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Last Updated: 2011/08/24
Summary of question
What is the Islamic law about giving walima (banquet) in general and marriage banquet in particular?
question
Salamun alaykum, I want to ask regarding walima (marriage banquet). Is it necessary to give walima or not? How should one go about giving walima? Thanks in advance.
Concise answer

One of the recommended Islamic traditions is feeding one's brethren in faith. Imam Sadiq (a) says:

"إِنَّ اللَّهَ تَبَارَکَ وَ تَعَالَى یُحِبُّ إِهْرَاقَ الدِّمَاءِ وَ إِطْعَامَ الطَّعَامِ" [1]

God, the Glorified and Exalted, loves shedding blood (of a sacrifice) and giving of food.

This Islamic tradition can take place in different ways such as giving a banquet at the time of marriage or upon a child's birth etc. Walima means a large formal meal for at least ten people. [2] The guests who eat the food can be relatives, neighbors or other people. Obviously, giving walima is not obligatory; rather it is Sunnah and recommended.

For further information, see the following indexes:

The Recommended Act and Etiquettes of a Child's Birth (on its father), 6871 (site: 6956) .

An Appropriate Model of Wedding Consistent with Islamic Teachings, 2857 (site: 3092).

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[1] - Kulayni, Al-Kafi, vol.4, pg. 51, Dar al-Kutub al-Islamiyah, Tehran, 1989.

[2] - Mahmud Abdur Rahman, Mu'jam al-Mustalahat wal-Alfaz al-Fiqhiyah, vol.3, pg. 4 – 5.

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