Nikah Questions Walima, Aqd nikah, Dress, Expense

What happens at a Walima?

A walima is the marriage reception function in the traditional Islamic wedding. It designates a feast in Arabic. Walima is used as a symbol to show domestic happiness in the household post-marriage. Usually walima takes place after the Nikah function and is hosted by the groom. Venue can be at groom’s place or at a selected place like parks, halls, etc. A Walima is a Sunnah and it is just an event where the new couple mingles with their guests instead of sitting on the stage the entire time. There are no rituals or customs associated with Walima. The bride and groom enter together, walk down the aisle, sit on stage, sometimes they cut a cake, and then they mingle with the guests. It celebrates the happiness and joy inside the family and is an occasion for the bride and groom to meet and familiarize their dear ones.

Can nikah be done online?

Yes. Many scholars have acknowledged that it is permissible to conduct a Nikah online as long as the usual conditions are met for a valid Nikah. They suggest that there is no issue with conducting the ceremony online via Zoom, Skype, or other online mediums. According to the mainstream Sunni schools of thought, for a Nikah  to be valid, what necessary are the verbal acceptances from the bride & bridegroom, in the presence of witnesses, with consent from the bride’s Wali (legal guardian), and a Mahr (bridal dower) agreed beforehand.

It is to be noted that, during the circumstances of Covid 19, many renowned Muslim scholars, including Mufti Ismail Menk and Shaykh Hasib Noor, have taken to social media to openly encourage Nikah through online considering the emergency circumstances. This should be considered as a wise suggestion and a feasible alternative for many Muslim couples because, otherwise they have to delay their Nikah for many more months to have the guardian, the bride and groom and the witnesses on-site. With the advanced technology at our disposal today, an online Nikah is the best suggestion for those who are apart distances.

What is Aqd nikah?

Aqd in Arabic means contract. Islam considers Nikah to be a contract not a sacrament. Even though in Islam, Nikah is a religious sanction for individuals to have sexual relationships and to have children and live like a family, it considers marriage as a civil agreement, entered into by two individuals or those acting on their behalf. And because it is a contract (‘aqd), it conveys legal rights and obligations to each spouse.

Islamic jurisprudence, as elaborated by various schools of legal thought, considers the main purpose of the marriage contract to make intercourse lawful (halal) between a husband and wife and to legitimize any resulting offspring. Also the marriage contract establishes further rights and duties for each spouse. It is basically required to treat each other well and good and each one’s rights and duties are differentiated by gender. They are also interdependent: a failure by one spouse to perform a specific duty may jeopardize his or her claim to a particular right.

When does nikah become expensive?

Nikah in Islam is a very simple occasion as it is taught by the model of prophet Muhammad (S). Hadees say that Prophet’s weddings were very simple with about 10 people attended. Nowadays the ceremony is very extravagant and expensive. The dowry or wedding gift demanded by brides in Arab countries is sometimes too much expensive that grooms are unable to meet their demands. In other countries like India, it is the bride’s family who need to give dowry to the groom. In most of the cases it is a huge amount and it makes their life miserable too. The Nikah ceremony these days are occasions to show off and people do not hesitate to spend lavishly on their ‘once in life time’ event. From the invitation card to wedding halls, splendid meals and other wedding related arrangements like dress, ornaments, flowers etc etc people do not try to fit into minimum, but spend extravagantly. As it becomes a social trend, everyone is literally forced to follow the trend and spend accordingly to keep up their social status and good will. This makes Nikah expensive and even unaffordable for many.

What is required for nikah?

In Islam, Nikah is the traditional marriage function. There are three components needed for a Nikah to be valid: a couple who are willing to marry each other, witnesses, and a wedding gift named mahr that the groom gives to bride. The most important thing among these is the mutual agreement between the bride and groom to get married. They should meet each other and talk before the Nikah arrangements are begun. They should agree upon a mahr. It can be a sum of money, objects or property as demanded by the bride. It is a symbol of the groom’s commitment. It is decided based on the groom’s financial conditions. There should be at least 2 adults as witnesses for the function. Usually there is an Imam to perform the Nikah ceremony and they guide the function. Nikah can be performed in a mosque or wedding hall as per the convenience, but mosque is the preferred venue for Nikah. After the Nikah function, getting a marriage licence from the local government is also important.

What food is served at a Muslim wedding?

A muslim wedding is an occasion of a feast to foodies with a list of mouth watering dishes. From starters to desserts, there are many traditional items usually served in a Muslim wedding. Chicken, mutton, fish items are unavoidable. Welcome drinks may include different flavours and varieties. Starters include various meat kababs, fries, fish and chips cones, chat baskets, roasted chicken etc. Soups and haleems are the attraction of North Indian Muslim weddings. The main course usually is biryani. It can be of chicken, beaf, mutton or fish/prawn. There are various varieties of biryanees available in the menu. Along with these, fried rice, different types of rotis, nans etc are included. Different types of salads can also be there. Desserts include different flavoured ice creams, falooda, puddings, cakes, etc. These days in many weddings there are live food stalls available where instantly prepared hot items are available for the guests. Canopies are arranged where people can get whatever they prefer.

What should I wear to my nikah?

Nikah is the official wedding ceremony of Muslims. The wedding attire for a Nikah function follows the sober yet elegant customs of the ceremony. There are a wide variety of wedding dresses worn during a Nikah, from sari to shararas,and salwar kameez. A dupatta or head scarf is used to cover the head as a mark of respect.Sometimes the face is covered partially to falling as far back as the shoulders.

Bride’s dress

During the first day of the wedding ceremony known as ‘Mehendi’ bride traditionally wears an outfit in yellow colour matching the significance of the ceremony. During this ceremony, mehendi or henna is applied on her hands. Her female friends and relatives escort her holding a yellow coloured dupatta.

On the main day of wedding, Muslim brides usually wear heavily pleated lehenga in a bright color, preferably in shades of red, with a long blouse embroidered in gold. A dupatta is draped over her head and styled around the shoulders and waist to keep with the age-old traditional sentiments. The fine gold embroidery of the dress and the jewellery worn by the bride is also beautifully displayed.

The Bride along with the other women wear gold and silver jewelry studded with precious and semi-precious stones during wedding. Necklaces with intricate engravings and ethnic Jhumkas or earrings, heavy gold bangles in delicate designs called Kach Koor and Bingar, gold bracelets with studded stones called Manthoora, the Durcan or big drop earrings, and Pari Hara adorn the bride. The bridal look for Nikah is, however, incomplete without the distinctive Veja Daman, which is wrapped around the wrist and runs in chains along the bride’s fingers and end as rings.

Ornaments worn by a Muslim Kerala bride include Padi Mala, Chakrakanni Mala, Aalochana Mala (necklaces), Mekkath, Alicathu, Jhimiki, and Pachakallu (earrings), Thol Vala, Thari Vala, Kannadi Vala (bangles for wrist), Mudipoo, Nettipattam, Mudichakram, and Matti (head adornments), and the Arappatta waist belt.

Groom’s dress

The traditional outfit of Muslim grooms is usually sherwanior a heavy embroidered kurta with pyjama. Sometimes people opt for a more Western suit outfit. In many places, grooms may wear a floral veil of roses during the wedding ceremony. There is also a special turban worn by grooms during his entrance, which is known as the Karakurti topi.

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