From Henna to Honeymoon

Henna (also known as Hina or Mehndi) has been used as a cosmetic for over 6,000 years in the Arabian Peninsula, the Near East, South Asia, North Africa, and the Horn of Africa. It is coincidentally also the region where there are significant Muslim populations. Henna is a temporary dye that has been used on brides to dye hands, feet and sometimes hair.

Photo by Tela Chhe available under a Creative Commons Attribution-license
Photo by Tela Chhe available under a Creative Commons Attribution-license

Henna is an art form used to decorate the bride and make her look extra beautiful. A henna party usually takes place a day or more before the wedding. Traditionally it has been an all women’s affair, but lately, in some cultures men are also becoming a part of the celebration. Both the event and the art form is growing in sophistication and innovations.

Although as we mentioned this is a tradition in so many regions, the history behind it was to ward off evil spirits and make sure the new couple get off to a happy start.

Photo by amrufm 3 available under a Creative Common Attribution-license
Photo by amrufm 3 available under a Creative Common Attribution-license

In Middle Eastern culture, the bride may wear a green dress to the henna party. The bride and groom while seated have a white cloth elevated above their heads. A ceremony takes place while asking God to ward off evil spirits. and to ensure the happiness of the new couple.

The henna party could be considered the Arab or South Asian version of a bachelorette party. The bride, her family, friends gather and a henna artist paints exquisite designs on the bride. There is lots of food accompanied with music and dancing.

Photo by Rizwan Sagar available under a Creative Commons Attribution-license
Photo by Rizwan Sagar available under a Creative Commons Attribution-license

The henna artist will usually create simple or complex geometric patterns. Islamic art forbids depiction of any living form including humans and animals, but the intricate designs can still be amazing. Once the henna paste is applied, the bride has to leave it for several hours without it getting disturbed, so the actual stain that develops from this “negative” can become dark. This is a great opportunity for the bride to be pampered by family and friends.

Photo by Robert Benner available under a Creative Commons Attribution-license
Photo by Robert Benner available under a Creative Commons Attribution-license

As we have covered in other posts, Muslim weddings tend to be large multi-day events. Muslims traverse so many nations and cultures, there are specifics in each which are unique. The Henna party is usually preceded by an engagement party, and followed by Katb el-Kitab (The Marriage Contract), the Zaffa (Wedding Entrance) where the bride and groom make a grand entrance accompanied by drummers. “Cutting the Cake” and the honeymoon are more recent cultural additions, but they just go to show that from the henna to the honeymoon, weddings are universal.

 

PMW Celebrates Women’s History Month

In this Women’s History Month, Perfect Muslim Wedding would like to recognize a few of the many distinguished Muslim women of the past and present. These are women of character, courage and commitment who have made or are making differences for the greater good of humanity in education, social-issues, politics, arts,  sports, fashion, science and more.

Women's History Month
Photo by carmichaellibrary available under a Creative Commons Attribution-license

The Quran says: “O people, we created you from a single pair of a male and a female, and made you into tribes and nations so that you may know each other. Verily, the most honored of you in the sight of Allah is the one who is most righteous of you.” (Quran 49:13)

In honor of Women’s History Month, we want to bring together the rich history of culture and contribution from a faith that has so much to offer not only Muslims but humanity at large. Below is the list of 40 women, feel free to share.

