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15 May '16

Muslim Weddings in Turkey

Posted by Priyanka S in Islamic culture

Although the majority of the population of Turkey are Muslim, the country has a long-standing tradition of secularism in many different practices. The bond of marriage is considered one of the most sacred religious customs of Islam and most religion, however, and so the joining of a man and wife still follow some of the customary Muslim procedures. There are important parts of the Turkish Muslim procedure which differ from other Muslim countries, however. These areas include:

Meeting a partner

Traditional Islamic practices in Egypt dictate that there is to be no dating or other types of interactions prior to a couple's getting married. However, there are still social occasions where Egyptian men and women have a chance to meet each other. Usually, this will take place at a school or in a place of work.


Style of dress. Both Turkish men and Turkish women have adopted Western styles of dress during the wedding ceremony. For the men, this includes tuxedoes and suits, while women favor white bridal dresses.
Government officiators. Turkish wedding ceremonies are presided over by civil authorities, rather than imams or other religious authorities. Often, the traditional passages from the Qu’ran are not read during the ceremony.
Shorter ceremonies. Because of the elimination of many of the rituals, Islamic weddings in Turkey are much shorter than ceremonies elsewhere.
Polygamy. In many Muslim countries, having more than one wife is a common occurrence. In Turkey, however, the practice is virtually extinct.
Pre-arrangement. Muslim women in Turkey are permitted to give consent to the conditions negotiated in their wedding contract.




Despite the strong bent towards secularism in Turkey, there are still several parts of traditional Islamic practices present in the wedding ceremony, both before the wedding and during the celebrations.

• Marriages between Muslims and those not adhering to the faith are discouraged.
• A Muslim man may take a Jewish or Christian woman as his wife, and she is not required to convert to Islam.
• Muslim women, on the other hand, are not permitted to marry a man of another faith. If they wish to marry a Jewish or Christian man, he must first convert to Islam. This is because the Muslim religion is passed down through the male line.
• Arranged marriages still take place, although the dowry is not as important in Turkey as it is in other Muslim nations.


Rural vs urban

As is the case in many Muslim countries, there is a wide disparity when it comes to religious practices and ceremonies among people who live in the city and those who live in the less developed areas. As a rule, rural weddings are more traditional. In Turkey, this means that:

• The input of the children is considered in most urban arrangements. In the country, on the other hand, consultation rarely takes place.
• Urban weddings will take place at hotels or other buildings with lobbies, while urban ceremonies and receptions will take place at the house of the groom’s family.
• The bride is escorted to the house of the groom by her party in the country.

After the ceremonies, the Turkish wedding will usually involve some kind of reception. Although segregation of the sexes does occur, it is not as extreme as in some very traditional Muslim nations. There is singing and dancing during the Turkish celebrations, during which men and women are present in the same room, but remain separate for the traditional folk dances.


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15 May '16

Muslim Weddings in Tunisia

Posted by Priyanka S in Islamic culture

As in most Muslim countries, Tunisian weddings involve several elements that includes regimented aspects before the wedding as well as at the ceremony itself.

Prior to the wedding

While most of Tunisia is now urbanized, there are still important regulations when it comes to meetings between men and women. In particular, those couples who wish to be married must be careful not to be seen as being intimate in any way either prior to their union or during their ceremony.

Many Tunisians will still be involved in arranged marriages, wherein the family of the groom determines whom they consider to be the best bride for their son. While traditionally the bride's opinion was not crucial to the process, today the young woman is often consulted as to her wished in the matter.

With an urbanized culture, there is more opportunity for men and women to meet in social settings. In these cases, a groom may meet a girl he deems suitable at school. In this case, he may ask a family member to interview the girl to see if she is receptive. If so, female members of the man's family will call upon the woman's family for a time of refreshments. During this time the behavior of the young lady is closely observed. If she is deemed suitable, the mother of the young man will begin discussions with the mother of the young woman, and both families will begin to inquire as to the other's social standing and reputation.

Formal proposal

In most cases, parental consent is not absolutely necessary for a union to take place in Tunisia, but few young people will go against the wishes of their families. When the engagement is agreed upon, there will be a party to announce it. This is the first opportunity to celebrate publicly, and that means that a lot of people are invited to participate. The wedding rings are given during this ceremony, and there is lots of food. Although the couple are now allowed to see each other due to the public announcement, they seldom get the chance, as they are busy with other preparations. These include building a home and acquiring money on behalf of the man (Tunisian engagements are typically long term events) and goods for the new house on the part of the woman. The groom will often bring his bride fabric and other pieces of jewelry.


