General Santos City

General Santos couple’s simple Sunnah-inspired wedding breaks norms

Brian Jay B. Baybayan

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General Santos couple’s simple Sunnah-inspired wedding breaks norms

SIMPLE. Al Benzhar Lumanggal and his wife Zyarrah Zaida Pangolima after their simple wedding in General Santos.

Al Benzhar Lumanggal, Facebook page

Sunnah-inspired weddings need not come with costly dowries; the genuine value lies in simplicity and faith, as this couple shows

GENERAL SANTOS, Philippines – Al Benzhar Lumanggal and his wife, Zyarrah Zaida Pangolima, caught netizens’ attention on social media because of the simplicity of their nikah (wedding), which they said embodied the spirit of Prophet Muhammad’s teachings. While they could afford an expensive wedding, they chose to keep it modest.

The couple’s message: Sunnah-inspired weddings need not come with costly dowries and that their genuine value lies in simplicity and faith.

The post, showing a simple yet meaningful Muslim wedding centered on Sunnah principles, has garnered over 6,000 reactions and 8,000 shares as of this posting, resonating with Muslims who plan to get married.

Sunnah, as reflected in the Qur’an, is a tradition of the first generation of Muslims in the time of Prophet Muhammad that offers a guide for those seeking to follow the Prophet’s way of life.

The bride, employed at a General Santos hospital, expressed her hope that their wedding would serve as an example for Muslims planning to marry. It demonstrates that they can marry without complicating preparations with a grand ceremony for the groom’s family, regardless of their professional successes and status in life.

On January 6, Lumanggal, who works for a non-government organization, announced his marriage on Facebook with special details: his wife’s dowry consisted of just two muknas and his ultimate dream to get married at the age of 24, with a simple and intimate wedding at a mosque.

A mukna is a traditional Muslim women’s dress featuring long sleeves and flowing drapes. In Islamic marriages, a dowry is a gift traditionally given by the groom to the bride before marriage. It serves as a symbol of respect and gratitude, rather than simply a valuable object.

“I was really surprised and emotional because I didn’t expect her to ask for such a simple gift. I didn’t have any second thoughts. When I came back to Cotabato for work, I bought the muknas. One cost P1,800 and the other was P1,500,” Lumanggal told Rappler in an interview. 

He added, “We shared our wedding to show people that the wedding in Islam is simple. We want to be a role model to the Muslim community by practicing Sunnah, disregarding societal norms and trends.”

In his post, Lumanggal also wrote, “We have learned that nikah in Islam is more baraqah (blissful) when it’s simple and has the fewest expenses. We decided to have a simple wedding at the masjid (Muslim church) to help ourselves, brothers and sisters realize that a wedding in Islam is not about the pride of the family, the profession of our children, or achievements. It is all about following the proper way of our religion (Islam).”

Imam Abdul Fatah Zacaria, vice chairman of the Muslim Religious Advisory Council of General Santos, said that what made the wedding different from most nikahs was the couple’s choice to make things easy for each other.

“Talagang interesting at napakaganda yung kasal nila kasi kahit na may kaya yung families nila, pinili nila yung simpleng kasal,” Zacaria said. 

(What made their wedding truly special was its unique blend of beauty and simplicity. Despite their families’ ability to host a grand celebration, they opted for a more intimate and meaningful ceremony.)

“Ang ganda nga ng message ng kasal nila lalong-lalo na sa mga kabataang babaeng Muslim na hindi kailangang malaki ang dowry, malaki ang gastos para magpakasal. They chose to make things easy for each other,” he said. 

(Their simple wedding offered a beautiful message to young Muslim women, demonstrating that dowries need not be extravagant or costly. They chose to make things easy with each other.)

After the wedding, to their surprise, they were gifted a Toyota Vios G variant by the bride’s parents. –

Brian Jay Baybayan is an Aries Rufo Journalism fellow.

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