The second event in an Pakistani wedding is the Nikkah. This is an official process of registering the marriage in the country of Pakistan according to the Islamic law. The function is usually hosted by the brides family.
The nikkah has to be signed by both the groom and the bride. The couple is to consent to the marriage with their own free will. The document outlines the responsibilities as well as the rights of the groom and bride towards each other. There must be two muslim witnesses of the marriage. The document also states the amount of “haq meher”. Haq Meher is money which has to be paid to the bride if the couple files a divorce. Divorce could be initiated by either party. Marriage is not mandatory in the islamic religion but is an act of “sunnah”, the teachings and practices of Prophet Muhammad (SAW).
The event starts off by gathering family and friends at the bride’s house or the set venue. After this the Imam reads some of the holy verses of the Quran related to marriage. He then asks the bride for her approval of the nikkah. After this she signs the document and the groom does the same. Then the two chosen witnesses sign the nikkah. The witnesses can not be the parents of the groom or the bride. However, the bride’s father has to sign the document as it confirms his approval of the marriage. The couple is considered married after the event but the bride does not go to her in-law’s house yet.
The couple usually wears the color white on their nikkah. As white is a symbol of purity, also the holy Prophet Muhammad (SAW) loved the color so it is considered a sunnah. The bride and groom are given time to get to know each other before the nikkah but are not allowed to meet the day of the event. This is a sign of respect towards their significant other and their new relationship.