  1. Ā’ishah bint Abī Bakr, First female scholar who memorized more than 2210 hadith.
  2. Aida Hadzialic, First and youngest Muslim ever to serve as a minister of education in Sweden.
  3. Amani Al-Khatahtbeh , Founder of MuslimGirl becomes first Muslim company in Forbes annual 30 Under 30 list.
  4. Ameena Jandali, Co-founder Islamic Networks Group, dedicated to educating the public about Islam.
  5. Anousheh Ansari , First American-Muslim woman in space.
Women's History Month
Source: www.anoushehansari.com
  1. Ayguel Oezkan, Germany’s first Muslim woman minister.
  2. Baroness Sayeeda Warsi , Youngest member and Muslim of House of Lords in England.
  3. Benazir Bhutto, First Muslim female head of state, served 1988-1990 and 1993-1996.
  4. Bilquis Edhi , Co-Founder of Edhi Foundation, largest welfare organization in Pakistan.
  5. Dalia Mogahed , First Muslim woman in President Obama’s administration.
Women's History Month
Source: Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dalia_Mogahed
  1. Dian Alyan , Founder Givelight Foundation, building beautiful homes for orphans around the world.
  2. Suzanne Barakat, Muslim Activist, Doctor, and sister of Chappell Hill, North Carolina Victims.
  3. Eqbal Asa’d, A Palestinian Muslim woman who at age 20 became youngest doctor in the world.
  4. Farkhondeh Sadegh and Laleh Keshavarz, First Muslim women to conquer Mount Everest
  5. Fatima al-Fihri, Founder of the oldest degree-granting university in the world (Morocco, unknown-880 C.E.)
Women's History Month
Eqbal Asa’d Source: hayatimagazine.com
  1. Hanan Al Hroub, First Palestinian Global Teacher Prize 2016
  2. Ibtihaj Muhammad, First Muslim woman to compete for the United States in international competition in her sport.
  3. Ingrid Mattson, First Woman President of largest American-Islamic Organization Islamic Organization (ISNA).
  4. Khadijah bint Khuwaylid, First woman to accept Islam.
  5. Lubna of Córdoba, First Muslim Andalusian intellectual and founder of the famous library of Medina Azahara.
  6. Malala Yousafzai, Pakistani activist for female education and the youngest-ever Nobel Prize laureate.
Women's History Month
Source:Wikipedia https://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lubna_de_C%C3%B3rdoba
  1. Mariam Sultana, First Pakistani woman to earn a doctorate in astrophysics.
  2. Mehreen Saeed Faruqi, First Muslim woman to be a member of any Australian parliament.
  3. Merve Kavakçı, First elected Turkish First Muslim MP with hijab prevented from taking oath, 1999.
  4. Nadiya Hussain, First Muslim winner , “The Great British Bake Off.”
  5. Nana Asma’u, Princess, poet and teacher fluent in multiple languages and in 1830 formed the first mobile school educating women in poor and rural areas (Nigeria, 1793-1864).
Women's History Month
Merve_Safa_Kavakçı By Gulmammad – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=21734275
  1. Nusayba bint Ka’b Al-Ansariyah, One of the first advocates for the rights of Muslim women (Arabia, unknown-634 C.E.)
  2. Nzinga Knight, First Hijabi American-Muslim featured on  Project Runway and featured designer at New York Fashion week.
  3. Rab’ia al-Adawiyya, Rab’ia was an eighth century Sufi saint who set forth the doctrine of “Divine Love,” (Iraq, 717-801 C.E.)
  4. Rima Fakih, First Muslim to win the Miss USA title, 2010.
  5. Saarah Hameed Ahmed, India’s first known Muslim commercial pilot.
Women's History Month
NzingaKnight. Source: www.goldderby.com
  1. Salma Yaqoob, Co-Founder and First chair of UK’s Respect party.
  2. Samina Baig, First Pakistani woman to climb Mount Everest.
  3. Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, First Pakistani to win an Academy Award.
  4. Shirin Ebadi, Iran’s first female judge and winner of Nobel Peace Prize, 2003
  5. Sultan Raziyya, First women Sultan of Delhi from 1236 to 1240.
Women's History Month
Salma Yaqoob: By Zuhairali – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=26318190
  1. Tahrir Hammad, First woman permitted to perform Muslim marriages in the Palestinian territories.
  2. Tawakkol Karman, Human rights activist and first Yemeni and first Arab woman to win Nobel Peace Prize.
  3. Wafaa Yaakoub, First hijabi Muslim to win, Miss Arab World 2007.
  4. Yasmin Mogahed, First American-Muslim Woman Spiritual Teacher and Author.
  5. Yasmin Ratansi , Canada’s First Muslim Woman MP, 2004.
Women's History Month
Tawakkul Karman By Karman_march_across_from_UN,_Oct_18,_2011.jpg: Matthew Russell Leederivative work: César (talk) – Karman_march_across_from_UN,_Oct_18,_2011.jpg, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=17254935

