Nikah Ceremony: Everything You Need to Know (2023)

The Muslim wedding, also known as the Nikah ceremony, is one of the most celebrated occasions in Islam because marriage is a Prophetic tradition. With more than 1.9 billion Muslims around the world, the traditions followed at a wedding can differ greatly depending on families, sects, and cultures but the fundamentals of the Nikah ceremony and getting married as a Muslim are always the same.

What Is the Nikah Ceremony?

The Nikah ceremony is the Muslim marriage ceremony. In the Islamic tradition, the marriage contract is signed during the Nikah and it’s during this event that the bride and groom say, “I do.”

Traditionally, the Nikah ceremony often takes place in a mosque and the leader or imam of the mosque officiates the Nikah. Most couples will set up a time for the Nikah and invite family and friends to attend the ceremony. In the Islamic tradition, the Nikah is supposed to be as simple as possible, so as not to place a financial burden on the couple.

Nowadays, it’s also common to have the Nikah ceremony either at a venue or at the bride’s house, and depending on the family, the event can become quite glamorous as people tend to mix Islamic and Western traditions.

The Meaning of the Nikah Ceremony

The Nikah is a religious ceremony for a Muslim couple to be legally wed under Islamic law. It’s a Prophetic tradition and the only permissible way that a man and woman can be married. This ceremony makes the wedding official because in the Islamic tradition it’s not permissible for a couple to be intimate without a Nikah. The Nikah legitimizes the relationship in front of God and it’s when the couple says, “I accept.”

(Video) How to get married in Islam including Proposal, Nikah & Mahr I Mufti Menk (2019)

“Marriage in Islam is a blessing,” says Imam Steve Mustafa Elturk, “and it is considered a very important part of faith.”

Meet the Expert

Imam Steve Mustafa Elturk is the president of the Islamic Organization of North America (IONA) in Warren, Michigan. He has officiated hundreds of Nikahs for Muslim couples is very active in the Muslim community and is seen as a leader and advisor.

Nikah Ceremony Requirements

The Proposal

As with any marriage, someone has to propose for the Nikah process to start. Imam Elturk explains that the woman or the man can make the proposal as long as the intention is for marriage. While in many cultures, it is often more common for a man to propose, in Islam the woman (or her family) can propose, “as was the case with Khadijah, the first wife of the Prophet, peace, and blessings upon him,” Elturk says.

The Acceptance

The Qubool is the acceptance of the proposal—but you don’t have to say yes right away. During the time between the proposal and the acceptance, the couple can meet as many times as they like to get to know each other as long as the meeting takes place in public or within close proximity of a chaperon.

(Video) 10 Things You Should Know About Nikah Islamic Marriage Contract || Amazing Video

Imam Elturk always advises couples to ask questions and see if they’re compatible during this time. Once both people decide they want to move forward and make it official, the Nikah ceremony can take place.

The Witnesses

For the Nikah, there has to be a minimum of two male witnesses that can attest to the fact that both the bride and groom say, “I do” or “Qubool” from their own free will and without any force from family members or anyone else. It must be the bride and the groom who agree.

The Mahr

The Mahr is an obligatory gift from the groom to the bride that the bride or her family can request. More often than not, it is a lump sum of money that the bride decides. Other times, the bride may ask for a trip, gold, or anything she wishes. Of course, she is encouraged to be fair and keep her future husband’s income in mind.The Mahr is also symbolic of the responsibility the man has for providing for and taking care of his wife.

The Wali

The Wali is the father of the bride who “gives away” his daughter. Imam Elturk explains that the Wali gets the consent from the bride—he does not give it on her behalf without asking her. If the father is deceased or there is some reason that he cannot “walk her down the aisle,” so to say, then another male guardian or relative can take on that role.

The Nikah

Once all the requirements are met anyone can officiate the Nikah ceremony. The bride and groom repeat the word “qubool” or "I accept" three times. Then the couple and the two male witnesses sign the contract, which the imam can provide or the couple can get their own, making the marriage legal according to civil and religious law.

