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[Question] Will a priest agree to perform a proper Tamil bhramin style wedding, for an interreligious couple? What sort of additional ceremonies will it involve?

I am a girl in my mid 20s, and will soon be marrying a boy from another religion (Islam). We have decided to have both styles of weddings and I will not be converting. Our families (somewhat begrudgingly) have agreed to the wedding, but we are struggling to find a priest who will be able to perform the wedding. He also doesn’t speak any Tamil, so hopefully a priest (either in Mumbai, Delhi or Chennai) who speaks Hindi or English as well. Although the Hindi speaking bit is not a mandatory requirement.

I know this will probably receive a lot of judgement and hate on this forum, but thought I’d try my luck here as a last resort. Additionally, apart from the typical kalyanam rituals, is there anything else that needs to be done (such as some specific function for him to be able to wear a poonal?)

We are vadakalai iyengars.

Thank you in anticipation, and apologies if this post offends anyone.
 

prasad1

Well-known member
My niece Got married to a Jewish boy in Chennai.
In our Temple in the USA, it is common practice to have inter religious, inter caste, inter faith marriages.

 
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OP
OP
M
My niece Got married to a Jewish boy in Chennai.
In our Temple in the USA, it is common practice to have inter religious, inter caste, inter faith marriages.

Thank you sir. This is very helpful. May I ask where in Chennai if that’s alright?

How did you find the priests who did the ceremony?
 
I doubt there are many priests in this forum. You may get different opinions here but surely the best way is to enquire using your family connections.

There may be another serious problem in your proposal. You say that you want to have "both" styles of weddings but you say you don't want to convert. In my understanding, this is NOT possible. I think one has to be a muslim if one were to participate in a Nikkah. There are probably not many here who knows this but there is a member here, "Renuka" who may be knowledgable about these matters. May be you can get guidance from her.
 

prasad1

Well-known member
It depends where you are going to live. If you plan to live in India (I am sorry you are on your own). Then it also depends, as to what customs you want to follow. You can not be an Iyengar and eat meat I suppose!!

We have had multiple marriages with Hindu-Christian Hindu-Jewish Hindu-Jain Jain-Sikh and various combination. I do not know Muslim practices. You may be able to find out a solution. You will need a lot of luck.

If he is willing to convert to Hinduism it might make is easy.
If you are going to convert to Islam, (I am sorry) but you better think 100 times and walk away. Because financially and socially you will be loser.

The Special Marriage Act, 1954 is an Act of the Parliament of India with provision for civil marriage (or "registered marriage") for people of India and all Indian nationals in foreign countries, irrelevant of the religion or faith followed by either party. The Act originated from a piece of legislation proposed during the late 19th century. Marriages solemnized under Special Marriage Act are not governed by personal laws.

Famous people in India have retained their Hindu identity and married Muslim partner who retained their Muslim identity.



Having said that you must weigh the pro and cons. Particularly In India.
If you marry under Muslim laws you rights will be covered by Muslim laws. You are a property of your husband and your property rights will be covered by sheria laws.
So be careful and get a legal opinion. Marriage ceremonies can be the easiest thing you need to worry.

In India, most marriages are still arranged by families within the same religion or caste. But there are some couples who do fall in love, sometimes choosing partners from a different faith. Now, India's Hindu nationalist government is making it harder for them.

 

sundarb

Member
I am a girl in my mid 20s, and will soon be marrying a boy from another religion (Islam). We have decided to have both styles of weddings and I will not be converting. Our families (somewhat begrudgingly) have agreed to the wedding, but we are struggling to find a priest who will be able to perform the wedding. He also doesn’t speak any Tamil, so hopefully a priest (either in Mumbai, Delhi or Chennai) who speaks Hindi or English as well. Although the Hindi speaking bit is not a mandatory requirement.

I know this will probably receive a lot of judgement and hate on this forum, but thought I’d try my luck here as a last resort. Additionally, apart from the typical kalyanam rituals, is there anything else that needs to be done (such as some specific function for him to be able to wear a poonal?)

We are vadakalai iyengars.

Thank you in anticipation, and apologies if this post offends anyone.
Rituals (and mantras) have certain specific requirements (like gotram, rishi vargam, veda, sutras etc) and in your case, you are deviating from the same. So, there is no point in using the mantras since they will have no meaning/value/context. You will be cheating yourself by thinking that the mantras have been recited. In hindu (Iyengar) marriages, there is lot of stress on the boy to recite mantras etc for which, he needs to have yagnopaveetam, shraddha in perfrming agni rituals etc. Since the lineage is missing, there is no point in trying to imitate a hindu wedding. Just go to registrar office and get your marriage registered. If you insist on Hindu way of marriage, please approach Arya samaj. They may be able to help you.
 

renuka

Well-known member
I doubt there are many priests in this forum. You may get different opinions here but surely the best way is to enquire using your family connections.

