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Embracing different cultures

Dec 05, 2016 | Candice King

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Yesterday I had the great honour of attending the wedding of one of my friends. It was also the first time I attended a Nikah (Islamic marriage ceremony). 

Women generally don’t go to the mosque but for a Nikah they are allowed to attend the ceremony although they have to sit separately from the men. That’s something about the Islamic culture that I didn’t know; I just thought women weren’t allowed in the mosque – period. 

The wedding weekend started on Friday night with a mehndi party – a gathering of women to celebrate the upcoming wedding of the bride to be. Dressed in my beautiful green sari (borrowed from a friend), I entered the venue, which was absolutely breathtaking! Persian rugs with cushions for us to sit on and organza draping with fairy lights set the scene for the Arabian nights themed celebration. 

As I had never attended a Muslim wedding before, it was an event that I was looking forward to; especially the part where I had to dress accordingly in a salah top and scarf. 

The wedding took place yesterday at Masjid Al-Furqaan and lasted approximately 45mins. The women sat in a room on the first floor of the mosque overlooking the men whilst the Imam presided over the ceremony. After the Sighah (exchange of vows) and the Qabūl (Marriage acceptance) the bridal couple were married. The couple was then blessed with a Du’ā (congratulatory prayer). The difference with a Christian wedding is that the bride stands alongside her groom when they are pronounced husband and wife and it was great to experience a different tradition from what I’m used to. 

Once we wished the bride, we made our way to the reception hall. Wow. Just stunning! The reception proceedings resembled a Christian reception in that it started with a welcome speech, speeches from family/friends and then a speech from the bridal couple. The difference came in after the main meal when the men made their way back to the mosque to pray before returning for dessert.

It was a truly an amazing experience to be exposed to another culture and tradition. To my friend and her groom, I wish you a happy and blessed marriage. Inshallah. 

 

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  • Sharifa

    Masha-Allah friendo looking good :)

    • Candice King

      Thank you Shar xxx