Marriage in Pakistan

Marriage in Pakistan is a legal union between a man and a woman. Culturally, it
is not only a link between the husband and wife, but also an alliance between their
respective families.
Pakistani Wedding Events
Given the diversity of Muslims, some of the most common events that are held in a
Pakistani marriage include variations of the following. Marriage Proposal,
Engagement, Dholki, Mehndi (Henna), Barat, Nikah, Registration, Reception,
Rukhsti (Farewell),Valima (Walima), and Honeymoon. The only Islamic
requirement is the Nikah and Valima. Other events are cultural additions and
Registration is usually a legal requirement. Each is described in more details
 Muslim Weddings,
Marriage process
Arranged marriages in Pakistan often take long periods of time to finalize. The
time from preparation until wedding day may be more than a year. When the
wedding date approaches, all close relatives are invited for a typical Pakistani
wedding that requires a considerable budget in order to accommodate them.
However, a typical Pakistani wedding has at least three main customs involving
the Henna ceremony (Rasme Henna), the vows or the Nikah which is a part of the
actual wedding or Shaadi ceremony, and a subsequent Walima offered by the
groom's family.
Proposal party
A proposal party is a reception held at the bride's house, where the groom's
parents and family elders formally ask the bride's parents for her hand in marriage

An engagement is a formal ceremony to mark the engagement of the couple. It is
usually a small ceremony that takes place in the presence of a few close members
of would-be bride's and groom’s families. Rings and other items of jewelry among
affluent families are exchanged between the would-be bride and groom.
The Dholki or Dholak celebration takes its name from the percussion instrument
Dholki, which is featured heavily during this wedding celebration. Traditionally,
many days or even weeks before the actual wedding day, women will gather in the
house of the bride at night to sing and dance while accompanied by percussion

Mehndi the Henna ceremony, or the Rasm-e-henna ceremony, typically takes place
one or two days prior to the main wedding day. The event is traditionally held
separately for the bride and the groom. The henna is symbolically placed on the
couple's hands. The groom's friends and family bring along sweets and henna for
the bride, and the bride's family does the same for the groom. In the bride's
ceremony, the groom normally does not participate, and similarly on the groom's
event, the bride stays at home. Female guests are sometimes offered mehndi at the
host's discretion.


Baraat is the procession of the family, relatives, and friends of the groom and they
accompany the groom to the bride’s home for the official wedding ceremony. The
groom makes his way to the bride's home on a richly decked horse or car and the
“barat” follows in different vehicles. Usually they are also accompanied by a band
playing wedding songs. The groom is given a warm welcome by the bride’s family
with flower garlands and rose petals thrown upon the procession by the bride's
sisters, cousins and friends.

A bride signing the marriage contract, Nikaah at a Pakistani wedding .If the
couple are Muslim, a Nikkah is performed. A marriage contract is signed by both
the bride and the groom in presence of their parents and close relatives. Wedding
is illegal without a Nikah. The Nikah is performed by a religious person who has
the license issued by the government to perform this ritual.
 Wedding of nationality (LLC, 2013)

The groom usually arrives at the wedding with a band playing dhols, trumpets and
horns - signalling the arrival of the men's side of the family. Families and friends
enjoy a wedding ceremony in a marquee.
A dinner is served which consists of several dishes with meat featuring heavily in
the meal. Some of the well represented dishes in a wedding meal
include pullao, biryani, chaanp, chargha, various forms of roasted fowl and lamb,
various forms of kebabs, naan, Shirmal,Taftan, Falooda, Kulfi etc. .
 Rewaj - All About Women Lifestyle »Blog Archive » Wedding in

The Rukhsati takes place, when the groom and his family will leave together with
the bride. The Qur'an is normally held over the bride's head as she walks from the
stage to the exit (or if the ceremony is being held at home, to the main entrance of
the house) in order to bless and protect her. This is a sombre occasion for the
bride's parents as it marks the departure of their daughter from their home. The
departure of the bride becomes a very emotional scene as she says farewell to the
home of her parents and siblings to start a new married life.

Shab-i-Zifaf (golden night/maiden night of married life) refers to the couples' first
night together and it occurs after the bride has left for the groom's house.

