KHITBAH - Engagement Ceremony in Muslim Marriage 

KHITBAH - Engagement Ceremony in Muslim Marriage

A Muslim Wedding is governed by the Hadith and Qur'an which addresses the structure of family in Islam. All the procedure is codified as per rules. The engagement ceremony called Khitbah in the Muslim Weddigs is as follows.

  • Khitbah: The Engagement
When the groom and bride and including the bride’s legal guardian known as Wali, agree on the marriage, then a khitbah or engagement can be held. This is a promise on both sides to agree on the marriage. After the proposal has been accepted, no one can subsequently propose to the girl. It’s important to note that the khitbah (engagement) period still does not allow the engaged couple to speak to each other without necessity, whether in person, online, or via text as it is a mark of her freedom, as she will be in contract of marriage very soon and till then she is at her free will. It also does not allow any type of physical touching, or for the couple to be in seclusion. The specific practices in Islamic sharee’ah are not given which need to be followed in relation to the engagement ceremony. The in principle permissible practices could be declaring the engagement, celebrate a party and distribution of gifts are followed by Muslims.

  • Iddah:
A Muslim man cannot request a woman to be his Muslim bride who is wedded to another man by divorcing that man. A Muslim man cannot present a proposal to any woman who is engaged, without her first fiancé withdrawing his proposal and permitting him. If the woman is in her `Iddah which is the period that follows divorce, then the marriage contract will not be enforced. The period of Iddah is three months or three menstruation periods. In case the woman is pregnant, then the period will be till she gives birth. The period will be four months and ten days when woman is widow. It is one menstruation period or one month for ‘Al-Khul.’ The ‘Iddah’ is not needed to follow if a man marries a bride and divorces her without having intercourse with her.

  • Dublah:
The custom known in Arabic as “dublah” in which rings are exchanged of between the engaged couple, goes against sharee’ah as few people believe that rings enhance the intimacy between the couple affect their relationship. It could be an 
Ill-informed belief and is an adoration to a thing for which there is no support in sharee’ah and which may not be sensible.

The laws of modesty according to Islam should be followed strictly. The practices which are followed currently whereby a man touches the woman he is going to marry are not as per Islam. Every Muslim Marriage has two separate occasions known as the Nikaah followed by Walima. The main event is Nikaah wherein the vows by couples are exchanged where Quazi (Islamic priest) is present. The Muslim Wedding Cards for the nikaah are arranged by the bride's family. The reception for wedding is called Walima and the family of groom makes invitation for it. 

 
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