Black History Month and Muslim Weddings

Why should Black History Month be of interest to not only American-Muslims but the world over? Anywhere from 20-40 percent of African slaves who came to the shores of the U.S. were Muslims. Today more than 50 percent of the people in Africa are Muslims. The author Alex Haley’s research for the book “Roots” took him to the land of his Muslim forefather, Kunta Kinte in West Africa. For the past several decades, African-Americans  are the fastest growing reverts to Islam. There are many common social aspects we could dwell upon about the struggle of  African-Americans and Muslims to fight racism and bigotry, but for this post we want to focus on just the beauty that this continent offers in its people, culture, and traditions with respect to weddings.

black history month
Source:
www.pinterest.com/muslimwedding/african-muslim-weddings/

The Quran says: “O people, we created you from a single pair of a male and a female, and made you into tribes and nations so that you may know each other. Verily, the most honored of you in the sight of Allah is the one who is most righteous of you.” (Quran 49:13)

In honor of Black History Month, we want to bring together the rich history of marriage from the African continent. We want to share with you photos that reflect the beauty and dignity of African weddings.

Check out out Pinterest board for African Muslim Weddings.

Top 13 Adventurous Muslim Wedding Honeymoon Destinations

We wanted to follow our previous popular post Top 10 Muslim Wedding Honeymoon Destinations with new destinations for you, that expand the go-to places like the Maldives, Mecca and Istanbul.

Below are the top 13 picks by Perfect Muslim Wedding for adventurous honeymoon destinations. We selected cities and places that have some aspect of Muslim culture whether it be population, faith or other. As with any adventure you want to read and talk to people who can advise you of the dos and don’ts including travel-shots and safety tips.

In a great honeymoon you not only get to explore new places, but more importantly you have a chance to explore your relationship. Although most couples choose to go to the honeymoon immediately after the wedding, you can choose to delay it for a later more convenient or budget-friendly time. Because of course, there is budget and amount of vacation time to consider.

1. Cappadocia, Turkey

Photo by Moyan Brenn available under a Creative Commons Attribution-license

Outside Istanbul, this is one of the most popular destinations in Turkey. From romantic hotels in caves to riding hot-air balloons, this is a great honeymoon retreat for the adventurous couple.

2. Baku, Azerbaijan

Photo by xiquinhosilva available under a Creative Commons Attribution-license

Baku is the capital of Azerbaijan and the largest city in the Caucasus. It sits between two continents Europe and Asia and offers a cultural heritage influenced by both West (Russia) and East (Persia).

3. Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei

Photo by Jorge Láscar available under a Creative Commons Attribution-license
Photo by Jorge Láscar available under a Creative Commons Attribution-license

The Sultanate of Brunei. A small, but significant state adjoining Malaysia can be compared to Dubai and Singapore. With historical sites and grand mosques it offers a diverse range of attractions for the honeymoon couple.

4. Chefchaouen, Morocco

Photo by Jude Lee available under a Creative Commons Attribution-license

Marrakesh, Tangier and Casablanca are more well-known destinations in Morocco. For the adventurous traveler, however, Chefchaouen is a city known for its buildings in all hues of blue, is a must-consider.

5. Dakar,Senegal

Photo by 3baiD™ available under a Creative Commons Attribution-license

With natural, historic sites as well as luxury beach resorts, Dakar offers a lot of diversity. It is a great hub from which you can visit wildlife and go on nature tours.

6. Doha, Qatar

Photo by Francisco Anzola available under a Creative Commons Attribution-license

Although Qatar, like Bahrain and other UAE member countries gets overshadowed by Dubai, it has still things to offer. From The Museum of Islamic Art to beaches and ultra-modern hotels this a worthwhile destination to consider.

7. Isfahan, Iran

Photo by Ninara available under a Creative Commons Attribution-license

With the thawing of relations between Iran and the West, there are many tourist opportunities that open up. Although there are many go-to destinations in Iran, including Tehran and Shiraz, we picked Isfahan as it offers the greatest show-stopping beauty. It is known as “Half the World” as it encompasses so much allure and artistry. From ancient mosques to markets, this should be an important finalist on your honeymoon destination list.

8. Koloi, Gambia

Photo by Mishimoto available under a Creative Commons Attribution-license

Sitting on the mouth of the Atlantic coast and the Gambia river, the smallest country in Africa is also one of the most approachable. It has a diversity of landscapes from beaches to forests and wooded savannah that combine with colonial architecture to make this a go-to destination. Gambia has a over 95% Muslim population and compared to some of its neighbors, is a relatively stable country.

