After Hindus, Muslims form the second largest religious community in India. Popular Hindi movies and television serials have done much to familiarize the general public with the Arabic words qubool hai, which literally means ‘I accept’ and is often used to symbolically depict a Muslim wedding. However, there are of course, many other rituals and customs associated with Muslim weddings.
The wedding celebrations and functions begin with the Mangni or engagement of the couple. The Manjha ceremony, which involves the application of turmeric paste, is similar to the Haldi ceremony of the Hindus. This is followed by the Mehendi ceremony amidst much singing and dancing.
A qazi or religious attorney, sanctifies the wedding ceremony or the Nikaah. Broadly speaking and as gleaned from the internet, Muslim weddings involves the signing of a marriage contract, which includes the Mehr a formal statement specifying the monetary amount the groom will give the bride. The meher is considered the bride’s security and guarantee of freedom within the marriage. The amount is usually decided upon by mutual consent between the bride and the groom’s family members. The marriage is solemnized in front of at least two witnesses from both sides, stating the details of the meher.
The free will and consent of both the bride and groom is taken individually by the presiding qazi asking three times ‘qubool hai?’ The wedding will proceed further only after each of them individually reiterates ‘qubool hai’. Then the couple and two male witnesses sign the contract, making the marriage legal according to civil and religious law.
This may be followed by an additional religious ceremony, which usually includes a recitation of the Fatihah — the first chapter of the Quran — and durud (blessings). The nikah is followed by the wedding feast or the walima which means to ‘assemble or gather’. The timing of the walima varies by culture and opinion.
Any comments, additions, suggestions? Would love to hear from you – especially someone who has been there done that 🙂
Quote of the day: You give but little when you give of your possessions.
It is when you give of yourself that you truly give.” ― Kahlil Gibran,
For more information about the blog please click here and for the readers of Moonshine, here’s Chapter 56