By S I Joy
Muslim Wedding Tradition Goes On!
You’re Invited Too
Imagine a bride dolled up in a red traditional Benarasi or Katan saree, adorned her in beautiful ornaments from top to toe, that’s how a Bangladeshi Muslim bride get adorned in her wedding. You already have got a simple idea of common Bengali Muslim bride. To add more, brides love to wear a seriesa of different clothes in their wedding ceremony. In our country a wedding has a great significance. Here a wedding means not only two people are tying their knot but also their families are uniting for the rest of their lives. A wedding brings happiness, full of festivities, and funs. People perform their weddings according to their potentialities. Once the wedding date is fixed, the families of bride and bridegroom start their preparation for the rituals. Decorating the respective houses with flowers and elaborate lighting let people know that a wedding is happening there. So, the wedding preparation goes on with fancy invitation cards to invite the dearest relatives, the venues are chosen by the families consent and decorated gorgeously, delicate menus for wedding are decided as per the programs.
In our country, Bengali groom’s family gifts the bride all the wedding accessories, attires, cosmetics and so on. And the bride’s family gifts the groom’s accessories, attires, and the necessary things. These rituals symbolize responsibilities and unities between the two families. Before starting the wedding events all the gifts are decorated in fancy trays and suitcases to send to the bride and groom’s respective families.
Occasionally winter is believed to be the best season for Bengali weddings. Between November to February a lot of weddings take place as this time the weather is more pleasant than other time in Bangladesh. So, it becomes a hectic job to find out a better venue as all the famous venues are already booked ahead of the wedding time. The fun fact is a verity of pitha-pulis, sweets, pastries and cakes are to find in the wedding events. Are you ready to know all intricacies of a Muslim Bengali wedding? It’ll be full of fun to know the delicacies in detail.
This is the ritual that is performed by Muslims these days. When the groom and the bride’s family meet with each other and finalizes the wedding specially after the girl and the boy confirm their opinion. Rings are exchanged between the bride and the groom as a token of promise. Most of the times the engagement is held in the bride’s home and sometimes in the venue with the presence of close friends and family.
The most awaiting part of a Bengali wedding is known as ‘Gaye Holud’ which is performed mainly with turmeric (Holud). Usually, this event is performed separately in bride and groom’s respective venues. Although this program is seen to be held in one program for both bride and groom in these days. Usually, close relatives and friends join the Holud program. The bride wears a traditional colorful saree wherein the groom’s attire is the Bengali traditional Panjabi and pajamas. The respective guests apply turmeric on the bride and groom’s faces and hands. Beautiful henna is applied both on the hands of bride and same with the groom as well. The whole decoration looks lavishly colorful along with the stage. Different kinds of sweets and mouthwatering pithas are decorated in colorful trays and they are kept on the stage. Guests’ enjoyment, dancing and performances make it the most wanted program of all the wedding events. So, no one would ever want to skip a program like ‘Gaye Holud’.
Here comes the most important program that ties the bride and groom forever is ‘Akth’ which is also known as ‘Niqah’. Generally, this program is held in the bride’s house, mosque, or in any venue that has been chosen by the bride’s family. This function is conducted by a kazi where the bride and groom take perform with him according to Islamic rituals. The Kazi begins with some specific Quranic verses. All the closest friends and family members from bride and groom are presented there. The kazi asks 3 times for the consent of both the bride and the groom. And this ends with the utterance of ‘Qubool’ three times as the reply. The people are present there to witness the whole ‘Niqah’. One of the most important part of this Akth is deciding ‘Mahr’. Which is a right for the bride from the groom’s side. It comes in the shape of cash, fine jewelries, land etc which will forever be belong to the bride.
With this ceremony the bride and the groom are officially called husband and wife. To celebrate this happiness sweets are given to each other’s family. A Bengali bride is called ‘bou’ after the whole ritual.
After the Akth, this program is celebrated in a venue. This happens to be a lavishing program with enormous preparation. From bride and groom to the family members and invited guests dress up in a gorgeous look. The venue gets extravagantly decorated with two different stages for bride and groom. Many guests are invited in this program.
Before the groom arrives, the bride’s family arrives at the venue first and waits with flowers to welcome them. The fun fact is they set a barricade around the entry gate with ribbon so the groom and his family cannot enter easily. They can only get in after paying some cash to the bride’s siblings which is known as ‘Salami’ which they dearly claim from the new groom of the family.
Some more fun acts are occurred as the groom sits with the bride finally, the younger siblings from bride’s family steals the Dulavai’s (the groom) shoes so that they can sell it back to him. The groom’s family is very well treated here by the bride’s family. Groom’s dining table is decorated specially. Sometimes a whole roasted goat is presented on that table to make the dinner remarkable.
One beautiful moment from the Bengali wedding is the rusmat ceremony. Here the bride and the groom are draped under a single veil and a mirror is kept Infront of the newly wed couple. Now they are asked that what they see at the first glance in the mirror. The replies are always lovely and pampering. Later the new couples are fed sweets by their relatives and close friends. Also, the bride and the groom exchanges flower garlands with each other which is known as the Mala Badal. A photographer is always there to capture all the precious moments and a lot of selfies are taken with the newlywed couple.
Here comes the heavy moment at last when the bride’s parent is hand overing their lovely daughter to her groom and in laws. At this time the whole ambience gets emotional as the bride will be going for the first time to a new family while leaving her own. These days different kind of vehicles are decorated to take the bride. But car is mostly used in the weddings. With this the whole ceremony turns to an ending.
Bou Bhaat is basically the reception program that is held after the wedding. Almost similar as the wedding ceremony, the Bou Bhat is typically arranged by the groom’s side. The same guests, the royal decoration, mouthwatering food menu almost same as the wedding. This program is the remarks of the happy ending of the whole wedding ceremonies and starting of a new journey.
In this occasion the bride and groom are taken back to the bride’s house for three days. They are pampered with care by the bride’s family.
This is the most basic scenario of a Bengali Muslim wedding which is mostly held in the urban areas of Bangladesh. Although it varies from district to district and people to people a bit. This is to note that Akth is the most important part to perform in a Muslim wedding while the other occasions could be avoided.
Overall Bangladeshi wedding is fully packed with rituals, parties, and fun between the two families. The wedding rituals are not over with the wedding. After that both family’s approach to each other’s home with gifts, sweets, and delicious foods. Mostly the bride’s family has a lot of responsibilities to follow the wedding which varies from place to place. Like in the summer season they send different kinds of fruits to their daughter’s house, pitha-pulis to send in the winter, delicious homemade Iftars are sent also etc. A Bengali Muslim wedding has heartwarming scenarios to observe. Never miss a Bengali Muslim wedding if you’ve not attended one yet!