Marriage has a lot of importance in Islam and is the Sunnah of our beloved prophet S.A.W. Due to the four provinces of Pakistan every province has its own wedding traditions and norms; however, the basic ideology and rituals of marriage laid in Islam stay the same throughout the country.
The Right Time of Marriage
The parents start looking for proposals for their children, especially girls when they hit their twenties. Although there is no specific age prescribed in Islam, according to the teachings of Quran and Sunnah, it is advised for parents to wed their children as soon as they when they reach their adulthood.
Women are the ones assigned with the task of finding the right partner for their brother, son or cousin etc. They search for the proposal among their families and friends, however, recently many marriage bureaus and marriage sites such as GetRishta.com have also come around to assist them in their search for the right life partner.
Factors Considered by Bride’s and Groom’s Families When Seeking Proposals
In Pakistan, when a girl completes her education, parents try to wed her off by seeking a suitable family with similar atmosphere and family values, so that she can live comfortably for the rest of her life. The usual factors that parents or a girl consider in the boy’s family include, the qualification of boy, his family values such as honesty, integrity, caste, region, family background and profession. In addition to these, Islam lays emphasis on religious values of both man and woman so that they can live their life according to the principles of Quran and Sunnah.
Arrange Marriage or Love Marriage?
Arrange marriages are a common tradition among the people of Pakistan. However, the younger generation today prefers to marry a man or woman of their choice. Both arrange and marrying of one’s own choice are permissible in Islam, however, according to Islamic teachings, the girl/boy who likes another boy/girl should initiate communication with the concerned parents instead of directly proposing to eliminate any chance of wrongdoing. Also, a marriage cannot be formed without the mutual consent of both bride and groom, as there is no concept of a forced marriage.
Pakistani Wedding Traditions
Pakistani brides are dressed in bright colored clothes usually a lehnga or a maxi threaded with embroidery of pink or red color. The weddings are divided into three phases, pre-wedding, wedding and post wedding.
Magni is the pre-wedding phase in which the bride and groom exchange rings with each other in front of their family members. The wedding date is fixed later on after the magni by the elders. Mehndi is another pre-wedding phase common among the people of Pakistan.
In Mehndi the hands and feet of the bride are decorated with henna followed with traditional songs and dances of young girls. Mostly the mehndi ceremony is attended by women and girls. Through mangni and Mehndi are not part of Islamic traditions, but they have become common due to the cultural influence of India and western countries.
Baraat is the actual wedding day, on which the bond of marriage also known as Nikah is officially formed between the bride and groom. The Nikah ceremony starts off with the recitation of verses from Quran followed by Muslim priest asking for the consent of both bride and groom to complete their marriage. Valimah is the post wedding ceremony given by the groom’s family as a celebration of his wedding.