(Video) Nikah Nama: Everything You Need To Know

Nikah Ceremony FAQs

Do the bride and groom exchange vows?

Traditionally, the bride and groom do not exchange vows. Imam Elturk explains that the imam or officiant will often recite a chapter or a couple of verses from the Quran, the Muslim holy book, and give a short sermon, or khutba, sometimes about the meaning of marriage, the rights, and responsibilities of the husband and wife or a similar topic.

Will the event be segregated?

If the Nikah takes place in the mosque, it’s likely that men and women will be segregated during the ceremony. The wali can accept the Nikah and marriage contract on behalf of the bride in that case. However, if the Nikah takes place at a venue or at home, segregation often depends on the couple’s culture or level of religiosity of the family.

What should I wear?

Dressing appropriately for a Nikah is important, especially if the event is at a mosque. It’s better to dress formally but modestly. Men and women should cover their legs and arms and women may be asked to wear a headscarf in a mosque. You can wear any color you like but guests are encouraged to dress up and celebrate with the couple. Don’t be afraid to ask the bride or groom what they prefer.

Will there be music?

It’s unlikely to have music at a Nikah, especially if it is held at the mosque. Because it’s a religious event, music and dancing aren’t too common. However, some families might have music if the event isn’t at the mosque or have soft background music after the ceremony is complete.

Will there be food?

Yes! It’s uncommon for Muslims not to have food at any event. The event is sometimes broken up into two parts if the ceremony is held at the mosque, so sweets may be passed out immediately afterward to celebrate the new union and dinner may be held at a different location. Depending on the family and their culture, the type of food may vary.

Will alcohol be served?

No. Alcohol is forbidden in Islam so alcoholic drinks are rarely (if ever) served at any Muslim event.

(Video) 10 Things About Nikkah In 10 Minutes

How to Plan a Nikah Ceremony

Once the couple has agreed to get married, planning a Nikah is similar to other events but the first thing to do is have all the religious requirements in place. Couples will often pick a date and decide on the venue. If the Nikah will be held at the mosque, get a time and date confirmed with the imam and invite your family and friends. The couple also needs to decide if they will serve food at a different location.

If the event is not at the mosque, make sure the imam or the officiant can be at the ceremony for the wedding and either he brings a marriage contract, or you provide him with one.

Ask two male relatives, often one from the bride’s side and one from the groom’s side, to be the witnesses and it’s best to decide on a Mahr before the ceremony as well so there isn’t any confusion or awkwardness at the actual event.

Once all requirements are met, decide on décor and seating if the event is taking place at home. Nowadays, Nikahs are heavily influenced by the all-white wedding of the West, so couples will often use whites, creams, and golds for the décor, which looks simple and classy. Couples often prefer to have seating at the front of the main hall so guests can face them during the ceremony. It’s also wise to have a small table nearby to use for signing the marriage document and sweets to pass out immediately after the ceremony.

11 South Asian Muslim Wedding Traditions You Need to Know

(Video) The proper way of doing Nikah (Marriage) and deciding the Mahr - Sheikh Assim Al Hakeem

FAQs

What do I need to know before nikkah? ›

5 Important Things You Should Check Before Signing Your Nikkah...
  • Age. By law, the age of the bride is given huge preference. ...
  • Deciding Haq-e-Mehr/Dower. ...
  • The Independent Right of Husband and Wife. ...
  • Talaq-e-Tafweez. ...
  • Restricting a Man To Marry While Already Being Married.
29 Aug 2016

How do you explain Nikah? ›

The Nikah is the Islamic marriage ceremony, whereby the Muslim couple legitimise their marriage in the eyes of God by signing the marriage contract in the presence of an imam and at least 2 witnesses.

What is the main purpose of Nikah? ›

Nikah is the religious ceremony required by Islamic law to unite a Muslim man and woman in holy matrimony. This ceremony holds an important place of honor among many families, even if they ascribe to more Western philosophies regarding marriage. The Nikah ceremony is designed to bring the new relationship before Allah.

What does the bride say in Nikah? ›

The Nikah ceremony.

