“Marriage (nikah) in Islam between husband and wife is a sacred, spiritual, and social contract that is mutually agreed upon by both parties.”
Below are common terms used in Muslim weddings, we hope those of you who are new to Muslim weddings will find this helpful.
Allah: Arabic name for the one and only God.
Barat: Groom’s procession to the Brides home or city.
Dholki: A pre-wedding celebration for the bride, and women who are family and friends.
Fatiha: First chapter of the Quran. Also a ceremony where the wedding contract is signed and groom reads Fatiha.
Henna or Mehndi: Adornment dye with artistic designs used on palms and feet of bride.
Ibadah: Worship of God.
Istikhara: Prayer for guidance and decision making
Imam: Religious scholar and leader who can also perform marriage ceremony
Mahr: A gift or payment given by the groom to the bride which is mutually agreed upon and a part of the marriage contract.
Masjid or Mosque: House of worship, where the marriage ceremony may take place.
Nikah: Witnessing of the marriage contract.
Quran: Islamic revelation and holy book of Muslims revealed to Prophet Muhammad. Also spelled Koran.
Rukhsati: Farewell ritual in some south Asian cultures where the father of the bride hands over his daughter to his new son-in-law.
Shia: A denomination of Islam who accept Ali and his descendents as the inheritors and leaders after the Prophet Muhammad (SAW).
Sunni: The majority school of Islam that recognizes the four righteous caliphs as the inheritors and leaders after the Prophet Muhammad (SAW).
Sunnah: The example and teachings of the Prophet Muhammad (SAW).
Walima: Reception from groom for family and friends after the marriage ceremony.
Waqil or Wali: Representatives of the bride, usually father or uncle or brother.
Zawaj: Arabic for pair or mate, used in the Quran.