The wedding season is almost around the corner and the wedding bells have already started ringing, so when we talk about an Indian marriage we think about the attires, customs and a big fat family!
In India, we have gone through numerous weddings but every single time when we hear about a wedding we get super excited. A Muslim wedding is a perfect amalgamation of traditions, customs and love. Muslim Weddings are known as Nikkah in Urdu. The ceremonies and rituals in a Nikkah consists of 4 major functions which are –ENGAGEMENT (MUH-MEETHA), HALDI (MAIYOO), NIKKAH (THE WEDDING) & WALIMA (RECEPTION), it may differ beyond the borders or sections but down the line, the only motive of a Nikkah is to celebrate the togetherness of the new couple and the union of two families as well.
Muh-Meetha or Engagement
In the engagement ceremony (Muh Meetha) the would-be bride and groom don’t exchange the rings face to face. Their parents do it on their behalf. They follow the traditional pardah system. Engagements in Muslims is a family affair in which the families visit each other’s home along with sweets, gifts and cash.
The engagement ceremony is an official announcement for the family and friends that the relationship is now sealed. Hridei.com provides both unique Save the Date animated cards and also of course a Wish List capability.
The Nikkah commences with the ritual of Maiyoo (Haldi). It is believed that the colour of haldi gives a “Noor” on the bride’s face. During this function, the bride wears a yellow dress and ladies from her family and groom’s family apply the haldi on her face, hand and legs. On the very same day groom’s family gives her the bridal dress and jewellery which she will wear on the day of Nikkah. After the rasam of Maiyoo, the bride is not supposed to go out of her house until the day of Nikkah. On the other day, the same event is also observed at the groom’s house.
Mehndi ceremony usually takes place just before the day of nikkah. According to the ritual, the more extended the Mehendi holds its shading, the more promising it is for the couple. It is also believed Mehendi is also deemed to be a symbolic representation of fertility.
Mehndi ceremony is essentially organized by the family of the bride and is usually a private affair which takes place in the presence of close relative and friends. However, the scale of the ceremony depends upon individual choice.
On the day of Nikkah (Wedding), the families appoint a Qazi, as he’s the one who carries forward the entire custom of Nikkah. During the ceremony of Nikkah, the men sit with the groom and women with the bride. At the time the Qazi starts the Nikkah, he mentions about the ‘Meher’.
Meher is an essential part of the Muslim Wedding, it’s a present to the bride from the groom. The Qazi, recites prayers from the Quran and asks the bride first if she agrees to marry the groom with the pre-decided Meher. This question is asked thrice. If she agrees, the same is repeated with the groom. This is known as Ijab-e-Qubul (proposal and acceptance). This is followed by the signing of the Nikahnama (marriage contract) by the couple. All the elders now bless the newly married couple and the youngsters commence the age old playful tradition of joota chupai. It’s a playful tradition where the bride’s sisters and friends ‘steal’ the groom’s shoes, and ask him to give gifts or cash in return.
The Walima (Reception) is to wish the newlyweds a prosperous life. Basically, Walima is the last function. This function is hosted by the groom’s family in which they invite family, friends and neighbours, to celebrate the togetherness of the newly married couple and share their blessing and gifts but in recent times the custom of exchanging gifts has changed a lot. Now couples have started using a wedding registry (www.hridei.com) for their gifts as it’s easier and a time saving process. After everything winds up on a good note the couple leaves for the honeymoon to spend some time with each other.