Muslim Marriage ceremony Bitesize

  1. Mutual consent agreement
    Consent is the cornerstone of any Islamic marriage. This means that, regardless of which one of you proposed, both of you have agreed that you want to join in a marriage contract together and be life partners.
    • Mutual consent is typically expressed verbally, although it might also be mentioned in your written contract.
  2. A representative of the bride’s family
    Traditionally, this is the bride’s father. But if her father isn’t available, it might be her grandfather, an older brother, or even an uncle. This man, her “wali,” technically “gives” the bride to the groom.
  3. At least 2 adult Muslim witnesses
    These witnesses are separate from the bride’s representatives or guardians. They are simply there as legal witnesses to the signing of the marriage contract. Traditionally, you need 2 male Muslim witnesses—although some venues allow 1 man and 2 women.
  4. A gift to the bride from the groom
    This gift, the “Mahr,” is a symbol of the groom’s promise to care for and provide for the bride. Traditionally, it’s a lump sum of money, but it could also be property or an agreement to pay for education or a similar experience. The groom might physically give the Mahr to the bride during the Nikah, or it might be deferred to some time in the future.
    • Talk to your betrothed about the Mahr well before the Nikah and make sure you’re both on the same page about what it will be. Your families might want input as well—traditionally, the bride’s family has some say in the size of the Nikah.
  5. Written marriage contract
    The imam who performs your Nikah may have sample marriage contracts that you can adapt for your own needs, but you’re also free to bring your own. The contract simply lists the promises that the bride and groom make to each other.
    • What you promise in the contract is totally up to you.
  6. Official Islamic officiant (usually an imam)
    The imam of a local mosque will typically be your officiant, but others can take on this role as well. Your officiant only needs to be a devout Muslim.
    • Traditionally, officiants are men,
  7. Venue
    Many Nikah ceremonies are performed at mosques, but you might also choose to have it at a family home, a hotel, or even online using modern technology. There’s no requirement that the ceremony be performed at a mosque, this is just the most traditional option.

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