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Mar 17th, 2010, 10:10 AM #1----
My very first post =)
Ok, I just have a few questions about the Nikkah ceremony. Generally speaking how does it work?
Does the nikkah happen at home, mosque or hall?
How many people are normally in attendance (only immediate family only or others)?
Do you sign the religious papers and the civil papers separately?
What time is the Nikkah ceremony usually? Right before the reception or much earlier in the day?
I know i'm asking such basic questions but as I have never attended a nikkah ceremony and am the first to get married in my family here, I am really at a loss!
Would love to hear your experiences..!
Mar 17th, 2010, 10:35 AM #2----
Most of your questions dont really have any set answers, it all varies from person to person and you can choose what you like!
Nikkah can take place anywhere, at home, in the mosque, at a hall. Some people choose to keep the nikkah family only and others invite everyone. For papers, I think the only papers you sign are the civil papers, I dont think there are any religious papers, but I dont really remember, so dont quote me on that! But not everyone registers their civil marriage on the same day even, if need be, it can be done later. Nikkah ceremony can take place anytime, some people do it at the reception, some do it beforehand. Some people even choose to do it at the mehndi. As for myself, my nikkah took place at the masjid after Asr prayers. It was open to all family and friends. It was registered at the same time. There was a reception the next day, but I didnt have my rukhsati and walima until about 6 months later
Hope this helps! There are no right or wrong answers [except I guess about which papers need to be signed]. You can discuss all these matters with your family and finance and decide whatever is best for you. Congrats and hope all goes well
Mar 17th, 2010, 10:55 AM #3----
the nikah is totally separate to a civil ceremony. when u have a nikah u will only sign a nikahnama. if u want a civil marriage then u will have to have a civil ceremony and this will have to be at a place which has a license to carry out such a ceremony. some mosques are registered to carry out civil marriages too but u will have to check with them. btw this info is for UK residents. not sure abt where u live
Mar 17th, 2010, 11:09 AM #4----
^ Ya guess it depends where you live. Here in Canada alot of the mosques or imams have a license to register the civil marriages. Ive never been to any nikkah where there was a seperate nikkah ceremony and then a civil ceremony. You usually have the nikkah ceremony and sign the civil papers there as well at the same time. Since not all imams/mosques are licensed, if yours isnt, then usually people ask the man who can register the marriage to come and after the nikkah is done, he will have you sign all the civil papers for him. One of my friends had her nikkah done by an imam who wasnt licensed and then a few months later they went to another mosque and had their marriage paperwork registered. But the most common thing here is to have it all done on the same time
Mar 17th, 2010, 04:21 PM #5----
Thank you both for your replies! I really appreciate it
Mar 17th, 2010, 05:04 PM #6----
Hey Mara! Congratulations on your up coming wedding!
I had my Nikah this past October as well and my ruksati will be happening in July of this year Inshallah. In regards to where to have it, like the others said it depends on family to family. If you are only having a Nikah for now and depending on how long after your wedding will be some people like to turn the Nikah into a mini recpetion, ofcourse with out the Ruksati part. My nikah was a simple one that we held at the mosque. We had people read manqabats and then there was dinner and we chose to only invite people from our kaandan. We wanted to keep it a small and private event but thats also because we have so much family and with them all there, its still a lot of people. A lot of other people I know have done theirs in big reception halls.
A civil marriage and religious ceremony are two different things because it depends on your situation. We wanted to legalize our marriage at the same time in order for Immigration papers to process quicker since I will be moving from Canada to the states. The two don't really have anything to do with each other but if your wedding and nikah are around the same time then it would be advised to get all your papers ready to be signed by the person who is reading your Nikah. He is also the person who has to register your marriage here in Canada so we needed to have those ready. Usually the legal papers are all signed at the same time though as your Nikah. The only other paper the moulana may ask you to sign is the Nikama like someone said asking your permission for the marriage. And timing wise it makes no difference some have it in the morning before their reception, some have it a day or two before and some have it on the reception stage, I guess that would depend on your parents wishes. The nikah in my family is done separately from the reception so we usually hold it either the morning of or like how mine was done, a few months before my Ruksat. In my family, the nikah is basically our official engagement so it is usually done a few months before too like in my case. Everyone is different though. Talk to your family about that.
There is also a stigma against having the nikah months before a wedding. Some Pakistani famillies are comepletely against doing it way to early for the obvious reasons because  its official that your married now and if anything goes wrong between the time from the nikah till the Ruksat then its a lot harder to break things off. You basically have to get a divorce..and  the other obvious reasons being you and your husband are..well just that.. husband and wife, officially in Islam giving you your own freedoms which scares a lot parents.
Soon after the nikah my mom was very strict about my fiance (hubby) and I being around each other alone even when she never even cared before lol.... but now she doesn't need to worry to much we're countries apart and we havn't had the time in our schedules to be able to see each other since our Nikah. :P Also with the wedding coming up, shes eased up about that issue now. Anyways, hope that helps!
Mar 18th, 2010, 03:55 PM #7----
Thank you for sharing your experience Sana
I think we're going to have our nikkah before the mehndi. I think it would be appropriate Islamically speaking you know. Although perhaps getting it done months in advance would allow us to actually work together to plan this wedding!
It's nice to know that there are many different ways to go about this, I really enjoyed reading your experiences.
On a side note, how involved were or are your respective fiances? As we are funding this endeavor ourselves..you can imagine how stressed he is lol.. oh and did i say... CHEAP!
We're trying our damnedest to have a simple and small wedding, with only one reception style event i.e. valima. We'd rather have our nikkah, small shaadi reception for close family...and then a modest sized valima.. but man oh man it's definitely a challenge! Our family is sorta traditional or set in their ways and my nani will probably faint when she hears our plans lol.
Anyhoo.. it was lovely to hear your experiences =)
Mar 18th, 2010, 08:20 PM #8
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It can vary a lot according to where u live and ur personal preferences, my brother's having his nikah at home whilst I'm having mine in the mosque (fiance is a convert and we didn't want any idiots questioning the validity of our relationship). Over in the UK a lot of the bigger mosques won't even do nikah without civil certificate (mainly to protect the girl), usually with the ppl we know nikah is a small ceremony with just family and close friends but everyone's different, there's no hard and fast rule concerning that as long as the rules are stuck to ie everyone dressed appropriately etc, which isn't always possible with loads of ppl there..
Mar 18th, 2010, 09:16 PM #9----
Apr 11th, 2010, 08:06 AM #10----
"We can change the world through our children. May we never break the strong spirits of our daughters. May we teach our sons to become loving and nurturing men. In so doing, we hold the key to universal peace, unlock the door!"
Apr 11th, 2010, 12:03 PM #11----
Finances and traditions.. they all suck energy and give loads of stress.. I am going through it now.. eventhough I want to take care of my side of the family shaadi..my involvement has been limited to just researching hotels and thats it.. everything will be finalized by my parents after they discuss with their friends... it is just painful that it being my wedding.. its the friends who get more importance..
I wanted a nice small nikkah at home.. but my father pays more importance to legal papers and so he insisted on court marriage which also does nikkah.. 2 in 1.. and the sad part is.. that we will be waiting in line to get the papers signed and leave.. it just takes away from that whole nikkah scenario.. thanks for their friends! aagh!
I wish we are trusted more than we are told so.
i hope you have more liberty and support
Apr 12th, 2010, 06:18 AM #12----
I'm in the UK, and the imam who read our nikkah had a licence to register the nikkah, so we didn't have to have a seperate civil ceremony. We did ours on the same day as the baaraat/rukhsati.