Q: What is the purpose of Walima? Is it true that the married couple has to consummate the first night after the Nikah (marriage) to fulfill the purpose of Walima? What if they don't consummate the first night? Would the purpose of Walima be fulfilled?
A. The Waleemah feast is Sunnah and not a compulsory act. If it is left out, no sin will be incurred. It is a misconception to think that a Waleemah has to be a lavish feast, with many people invited. Two or three people can be invited with the intention of Waleemah and something simple is served, e.g. a few glasses of milk, or tea and biscuits, etc. Issues such as venue, amount or types of food are immaterial. We advise the boy gives a simple Waleemah by inviting Muslim friends and members of the girls family. Waleemah should only be done within the first two days after Nikah, and not thereafter. It is not necessary that the husband and wife have a physical relation for the Waleemah to be valid. Spending a few moments in privacy will suffice, whether there was intimacy or not.
Moulana Yusuf Laher
Checked and approved by: Mufti Siraj Desai