There may be another serious problem in your proposal. You say that you want to have "both" styles of weddings but you say you don't want to convert. In my understanding, this is NOT possible. I think one has to be a muslim if one were to participate in a Nikkah. There are probably not many here who knows this but there is a member here, "Renuka" who may be knowledgable about these matters. May be you can get guidance from her.
Since my "name"
is mentioned here, I would reply.

Before that dear Manavyala...forum members here wont hate anyone asking any questions about inter faith marriages as many a times such topics are discussed.

Coming back to the discussion..I dont know the Shariah laws in India or in other Non Muslim countries but the standard Shariah law does not permit a Non Muslim to undergo a Nikah ceremony unless the Non Muslim converts to Islam, so I too wonder how is it that you are having both types of ceremonies.

Could you care to explain a little?
Also you mentioned your husband would need to wear poonal for the wedding..but after the wedding, he wont be wearing it I guess..so why not choose a wedding ceremony which doesnt involve the poonal.
Non Brahmin Hindu wedding ceremonies do not have poonal,so that way its good too for your husband and also the poonal wont be discarded after marriage.

Waiting to hear the reply as how the Nikah would take place sans a Shahadah( oath for Islam) from you.

Lastly..just a suggestion..why not just have a wedding that is neither Hindu nor Islamic?
It would be better because weddings of both Hinduism and Islam are religion based.
When both of you plan to retain your respective religions so why have "both" ceremonies?
Your future husband is not planning to be a Hindu so why go through a Hindu ceremony?
You dont plan to be a Muslim,so why want to have a Nikah( if the Shariah law in India permits it).
Wedding rituals of both religions have deep significance, the sanctity of both should be considered.
 
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sravna

Well-known member
Madam,

Coming together of minds and brains if I may say so are of utmost importance. If both of you have great compatibility on that score nothing else is more sacrosanct. Everything in the universe is geared towards making complements come together.

All the best madam!
 

prasad1

Well-known member
Thank you sir. This is very helpful. May I ask where in Chennai if that’s alright?

How did you find the priests who did the ceremony?
Sorry, it has been 25 years since the wedding. My niece married a Jewish groom. That groom can chant Gayatri having lived in a Hindu ashram. They only did the Hindu wedding in India; the Jewish wedding was performed here in the USA. I do not remember the name of the priest.

But Padma and Salman got married in the USA.

1668428919842.png
 

prasad1

Well-known member
Marriage in India is marriage of families, and societies. So even if the two people compromise, there will be social, financial, political, and family dynamics issues.

If you are not going to live in India, the problems will be a lot less. We had a Muslim member in this site who was married to a Tamil lady. He was well versed in TB ways. He was Muslim but had turned atheist. But they lived in the USA.
 

renuka

Well-known member
Sorry, it has been 25 years since the wedding. My niece married a Jewish groom. That groom can chant Gayatri having lived in a Hindu ashram. They only did the Hindu wedding in India; the Jewish wedding was performed here in the USA. I do not remember the name of the priest.

But Padma and Salman got married in the USA.

View attachment 18165
How did the Jewish wedding take place when your niece isnt practicing Judaism?
 

prasad1

Well-known member
How did the Jewish wedding take place when your niece isnt practicing Judaism?





I do not think one priest can do both customs/practices. You should have two separate wedding functions.
 
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renuka

Well-known member



I guess in the USA,they allow it.
 

prasad1

Well-known member
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prasad1

Well-known member
I guess in the USA,they allow it.








In addition, traditional weddings get a registered marriage certificate. You will need it in other parts of the world.
 
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prasad1

Well-known member
Thank you in anticipation, and apologies if this post offends anyone.

Congratulation and I wish you both lots and lots of luck.

You may have to give up some of the traditional functions of your family if you marry in India.

Mary in the country you are going to live in, then the laws of the land will govern your life.
 

vAYALORE

Member
I am a girl in my mid 20s, and will soon be marrying a boy from another religion (Islam). We have decided to have both styles of weddings and I will not be converting. Our families (somewhat begrudgingly) have agreed to the wedding, but we are struggling to find a priest who will be able to perform the wedding. He also doesn’t speak any Tamil, so hopefully a priest (either in Mumbai, Delhi or Chennai) who speaks Hindi or English as well. Although the Hindi speaking bit is not a mandatory requirement.

I know this will probably receive a lot of judgement and hate on this forum, but thought I’d try my luck here as a last resort. Additionally, apart from the typical kalyanam rituals, is there anything else that needs to be done (such as some specific function for him to be able to wear a poonal?)

We are vadakalai iyengars.

