One of the best parts of attending Indian weddings is the fact that there are so many ways to express and define love. A religion plays a major role in the type of wedding and Islam is no exception. Muslim marriage rituals depend on the cultural background of the couple if they are Arabic or Indian. But the main components remain the same throughout.
Mehr is a specified amount that is mentioned during the wedding. The amount is given to the bride during the wedding by the groom. Mehr is divided into two: 1) a fixed amount before consummate and 2) small amounts throughout her life. In earlier times, Muslim marriages would witness the mehr being received by the guardian of the bride. But today the mehr is given directly to the bride for her own financial stability. Nowadays, mehr is given in the form of jewellery, property and gift items.
According to Islamic laws, Nikah is known as marriage. The groom and the bride give their consent to the marriage at their free will. A marriage document is signed, through which the marriage is licensed in Islamic laws. The history has witnessed Islamic marriages being practiced in a variety of form, by mehr, by inheritance, by capture or by an agreement which is Nikah. Women before had a very little say in marriages and divorce and were often not included in such decisions, but now the times are changing and women have equal say when it comes to their marriage.
Walima is a reception organized by the groom’s family to formally introduce the bride as a part of their family. Walima lasts for almost 2days with grand feasting, which includes all non-vegetarian delicacies. There are many symbolic gifts gifted to the bride like eggs, which represents fertility and righteousness in Islam. Dry fruits are served along with the principle sweet, Dates. Usually, it is done after the day of the Nikah but sometimes walima is organised immediately after the nikah.
Mangni is a pre-wedding ritual of Muslim marriages where the grooms and bride’s family meet and exchange gifts. This also marks the official engagement ceremony between the bride and the groom. Rings are exchanged between them and the groom is showered with gifts from the family of the bride. The bride is also gifted with dry fruits, clothes, and jewellery. This marks the official intention of marriage and the bride and the groom are seen as a couple in the eyes of the society.
No matter what religion a wedding follows, the overall structure remains the same. The bride and the groom are showered with blessings from the elders and the entire wedding festival witnesses folk songs and dances hailing from their respective religion. The wedding marks the beginning of a new phase of life and it should start with honesty and loyalty towards each other.
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