Traditional Islamic Wedding


Event Fashion: “Islam is one of the most prominent faiths you could find on our blue planet. With over 1.8 billion followers, which amounts to 24% of the total world population, the monotheistic and Abrahamic religion is the second largest in the world. Holy Quran is the primary scripture of the religion. Marriage is an essential part of every true Muslim’s lifetime. It is the way an individual could live the word of their God, Allah. In secular India, the Traditional Islamic wedding is a sincerely conducted ritual in Tamil Nadu and the rest of the nation. As with every other religion, the ‘Nikah’ ceremony varies in its many little details, but the core tenets of the ritual stay intact throughout the multitude of known variations. Let us look at the ritual as they observed in sequence”

Traditional Islamic Wedding Reception
Traditional Islamic Wedding Reception. Credit – Azlan DuPree, Flickr

Pre-Wedding:

Salatul Ishtikara:

Unions are usually sought within the same religious sect and community, for this is ideal for the least-turbulent married life. Both families then take it upon themselves to verify that the currently proposed match would end up being highly compatible according to their sacred traditions. Then, the religious head of a familiar and nearby mosque, the Imam, is brought forth to seek Allah’s acceptance upon the agreed marital union with a host of holy prayers. The bride and groom also participate in the prayers. This marks the official announcement of the marriage to the rest of the community.

Imam Zamin:

A follow-up to the Ishtikara, the groom’s mother, on a pre-ordained auspicious day, visits the bride’s home carrying sweetmeats and luxurious gifts. A gold/silver coin, wrapped around in a silk scarf, is also brought by the groom’s mother, which is then tied around the bride’s wrists. This rite signifies the acceptance of the bride into the groom’s family.

Mangni:

Mangni is the de-facto formal and official engagement ceremony of a Muslim bride and groom. Intimate friends, relatives and members of the extended families gather on an auspicious and predetermined day. They bear witness to the exchange of rings between the bride and the groom. The two families overwhelm each other with lavish gifts of sweetmeats, fruits, clothes and even monetary presents. This is the final formal seal that sets in stone the betrothal of the bride and the groom

 Manjha:

This rite is something of addition and not particularly universal. But is considered a mainstay in Indian marriage practices in various regions. A few days before the Nikah ceremony, the bride will be clothed in fine yellow drapery. A paste made by turmeric and sandal applied on her forehead by a plethora of womenfolk from the extended family. And not allowed to leave the household until Wedding Day after taking a bath.

 Mehendi:

Another observed right in many places but not all regions, this, much-like the Manjha, involves the womenfolk take up henna paste and adorn the bride with breathtakingly intricate floral patterns and other designs. The Bride’s feet and arms are the focal points of this rite. The groom’s initials are also inked as a customary tradition. The other womenfolk also have their arms and feet painted with henna.

 Sanchaq:

The groom’s family visits the bride’s home bearing gifts for her from her future in-laws. The bridal outfit worn at the time of the Nikkah brought along with gifts of sweets and fruits. Accompaniments to the bridal outfit also to complement and complete the outfit. Jewels, ornaments, and other miscellaneous accessories will be sent.

Wedding Day:

Baraat

The Groom begins his journey by setting out from his home with great pomp and celebration, accompanied by a massive host of his closest friends and relatives. To represents their side of the marital union the Bride’s family chooses a member and sends them to escort the groom and his entourage to the venue of the wedding. This rite is therefore termed as the Baraat in Traditional Islamic Wedding.

 The Welcoming:

The groom and his merry party are met at the wedding venue by the bride’s family. The groom gets a drink of sherbet to commemorate his arrival and the rest of his companions also drinks the offered refreshments, which the bride’s family members also partake in.

Ijab-e-Qubool

A Maulvi priest presides over The Nikah ceremony, as ascribed by customs and tradition. Men and women sits separately, with women encircling the bride and men the same for the groom.The Maulvi dictates that the bride’s father will be her assigned guardian, called the Wali, for the entirety of the Nikah.

The groom’s family presents the bride with the Mehr, a previously agreed-upon sum of money. Considered this a as equivalent compensation for her consent to the marital union. The Maulvi begins by chanting to the Quran, and asks of the bride whether she is willing to accept the Mehr and seal the marital union. The bride is then asked by the Maulvi to chant ‘Qubool hain’ in an affirmative fashion three times after he himself asks her ‘Qubool hain?’. The groom repeats this process. Ijab-e-Qubool is the name of the ritual. The bride and groom to remain separated from each other.

Nikah:

In the way of Traditional Islamic Wedding, The Nikahnama signing of (marriage contract) is next to the Ijab-e-Qubool. The Nikahnama spells out the possible duties and rites of both the bride and the groom as decreed by the Quran. Two observers from each family need to bear witness to the signing. Followed by the recital of Khutba, a religious discourse. The Maulvi then recite paragraphs from the Holy Quran that are the representation of the marriage vows. The bride and groom need not repeat these vows but listen to them. The recital of vows happens after the elders of both families giving their blessings to the newly-wed couple.

 Arsi-Mushraf:

After their visual abstinence previously enforced during the Nikah, the bride and groom now set their sights on each other. A mirror placed between them, with a Holy Quran placed on top of it. The couple is to see the reflections of their spouses as their first sighting since the Nikah.

 Post-Wedding:

 Rukhsat :

After the wedding concludes rightfully, the bride bids adieu to her family and sets off for the groom’s home. As the mother-in-law welcomes her warmly. She proceeds to place the Holy Quran atop the bride’s head as a symbol of belonging.

 Walimah:

The Walimah is the ceremony that formally announces the marriage to the public, by hosting a grand celebration party akin to a reception party. The couple settles down on a throne where guests can wish them well on their futures as the Islam delicacies are prepared and served.

 Chauthi:

The bride visits her family home on the fourth day after the wedding along with her husband. The bride’s family welcomes them with warmth and treats them to gifts. This officially marks the end of the Traditional Islamic wedding.

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