Marriage is casting away its shackles as a serious, somber affair, as to-be-weds get younger and younger. In Malaysia alone, the average age of marriage dropped to 26, once again lower when compared to the local population. Part of the reason for this is the loosening up of wedding ceremonies; slowly, but surely, Muslims across the world are looking at what they want on the special day, rather than what their individual culture demands. After all, Islam dictates very little on what the nikah should really look like beyond seeking to please Allah.
The format of an Islamic wedding differs wildly. In Kazakhstan, it can be a simple affair, not dissimilar to the classic white-dress weddings most commonly featured in the media. Conversely, Indonesian weddings are often extravagant, with lashings of gold, silks and flora. Be adventurous, and borrow from cultures as you will; as long as you honor Allah, there isn’t an issue. If you have the resources, consider looking to marriage in one of the worlds grandest mosques; there are few better ways to honor your own commitment and Islam in the same breath.
Honor your parents and their wishes, of course, but don’t be afraid to question the status quo and branch out. A wedding is a celebration of you and your partner and your joint relationship with Allah, and some flavor of your own should be a given. Borrow from other cultures and ideas with pride.
On the same note, there’s no reason that you can’t share your home culture. Muslims are majority inhabitants of 50 countries, and there are countless cultures under the four main branches (Arabic, Persian, Turkish and Indo-Islamic).
Marriage between cultures gives you the invaluable opportunity to share cultures between yourself. There’s also the added incentive of travel; especially for the young, without responsibilities, finding out more about the world and its cultures is a great way to develop your relationship. This stays true to Allah, too; Surah Taha 20:53 speaks that:
"He it is who has made the Earth a cradle for you, and has traced out for you ways therein.”
What about when you are married? Should day to day life continue? Use your wedding to bring more joy, both to yourself, your faith, and those less fortunate. It’s well known that Muslims individually contribute large amounts to charitable causes. According to the HuffPo (UK), that totaled over $100m in 2017 alone. Even without spending money, a couple can do that bit extra for the needy while enriching your own relationship and your bond with Allah; lifestyle website Muslimah Sameerah suggest playing board games with the elderly, for instance.
Marriage should be fun and an expression of your love for your significant other. Don’t let old-fashioned tropes drag you down; enjoy it, express yourself, and show your love for your partner and Allah through your special day. It’ll set a great tone for the rest of your life as a married couple.
Written by Jennifer Dawson for muzmatch
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Hey everyone, it’s Ayesha from My Big Fat Halal Blog (MBFHB)! MBFHB is one of the UK’s biggest halal food platforms where I share halal restaurant reviews, recipes and travel guides! You can find out more about what I do on my website or Instagram.
Today, I’m collaborating with muzmatch to share some of my top Ramadan recipes. We hope you try them out and we would love to see any of your recreations.
Here’s a simple recipe for this delicious, filling smoothie bowl packed with nutritious dates… the only dates you should be having this Ramadan! ;)
1 banana, plus extra slices to garnish
5 pitted medjool dates, plus extra, chopped, to garnish
250ml semi-skimmed milk
2 tsp cocoa powder
1⁄2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tbsp ground nuts, to decorate
Simply put all the ingredients in a blender, and whizz until smooth. Pour into a bowl, over ice, if you like, then arrange the nuts, extra banana and dates over the top to serve.
Let’s be honest, it wouldn’t be Ramadan without fried treats! Below is a recipe for my spicy, moreish potato cutlets. They’re always a hit with everyone!
750g Maris Piper potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks
11⁄2 tbsp garam masala
2 tsp chilli powder
1 tbsp ground coriander
Handful of coriander, roughly chopped
2 tbsp plain flour
1 egg, lightly beaten
3 tbsp vegetable oil
Chutney/spicy salsa, to serve
1.Put the potatoes in a large pan and cover with water. Bring to the boil, then cook for 18-20 mins, until tender. Drain and set aside for 15-20 mins, until cool enough to handle.
2. Add the garam masala, chilli powder, ground coriander and fresh coriander to the potatoes. Season, then mash until smooth.
3. Wet your hands, then shape the mixture into 10 round patties, about 1cm thick.
4. Put the flour, egg and breadcrumbs onto separate plates, then dip each patty first in the flour, then the egg, then the breadcrumbs to coat.
5. Heat the oil to medium-high, then fry the patties in batches for 2-3 mins on each side, until golden brown. Drain on kitchen paper, then serve with a chutney/ spicy salsa for dipping.
A feast would not be complete without dessert! Try out this delicious Egyptian bread pudding known as Um Ali. It’s made with croissants, nuts and condensed milk and it’s absolutely delicious!
850ml semi-skimmed milk
1⁄2 x 397g can condensed milk
1⁄2 tsp ground cardamom
1⁄4 tsp ground cinnamon, plus extra to serve
1 tsp vanilla extract
100ml double cream
1 tsp unsalted butter
4 all butter croissants, roughly torn
2 tbsp desiccated coconut
2 tbsp flaked almonds
2 tbsp unsalted pistachios, chopped
2 tbsp seedless raisins
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan 160°C/Gas 4.
2. Stir the milk, condensed milk, cardamom, cinnamon and vanilla extract together in a saucepan. Slowly bring to the boil and simmer gently for 2mins, stirring occasionally. Add the cream and carefully bring back to the boil, then remove from the heat.
3. Using the butter, grease a round baking dish, roughly 22cm in diameter and 5cm deep, and cover the base with half the croissant pieces.
4. Sprinkle over half each of the coconut, almonds, pistachios and raisins, then pour over the milk mixture.
5. Top with the remaining croissants, nuts and raisins, plus an extra pinch of cinnamon.
6. Bake in the oven for 20-25mins until golden and bubbling, then leave to stand for 10 mins before serving.
I hope you enjoy these recipes and will try them out! You can find more of my recipes at mybigfathalalblog.com.
My husband and I got married last week! I wanted to share our story with you. Jarred and I started talking earlier this year and had an instant connection.
Jarred is from Connecticut and I'm from Texas. He was in Arkansas for school and recently graduated and was interested in meeting someone so he downloaded muzmatch.
We started talking and realized how much we had in common and quickly became serious about each other. We complimented each another in so many ways: prioritizing our deen, family and wanting to make a positive difference in the world.
Jarred then drove to see me. After that, we were certain we wanted to get married and decided to have our nikkah before Ramadan. We've been married almost a month now and it's been a wonderful adventure!
We're so happy! Jazakallah khair for connecting us!
Alhamdulillah, thank you Allah and the muzmatch team!
I'm from Indonesia and my husband is from Germany, but he is Russian.
What a blessing it is to have a mixed raced marriage!
I knew my husband from muzmatch since May 2017 and then he visited Indonesia in November 2017. I didn't believe he was serious until he visited me and my family.
Months later, I flew to Germany and found work there because I wanted to be close to him.
I was in love.
Finally on 28 Dec 2018, we had our nikkah which fell on the last Jumu'ah of the month and in March 2019 we got officially married.
Thank you to the muzmatch team!