Day of the contract

The signing of the wedding contract is the formalization of the Muslim union. The groom proceeds in procession with his family and friends to the bride's family home. The bride is dressed in her best dress, often the same style as those of Western weddings. She is also decorated along her arms and hands with intricate designs in henna. The bride, groom, and their parties then continue to the civil registry. The ceremony itself is short and succinct, with the rites being observed and the first page of the Qur'an recited by all present. At the conclusion of the ceremony, the groom may present the bride with a gift of money (mahr), which symbolizes his desire and his ability to take care of her.


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15 May '16

Muslim Weddings in Oman

Posted by Priyanka S in Islamic culture

Oman is unique amongst Muslim countries as the practicing followers of Islam in the nation subscribe to the Al-Ibadiyyah denomination rather than the Sunni or Shi’a denominations. In marriage, this means that Omani Muslims are not permitted to marry partners who subscribe to other religions, even Judaism or Christianity, which other denomination permit. There are several other areas wherein the Omani Muslim marriage and ceremony differs from traditional Muslim practices:

• Males and females are allowed to choose their own marriage partners.
• A matchmaker or family member is not the person who determines the arrangement.

Before the wedding

As Muslims in Oman live in a society where the sexes are totally segregated, the process of choosing a bride for a young man can be tricky. In order to determine the suitability of a young woman, the young man will consult with a close female relative. Alternatively, or if he wishes to wed a girl from another location, he may ask for the help and opinions of a merchant or neighbor.

Before the prospective groom meets the bride formally, he must ask her family’s permission to see her. If they consent, a meeting is arranged wherein the girl serves a meal to members of the man’s family. If the girl is deemed appropriate, negotiations will take place between the groom or the groom’s father, in order to decided upon the bride price (mahr) that the man will pay. This price is based on the beauty of the girl, her ancestry, and whether or not she is a virgin. Men who select a bride whose family is of higher status than their own must pay a higher price; while marrying a relative may cost the groom nothing at all.

After the price has been agreed upon, the groom and the bride’s father will sign the contract at the office of an Omanian judge. The bride is not present for this procedure.


The separation of the sexes

As mentioned earlier, total separation of the sexes is a way of life in Oman, and this continues throughout the wedding proceedings.

• The groom’s family will remain together in a celebration that may last up to three days.
• The bride’s family will celebrate for one or two days, and during this time the bride will stay in a room with any children.

On the last day of celebrations, the men of the groom’s family will travel to the house of the bride’s family in cars or on camels, while the women follow behind. The men wait while the bride is dressed in her most beautiful clothes, usually including a green headdress and lots of traditional jewelry bought by her father. The bride is then accompanied by the women of her family to the groom and his party. Many people from the bride’s house follow the party back to the groom’s house, where they join in the festivities.

The ceremony

At the groom’s house, the parties are once again separated, the bridal party is served food and entertained, while the groom is stripped and shaved, then re-dressed in his finest clothes, including a green sash. The green on both the bride and the groom is expected to bring good fortune.

After the traditional ceremony, the bride and groom will go to the nuptial hut, which has been constructed by the friends of the groom. This honeymoon may last for up to one week, and the couple remains unpressed by duties at this time. They are also given an egg to crack with their feet, in order to promote fertility.


15 May '16

Moroccan Wedding Customs

Posted by Priyanka S in Islamic culture

Morocco, one of the gems of the North Africa, is the country with very rich and active traditions. Like other cultures of the world, a Moroccan wedding is a great gala event. It’s celebrated with great fun and festivity.

A typically traditional Moroccan wedding process can take up to seven days. It begins with several pre-wedding ceremonies that take place before the actual wedding. According to the old Moroccan wedding traditions, parents would choose the bride for their son. The pre-wedding ceremonies include sending gifts and presents to bride. If the parents of groom are pretty affluent, they send opulent golden jewelry, clothing, and perfumes for the bride.

It is important to note that some of the customs followed in Moroccan weddings have no foundation in Islam. However, the Moroccan culture has adopted those ceremonies and traditions from various cultures including the French.

Furnishing Party is an important pre-wedding ceremony that takes place five days before the fixed wedding date. The “Furnishing Party” focuses on preparation of the bride’s new home. The party that is primarily a women's party delivers household belongings such as handmade blanket, mattress, bedding, carpet, frash, Moroccan couch etc., to the couple's new apartment.

