Recently I found a invitation card at my grandma’s house. Well, it did not exactly look like a card. It was more like a sweet box. It was golden in color and weighed around 300 gms.
Now, talking about the card from a physical perspective, it looked good. It was designed well. The experience it wanted to create by making the invitee to remove the hash, untie the knot, uncover different layers of cards, lifting the translucent sheet as if you are lifting the “ghungat” of a newly wed bride – all created the suspense, the awe and the experience that the families(of bride and groom) wanted the invitees to achieve. Good work guys.
There are a few questions I would like to ask
- What was the “main” intention of printing the card?
- What do you think about the money being spent on making the invitation cards?
- How do you expect the invitees to respond to the card?
The following is the articulation of my thoughts when I saw the card
- This is the manifestation of everything that Prophet Mohammed warned us against related to marriages – flaunting / boasting about the material wealth that Allah has given to you, being an spendthrift, wasting time-effort-money on something so minuscule as the invitation card.
- Talking about the history of invitation cards and how they came into existence – There was a time when marriages used to happen in small localities where everyone knew each other – marriages mostly happened at one of the homes of the bride or groom. But as cities grew, population increased – wedding halls got built. Now the marriages started to happen in wedding halls and there were more than 1 or 2 wedding halls in a city. So people had to be informed about which wedding hall, its address and the date. So historically speaking, the main intent of the card was to act as a reminder to the invitee about the wedding date and venue.
- But now it has become a medium of “placing yourself” in the minds of the target circle. Its very similar to how marketing works – placing the brands in the minds of the customer. It has become a medium to “show” how much power / influence you hold within the business circle. The grandeur of the card boasts about the material success you have achieved. This is also a way to prove a point to your business rivals or competitors.
- Coincidently there were 3 weddings on the same day and I was able to see all the 3 cards at my grandma’s place. There was a clear indication of the power structure reflected through the invitation cards. The bigger card dominated the rest and was actually shouting “you better attend this wedding”
- I came to know that the card(shown in images) costs Rs.350 each and they had printed 1000 cards. The cost of invitation cards was bore by the bride’s side. Around Rs.3.5 lakhs was spent for invitation cards. Being from Bangalore, I can surely say that the whole expenditure of a middle class marriage costs pretty much the same (or even a bit lesser). Does spending 3.5 lakhs justifies the purpose of an invitation card?
Now, whats wrong if one is spending 3.5 lakhs for invitation cards? What if the person can afford it and he wants the best for his child. What’s the big deal about it?
The big deal is – he is setting a “STANDARD” – by standard I mean in the derogatory sense. By printing a card of Rs.350, he is telling the world “Listen up you lesser beings, I am gonna arrange a marriage of my daughter that you aint gonna forget”. Now a card of RS.350 becomes “NORMAL” in the muslim society. So the next person – who is most probably called for the wedding, who has almost the same status as the host, who also has a daughter of marriable age – gets compelled, influenced and forced in psychological sense to make his daughters card for more than Rs.350 or atleast Rs.350.
So this small act of making a card ignites a fission reaction in the society (which gets influenced so easily).
My intention was not to target a particular family, but to make you aware of the dangers due small innovations that we introduce in our marriages – which apparently seem so harmless and innocent
Dear brothers and sisters in Islam
Lets not forget – We don’t live for here, we live for hereafter.
We have to give account of each penny we spent. One of the first questions we ll be asked on the day of judgement will be “How did you spend your youth” and “how did you spend your wealth”. Better take an account of yourself before its taken by someone else.
Allah provides barakath and happiness in those marriages which have least expenditure
Marriages in Islam are so simple. Prophet Mohammed(PBUH) wanted them to be extremely simple and affordable. But we are making them more and more tougher because of our own foolishness.
Everything that we add on to our wedding becomes a “norm” in our society – hence we are adding more and more burden to the common man who cannot afford such “norms”. Hence he goes out of way – taking loans on interest – which is haram in Islam. We all will be responsible for the loan been taken by the common man. Because it is We who made these “norms”.
I would strongly suggest the parents , boys and girls who are about to get married to read Islamic books written on Nikah – eg. Kitabun Nikah. And try to understand the importance of simple Nikah and how can one bring barakah in his/her marriage
Lets not encourage such waste expenditure in our marriages. Lets pray to Allah to guide us and help us against all small and big wasteful expenses.
If you see a person being a spendthrift –
- force him / her to stop wasting money – Strongest form of Iman
- OR request him and warn him about the consequences – Medium form of Iman
- OR at least – have hatred in your heart when you see such wasteful expenditure being done – but you cannot do anything about it – This is the weakest form of Iman
For guys – If your father-in-law is happy to spend a lot on your wedding and invitation cards. You cant be just ignorant about it. If you think “I am not the one who is wasting money” – you are terribly mistaken. Since your name is being used in the card – as the groom. You inherently become a part of the system as well. Since your name is being used in the card, YOU HAVE THE RIGHT to ask your father-in-law to stop wasting money.
If there is extra budget, ask the families of the bride / groom to spend that amount in marriage of a poor family. This will give them respect in this world and innumerable rewards in hereafter.