Muslim Wedding – Nikah Ceremony, Walima Ceremony, and Islam Wedding Traditions

nikah

In Islam, marriage(Nikah) is considered a religious obligation or a legal contract between the bride and groom. It is an integral part of the culture of Islam, and in the Quran, it is outlined as one of the primary duties of a Muslim. The followers and practices of Islam weddings vary from one country to that of another. Muslim wedding(Nikah) traditions vary based on Islamic sect, gender-segregation rules, and culture.

 

Most Muslim weddings are held in wedding venues and not in mosques. Any Muslim who can understand Muslim wedding traditions can officiate the wedding ceremony. But more often, the Imam will preside over the Islam wedding ceremony. For weddings held at a mosque, then a Qazi, the marriage officiant will preside over the Muslim wedding. Both the bride and groom remain separate during the Muslim wedding ceremony.

 

Signing the marriage contract is the only requirement of a Muslim wedding. The marriage contract consists of Meher or Mahr. It is considered as the bride’s security and is similar to that of Dowry, but it is a gift that the groom gives to the bride. It is the monetary amount or possession that the bride is entitled to receive from the groom, at the time of the Islam wedding. Meher is subcategorized into

 

  • Prompt– It is payable either soon after the wedding or at a time when the wife demands it. Most Muslim couples consider the ring as a prompt.
  • Deferred amount– It is not payable soon after the wedding, and it can be a small sum, jewellery, education, or land. The deferred amount solely belongs to the bride, and she can use it as she pleases.

 

If the wife seeks divorce, then she is supposed to return the mahr, and if the divorce is because of normal reasons, then she can keep the mahr with her.

 

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After finalising the date of the Nikah ceremony, the groom’s father visits the bride’s family and presents a cash gift.

 

Mangini Ceremony

 

Mangini is similar to the engagement function. During this ceremony, the groom’s family visits the bride’s place and exchange gifts, fruits, sweets, etc. as a mutual agreement towards marriage.

 

Manja ceremony

 

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The Manja ceremony is very similar to the Haldi ceremony. It takes place two days before the Nikah ceremony. The yellow colour theme is adopted in decorations and dress code to complement the name and rituals of the ceremony.

 

A paste made of turmeric and sandalwood mix is applied on the face, hands and feet of the bride by the guests wishing her prosperity and happiness in her married life. The Manja Ceremony is held separately for both bride and groom.

 

Mehendi and Sanchak ceremony

 

Mehandi is a women-centric event that takes place on the eve before the Nikah day. Henna is applied on the hands and feet of the bride in beautiful designs and also in the hands of other women in the family. Groom’s name is included in the henna design of the bride’s hand along with floral and other designs.

 

During the Mehandi night, the groom’s relatives visit the bride’s house and present gifts and sweets to her. The clothes and the jewellery to be worn by the bride during the Nikah ceremony are presented during the Sanchak ceremony.

 

Baraat Ceremony

 

The groom set off to the Nikah venue as a procession in a decorated car presented by the bride’s family. Bride’s relatives accompany the groom, with music and dance along the way. The loud procession acts as a notice of the wedding function to begin soon.

 

A warm welcome is arranged for the groom at the Nikah venue entrance by the bride’s family. The brother-in-law offers the groom a sweet drink called Sherbet, and scented rose water is sprayed on him. The groom and his family members are accompanied to the stage by the bride’s family.

 

Gender Segregation

 

It is common to find a separate seating area and reception area for genders during the Nikah and Walima ceremony. Many families still believe it as a part of their belief and follow it during the wedding functions. Usually, the venue is divided into two with a division in the middle creating separate areas for male and female guests.

 

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Nikah

The men will be seated around the groom and the women with the bride. In a Nikah Ceremony, the signing of the marriage contract takes place where in front of the witnesses, the groom will state the details of the Meher to the bride. During Nikah, the wedding officiant recites part of the Quran and also delivers a valuable message. Consequently, both the bride and the groom have to say the word Qabul three times, in order to demonstrate their free will.

 

The officiant asks the bride if she agrees to marry by accepting the meher. The question is repeated thrice, and the bride has to reply to it thrice. The same is repeated with the groom. This is known as Ijab-e-Qubul. In Arabic, qabul means “I accept.”

