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Zari Hassan reveals what her hubby paid as bride price

Ugandan businesswoman and socialite Zari Hassan has for the first time, revealed details of her recent private wedding to young husband.

According to the mother of five, her husband Shakib Lutaaya gave her a Quran as her bride price during their recent Muslim wedding.

Speaking upon her arrival in Tanzania, Zari expressed her contentment with life and her desire to deepen her faith as a Muslim, which led her to request the holy book as her only dowry.

“I have had everything I have ever wanted in this world. God has blessed me with a beautiful life, my kids are okay, and my business is thriving,” Zari said.

“For me, I only asked my husband for a Quran because I’m trying to up my faith game. I’m a Muslim too, and he was even surprised when I told him that.”

Zari’s decision to prioritize spiritual growth and her unique choice of dowry have garnered attention and sparked discussions.

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According to Islamic tradition, the dowry, known as the Mahr, is negotiated by the couple or their families at the time of marriage. It is a gift or a promise of a gift from the husband to the wife.

The Quran itself addresses the topic of dowry, stating, “Give to the women (whom you marry) their bridal-due (mahr) willingly and for good; however, if of their own accord they remit any part of it to you, then you are welcome to enjoy it gladly.”

What are the stages of a Muslim wedding?

A Muslim wedding ceremony is a beautiful and culturally rich event that encompasses several stages and traditions. From the tolbe or tulba (pre-wedding ceremony) to the walima(union of the families), each stage holds its own significance and adds to the overall celebration of the union between the bride and groom.

The first stage of a Muslim wedding is the tolbe, where the groom seeks the permission and blessings of the bride’s family. After gaining their agreement, a short prayer from the Holy Quran is recited, followed by a shared moment of tea, coffee, or cordial.

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Following the tolbe, the next stage is the mangni or engagement. Once the engagement is confirmed, the focus shifts to the wedding ceremony itself, which comprises various traditions.

A zaffe, a lively celebration filled with music and dancing, often takes place before the wedding ceremony. It symbolizes the joy and excitement of both families coming together. While not a mandatory tradition, the zaffe serves as a spirited prelude to the wedding festivities.

The most significant aspect of the Muslim wedding ceremony is the nikah. During the nikah, the groom proposes in the presence of witnesses and finalizes the meher or mahr, which is a statement outlining what the groom will give the bride. The marriage contract is then formally signed, usually with the couple accepting it three times and the two male witnesses signing as well.

The katb al-kitaab is another important stage, during which the terms of the marriage are stated, and the bride and groom sign the contract in front of their guests.

Celebratory dancing, known as dabke, often follows the formalities. Guests join in this traditional dance, which involves forming a circle and dancing side by side. It is a joyful expression of celebration and participation in the wedding festivities.

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Some couples may choose to incorporate an additional religious ceremony after the nikah, where vows and blessings are exchanged. This ceremony includes recitation of the Fatihah, blessings, and defining the responsibilities of the bride and groom to each other.

After the wedding ceremony, the bride and groom proceed to the barmet al-aroos. They leave the venue in a decorated vehicle, while their friends and family members follow in their own cars, honking and playing music to announce the newly-married couple’s presence.

The walima, which is similar to a wedding reception, marks the official celebration of the marriage contract. It can last up to two days and includes various cultural traditions and abundant food to signify fertility and abundance.

Although the formal ceremonies themselves may be relatively short, the celebration can continue throughout the night and into the next day with dancing and feasting. In some cases, the walima may be held on a different day from the nikah.

Proper attire for guests at a Muslim wedding varies depending on the comfort levels of the family and their religious background. Modest dressing is generally advised, with arms and legs covered, and women may be required to wear a head covering in traditional mosque ceremonies.

The bride often wears an elaborate gown, while the groom may opt for a salwar kameez, consisting of white or black pants with a long tunic.

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