Question # 427: What is the ruling on Sharing Expenses of Nikah and valima in marriage by both parties (boy and girl families)?

bismi-llahi r-raḥmani r-raḥīm,

Assalamu ‘laikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh,

All praise and thanks are due to Allah (سبحانه و تعالى), and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger (صلى الله عليه و سلم).

Dear questioner,

First of all, we implore Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) to help us serve His cause and render our work for His sake.

Shorter Answer: The basic principle with regard to the wedding feast (waleemah) is that it should be organized by the husband; nevertheless, it can be organized jointly by the bride’s and groom’s family and sharing of related expenses can be mutually agreed, as may be customary in some countries.

Long Answer: The basic principle with regard to the wedding feast (waleemah) is that it should be organized by the husband, because he is the one who is enjoined to do that, as it was narrated by al-Bukhari and Muslim that the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) said to ‘Abd al-Rahmaan ibn ‘Awf: “May Allah bless you. Give a waleemah even if it is with just one sheep.”

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allah have mercy on him) said: “It (the waleemah) is prescribed for the husband, because the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) said to ‘Abd al-Rahmaan ibn ‘Awf (رضي الله عنه): “Give a waleemah,” and he did not tell his in-laws to do that. And because the blessing is greater for the husband than for the wife, because he is the one who sought the woman; it is very rare for the woman to seek the man. (al-Sharh al-Mumti’)

And he (may Allah have mercy on him) [also] said: …responding to an invitation to a wedding feast is obligatory does not apply in all cases; rather that refers to the wedding feast that is offered by the husband. Accepting an invitation to this feast is obligatory. Similarly, if it is organized jointly between the husband and the woman’s family, accepting the invitation to it is obligatory, because the husband is the one who is enjoined to provide the wedding feast, because the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) said to ‘Abd al-Rahmaan ibn ‘Awf: “Give a wedding feast, even if it is with one sheep.” If the wedding feast is provided by the wife’s family only, and the husband is going to offer another feast when his wife comes to join him, it is not obligatory to accept the invitation of the wife’s family; rather accepting it is Sunnah. (Fataawa Noor ‘ala al-Darb)

From this, we may note that it is permissible for the wedding feast to be organized jointly between the husband and wife, or the wife’s family may organize it. Similarly, the wedding expenses may be shared as agreed between the two parties, and each of them may offer a wedding feast, as is customary in some countries. If there is some dispute as to who is obliged to provide the wedding feast, it is to be provided by the husband, as stated above. But other wedding expenses, such as having a party in a hotel and so on, should be done according to mutual agreement.

(The above reply is based on answer provided by Islam Q&A on the topic)

Allahu A’lam (Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) knows best) and all Perfections belong to Allah, and all mistakes belong to me alone. May Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) forgive me, Ameen.

Wassalaam