Things to Keep in Mind While Attending a Muslim Wedding
Muslim wedding aren't all that different from any other traditional wedding, but there are still some things you should keep in mind if you're going to be attending one. They are by no means complicated, but it is entirely possible that you may not be aware of them if, especially if you haven't grown up in a Muslim culture or household. Given below are certain things that you should keep in mind if you're planning on attending a Muslim wedding in the near future and also while picking out a gift for a Muslim bride and groom.
Strictly No Alcohol or Pork
Muslims are not allowed to consume alcohol or products that contain pork. Please keep in mind that at a Muslim wedding, gifts that wouldn't seem out of place at other weddings, like bottles of wine or champagne, could at best be met with disapproval or at worse with offence. Please do not gift a Muslim couple items that contain either.
Even if you know for a fact that either the groom or the bride do enjoy alcohol, chances are the rest of the family is not aware of this. If you absolutely must get your Muslim friend a bottle of alcohol on his wedding day because you know he or she would appreciate it at least make sure that you give it in private and not during or after the ceremony, when he or she will be surrounded by friends and families.
Always Think Practical Over Expensive
While a Muslim Wedding will appear extravagant to the outsider, this does not extend to the gifts expected from the guests. Guests are not expected to gift the new couple expensive things. What will be most appreciated are things of a practical nature or gifts that symbolise the spiritual union of the couple.
Muslim weddings, while extravagant, expect people to dress modestly and in accordance with their traditions. While bright and festive clothing is not discouraged, please keep in mind that revealing clothing will be frowned upon. Similarly risque wedding cards or jokes during the wedding are a bad idea.
Separate Seating for Men and Women
Chances are that men and women will be seated separately during the ceremony. While this is not the case at every wedding, don't be surprised if you do happen to see this. Moreover, while mingling between genders is not actively discouraged, please remember to be respectful at all times.
Best Wedding Gift Ideas for a Muslim Couple
Never been to a Muslim wedding? Have no idea what to get the beautiful couple as a gift? Don't worry. Given below are a few ideas that'll make it easier for you to pick out the perfect gift.
Crystal Mosque Replica
This scale model of the Kaaba at Mecca, the high seat of Islam is an ideal choice as a Muslim wedding gift. This delicate Black With Gold elegant model is sealed with a transparent cover. Indeed this is a thoughtful and respectful way of congratulating the happy couple on their wedding day. Priced at Rs.995, you can order the Kaaba Scale Model from Amazon.
His and Hers Bukhraat Halal Attar Set
Attar are natural formed alcohol free perfumes used predominantly in traditional Arab and Muslim cultures. They tend to be very strong scents, often requiring only a drop or two to be used. Muslims are particularly fond of attar specifically because of the fact that it contains no alcohol. While you can find many companies and brands that produce Attar, you can't go wrong with Al-Areeb. Priced quite inexpensively at Rs.548, this would make a great gift for a muslim couple. You can order the set from Snapdeal here.
Islamic Calligraphy Canvas
Islam traditionally has been disapproving of art that depicts living things. One of the ways the culture has evolved due to this prohibition is through the art of calligraphy. You will find that most mosques and religious places will have no pictures or paintings but rather extensive calligraphy. This extends to Muslim homes as well, you'll often find canvases filled with calligraphy put up as home decor.
If your unsure about what to get a Muslim couple, this canvas would make a great gift. This canvas, made from a blend of cotton and synthetic fabric, features the names of the Islamic Prophet Muhammed and Allah. It is also quite easy to clean and maintain. Priced at Rs.1,999, this would be welcomed and appreciated by any Muslim couple and can be ordered on Amazon.
Hijab Brooch Set
Muslim women traditionally cover their heads with scarves and some even cover their faces with veils. This practice as well as the scarf they use is referred to as hijab. While most Muslim are practiced at it and make it look easy, hijab does require time and effort to be done right. This set of brooches will go a long way in help making it easier for them. While there are many types of pins that are used by women for hijab in general, these are more decorative and well made than most.
Made from zinc alloy and featuring a rhinestones and pearl design, the pin in brass allow also has a cover that makes it perfect for head scarves made out of delicate materials that would otherwise be snagged or damaged by standard pins or brooches. Pins and brooches like these are also often quite easily lost, so a Muslim woman can never have too many of them. Get this Butterfly Hijab Pin on Amazon at the price of Rs.499 here.
Set of Tasbih (Prayer Beads)
Muslim prayers sometimes include chants called Dhikr that are repeated for a set number of times. Traditionally Muslims used tasbih (prayer beads) to keep track of the number of times they've chanted a particular verse. These days most Muslims use mechanical counters but there are still many who prefer the use of tasbih. Gift them these 8 mm Oud Aloeswood Tasbih Prayer Beads by Exotic Beads. Made from aloewood, the same material used to make incense and oud, this fragrant set of tasbih would be an incredibly thoughtful gift for any devout muslim. Priced at Rs.3,403, the set can be ordered from Amazon.
