When after the Nikah could the Walima be done?
Wa Alaikum Assalaam,
الجواب و بالله التوفيق
It is evident from the Sunnah of the Prophet (SAS) that the Walimah should be done after the husband consummates the marriage with his wife.
In a tradition recorded by Imam Bukhari, it is stated that when the Prophet (SAS) got married to Zainab Bint Jahash (R.A), he invited the people for a Walimah after he had spent the night with her. Based on this, the Jurists and Scholars of Islam have stated that the Walimah is done after the husband consummates the marriage with his wife (or after the couple have spent the night together). (Ila’us Sunan, Vol. 11, Pgs. 10-11, Idara Al Quran, Karachi 1415 A.H; Fatawa Mahmoodiya, Vol. 12, Pg. 141, Idara AL Farook, Karachi 2009).
From the above eplaination, it is understood that Walimah is not necessarily done after the contract of Nikaah. Instead, it is done after the both parties have consummated the marriage (or have started to live together).
As such, in a case where Nikaah has occurred but both parties have not started to live with each other as yet, a Walimah may not take place. This does not mean that the family cannot share food/feed people or invite them for a meal. This can be done, however, since both parties have not yet consummated the marriage (or begin to live together), the invitation to dine and have a meal will not be referred to as a ‘Walimah’.
And Allah Knows Best.
Mufti Waseem Khan,