A Guide to Muslim Weddings

Wedding traditions and rituals


As weddings and ceremonies have evolved over time, the traditional Muslim ceremony is still holding strong, take a look at the rituals and ceremonies that make up a traditional Muslim wedding.

Muslim Wedding

Before the wedding

The pre-wedding rituals will always begin with the Imam offering prayers to god, taking approval for the ceremony, this is called Istikhara. After this has taken place then the groom’s mother will visit the bride with gifts and a gold or silver coin wrapped in a silk cloth, called imam zamin. The Mangni is a time when the bride and groom formally announce their engagement and fruits and sweets will be exchanged between both families.

Before the wedding there will be a manjha ceremony, where the guests and bride wear yellow and the bride will be smeared with turmeric paste, traditionally after this ceremony the bride is not the step out from her house until the day of the wedding. After this there will be the Mehndi ceremony where the bride will have her hands and feet decorated in henna. For some extra good luck the bride’s cousins can take the left over mehndi and dot on the palms of the groom.

The wedding day

As ritual that welcomes the groom and his close family to the wedding venue is called the Mahr. The bride’s brother will share sherbet with the groom and the sisters will play jokes on the groom.

The wedding ceremony — also known as the Nikaah — will have the male and female guests seated separately. Verses from the Quran will be read out and then the ijab-e-qubul takes place between the bride and the groom, it is after this that the ceremony is complete. Both families give their acceptance of the wedding and mehar is given by the groom’s family to the bride’s family. The legal document for a Muslim wedding is called the nikaahnama and must be signed after the nikaah.

After the ceremony is complete the groom will receive blessings from the elder female members of the family and there will be a lavish dinner.

After the wedding

The bride says farewell to her family and makes her way to her new home, this is called rukshat. The bride then travels to her new home and is welcomed by her new family, the mother of the groom will place the Quran over her head as she enters the house and welcomes her in.

Four days after the wedding the bride will visit her maternal home, a ritual called chauthi. The final part of the wedding is the valimah, a big celebration hosted by the groom’s family to celebrate the newlyweds and their union.

For more ideas on planning your wedding take a look at our planning articles.


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