Bridal and Baby Showers
by Hazrat Maulana Yunus Patel Saheb (rahmatullah ‘alayh)
There are many customs and trends which are affiliated with the non-Muslim culture and lifestyle. Due to being afflicted with what appears to be a truly insecure and inferior complex, many Muslims look towards and choose the customs and trends of the non-Muslims over that of the beautiful Sunnah. It seems as if the need is to secure acceptance in a non-Muslim society and blend in with them —so that we are not recognized as Muslims.
Bridal and Baby Showers have become synonymous with the Muslim lifestyle as it is with the rest of the non-Muslim lifestyle. Many may ask: What's wrong with giving gifts, congratulating the bride-to-be or the new mother, or having a get-together with friends?
There is nothing wrong with giving the bride or the new mother a gift or congratulating the person. To give a gift and congratulate are from the teachings of Islam, and would draw rewards, but there are conditions to be met in even these noble deeds.
What is highly wrong and objectionable is the background to these good deeds. They are not within the parameters of Shari'ah.
The picture of a bridal and baby shower is not typical of the Sunnah. It is typical of the non-Muslim way of life. Following suit, we fall into the sin of “Tashabbu bil Kuffaar” (emulating the disbelievers). It is aligning oneself with those who have rejected Allah Ta'ala, who live their lives in immorality and disobedience.
Nikah is a great Ibaadah. Pregnancy and the birth of a child also have their requisites in Islam. However, the west has commercialized all these noble occasions and made them into money-making events. The sacredness of these occasions is forgotten.
Today, Nikahs have taken on the exact shape of a Hollywood or Bollywood-style wedding —where the bride is dressed to look like a Christian bride or a Bollywood actress, with no sign of Islam on her; and the groom is dressed in a suit and tie, looking like a typical Christian groom.
Adding insult to injury is the extravagance and open sin at the time of the wedding and Walimah. One's mind moves in the direction of the millions suffering from famine and starvation, who have no home, no water, no food, and no clothing —but the Muslim ignores all that suffering just for fleeting attention and praise.
Hundreds of thousands of Rands wasted on draping a hall, dressing the chairs, wine glasses, musicians, photography, wedding cards —which are thrown away, etc. is money which could have been the means of alleviating the plight of so many suffering people.
One brother handed me an elaborate invitation card for his daughter's wedding. I enquired about the cost of the wedding card and was told that each card cost R50. Advising him, I told him that almost all people throw away wedding cards, so he should regard that as people throwing away hundreds of his R50 notes. Would he throw R50 notes into a bin? No. However, throwing away those cards is equal to throwing away R50 notes. That same money could have been used in making the Aakhirah.
Even those who are known to be religious will waste thousands on halls, on décor, etc., sacrificing the pleasure of Allah Ta'ala and Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam). Those who are meant to set the noble example of the Sunnah —whom we expect are living the Sunnah, knowingly choose to forsake the Sunnah.
Simplicity is part of Imaan —a rare sight in these times.
‘Aaisha (radhiyallahu' anha) narrated that Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) said:
‘Verily, the most blessed Nikah is that which involves the least difficulty (expenditure).'
We have a perfect Sunnah —a perfect way of life in the life of our Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) and the lives of his companions, men, and women (radhiyallah ‘anhum). We have what is superior to all other cultures, yet we consider everything else. It shows great weakness if we prefer the culture of the Christians, Jews and Idolators over the noble Sunnah of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam). We are exchanging diamonds for stones —what an unprofitable exchange this is! What a great loss!
Nabi (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) said:
“Whoever emulates a nation is from amongst them.”
In another Hadith, it is stated:
“A person is with whom he loves.”
Nabi (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) also said that we will be raised on the Day of Judgment with those whom we imitate in this worldly life. (May Allah Ta'ala save us from such disgrace and humiliation.)
Emulating the non-Muslim culture is one downfall, but there are many more that are found in the Bridal and Baby Showers.
The non-Muslims have coined a novel concept of begging – especially amongst the upper class. It seems as if some, from amongst the wealthy, have developed the art of begging. They even have a name for it. In the name of Bridal Showers, Baby Showers, and Registries, people gracefully and politely extend their hands and ask and take from others.
The bride-to-be chooses her gifts from exclusive stores that offer a “registry”, or she unashamedly hands out a list of those items she wants gifted to her. In the process, she places pressure, financial difficulty, and sometimes a great burden on others to purchase the gifts she has chosen.
At the get-together, these gifts and other gifts are presented to the bride-to-be, who opens them and shows them to all present – and each person can assess the money spent on the gift given. Let us now consider the various wrongs in this act:
A person is forced to purchase gifts that the bride has chosen, which may be beyond their budget in spending.
A person who gives something simple or inexpensive will feel ashamed and embarrassed, considering the way gifts are being received and shown to others.
The Hadith encourages giving gifts because giving gifts creates Muhabbah (love). If Muhabbah is not created, then this proves that either the giver or receiver is insincere. Sometimes, people give with intentions other than expressing their Muhabbah. However, there are many who request or are desirous of receiving, and there is a kind of greed from the receiving side. This request or expectation (Ishraaf) reveals insincerity from the one who is receiving it.
A gift must be given happily and willingly and should be received graciously and thankfully. This is the Sunnah. However, when we ask of people, as in the case of registries, etc. – people will give, but they give unhappily and unwillingly. And if some gift is given, which is not to our liking, then we receive it without any appreciation and thanks. This is our lamentable condition.
Another aspect that has also been brought to our attention is the immorality and shamelessness at such gatherings – with indecent talk, shameless dressing by Muslim women, inappropriate games, music, dancing and such filthy entertainment —that we would not want to bring on to our tongues. It is not permissible for a person to attend such gatherings.
The Shari'ah instructs us that it is not permissible to be present in a gathering where Allah Ta’ala is being disobeyed.
Moreover, a person's presence aids in promoting and glorifying what is not permissible. We are told not to assist each other in sin; rather, to assist in what is righteous:
“Help each other in righteousness and piety, and do not help each other in sin and transgression.”
[Surah Al-Maa'idah 5:2]
A bride-to-be is known for her modesty and shyness, but all of this is lost in adopting the culture of non-Muslims, whose dress and fashion nurture immodesty. Together with this, these sins are publicized, and photographs are taken and uploaded on social media —for all and sundry to view the level of our degeneration.
The heart bleeds at this miscarriage of the Sunnah —nay, this abortion of the Sunnah. How will we meet our Beloved Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) on the Day of Judgment? How will we show our faces to the one whose entire life was sacrificed so that today we be the reciters of the Kalimah?
May Allah Ta'ala have mercy upon us since we stand to lose by adopting this culture. If we continue in this line and direction, we will lose the pleasure of Allah Ta'ala, and we will lose the great rewards for enlivening and practising the Sunnah.
We also stand to lose the companionship of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alayh wa sallam) at the fountain of Kauthar on the Day of Judgment; and even lose the success of our marriages due to having sacrificed the beautiful, noble Sunnah by means of our emulation of the Hollywood and Bollywood culture.
If our allegiance is to Allah Ta'ala and His Rasul (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam), then there should be no delay in repentance, mending our ways, and coming back to that which is pure and beautiful —Islam and the Sunnah. This is the success of both worlds.
May Allah Ta'ala grant us the understanding, concern and the Taufeeq of carrying out those actions that are correct, Aameen.
 Musnad Ahmad
 Abu Dawud
 Sahih Al-Bukhari