An Islamic wedding involving Iddrisu Awal and Alidu Nawara
An Islamic wedding involving Iddrisu Awal and Alidu Nawara

Nikah: Welcome to the Islamic wedding capital

In the vibrant city of Tamale, the Northern Regional Capital, weekends are not just about relaxation and leisure, but they are synonymous with the melodious tunes of celebration and the vibrant hues of love.

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Every Saturday and Sunday, the city turns into a bustling hub of love and celebration as would-be couples embark on their journey of matrimony. In recent years, the trend of weddings on weekends has been gaining momentum.

From the splendour of traditional ceremonies held in the sprawling compounds of family homes to the chic elegance of Islamic modern venues adorned with colourful decorations, each wedding is a unique expression of love and culture.

As a predominantly Muslim community, Islamic weddings are the most dominant and talk of the town. Beyond the rhythmic beats of traditional drumming to the display of colourful varieties of attires, the celebrations captivate both locals and visitors alike.

Each weekend, a number of Islamic wedding events are held in almost every suburb in the fast-growing metropolis. On average, one could count about 10 to 15 wedding events every weekend.

Islamic wedding

Islamic wedding, also known as nikah, depicts religious traditions, as unique and a beautiful representation of Islamic culture and norms. It involves asking the bride’s hand in marriage, payment of bride price and blessing the marriage by an Islamic scholar in the presence of both families.

Usually, the celebration takes about three days, beginning from Friday to Sunday. After the blessings, friends, well-wishers and family members present gifts to show love for the couple.

The Chief Imam of the Sorugu Central Mosque, Sulemana Fusein, said marriage was one of the Islamic obligations of the Muslim faithful and it came with bountiful blessings.

Per the Islamic custom, he said weddings were supposed to be very simple for every class of person to afford, adding that in recent times most marriage ceremonies had been diluted with culture and modernities, which were un-Islamic.

Extravagant weddings

In the midst of this, one thing that sends tongues wagging is the expensive and extravagant style of celebration. The city is now becoming famous for its extravagant and lavish wedding celebrations, attracting attention from all corners of the country.

In recent years, a wave of opulent weddings has swept through the city, with families sparing no expense to ensure that their special day is remembered as the event of a lifetime.

From grand venues and elaborate decor to designer attire and gourmet catering, weddings in Tamale have reached new heights of luxury and sophistication.

This trend of extravagant weddings has sparked both admiration and controversy within the area. While some view it as a celebration of love and success, others express concern over the increasing financial burden these events place on families.

Social media has played a significant role in popularising these lavish weddings, with couples often sharing their elaborate plans and exquisite celebrations online, setting high expectations for others to follow.

Most intriguing is how these wedding events are advertised and publicised with banners and posters hoisted at vantage points across the city. A Love and Relationship Expert, Samuel Adjei, observed that people were now so enthused about wedding ceremonies and it had turned into full pageantry in the metropolis.

"Weddings were low key but these days everybody wants to show that he or she is also getting married and for that matter must show off by organising a bigger marriage ceremony.

“Weddings have now been commercialised, advertised, and publicised,” he said. He lamented that marriage ceremonies had now become very expensive in recent times compared to a few years ago, adding that “those days poverty did not deny any man from getting married in Dagbon per tradition; but these days, you can't say same”.

Mr Adjei cited instances where young people took loans to have lavish weddings and later found themselves wanting after the event, which eventually resulted in marriage breakups.

Sharing his experience with the Daily Graphic, on condition of anonymity, a newly married young man said he spent about GH¢70,000 to organise his wedding event.

"It is not easy to organise a wedding ceremony. It took me about three years to prepare for my wedding after paying the bride price. And if you don’t do it that way too, they will laugh at you. This is the reason why most young people cannot marry,” he stated.

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