Announcing the marriage is a Sunnah of the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam)

`A'ishah reported that the Prophet (s.a.w.) said: {Announce this marriage and make it in mosques, and play with tambourines in its celebration.} (At-Tirmizi).

Since marriage is such a joyful event for the whole Muslim neighborhood, playing the tambourines and having some decent and allowed singing are recommended during the celebration.

`A'ishah reported: {We accomplished a woman to her wedding with a man from Al-Ansar. The Prophet (s.a.w.) said: `A'ishah, won't you have some entertainment? Al-Ansar like entertainment.} (Al-Bukhari).

The marriage celebrations, however, should not violate any Islamic law, and the word entertainment in the above Hadith, should not be misinterpreted. People who attend the celebrations should not mix in any un-Islamic way. Both men and women should wear proper Islamic dress during the celebrations, and the songs they sing should not contain any obscene words or words that violate the Islamic code of decency and manners. Islamic standards must be upheld regardless of what occasion one is participating in.

Some people have begun practicing traditions which are completely against Islamic teachings. The tradition of bringing a musical band and female dancer to dance before the men is prohibited in Islam.

Another un-Islamic tradition is the use of a gold ring by the groom; this was prohibited by the Prophet (s.a.w.). Silver rings are allowed for men and women, while wearing gold ornament is allowed for women only. The tradition of trading rings is borrowed from other societies, and Muslims are told not to imitate non-Muslims in such traditions.

A groom should not feel obligated to have an extravagant marriage celebration, as this is a financial burden which could leave him in debt for years to follow. This could in turn discourage men from getting married.

Marriage is an occasion for presenting the new family with gifts by relatives and friends. Gifts that are given with sincerity and consent strengthen the love between people.

The Prophet (s.a.w.) said: {Exchange gifts, strengthen your love of one another.} (At-Tirmizi).

One should always keep in mind the real reason behind giving gifts - to strengthen the mutual relationships between people. Therefore, gifts should be affordable and given to others voluntarily. Unfortunately, most people have forgotten this and the gifts have become burdens on those who give them; this weakens relationships between people instead of strengthening them. People today write down what others have given them and the prices of such presents and then feel obligated to buy that person a gift equal in value. This is completely un-Islamic, and it does not follow the teachings of the Prophet (s.a.w.). People vary in their social positions and have different financial statuses, and feeling obligated to buy a gift equal to that presented would soon end close relationships between people of different economic backgrounds. This will in turn build social barriers.

Congratulations are offered to the bride by the women around her and by her relatives and friends; the groom is congratulated by other men.

The best of congratulations is that reported by Abu Hurairah that the Prophet (s.a.w.) said to people who got married: {May Allah make it a blessing for you and a blessing to you, and bring you together with all that is good.} (At-Tirmizi, Abu Dawood, and Al-Hakim).