A Muslim wedding ceremony is an important event that requires proper planning and execution. Several people play crucial roles in planning a Muslim wedding and ensuring it happens without any problems. From religious leaders, bride and groom to family members and other individuals make up the crucial people that ensure a Muslim wedding happens.
So, what are the five crucial people and their roles in a Muslim wedding? The crucial people in a Muslim wedding are the parents, religious leaders, siblings, close friends, the bride, and the groom. They all play several crucial roles in ensuring the wedding happens without any problem. After the engagement, the bride and groom will start planning for the wedding ceremony, and they will require help from certain individuals.
It is important to have a marriage recognized as valid by the religious body and the country’s law. Many people come together to ensure that the ceremony goes on as planned for the couple to have a valid marriage. Read on to find more information about the crucial people and their roles in a Muslim wedding, officiate a Muslim wedding, and witness at a Muslim wedding.
The Muslim Wedding: 5 Crucial People & Their Roles
After getting engaged, a Muslim couple will start planning their wedding ceremony. The couple has to decide on various crucial elements of their wedding, for example, if they want a segregated wedding or not. They will need help from certain people, here they are;
1. The Parents
The parents of both the bride and the groom have important roles to play in a Muslim wedding. Parents have more significant experience in a marriage than their children; hence, their opinion on marriage is important before one decides to get married. Muslim parents will offer advice about their children getting married and if it is the right thing.
In many homes, the parents’ approval of a partner is important and considered a blessing. Parents will meet their child’s future husband or wife and give their opinion if they are good enough or their child.
The parents can also help in planning the wedding ceremony. Your parents will advise you on the type of ceremony you can have, the sitting arrangement, and the wedding location, among many others. Their knowledge of Islamic law and practices will also help you decide who will officiate at your wedding.
However, their decision is not final; the bride and groom shall decide what they want for their wedding. You do not have to do everything your parents suggest you should do at the wedding.
Sometimes the parents of the bride and groom will pay for some parts of the wedding ceremony. If the bride and groom do not have enough money to hold a decent wedding ceremony, their parents can help them by paying for specific events at the wedding.
The bride’s parents, especially the mother, can help her by paying for the wedding ceremony, booking the venue for the wedding reception, or paying for the wedding gown and other decorations.
The groom’s parents can host the guests for the walima. The groom has to pay for the walima; however, if he cannot pay for it, his parents can step in and host the wedding guests for the walima.
The roles of the parents do not end after the wedding ceremony. You will still need the help of their parents during their marriage. The parents will guide and advise their children on certain aspects of the marriage. They will use their marriage experience and knowledge of Islamic traditions to provide necessary advice to you and your spouse when they need it.
2. Religious Leaders
It is important to have a religious leader present at your wedding ceremony. One of the roles a religious leader can play at your wedding is the officiating role. The imam can lead you in taking your wedding vows. Their knowledge and experience in teaching Islam will make your wedding ceremony even more special. Many imams are licensed as wedding officials; hence, in addition to having a marriage valid under Islamic law, their officiating will make your marriage legal.
When planning the wedding, the bride and groom will make crucial decisions regarding their wedding ceremony. A Muslim wedding ceremony is usually in two parts; the wedding ceremony is the first part where the bride and groom sign the contract; this part is known as the nikah.
The second part is the celebration, known as the walima, and can take up to two days. The nikah can happen weeks or even months before the walima. The religious leader can advise you on the best wedding program, whether you should have the two parts close to each other or on separate days.
If you have your wedding ceremony at the mosque, the imam will read a few relevant verses from the Quran and provide a short sermon. The imam will preach to your wedding guests and offer marriage advice to you and your guests. It is a good thing for your guests to join you in celebrating your special day and grow spiritually by receiving teachings from the imam.
Siblings of the bride and groom are also crucial to a Muslim wedding. They play an important role in ensuring that the wedding goes on without a hitch. A wedding ceremony takes time and energy to plan and execute; hence, the bride and groom will need help from time to time.
