Muslim marriage and Islamic wedding customs are traditions and practices that relate to wedding ceremonies and marriage rituals prevailing within the Muslim world. Although Islamic marriage customs and relations vary depending on country of origin and government regulations, both Muslim men and women from around the world are guided by Islamic laws and practices specified in the Quran.
According to the teachings of the Quran, a married Muslim couple is equated with clothing. Within this context, both husband and wife are each other’s protector and comforter, just as real garments “show and conceal” the body of human beings. Thus, they are meant “for one another”.The Quran continues to discuss the matter of marriage and states, “And among His Signs is this, that he created for you mates from among yourselves, that you may dwell in tranquility with them, and He has put love and mercy between your [hearts]…”. Marriages within the Muslim community are incredibly important. The purpose of marriage in Islamic culture is to preserve the religion through the creation of a family. The family is meant to be “productive and constructive, helping and encouraging one another to be good and righteous, and competing with one another in good works”.
Muslim marriage is known as ‘Nikah’ in Urdu. It is given great importance in the religion of Islam and is even mandatory for all. Though the wedding rituals of Muslim marriage vary greatly from the Hindu religion, it significantly lays emphasis on the union of two souls. There are even varied rituals performed before and after the wedding, which lead to the completion of the ceremony. Given below is some vital information, regarding the Muslim wedding rituals.
Pre Wedding Rituals
The first wedding ritual is the Istikhara, wherein the religious head takes consent form Allah to perform the wedding. After it is done, the grrom’s mather visits the bride’s house with sweets and Imam-Zamin, a silver or gold coin wrapped in silken cloth. It is tied by her onto the upper portion of the girl’s hand. This is called Imam-Zamin ceremony. The next is Magni, wherein the groom’s family members visit the brie’s house with sweets and fruits. This is reciprocated by the bride’s family as well. Nowadays, the couple even exchanges rings.
After this the Manjha ceremony takes place, in which the bride is dressed in yellow clothes and turmeric paste is applied on her body. After this, the bride is not supposed to step out of the house. Mehndi Ceremony is the next ceremony, which is held just before the marriage. During this ceremony, the hands and feet of the bride are adorned with henna designs. Subsequently, the Sanchaq ritual takes place, wherein the groom’s family sends clothes and jewelries for the bride, to be worn at Nikah and Chauthi.
On the main wedding day, the Baraat leaves for the bride’s house. On the wedding venue, they are given a hearty welcome and the groom enjoys a glass of sherbet with his brother-in-law. Soon after this, the Nikah is commenced. There are two religious heads present at the place, representing the two parties. The amount of Mehar, a compulsory amount of money to be given to the bride by the groom’s family is also decided. After this, the Maulavi asks the bride three times, whether she accepts the concerned person as her husband, with settled the amount of the Mehar.
After her consent, the groom is asked three times, whether he accepts the concerned woman as his wife, with the decided amount of Mehar. After his consent, the Nikahnama is signed by the couple. This is followed by the recital of Khutba, a religious discourse. Blessings are showered upon the bride and the groom for a prosperous married life. Following a lavish dinner, the couple is seated fact to face each other, with their heads covered by a dupatta. The Holy Quran and a mirror placed are placed between them, through which they are allowed to see each other for the first time. This is known as Aarsi Mushaf.
Post Wedding Rituals
After the wedding rituals are over, the bride is bid farewell. This is called the Rukhsat ceremony. On reaching the groom’s house, his mother holds the holy Quran over the bride’s head as she enters the house. Next is the Valimah ceremony, which is a grand feast given by the groom’s guardians. Subsequently, the Chauthi custom is observed, as per which the couple visits her parental home for the first time after marriage. They are given a lavish feast and presents by the bride’s parents.