When planning a traditional Muslim wedding, the details of the wedding invitation should not be overlooked. Not only does the invitation design set the tone for the event, but the wording ensures guests have all the information they need and provides an opportunity to honor family members, as well as express Muslim values that define the celebration.
Of course, Muslim wedding invitations are as varied as the many Muslim communities around the world. Afraz Khan, executive director of Muslim Wedding Services based in New York, emphasizes the importance of recognizing the many different ways that Muslims celebrate weddings.
“A lot of the variation when it comes to Muslim wedding invitations is based on culture,” he says, noting the variety of norms within different communities around the world. “Different customs can be based on culture, or vary based on customs and traditions within the culture, from South East Asian, to Arab, to African and Black communities, as well as Indonesian, Malaysian, and Eastern European communities, such as Bosnia, and couples born and raised in the U.S.”
While every couple should feel guided by their own unique Muslim heritage, here are some things to keep in mind when considering wedding invitations for a traditional Muslim wedding.
The invitation or wedding card itself should be issued in the hosts’ name, following the general etiquette of wedding invitations. Ideally, however, both sets of parents should be named to emphasize the union of the two families. Some couples might also include the name of a grandparent or other respected relative who they wish to honor on the invitation.
There are many opportunities to use religious language, if the couple chooses to do so. Some Muslim wedding invitations invite guests to the nikah ceremony or the walima celebration, for example (depending on which is being emphasized or hosted), and include verses from the Quran or Hadith. Other Muslim invitations use the terms ‘wedding’ and ‘wedding reception’ instead. This decision should be up to the couple or the hosts issuing the marriage ceremony invitation.
The phrase ‘In the name of Allah, the most Beneficent, the most Merciful’ will often be written out on top of the Muslim wedding invitation card, sometimes in quotes or in italics. Some invitations will choose to write this phrase in the original Arabic, or include it as a transliteration, usually rendered ‘Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem.’ This gives your invitation a traditional and sacred feeling.
Here are some ways one might word a Muslim wedding ceremony invitaton:
In the name of Allah, the most Beneficent, the most Merciful
Mr and Mrs X
Request the honour of your presence
At the marriage of their daughter
Son of Mr and Mrs Y
In the name of Allah, the most Beneficent, the Most merciful
Mr and Mrs X
Request the honour of your presence At the nikah ceremony of their son
Daughter of Mr and Mrs Y
Granddaughter of W
‘Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem’
Request the pleasure of your company
At the walima celebration of their marriage Along with their parents
You might want to include a traditional religious quote on your Muslim wedding invitation as well. There are many beautiful quotes about love and marriage in the Muslim tradition, from the Quran and Hadiths to the rich traditions of Muslim poets throughout the vast cultures of the Islamic world. Some of the more popular Quran quotes about marriage include:
“And we created you in pairs” (Quran 78:8)
“And it is among His signs that He created for you partners from among yourselves, so that you may find peace in them, and He has created love and kindness between you.” (Quran 30:21)
“Exalted is He who created all pairs” (Quran 36:36)
Some invitations will include the original Arabic verses, and some will include translations. If you include a translation, make sure you consider several translations before choosing the one that best captures the sentiment you desire.
While there’s no problem under Islamic law with including Quran verses or the bismillah on a wedding day invitation, Muslim couples sending invitations to a diverse set of guests, including non-Muslims, should keep in mind that guests may be unaware of Muslim customs around how to respectfully dispose of writing material that includes the name of Allah and verses from the Quran.
The traditional Muslim wedding has several parts, and many traditional Muslim weddings include ceremonies or customs unique to specific countries or cultures. If there’s a traditional ceremony happening at a certain time—such as the baraat procession—then note the particular time on the invitation as well. You want your guests to be fully informed.
On a similar note, if the ceremony is taking place in a mosque where guests will be expected to cover their shoulders or hair, then consider adding this information as well.
The design of your wedding invitation should reflect the theme and nature of the celebration itself. If your wedding will be a formal, elegant affair, then go for simple, dramatic colors like gold, cream, navy, or black. If you’re planning a traditional, vibrantly decorated wedding ceremony, then choose an invitation that matches that theme.
The Muslim world is rich with a variety of visual traditions. Some couples choose to incorporate traditional calligraphy of both their names or use patterned designs that reflect their ethnic heritage. In recent years, sending wedding invitations in the form of miniturature scrolls has become popular.
The wedding invitation should be selected about six months before the wedding date. You’ll want time to ensure you get the wording just right, consider what aspects of the Muslim ceremony you want to emphasize to your guests, and ensure that any Arabic or religious phrasing in rendered accurately.
The traditional Muslim wedding invitation includes many opportunities for a couple to share their Muslim values and important wedding information with their guests. This is everything you need to know about designing your Muslim wedding invitation.