Marriage is a lawful unification of woman and man for life. The definition of marriage differs around various dimensions like; it is defined as commitment, an overall change in life or covenants and also intimate relationship among woman and man. Some cultures regard marriage as the societal backbone (Chakrabarti, Gupta-Mukherjee & Jayaraman, 2009). The aim of marriage differs among the individuals and thus is considered as a transition in an individual’s life. Marriage is segregated according to different communities and cultures in diverse regions of the globe like it is divisible in the form of Muslim, Indian, Xhosa, Chinese, Jewish, Christian, etc. All these cultures have diverse customs and have different sentiments involved with the marriage practice. This paper aims at understanding the different customs involved in the marriage practices of Islam and Christianity culture.
Christianity is at present the biggest religion on the planet (Faelli, 2006). It has commanded western society for quite a long time and remains the dominant part religion of America and Europe. Christian conviction focuses on the life of Jesus of Nazareth, an instructor and healer of 1st-century Palestine. Christian is the biggest world religion right now (Lockard, 2007). It has in excess of 2 billion devotees (James, 2004), who order themselves under 34,000 separate categories (Religioustolerance.org, 2014). At first, Christianity was gotten from Judaism, as Jesus Christ was a Jew, as were his twelve devotees. Christianity is based for the most part around the life, passing and revival of Jesus Christ, and is monotheistic (Benedict, 2004). Christians trust in the Bible being the expression of God, and albeit some decide to take it more truly than others, it is for the most part thought to be enlivened by the Holy Spirit (Freedman, Myers & Beck, 2000). Christians accept that Jesus Christ is the anointed guardian angel of the world and that his vicinity on earth was the satisfaction of the predictions made in the Old Testament about the Messiah who was to come and spare mankind from their wrongdoings (Gibbs, n.d.).
Christian practices differ by division; however basic components incorporate a Sunday love administration, private and corporate supplication to God, study and perusing of the Scriptures, and interest in customs, for example, absolution and accord. Unique Catholic practices incorporate distinguishment of seven aggregate ceremonies, Sunday mass, commitment to the Virgin Mary and the examples of piety, and adoration of relics and spots connected with heavenly figures. Eastern Orthodoxy holds numerous practices in a similar manner as Catholicism, however is particularly recognized by the focal part of symbols: fancy pictures of Christ and the examples of piety accepted to give an association with the profound world.
Islam is the term that is mainly utilized in the secular academia to explain the different cultural practices among the Islamic people. The early form of culture of Muslim is associated with Arab. However with the drastic expansion of the empires of Islam, the culture has been influenced by Chinese, Pakistani, Persian, Somali, Egyptian, Filipino, Spanish, etc. The saying Islam signifies 'accommodation to the will of God'.
Islam religion is the second biggest religion on the planet with in excess of 1 billion adherents (Esposito, 2003). In 2001 enumeration it is recorded that around 1,591,000 Muslims stay in UK, constituting around 2.7% of population (Bbc.co.uk, 2014). Muslims accept that there is one and only God. Allah is the word in Arabic word for God. As indicated by Muslims, God sent various prophets to humanity to show them how to live as per his law (Sturgis, 2009). Jesus, Abraham and Moses are regarded as God’s prophets. The Muslims accept that the last clairvoyant was Muhammad. Muslims accept that Islam has constantly existed, however for date and commonsense purposes, from the time of Muhammad’s relocation (Kaser, 2011). Muslims build their laws in light of their sacred book the Sunnah and Qur'an. Muslims accept the Sunnah is the handy case of Muhammad Prophet and that there are five fundamental Pillars of Islam. These columns are the presentation of confidence, supplicating five times each day, offering cash to philanthropy, fasting and a journey to Mecca (atleast once) (Bbc.co.uk, 2014).
