Pre Wedding Rituals in a Muslim Wedding
We are all aware of the fact that a wedding is the most special day in the life of an individual. It is the time to bring into shape our long lived dreams as a child and all those expectations that we developed when we saw that ideal wedding of our relative. Not only does this event change us at a fundamental level but also brings in a life partner who influences/is influenced by our behaviors. And in this context I want to say is that it has a much deeper meaning. A wedding and its rituals though depend on the different religions existent in the society but they all are aimed at bringing peace and keeping evil away. Like every other wedding, even a Muslim community wedding has its own rituals but the basic preparations stay intact like printing of wedding invitation cards, booking caterers or decorators, booking banquet halls, etc.
There are some rituals that are different in Muslim communities and distinguish them from the rituals of other religions. These rituals are as follows:
Henna Party- The henna party is the most popular pre-wedding ritual held in Muslim communities where the female relatives apply henna on the hands and legs of bride and groom. This is often the first pre wedding ritual in Muslims. At this event, the bride is also gifted jewelry and other gifts.
Taking a bath- Bathing in water is often considered very sacred in Islamic traditions as it purifies and cleanses them before their marriage. This is an event that is attended by the female members of the bride when they take her to the bathhouse with all that dance and music.
Drinking Sherbet- In Muslims sharing sherbet is considered as the symbol of engagement. When the Imam finally announces a wedding, all the members of the family drink sherbet and share the same to celebrate.
Fatha- Once a wedding is finalized in a Muslim family, the fathers of both the bride and the groom meet at the mosque on Friday. They offer prayers with their arms stretched to thank god for the matrimonial alliance of their children. This ceremony is called Fatha in Muslims.
Turmeric Ceremony- In this ceremony, the family members of the groom also attend and gift the bride silks and jewelry. Females of the family along with the bride could be seen in yellow sarees. The mother of the groom ties a “rakhi” on the wrist of the bride to symbolize engagement and other members rub turmeric paste on the hands, legs and face of the bride. Turmeric is known to keep evil spirits away and provide glow to the skin.