Walima is the final day of the wedding held by the couple as they host their first
dinner as husband and wife. This is traditionally organized by the bridegroom
and/or his family thus, without his parents; this ritual normally cannot be
performed. So to make Walima valid, the parents' blessing and presence is the
most important factor.The groom's family, specifically his parents, invites all of the
bride's family and their guests to their home for a feast.

 "Pakistan, Islam in - Oxford Islamic Studies Online".
 Wedding by Nationality (2013)
 "Pakistan" Retrieved 2012-09-07.
 Muslim Weddings,
 Rewaj - All About Women Lifestyle »Blog Archive » Wedding in Pakistan
 Wedding Traditions in Pakistan
 The Fiqh Of Walima

Hindu wedding

The wedding ceremony is traditionally conducted entirely or at least partially
in Sanskrit, considered by Hindus as the language of holy ceremonies. The local
language of the people involved is also used. The Hindus attach a lot of
importance to marriages, the ceremonies are very colourful, and celebrations may
extend for several days. The bride's and groom's home - entrance, doors, wall,
floor, roof - are sometimes decorated with colors, balloons and other decorations.
Process of Wedding:
The rituals and process in a Hindu wedding vary widely. Nevertheless, there are a
few key rituals common in Hindu weddings - Kanyadaan,Panigrahana,
and Saptapadi, which are respectively, giving away of daughter by the father,
voluntarily holding hand near the fire to signify union, and taking seven steps with
each step includes a vow/promise to each other before fire. The Hindu wedding
ceremony at its core is essentially a Vedic yajna ritual. The primary witness of a
Hindu marriage is the fire-deity (or the Sacred Fire) Agni, in the presence of
family and friends.

Eight types of marriage

1. Brahma marriage - considered the religiously most appropriate marriage,
where the father found an educated man, proposes the marriage of his
daughter to him. The groom, bride and families willingly concur with the
proposal. The two families and relatives meet, the girl is ceremoniously
decorated, the father gifts away his daughter in betrothal, and a vedic
marriage ceremony is conducted. This type of wedding is now most
prevalent among Hindus in modern India.
2. Daiva marriage - in this type of marriage, the father gives away his
daughter along with ornaments to a priest as a sacrificial fee. This form of
marriage occurred in ancient times when yajna sacrifices were prevalent.
3. Arsha marriage - in this type of marriage, the groom gives a cow and a
bull to the father of the bride and the father exchanges his daughter in
marriage. The groom took a vow to fulfill his obligations to the bride and
family life (Grihasthashram).
4. Prajapatya marriage - in this type of marriage, a couple agree to get
married by exchanging some Sanskrit mantras (vows to each other). This
form of marriage was akin to a civil ceremony.
The above four types of marriages were considered prashasta marriages (proper,
religiously appropriate under Hinduism). The other four were
considered aprashasta (inappropriate). Among inappropriate weddings, two
acceptable forms of marriages were:
5. Gandharva marriage - in this type of marriage, the couple simply lived
together out of love, by mutual consent, consensually consummated their
6. Asura marriage - in this type of marriage, the groom offered a dowry to
the father of the bride and the bride, both accepted the dowry out of free
will, and he received the bride in exchange
The last two marriages were not only inappropriate, but religiously forbidden
(the children, if any, from these forbidden types of consummation were
considered legitimate, nevertheless).
7. Rakshasa marriage - where the groom forcibly abducted the girl against
her and her family's will. The word Rakshasa means devil.
8. Paishacha marriage - where the man forces himself on a woman when
she is insentient, that is drugged or drunken or unconscious.

 Hindu Marriage (kanai l. Mukherjee)
There are a few key rituals common in a Hindu wedding ceremony.
 Kanyadaan - the giving away of daughter by the father
 Panigrahana - a ritual in presence of fire, where the groom takes the bride's
hand as a sign of their union
 Saptapadi - is the most important ritual. It is called the seven step ritual,
where each step corresponds to a vow groom makes to bride, and a vow the
bride makes to groom. The vows are pronounced in Sanskrit in long form, or
short quicker form, sometimes also in the language of the groom and bride.
In many weddings, Saptapadi is performed near a fire; and after each of the
seven oaths to each other, the groom and bride perform the ritual
of agnipradakshinam - walk around the fire, with part of each other's
clothing tied to each other. The fire is a form of yajna - a vedic ritual where
fire is the divine witness (to the marriage). After Saptapadi, the couple are
considered husband and wife.