 

 

To make the wedding legal, the bride, groom and the witnesses will sign the marriage contract. As a part of Islamic custom, the bride and groom will share a sweet fruit, for instance, dates and sweetened milk. If both men and women are separated during the wedding ceremony, then a wali or male representative will be present on behalf of the bride. 

After the Nikah, there will be an additional religious ceremony, where the wedding officiant recites the Fatihah and durud or blessings. Fatihah is the first chapter of the Holy Quran. Both the bride and groom do not recite the vows. They will be listening to the Islam wedding officiant who will be speaking on their responsibilities and also on the meaning of marriage. But there are some brides and grooms, who will be reciting the vows.

 

After the Islam wedding, the bride and groom will sit next to each other. 

The bride and groom will look at each other through a mirror placed in front of them, and this ceremony is known as Arsi mushraf. 

The guests shower the bride with coins when both the bride and groom recessed from the ceremony. This is known as Savaqah. 

 

Another important Muslim wedding Ceremony tradition is Rukhsat. It is an emotional moment, since the bride bids goodbye to her family. She is welcomed by her mother-in-law, at her new home. As a reminder of her responsibilities and as a gesture of welcome, the Quran is placed on the bride’s head.

 

 

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Walima

One thing that is common for all Muslim wedding Ceremony is that the Islam wedding needs to be declared publicly. The public declaration is made by arranging a Walimah or Muslim wedding reception. It is arranged for the purpose of announcing that the bride and groom are happily married. The newlywed bride will be introduced to the extended family of the groom, his friends as well as other relatives.

 

Islam Wedding consists of two major ceremonies. One is Nikah and the other one is Walima Ceremony. Literally Walima Ceremony means to assemble or gather.After the Islam wedding, on the fourth day, both the bride and groom will visit the bride’s family, where the groom is welcomed with gifts and a lot of affection. This is the final Muslim wedding ceremony, known as Chauthi. It marks the end of a Muslim wedding.

Nikah Dresses For Bride

Nikah Ceremony dress of a Muslim bride is clearly outlined in the Quran. Only her face and dress should remain visible. Islam Wedding attires of the bride for the Nikah ceremony include sari, salwar kameez, and sharara suit. A bride wears a veil, as a mark of respect, partially covering the face.

On the day of Nikah, the bride will wear a lehenga, typically in a brighter colour, and a long blouse. She wears a dupatta, which is styled around her shoulder, while also displaying the embroidery works of the dress and her jewellery. 

 

 

Most Muslim brides prefer salwar kameez, as their Islam wedding attire, where the bride should cover her head with dupatta all the time. Since green is regarded as the most auspicious colour in Islam, there is more popularity for green bridal outfits. Nikkah dresses of the bride are adorned with zari embroidery and designs.

 

To complete the look, the bride wears ornaments made of gold and precious stones. Ornaments that are commonly worn by a Muslim bride includes necklaces, bangles and earrings. A bride should wear a nose ring, and after the Islam wedding, it should be replaced with a nose pin. Married Muslim women should compulsorily wear a nose pin.

Muslim brides also wear Pasa or Jhoomar. It is similar to that of maang tikka and has a triangular shape. It is attached to the hair on the left side. After the ceremony, most Muslim brides change into a gown. The gown is embellished with pearl and crystals. 

Nikah Dresses For Groom

Grooms normally wear a traditional sherwani, kurta pajama or a western-style outfit. According to Muslim wedding Ceremony customs, a groom should wear a floral veil of roses during the Nikah ceremony. The groom wears a Karakul Topi, a Jinnah cap while he enters his house, with the bride.

There is no colour restriction for Nikah Ceremony dresses for the groom, but he can wear any colour except black. Black is normally associated with mourning. 

 

Nowadays, most Muslim grooms prefer Sherwani with intricate embroidery or Indo-western attires for their big day. Kurtas that most grooms wear have some form of embroidery work.

 

Groom wears jewellery, such as a gold neck chain, bracelets and finger rings. Some grooms also prefer a suit or tuxedo and pair it with formal shoes. Grooms prefer nagrai shoes or sandals when they wear kurta or Sherwani.

 

Muslim weddings are alluring, colourful, and simple. Muslim wedding traditions vary from one country to that of another, but the Nikah Ceremony remains the same. 

 

 

 

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