Congratulations, you are getting married! Are you both followers of the Islamic faith? Then of course it is nice if this is also reflected in your wedding ceremony. But what are the actual rules and traditions in Islam when it comes to marriage? Time to find out everything!
Why get married according to Islam?
There are two reasons for this. Marriage provides a healthy and safe place for children. The family is incredibly important within the Islamic faith. And for starting a family, marriage is the perfect starting point. Because the best place for a child to grow up in, is a nice family, with a father and mother. The 2nd reason is, that marriage keeps the couple from sinning. A stable relationship is a stable foundation. Marriage should protect both the husband and wife from the temptation to sin. With marriage, you are faithful to each other.
Deciding together to get married
A Nikah is a traditional Islamic marriage ceremony. The basis of a Nikah is a mutual agreement between two people to marry each other. The potential husband and wife must fully agree together that they want to marry each other. If you want to do it the traditional way, a person must also be formally asked to marry and the parents must be consulted to make sure they approve of the marriage. Find at least two adult Muslims to be present at the ceremony. Traditionally, these two witnesses should be men. The witnesses are usually family members or close friends. To perform the ceremony, you may hire an imam, this is not mandatory. An imam is a pastor in the mosque, just as, for example, a parish priest is the pastor of the Catholic church. The imam gives a wedding sermon and has the father of the potential bride ask the groom if he will accept his daughter in marriage. When this is accepted, the bride and groom must sign the Nikah contract in the presence of the witnesses. This makes the union official.
A Nikah can technically be held anywhere, so the ceremony can be done at home, in a banquet hall, or in any other space you like. However, if you want to be traditional, hold the ceremony in a mosque. Wherever you want to hold the Nikah, make sure the space is big enough for all the guests you plan to invite. Next, an official marriage license should also be arranged with the local government. Contact your local government or visit the town hall to find out more about this process. A marriage license makes the marriage legal and recognized by the civil authorities.
A Mahr is a traditional gift that is given by the groom to the bride upon entering marriage. Usually, this gift consists of money, but it can also be a house, or gold jewelry, for example. It is meant to symbolize the groom’s devotion. There is no minimum or maximum, it usually depends on the financial situation of the groom.
The Nikah is followed by a wedding banquet or Walima. This gives the new couple a chance to celebrate their engagement with their family and friends. This usually takes place after the Nikah ceremony if the father has consented. One provides plenty of food and drinks because there is something to celebrate!
Is an engagement ring allowed within the faith of Islam? That question is difficult to answer. It is not a problem to surprise your bride-to-be with a ring as a gift to celebrate the joyous occasion. However, men are not allowed to put the engagement ring on their beloved’s finger themselves. Men are also not allowed to wear gold. Those materials are reserved for women. A man may, however, wear a wedding ring made of another precious metal such as platinum. In that case, the wedding ring goes on the right hand. More and more Muslims these days are adopting the custom of getting engaged first, including an engagement ring and an engagement party. Although then the party and being with the family is of much greater importance than the ring itself.