My First Attendance to a Muslim Wedding

Next to Christianity, Islam, is the world’s second largest religion. This religion was founded by the Prophet Muhammad and is the leading faith in the Arab world and in the Middle East.

When I got invited to my first Muslim wedding, I got so excited because 1. I have never been to one yet; 2. I know it will be an eye-opener for me as regards to Muslim rites, and 3. I am open to learning different cultures and traditions.

According to my short research on this matter, Muslim marriages are carried out in different ways as to the culture they are accustomed to. In the Philippines, Muslim marriages are arranged by the parents and relatives with the bride and groom.

To Muslims, their women cannot marry outside of their faith. Muslim men however, can do so as long as their children are raised as Muslims. After acceptance of the offer of marriage, the groom must give the bride a "mhar" (gift or dowry). From what I learned in the Muslim wedding I attended, the groom gave cash and gold and the things the bride wishes.

Studying Shariah law before, i have learned that in Islam, it is considered a religious duty and social necessity to marry. The ceremony must be witnessed by people but only 2 to make it official. There is no marriage license in the Muslim wedding. A “Nikah” has to be signed which gives proof to the marriage and filled up by the Imam, the Muslim priest.

The Muslim wedding I attended to was set in a restaurant, a venue where according to the Muslims is allowable. A mosque can be the preferred venue but not always, like some Christians do.

The Muslim bride wore sparkling, bright white gown with diamond studs sewn on her long sleeved gown. A very intricate and grand presentation of their culture, the bride is beautiful on her special day. The groom, I was surprised to see, was not into a Muslim attire but wore a western-style suit.

Mina, Beautiful Bride

From time to time, I look at the guests and noticed that the women wore their traditional Muslim attires, while the men do not. I was searching my eyes and imagined myself being in India or in Malaysia. My first time to a Muslim wedding made me realize I am a true-blood Mindanaoan, even if I am a Christian.

The Muslim Wedding Rite

  • The marriage ceremony is called the Nikah. The bride and groom are separated. The bride was locked in one corner covered with a small cubicle-like tent, where she is kept from her groom.
  • The audience listens to a marriage sermon given by the imam to solemnize the wedding. A recitation of the Qur’an was made. No misalettes for them, not even a service sheet but they all seem to know their part as the wedding was well coordinated as it went through different phases.
  • The husband was first wed to the father of the bride, a sign of assurance that he will take care of the daughter and her bride. After a few closing words, they are united together with a white handkerchief to close the nikah. After the nikah, they parade towards the area where the bride is carefully locked and the groom must look after signs of where the bride is located inside the tent where she is kept.
  • A handkerchief is swayed under the tent to which the groom must get with agility. This signals that the groom is already successful in getting her bride and that they are officially married. A “walima”, or a reception party follows the ceremony.
Mocsin couple

The groom and bride once again parades towards the stage, followed by their entourage. The couple is then seated together up front, and prayers are read for their successful marriage.
  • According to my office mate who invited me to the wedding, the bride and groom spend the first three nights of their married life separately. After the three nights, the bride’s father will escort them to their new home and fully give the brides’ hand to her husband.

I was really glad I was able to attend this Muslim wedding, my first time proved a worthy one as I was able to learn many things in the Muslim culture. Have you attended a different wedding rite? Care to share?


SleeplessInKL said…
Muslim weddings in the Philippines vary largely according to the particular tribe(s) of the bride and groom. I once attended a Maranao wedding that involved the groom having to pay 'toll' to relatives to get to the room where his bride was hiding! ;)
kg said…
wow sheng, i learned a LOT! :)

in fairness ha, naka suit si groom! :)
Photo Cache said…
very interesting. my first and only (so far) muslim wedding was a bangladeshi muslim wedding which is quite similar and also different from what you described here. i have posted that in my blog, but i cannot remember which date i posted it, but it was about 2 years ago when i attended that.

I'm giving away some postcards for my 5th anniversary. Come and see.
Oman said…
wow. nice no? i could just imagine the colors that the lady Muslim must be wearing. thanks sa info sheng :)
Lawstude said…
ako nga pala to ^ :)
BlogusVox said…
Garden wedding ba yan, sheng? Kasi naka "sunglass" pa yung groom. : )
doc anna said…
wow!i'm here in Malaysia but i haven't attended one yet! i only witnessed one chinese wedding. first they have a tea party exclusively w/ the family members and afterwards, they proceed to their grandiose reception (around 400 people), ang grand entrance pa is naka-motorcycle sila) followed by parang me nagko-concert, daming songs, cutting of cake and wine toasting. :)
bertN said…
Interesting. I've never been to one; at least, not yet.
Ibyang said…
this is so informative. thank you for sharing your experience. i'm not sure if i'll have the chance to witness this kind of a wedding but i'm glad i learned about it by readying your entry.
Anonymous said…
i was wow-ed with the attire of the women but went "blah" with the men. i don't know what's not to like with traditional clothes. sayang.

parang i want to read up on this rite din tuloy and then be able to witness it too! na-curious talaga ako. gusto ko din ma-experience mga nakita mo ng traditional weddings, sheng! *major major inggit* hehe...
pamatayhomesick said…
marami narin akong nakita na kinasal dito sa lupang buhangin at naimbitahan. kaya lang sa reception nalang ako nakakapunta.

pero natandaan ko isang linggo muna na naghanda sa ginawang tent at imbitado dun ang mga kakilala nila...bago ang takdang araw ng kasal.
kayni said…
very interesting. thank you for sharing. it would have been great to witness such a beautiful event.
dong ho said…
nice Sheng. to be honest ive never witnessed a muslim wedding yet and the rites, im not familiar.

it's nice that youve shared this side of islam.
witsandnuts said…
Interesting! Here in the UAE, the parents and the couple to wed lang ang nasa altar counterpart. Then, after the ceremonies, magkahiwalay yung reception for men and women. ;)
SunnyToast said…
Informative post and very interesting...ang daming ekek pala sa kasal nila pero bongga parin:)

Thank you for sharing...sheng:)
JafarR said…
Looks exciting ! It is great to see different cultures having wedding. I like the research you did about Muslim weddings!
Victoria Palmer said…
I've became interested with different kinds of wedding, especially Arabic and Indian, when I saw some hands with tattoos called Mehndi. muslim wedding traditions, as well as Indian;s are truly fantastic and getting to see photos and getting to know more about their traditions are truly great. Thanks!
MaximCreation said…
Maxim Creation are one of the foremost organizations engaged in offering a wide gamut of Muslim wedding Dresses. All these products are designed using supreme quality cotton and fabrics under the assistance of our skilled professionals.
Sharon Bajunaid said…
pamangkin ko ang never thought id see this here. there are other practices in a muslim wedding. ex.. a royal wedding.. there are practices a night before the wedding day.. there are proper way of walking for royal family.. there mahar or dowry aside from jewelry and money.. there are also clothes in suitcases and make up..just like in my parents case. my father gave a dowry of cash, jewelry, property, clothes and make up.. and a 1 week celebration feeding the whole barrio as well as the rebel groups along side with the that was 1970s so everything was cheap then.

nowadays...muslim wedding especially in the family is held in event centers..but traditional muslim decors like likos and umbrellas..etc are still present. muslim decors are incorporated to wedding theme of their choice.

my youngest brother is getting married on the 4th next be glad to share some snapshots of the event here soon.

ill tell rhea...the bride here bout this article..thank you all.. God bless

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