Kanyadaan - a key ritual where the father gifts away the daughter to the groom. In
this picture, the father's hand is on the left, the bride and groom are on the right.
The Kanyadaan ceremony is performed by the father.If the father has died, a
guardian of bride's choosing performs this ritual. The father brings the daughter,
then takes the bride's hand and places it to the groom's. This marks the beginning
of the ceremony of giving away the bride. The groom accepts the bride's hand,
while the kama-sukta (hymn to love) is pronounced, in the presence of the father,
the bride and the groom.
After this ritual recital, the father asks the groom to not fail the girl in his pursuit
of dharma (moral and lawful life), artha (wealth) and kama(love). The groom
promises to the bride's father that he shall never fail her in his pursuit
of dharma, artha and kama. The groom repeats the promise three times.
The groom's promises to bride’s father mark the end of the kanyadaan ritual in
Hindu wedding.

The ritual of Panigrahana comes after Kanyadana. Sometimes, this ritual is
preceded by vivaha-homa rite, wherein a symbolic fire is lit by the groom to mark
the start of a new household.
Panigrahana is the 'holding the hand' ritual as a symbol of their impending marital
union, and the groom announcing his acceptance of responsibility to four deities:
Bhaga signifying wealth, Aryama signifying heavens/milky way, Savita signifying
radiance/new beginning, and Purandhi signifying wisdom. The groom faces west,
while the bride sits in front of him with her face to the east, he holds her hand
while the following Rg vedic mantra is recited:
I take thy hand in mine, yearning for happiness
I ask thee, to live with me, as thy husband
Till both of us, with age, grow old

Know this, as I declare, that the Gods
Bhaga, Aryama, Savita and Purandhi, have bestowed thy person, upon me
that I may fulfill, my Dharmas of the householder, with thee

This I am, That art thou
The Sāman I, the Ŗc thou
The Heavens I, the Earth thou

A Hindu couple in post-marriage ceremonies, after Saptapadi. The tied clothing,
represents lifelong bond formed during the seven promises ritual with fire as
The Saptapadi (Sanskrit for seven steps/feet), is the most important ritual of Vedic
Hindu weddings, and represents the legal part of Hindu marriage.The couple
conduct seven circuits of the Holy Fire (Agni), which is considered a witness to the
vows they make to each other.In some regions, a piece of clothing or sashes worn
by the bride and groom are tied together for this ceremony. Elsewhere, the groom
holds the bride's right hand in his own right hand. Each circuit of the consecrated
fire is led by either the bride or the groom, varying by community and region.
Usually, the bride leads the groom in the first circuit.
The long form of the key Hindu wedding ritual, Saptapadi, starts with preface
announced by the priest, and thereafter followed by a series of vows the groom and
bride make to each other
Other Rituals:
Many Hindu weddings start with the Milne (meeting) and Swagatam (welcome)
ceremony. This ritual is where the Baraat (groom's procession party) arrives at the
bride's home or the location where the bride is and marriage will be celebrated.
The Baraat typically includes dancing and joyous members of groom's family,
relatives and friends. On their arrival, there is a ritual where key persons from the
groom's side and bride's side are introduced to each other. The introduction is
typically followed by Jai mala (garland exchange between bride and groom) and a
reception that serves food and drinks.
Some rituals involve rice or other grains, such as Chortaan Ka Tel, Vaaynoovi,
Dholi, Sai Kai. In these ceremonies, rice is thrown at the bride, groom or they kick
a container containing the grain.
After the wedding is complete, the bride leaves for groom's home, where Hindu
family members of the groom welcome the newly wedded couple in a ritual known
as Grihapravesa (home coming/entry).This ceremony typically requires
participation of the mother, father, brothers, and sisters, or other guardians of the
 BBC News article on Hinduism & Weddings, Nawal Prinja (August 24,
 Hindu Saṁskāras: Socio-religious Study of the Hindu Sacraments
 The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Hinduism: A-M, James G. Lochtefeld
(2001), ISBN 978-0823931798, Page 427
 Modern Indian Family Law, Werner Menski (2001)
 Hindu Marriage ( KANAI L. MUKHERJEE )