A wedding is such an event, which is celebrated with much enthusiasm in all religions of the world. The rituals of weddings, of course do differ from one religion to another but the emotions behind this once-in-a-lifetime event remains same. Well, if we talk about Muslim marriage specifically then, there are few rituals and beliefs, which are not known by non-Muslims. In fact, it is better to put in this way that the majority of non-Muslims have the faintest idea about it. Muslim community prefers to organize a wedding event on Sunday. Not a single Islamic marriage is being organized during the months of Muharram and Ramadan. Muslim wedding cards are a craze among the people.
Almost all religion do hold this belief that marriages are made in heaven but a Muslim wedding is believed to be a kind of social contract, which lay upon clear guidelines regarding the duties and rights of the husband and wife.
A Muslim marriage is popularly known as Nikaah. The Muslim wedding cards sent out to the guests A Nikaah is basically defined as a contract in the holy book of Muslims called ‘Quran’. An interesting aspect about the contract of Nikaah is that, both groom and bride are allowed to incorporate additional conditions in a contract. Though, there are many clauses in the contract of Nikaah but the most crucial clause is to offer Mahr upon the bride by the groom. A Mahr is not considered as an ordinary kind of gift, since it bears a deep symbolic meaning. It implies that a groom is willing to accept all those responsibilities, which a husband has towards his better half. A Mahr may be in a form of a kind or cash.
However, the practice of presenting Mehr to a would-be wife features flexibility, since a Mahr may also be deferred and it becomes payable during the time of divorce or a death of a husband. In a Muslim wedding, both, bride and groom need to express ‘Ijab’ that means free will regarding entering into a sacred marital bond and simultaneously, they need to express ‘Kabul’, that means acceptance of the each other. A contract of a nikaah is written by both the parties involved in the marriage, i.e, bride and groom and it bears a signature of both, along with two other witnesses.
A contract, which is written, is known as ‘Aqd-Nikaah’ and it is being announced publicly later on. The responsibility of declaring a Muslim wedding, a legal wedding, lies upon the Muslim judge ‘Qazi’, which is being appointed by the court. He also secures a copy of the marital contract for record. After that, all the essential documents related to the Nikaah are filed with the Mosque and local government, both, for the future references.
There is also a tradition of delivering a marriage sermon in an assembly, so that a formal recognition may be imparted to a marital bond. Muslim wedding cards are used in order to invite people to this ritual. During the sermon, besides the bride and groom, guests are also required to mark their presence. Before a sermon begins, praises are offered in the holy name of Allah. This is done, in order to ask Allah to offer guidance and help to bride and groom.