Contrary to what non-Muslims think, there are a lot of differences between Sunni and Shia wedding traditions. They are two very distinct Muslim sects and have their own unique set of traditions, customs and ceremonies. Shia Muslim wedding ceremonies are very different from the Sunni ones and this is one of the reasons why there are very few inter-sect marriages. With its rich history and culture, it is certainly a grand occasion to attend.
Different Traditions and Customs of Shia Muslim Weddings
Here are some of the traditions that are a part of weddings in the Shia Muslim community:
- In a Shia wedding, it is not necessary for witnesses to be present during the ceremony. However, in case of a divorce, the couple needs to have witnesses present during the proceedings. This is different from Sunni traditions where two adult males are required to be witnesses during the ceremony but not during divorce.
- In the Shia ceremony known as Nikah, it is compulsory to have six verses delivered publicly. This ceremony makes a Shia wedding longer in duration.
- Another unique ceremony that is a part of these weddings is the bath ceremony. It takes place before the actual day of the wedding. The bride and groom-to-be take part in it to mark their impending nuptials.
- There is another unique tradition in Shia marriages that other Muslim sects do not practice. This is the temporary marriage arrangement. According to this arrangement, a couple can get married and stay in it for a pre-agreed duration. Once this period is over, the couple can separate unless they are satisfied with their partner and want to remain in the marriage. Couples do not have to go through divorce proceedings when they marry under this agreement.
As you have read, the Shia Muslim sect is less rigid than other sects. They have a more flexible outlook when it comes to marriages and the happiness of the couple who are in it.
Nowadays, you can find Muslim matrimonials online. There are reputed sites where Muslims can find their perfect match and marry under the traditions of the Shia sect. Since this sect is not as orthodox as others, finding a match online is a great way to find a life partner that you get to know in your own time and without any pressure from family or friends.
A Shia wedding is a wonderful occasion to be a part of. It has a lot of cultural richness and is definitely one of the most unique when it comes to rituals and ceremonies. Contrary to what you may think, it is not a somber occasion but one filled with loads of joy and laughter. Friends and family gather to celebrate the couple’s union and enjoy the day with them.
If you have never been to a Shia wedding and have been invited one, you should definitely make yourself available and attend the wedding. It is a great way to learn about a culture other than yours and see how other people’s traditions differ from yours!