Brothers and sisters will help them in planning and arranging weddings. The bride and groom will need to focus on the wedding ceremony. Hence, the siblings will take up some of the duties like arranging the decorations, booking the caterers, and ushering in wedding guests.
In a conservative wedding, the bride and groom usually celebrate their wedding ceremony in different rooms. Sometimes the celebrations will be in different locations; the groom and male guests will be at his house while the bride will be at her parent’s home. The bride’s brother will take up her place at the ceremony as a way of showing her consent.
Siblings can also provide financial support to the couple to pay for some of their wedding services. If the groom has trouble raising enough money to pay for the walima, his brothers and sisters can help him pay for the walima.
They can also collect some money and pay for their brother’s honeymoon. The bride’s siblings can also help her by paying for the wedding reception’s venue and the decorations.
Siblings are people you share a close bond with; hence their presence at your wedding can help you feel relaxed. Before the wedding ceremony, you can share a few jokes, talk about some funny family memory; this will help you relax and stop stressing about the wedding ceremony. It is not a must that they contribute to your wedding financially; their presence alone is enough.
4. Close Friends
Friends also play crucial roles in a Muslim wedding. They can help with planning the wedding. To avoid stress when planning the wedding, the bride and groom need to delegate some of their duties to other people.
You can give some responsibilities to your close friends when planning weddings. They can help by decorating the wedding venue, arranging and seating the wedding guests, booking services for the wedding such as musicians in charge of the wedding cake, among many other duties.
A close friend can also officiate at your wedding. The wedding officiant does not need to be a religious leader. The main requirement is that they know Islamic laws and traditions.
If you have a close friend with years of experience practicing Islamic traditions, they can officiate at your wedding. You also have to ensure that they have a license from the government to officiate at weddings.
Friends will also offer support to the bride and groom. The days before the wedding ceremony can be challenging for the couple, and they will need emotional support from people close to them. Close friends might visit them and offer emotional support.
Close friends can also offer financial support to the bride and groom. If the groom’s or bride’s family cannot raise the required funds to pay for the ceremony, their close friends can offer to pay for some of the wedding expenses like the decoration bill.
Your instincts might tell you that you can handle everything in your wedding plans, but in reality, you might require help. The people in your social circle can always help you with the wedding plans.
All you have to do is ask them to help you, and they will do what they can. Find them easy tasks that they can complete with ease and do not give them difficult tasks requiring experience in planning a wedding to execute.
5. The Bride and Groom
The bride and groom are the most crucial people in a Muslim wedding. Without the bride and groom, there will be no wedding ceremony. The bride and groom have to agree to get married to each other before the wedding can occur.
There are instances of arranged marriages, but both parties’ consent is important in making the marriage valid. Without the consent of the bride and groom, the marriage is void under Islamic laws.
The bride and groom will set the budget for the wedding ceremony. They will also pay for a large portion of the wedding budget; hence, it is their duty to set a budget they can afford.
The bride and groom will look for the items and services they need for their wedding ceremony and decide which ones they will have. You need to set the wedding budget; do not use someone else’s budget. You might end up in debt or paying for items and services you did not want.
The bride and groom will plan their wedding ceremony. The couple will choose what aspect of the Muslim tradition they want to incorporate in their wedding. The couple has to decide what type of wedding ceremony they want; religious couples choose a traditional wedding ceremony.
Young urban couples will choose a modern religious wedding ceremony. Young urban couples will want to celebrate the wedding together; hence, it is unlikely to go for a segregated wedding ceremony.
The bride and groom will also see the wedding through by ensuring everything goes as planned. The couple will participate in all the traditions required to make a Muslim marriage valid. Perfect execution of all the events in the wedding ceremony is the dream of every bride and groom.
