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Acceptable Time of Walima and Seeking its Rewards

Fatwaa ID: 1939

Question:
As Salaamu Alaykum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuhu Respected Ulama,

I hope this email finds you in the best of physical and spiritual health. My question is in regards to an excerpt on Walima. I just want to verify if my situation is also applicable to one of the opinions written:

The scholars have disagreed as to the correct time of this Walima. There are many opinions. For example:

1) At the time of the marriage contract,

2) After the marriage contract and before consummation of marriage,

3) At the time of the wedding procession (bride leaving for her husband’s house). (Ibn Hajar, Fath al-Bari, 9/287)

Source: https://islamqa.org/hanafi/daruliftaa/7670/the-fiqh-of-the-wedding-feast-walima/

I’d like to understand if the 3rd opinion applies to my situation. I am based out of Chicago, IL and married a suitable partner from India. I had my Nikah in February **** (No walima). I got back to Chicago and filed for her immigration paperwork. Now within the past 1.5 years, I have visited her several times while she still permanently resides at her father’s home. During these visits, we have engaged in intimacy and marital relations as permissible.

By Allah’s mercy and fadhl, her immigration paperwork has cleared and I plan on going to India to bring her from her father’s house to my house in Chicago Insha’Allah. So far, I have withheld from doing a Walima, with the intention of having a Walima (with my family, teachers and friends) once she arrives at my house here in Chicago. Some family members are staunchly objecting to it, saying it does not classify as a Walima as the marriage took place 1.5 years ago.

Can you please advise if I can invite my family, teachers and friends to this meal as a Walima and hope to seek the rewards of performing a Walima? Please let me know if you need any other elaboration or clarification to help answer. I look forward to your response and pray Allah rewards you for your time and effort in answering my question.

JazakAllahu Khayra

Answer:
In the Name of Allaah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
As-salaamu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullaahi wa-barakaatuh.

May Allaah Ta’aala fill your marriage with love, happiness and affection. The ideal time for the waleemah is after consummating the marriage, preferably soon after the nikaah. Nonetheless, you may invite and feed others once you return to express your happiness over your marriage. You will be rewarded for that. However, whether or not this will count as a sunnah waleemah is questionable. If you wish, you may have a banquet in India as well before returning. There is no hard and fast rule in this. Feeding others is a rewarding act.

And Allaah Ta’aala knows best.
Mufti Muajul I. Chowdhury
Darul Iftaa New York
https://askthemufti.us/

05/07/1445 AH – 11/21/2023 CE | 710

وصل اللهم وسلم وبارك على سيدنا محمد وعلى ءاله وصحبه أجمعين

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