Traditional Muslim Wedding Gifts

by Yasmeen Noor

With millions of Muslims living in the United States, it is possible you may be invited to a Muslim wedding. Wedding gifts at traditional Muslim weddings are not much different from those given at weddings of other religions.

The Mahr

In an Islamic marriage, the groom is obliged to give the bride a wedding gift called a "mahr." This gift is meant to show his appreciation for her and is a token of sincerity and warmth on his behalf. If the bride wishes, the mahr often is merely symbolic. In many cultures, however, the groom gives substantial amounts of money, land or jewelry to the bride. According to Islamic legal tradition, the mahr becomes the property of the wife, not to be taken by anyone.

Cultural Gifts

In many traditional Muslim weddings, gifts are influenced more by culture than religion. In South Asian and Arab weddings, guests and family commonly give the bride jewelry and clothes. In Asian and African Muslim cultures, traditional sweets often accompany wedding gifts.

Islamic Art

Islamic artwork is a much-appreciated traditional wedding gift. Islamic artwork generally features Arabic calligraphy of the name of God, the name of the Islamic prophet Muhammad or Qur'anic verses. Islamic calligraphy is found on tapestries, paintings, vases and other household items.

Poetry Collections

Many Islamic cultures have a deep appreciation for poetry, especially religious poetry reflecting on one's connection with God or the beauty of God's blessings. Many Muslim couples might appreciate "The Burda of Al-Basir" by Shaykh Hamza The book explains "The Burda," a poem written centuries ago about Muhammad, and is celebrated across the Muslim world. Poetry collections from the famous Islamic poet Rumi also are likely to be appreciated.

Books

A coffee-table book about Islamic art, architecture, history, inventions or cultures make a thoughtful gift. "1001 Muslim Inventions: Muslim Heritage in Our World" is one such book that has been popular among Western Muslims for some years. "The Rights and Responsibilities of Marriage" by Shaykh Hamza Yusuf or "The Fiqh of Love" by Yasir Birjas are audio lecture sets often given at weddings.

What Not to Give

While the gifts for even the most traditional wedding gifts are similar to those given at other weddings, it is good to keep some things in mind when planning one's present. Muslims do not gift or serve alcohol, so wine is not be an appropriate gift. Both men and women are expected to dress modestly, so tight or revealing clothes may not be used. Traditional Muslim couples often praise qualities of shyness and modesty, so risque wedding cards are not fitting for the occasion.

About the Author

Yasmeen Noor has been writing professionally since 2007. Her articles have appeared in the "Riverside Press Enterprise," "The Tennesseean" and the "San Bernardino Sun." Noor holds Bachelor of Arts degrees in political science, history and film from University of California, Los Angeles.

Photo Credits

  • Laura Beth Drilling/Demand Media