Marriage is a social union or a legal contract that creates kinship between individuals. It is an institution in which interpersonal relationships, usually intimate and sexual, are acknowledged in a variety of ways, depending on the culture or subculture in which it is found. Such a union may also be called matrimony, while the ceremony that marks its beginning is usually called a wedding.
Let's know more about Arab Marriage Customs:
This includes a date where they first meet one another officially with each of their mothers or fathers along, and this is usually done within a place that is very public. The groom and his bride are left to get to know each other as their parents sit a little distance away and talk together about their families joining one another.
The groom has to ask the bride's father to give her hand in marriage to him and the bride’s father must accept his offer and this is usually done at the home of the bride. And then Juice, which both of the families have made together, is drunk all around.
Party of Engagement
A small party is made which is similar to the wedding parties but the bride gets to choose her own dress for this party. The couple then place rings on each other's ring fingers and the engagement is solidified. Photos may be captured as a treasured memory.
Marriage contract and ceremony differ due to religions and cultures found in the Arab world. So let's know more about it:
1. Muslim Marriage
The choice of a partner by a Muslim virgin girl is subject to the approval of the father or the guardian. This is to safeguard her welfare and interests. The prophet said "the widow and the divorced woman shall not be married until she has consented and the virgin shall not be married until her consent is obtained."
According to the clear statement of the Qur’an, tranquility and peace through a successful union is considered the primary objective of marriage: (Among His signs is that He created for you spouses of your own kind in order that you may repose to them in tranquility and He instilled in your hearts love and affection for one another; verily, in these are signs for those who reflect (on the nature of the reality).)
(Ar-Rum 30: 21).
The marriage-gift (Mahr) is a divine injunction. The giving of Mahr to the bride by the groom is an essential part of the contract. (And give the women (on marriage) their Mahr as a (nikah) free gift") (Quran 4:4)
Mahr is a token commitment of the husband's responsibility and may be paid in cash, property or movable objects to the bride herself. The amount of Mahr is not legally specified, however, moderation according to the existing social norm is recommended. The Mahr may be paid immediately to the bride at the time of marriage, or deferred to a later date, or a combination of both.
The traditional ceremony of marriage called the Katb Kitab is done within a Mosque (Masjed). A Sheikh usually gives a time honored reading of how wives were honored by the Prophet, ways of showing honor to women and how husbands should be treated by their wives. The Sheikh then asks that the couple recite the words they say and join them together officially as a married couple.
The marriage contract dictates that at least two witnesses attest that all the aspects of the marriage have taken place. After the couple signs the Islamic marriage contract, families usually hold a public wedding party. A wedding is always a happy time for families to celebrate. In General the party includes different drinks and food to family and friends.
2. Christian marriage
Christians believe that marriage is a gift from God, one that should not be taken for granted. It is the right atmosphere to engage in sexual relations and to build a family life. Getting married in a church, in front of God, is very important.
A marriage is a public declaration of love and commitment. This declaration is made in front of friends and family in a church ceremony. After the marriage is completed and the groom kisses the bride, the organist plays a joyful tune as the bride and the groom walk arm-in-arm down the aisle. So, the assembled masses are mostly accompanied by a choir.
Christians believe in giving a toast to the newly married couple. The wedding cuisine for the Christian wedding includes different dishes. Typical Christian dishes like cakes, puddings, custards and other frozen desserts are found among the sweet dishes.
3. Judaism Marriage
On the day of the wedding, the couple, having fasted, recite the Book of Psalms and ask for forgiveness for any transgressions of their youth. Because on one's wedding day, God forgives those transgressions, the ceremony is thought of as a private Yom Kippur (Jewish holiday on which people fast and pray to atone for their sins) for the couple.
In a written commitment document composed by the couple and their parents, the conditions of the union are expressed and agreed upon. Once this document is signed and read aloud, a plate is broken symbolizing that just as the breaking of the plate is irreversible, the agreement for the engagement is also irreversible.
Just prior to the ceremony, the groom, along with the groom's father, veil the bride, a symbolic act of the modesty and chastity of the Jewish woman. This veiling also signifies the bride's duty as a Jewish woman and shows others her faithfulness and devotion to her husband.
The wedding ceremony is performed under a canopy. The bride circles the groom seven times and, as consecration of the woman, the groom gives the bride a wedding ring and the marriage contract, after which the married couple leave to break their fast in private. As a legally binding marriage, tradition dictates that at least two witnesses, unrelated to the couple, attest that all the aspects of the marriage have taken place.
Marriage in the Jewish tradition is an expression of confidence and trust in each other. It signifies the legal and moral commitments as detailed in the Jewish law and customs, and is a declaration of the dignified status of the woman. It should be noted that as a legal and a consensual private contract between the bride and the groom, there is no requirement for clergy to be present although today, to satisfy civil laws, a rabbi usually participates.
It is customary to recite the Seven Blessings in the wedding ceremony. These blessings are said in the presence of ten men and acknowledge God as the creator of mankind, joy, the bride and the groom.
After these blessings have been offered, the couple drinks from a glass and the groom breaks the glass under his right foot, symbolizing the destruction of the Holy Temple of Jerusalem.
By Nouran Radwan