Posted by admin on June 24, 2012
Islam came to the Philippines about the end of the 14th century. Our Muslim friends still adhere strictly to the ancient form of wedding rituals even to this day. The wedding rituals feature the stages as follows: the courtship, the offer and negotiation of the dowry and the wedding festivities. All these are carried in a week’s time.
A go-between is assigned by the man’s family to call on the woman’s family to declare the noble intention. And protocol requires and demands that every house hold that has a say or right to the woman must seek the approval.
As the woman’s family accepts the man’s desire for marriage, the tribe’s chieftain will execute and initiate the dowry’s negotiation. The dowry is an offer of costly goods to the woman and to the family as well. This is a tradition which forms the basic requirement of an Islamic marriage. The goods are fixed strictly in the form of gold and land and upon offering to the woman, forms part of her and the family’s belonging.
An Islamic wedding rite is performed and solemnized by an Imam, the term referred to the Muslim priest and is witnessed by all members of the family from both sides. Initially, the bride and the groom receive the ritual called, “ablution” meaning the purification of the couple.
All the time, with the bride and her attendants placed in the corner of the room opposite the groom, the Imam burns incense and while holding the right hand of the groom recites a passage from the Koran and Hadith. After which a sermon is delivered and at last a recital of prayer for Allah’s blessing.
After performing the wedding rite, the Imam, takes the groom to the bride and instruct the groom to touch the brides’ forehead to signify the bride’s betrothal as wife to the husband. This rite is called the “Pagbatal”, the Christian concept of the groom kissing the bride after being pronounced man and wife.