(Last Updated on : 23/06/2011)
Muslim wedding rituals usually extend up to three days. Muslim marriage rituals mainly revolve around the major custom of approval of the competent parties in front of witnesses. Muslims observe colourful marriage customs in different parts of the world depending upon their local cultures and traditions. The Muslim wedding rituals are best known for inviting and welcoming the guests. Marriage ceremonies are organised in a grand way. Besides, the bride and groom, their families, friends and relatives also enjoy the marriage events with different rituals. The marriage venue in Muslim weddings does not have any particular rule and can be either in the bride or groom`s house. Their marriages are not extravagant, but reflect a noticeable expression of love and affection. The various rituals of Muslim Weddings are as follows -
: The ceremony of Muslim wedding starts with Mangni or ring exchange ceremony. This is the engagement programme. After changing the rings the bride and the groom are committed to each other to become lifepartner.
: The Mehendi ceremony is held at the home of the bride a couple of days before marriage. The female relatives of the girl smear her with turmeric paste to bring out the glow in her complexion and then Mehendi is applied on the hands of the bride. The event reflects a festive feeling and the women attending the ritual sing traditional songs. According to the pre marriage customs, the bride is not allowed to step out of the house for the next few days until her marriage. The bride`s cousins sometimes apply a dot of Mehendi on the palm of the groom.
: Welcoming the baraat is another pre marital custom among the Muslims. The groom arrives at the marriage place with his `baraat` and a band of musicians strike up some traditional notes to announce the arrival. The groom shares a drink of sherbet along with the bride`s brother or relative. The bride`s sisters play pranks and slap the guests playfully with graceful bouquets made of flowers.
The Nikaah or the Muslim wedding ceremony can be conducted at the home of the bride or the groom, or at any other suitable venue. A Maulvi or the priest in the presence of close family members and relatives conducts the ceremony of Nikaah. In orthodox Muslim communities, the men and women sit separately. Walis or the father of the bride and of the bridegroom plays a vital role in the ceremony. The Maulvi reads some selected verses from Quran and the Nikaah is considered complete after the Ijab-e-Qubul, which means the proposal and acceptance. The groom proposes and the bride conveys her assent. The mutual consent of the bride and groom is of great importance for the marriage in order to make it legal.
The senior members of the two families sit together and decide the amount of Mahr or the nuptial gift on the day of the wedding. The Mahr is an obligatory amount of money given by the groom`s family to the bride. The Nikahnama is a document in which the marriage contract is registered. To legalise it, the signature of the bridegroom, the bride, the Walis, and the Maulvi is compulsory. The next stage in a Muslim wedding includes receiving of blessings of the groom from the senior women members by offering them his salaam..
Dinner, prayers and Aarsimashaf are the customs followed on the wedding day itself. Dinner is a lavish spread. Usually, the women and the men dine separately. After dinner, the newly-weds sits together for the first time. Covering their head with a dupatta, they read prayers under the direction of the Maulvi (priest). The holy Quran
is placed between the couple and they are allowed to see each other through mirrors.
Wedding Ceremony Rukshat is the custom, where the bride`s family bids her a tearful farewell before she leaves her father`s house for her husband`s residence. The bride`s father gives her hand to her husband and requests him to protect and take good care of his daughter. The custom of welcoming the bride is done at the groom`s house. The Quran is held over the head the new daughter-in-law by the groom`s mother and then she enters her new home. The Chauthi ceremony is conducted on the fourth day after the wedding, when the bride visits the home of her parents. The bride receives a blissful welcome on this day. The Valimah is the lavish reception on behalf of the groom`s family. It is a joyous occasion that brings together the two families, their relatives and other well-wishers.
Muslim wedding rituals are some of the most simple and pleasant rituals, where the bride and the groom themselves enjoy amidst the merrymaking of their marriage.