God's own country’ Kerala is known as one of the most religiously diverse states in India. Comprising 28-30% of its total population, Muslims are one of the prominent communities in Kerala.
Kerala Muslim wedding: The interesting rituals
Muslim wedding traditions can differ as per region but the main Nikkah ceremony remains the same everywhere. From Haldi, Mehendi, Barat to ruksat ceremony, a Kerala Muslim matrimony is almost similar to a regular Muslim wedding.
Firstly, a marriage proposal is initiated through friends; or family members. But nowadays online matrimony portals carry the responsibility of helping two like-minded individuals to find their soul mate with their category-based easy search options.
After a successful meeting between the boy and the girl, a few members from the boy’s side approach the girl’s family to establish a match. Once both the parties are satisfied, valayidal function is conducted.
Valayidal: In this ceremony, the boy’s family comes to the girl’s house and the groom’s mother presents her would-be daughter-in-law with gold bangles and other ornaments.
Ishtikara: This function is usually held at a local mosque in presence of the elderly relatives from both sides. Some selected verse from the Quran is recited by the Maulvi and this is known as Ishtikara. After mutual discussion, a wedding date is fixed.
Imam-Zamin: It is like a sagun ceremony of a Hindu wedding. The groom’s mother visits the girl’s house with some gifts and a silver/ gold coin wrapped inside a silk cloth. By tying the cloth on the arm of the bride, the groom’s mother shows her acceptance of the girl as her daughter in law.
Mangni: It is an engagement ceremony where the couple exchanges ring.
Mehendi: In Kerala Muslim marriage mehndi ceremony is called Mailanchi Raavu. On this pre-wedding evening, some female relatives of the groom's family visit the girl’s house and apply Mehendi on her hands and legs. They sing a traditional song which is called Mappilapattu.
The arrival of Barat: On the day of Nikkah, the groom along with his relatives and friends come to the wedding venue or bride’s house. The bride’s family welcomes the guests by sprinkling rose water and presenting them with flowers.
Nikkah: The Nikkah takes place under the supervision of Maulvi. The groom’s marriage proposal is conveyed to the bride by Qazi. When the bride gives her consent to the proposal by saying Qubool, the Nikkah is said to over.
Mehr: After Nikkah, the groom gives a gift called Mehr which is usually in the form of cash to the bride. Once the Mehr is decided, the marriage contract or Nikkahnama is signed between the couple in presence of two witnesses from respective families
The important post-wedding rituals of Muslim matrimony are Ruksat, Walima Chauthi.
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