The Essential Guide to Muslim Weddings: Wedding Traditions

Weddings in any culture are an important event and the Muslims understand the significance of it which is visible in the amount of care and respect provided in its preparation. Muslims, in general, are a spiritual community and this is reflected in its wedding rituals which showcase strong Islamic influences.

Rituals That Make Muslim Wedding So Special

  • SalatulIshtikara:is considered as an official announcement. In this ritual, the bride and groom announces their commitment to marriage and seeks the Imam for blessings from Allah for their marriage.
  • Imam Zamin: after the salutal ishtikara, the groom’sfamily will conduct an imam zamin which is a ritual of providing sweets and gifts to the family of the bride. Traditionally, the ritual is conducted by the groom’s mother who visits the bride’s family with offerings to welcome the bride in her new house.
  • The Mangni ceremony: this phase of the marriage ceremony is a public declaration of betrothal by the bride and groom of their marriage. The engagement event is attended by relatives and close friends who bring gifts for the bride and groom.

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  • Wedding Invitation: most Muslim wedding invitation designs follow the same influences as the wedding event. That is, they are ordained with very minimalist yet regal designs and are quite traditional. Of course, many modern couples have shifted to more modern design however, the essence has remained the same with quotes from the scriptures being printed in the invites to invoke the spirit of the marriage.

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  • The Manjha ceremony is an equivalent of the Haldi ceremony. Takes place two days before the wedding. Wearing yellow in their household, they will be then smeared with a paste of sandalwood and turmeric in rose water, after which they will be bathed in holy water. Post the ritual, the bride and groom are not to move outside their respective houses until the day of the marriage.
  • The Mehndi ceremony: for both Hindus and Muslims, mehndi is an important ritual in a wedding. The bride’s family and close friends would apply mehndi on the hands and feet using tools to design intricate and beautiful designs.

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  • Baraat: the entry of the groom is known as baraat. Escorted by his families, the groom is escorted into the wedding venue in a loud and fancy procession.
  • The arrival of the groom: upon his arrival, the groom is sprayed rose water and he has presented a path to walk to the place where the wedding ritual will take place
  • Nikaah:this is the main wedding ritual, it is here the bride and groom recite their vows and become husband and wife in a ritual known as Ijab-e-Qubol.
  • Maher: a unique ritual to the Muslim is the meher which is money or possession paid to the bride at the time of their wedding
    • Vows and Blessings
      • Surah Fatiha: the surah Fatiha is the first chapter of the Quran and its seven verses are recited as prayer seeking Allah for blessings and protection.
      • ArsiMushraf: during the arsimushaf, the bride and groom see each other’s faces for the first time since the announcement of their marriage but not directly but via a mirror held between them.
  • Rukhsat: the Rukhsat is a post-wedding ritual where the bride bids farewell to her family, the event can get quite emotional, the bride is then welcomed by the mother-in-law. 
    • Walima: with the Walima, the marriage is over and guests are invited to a Walima which is a reception. People celebrate the marriage with gifts, food, and dancing.
    • Chauthi: officially marking the marriage over is the Chauthi which is when the newlywed visits the bride’s family who greets them with gifts and a lavish spread which will be enjoyed by the two families.

Once the exchange of vows commences the bride and groom are officially a wedded couple. Even amongst less conservative Muslims, the rituals are to a large extent followed closely as prescribed in the Quran and the whole event reverberates a strong spiritual sense among the attendees.