As a serially single person, who else would be more qualified to compile a list of definitions related to Muslim relationships. I want to define some things for myself, my fellow Muslim people, and for the curious non-Muslims.
Let me just preface it by saying we’re all confused; we mix “back home” cultures, Islamic traditions, and Western wedding events and it becomes one big mess of cultural appropriation and marshmallow dresses. Here goes nothing.
“We’re talking.”: He’s mildly interesting and she’s like cool and stuff and we met in the library (on that one floor no one ever studies on) or during some MSA (Muslim Student Association event) thing and we went from talking to Khalid Ibn Walid to how many kids we want to have. Redefinition of 0 to 100 real quick.
At this point don’t go telling YOUR MOM what you saw or else my mom is getting a phone call and I’m getting interrogated about his academic background.
“Our parents know [we’re talking.]” We’ve legitimatized our relationship by telling the people that birthed us. It might not be that serious. But I started a wedding Pintrest board and he started growing out his beard so…
His mother: death. [AKA the reason I privated Facebook photos from highschool.]
Her father: see above. [AKA the reason I (the guy) am beard-deep in job applications]
Engagement: Sometimes a family affair, sometimes close friends are present. We exchanged rings and maybe ate cake.
Engagement 2.0 or Beta: We made it official with God. We exchanged rings (or switched them over to the other hand.) WE CAN HOLD HANDS NOW OMG.
The most confusing part about this is we’re actually married but to confuse everyone we’ll say we’re engaged until the wedding. Words are just words am I right?
‘Nikkah’ or ‘Ketb Ktaab’: we like to confuse people by using a plethora of vocabulary words. This just means we signed a religious marriage contract.
‘Walima’: (much less used) supposedly the reception or dinner feast part of the aforementioned. I mean why wouldn’t you want to have dinner feast? (May or may not include sheep slaughter.)
Engagement Party: After either of the two types of engagement we had a party, usually gender split, so that the girls can literally let their hair down.
Bridal Shower: the calmest of the wedding events most likely because in laws will be present.
Henna or Mendi: literally, this means dried up vegetation made into a paste and plastered on hands. In this context, a small female party, henna may or may not be applied, people dress up, things only get mildly rowdy.
Bachelorette: Self Explanatory? But usually a little more PG 14 for Muslim people.
Wedding: We either had a mixed wedding in which we invited most of our friends and there were speeches and there was food and other common wedding festivities.
Or we had a gender split wedding. Man’s side: we ate some food and slapped each other on the back.
Women’s side: there may or may not have been mothers dancing on tables. No way this ended before the early morning hours.
“We got married.”: It happened. Finally.