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Muslim Weddings: Glossary of Terms

Photo: Geoff White Photography, Redwood City, CA

Dirhams: Monetary amount.

Dinar: Unit of currency.

Druze: Islamic sect.

Durid: Blessings.

Fatha: Pre-wedding ceremony to bless the fathers of the bride and groom.

Fatihah: First chapter of the Quran.

Hattabin: Representatives of the groom, usually male friends or family.

Henna: Plant dye used to stain the skin of the bride (or groom).

Hotba: Marriage proposal.

Ibadah: Worship of Allah.

Istikhara: Agreement of wedding contract.

Imam: Religious leader.

Imam Zamin: Silk-wrapped coin that is tied around the bride's arm by her mother after the wedding for good luck.

Meher: Gift or dower given to the bride by the groom after she accepts his proposal of marriage.

Mehndi: Adornment of the bride (or groom) with intricate henna designs.

Mithag: Written agreement between husband and wife.

Mosque: Islamic house of worship.

Muamalah: Civil transactions between people.

Muharram: Sacred month when weddings are forbidden.

Nikah: Celebration of the marriage contract.

Qazi: Officiant in a Muslim wedding ceremony.

Quran: Islamic sacred scriptures. Also spelled Koran.

Rukhsat: Ritual in which the bride's father gives her hand to the groom, asking that he care for her.

Shawwal: Hunting month considered prosperous for weddings.

Shiite: Branch of Islam that regards the prophet Ali and his descendents as the rightful successors of the prophet Mohammed.

Sunni: Branch of Islam that accepts the first four caliphs as the rightful successors of the prophet Mohammed.

Wali: Representative of the bride.

Walima: Wedding reception held for friends and family after the marriage's consummation.

Zagharit: Joyous, vibrating call sounded by women.

Zawaj: Term used in the Quran for pair or mate.

Zenana: Separate women's section.

-- Robin Beth Schaer

See More: Wedding Customs