Islam is the fastest-growing religion across the globe. Muslim wedding traditions are predominantly common at every location. Yet, there could be additions, deletions, and modifications with the amalgamation of local culture and customs. Understanding Muslim wedding tradition is vital before a wedding photography assignment. Here we are elaborating on the Muslim marriage ceremony and commonly followed rituals.
Having said that, our professional photographers are well-versed with wedding traditions of all the religions that are practiced in India. Therefore, our team has the expertise to capture every moment without losing the magic.
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Pre-wedding Ceremonies of Muslim Wedding
Pre-wedding ceremonies of Muslims in India are almost common. Understanding the ritual from any region in the country would be useful at any other location as well. Note that the rituals are applicable for arranged marriage mostly.
Sala-al-Istikhara denotes the official announcement of the marriage. Once the bride and groom families meet and finalize the match, they would inform the imam. The imam would conduct special prayer for both the families seeking the blessing of Allah. The bride and groom also will participate in the prayer function.
The mother of the groom, the future mother-in-law for the bride, would visit the bride’s home with gifts, sweets, and an ominous gold or silver coin. She would also be carrying a silk scarf that would be tied on the wrist of the bride by mother-in-law. It symbolizes that the girl has become a part of the groom’s family.
Magni or engagement is the finalization of marriage. This would be attended by both families and invited guests. Ring ceremony is part of Mangni. The date of marriage would be announced during the Mangni ceremony. The engagement ritual would have extensive photographic sessions involving the bridegroom and families. Both the families would exchange gifts during the ceremony.
The Indian Muslim religion has supposedly adapted this ritual from Indian traditions. The bride would dress in yellow for Manjha. This ritual is conducted two or three days before the marriage day. Her friends and cousins will apply a concoction made of sandalwood, turmeric, and rosewater on her face, hands, and feet. There would be a sequence of fun and entertainment activities as part of Manjha. The bride is not supposed to move out of the house after the Manjha ritual until the day of marriage.
Mehendi ritual is observed on the previous evening of the marriage. The bride and women in the house will apply henna on their hands. Professional Mehendi artists are hired for applying henna in attractive designs. Only women are involved in this ritual.
This is another important pre-wedding ritual in Muslims. The groom’s family would visit the bride with gifts, sweets, a dress for wearing during the Nikah ceremony, and jewelry. The gifts would depend on the groom’s financial status.
Muslim Wedding Traditions
Although most of the Muslim wedding rituals are common across India, there are a few differences between South Indian and North Indian weddings.
The groom will start from home escorted by a long cavalcade and music. The groom would be in the car sent by the bride’s family. The bride’s prominent family member would be ushering the groom’s party. However, such a marriage day ritual is not normally followed in Muslims in South India.
The bride’s family would be awaiting the groom and his party at the entrance of the venue. The barrat is received and ushered inside. There would be refreshments arranged for them. The bride’s party will spray Attar of Rosewater on the groom’s party as a welcome gesture.
A Muslim priest aka Mulavi would undertake the marriage rituals. The men and women will be seated in separate groups during the Nikah or marriage ceremony. The bride’s father or guardian taking part in the betrothal in place of the bride.
Arsi Mushraf marks the first glimpse of bride and groom after the marriage. They would be seeing each other through a reflection in the mirror kept in between.
Post-wedding Muslim Wedding Traditions
There are some post-wedding rituals in a Muslim wedding. The photographers may be asked to cover the post-wedding ceremony also.
The bride would be received by the mother-in-law at the groom’s house. A Holy Koran is placed on the bride’s head as a blessing.
The post-marriage reception in Muslims is called Walimah. The families, friends, relatives, and neighbors would be invited for a feast after the marriage. The bridegroom would be seated on a specially assigned chair. The guests will bring gifts and bless the couple.
The bridegroom will visit the bride’s home on the fourth day after the marriage. There would be a grand lunch to mark their first visit after marriage. This may be considered as the last ritual of a Muslim wedding in India.
There might be regional differences in the Muslim wedding traditions. You may confirm the exact ceremony is advanced to avoid any last-minute ambiguity.