Makkah, MINA – Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Hajj and Umrah has announced that the nikah or marriage contracts can now be conducted at Islam’s two holiest sites – the Grand Mosque in Makkah and the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah, Middle East Monitor reports.
According to Gulf News, citing Saudi newspaper Al Watan, the move is part of the Saudi government’s initiative to enrich the experiences of pilgrims and visitors to the Two Holy Mosques. Observers say the initiative is an opportunity for companies to come up with innovative ideas to organise such events at the holy sites.
One Saudi mazoun, or marriage official, Musaed Al-Jabri explained that conducting a marriage contract at the Prophet’s Mosque is allowed in Islam, noting that the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) is known to have conducted a companion’s nuptial rite at the mosque.
It appears that Saudi authorities are looking to regulate a pre-existing practice, as Al-Jabri also said that conducting the marriage contract at the Prophet’s Mosque is already common among the locals. “This is due to several reasons,” he said.
“Some of them have the tradition of inviting most relatives of the would-be married couple. Often, the house of the wife-to-be’s family can’t accommodate all the invitees. So, the nuptial contract is conducted at the Prophet’s Mosque or the Quba Mosque (the first mosque built in Islam),” he added.
Late last year, the Times of India reported that there has been a growing number of affluent Muslims from abroad travelling to Madinah to solemnise their Islamic marriage contracts before hosting a walima, or wedding feast separately.
Having the nikah in one of the Two Holy Mosques, also comes with the additional benefit of being able to perform lesser pilgrimage to Makkah, Umrah, which can be done all year round. (T/RE1/P2)
Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)