A Muslim wedding is a dignified and simple event. It enjoins a man and a woman entitling them husband and wife, a new couple, who are about to start a journey of a life-time together. Though Prophet Muhammad taught his followers to keep weddings simple, the infringements of cultures upon Islamic teachings have led weddings to become extravagant occasions, gaudy and sometimes very pompous.
Muslim marriages can be conducted in dissimilar ways, depending on the culture in which they are arranged. The following detail refers, in the most part, to the Asian world. Here, Muslim marriages are usually arranged by the parents, with the groom and t bride themselves having the final say about who they will wed. The actual proposal comes from the woman, who contacts the man through an intermediary — usually a male relative.
Strictly speaking, Muslim women can’t get married outside their faith. Muslim men can, in principle, marry non-Muslims, as long as they are Jewish or Christian and their children are raised as Muslims. On the other hand, it is possible for a woman to convert to the Muslim faith by performing the Shadada, a simple ceremony in which the convert accepts Allah and Holly Prophet Mohammed.
After accepting her proposal of marriage, the groom must give the bride a Mahar (gift). Usually in the shape of gold or money, it is intended as a dowry for her to use as she wishes. The engagement period lasts 3 months, and if the couples aren’t married by the end of this period, the engagement contract needs to be renewed. During this time, the bride can only be in the same room as her intended if her brother or father is present and she is covered.
The nikah symbolizes the simple solemnization of vows whereby the marriage contract is enacted quickly. However, some traditions decide to complicate the beautiful moment by imposing different kinds of activities that take away the glow of the nikah itself.
A short sermon is usually given by the imam (religious leader) in the nikah. The blessings of listening to the sermon are the same to the rewards of listening to a Friday prayer sermon. Besides, the sermon is a quick reminder of responsibilities of the new couple towards one another. It works as advice for some and a refreshment course for those in marital bliss.
Abiding by Islamic rules does not mean a dull occasion; it means a simpler, dignified celebration.