Nikah Ceremony | The Complete Guide
One's religion usually guides their life in a number of ways. Such is the case with Islam, a religion with millions of followers all over the world. The followers of Islam, known as Muslims, lead their lives according to religious traditions. Most, if not all, their rituals are celebrated under this religious guidance.
Muslim weddings are a depiction of religious traditions and are a unique and beautiful representation of the Islamic culture. The Nikah ceremony is the core of every Muslim marriage. Without a Nikah, neither of the spouses can be considered married to each other.
Here is a detailed description of the Nikah ceremony and its related rituals.
What is Nikah?
The Nikah is a contract that has to be signed by the groom and the bride. Their signatures confirm their agreement to marry each other. Islamic tradition does not allow marriages without both the bride or groom's agreement.
This singing of the Nikah papers cannot be done all alone. Some witnesses have to be present at the Nikah ceremony from both the groom's and the bride's side. In Asian Muslim weddings, an elderly man usually asks the couple about their willingness toward marrying each other orally too. This oral questioning is often done three times, and after this, the couple signs the paper.
There are some holy verses and prayers that have to be made before getting the papers signed from the couple. After the couple has signed the Nikah papers, they are allowed to see each other. Some sweets are usually distributed to all the guests after the Nikah ceremony too.
Where Does a Nikah Ceremony Take Place?
Islamic principles don't strictly confine Muslims to somewhere specific for a Nikah ceremony. However, most Muslims regard a Nikah ceremony as something holy and arrange to have it in a mosque. Inside the mosque, there are separate rooms for men and women to sit. The groom is only allowed to see his bride after the Nikah is done.
Nowadays, many Muslims arrange intimate Nikah ceremonies in their homes or in nearby marquees, halls, or hotels. In any of these cases, the presence of witnesses from both sides is still a must.
Who Can Perform a Nikah Ceremony?
Just like the venue, there's also no restriction on who can perform a Nikah ceremony. There is a proper order and pattern of specific religious verses that have to be read aloud before a Nikah ceremony, and anyone who knows these verses and has enough knowledge about Islam can perform the ceremony.
Usually, a religious scholar or a mosque's Qazi performs the Nikah at a mosque. Other than him, an elderly man from among any of the couple's relatives can perform the Nikah too.
Nikah ceremonies also involve the declaration of meher. Meher is a sum of money that the groom has to pay to his wife for marriage. This meher is usually given two times, once right after the Nikah, and then again at any time during the couple's marriage.
This meher guarantees the wife's independence and rights in a marriage and is usually fixed to meet the bride's demands. Some brides many also ask for a property, jewelry, or any other precious item as meher instead of money.
Deciding and paying the meher is an essential part of a Muslim's Nikah.
What To Wear To A Nikah Ceremony As A Guest?
Nikah ceremonies are usually lavish and full of color. There are no religious dress requirements for a Nikah ceremony in a house or wedding venue. Usually, Muslims dress according to what's common in their culture.
However, if you're going to a Nikah ceremony in a mosque, attendees must wear modest clothes that fully cover their skin. Women can add a scarf to their attire and should cover their heads. Men can wear a decent three-piece dress in the mosque.
Best Songs For Nikah Ceremony?
Generally, people prefer to play slow sweet love songs at a Nikah ceremony. If a Nikah ceremony is held at a mosque, no one can play any music out of respect for the holy place. Music is usually played at the couple's house after the Nikah is done.
Muslims from different regions have different ways of celebrating weddings. However, what’s common amongst all these Muslim weddings is a Nikah ceremony. Such a ceremony is usually a peaceful celebration that declares the start of a new journey for two souls.