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
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
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.
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.
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
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:
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.
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.