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Muslim Wedding Ceremony

Muslim wedding is celebrated in a grand way over a period of five days. Muslim culture all over the world is known to have one of the best in inviting and welcoming guests. Wedding Ceremonies give them a chance to entertain guests in bulk. Muslim wedding known as Nikaah can take place at any convenient time. Also the wedding venue can be the bride or groom`s house. However, these days it has become a fashion to hold the wedding ceremony in the banquet hall. In orthodox Muslim communities, the men and women are seated separately in Zenana (for woman) and Mardaana (for men). The Maulvi reads selected verses from the Quran and the Nikaah is complete after the Ijab-e-Qubul (proposal and acceptance). The validity of the Nikaah depends on proposal on one side, usually the groom`s (Ijab) and acceptance on the other side, the bride`s (Qubul). The mutual consent of the bride and groom is of great importance for the marriage to be legal. Besides, the Islam marriage law demands that neither of the parties must be legally incapacitated from entering into the marriage.

The Mehndi is the event where you put henna on the bride and groom`s hands. Marked by traditional songs and dances, it sometimes extends to two days - one day over at the groom`s place to put henna on his hand and the second day over at the bride`s house to put henna on hers.

The actual Nikah is called a Shaadi, which is traditionally done by the bride`s side. This is the signing of official paperwork in the presence of an Imam.

After signing these papers and doing some religious ceremony, the couple is declared husband and wife. To celebrate, guests eat of the many lavish dishes that are served.

To announce the marriage officially the Walima takes place as a feast given by the groom`s family. Both husband and wife welcome the guests and mingle with them while people eat dinner.

Pre-Wedding Rituals of Islam Wedding

Legan Chir
When the date of marriage is finalized, cash present is sent to the bride's father by the groom's father. The ceremony is known as Legan Chir.

Day 1 and Day 2 Ceremonies
On days one and two, first the bride's people and then the groom's go to the other party's house, carrying mehendi paste in a plate. The children carry candles, which are lit before entering the respective houses. Dinner is served and songs teasing both the boy and girl are sung.

Manjha Ceremony
On the third day, manjha ceremony takes place. The prospective bride is seated on a small square table and anointed with Haldi (turmeric) provided by the boy's family. Following this ceremony, a married friend will accompany the bride everywhere and at all times. This friend will also spread the turmeric over the bride's whole body before she bathes. For this ceremony the bride is supposed to wear yellow clothes and no jewelry. In this ceremony too there is a lot of celebration and singing.

Mehndi Ceremony
The Mehandi ceremony is the first ritual of Muslim wedding. It is held at the home of the bride on the eve of the wedding ceremony or a couple of days before it. A relative or a mehandiwali applies mehandi on the hands and feet of the bride. The event has a festive feel to it with the women singing traditional songs. The bride wears simple clothes on the day. According to custom the bride must not step out of the house for the next few days until her marriage.

Engagement or Mangni
Does not qualify the future spouses to go out together, even if the parents consent. Man and woman become permissible for each other only after the performance of Nikah.

The unislamic system of demanding and accepting dowry must be avoided at all costs. Shariah does not make any expense incumbent on the bride/bride's parents. Even the marriage expenses, it is recommended to be borne by the bridegroom. However, the bride can bring whatever she wants of her free will, and it will always belong to her.

Other Unislamic Customs
Many other unislamic customs have crept into the marriage ceremony of some Muslims. These customs are either borrowed from non-Muslim cultures or continue because they are established in past generations. One must avoid them if they are against the Shariah, even if some people are displeased. Other customs like the breaking of coconut etc. also do not feature among the Islamic rituals. All actions, customs etc., which show disrespect to Islam or weaken the importance of Islam, have to be avoided.

Banned Acts
Some of the rituals in marriage ceremonies are absolutely banned like the playing of music. It is also forbidden for ladies to go for mixed gatherings without proper Hijab. In the Islamic Law, marriage is a contract. The components of this contract are as follows:

A. Proposal
In Islam the process of proposal by a man to a woman for her hand in marriage, or for that matter, to her family, is encouraged. Islam considers this natural, and recommends it as an act of respectability and dignity for women.

B. Mahr
And the intending husband is asked to offer a Mahr to the bride. The Quran says, give women their Mahr as a free gift, but if they of themselves be pleased to give up to you a portion of it, then eat it with enjoyment and with wholesome result.

The Mahr may be cash, kind or non-material (like training or teaching something). It can be paid up front or can be in form of promise to pay upon demands decided prior to the solemnization of marriage. Moajjal (immediate), Muwajjal and Indat-talab (on demand). However, it is much recommended to pay it before or at the time of Nikah itself.


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