey to self-exultation and demonstration by excessive spending in marriages.
A lot of food is wasted in marriage celebrations and walimahs [reception given by husband after the marriage has been consummated]. Many dishes are prepared for public display. As a consequence, those who are not so well-off go into debt in order to have bridal dowery to display publicly. Some parents have to go into debt for fear of criticisms from their in-laws that their daughter has not brought much dowery with her. The groom’s family should fear Allah. Do not permit your poor in-laws to go into debt in order to maintain your own false sense of self-esteem because the claim you make is that you are Ahmadis and are committed to abide by the ten conditions of bai‘at.
I have thus far briefly mentioned one custom during marriage. If I elaborate upon the subject further, I can cite many other prevailing customs during marriage ceremonies."

Friday Sermon, 25 November 2005
Video Linkhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HxipRihkCyM (Entire Sermon)
Entire sermon. English summary can be found here: https://www.alislam.org/archives/2005/summary/FSS20051125-EN.html

Friday Sermon, 25 September 2009
Video Linkhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ck2Z-6qoFaw (3:05 - 6:10)

"The fifth characteristic of the servants of the Gracious God is that they are not spendthrifts.  They are not wasteful regarding their own wealth or that of the community. An example of personal extravagance that seems to be on the increase is lavish spending on weddings. This is mostly done in imitation. Receptions are held for the wedding, the Walima and now also for the mehndi ceremony. Separate cards are printed for the mehndi and a reception is held. Huzur said if mehndi must be celebrated, friends of the bride should gather to have some fun. A new tradition seems to be that the groom’s family also holds a pre-wedding reception in the name of festivities. This is wrong and is a harmful innovation. Some families although well-versed in religious matters also indulge in this.  Those who do not partake of these matters - and one should always assume in good light that they shun them due to piety – are branded miserly. Some families travel to Pakistan for weddings and they overspend on jewellery and receptions. The money spent on these matters can be of so much use to the disadvantaged, can be used to support orphans and can be spent on many other good causes which can make one a servant of the Gracious God."

Friday Sermon, 15 January 2010
Video Linkhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NQJldroc2Wc (26:30 - 38:55)

"Which works are good and which not good? For instance, in life there are happy occasions as well as sad occasions. What are our limitations to celebrate happy occasions and what are our limits to commemorate sad occasions? Influenced by the world, Muslims have included bad innovations and idle practices to their happy occasions as well as sad occasions. Ahmadis need to reflect that whatever they do is within the limitations. One happy occasion is that of marriage. It is an obligation. When the Companions suggested spending their lives solely in worship of God, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) told them that virtue is in following his practice and his practice was to marry as well as worship God. In the sub-continental culture some practices have found way in marriage celebrations which have nothing to do with the teaching of Islam. So much money is spent on marriage celebrations that in places where these rituals are followed people have assumed that these are among the obligations of marriage. For example, there is the Mehndi (Hina) ceremony. It is given the same significance as the wedding day. Invitation cards are printed, stages are prepared and series of parties continue for many days prior to the wedding. Each day a new stage/dais is set up, the lavish meals are discussed and reviewed. This ritual has also grabbed hold of those who do not have the means to afford it and as a result they have to endure debt.
Non-Ahmadis have been following these rituals but now some Ahmadi households are also practising some of these idle matters. Huzur said he had recently drawn attention that we should desist from extravagance and lavish dinners at the Mehndi ceremony. On the day [of the earlier sermon] a family from London were holding a Mehndi reception. Upon listening to Huzur’s sermon, they cancelled the reception and instead invited a few friends of the bride to dinner. They sent the food which was prepared for the reception to a function that was being held at Baitul Futuh. Such are the Ahmadis who act immediately upon being reminded and also write in letters of apology. However, Huzur said, he has received some complaints from Pakistan and also from Rabwah. Some people are getting involved in these rituals a little too much. Rabwah is a small town, so everything is noted quite quickly there. Therefore, Huzur said, he was saying it openly that these idle rituals and ceremonies should not be followed and should be brought to an end.
Explaining the futility of wasteful expenses on such occasions through the august writings of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) Huzur remarked that in Pakistan on one hand there is an upheaval about lack of electric power, everyone mentions it and there is also regular electrical load-shedding. On the other hand, some households are extremely extravagant in displaying outlandish lights at marriage ceremonies. Not only do they incur loss to the nation, they are also being sinful. Therefore, Ahmadis in Pakistan should take care that there is no overspending and in Rabwah particularly this matter should be paid attention to. It is the responsibility of Sadr Amoomi (head of all the saadran of Rabwah) to keep in view that there is no unnecessary spending and ostentation at marriages.
Huzur said it is with the grace of God that Ahmadis are not involved in bad rituals at sad occasions which non-Ahmadis follow and more than often which are a burden on families. If, influenced by society, one kind of bad rituals are followed, then there is a possibility that the other kind will also set in. This is why Ahmadis should reflect on the favour on them that they are in the Community of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) and only follow the true teaching of Islam. In Islam marriage is an obligation and a wedding reception may be held if it can be afforded. Meal can be served at the reception although it is not essential that all the guests are served a meal. If the wedding party is travelling from a long distance, then maybe just they can be served a meal. However, if the law of the land does not permit serving a meal then it should be avoided. At one time serving a meal at weddings was legislated against in Pakistan. Huzur said he was not aware of the exact current restrictions but some restrictions still apply. The authentic commandment in Islam is that of holding a reception for Walima, that too in accordance to one’s means. God has told us the objective of our creation and any good work that is done to please God becomes [a form of] worship."


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