The first Christians traditionally accepted the Roman marriage structure. The Christian marriage is not a contract instead it is covenant relationship that the couples share with each other. Thus due to this reason, they see the symbol of God’s pledge with Abraham in Genesis in their marriage tradition. They believe that it is God gift process and the right atmosphere to build family and engage in sexual relations. In their custom it is very important for them to get marry in Church in front of God. Christian feels that marriage is a declaration of commitment and love in front of pubic thus the couples make this promise to each other in front of their family and friends (Geddes & Griffiths, 2002).
There are various covenant symbols of Christian marriage practices like:
The friends and families of the groom and the bride are made to seat at two different sides of the church symbolizing the blood covenant, where many of them have made sacrifices to bring the couples together. The white runner in their marriage symbolizes the holy ground and the center aisle symbolizes the meeting ground. The seating tradition of bride and the grooms parent’s symbolizes they are responsible for the union of couple. In Christian marriage, the groom enters the church first, because it is believed that God took the initiative with Christ and came and called for his bride in the church (Manokaran, 2011). In Christian custom, the father escorts his daughter and gives away the bride’s hand which demonstrates that there is blessing of parents on the couple’s union and now it is the responsibility of the husband to take care. The bride mainly wears a white dress which signifies the purity of life and heart of the girl. In their wedding, the groom and the bride face each other, joining hands which showing their commitment and covenant relationship publicly. Then the couples exchange rings which symbolizes that they are giving their talents, emotions, possessions and wealth to other. Then the groom removes the bridal veil which shows that couple has full right on each other (Hastings, Mason & Pyper, 2000).
The marriage ritual or in general known as Nikah, is very simple in Islam culture. But many Muslims conduct multi-day celebrations for their wedding. The groom and the bride are separated from each other during their wedding and can see each other after their family permits (Brockway, 2010). The officiant goes and asks the bride and groom separately about their marriage consent for each other. Then a marriage contract is signed as a witness in front of witnesses from both the sides (Marshall Cavendish Corporation, 2010). Once they sign the contract the couples are declared as husband wife. During the marriage process the bride wears a bright red a pleated skirt with blouse, ghagra that is embroidered in gold and a man generally wears a sherwani with a turban on their head. This is generally worn in Asian countries. But, majority of the brides go for white wedding dresses. In some cultures the Islam marriage encourages singing, dancing, lots of hilarity and noise which is generally known as dholki (Lapidus, 2014).
The marriage ceremony of Islam includes reading Qur’an and exchange of Vows. In Islam unlike Christianity, the marriages are not union of soul-mates, or are not god gift instead they are social contracts that bring obligations and rights for both the parties and is only successful if they mutually cherish and respect each other. In some of the Islam communities, divorce is frequent and unlike other faiths a Muslim women need to have only one husband and a Muslim husband can have more than one wife maximum up to 4 wives (Bbc.co.uk, 2014).
In conclusion, it can be said that this paper has successfully identified the difference between Christianity and Islam culture by giving a brief overview of both the cultures. Since, the aim of this paper was to compare and contrast the marriage practices among the Christianity and Islamic culture, it is identified that there is huge difference between among both the cultures. The Christianity marriage is more of sacraments and the Islamic marriage is more of legal contract. The Christianity marriage takes place in front of their families and friends and the Islamic marriage is takes place initially in two separate areas and then the couples are permitted to see each other. The similarity between these two cultures is that they focus more on the purity and virginity of the bride or the female they are marrying with. There are various traditional practices that are carried out differently based on their rituals and beliefs. However, marriage in both the cultures still acts as a reactions and views across various aspects and changes the individual socially, economically and also intellectually. Traditionally it is the right that is given to the couples to share their lives with each other without any hesitation. This is the stage where the couples start taking major responsibilities of their life and also make choices and decisions for each other.
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Chakrabarti, R., Gupta-Mukherjee, S., & Jayaraman, N. (2009). Marsâ€“Venus marriages: Culture and cross-border M&A. Journal Of International Business Studies, 40, 216-236.
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