Putting first things first, you need to remember that Muslim couples don’t normally recite or chant vows. The weddings vows, which are a pristine and quintessential feature of Hindu and Christian weddings, are not a customary or even faint aspect of Muslim Matrimony. The couple rather listens to the words of the cleric, the imam. Any adult and reliable Muslim male may conduct the ceremony too. The male speaks about the purport of commitment and beauty of marriage. He focuses on the responsibilities of the couple towards one another and also towards Allah.
Next, he asks the bride and groom an approximate three times if they agree to accept each other in nikah as per the terms and conditions of their pious and traditional nikah or marriage contract. Post this step; they sign the contract, which seals the marriage. The gathered congregation comes forward to bless them. However, you will come across some Muslim couples choosing to exchange vows. Here are the traditional and common recitations.
- The lines of the bride: She starts by mentioning her name. For example, I, Nishat Ali and continues to further elaborate on that. She offers herself in marriage and in thorough compliance with the rules of the Holy Quran and the Prophet with peace and blessing on him. She pledges with due sincerity and honesty to be a faithful and obedient wife of the man.
- The lines of the groom: The groom keeps it simple and precise. He pledges in all sincerity and honesty to be a helpful, loving, faithful and respectful husband. It’s an important observation that exchanging vows is not a core Islamic practice. However, it’s not shunned either. Hence, today’s modern couples, influenced by cosmopolitan vibes and cross-cultural impact are imbibing the vow exchange procedure in their Muslim Matrimony. It goes beyond that it’s a wonderful moment.
- Know your Nikah: The Muslim marriage in itself entails legal vows wherein parties, the bride and groom accepts the length of the nikah and agrees to follow the rules. You need to know that Muslim couples are free to determine the anything they want to include in the marriage contract. For instance, although Islam permits a groom to take more than one wife, the concerned bride may choose to entail in the nikah a specific clause negating and forbidding her man to do so. There are certain cases where the bride happens to be way too young. Then, the contract may have terms pertinent enough for that age of the girl at which you can consummate the marriage.
- The imam’s role: Traditionally, Muslim couples are married of by a Muslim religious leader, an imam. There’ a Quranic reading where the imam or a reliable male convening the nikah speaks about the essence of marriage and the spouses’ roles. He then asks the couple to accept each other willingly and affirm the terms mentioned in the marriage contract.
It’s an imperative for the couple to answer in affirmatives every time the imam asks the question. It’s a specific three times. Only then the marriage will be recognized.
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