Another role of the bride and groom is to take their wedding vows. Wedding vows are important because they show the bride and groom’s consent to marry each other. Wedding vows also show the bride and groom’s promise to commit to each other throughout the marriage.
Without the wedding vows, the marriage is invalid. It is recommended that the bride and groom have their nikah in front of their wedding guests so that many people can witness them entering into the marriage contract.
Who Can Officiate a Muslim Wedding?
Islamic laws do not appoint a specific individual to officiate Muslim weddings. The general rule is that anyone with proper knowledge and experience practicing Islamic laws and traditions can officiate the wedding. Unlike other religious institutions, which require their clergy to officiate all the wedding ceremonies, the Muslim faith does not require a wedding officiant to be a religious leader.
A close family member or friend can officiate at your weddings. You have to look at their knowledge and experience as a Muslim. The Muslim wedding is conducted in the Arabic language; hence, the officiant needs to be fluent in the Arabic language.
There is a certain practice that the officiant ought to know because the bride and groom might need advice on such practices. So, if you know a family member or close friends with the necessary skills and knowledge to officiate a wedding, you can ask them to officiate at your wedding.
The location of the wedding might decide who gets to officiate your wedding. If you hold your wedding ceremony at home or in a location outside of the mosque, then you can pick who will officiate the wedding.
If you are having your wedding in a mosque, a religious leader will officiate the wedding. Most mosques have marriage officers known as qazi or Madhun who officiate the weddings in their mosques.
The wedding officiant’s role is not only to administer and witness the bride and groom taking their wedding vows; they also have to ensure that the wedding goes on smoothly. They have to create a beautiful ceremony that will leave a lasting impression on the couple and their guests. A wedding officiant has to ensure that the guests have a good time during the wedding ceremony.
The most traditional couple who have their weddings at the mosque prefer an imam to officiate at their wedding. Most of them want the presence of a dignified person with a deep understanding of religious and legal provisions. It is self-assuring to know that your wedding officiant is an imam with years of practice as a Muslim leader. Their presence also gives the couple hopes that God is also present at their wedding ceremony.
The main duty of a wedding officiant is to make your wedding official by fulfilling the requirements set by the marriage laws of the Islam religion. They have to be present at the wedding and check everything needed to make the marriage valid.
They carry out this duty by administering and witnessing the wedding vows; in a Muslim wedding, the officiant will say the wedding vows, and the bride and groom will repeat the vows three times. They witness the marriage by signing the marriage certificate.
Your wedding officiant will also give you advice about marriage life before the wedding ceremony. Most of the imams who are wedding officiants have years of experience in marriage. They will use this experience to advise you on various matters that concern marriage life.
So when selecting your wedding officiant, look at his marriage life and see if he can provide useful advice. They can also offer you advice or opinion on other issues concerning your wedding plans.
A wedding officiant is an anti-stress medicine during the wedding ceremony. They try and relieve the bride and groom’s stress during the planning of the wedding and on the wedding day. When selecting your wedding officiant, make sure they have excellent communication skills.
They can make a joke to ease the tension and say reassuring words to the bride and groom. You will regret it if you pick an individual who does not know how to speak in a crowd or has zero people skills.
The main reason why couples pick a relative or a close friend to officiate at their wedding is to make the event more intimate and personal. Having a close friend or relative standing next to you as you say to start a new life as a married couple is special; you will remember that moment for a long time.
Another reason to pick a close friend or relative to be a wedding officiant is that it will not cost you anything. It is less expensive than having a religious leader officiate at your wedding. Most religious leaders will request you to pay some fees for their services, while a close friend or relative will do it for free.
Who Can Be a Witness at A Muslim Wedding?
At a Muslim wedding, a witness is an individual called upon by the bride and groom to confirm that they have given their consent to marry. During the nikah, the bride and groom will sign the marriage contract, and it is a requirement that witnesses be present to see them do it.
