Muslim marriages in India are extravagant celebrations steeped in history and tradition. Over 172 million people marry by following Islamic marriage customs and traditions in India. Whether you are planning an Islamic shaadi or attending one for the first time, it is important to understand historic and cultural Indian Muslim marriage rituals and customs.
In this blog, Eventswedo will tell you about the rituals and traditions you will most probably come across during a Muslim marriage in India. Learning about these customs will help you get a clear understanding of the historic and cultural relevance of traditions in nikkah.
Here are rituals and traditions you might see at a Muslim wedding in India:
Muslim Pre-wedding rituals
#1 Salatul Ishtikara
Before making a decision for marriage, couples should seek Allah’s guidance and wisdom. Salatul Ishtikara is a powerful pre-wedding ritual in which the couple performs a prayer to seek God’s blessings for the marriage. It happens right after marriage is finalized between the two individuals.
The Imam or the religious head of a nearby mosque performs this special prayer. He seeks Allah’s consent and asks him to bless the Dulha and Dulhan. According to Indian Muslim traditions, this ritual is acknowledged as an official announcement of the marriage.
#2 Imam Zamin
This Muslim marriage custom follows the Salatul Ishtikara. It involves a visit from the groom’s mother and senior people of the family to the bride’s house. Both families greet each other. Dulha’s family brings fruits, perfumes, sweets, and other gifts for Dulhan and her family.
Groom’s mother also brings ominous gold and silver coins. She ties the coins to the bride’s arm and wraps them in silken cloth. Coins imply that Dulhan is the future daughter-in-law of the groom’s mother. Imam-E-Zamin is similar to the Hindu marriage ritual called Shagun.
We bet you are quite familiar with this ritual if you ever had attended an Indian marriage, be it Muslim, Hindu, or Sikh. Better known as engagement, Mangni marks the official ‘asking’ of the bride’s hand by the bridegroom’s family. Rings are exchanged between the Dulha and the Dulhan during Mangni to seal the union of the two individuals as well as their families.
Close friends and relatives come together to witness the ring exchanging ceremony. Both families shower each other with gifts. Magni is the public declaration of the betrothal of the bride and groom for Muslim marriage.
One of the chief highlights of Muslim marriage, Manjha is a ritual that happens a day or two before the wedding. During the custom, a bride is dressed in a yellow outfit. Ladies of the house prepare a paste of turmeric, sandalwood, and rose water. This paste is applied to the bride’s face, hands, and feet.
Women of the house and neighborhood sit and sing traditional songs for both Dulha and Dulhan. Lots of fun unfold during this Islamic pre-wedding ritual! After the turmeric paste gets dried, the bride goes to take a bath.
After the completion of this event, brides are not supposed to go outside the house. The same event takes place at the groom’s house too.
Mehendi ceremony is celebrated in both Hindu as well as Muslim marriages. This ritual is a symbol of endless love, sacrifice, and bonding of Dulhan and Dulha for each other. With the paste of henna, both the hands and legs of the bride and groom are decorated. According to Muslim tradition, Heena is associated with positive spirits and good luck.
Professional Mehendi artists get appointed a few days before for this Muslim marriage custom. It is customary to include the Dulha’s initials within the Dulhan’s Mehendi which he has to recognize on their first night together.
Modern bridal mehendi designs to try on your Muslim marriage
This is the last pre-wedding ritual of a Muslim wedding. During the aforementioned custom, the groom’s family visits the bride’s family and brings tons of gifts. The presents also include the lehenga to be worn by the bride on the D-day along with jewelry, cosmetics, and sweets.
The bride also has to follow a list of protocols specified in the Holy Quran regarding her wedding attire. At any given point, only her face and hands should be visible. She is supposed to wear a nath on the right side of her nose which will be replaced by a nose pin. Not to mention, wearing Jhoomar or Paasaa makes this Muslim wedding custom complete.
Muslim marriage day rituals
#7 Baraat & welcome
The most exciting ritual of the Muslim wedding day is the entry of baarat. The Dulha sets out with his friends and family towards the marriage venue with great grandeur. A beautifully decorated car is sent by the bride’s family, especially to pick up the groom.
The brother of the bride or someone close goes to the bridegroom’s house to escort him. It is a marvelous, loud procession, stating that the wedding is going to happen in a few hours. On arrival, Dulha and his family are received with love and warmth by Dulhan’s family.
Groom’s brother-in-law offers him a beverage and other guests coming in are sprayed with rosewater or attar.
This is the main wedding ceremony among Muslims throughout India. Nikah, being a traditional ritual officially marks the marriage of Dulha and Dulhan. It’s performed by a Maulvi (priest) while men sit around the groom’s side and women sit around the bride’s side.
The Dulha’s family presents Dulhan with mehr, a pre-decided amount of money to seek her consent for the marriage. After reciting a prayer from Quraan, Maulvi asks the bride if she agrees to the wedding by accepting the mehr. He asks her the phrase “qubool hai?” thrice. The bride has to reply saying qubool hai in an affirming tone.
The same is asked of the groom. This traditional Muslim custom is called Ijab-e-Qubool. It is the most pivotal Muslim wedding ritual. Ijab-e-Qubool is followed by Nikah Nama. This is the official marriage contract where duties of Dulha and Dulhan, as per the Quran, are recited in presence of two witnesses each from the bride’s and groom’s families.
After the official marriage papers are signed, a Khutba is held, followed by the marriage vows in the Quran. In the end, elders perform Durood to shower blessings on newlyweds.
#9 Arsi Mushraf
If you watch too many Bollywood movies, we bet you might be familiar with this traditional Muslim wedding custom. During the Aris Mushraf ceremony, the bride and groom are given a mirror so that they get a chance to see each other for the first time as newlyweds.
Muslim Post-wedding custom
Rukhsat, an emotional tradition that marks the official time for Dulhan to bid adieu to her first home. This is the first post-wedding ritual performed once a Muslim marriage ceremony gets over. The bride usually bid a tearful goodbye to her mother, father, and family members. She then heads to her husband’s home.
At the husband’s home, the Dulhan is given a warm welcome by her in-laws. The holy Quran is placed on her head as a reminder of her new duties as a married woman.
This traditional custom is the declaration that the marriage is done. Walimah is basically a reception party hosted by the family of the groom. The newlyweds sit on a throne on the top of a stage where they meet family members from both sides.
Friends, colleagues, and neighbors also gather to wish the newlyweds a prosperous life. The couple is also showered with wedding gifts and blessings. Nowadays, the groom’s family also hire DJ wale babu to double the marriage fun.
Just like Muslim marriages, Punjabi wedding rituals are also filled with joy and happiness. Decode traditional Punjabi marriage rituals and activities.
On the fourth day of Muslim marriage, Dulha and Dulhan visit Dulhan’s family. The bride’s family greets the groom with a lot of affection and love. There is also a lavish spread and gifts for the bride and groom from Dulhan’s family. This traditional custom marks the end of all formal Muslim marriage rituals in two families.
Above are the famous rituals and traditions involved in a Muslim marriage. Islamic weddings are colorful, alluring, and elegant. The customs mentioned above are the most common, but keep in mind that they can vary depending upon the local traditions and different themes followed in different parts of India.
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