Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Marriage Ceremony in Islam

The Wali
A wali (guardian) of the bride is necessary to represent her in concluding the contract. The wali is a male relative who would be her guardian if she were a minor, for example her father. However, if he is not available, a brother, uncle, grandfather etc. will suffice. If none of these exist then a Muslim ruler or judge, and if they do not exist then a prominent leader of the Muslim community (see Fiqh us sunnah, Syed Sabiq, Sar al-Kitab al Arabi, Beirut, 2nd ed, 1973, vol 2 page 120)."No marriage contract is valid without a wali." - Tirmidhi and Abu Dawood"A woman may not act for another in concluding a marriage contract, and a woman may not conclude her own marriage contract." - Ibn Majah and Daraqutni
The Offer and Acceptance
Both offer and acceptance must be explicit in mentioning the word marriage (or any other word in any language implying a similar situation). Both statements should be made at the same sitting, i.e. one party to the other.
The Bride's Agreement
The bride must be agreeable to concluding the marriage by her wali. This agreement should be specific to marrying a specific man and all other conditions, if any, must be agreed upon also.
The Witnesses
At least two Muslim male witnesses are required or one male and two females - all of them having reached the age of puberty and being of good character.
The Sadaq/Mahr
The Sadaq or Mahr (dower) is a required marriage gift given by the groom to the bride. It represents his commitment to take care of all the family expenses including her personal needs… "And give women their dower as a free gift." (surah 4 verse 4)
Sadaq may be money or in kind, but it should be specified in its kind and quantity. It may be paid in full at the time of the marriage contract, or postponed until a definite or indefinite date in the future. That which is deferred becomes due upon divorce. The value of Sadaq can be anything from $1 upward (and must be agreed upon by both parties).
The Procedure:
Witnesses and guests take their seats.
The wali of the bride and the groom sit facing each other, close to the witnesses so that they can be seen and heard by the witnesses.
A learned man delivers a short ceremonial speech (see the khutbah at the end of this article).
Then the wali of the bride addresses the groom with the following words or something similar:"In the name of Allah the Merciful, the Mercy giving, Praise be to Allah, Lord of the worlds, and Prayer and Peace be upon the Prophet Muhammed, his family and the companions.I marry to you my daughter (sister/niece etc - mention the full name) whom I represent, in accordance with Islamic Law and the tradition of the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) and for the Sadaq agreed between us." (details of the sadaq and method of payment may be mentioned).The groom answers:In the name of Allah the Merciful, the Mercy giving, Praise be to Allah, Lord of the worlds, and Prayer and Peace be upon the Prophet Muhammed, his family and the companions.I accept to marry the woman you represent, in accordance with Islamic Law and the tradition of the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) and for the Sadaq agreed between us." (details of the sadaq and method of payment may be mentioned).[This offer and acceptance should be declared in the presence of the witnesses, Allah is the best of witnesses. By this the marriage concluded and the bride and groom become husband and wife].
To make the marriage publically it is reccomended to have a walimah. The Prophet (pbuh) saw a trace of yellow colouring on Abd al Rahman and asked, "What is this?" He answered, I got married. The Prophet (pbuh) said, "May Allah make it a blesing for you. Make a walimah even with only a sheep." - Bukhari, Muslim and others.
The best way to congratulate the bride and the groom is to say: "May Allah make it a blessing for you and a blessing to you together with all that is good." - Tirmidhi, Abu Dawood
The Marriage Khutbah:
[This is not essential; the marriage will be legal without it; however, it is Sunnah to have a Khutbah].
Praise be to Almighty Allah, the Sustainer of the Worlds Whom we ask help and pardon. We seek refuge in Allah from the evils within ourselves and from our evil actions. He whom Allah guides no one can lead astray and he who He leaves in error has no one to guide him. I testify that there is no deity but Allah and that Muhammad is His servant and His messenger.
Almighty Allah has created humanity, male and female, each in need of another, and has established the institution of marriage as a means of uniting the souls in a blessed bond of love leading to their pleasure and happiness in a way advantageous to humankind.
The Quran says, "It is He Who has created man from water: then has He established relationships of lineage and marriage: for your Lord has power (over all things). " (25:54)
And He reminds us of His great favors: "And among His signs is that He created for you of yourselves spouses that you may live in joy with them, and He has set between you love and mercy. Surely in that are signs for those who reflect." (30:22)
And Peace and Blessing be upon His great and beloved Prophet and last Messenger Muhammad, who emphatically urged Muslims to marry. He said: "Young men, those of you who can afford to marry should do so. Marriage is the best check for lustful eyes and an effective help to maintain chastity."
Brothers and sisters, at this auspicious moment, we are uniting in the bond of marriage and obedience to the guidance of our Creator and in obedience to the practice of our beloved Prophet (pbuh), our brother (his name) and sister (her name) who have decided to live together as husband and wife, sheltered with the blessings of Almighty Allah and His divine Benevolence. May Allah fill their lives with joy and may He grant them peace, health and prosperity. May they always live together in an atmosphere of tranquility and never diminishing love and tender regard for each other.

