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Ruksati of Waliya

Hi Everyone!

The way you were involved with the Ruksati event of Waliya, it felt like we are one big virtual family. This Ruksati event was the smallest function of its kind that I’ve ever hosted!

What’s the Ruksati event:

The Ruksati event marks the moving out of the bride from her parent’s home, to go to her husband’s place.

So, in a world where couples move in with each other; here in our world, we don’t move in, even when legally married! We wait for a formal ceremony, and actually that is the wedding.

I don’t know how it developed, but the paper work is completed in an earlier event called ‘nikah’. In Waliya and Faizan’s case here, on February, 2020.

Usually, the nikah event is for convenience, and enables the two to be able to make the necessary preparations. This is especially for cases where the bride or groom will be going abroad, this facilitates the visa applications process.

How Covid19 & Lock down helped:

In short, Corona Virus made everything easier for us. All we have to do is to change our mindset, get real and move on while enjoying the simplicity. Having held three huge three-day functions for my elder daughters, this one was a piece of delicious cake!

Changed mindsets:

It is naturally a big jolt for the immediate family members. I feel for Faizan’s mother who had to sacrifice her dreams of a traditional wedding. It was the same for me. I have visions of inviting my daughters and their families and specially my new found Canadian friend and family.

Yet at a time when death counts are rising by the day. (Yesterday, my Mother’s dearest friend passed away.) The cases are coming nearer to home. We have to be more vigilant about not putting our loved ones under more threat.

Know, that we are being careful, and we are saving lives.

This marriage was a relief:

I realized that this is the best way to go about it. A daughter should have her ruksati from her own home. Naturally, it felt weird getting on without even my own family members in it.

Literally, I was doing it alone.

 Pakistani weddings are usually awesome. Actually, more like fairy tales. But the length and breadth of these gets me. Somehow, things get out of hand and we end up exhausting ourselves and collapsing our own and other person’s finances also.

This was mehdni function hosted by Romana, mother of Haaris, in 2015.
This was the impromptu mehndi session by Irum Zahra and her sister Maham, at our home last week.

Quarantine Wedding:

Well, to facilitate others who are interested in going ahead with it, I’ve shared how we did things in my IGTV videos on my Instagram account.

The card shared with those whom we couldn’t invite over.

Briefly, this is how we did it:

The decision:

Once I realized that this Covid19 is here to stay for a few months and maybe for a couple of years. I spoke to Faizan and his mother that I’m ready to let Waliya go through with her Ruksati. I shared the fact that it is certain that our mutual relatives and friends living abroad won’t be able to come on August 7th, 2020, (which was our actual date.)

 So, why wait?  

I’m so glad that Faizan was already open to a quick ruksati, as he was already getting the apartment done up. He convinced his mother, who happily agreed, and I’m so happy that she did.

Covid19 precautions followed:

Now that we had made up our decision to go ahead, we got busy with final plans.

While proceeding, to do anything, we realized that it becomes our responsibility to make sure that the SOPs are followed throughout the preparations and event. I’m so glad that Faizan is as concerned about safety as I am. I made sure our loved ones were protected, specially by not inviting any children or elders.

Number of guests:

So, finally this was the online invitation that was shared with the four guests on either side:

The smallest possible number of persons were invited from both sides: four from each side. (Previously I’ve invited 200 guests from each side – with a total of over 400 guests!)


The wedding cake by bakeberry.bwp of Sadia Ejaz.

We cooked all the food at home. I cooked three dishes; my helpers did the rest, and my friend Sadia Ejaz of @bakeberry.bwp insisted on baking the lovely cake.

The menu:

Margareta or coke

Russian salad

Chicken palau

Kofta curry with eggs

Beef Haleem

Chicken Seekh kebabs

Chicken roast

Macaroni and Mince pie


Bread pudding.

I agree that the food could have been lessor, specially the quantities. I miscalculated the fact that where normally more people arrive. In Covid19 times, even lessor people came, because no one wants to be in danger.

Food distributed for poor:

Probably the biggest thing you feel bad about is the food you cannot serve to all your relatives and friends. So, the best option was to give food to the underprivileged persons, in our community. In this Covid19 situation, there is a dire need for this.

So, the special meal of, chicken palau and zarda, was distributed. We gave it a day before the actual Ruksati. This time I was the host, and felt great. I had a flashback of how my father-in-law Malik Taj Muhammad Khan had distributed food to the entire village of Tamman on the marriage of his eldest son’s marriage, in December 1976.

We were able to serve around 500 persons that day. May Allah bless all those whose prayers were with us during this event. We prayed for all our loved ones who couldn’t come, too. Special prayers for the well being of all the receivers, who take the food with smiles.

Giving food to the poor, in connection with wedding of my daughter is the best Covid19 adjustment we made.

Hope you can do it too.

Good wishes and prayers of loved ones:

Believe me, we all enjoyed every bit of it.

Each one of us was thinking, ‘why can’t all weddings be like this?’ We were all at peace. The prayers and good wishes were with us, through the innumerable messages we received through Facebook, Instagram, and phone. It was so heartening, as one does miss one’s loved ones. Specially going ahead without my elder daughters, granddaughters and sons-in-law. Also, doing it all without my closest and dearest friends and relatives.   

Yet, I never felt alone. Alhamdolillah.

Virtual attendance:

This photograph was taken by Nataliya from Seattle during the zoom session. We had placed the laptop on a shelf in the room, so she and her sister Nadiya in Halifax could watch all that was going on. We could hear them, and they could hear us too.

You need to have someone keep the connection going, Izzah helped us all along for that. I want to thank Sadia Ejaz, who would pick the laptop and take along with us from the lounge (on the bookshelf) to the dining area (on the ‘fridge,) to the porch outside, so the sisters could witness everything that was going on.

Before the event, Nataliya made an event page on Facebook where each of us invited our guests to share their thoughts. So, literally, we had a virtual wedding gathering where each person had the opportunity to share their thoughts with us on this happy occasion.  Even to make video messages for us.

The zoom session was also arranged by Nataliya with help of Izzah and those attending our function at home. So, they were able to attend our function and Nataliya and Nadiya were actually able to be there throughout. That felt great.

Haaris and Nadiya in Halifax, and Nataliya and Anya in Seattle being part of the function in Islamabad, on July 3rd, 2020.


We have to thank Allah that we are having the courage to do it in a way that will literally save lives. We are keeping our loved ones safe through this process. Please emphasize this fact, and mention it to all.

Ruksati in the 1935 Cheverlet brought and driven by my cousin Hasan Jafar, for the bride and groom. I joined him in taking them to their home. Of course there was a full moon looking over the open convertible! 😉

Stay blessed my Readers. ?

Note: Photographs provided by Izzah, Fawad, Nadiya and Nataliya.

The post published on July 18th, 2020.

The video of Faizan’s talk with author, added today, on 31st December 2020.

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  1. A wonderful way to carry out weddings.A loved the whole concept of it.

    1. Shireen Gheba Najib says:

      Dear Sabahat,
      Thank you so much. I tell you everything happened so smoothly. Alhamdolillah. We all felt that this is how weddings should be. Though we did miss our dear ones, and I would have wanted more persons in barat. Yet, we are happy that we kept everyone safe too.
      Love and hugs.

  2. Seemein says:

    congratulations on your beautiful daughter’s wedding!

    1. Shireen Gheba Najib says:

      Thank you so much Seemein. 🙂

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