Thank you in anticipation, and apologies if this post offends anyone.
i am giving you my humble views from 3 aspects. RELIGIOUS ASPECTs (i) 25 years in AGCC and working mostly with 95%) with local Muslims has given me more exposure to Islam than 95% Indian Muslims. Mind you these local people are all genuine humans just like us in India, friendly, trusting, caring. (There are exceptions like in any society). You can't have a proper ISLAMIC NIQA sanctified by a Qazi unless both are Muslims and mohar is declared+ accepted + PAID. Islam allows Muslim men to cohabit any number of non-Muslim woman subject to owning up responsibility for the children born from such cohabitation. But they cannot marry more than 4 Muslim women (concurrent wives). Of course, there are many restrictions before taking a second, third and fourth wife. LIKEWISE, A TAMIL BRAHMIN wedding calls for VARA PRAVANAM= declaring lineage for at least 3 generations (ideally 7 generations so that same gene stock marriage i.e 23rd chromosome is cross pollinating) of both boy and girl. If the boy's side's lineage is known )i.e in case the boy or just his dad converted) and elders were in Hindu fold and gothram details are known, then the same can be extended. However, the Goddess Lakshmi is invoked in bride and bridegroom is declared as Bhaghavan Narayana and bride's father offers Lakshmi to Narayana as kanyadhaanam. Will the Muslim boy accept to these mantras as first tenet of Islam is that there is no God but one GOD. (ii) In Islam, Mohar is paid for the girl to take care of herself for the IDDAT period (i.e 3 months after divorce or widowhood - minimum to make sure that she is not pregnant) before remarriage. If she is found pregnant during the IDDAT , she can marry if her next husband is ready to legally accept the child she is carrying as his own. Otherwise, she must wait, deliver the baby, ensure either her parents or siblings or her EX-husband's parents are siblings agree to nurture the child and then only remarry. In Hindu Brahmins, we have mantras right from conception to delivery , to punyajjanam, Naama Karanam, to mundanaam, karNa bhooshanam, abda poorthy auysh homam, upanayanam, vivaham and all the way to marana samskaarams but no mantra for divorce. IN OTHERWORDS, EVEN IF SOME PUNDIT / QAZI is ready to solemnise your marriage, there is no religious sanctity either from Islam or from Hindu. My suggestion is that you should take religious route only if you do it to find some satisfaction of having done that (i.e eating half plate is better than eating full meal!).
ASPECT 2: Arya Samaj wedding offers an escape route and there are people in chennai who will conduct the marriage in that style. I have no clues on their compiance requirement
 

vAYALORE

Member
i am giving you my humble views from 3 aspects. RELIGIOUS ASPECTs (i) 25 years in AGCC and working mostly with 95%) with local Muslims has given me more exposure to Islam than 95% Indian Muslims. Mind you these local people are all genuine humans just like us in India, friendly, trusting, caring. (There are exceptions like in any society). You can't have a proper ISLAMIC NIQA sanctified by a Qazi unless both are Muslims and mohar is declared+ accepted + PAID. Islam allows Muslim men to cohabit any number of non-Muslim woman subject to owning up responsibility for the children born from such cohabitation. But they cannot marry more than 4 Muslim women (concurrent wives). Of course, there are many restrictions before taking a second, third and fourth wife. LIKEWISE, A TAMIL BRAHMIN wedding calls for VARA PRAVANAM= declaring lineage for at least 3 generations (ideally 7 generations so that same gene stock marriage i.e 23rd chromosome is cross pollinating) of both boy and girl. If the boy's side's lineage is known )i.e in case the boy or just his dad converted) and elders were in Hindu fold and gothram details are known, then the same can be extended. However, the Goddess Lakshmi is invoked in bride and bridegroom is declared as Bhaghavan Narayana and bride's father offers Lakshmi to Narayana as kanyadhaanam. Will the Muslim boy accept to these mantras as first tenet of Islam is that there is no God but one GOD. (ii) In Islam, Mohar is paid for the girl to take care of herself for the IDDAT period (i.e 3 months after divorce or widowhood - minimum to make sure that she is not pregnant) before remarriage. If she is found pregnant during the IDDAT , she can marry if her next husband is ready to legally accept the child she is carrying as his own. Otherwise, she must wait, deliver the baby, ensure either her parents or siblings or her EX-husband's parents are siblings agree to nurture the child and then only remarry. In Hindu Brahmins, we have mantras right from conception to delivery , to punyajjanam, Naama Karanam, to mundanaam, karNa bhooshanam, abda poorthy auysh homam, upanayanam, vivaham and all the way to marana samskaarams but no mantra for divorce. IN OTHERWORDS, EVEN IF SOME PUNDIT / QAZI is ready to solemnise your marriage, there is no religious sanctity either from Islam or from Hindu. My suggestion is that you should take religious route only if you do it to find some satisfaction of having done that (i.e eating half plate is better than eating full meal!).
ASPECT 2: Arya Samaj wedding offers an escape route and there are people in chennai who will conduct the marriage in that style. I have no clues on their compliance requirements. You can google and find out. That will give you a satisfaction that you had a religious wedding. Likewise tribal customs allow community marriage where the families together share the wealth / expenses and sense of security AND ALSO individual marriage where the husband and wife resort to their own pre-agreed conditions before marriage but lose the sense of guarantee from elders to protect them in case of any misunderstanding
 