The bride says "An Kah'tu nafsaka a'lal mah'ril ma'loom" (“I have given away myself in Nikah to you, on the agreed Mahr.”) The groom immediately says, "Qabiltun Nikaha". (“I have accepted the Nikah.”)

What do you do after nikkah? ›

Another important Du'a to be observed after Nikah is the one that you must recite before the sexual intercourse. On the completion of Nikah, it becomes Halal for husband and wife to come close to one another. However, it is not mandatory to perform marital relations on the first night itself.

How do you know if someone is your soulmate Islam? ›

The more loving and connected you are to Allah, the closer you'll be to your mate(s) whether you're together in this life yet or not. “It is He who created you from a single soul, And made its mate of like nature in order that you might dwell with her in love….” (Quran, The Heights 7:189).

How did you meet your spouse questions? ›

29 Questions With My Partner
  • Describe how we met. ...
  • What did you think when you first met me? ...
  • What do you think initially attracted me to you? ...
  • When did you think this could become something serious? ...
  • What are my best traits? ...
  • And my worst? ...
  • Have you ever considered breaking up with me?
4 Dec 2018

What should I ask my groom before marriage? ›

Getting Married? Don't Forget To Ask These 10 Questions To Your Potential Groom
  • 10 must ask questions for potential grooms.
  • Ask him if he/his family plans to ask for dowry. ...
  • Relationship with family members. ...
  • Who does the household chores? ...
  • Tell him you won't quit your job after marriage.
1 Jun 2021

Can you play music at nikkah? ›

Generally, people prefer to play slow sweet love songs at a Nikah ceremony. If a Nikah ceremony is held at a mosque, no one can play any music out of respect for the holy place. Music is usually played at the couple's house after the Nikah is done.

What is Nikah called in English? ›

In Islamic law, marriage – or more specifically, the marriage contract – is called nikah, which already in the Quran is used exclusively to refer to the contract of marriage. In the Hans Wehr Dictionary of Modern Written Arabic, nikah is defined as "marriage; marriage contract; matrimony, wedlock".

What is forbidden in Islam marriage? ›

(3) No man or woman, as the case may be, shall, on the ground of fosterage, marry any woman or any man connected with him or her through some act of suckling where, if it had been instead an act of procreation, the woman or man would have been within the prohibited degrees of consanguinity or affinity.

What are the rules of Islamic marriage? ›

In the Qur'an, Muslim men are allowed up to four wives, as long as they can treat each one equally. This is known as polygamy. However, if they cannot treat them equally, Muslim men are advised to have just one wife, and this is the practice in most modern Islamic socieities. Muslim women are only allowed one husband.

What do you wear to a Nikah? ›

Generally, long pants or longer dresses and skirts are most appropriate. Folks of any gender should avoid showing your bare arms as well. Women might be expected to cover their heads too, so bring along a scarf. For the reception, the same clothing rules apply, but you most likely won't need to keep your head covered.

How long is a Nikah ceremony? ›

The nikah itself is relatively short and can take fewer than 20 minutes. Even the vows and blessings portion of the ceremony does not take long to complete. However, you should be ready to spend a long time celebrating the bride and groom.

What means Mashallah? ›

(Islam) Expressing the speaker's gratitude for a blessing or their recognition of divine intervention in its occurrence. God willed it. quotations ▼ (Islam) Expressing the speaker's wish for a fortune to be maintained, especially against the evil eye; used in congratulation.

Can a woman marry without wali? ›

However, the Hanafi ruling on the said matter is that a woman can enter into a marital contract by herself without the permission from her wali. The right to marry with free and full consent, by a woman, is clearly given by Islam and is also incorporated in the national laws of the country.

Can a woman recite Nikah? ›

He told me that of the four schools of Islamic jurisprudence, Hanafi, Hanbali, Shafei, Maleki or the fifth Fiqah Jafariya, there is nothing that says a woman couldn't perform a 'nikah'.

