By Alhagie Balla
As the Ramadan is getting closer, I hope Muslims communities especially Gambian communities will use this opportunities to prayer and seek forgiveness from Allah for some of our ungodly things. I live in a community were women tend to spend so much money and time on ungodly things and materials than practicing Islamic principles.
How many Gambian women organize Islamic events? How many Gambia Women gives their wealth to the Mosque or even cook and take it to the mosque? I will say none and if there is any, them it’s one in a million.
But how many women organize baby showers, I will say a dozen. How many women organize naming and wedding programs, I will say 100s, and how many of those women wants to party till sun rise, I will say 1000s.
Now a days; our women fantasize about weddings are naming ceremonies programs just like the way guys fantasize about having a nice car or whatever guys are fantasizing about these days.
Unsurprisingly, that means when the “special day” finally arrives, women aren’t shy to spend their fortune on a cloths. According to our recent poll, 75 percent of respondents think Gambian Women spend too much on Naming Ceremony.
The naming ceremony of wedding dress is a huge contributor. On average, women spend $2,000 to $5,000 on this and that number isn’t even taking into account alterations, shoes, hair, makeup, renting halls, hiring DJs and other who travel to India, china and Dubai to get this cloths.
In our community the birth of a child is considered a blessing and ceremonies are held to celebrate this event. Besides being a natural expression of joy, it also serves a special purpose, that is, making it known in a suitable and dignified manner, that the father has accepted the child as his own and that there is no doubt or suspicion concerning this matter. It shuts the door to any mischief that could arise in the future.
We need more explanation about naming ceremony in Islamic way and a gathering of Women after a naming ceremony took place. Today we are face with a question. Did Islam allowed it. If yes how do we put it into practice and if no how can someone avoid it?
As far as we know, there is no particular ceremony in Islam where people gather to celebrate the naming of the new-born child.
What we know are the Sunnah acts related to the new-born, which are performing the ‘Aqeeqah for him/her, shaving his/her hair and giving him/her a name as explained in ‘Fatwaa’.
Therefore, if by the “naming ceremony” you mean inviting a group of people to gather on the day when you perform the ‘Aqeeqah on behalf of the new-born, then in principle all invitations are lawful unless there is an impediment to that lawfulness.
Now, if the person inviting the people does that with the intention of being grateful to Allah and feeding his/her relatives, then this is permissible, Allah willing, and he/she will be rewarded for it.
As for the gathering of ladies just for the sake of the naming ceremony itself, then it is more appropriate to avoid that in order to stay away from innovations and anything that could lead to them.
From above, I stand to believe that most of our weddings and naming ceremony events are unlawful and they are innovation and we should change it. This was part of it is hosting this events in a church or community halls and inviting people to party all night long. Some people have to call off for work because of your ungodly event. Some people have to struggle to buy outfit for your ungodly event and most important some have to be at work the next day but they can’t because of your ungodly event.
We all made mistakes including myself as mistakes are part of live. Less use the birth of a child as a blessing not to please our ungodly things. We should not put burden on each other. People’s earnings are different. If you have millions to spend you neighbour have just hundred to spend. There is nothing wrong spending money on oneself. Instead of calling for such ungodly events, why can’t you give the money to the Mosque or as a Zakat to the poor?