In another traditional pre-wedding ceremony, women and female friends of bride have a party where the bride performs a sort of a “milk bath” to "purify" her. Bride’s negaffa or negassa (female attendants) usually supervise the event. The female attendants, who are usually older married woman, female friends and relatives, help to beautify the bride. They help her dress in a richly decorated wedding kaftan (usually white), adorn her with heavy jewelry, and beautify and darken her eyes with kohl.

According to the traditional islamic practices of Moroccan wedding, Henna Party or Beberiska ceremony takes place a night before the wedding. Henna Party is typically for the women of the family, relatives and female friends. Henna artists paint the hands and feet of the bride and her party with Henna. Bride’s hands are painted with intricate designs, which are usually floral and geometrical designs that are meant to ward off evil spirits, bring good luck and increase fertility. The grooms name is often hidden in the henna designs. The party enjoys tea & cookies, dances on Moroccan music and make merry. Later in the party, the older, married women discuss the 'secrets' of marriage with the young virgin bride-to-be. In some ceremonies, the bride is placed behind a curtain to symbolize her change of lifestyle.

On the wedding day, sumptuous delicious food is prepared for the guests. The food is prepared in plenty to cater the unexpected guests. Wedding ceremony takes place in great gaieties and celebrations. In old times, at some point in the evening, the groom accompanied by his family members, relatives, and friends, would move towards the bridal party. They would go singing, beating drums, and dancing. The groom and the bride are then lead to the bridal chamber. According to another Moroccan wedding custom, the bride would circle her new home three times before becoming the keeper of her new hearth.

In the modern times things have changed a lot. In old Moroccan culture parents would choose a bride for a groom, but the things aren’t the same in the recent times. Young people choose their own marriage partners now. Some of these old Moroccan wedding cultures and traditions have either vanished away or exist only in the rural areas.

Modern Moroccan weddings usually take place at night at big villas that are solely rented out for weddings. The men usually wear suits, and the women don their best caftans made out of delicate laces, and often intricately beaded. The ceremony is full of singing, drumming, dancing, and merrymaking.

15 May '16

Muslim Weddings in Malaysia

Posted by Priyanka S in Islamic culture


Like other Muslim countries, young men and women in Malaysia seldom interact together in public, much less in private. However, Malaysian men have more say about who their future partner is going to be than in some other Muslim countries.

The selection of a woman is initiated by the young man, who suggests his choice to his mother. The mother will discuss the choice with her husband, and they will determine if the girl is free or not. If so, a gathering of information takes place, with the parents of the hopeful groom asking their close relatives and friends to find background on the girl and her family. If she is of good repute and if her parents are agreeable, preparations begin for the engagement ceremony. The formal proposal and the acceptance are conducted by go-betweens (syaraks) from both families.

Engagement ceremony

The engagement is formally announced by the village headman at a mosque during Friday prayers. After prayers, the families meet to discuss the date of the wedding, wedding arrangements, and the time when the token of commitment (hantaran) will be sent.

Along with hantaran, the groom will often send the wedding ring to his bride. He may also include a portion of the bride price, but this is usually sent at another time which is arranged by the syarak. The syarak will also deliver the bride price, and both families at this time will convey good wishes.

Wedding celebration

Guests are informed of the wedding through either through invitations or, more commonly, through word of mouth passed on by close relatives of the couple. It is not an exclusive affair, however, as most people in the village will attend. In fact, many people in the village will assist with preparations, which begin a few days before the ceremony.

The bride will take her place on a dais, where she will sit in state (besangin) before the ceremony begins.

The ceremony is called berinai besar. The groom wears his formal wedding attire and makes his way to the house of the bride’s family, accompanied by other men who play musical instruments. He begins the berinai ceremony, which is the staining of the bride’s hands with elaborate henna decorations. After he has done a bit, he takes his place beside his bride, while others finish the procedure. The couple are then sprinkled with yellow rice and scented water as a blessing. Guests typically receive gifts that symbolize fertility, such as eggs and flowers, or artificial representations. Guests may also “feed” the couple by placing a portion of rice into their hands).

The imam then performs the marriage readings and blessings, and formalizes the matters of payment and gifts. The bride price is made, and the couple is announced as husband and wife.

As in many Muslim countries, the gifts of the guests are given to the bride, and are considered hers alone. These are brought forward to where the couple is sitting by the bride’s syarak.

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