بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
Bismillā hir Rahmā nir Rahīm
In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful
اشْهَدُ انْ لّآ اِلهَ اِلَّا اللّهُ وَ اَشْهَدُ اَنَّ مُحَمَّدً اعَبْدُه وَ رسوله
Ašh hadu al-lā ilāha illā-llāhu, wa ašh hadu anna Muhammadun ‘abduhu wa rasūluhu
I bear witness that none is worthy of worship but Allah, the One alone, without partner, and I bear witness that Muhammad is His servant and Messenger
As-Salāmu `Alaykum (السلام عليكم):
The Muslim Marriage Process:
Surah Nur 24:32
24:32 Marry those among you who are single, or the virtuous ones among yourselves, male or female: if they are in poverty, Allah will give them means out of His grace: for Allah encompasseth all, and he knoweth all things.
(Y. Ali translation)
1) Mutual agreement (Ijab-O-Qubul) by the bride and the groom
2) Two sane adult witnesses
3) Mahr (marriage-gift) to be paid by the groom to the bride either immediately (muajjal) or deferred (muakhkhar), or a combination of both
4) Legal guardian (Wakil) representing the bride
5) Written marriage contract ("Aqd-Nikah) signed by the bride and the groom and witnesses by two adult and sane witnesses
6) Qadi (State appointed Muslim judge) or Ma'zun (a responsible person officiating the marriage ceremony)
7) Khutba-tun-Nikah to solemnize the marriage
Muslim Engagement: Permission is required by the woman.
Volume 7, Book 62, Number 67:
Narrated Abu Huraira:
The Prophet said, "A matron should not be given in marriage except after consulting her; and a virgin should not be given in marriage except after her permission." The people asked, "O Allah's Apostle! How can we know her permission?" He said, "Her silence (indicates her permission)."
Sahih Bukhari Volume 7, Book 62, Number 69:
Narrated Khansa bint Khidam Al-Ansariya:
that her father gave her in marriage when she was a matron and she disliked that marriage. So she went to Allah's Apostle and he declared that marriage invalid.
Sahih Bukhari Volume 7, Book 62, Number 88:
The Prophet wrote the (marriage contract) with 'Aisha while she was six years old and consummated his marriage with her while she was nine years old and she remained with him for nine years (i.e. till his death).
Mahr: gift from the groom to the bride at the time of marriage in Islam
Surah Nisa 4:24
4:24 (Y. Ali) Also (prohibited are) women already married, except those whom your right hands possess: Thus hath Allah ordained (Prohibitions) against you: Except for these, all others are lawful, provided ye seek (them in marriage) with gifts from your property,- desiring chastity, not lust, seeing that ye derive benefit from them, give them their dowers (at least) as prescribed; but if, after a dower is prescribed, agree Mutually (to vary it), there is no blame on you, and Allah is All-knowing, All-wise.
Sahih Bukhari Volume 7, Book 62, Number 58:
Narrated Sahl bin Sad:
A woman came to Allah's Apostle and said, "O Allah's Apostle! I have come to you to present myself to you (for marriage)." Allah's Apostle glanced at her. He looked at her carefully and fixed his glance on her and then lowered his head. When the lady saw that he did not say anything, she sat down. A man from his companions got up and said, "O Allah's Apostle! If you are not in need of her, then marry her to me." The Prophet said, "Have you got anything to offer." The man said, 'No, by Allah, O Allah's Apostle!" The Prophet said (to him), "Go to your family and try to find something." So the man went and returned, saying, "No, by Allah, O Allah's Apostle! I have not found anything." The Prophet said, "Go again and look for something, even if it were an iron ring." He went and returned, saying, "No, by Allah, O Allah's Apostle! I could not find even an iron ring, but this is my Izar (waist sheet).' He had no Rida (upper garment). He added, "I give half of it to her." Allah's Apostle said "What will she do with your Izar? If you wear it, she will have nothing over herself thereof (will be naked); and if she wears it, then you will have nothing over yourself thereof ' So the man sat for a long period and then got up (to leave). When Allah's Apostle saw him leaving, he ordered that he e called back. When he came, the Prophet asked (him), "How much of the Qur'an do you know (by heart)?" The man replied, I know such Sura and such Sura and such Sura," naming the suras. The Prophet said, "Can you recite it by heart?" He said, 'Yes." The Prophet said, "Go I let you marry her for what you know of the Quran (as her Mahr).
Nikah: This is the process by which a man and a woman become husband and wife. The short ceremony is usually conducted by an Imam. A minimum of two witnesses are required to be present in the nikah. The bride must always be accompanied by a Wali or guradian. During this ceremony the mahr (or marriage gift) that the groom gives to his bride is also decided. The Imam delivers the "Khutbah" of the nikah, which is a sermon with Quranic verses and Islamic speech. The Nikah process makes both the man and woman legal for each other as husband and wife.
In Islam the engagement and Nikah are combined. After the marriage contract is signed that constitutes the engagement.
Dukhlah: The Dukhlah is the process of "publicly" sending the bride and groom to live as husband and wife.
Walimah: Walimah is an official lunch or dinner invitation by the groom and his family to their family and friends to declare the marriage. In most countries, Walima is followed within a day or two after the dukhlah.
Sahih Bukhari Volume 7, Book 62, Number 97:
The Prophet did not give a better wedding banquet on the occasion of marrying any of his wives than the one he gave on marrying Zainab, and that banquet was with (consisted of) one sheep.
NOTE: IF YOU ARE GOING TO CONTRIBUTE TO THIS POST PLEASE USE THE QURAN AND THE SUNNAH OF PROPHET MUHAMMAD (SAWS) and not your personal opinions.