INTRODUCTIONMuslim wedding ceremony is celebrated with grandeur. Muslim wedding, knownas Nikaah in Urdu, can take place at any convenient time, because there isnothing like muhurat (the auspicious time) for the Muslims. Traditionally, theMuslim wedding is held at either the bride or the grooms home. However, in thepresent time, due to convenience and the availability of enough space toaccommodate the long list of guests, Muslim weddings are organized in banquethalls, auditorium as well as community centers. Wherever the wedding is held, allthe rituals of the three phases of wedding are strictly followed by the Muslims.Muslim wedding is divided into pre-wedding, wedding and post-wedding rituals.Pre-wedding rituals largely involve the exchange of sweets, fruits and visits to thebride and grooms houses. The pre-wedding rituals increase the level ofexcitement among the families of the bride and groom, who keenly look forwardto the wedding day. The wedding is organized in an elegant and charming way,while the culmination of the entire ceremony, known as post wedding rituals, isspecial in its own terms. If you are keen about knowing more about Muslimwedding, then go through our section, where we have provided detailedinformation on the rituals of Muslim wedding.
PRE WEDDING• Istikhara, Imam-Zamin and Magni The first phase of the pre-wedding Muslim rituals is known as Istikhara, wherein the religious head takes the approval of the Almighty to perform the wedding. After the consent, the grooms mother pays a visit to the brides house along with sweets and Imam- Zamin, a silver or gold coin wrapped in silken cloth. The custom of tying the coin onto the upper portion of the brides hand is called the Imam-Zamin ceremony. This is followed by Magni, which is a custom wherein the grooms family members pay a visit to the brides house both the groom and the brides family exchange sweets and fruits.
• Manjha And Mehndi At the Manjha ceremony, the bride wears yellow clothes and turmeric paste is applied all over her body. After the application of turmeric, the bride is not supposed to step out of the house. This is followed by Mehndi ceremony, which is one of the much awaited rituals of the Muslim wedding. Female relatives of the bride apply turmeric paste all over her body. The purpose is to make the brides skin glow naturally. A professional or a relative applies Mehndi on the bride’s hands and feet.
Muslim Wedding Rituals• Welcoming The Baraat To announce the arrival of groom’s baraat at the doorsteps of the bridal residence or wedding venue, the musicians play traditional songs. The groom and the bride’s brother share a drink of sherbet. The bride’s sisters come up with different ideas of playing pranks with the guests. They attempt to slap the guests playfully, using flower batons.
• Nikaah Ceremony Nikaah is the wedding ceremony that can take place at some convenient venue or else at the bride or groom’s residence. The ceremony is conducted by the Maulvi (priest). Close friends and relatives witness the happening of the event. The father of the bride and groom, addressed as Walis, have an important role to play in the performance of nikaah. The priest reads certain verses from the Quran. Thereafter, Ijab-e-Qubul (proposal and acceptance) takes place. The grooms side sends the proposal and the bride’s side gives her consent. For the legality of marriage, mutual consent is of prime importance. On the wedding day, the elderly members of both the families decide the amount of Mehar (nuptial gift). Mehar is a mandatory price that the groom’s family must pay to the bride.
• Nikaahnama Nikaahnama is a legal document that must be duly signed by the bride, bridegroom, Maulvi and Walis for the marriage to be legal. It contains a set of terms and conditions that must be abided by both the parties. Blessing The Groom The bridegroom seeks the blessings from the older women. As a mark of respect, the groom offers them ‘salaam’. People give their heartiest wishes to the newly wed.
• Dinner, Prayers and Aarsimashaf The guests are served a lavish dinner. Men and women are usually seated separately, for dining. After the dinner, the newly wed get the chance to sit together for the first time. The heads of the bride and groom are covered using dupatta. Thereafter, the newly wed read prayers, as per the instructions of the Maulvi. The Quran is placed between the bride and groom and they are allowed to look at each other only through mirrors.