Firing shots at the wedding night

Q: Some people in the villages of Al-Hijaz have certain habits at weddings, such as: First, colored flags are placed on the cars that move in the wedding procession. Sometimes, the flags are white or green. Also, some flags are put over the house of the newlywed couple for several days, or may last for several months. Second, when the bride leaves her father's house, her father, her husband or one of her relatives fires some shots near her to announce her coming. The same thing is done upon her arrival at her husband's house. This phenomenon has been incorporated in the habits and customs of some tribes. Third, women play musical song tapes, with drums and other musical instruments in the background. They dance while listening to them. (Part No. 19; Page No. 125) I ask your Eminence to answer these questions. May Allah protect and grant you success.

A: You should know first that the Prophet, (peace be upon him) encouraged Muslims to announce a marriage, so that it is distinguished from illegitimate relations between men and women. However, this announcement should be done in a permissible manner, such as calling witnesses to it and beating a Duff (a tambourine-like instrument without bells) by women. Women may sing songs that are not licentious or involve Fitnah (temptation) or intermixing between men and women. Marriage is also announced by inviting people to a Walimah (wedding dinner). Thus, the answers to your questions are as follows: First, putting flags on the car in which the spouses ride and over the houses involves imitating actions of some people of the pre-Islamic era that Islam canceled and banned. This was known as marriage of the prostitutes who used to fix flags over their houses, so whoever wanted them would enter. Therefore, it is not permissible to fix such flags to announce the marriage. Second, Shooting guns in weddings is not a Shar`y (Islamically lawful) announcement. It also involves dangers that require it to be banned. Third, listening to song tapes that are accompanied by music, drums and other musical instruments, and that women dance to while listening are all Munkar (that which is unacceptable or disapproved of by Islamic law and Muslims of sound intellect). This is not permissible at marriages or on any other occasion. (Part No. 19; Page No. 126) May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.