There was once a father who had just a single daughter. Being his only child, she was absolutely dear to him and the apple of his eye. When she finally came of age and was proposed in marriage, he was so eager to ‘throw’ her a wedding that she would never forget that he commenced the wedding preparation one year in advance!

Instead of cards, invitations were engraved into small slabs of marble and hand delivered to all the guests. The utensils in which the food was served were embossed with the names of the bride and groom so that the guests could take them home after the function and keep them as souvenirs!

The groom, on his part, ensured that he arrived in style by turning up to fetch his bride seated on an elephant hired from the zoo!

When the big day arrived and the bride departed from her parent’s home, her mother asked her father as to how much mahr (dowry) was given. Only now did they realise that they had forgotten to arrange for the nikaah of the girl to be performed.

The planning was so elaborate and detailed that even the colour of the icing on the cupcakes was only decided after careful deliberation. However, everything was thought of and given regard besides the command of Allah Ta‘ala.

This is exactly what has happened today. We have removed the sunnah and the teachings of Islam from our marriages and have replaced them with our own customs and practices. We have designed our marriage to please everyone and to displease Allah Ta‘ala. The result is that for most people, marriage has actually become a burden and a difficulty. Simplicity and minimal expenses, which form the soul and blessing of a marriage, have been removed, leaving us with a shell of a nikaah – attractive on the outside but empty within. Will such a nikaah ever have a bright future?