9. Petra, Jordan

Photo by Eliane Kobayakawa available under a Creative Commons Attribution-license

Petra, is the most popular tourist destination in Jordan. It is a historical and archaeological city known for its rock-cut architecture and water conduit system. Along with this, Jordan, relative to some of its neighboring countries, is stable and offers many other attractions for budding couples.

10. Phi Phi Islands, Thailand

Photo by Joan Campderrós-i-Canas available under a Creative Commons Attribution-license

Although Bangkok and Phuket are major tourist magnets, Phi Phi is a heaven-on-earth destination. A beautiful archipelago in the Krabi Province not too far from Phuket, it offers turquoise water and great resorts. It has a strong Muslim heritage with a mosque and over 80 percent Muslim population.

11. Samarkand, Uzbekistan

Photo by stefan_fotos available under a Creative Commons Attribution-license

As a former Soviet republic, most people don’t give this city and country the recognition it is due. Uzbekistan, with its famous twin cities of Samarkand and Bukhara, offer a rich share of culture and history including the Silk Road that passed through them. Samarkand is one of the oldest inhabited cities in Central Asia with a rich Muslim heritage.

12. Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina

Photo by Alen Djuderija Photography available under a Creative Commons Attribution-license

Although infamous for the start of World War I, and the tragic Balkans War of the 1990s, Sarajevo, along with other cities like Mostar, offer a rich Ottoman heritage of sites to visit and people to meet in the heart of Europe.

13. Tunis, Tunisia

Photo by nedim chaabene available under a Creative Commons Attribution-license

Sitting on the Mediterranean coast with golden beaches, Tunis and in turn Tunisia offer a cosmopolitan culture with a mix of ancient and modern.

Any others you would like to add to the list? If so, please comment below!

 

 

22 Muslim Wedding and Love Quotes

Love means something different to everyone, but one thing is certain, we all need it. Take a look at these 22 Muslim love quotes that we think you’ll love.

Photo by Azlan DuPree Available Under Creative Commons License
Photo by Azlan DuPree Available Under Creative Commons License
  1. “The Earth would die if the sun stopped kissing her.” Hafiz
  2. “Life without love is like a tree without blossoms or fruit.” Khalil Gibran
  3. “Allah loves they who purify themselves.” Surah at-Tawba (Holy Quran, 9:108)
  4. “Love for other people what you love for yourself.” Hadith Al-Tirmidzi
  5. “Become a messenger of divine love and truth.” Rumi
  6. “Your wife should be so beautiful in your eyes that it causes you to lower your gaze to everyone else” Sidi Shafi Sattar
  7. “Even after all this time the Sun never says to the Earth, “You owe me.” Look What happens With a love like that, it lights the whole sky.” Hafiz
  8. “Love is trembling happiness.” Khalil Gibran
  9. “Real men stay faithful. They don’t have time to look for other women, because they are too busy looking for new ways to love and please their wife.”
  10. “Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need.” Khalil Gibran
  11. “Find someone who wants to invest in you, learn from you, see you win, support your visions and fall in love with you daily.”
  12. “Love… it surrounds every being and extends slowly to embrace all that shall be.” Khalil Gibran
  13. “The person I am going to marry has been written for me years ago so none of us should stress, if you are the person for me then no one can do anything about it, and if you are not then InshAllah, Allah has someone better for you.”
  14. “The heart has been created to show love to those who show love to it.” Yasir Qadhi
  15. “Love doesn’t need to be perfect, it just needs to be true.”
  16. “Love one another, but make not a bond of love: Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.” Khalil Gibran
  17. “Find arms that will hold you at your weakest, eyes that will see you at your ugliest, lips that will kiss you in both instances, and a heart that will love you at your worst. Only then will you have found your true love.”
  18. “Love and doubt have never been on speaking terms.” Khalil Gibran
  19. “Art is the conversation between lovers.” Hafiz
  20. “The heart is the thousand-stringed instrument that can only be tunes with love.” Hafiz
  21. “I once had a thousand desires. But in my one desire to know you all else melted away.” Rumi
  22. “Beauty is not in the face; beauty is a light in the heart.” Khalil Gibran

 

Take a look at our 33 Muslim Wedding and Love Quotes.

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