Muslim weddings are called Nikaah in Urdu and do not need any muhurat (auspicious time). They can take place on any day of the year. Traditionally, Muslim weddings were held either at the bride or the groom’s home but this has changed over the years. Now a day’s weddings take place at banquet halls due to space constraints.
Pre Wedding Rituals
Istikhara, Imam-Zamin and Magni: Istikhara is the first ritual performed where in the religious head offers prayers to god and takes his approval to conduct the wedding. Post this, the groom’s mother visits the bride’s house along with sweets and a silver or gold coin wrapped in a silk cloth known as ‘Imam- Zamin’. This is followed by Magni where the groom’s family visits the bride’s house and an exchange of fruits and sweets takes place between the families.
Manjha and Mehendi: The bride wears a yellow outfit during this ceremony and a paste of turmeric is applied all over her body to beautify her looks for the big day. The bride is not supposed to step out of her home post this ceremony. Heena is applied to the bride’s hands and feet.
Welcoming the Baraat: The groom is welcomed the bride’s family and musicians play traditional songs at the doorstep. The groom and the bride’s brother share a sherbet (drink) before the groom enters.
Nikaah Ceremony: This is the wedding ceremony and is conducted by a Maulvi (priest). Close friends and family members are present on this occasion and witness the event. The priest reads certain verses from the holy Quran and thereafter the proposal and acceptance takes place. The groom’s side sends the proposal and the bride’s side is supposed to give the bride’s consent. The consent is very important for legalizing the wedding. On the wedding day the groom’s family is supposed to offer the bride’s family with some Mehar(nuptial gift). This is in the form of money and the amount is frozen on by the elders of both families.
Nikaahnama: This is basically registering the marriage where the couple signs a legal document which contains set terms and conditions which must be followed by both families.
Blessing the Groom: The bridegroom seeks blessings from all the elder women as a mark of respect. All the people present then bless the couple.
Dinner, Prayers and Aarsimashaf: The wedding ceremony is followed by a lavish dinner and the newlyweds are allowed to sit together for the first time. Their heads are covered with a dupatta and the Maulvi offers prayers to god. The couple is then allowed to see each other only through mirrors.
Post Wedding Rituals
Rukshat Ceremony: This is the farewell ceremony and is quite sad. The bride’s father places his daughters hand in the groom’s hand and asks him to take good care of her.
Welcoming the Bride: The bride is welcomed by the groom’s mother at her new home. Her mother-in-law places a Quran on top of her head as she enters the house.
Chauthi Custom: This ritual takes place on the fourth day after the marriage where the bride visits her parent’s home.
Valimah Ceremony: This is a reception dinner hosted by the groom’s family to welcome the bride. It also helps bridge gaps between both families.
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