ISNA Mosque Canada
Rabiya and Muhammad’s wedding events kicked off with their beautiful and intimate Nikkah ceremony at ISNA Mosque Canada. The nikkah included a wonderful speech by Sheikh Alaa, lots of laughs and tears, and the signing of the nikkah contract. After the nikkah, we got some portraits of the couple inside ISNA Mosque Canada. The domed prayer room at this mosque is absolutely gorgeous. So much natural light. We did get some photos outside the venue as well, but it was cold so most of the photos were indoors.
Indian weddings are colourful celebrations full of rich traditions. While most Indian-Canadians couples have Hindu roots, Islam is also a common religion. The nikkah ceremony is the heart of an Indian-Muslim wedding. This particular couple had their nikkah in a Mosque with gender separation. So men and women worship separately. If you’ve never been in a mosque, prepare to remove your shoes before entering the sanctuary. Women will also have to dress modestly and cover their heads.
The Nikah ceremony is three important steps. Before the couple is even allowed to see each other, a mehr, or symbolic presentation of gifts is given to the bride by the groom. For modern couples, this would be the presentation of an engagement ring. However, this couple was a bit more traditional. The groom and the bride’s father had come to an agreement of the mehr. The dollar amount was negotiated until they both agreed. This is often the longest part of the nikka. Since the genders were separated, the bride waited in a separate room but still got to witness the negotiations.
Next comes the Nikah-Nama. This is the religious marriage contract. If the bride accepts the marriage, the couple says qubool hai three times each when asked by the Imam (officiant). The couple then agrees to the terms of the contract and signs it during their ceremony as their guests look on. Arsi Mushaf is the first time the couple looks at each other as husband and wife. As structured as the rest of the ceremony is, this moment is amazing. First looks are pretty emotional at the beginning of a wedding ceremony. They’re even more so after the ceremony is over. Cause now when you look at him, it’s not “this is the man I’m going to marry.” It’s “this is my husband.”