A Muslim marriage is a very special event, as it brings two souls together for a life-time of marriage. Like in all societies, a Muslim wedding celebration is considered to be a wonderful and big occasion. In some traditions, Muslim wedding ceremonies are very expensive and lavish, while in others, they are kept conservative and simple.
Muslim weddings in different countries are fairly similar to wedding traditions of most other cultures. Some tend to be more Islamic while others adopt traditions that are general with other cultures. Muslim marriages and weddings in various countries differ somewhat, as some cultures favor to introduce more Islamic ceremonies than others.
The reason for different marriage concept is that some individuals and families believe that Islamic weddings should be based on simplicity rather than pomp and show while others believe that Muslim weddings should be celebrated joyfully. Since greater part of Muslims love celebrating weddings, the Islamic wedding can span onto a period of weeks and celebration includes a mixture of religious and cultural activities and rites. The basic pillar of an Islamic wedding is the nikkah ceremony which is the main point in any Muslim marriage. The nikkah ceremony is mostly the signing of the nikkah document in the presence of four witnesses.
Similar to other cultures marriages the wedding venue is the house of the bride where the groom arrives on the wedding day with his friends and family. They are welcomed amidst much banter and teasing by the relations of the bride. The bride is generally decked in the jewelry and clothes that had been sent to her by the groom’s family. The bride-groom on the other hand wears a sherwani and a topi on his head.
After the nikkah the groom is blessed by the elderly ladies present there and the guests pray for the happy married life of the newly weds. This is followed by a splendid meal and the ladies and the gentlemen are separately served. The maulvi places the Quran between the groom and bride and they can see each other only through mirrors. The bride next leaves for her new home where she looks forward to start her new beautiful life. Valimah is the luxurious reception that is hosted by the groom’s family and this serves to bring both the families together and is a joyous occasion.
Marriage is both a religious duty in Islam as well as a social necessity. A great emphasis is thus laid on the religious as well as social the dimensions of the ceremony.