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     Wedding Traditions - Muslims
Muslim wedding ceremony is celebrated with splendid grandeur. Muslim wedding known as Nikaah can take place at any convenient time, because there is nothing like auspicious time in Muslim weddings. Among Muslims, it is the family of the Groom who searches for a suitable Bride.
         The Mangni
The Mangni or engagement ceremony is an exchange of rings. The Groom’s family provides the outfit for the Bride.   Templates or Site Designs
          The Manjha Ceremony

The prospective bride is seated on a small square table and anointed with haldi (turmeric) provided by the boy's family. Following this ceremony, a married friend will accompany the bride everywhere and at all times. This friend will also spread the turmeric over the bride's whole body before she bathes. For this ceremony the bride is supposed to wear yellow clothes and no jewelry. There is, again, much celebration and singing.

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          Mehndi ceremony
The Mehndi ceremony is mainly held at the bride's place on the eve of the wedding ceremony or a few days before the wedding. It is mainly a ladies function where female friends, family members and relatives of the bride come together to apply turmeric paste to the bride to bring out the glow in her complexion. A mehndiwali or a relative applies mehndi on the hands and feet of the bride. While she applies mehndi to the bride the woman folk sings traditional song and dance to the tune of those songs. The event gives a festive touch to the celebration. On this occasion the bride wears light color clothes and dresses soberly. According to the custom the bride should not step out of the house for the next few days till her marriage. On mehendi function the bride's cousins applies a dot of mehndi on the palm of the groom. Other than the mehendi celebration there are some other ceremonies in both the bride and groom's house.

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          The Groom's Procession
On the wedding day, a procession of friends and relatives accompany the groom from his place to thewedding venue. This is done whether the groom rides on a horse or in a car.   Flash Intro
          The Arrival of the Groom and Guests
The beating of drums and playing of musical instruments accompany the arrival of the groom. 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 playfully hitting them with a stick wrapped around flowers.   Flash Intro
          The Wedding Ceremony

For some Muslim ceremonies, particularly those rooted in Islam more traditionally found in South-Asia, the men and women are seated in separate rooms or have a curtain to separate them. This is not the case for all Muslim ceremonies though.

Before reading a selected piece from the Koran (the holy book of the Muslims), witnessed by two male persons and a lawyer or eminent person, the officiating priest will ask the bride if she is happy with the arrangement and whether she agrees to marry the groom. The boy is asked the same. The main wedding ceremony is called Nikaah in Muslim religion. The Mehar is a compulsory amount of money given by the groom's family to the bride on the day of the wedding. It is a custom according to the rules laid down in Islam.

The marriage is registered (nikaah nama). The Nikaahnaama is a document in which the marriage contract is registered. It contains a set of terms and conditions that must be followed by both the families, it also gives the bride the right to divorce her husband. The contract is legal only when the bridegroom, the bride, the Walis, and the Maulvi duly sign it. The groom's side proposes and the bride's side conveys her consent. The mutual consent of the bride and groom is of very importance for the marriage to be legal.The groom and then two witnesses first sign it. The bride will sign later. The groom is then taken to the women's section. He gives money and gifts to the sisters of the bride. He receives the blessings of the elder woman and offers his salutations. Dinner is served separately to the women and men. The groom's family feasts separately.

After their first meal, the groom and bride are seated together and a long scarf is used to cover their heads while the priest makes them read prayers. The Holy Koran is kept between them and they are allowed to see each other through reflection by mirrors. Dried dates and a sweet dish are served to the guests. The dates have religious significance.

The groom spends the night in a separate room at the girl's house with a younger brother. In the morning he is given clothes, money and gifts by the bride's parents. That afternoon his relatives come to accompany the bridal couple to their home. After the wedding ceremony is over the newly wedded bride and groom receives blessings from the elders and older women of the family and the guests pray for their happy married life.

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          The Rukhsat Ceremony

The father giving her hand to her husband and asking him to protect her always performs the farewell by the father of the bride. Final farewells are offered and the couple leaves.

Another tradition from the Muslims of South Asia is that when the bride enters her new home, her mother-in-law holds the Koran over her and the groom follows. It is believed this may have its roots in the Hindu faith. Four days after the wedding she is taken back to her parent's place. Thewedding reception is held when the husband brings his wife and her family back to a reception hosted by his family.

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          Welcoming the bride
After the bride reaches her husband's house her mother-in-law welcomes her. The groom's mother holds the Quran above the head of her new daughter-in-law as she enters her new home for the first time after the wedding.   Flash Intro
          Chauthi
On Chauthi the bride visits her parent's home. It is the fourth day after the wedding, when she visits the home of her parents. She receives a grand welcome from her family members.   Flash Intro
          Walimah
The Walimah is the lavish reception that the groom's family hosts after the Nikaah. It is a joyous occasion that brings together the two families, their relatives and friends. It is then that the two families become one.   Flash Intro
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