Allah Decorative Plate
This decorative plate made from durable acrylic, reads 'Allah - Jalla Jalaaluhu" which translates to Allah - The Glorious and Mighty. Written in classical Arabic calligraphy, this gold and black decorative plate would make a great showpiece. It also comes with a foldable stand for those who'd prefer to keep it on top of a table rather than hang it on a wall. A thoughtful and understanding gift, it would be appreciated by any Muslim. The plate set is made in Ajmer Sharif . Priced at Rs.543, it can be ordered on Amazon.
Blacksmith Black Onyx Cufflinks
In many parts of the world, particularly India and the Arab countries, traditional clothing worn by Muslim men have long sleeves and cuffs. While most have buttons sewn on these days, there are still many who prefer cufflinks. Hand finished and featuring an interesting design containing black onyx that is topped off with a black Swarovski crystal, these cufflinks can be considered both incredibly stylish and traditional at the same time. Priced at Rs.2,476, they'd be a great gift for any man, Muslim or otherwise and can be ordered from Amazon.
99 Names of Allah
The 99 names of Allah, also called the 99 attributes of Allah are the names of Allah that have been revealed through the Holy Qur'an. This Tamatina Fabric 99 Names of Allah Islamic Canvas Painting, specifically handpicked and processed to be able to absorb machine ink, has all the 99 names digitally embedded onto it. This leaves the canvas relatively easy to maintain and forgoes the need for any sort of frame to help protect it from dust, as the canvas can be cleaned with the help of nothing more than a damp cloth and the ink will still be left undisturbed. A perfect gift for the wall of any Muslim households' living room, that you will be appreciated for, the canvas is priced at Rs.1,198 and can be ordered from Amazon.
Duggat Al Oudh Cambodi with Incense Diffuser
Oudh, also known as Aloeswood or Agarwood, is a fragrant resinous wood used traditionally all over the world by Muslims. Burnt traditionally with the help of coal and along with frankincense, oudh is great way to air out any room. Quite common in Muslim households, oudh is normally burnt during sunset before evening prayers in Muslim houses as well as in mosques.
When it comes to manufacturers of the product today, you cannot go wrong with Kivalo's Oudh al Cambodi. Pair this along with Aromafume's Tree of Life Incense Diffuser, and you'd have a great gift that any Muslim family will appreciate and find incredibly thoughtful. Kivalo's Oudh al Cambodi is priced at Rs.2,999 can be ordered from Amazon.
The Essential Rumi (Book of Poetry)
Jalal-ad-Din Muhammed Rumi, or simply Rumi as he is widely known today, was a Sufi cleric, scholar and poet. His poetry, written originally in Persian is considered some of the best to to have been written in the language. Rumi's works have been extensively translated in multiple languages and have influenced many people, Muslim and non-Muslim alike over the past seven centuries and continue to do so to the present day.
Today, considered one of the best examples of Sufi mysticism and literature, a gift of his works would be well received by any Muslim. The Essential Rumi, translated by Coleman Barks, is probably the best place to start when reading Rumi in the English language. Bark's translation of Rumi into American free verse has been referred to by many as being able to capture the simple but introspective nature that characterizes Rumi's poetry while still remaining faithful to the images, tone, and spiritual message of the originals. The hardcover edition can be ordered from Amazon and costs Rs.3,756.
Is it Acceptable to Give Cash as a Gift?
Muslim weddings are deeply entrenched in the cultures and traditions of the country the followers of the faith are from. Since it is a religion that has spread to all parts of the world, no two Muslim weddings from different parts of the world will be exactly identical.
That being said, in most cases it is perfectly acceptable to give money or a check as a wedding gift, provided you are a close friend of the family. You can also figure out whether money will be an acceptable gift, if the wedding invitation specifically states "No Boxed Gifts". As for how much money is acceptable to give at a wedding, it'll depend on how close you are to the family, but Rs.1,000 is a good place to start.
Be Respectful of Traditions and Enjoy Yourself!
With this guide, you hopefully now have a better idea on what you should gift a Muslim bride and groom on their wedding. Keep in mind that the gift should either be practical or spiritual in nature and respectful of the traditions of the family. Expensive and gaudy gifts might seem in keeping with the extravagance of the wedding, but remember that this is not expected of the gifts from the guest.
If you're still confused about what to get the happy couple, talk to other people who are attending the wedding. It is entirely possible that the bride and groom have signed up for a wedding registry and will have a list of gifts they'd appreciate.
If there isn't a registry and you still don't know what to get, like mentioned above, cash gifts can be a viable option as well, depending on how close you are to the families. Whatever you choose keep in mind to have a good time, because one of the easiest ways to disrespect tradition at a Muslim wedding is by not enjoying yourself or by eating less than enough food to fill three people up.
Enjoy the difference
There is such a wide cultural diversity in the country that two different regions will have vastly different wedding customs and rituals even within the same faith. If you've never been to a Muslin wedding before, there may be a lot of new things for you to see and learn about. Use this as an opportunity to enjoy a different wedding experience.