vAYALORE

Member
ASPECT 3 : All humans have sense of responsibility and trust. Both of you are educated. You know the plus and minus of married life vs mere cohabitation. Therefore, better resort to secular civil marriage instead of finding an escape route in having a (half hearted religious marriage by pundits / Qazis who do such things for money because neither religion allows inter religious wedding). May be CIVIL marriage and prenuptial contract will give you same sense of security and protection that a TRUE religious marriage provides. Your fiancé is not forcing you today to convert to Islam but what about the father of your children who needs to tackle pressure from his extented family members when he needs to decide whether the children would be muslims or hindus or secular numbered persons? Incidentally the TAMIL BRAHMIN wedding mantras have no declaration of faith to religion but invoking the blessings of CEOs, CFOs, CTOs, CIOs, CHOs, COOs and such function heads who ensure survival of nature as witness to the wows you two take to remain in marriage till death
 

Rudra_Maha

Member
I am a girl in my mid 20s, and will soon be marrying a boy from another religion (Islam). We have decided to have both styles of weddings and I will not be converting. Our families (somewhat begrudgingly) have agreed to the wedding, but we are struggling to find a priest who will be able to perform the wedding. He also doesn’t speak any Tamil, so hopefully a priest (either in Mumbai, Delhi or Chennai) who speaks Hindi or English as well. Although the Hindi speaking bit is not a mandatory requirement.

I know this will probably receive a lot of judgement and hate on this forum, but thought I’d try my luck here as a last resort. Additionally, apart from the typical kalyanam rituals, is there anything else that needs to be done (such as some specific function for him to be able to wear a poonal?)

We are vadakalai iyengars.

Thank you in anticipation, and apologies if this post offends anyone.
Hope this aint any joke by some random person, cause who in right senses would do such a mockery of both the faiths.

Nevertheless, no traditional priest in his right senses would agree to such a wedding. They can never oblige to such demands. You can check out for the latest trendy priests in Chennai, they would cost a fortune though.

Instead, go ahead with a secular wedding via register marriage.

Why force your fiancee to wear poonol, and thereby make a mockery of both the Hindu and Islamic faiths. You both are from different faiths, a Nikah marriage is possible only between two people of same faith, same goes with Hindu/brahmin tradition, but what you're doing is a nit picking of both and making a joke of both the marriage frameworks.
 

vAYALORE

Member
I am a girl in my mid 20s, and will soon be marrying a boy from another religion (Islam). We have decided to have both styles of weddings and I will not be converting. Our families (somewhat begrudgingly) have agreed to the wedding, but we are struggling to find a priest who will be able to perform the wedding. He also doesn’t speak any Tamil, so hopefully a priest (either in Mumbai, Delhi or Chennai) who speaks Hindi or English as well. Although the Hindi speaking bit is not a mandatory requirement.

I know this will probably receive a lot of judgement and hate on this forum, but thought I’d try my luck here as a last resort. Additionally, apart from the typical kalyanam rituals, is there anything else that needs to be done (such as some specific function for him to be able to wear a poonal?)

We are vadakalai iyengars.

Thank you in anticipation, and apologies if this post offends anyone.
Lot of replies received by you . I am keen to know how you solved the "Challenging situation" to learn a lesson
 

vAYALORE

Member
I guess in the USA,they allow it.
The question is not that they allow in USA- which is a secular state. The real question is does the "religion" allow if post wedding partners want to stick to their own faith. Unlike Islam, Hindu religion does not require any declaration of your faith in religion or even GOD. It is just a samskaaram where the witness is universal elements (dEvathAs who do different roles such as CEO, CFO, CTO, CHU, COO etc.) that are common for all life forms and some pledges/ promises to each other to build a sense of security. More than 100 of my classmates who moved to USA in early 70s had accepted non-Hindu girls as DIL. In almost 99% of cases, the family (i.e parents, girl / boy as the case may be) were knowledgeable to appreciate that HINDU weddings typically last for life and chose that. They were even wearing traditional dresses and loving the different ritual activities and participating and asking for meaning of manthraas. Only hitch was varapravaNam i.e declaration of lineage. This was handled by chosing a different gothra declaration. When i lived in AFrica, most girl colleagues always wanted to marry a Hindu boy so that they feel secure about their husbands for life. It is not a 350 ncc brain that defined the rules / rituals. But collective wisdom base on empirical observatins.
 
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