What happens on a first night? ›

On your first wedding night, you'll be in a new room, a brand new setting and well, new in-laws too, who are probably sleeping next door. You might not feel too comfortable under these circumstances and it's important that you discuss this situation with your partner beforehand.

Why is First night important? ›

Your first night is very meaningful and these first night tips for bride are to help the brides to make it a memory of love, respect and lots of love.

How do you ask Allah for your soulmate? ›

Surahs and wazifas for love to find your soulmate
  1. First, perform wudu.
  2. Next, recite two raka'ts Nafil prayer.
  3. Then, read Durood Shareef 5 times.
  4. After that, read Surah Fatiha 55 times.
  5. Again, recite Durood e Shareef 5 times.
  6. Finally, pray to Almighty Allah and ask Him to accept your request.
7 Jun 2021

Can we say I love you before marriage in Islam? ›

Marrying someone you love is not Islamically wrong. One can have feelings of affection, attraction, admiration for another individual. This hadith indicates that love before marriage does exist. It's not wrong to have feelings, like someone or experience love towards them and want to marry them.

What are the signs of Allah? ›

Some of the signs of God in the Quran are classified as follows:
  • The Sky and the Heavens. God invites believers to think about the sky and its creation. ...
  • The Mountains. ...
  • The Day, Night, and Creation of the Heavens and Earth. ...
  • Rain. ...
  • The Bee and the Camel.
5 Aug 2021

What are 50 questions to ask? ›

Break the ice and get to know people better by selecting several of these get-to-know-you questions.
  • Who is your hero?
  • If you could live anywhere, where would it be?
  • What is your biggest fear?
  • What is your favorite family vacation?
  • What would you change about yourself if you could?
  • What really makes you angry?

How well do you know your spouse game questions? ›

25 "How Well Do You Know Me" Questions for Couples
  • What is my full name?
  • When is my birthday?
  • What am I insecure about?
  • What is my favorite food?
  • What food do I hate?
  • What is my biggest pet peeve?
  • What's my favorite TV show?
  • What's something that always cheers me up when I'm sad?

How much do you know your partner questions? ›

20 Questions: How Well Do You Know Your Partner?
  • Can you name two or more of your partner's grandparents?
  • Do you know the stresses your partner's facing now?
  • Do you know what your partner's favorite movie or musical recording is?
  • Do you know your partner's favorite dessert?
20 Sept 2018

What is the most romantic question? ›

52 Romantic Questions For Getting to Know Your Partner Better
  • What's your favorite nickname? ...
  • What is your conflict style? ...
  • Why did your last relationship end? ...
  • What's your dream vacation? ...
  • How would you spend one million dollars? ...
  • Do you like to cook? ...
  • Do you sing in the shower? ...
  • What's your favorite romcom?
13 Jan 2021

What a woman should have before marriage? ›

8 Things Every Woman Should Do Before Getting Married
  • Date and Have Relationships.
  • Live by Yourself or With Roommates.
  • Be Financially Independent.
  • Get in One Good Fight With Your Fiancé
  • Travel the World.
  • Develop a Hobby or Two.
  • Establish a Solid Support System.
  • Stop Sharing Every Detail of Your Relationship With Others.
4 Feb 2021

Is dancing in Islam haram? ›

While moderate Muslims generally don't object to music and dancing per se, a large portion of the faithful view sexually suggestive movement, racy lyrics, and unmarried couples dancing together as haram, because they may lead to un-Islamic behavior.

Is Singing halal in Islam? ›

The Muslim scholar al-Qaradawi states that singing and music in itself is permissible and pleasurable. He places several restrictions on them though. The content of the song should not be against the morals and teachings of Islam or be accompanied by other forbidden things in Islam like alcohol.

Who can be Wali in Nikah? ›

The most common sequence of the role of the wali after her father is her paternal grandfather, son, grandson, brother, paternal half-brother, and paternal uncle. In a situation where none is available, then the Qadi (Islamic Judge) would assume the title of the wali, or any other righteous relative.

