Wedding is an important turning point in everyone's life. The ceremonious occasion is organized and celebrated in myriad ways all around the world. Different communities of the society have their own way of organizing the most important occasion. The wedding rituals are broadly divided according to the religions. The Muslims all over the world have a unique way of tying the wedding knot. Most of the Muslim weddings in India, whether simple or extravagant, are arranged by following the age-old rituals. In the following lines, we have provided information on Muslim wedding rituals.
Muslim Marriage Customs
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 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 groom's 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 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.