Henna Rasm Ritual

Mu' meneen Brothers and Sisters,

As Salaam Aleikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh. (May Allah's Peace, Mercy and Blessings be upon all of you)

One of our brothers/sisters has asked this question:

How far is the rasm of mehndi allowed in Islam? 

(There may be some grammatical and spelling errors in the above statement. The forum does not change anything from questions, comments and statements received from our readers for circulation in confidentiality.)

Answer:

Mehndi rasm ritual

In the name of Allah, We praise Him, seek His help and ask for His forgiveness. Whoever Allah guides none can misguide, and whoever He allows to fall astray, none can guide them aright. We bear witness that there is no one (no idol, no person,  no grave, no prophet,  no imam,  no dai,  nobody!) worthy of worship but Allah Alone, and we bear witness that Muhammad (saws) is His slave-servant and the seal of His Messengers.

Marriage in Islam is considered a happy and joyous occasion, and it is absolutely recommended and encouraged in Islam that the believers enjoy and celebrate this happy occasion through offering a feast, legal singing, the playing of legal music, application of adornment or beauty for the ladies, etc. 

Al-Tirmidhi Hadith 3154        Narrated by Aisha

I had a girl of the Ansar whom I gave in marriage, and Allah's Messenger (saws) said, "Why do you not sing, Aisha, for this clan of the Ansar like singing?"

Al-Tirmidhi Hadith 3159        Narrated by Abu Mas'ud al-Ansari

Amir ibn Sa'd said: "Going in and finding Qarazah ibn Ka'b and Abu Mas'ud al-Ansari at a wedding where girls were singing"  I said, "Is this being done in the presence of you two who are companions of Allah's Messenger (saws) and were present at Badr?"   They replied, "Sit down if you wish and listen along with us, or go away if you wish, for we have been given license (or permission) for amusement at a wedding."

In formulating any legal celebration, one must be absolutely careful never to compromise these principles of Islam:

There can be absolutely no connotation of shirk

There must be no indecency or elements of ‘fahisha’ in the celebrations

There must be mixing of the sexes

One must not ‘go over the top’ in one’s spending

One cannot copy or imitate a celebration that is particular to the pagans

The application of ‘henna’ or ‘mehndi’ at the time of marriage is basically a cultural occasion and if any of the above principles of Islam are not violated, there is absolutely no harm if the believing women wish to celebrate marriage with the application of mehndi or henna.

But to make the application of ‘mehndi’ into a particular and obligatory ritual and ‘rasm’ of marriage, or to burden the bride or her family to foot the bill of a massive occasion where huge ball-rooms are booked, bands are employed to play popular and illegal string music, dancing or singing in the presence of non-mehram males is done, or where expensive jewelry and clothes are worn to outdo one another, etc., are absolutely against the guidance and teachings of moderation in Islam.   

There is no harm in the legality or essence of the application of ‘mehndi’ at a time of marriage; but how this application and celebration is done is what determines its legality in Islam.

Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allah’s Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me.  Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.

Your Brother in Islam,

Burhan

 

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