Muslim Marriage in India
Preludes Of The Wedding
A Muslim marriage is a contract between two families made in the presence of relatives, friends as witnesses. The relationship between two families begins with the acceptance of proposal by the bride's family. The Mangni or engagement ceremony is an exchange of rings. The dress and ornaments for the bride is given by the Groom's family.
A party takes place where bride's family gives lavish lunch or dinner to the selected members of groom's family. The Manjha ceremony is where the Bride is anointed with turmeric paste. This takes place at the Bride's house one or two days before the wedding day. The Groom's family sends the paste of turmeric, sandalwood and chameli oil. Only unmarried women apply this to the bride to be. Henna is applied on her hands and feet. Manjha also takes place at groom's house.
Turmeric paste is also applied to the groom. After this ceremony, the Bride does not leave her house until the wedding.
The Wedding Ceremony
On her wedding day, she wears bridal clothes and ornaments given by the Groom's family. A procession of friends and relatives accompany the groom from his place to the wedding venue on the marriage day. It is accompanied by the beating of drums and playing of musical instruments.
On this arrival, the groom and the brother of the bride exchange a glass of sharbet (a sweetened drink) and money. The sisters of the bride welcome the guests by putting flowers in their hands. For in Muslim ceremonies, the men and women are seated in separate rooms or have a curtain to separate them. Before reading a selected piece from the Koran witnessed by two male persons and a lawyer or eminent person, the Maulana ask the bride if she is happy with the arrangement and whether she agrees to marry the groom. The marriage is registered in (nikaahnama). It is first signed by the groom and then two witnesses.
The bride signs later. The groom is then taken to the women's section. The juta churai or stealing of groom's shoes is another significant ceremony where bride's sisters and friends hide groom's shoes and demand money for returning it. It involves lot of sweet and sour talk between the two parties and bride's sisters settle for fat amount before returning the shoes and letting the groom enter the women's section. The farewell or rukhsati by the father of the bride is performed by the father giving her hand to her husband and asking him to protect her always.
The bride dresses in a dazzling two piece dress which is generally red in colour and covers her head.She wears heavy jewelry and head is ornamented.Women fold wear Saree a cloth draped over with blouse and a lower wear with is of varied colour patterns.Also two piece suit and an extra piece of cloth which goes to drape over shoulders and head.
The list of indian food is endless.When such occassions arise it is a challenge to try all the variety which is laid out with so much sheer enthusiasm.There is exiquite flower arrangement and lots of lights and decoration
Food like Mutton Rice called Biryani,Meat Curries of various Kinds, Vegetable dishes like lady finger, cauliflower,and tomato sauces, to go along the main dishes and what not.
Conclusion Of The Wedding Ceremony
Final farewells are offered and the couple leave. When the bride enters her new home, her mother-in-law holds the Koran over her and the groom follows. The wedding reception or the walimah is held when the husband brings his wife and her family back to a reception hosted by his family.