What does Zina mean in Arabic? ›

Zina is an Islamic legal term, meaning illicit sexual relations, that can be found in the Koran and the hadith (the collected words and acts of the Prophet Muhammad). Muslim empires like the Ottomans, the Mughals and the Safavids defined zina in different ways. But it usually refers to adultery and extramarital sex.

What is wet lock? ›

: the state of being married : marriage, matrimony. out of wedlock. : with the natural parents not legally married to each other. Synonyms Example Sentences Phrases Containing wedlock Learn More About wedlock.

What is the best age to get married according to Islam? ›

The ideal age of the marriage is when the marriage parties attain the complete maturity, namely 25 years old.

Is kissing Haram before marriage? ›

Sexual, lustful, and affectionate acts such as kissing, touching, staring, etc. are haram in Islam before marriage because these are considered portions of zina, which lead to the actual zina itself.

What is halal relationship? ›

("Halal" means permissible in Arabic, so a halal relationship is one that would be allowed under Islamic law.)

Do Muslims kiss at their wedding? ›

Muslim nikkahs don't involve a kiss post I do's. There are usually awkward side hugs and the like in couple photos following the vows. 6.

What do Muslims promise in marriage? ›

Traditional Muslim Wedding Vows Template

I, [bride's name], offer you myself in marriage in accordance with the instructions of the Holy Quran and the Holy Prophet, peace and blessing be upon him. I pledge, in honesty and with sincerity, to be for you an obedient and faithful wife.

What can I do when my wife is on her period Islam? ›

Treat them like the normal days except the action of intercourse. The Prophet (Peace be Upon Him) said, “Live with them in the house, and do anything you wish except for intercourse.” It is very important to spread awareness as it is crucial for the health of both spouses.

Which color is good for Nikah? ›

Green is considered an auspicious color so why not wear it on your special day. We're swooning over these classic green Nikkah outfits that move from darker shades of green to the mint pastel green and neons too, you've so much to choose from.

Can I wear black to a Nikkah? ›

Unlike in most other communities, black outfits are acceptable for a Nikah ceremony. Your attire overall will have little to do with the community unless you strictly wish to keep up with their traditions.

What color should I wear on Nikkah? ›

The golden hues and silk material makes this perfect for a Nikkah bride. We can proudly say that the dress is an amalgamation of a variety of our signature motifs, fine material and traditional yet contemporary silhouette. Planning your rukhsati on your Nikkah? Well, then red is your color.

What do you do after nikkah? ›

Another important Du'a to be observed after Nikah is the one that you must recite before the sexual intercourse. On the completion of Nikah, it becomes Halal for husband and wife to come close to one another. However, it is not mandatory to perform marital relations on the first night itself.

What can I expect at a Nikah? ›

The actual Muslim wedding is known as a nikah. It is a simple ceremony, at which the bride does not have to be present so long as she sends two witnesses to the drawn-up agreement. Normally, the ceremony consists of reading from the Qur'an, and the exchange of vows in front of witnesses for both partners.

What does the groom say during Nikah? ›

The groom immediately says, "Qabiltun Nikaha". (“I have accepted the Nikah.”)

What do you wear to a Nikah? ›

Generally, long pants or longer dresses and skirts are most appropriate. Folks of any gender should avoid showing your bare arms as well. Women might be expected to cover their heads too, so bring along a scarf. For the reception, the same clothing rules apply, but you most likely won't need to keep your head covered.

What is forbidden in Islam marriage? ›

Prohibited marriage partners

Marriage between a woman and her father, stepfather, husband's biological father, uncle, grandfather, great uncle, great-grandfather, etc. Marriage of a man with women who are sisters or stepsisters of his mother or father.

Is Nikah valid without wali? ›

The presence of wali in Nikah is one of the necessary conditions that cannot be ignored. So if a marriage contract is held without the wali of woman, then it cannot be considered as a fulfilled Nikah and will be rendered as null or void.

How long is a Nikah ceremony? ›

The nikah itself is relatively short and can take fewer than 20 minutes. Even the vows and blessings portion of the ceremony does not take long to complete. However, you should be ready to spend a long time celebrating the bride and groom.

