Muslim Wedding: A divine union of two individuals - Vikash Kumar Photography

Weddings in India are filled with grandeur, celebrations and family togetherness that go on for days. Cultural diversity calls in for a plethora of rituals being followed in myriad Indian marriages. One such a wedding that offers a preview of an interesting ceremony is the Muslim wedding. Also known as Nikah in Urdu, this religious ceremony in Islam is of great importance and lays emphasis on the union of two souls. Various rituals are performed before and after the marriage that concludes a Muslim wedding in India.

Nuptials cannot be started without the blessings of the almighty and a Muslim wedding begins with Istikhara where in the religious head takes consent from Allah to perform this ceremony. After the blessing, the groom’s mother visits the bride’s house with sweets and Imam-Zamin, a Silver or Gold coin wrapped in silken cloth which she ties onto the upper side of the bride’s hand.

Mangani: In this ritual the groom’s family visits the bride’s house with gifts and sweets. Wedding rings are exchanged by the couple to mark the beginning of celebrations in both the families.

Manjha ceremony: The soon-to-be bride on this auspicious day is covered with the turmeric paste sent by the groom’s family. A married friend accompanies the bride at all times and applies the paste all over her body following which the bride wears yellow clothes with no jewellery.

Mehandi Ceremony: This ceremony is held on the eve of the wedding. This custom in the Muslim wedding is similar to that of a Hindu Wedding. Artistic hennas are applied to the bride and her female friends and relatives. Traditional folk songs bind the aura with entertainment and festivities.

The Sachaq ritual: This is one of the imperative rituals as the Groom’s family sends bridal dress and ornaments to the girl which she has to wear during the Nikah ceremony.

Nikah: The big day for every Bride and Groom, this ritual ties the couple in a holy matrimony for eternity. The ceremony is conducted in front of the Maulvi, who plays an important role, along with men and women who sit separately for the rituals. The bride is given Mehr, a predefined amount by the groom’s family followed by Qazi performing the ceremony by asking certain questions to bride and groom also known as Ijab-e-Qubul. The rite is concluded with couple reciting Qubool hai thrice to formally accept each other as husband and wife.

Last but not least a Muslim wedding wraps up with a Rukhsat ceremony where the father bid farewell to her daughter followed by welcoming the couple by the groom’s family and celebrating their marital bliss in the most lavish and ethnic way.

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