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What is a Nikah Ceremony?

In this post, we are going to discuss what a Nikah ceremony is, and how you can do one virtually!

This post is based off of first-hand experience that one of our team members had.

With a large number of Islamic weddings(also referred to as the Nikah) going virtual we have decided to share some key components of the virtual Nikah.

At a high-level, the The components of the Nikah are the same whether it’s online or in person. However, there needs to be more planning and coordination involved.

Below, are the key components to consider (Note: If you’re looking for only a legal ceremony over Zoom, visit this page):

What is a Nikah?

The Nikah is the religious wedding ceremony in the Islamic faith. In terms of what to expect, there will be 3 key roles in the Nikah: 

  • The officiator, who may or may not be a religious cleric. 
  • The bride and their family 
  • The groom and their family 
  • WItnesses of the marriage ceremony involved.

The officator will essentially confirm consent from the bride and groom, each of their families, and document the presence of two Muslim witnesses of the marriage. All of the aforementioned is documented in the form of an Islamic marriage contract (you can see an example contract at the bottom of this page). The Nikah can take place in many places, ranging from a banquet hall to inside of a mosque, so there is flexibiility in where the ceremony can be performed.

In a nutshell, the aforementioned is what a Nikah is. 

Next, we will dive into how a Nikah can be done virtually.

Where will all participants be located?

For example the bride and groom need to know if they’re going to be separate and remote from each other, or if they’re going to be with their respective families, as well as where the officiator is going to be. For our team member, the virtual Nikah was broken down by 3 locations.

The first location, was the home of the groom and his parents and brother.

The second location, l is the home of the bride l, her parents, and her siblings.

The third location, is the home of the officiator.

All locations of participants were in the same time zone, so if anyone is in different time zones, there might be some more planning involved. 

What software can be used?

For our team member, the software that was used for the virtual Nikah was a Zoom conference meeting. Zoom  was used because that was the software that most people involved were already familiar with, it also has a pretty affordable monthly plan, and the the monthly plan let’s see let’s see record and your events so the Nikah could be recorded. Obviously, the monthly payment plan it might not might not be useful if you’re only going to be using the plan for your Nikah, so it’s totally fine to cancel Zoom after you finish the Nikah and download the recording of your ceremony.

How do we still keep a virtual Nikah, intimate?

Traditionally, when a Nikah is done in-person, there are a lot of rich aspects that are hard to replicate on a video call. For example, in an in-person Nikah, the officiator is usually able to give a good sermon or a lecture about love and marriage, while also engaging in making the speech relevant to the families involved.

The officiator also carries out a number of prayers that he is able to interactively explain in- depth, while also walking the audience through what exactly is going on.

When the Nikah is done virtually, we have to find a way to replicate a lot of those experiences. To replicate those experiences, it makes sense to share the prayer and sermon documents with attendees, virtually.

The main documents we recommend using and sharing are documented below:

  1. The first document was an entire script of both the speech and the prayers that would be done during the Nikah. When we say script of the speech and the prayers, we literally mean a typed out script of the entire speech.
  2. When we say a script of the prayer, we mean it is literally the written version of the required prayers, written out both in Arabic along with the English translation.
  3. The script for the actual officiation of the ceremony. This script basically named the groom and their family and name of the bride and the family and proposes in our union between the two husband-and-wife and that document is what husband and wife and the families agree upon.

Below, are copies of the same doc our team member’s officiaotor used. Feel free to use them.

The Nikah Documents

Nikah: The Marriage Certificate Template

Nikah: Script for Officiant

Nikah: Contract Template

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