How to Save your Marriage

each year in America alone, nearly 1 million marriages end indivorce. This is an incredible number! That would be as if all the citizens of Houston Texas were divorced (each divorce leaves 2 people).
The question is how many of those marriages could be saved. Unfortunately, that is an invisible number. If your marriage stays together, it is hard to find in the statistics. As Marian Wright Edelman wrote, statistics are stories with the tears washed off.
Can your marriage be saved? If I could answer that, I would be a wealthy man. I can tell you that if your marriage is in trouble and you do nothing, the outcome is guaranteed. If you do something, there is a much better chance that your marriage will be saved.And I can tell you, in four simple steps what you can do to save your marriage. You can start right now. But you must understand that I said "simple." That is not the same as "easy." These steps are not easy. They do, however, give you a path that you must follow if you want to change the destiny of a marriage in trouble.
Here are the 4 steps:
1) Quit the blame game. Stop blaming your spouse and stop blaming yourself. This is the first step because marriages get frozen into a pattern of blame that immobilizes any prospect of progress. Instead, the momentum gets dragged down and down.
Blame is our way of avoiding seeing ourselves clearly. It is much easier to point the finger somewhere and say "It's their fault." But in marriage, you can just as easily turn that pointing finger on yourself and place the blame there, saying "it's all my fault."
Unfortunately, blame feels good in the short-term, but in the long-term, it prevents any shift or change. So, even if you can make a long list of why you or your spouse should be blamed, forget it. Even if that list is factual, it will not help you put your marriage back together. Blame is the fuel of divorces.
2) Take responsibility. Decide you can do something. Change always begins with one person who wants to see a change. Understand that taking responsibility is not the same as taking the blame (see above).
Instead, blame is saying "regardless of who is at fault, there are some things I can do differently, and I am going to do them." What buttons do you allow your spouse to push? What buttons do you push with your spouse? Decide not to allow those buttons to be pushed and stop pushing the buttons.
What amazes me in my counseling is that everyone knows what they should be doing or not doing. But it is difficult to move in that direction. Don't be caught in that. Decide that you will take action.
The difference between blame and responsibility is this: if I am in a burning building, I can stand around trying to figure out who started the blaze, why it has spread so quickly, and who I am going to sue when it is over (blame), or I can get myself and anyone else I can out of that building (taking responsibility). When a marriage is in trouble, the house is on fire. How will you take action to save the marriage?
3) Get resources from experts. If others have been helped, you can be, too. Experts with a great deal more perspective and experience can be a real help in these situations. Do your research and divide the useless from the useful, then take advantage of the useful.
Don't assume that your situation is so different from every other situation. I can tell you that after 20-some years of providing therapy, not too much new comes through my doors. Don't get me wrong; the story changes, but the dynamics are the same.
Remember what Albert Einstein said, "The significant problems we have cannot be solved at the same level of thinking with which we created them." In other words, what got you into trouble will not get you out of trouble. That requires a whole new level of thinking. And that is what you get from an outside expert, someone with a fresh perspective.
4) Take action. More damage is done by doing nothing by taking a misstep. It is too easy to get paralyzed by the situation. Therapists often talk about "analysis paralysis." This occurs when people get so caught up in their churning thoughts and attempts to "figure things out" that they never take action.
It is not enough to simply understand what is causing the problem. You must then act! On a daily basis, I find people coming to my office with the belief that if they can just understand their problem, it will resolve itself. That simply does not happen. Resolution of the situation takes action.
Will your marriage be saved? If you follow my suggestions, you have infinitely more opportunity for saving your marriage than if you do nothing. Marriage is one of those places where it takes two to make it work, but only one to really mess things up. You can only do your part, but many times, that is enough. Resolve not to ask the question but to begin to act.

Monday, February 22, 2010

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Friday, February 19, 2010

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Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Pakistani wedding Traditions

Wedding tradition of Pakistan

Four Day Wedding Rituals of Pakistan

Brief account of Mangnee, Mayoon, Mehndi, Nikah and Valima


Pakistan is a land of thousand faces, a country simply overflowing with cultural richness. A blend of many languages, religions, traditions and cultures, Pakistan is one of the most culturally diverse countries on earth. In a land so varied, the possibilities for a marriage are endless, and customs vary according to religion, region and community. Whatever the preferences, a wedding in Pakistan is bound to be unforgettable - every marriage is the sign for an important family celebration. Although most of these celebrations do not necessarily fall in the boundaries set by religion and are heavily influenced by customs of neighbour and overseas countries, people participate in them with passion and enthusiasm.

It is usually the first event of a wedding. From this day on, the bride is proscribed from the groom's eyes till the day of marriage. Yellow color symbolizes the day of upton, the other name of mayoon. To mold into the colors of upton, family and invited guests wear yellow garments. Starting of this day is with the recitation of Qur'an. After the religious formalities, family and friends bring the bride/groom for the ceremony. The friends and family sits in circle with their percussion equipments (Dholak and Duff) and sings through out the evening.

This event is very colorful and full of traditional songs and dances. It is spread over 2 days - one day over at the groom's place to put Henna on groom's hand and the second day over at the bride's house to put Henna on her hand. Sometimes, both parties agree to have a single function on just one day and split the cost.
On this day, groom's family delivers the wedding dress to bride's family, and then her family takes groom's wedding attire to his family.

Nikah is the signing of official paperwork in the presence of a Moulvi (Islamic priest). After signing the papers and performing a religious ceremony, the couple is declared husband and wife. Shadi is the actual wedding ceremony and all guests are invited.
The ceremony is arranged by the bride's family and Baarat (groom's friends and family) come to the bride's house. Red clothing symbolizes this day of Shadi. The bride's gown is very elaborate, as are her veil and jewelry. Men wear a distinctive traditional turban. Dinner is served by bride's family. Rokhsati (the bride leaves her parent's home to start a new life) is the last event of the day.


Valima is the fourth and last day of the wedding. The groom's side invites all the guests to celebrate this event. The newly wedded couple welcomes the guests and family, and then mingles with them throughout the dinner