How to Have a Muslim Wedding

Muslims who don't come from Muslim families are often at a loss in terms of wedding planning, as what's considered traditional for their families may not be appropriate. Muslims who come from Muslim families sometimes want to part with tradition, especially when wedding traditions require elaborate affairs that are out of the couple's budget. The Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) had very simple weddings, as did his contemporaries. Whether you want a 10-day extravaganza or an austere ceremony, a few details are essential.


  1. Image titled Have a Muslim Wedding Step 1
    Secure the required elements of a valid Muslim marriage: negotiate agreeable marriage terms, including a dower. A dower is a gift from the groom to the bride. Her family's culture may specify a gift, but anything permissible for a Muslim to own that is mutually agreed upon is allowed. The dower will be listed on your written marriage agreement, which is similar to the Jewish ketubah and can be enforceable in civil courts under certain conditions. The marriage agreement, known as the kitab al-nikah or colloquially as the kitab, contains conditions that the couple agree upon that will be adhered to in the course of the marriage and govern some aspects of divorce.For some Muslims, a guardian or proxy to consent on behalf of the woman is required. Consult the woman's family if they are Muslim, or the imam at the mosque you attend if they are not, to select such a guardian or proxy. Determine who you would like to serve as witnesses. There must be at least two Muslim adults, and preferably at least one should be male.
  2. Image titled Have a Muslim Wedding Step 2
    Plan the elements that you would like for the marriage ceremony. This can be as simple as signing the marriage agreement with witnesses at home or in the office at the mosque, or a lavish affair with a procession. It is traditional for the officiant to give a short sermon on the important of marriage, but not required for a valid marriage. The only required elements of the ceremony are the proposal of marriage, the consent of the other party, the transfer of the dower, and the acknowledgement of the witnesses.
  3. Image titled Have a Muslim Wedding Step 3
    Plan and hold the walimah, or wedding feast. This can be as simple as tea and cake, or a multi-course meal. This is very similar to non-Muslim wedding receptions. While the details of the walimah are technically up to the couple, this is the area where cultural traditions and familial preferences may have a strong sway.


  • If you’re on the brides side, the mahar (dowry) should be set not so low that it is not meaningful, but not so high that it becomes a burden.
  • When coming up with the guest list, besides family don’t make it a “who’s who” of a sea of well to do friends and peers. Rather than the rich and powerful, invite the poor, or those are facing hard times. It will be a blessed gathering.
  • Some Muslims are uncomfortable with mixed-sex social gatherings, especially those with dancing. Provide a separate, secluded area for women to dance among themselves if you have many friends who are conservative.
  • Use time over money. There is no substitute. The more thought and caring that goes into a wedding the more memorable it will be.
  • Some imams are licensed to officiate over marriages recognized by the state. Ask your local imam about what you may need for the imam to officiate over a civilly recognized marriage.
  • Make it fun. Some people associating being Muslim or Islamic with boring. The bounds of Islam are wide, and there are many cultural activities that can be done. Eg in Arab, African, Afghan cultures dancing and singing is common. As long as it is not mixed and modesty is observed go for it.
  • Depending on how it is worded, a Muslim marriage contract may be enforceable as a prenuptial agreement. Consult an attorney for details.
  • Make it poetic. Have young and old recite nasheeds, poems, and of course the Quran. Finish with duas, and you can’t go wrong.
  • Let your family and friends know. Don't keep it secret because having the ones you love nearby always makes you happy, especially on such an important day.

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Categories: Weddings | Islam