Is it permissible for the bridegroom to delay performing the Walīmah if it is not easy?
Yes, there’s no issue with it or he may perform the walimah with that which is easy. So the walima is not restricted to sheep and meat but even if you afford to serve soup or even dates or even bread and curry and the walimah is performed with that which is easy. It is considered a walimah and it is not a condition that you invite a large number of people to your walimah you may even invite only ten brothers. If you are not capable of inviting hundred or twenty then you may only invite ten or even five. You invite them saying ‘this is my walimah’
لَا یُكَلِّفُ ٱللَّهُ نَفۡسًا إِلَّا وُسۡعَهَاۚ
Allah burdens not a person beyond his scope
So, you came up with curry and bread and beans and whatever that was easy for you. This is your walimah.
But it is better that you perform walimah with that which the Prophet ﷺ mentioned and pointed to:
أَوْلِمْ، وَلَوْ بِشَاةٍ
Perform walimah even by a sheep
that is, by (meat of) cattle which was available plentiful for them. Or he does it by that which takes its place like chicken and fish and other than it. This is a good walimah and likewise, according to the land. So maybe in some lands, he is not able to do a walimah serving chicken because it is considered a disgrace so he performs a walimah by sheep.
In our place, fish and chicken are considered okay (the world’s good here!) So you have fish and chicken. But (in other places they would say:) ‘What kind of person is this?’ and maybe they write against you on the internet (social network). Even at the provincial level of Hadhramout Ad-Daakhil, no one feeds the guests chicken in walimah except nowadays some of them have begun being a little humble otherwise serving chicken was not allowed and they would have spoken against your honour if you perform walimah by chicken.
As for us, All Praises are for Allah alone, some of them serve chicken and some fish and some cattle (it’s not an issue) according to that which is easy. They don’t overburden themselves. Alhumdulillah and this is very good.
So, you should not say that I am not capable rather you are capable in sha Allaah with that which is easy for you. Don’t overburden yourself by trying to make a walimah like the so and so family. If you invite ten from the students of knowledge from your brothers or from the people of your place then you have fulfilled that which was intended. But due to your incorrect understanding with regards to the walima, you fell into that which you have mentioned.
Answered by: Shaykh Abū Bilāl – may Allāh preserve him
Answered on: 9th Jumādā Al-Akhirah 1442 (23rd January 2021)
Translated by: Abū Muḥammad Neẓam Uddīn Al Hindī