Muslim Wedding Cakes
Muslim people consider marriage as one of the most virtuous institutions, its importance receiving great emphasis in Qur’an and Sunna. In these Muslim ‘Bibles’ Allah says that marriage is about love, affection, peace of mind, inducing in men and women’s heart a longing for the opposite sex. It is said that marriage can bring spiritual and mental peacefulness. Marriage is the one that can preserve man’s existence, through the children that are born during the marriage.
The institution of marriage protects people against immorality and sexually transmitted diseases, preserving at the same time the chastity of those to satisfy their sexual desires in a permissible manner. A respectable society exists and evolve based on the sacred elements of a family.
In the Muslim worlds, wedding traditions vary according to the individuality that belongs to its surrounding culture. Although a Muslim wedding is leveled on a three days celebration, the traditional ritual of the wedding (“nikah” in Arabic) is simple and very brief with three essential stages to follow – the bride and groom are put in separate rooms, the officiant comes and asks each of them if they consent to the marriage and after that the contract is signed with persons to witness the event.
The Muslim weddings are full of color and traditions. Because they extend on the duration of three days, there are plenty of customs to be performed in a show of vivid color of dresses and music to dance to. The decorations that we find on the dresses, in the ambient, and on the wedding cakes, are very rich as well, as they follow the four basic components of Islamic ornaments. The Islamic art is known to be very intricate even if originally it follows the bases of: calligraphy (text transmitted in decorative form), vegetal patterns (highly abstract and fully developed style, known also as ‘arabesque’ style), geometric patterns and figural representation.
After the two days of celebrating the wedding in the traditional way, there follows “Valima” or the feast, where the consummation of the wedding takes place. This “Valima” is the rough version of the American wedding reception and it is known to be the post-wedding ritual where the groom’s family hosts the guests and the celebration continues gathering both of the couple’s families an the rest of the participants. The meals are very rich and spicy, and the Muslim wedding cake can be a real delight added to the wedding table, especially with the cakes that have traditional decorations, where the Muslim art makes a difference.
Symbols borrowed from the decorative art can be seen on the wedding cake, the art craft of the Muslim bakers succeeding to attain the heights of masterpiece. There are cakes decorated with geometric patterns or figural representation in the intricate style of ‘arabesque’ or cakes created in the shape of a mosque with mosaic motifs, but there can also be wedding cakes simple shaped, in one tier, enriched with flowers and tiny pearls that add a sparkle of refinement and elegance.11