Q. Recently in Pakistan having wedding dinners or meals has been outlawed by the government. There has been some concern about this; especially if this ban is anti-Islamic. Isn't there a concept of having a dinner or meal after the wedding in Islam?

A. The Walima or wedding-feast is a Sunna. However, some people fall into excess in celebrating this feast, and abandon thereby the prescriptions of the Sunna or over-write them with their own desires: some considering it an obligation, and some even being led to financial ruin due to the social pressure of having to conform, not to the Sunna, but to that imagined glamorous obligation put in place by the society. If this situation is endemic, then it is not at all anti-Islamic to ban it but an obligation. So it may be a temporary obligation on the part of the authorities to prevent it. I have read in Mufti Lajpuri's Fatawa Rahimiyya that at one time the ulama banned fasting on Mondays and Thursdays because it had taken the status of a fard in the practice of the people. Once the people are educated, then the prohibition is lifted. Allah knows best.