Which color is good for Nikah? ›

Green is considered an auspicious color so why not wear it on your special day. We're swooning over these classic green Nikkah outfits that move from darker shades of green to the mint pastel green and neons too, you've so much to choose from.

Can I wear black to a Nikkah? ›

Unlike in most other communities, black outfits are acceptable for a Nikah ceremony. Your attire overall will have little to do with the community unless you strictly wish to keep up with their traditions.

What color should I wear on Nikkah? ›

The golden hues and silk material makes this perfect for a Nikkah bride. We can proudly say that the dress is an amalgamation of a variety of our signature motifs, fine material and traditional yet contemporary silhouette. Planning your rukhsati on your Nikkah? Well, then red is your color.

What is the best age to get married according to Islam? ›

The ideal age of the marriage is when the marriage parties attain the complete maturity, namely 25 years old.

What is nikah called in English? ›

In Islamic law, marriage – or more specifically, the marriage contract – is called nikah, an Arabic word whose original literal meaning was "sexual intercourse", but which already in the Quran is used exclusively to refer to the contract of marriage.

Is kissing Haram before marriage? ›

Sexual, lustful, and affectionate acts such as kissing, touching, staring, etc. are haram in Islam before marriage because these are considered portions of zina, which lead to the actual zina itself.

What happens if there is no wali? ›

5. If the bride has no Wali, she is advised to come to ROMM with her mother or her immediate next of kin, whichever is applicable.

Is nikkah valid without mahr? ›

This is also sometime referred to as the dowry or Haq Mahr.. A marriage is not valid without mahr. It does not have to be money or gold. There is no set value.

Can you do a Nikah by yourself? ›

Marriage Officials

It can be the Imam himself or any other State Appointed Muslim Judge, Qazi, qualified Muslim scholar, or Moulvi. If you follow all the requirements above, you can do Nikah by yourself.

Can you play music at nikkah? ›

Generally, people prefer to play slow sweet love songs at a Nikah ceremony. If a Nikah ceremony is held at a mosque, no one can play any music out of respect for the holy place. Music is usually played at the couple's house after the Nikah is done.

Who can be Wali in Nikah? ›

The most common sequence of the role of the wali after her father is her paternal grandfather, son, grandson, brother, paternal half-brother, and paternal uncle. In a situation where none is available, then the Qadi (Islamic Judge) would assume the title of the wali, or any other righteous relative.

What are the rules of Islamic marriage? ›

In the Qur'an, Muslim men are allowed up to four wives, as long as they can treat each one equally. This is known as polygamy. However, if they cannot treat them equally, Muslim men are advised to have just one wife, and this is the practice in most modern Islamic socieities. Muslim women are only allowed one husband.

Videos

1. Nikah Islamic Ceremony Today 12-06-2021
(Albanian Muslim Dandenong Australia)
2. NEW | Advice upon Marriage Officiation - Mufti Menk | #Nikah
(Mufti Menk)
3. Proper procedure of conducting the Nikah - Sheikh Assim Al Hakeem
(assimalhakeem)
4. What is the simple nikah and what its prerequisites #Dr Zakir Naik #HUDATV #islamqa #new
(Huda TV)
5. NIKAH CEREMONY HIGHLIGHTS | Conducting a Beautiful Islamic Marriage
(Shabbir Hassan)
6. Zuha's Nikah Ceremony Orginal
(Allah Kareem)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: The Hon. Margery Christiansen

Last Updated: 11/30/2022

Views: 5325

Rating: 5 / 5 (50 voted)

Reviews: 81% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: The Hon. Margery Christiansen

Birthday: 2000-07-07

Address: 5050 Breitenberg Knoll, New Robert, MI 45409

Phone: +2556892639372

Job: Investor Mining Engineer

Hobby: Sketching, Cosplaying, Glassblowing, Genealogy, Crocheting, Archery, Skateboarding

Introduction: My name is The Hon. Margery Christiansen, I am a bright, adorable, precious, inexpensive, gorgeous, comfortable, happy person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.