Exploring Indian Muslim Wedding Traditions, Rituals, and Customs


Indian weddings are joyful and filled with a culture that has been passed through centuries. Islam is the second-largest religion in India after Hinduism. According to census 2011 data, 14.2% of the Indian population follows the Islam religion.

Indian Muslim wedding follows the Nikah ceremony similar to the middle east countries. Nikah ceremony has countless rituals and traditions that are fun to witness when you are going to attend any Indian Muslim wedding. In the Muslim holy Quran, the wedding is considered as one of the mandatory duties to perform and it is the inherent part of the Islamic culture. In this way that person can preserve and multiply Islam, it not only about Islam anyone of any religion wants to grow his family which directly connected to its religion multiplication. In India and most other countries, parental religion is the first and last religion for the kids, but after certain legal age kids have the choice to follow any religion.

In several parts of the India ceremony and rituals may vary but “Nikah” remains the same as the heart of Muslim weddings. 

Pre-Wedding Traditions and Rituals

Pre-wedding rituals are fun to witness, as it is more likely to involve close family members. These rituals and traditions are a mix of middle east Muslim marriages and Indian culture. Due to the conservative nature of this religion, it is not as much as enjoyable than other religious marriages like Hindu marriages which are jam-packed with lots of music and dance. Music, alcohol, and dance are rare in Indian Muslim marriages as all of them are restricted in the Muslim religion. 

Here we are not pointing that only alcohol, music, and dance is the only source of fun in the wedding but if anyone is starting a new life (for both bride and groom it is the second phase of the life.) then why not celebrate it with some fun-loving activities.

The Salatul Istikhara Ritual

Arranged marriages are most common in India either you are Hindu, Muslim, or whatever religion you follow. In the Muslim religion, partners are commonly chosen in their community. Once the match is found by checking the family compatibility and others. The main imam of the nearby mosque is informed and then he performs a prayer to their god to seek his blessings. This is considered as the formal notification to the society about the marriage. Both groom and bride are the part of this prey to seek blessings from the god about their future happy life that they will spend together.

The Imam-Zamin Ritual

Imam-Zamin is a gold or silver coin wrapped in the silk cloth, which the groom’s mother or any other elder from his family visits to the bride’s home and ties it to the bride’s arm. Along with the Imam-zamin, the elder person carries gifts, fruits, and sweets. This ritual signifies the formal acceptance of a bride to her future family.

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Engagement (Mangni) Ceremony

The mangni ceremony is performed to exchange the ring between the bride and groom. Families of the bride and groom exchange gifts, fruits, dry fruits, and sweets. Like other religious marriages, the Indian Muslim engagement ceremony is the official announcement of the wedding to the community.

Manjha Ceremony

It is similar to the Haldi ceremony, this event occurs two days before the wedding. This is an adopted ceremony in India. Both bride and groom wear yellow color cloth and a paste of turmeric, sandalwood, and rosewater applied on their face, hands, and feet. Remember my point in Hindu marriages, well actually for anyone doing arranged marriage in India beauty mainly relies on the physical look of the bride or groom. He/She must be fair in the look so that in future they will not be ashamed in front of the society (Means it is an irony that we Indian’s still have the same old mindset about fair and glowing skin means beauty).

“Beauty will one day fade, People will always remember for their clean heart”

After applying the turmeric paste both bride and groom bathe with holy water. After manjha, Both the bride and groom are not allowed to leave the house until they get married.

Mehendi Ceremony

A mehndi ceremony is a women-centric event in which the bride’s hand is designed with henna paste. The evening before the wedding women from the family and relatives gather together and perform this ritual. These days professional henna artists are hired to create an awesome design on both hands as well as on the feet. It is necessary to add the groom’s initials somewhere in between the design. 

Not only is the bride embellished with the henna but her sisters or cousins also add beautiful designs on their hands.


Before the wedding, the members of the groom’s family visit the bride’s home with loads of gifts, fruits, sweets, etc. The groom’s family gifts the bride matching jewelry and clothes to be worn on the wedding day. Gifts, jewelry, clothes, sweets are known as sanchaq.

The Wedding Day

Groom with his family and relatives are known as baratis head towards the groom’s house or the place of the event. Upon reaching there the family of the bride welcomes the drinks and gifts. The groom along with his friends share sharbat (sweetened drink) with the brother of the bride.

Nikah (Qubool Hai, Qubool Hai, Qubool Hai)

This is the main wedding ceremony of a wedding in the Muslim religion. Traditionally both the bride and groom sit in different places. In the presence of Maulvi (a Muslim priest) and the close family members, both of them verse some readings of the holy Quran. Mehr (pre-decided cash is given to the bride from the groom’s family) is decided at this time. 

The final step of Nikah is when both the bride and groom agree on the marriage and they are asked thrice. A binding contract known as nikahnama is signed by both of them in the presence of two witnesses from each side, after completion of this, all the elder one blesses this newly married couple.

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Arsi Musaf

This is the first time the newly married couple see each other after the marriage is formalized. A mirror is kept in between the bride and groom with the holy Quran at the top, the couple has to look at the reflection of their spouses.

Post-Wedding Traditions and Rituals

It starts with the finalizing the right fit for each other to the engagement ceremony followed by the manjha (Haldi ceremony) and then the groom carries the baraat and finally, Nikah is performed. Like other religious marriages, an Indian Muslim wedding is really fun to attend. Even if you are a bride or groom (ehm ehm you must be in the 7th sky, thinking about your spouse.).


It is an emotional moment when the bride leaves her parent’s house after the nikah ceremony is over. When she arrives at her new house, her mother-in-law welcomes her and gifts her the holy Quran. It is associated with the duties and responsibilities she needs to perform for his new family and her husband.


It is a reception of the marriage and marks the official public declaration of the marriage. This reception party is hosted by the groom’s family for their relatives and known peoples. The bride and groom sit on the decorated sofa on a stage, people come to this reception party and showers them with gifts and blessings.

Yes, Muslim weddings have Non-vegetarian foods like biryani, korma, tandoori chicken/mutton, etc.

For vegetarian separate vegetarian food eating is arranged. If you are a pure vegetarian and hesitate to attend a Muslim wedding then I would suggest you to start attending it as the time is changing food culture is evolving, gone are the days when in Indian Muslim wedding only have non-vegetarian food now these days everything is arranged for everyone either vegetarian or non-vegetarian.


In this ritual, the bride and groom visit the bride’s parents’ house after the fourth day of the wedding (chauthi stands for fourth). In India, a groom is treated with loads of love and affection in the bride’s family. Both bride and groom are treated with lavish lunch and present lots of gifts from the bride’s family. Finally, this marks the end of Indian Muslim wedding events.

Finally the Most Talked Point:

Number of Partners or Precisely 

How many marriages a Muslim Man can do?

As a Muslim i was never fantasize with the number of partner and in future i never will be, according to me a single right partner is more than enough to live your life happily. Love her, care for her and give her whatever she wants in return you will get the same from her.

Here i am quoting Quran Chapter 4 verse 3 (Source: Wikipedia)

Marry of the women that you please: two, three, or four. But if you feel that you should not be able to deal justly, then only one or what your right hand possesses.That would be more suitable to prevent you from doing injustice.” The Prophet accepts the marriage of multiple wives but only if the husband’s duties will not falter as a result