The witnesses will also sign the marriage certificate to make the marriage legal under the country’s marriage laws. To be a witness at a Muslim wedding, a person has to fulfill certain conditions.
The first condition is that the individual has to be an adult, at least eighteen years of age. Witnesses are part of the marriage ceremony because their presence might be required in the future to prove the legality of the marriage.
If one of the parties says that the marriage is not valid, the witnesses can be called upon to show that the marriage is valid. Many countries require a person to be an adult before they can enter into a contract. If the witness to the marriage is underage, you may have difficulties proving the marriage is legal.
Another condition is that the witness has to be a sane and responsible person. They have to know what they are witnessing, and they have to be of good behavior. Only sane adults can enter into or witness any type of contract.
You cannot have a person of ill repute as a witness at your wedding ceremony. They have to be responsible adults who know that a Muslim wedding ceremony is an important event.
In a conservative wedding ceremony, sometimes, the wedding officiant will request that the wedding witnesses be Muslims. During the nikah, in a conservative Muslim wedding, the couple will only invite Muslim quests.
If the witness is a non-Muslim, they will not be allowed inside the venue; hence, cannot witness the wedding. So, if you have a conservative Muslim wedding, you may have to invite two Muslims to be your witness.
Another condition is that the witness is a male adult. Only in conservative Muslim weddings will it be a requirement that all the witnesses to the marriage be male adults.
Due to gender segregation, women will not be allowed at the nikah; hence, the bride and groom will have to select two men to witness their marriage. The couple and the witnesses will sign the marriage contract, and the wedding officiant will read their vows to the guests later at the ceremony.
However, in modern Muslim weddings, witnesses do not have to be male or Muslim. You can have a non-Muslim wedding or a female Muslim to witness your wedding. If the wedding is not segregated, women can witness the wedding.
In some Islamic sects, if one wants to have female witnesses at their wedding, they will have to include a male witness. Others do not require a male witness as long as the female witnesses are sane adults.
The minimum number of witnesses required in a Muslim wedding is two. The bride and groom will decide on who they will pick as their witnesses. In Sunni Islam, the marriage contract’s singing has to be witnessed by at least two witnesses. Their presence is critical in making the marriage valid.
The witnesses also act as a protection against suspicions of adulterous relationships. They assure the bride and groom that they will watch over the marriage to ensure no party cheats on the other.
In Shia Islam, witnesses are important but not a necessity in making the marriage valid. If the couple has people who can witness the marriage, they can invite them to witness their wedding ceremony. If the couple cannot find people to witness their marriage, they can continue with the nikah without the witnesses.
Marriage is still valid under Islam law even if the couple decides not to have witnesses during their marriage contract signing. The Sunni caliphs introduced having people witness a marriage to ensure that couples do not engage in secret marriages.
Many couples believe that their best man and maid of honor should be the ones to witness their marriage. You can use anyone as long as they fulfill the conditions of being a witness at a Muslim wedding. You can ask a close relative or friend to be a witness at your wedding.
Having a close friend or relative witness at your wedding will make the events more memorable and strengthen your relationship with them. When selecting a wedding witness, ensure you choose someone you know will be proud and happy to fulfill your request.
Several people play important roles in ensuring that the wedding goes on without a hitch. The bride and groom’s parents will do everything they can to make sure their children have the best wedding ceremony.
When called upon, siblings and close friends will also execute their roles to make sure the couple celebrates their special day. The bride and groom are the most crucial people in a Muslim wedding because there is no wedding ceremony without them.
There are no laws that require a specific person to officiate a Muslim wedding. Before officiating a Muslim wedding, the only requirement to fulfill is to have an accurate knowledge of Islamic laws and experience in Islamic traditions.
Most couples will select an imam to officiate their wedding if it is held in a mosque. If a couple has their wedding in a different location, they will choose someone close to them to officiate the wedding.
A Muslim wedding witness has to be a sane and responsible adult. You can select either male or female witnesses depending on your sect’s traditions.