Muslim weddings have a place of
their own when it comes to uniqueness and traditionalism. Among Muslims,
it is the family of the groom-to-be which searches for a suitable bride.
In this ceremony, the exchange of
rings takes place between the boy and the girl. The outfit worn by the
girl is provided by the boy's family. The actual ring ceremony takes
place with the serving of sweetmeats like peda to celebrate the
In this ceremony, the girl is
anointed with turmeric paste. The haldi lapetan ceremony takes place at
the girl's house one or two days before the wedding day. The haldi and
chameli oil are provided by the boy's family. Only unmarried girls apply
haldi on the bride-to-be. A symbolic token in the form of a spot of the
heena is put on the groom too by the girl's cousins.
The girl's attire: The girl limits herself to yellow clothes, the colour
of turmeric, and does not wear any jewellery. After this ceremony, she
does not move out of her house or change her clothes till the wedding
The musical night (at the girl's place): This festivity takes place one
night before the wedding. There is natural gaiety and rejoicing
accompanied by traditional songs sung to the beat of the dholak.
The Wedding Day
(or the procession of friends and relatives accompanying the groom)
starts from the groom's place and moves towards the wedding venue, with
the groom seated on a horse or in a car. A shamiana
is pitched if no concrete covered area is available for conducting the
wedding ceremonies. The arrival of the groom is accompanied by the
beating of drums playing of musical instruments. Dancing rhythmically to
add to the gaiety around.
On arrival, the groom and the
brother of the bride exchange a glass of sharbet
(or juice) and money. The saalis (or the
sisters of the bride) welcome the guests by playfully hitting them with
a phoolon ki chadi or a stick wrapped
around with flowers.
It is customary for the boy's
family to send the wedding attire, jewellery and cosmetics for the girl.
She usually wears the outfit as per the norms of the state she hails
from; for instance, a gharara or a zari
sari or salwar kameez. The groom
normally wears a sherwani or an achkan.
Both the bride and the groom don
a sehra or a veil of flowers around their
Ceremony or Nikaah
Traditionally, the men and women
have to be seated in separate rooms or have a purdah (or curtain)
separating them. The amount of meher or gift is decided upon by the
elders of the two families. (The meher is the compulsory amount of money
given to the bride's family by the groom's family.) It is either fixed
at an affordable price for the boy or fixed according to traditions in
their gharana or amily.
Next, the uakeel or an eminent
person with two male persons as witnesses and the maulvi or the
officiating priest ask the girl personally if she is happy with the
arrangement and whether she agrees to marry the groom. The boy'' asked
the same question. In case of assent from boy, the maulvi then makes the
boy read a selected piece of the Quran, the holy book of the Muslims.
The nikaahnama: This is a documents wherein the marriage is registered.
First, the groom and the two witnesses sign and later the bride does so.
(a) After the nikaah the groom is
taken to the zenana (ladies' section). At the threshold, he gives money
and gifts to the sisters of the bride. The groom receives the blessings
of the elder women and offers them his salaam or salutations.
(b) Dinner is served separately
to the ladies and the gentleman. The family of the boy is given a feast
(c) After dinner for the first
time, The groom and the bride are seated together and a dupatta is used
to cover their heads while the maulvi makes them read some prayers.
(d) Aarsimashaf: The Holy Queen
is kept in between the newly weds and they are allowed to see each other
only through reflection by mirrors.
(e) Misri, dried dates and
batasha are distributed to the guests. The dried dates have a religious
(f) A half-eaten laddoo (a
sweetmeat) is given to the girl by her cousins.
(g) The groom stays overnight in
a separate room at the girl's house with a younger brother. In the
morning, he is given clothes, money and fifts by the bride's parents.
(h) The relatives of the boy come
to accompany the bridal couple to their home in the afternoon.
The father of the bride gives her
hand to her husband and asks him to protect her always. The last
farewells are said and the bride departs for her husband's house by car
or palki (palanquin).
The bride's first
The bride first enters her new
home under the cover of the quran held by her mother-in-law and the
The bride is taken back to her
parents' place on the fourth day after the wedding.
Valeema or the
The husband brings back his wife
and her family to attend the reception hosted by his family. Thus, the
two families unite to become one.