Muslim weddings enjoin a woman and a man together as a married couple who plan on spending the rest of their lives together. Teachings of the Prophet Mohammad show that weddings need to be kept simple, yet in many Islamic cultures they can sometimes be very lavish and expensive ceremonies.
If you plan on attending a Muslim wedding ceremony or if you’re a Muslim who’s planning on getting married, here are some tips for etiquette.
One thing you need to avoid is spending too much money. While weddings are very important, marriages are even more so. Money should be spent on a home for the bride and groom as well as other necessities. Instead of splurging on the ceremony, the families of the bride and groom should give them money and encourage them to save it for the future.
The wedding feast, which is referred to as “alimaa” in some cultures, needs to be large enough to feed all of the guests. A bit of money can be spent on a generous meal for families and friends. The meal can be kept simple, yet there should be enough for everybody.
Etiquette concerning the Mahr varies in different cultures. The Mahr, which is a special gift given to the bride from the groom, isn’t supposed to have any required cost. The bride and groom agree on the gift, as well as the time in which he will present it to her. The gift will be hers alone, although in some cultures she can give it away or share it if she wishes. While the price of the gift isn’t supposed to matter, in many Muslim countries, it is beginning to. Prophet Mohammad taught that brides should request only the smallest amount, so that the groom won’t feel burdened to pay for something he can’t afford.
If you’re the groom, try to agree with your bride on a gift that you can afford. If you’re the bride, then keep in mind that he may or may not be able to afford certain gifts. Try not to ask for too much if you don’t think he can afford it.
As far as the sermon goes, it is a proper etiquette to pay attention. The imam will give a sermon, and you can show politeness by listening. Usually, the sermon will consist of advice to the new couple, and will serve to remind them of their responsibilities.
Keep in mind that alcohol is prohibited at Muslim weddings, as well as certain types of small edibles. Don’t bring or serve alcohol at the ceremony. Sherbet is associated with Muslim wedding ceremonies. Sherbet, which is a drink made from fruit juice and ice, is usually shared at Muslim weddings.
The poor and less fortunate should always be invited to Muslim weddings. The teachings of Islam explain that the poor are the truly noble ones in life, therefore they should be invited to eat at wedding dinners. It is believed that those who invite the poor, especially the orphans, will be greatly rewarded.
If you’ve never attended a Muslim wedding before, then make sure you know the proper etiquette for attending. Muslim weddings are very special occasions, and you should play your part in making the ceremony nice and wonderful.