Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between Shia and Sunni Marriage

Shia vs Sunni Marriage

A major portion of the non-Muslim world may regard Shias and Sunnis as more or less the same. But, these are two very distinct sects of Muslims and should not be confused with each other. Each has a unique set of customs, traditions and even ceremonies. The way that a Shia and Sunni marriage is solemnized differs greatly. There are very few inter-sect marriages due to the glaring differences.

Shia and Sunni marriages consist of very different wedding functions. In a Sunni wedding function, it is vital to have two adult consenting males present for the entire length of the ceremony as witnesses. Such witnesses are not required as per the rules of Sunni divorce. It can be done in the presence of only the husband and the wife. The case of a Shia wedding is completely different as in this case where the witnesses are mandated to be present in the case of a divorce and not when the wedding takes place.

Another notable difference between a Shia and Sunni wedding is that in a Shia nikah ceremony, a total of six verses have to be delivered publicly. This factor is not present in a Sunni wedding ceremony. A Sunni nikah ceremony thus has a shorter length of time. In the case of a Shia wedding, there is a unique bath related ceremony that the bride and groom take part in. There is no such compulsion in a Sunni wedding. This ceremony usually occurs before the actual wedding.

A major point of difference between these two sects is that Shias believe in a temporary arrangement of marriage. According to such an arrangement, it is lawful for the bride and groom to enter into a marriage for a pre-agreed length of time. After this time has passed, the marriage automatically comes to an end unless the bride and groom want to still remain in the marriage. This provision is not present in a Sunni marriage. Sunnis believe in entering into a permanent form of marriage only. A divorce is not required when Shias enter into a transitory marriage agreement. The date when the pact will come to an end is clearly mentioned on the papers pertaining to the marriage that is taking place.


1. There is no bath ceremony in the case of a Sunni wedding. This ritual is not observed in Sunni weddings.

2. A Sunni wedding ceremony lasts a shorter length of time than a Shia wedding.

3. There is no stipulation for entering into a fixed length marriage in the case of Sunnis which is present in a Shia marriage.

4. There are no witnesses required for a wedding ceremony between Shias which is vital for a Sunni wedding.

5. It is observed that Sunnis are a comparatively more rigid and more orthodox minded sect than the Shias.

Sharing is caring!

Search DifferenceBetween.net :

Email This Post Email This Post : If you like this article or our site. Please spread the word. Share it with your friends/family.


  1. You have mentioned three wrong things about shias in this article:

    1. The bath thing. No such practice is done in our faith either before or after nikah (wedding).

    2. A total of six verses have to be delivered publicly: no such words or sentences are pronounced by either the bride or the groom except their acceptances for their getting married with each other, which is usually just one word.

    3. The wedding ceremony lasts longer than that of sunnis. No such law exists or no such generalization can be made. In fact shias are bound by strict community rules (not religious ones) to end the wedding ceremony as soon as possible.

    Lastly, although we do support temporary or fixed term nikah (also called Muta) but we almost never practice it in reality. So 99.99% of the time the nikah is a permanent one and therefore it doesn’t include the stipulation of the time period for which it is being done.

    Feel free to contact me regarding all this.

    Ali Mohsin

    • You seem to take up for shia, contact me on my email, would like discuss certain truth with you.I am a revert to islam n a shia muslim too……..

      • Hey Maryam,

        Okay, but how do I email you?.. there is no email mentioned here!

        Contact me at my email address:

        Delete the parentheses in the email address.

      • Hai,
        Myself Syed Muhammed Ali Jaffrey, I’m A SHIA Muslim. I’m in a relationship with a Hindu Girl For many years and would like to marry her. Please suggest me what to do
        Thanks a lot.

    • Very glad you corrected the person who wrote the article. I was just about to reply then seen your post.
      It’s sad to see so many misconceptions about the Shia.

      • If everyone is so wrong about it why don’t you clear it and stop saying it is so misunderstood, we don’t understand. understand what!!!??? Is there a life in Muslim states besides hating everybody that thinks different. It must be awful living in a country where schools the streets meetings they are hating the west. Is that the high light of Muslim life? Because if it is I feel sorry for your people the ones who want to live their own lives without hurting anyone. The people that do not want to hate and live the peaceful ways of the Quran not the misquoting of it to hate and violence. The people who are afraid to speak out but hate their country and if most of them had the chance to leave they will run not walk. I feel sorry for any girl born in the middle east. I would never have a daughter if I was Muslim, never I would rather see her dead than living in hate and violence for the world except them.

      • Well i m a sunni i glad to see u guyz correcting i feel good to see that we r one ….vd out fake rumours

    • The information in this article is 90% wrong. This is very disappointing. I came across this article by a chance. I feel obligated to warn people from the ignorance all over…

      Please do your research about the Sunni and Shia before you make such claims. There are not many differences between Sunni and Shia. They both are Muslims and both follow Prophet Muhammad’s teaching and of course the Quran.

    • need advice for this

    • I have a Shia Bf and I MySelF Is A Sunni Gal … All My frnds Are saying Me If Uh WL Marry a Shia Boy it WL Illegal And ThE baby Uh WL GiVe Birth Is considered As A HarAm …

      • So what did you do? Did you marry that Shia boy? How did Sunni/Hanfi clerics and scholar responded to your marriage with him? Did they regard your marriage valid/void or irregular? Tell me please.

    • My questions I don’t want them to be taken wrong. I really do want to know the answer. Why if Muslims hate us and our ways so much are they here running after the mighty dollar like everyone else. I don’t understand I would not want to be anywhere I am not wanted. And if I hate why would I want to be in their mist? Why don’t Muslims worry about their poor and stop worrying bout other people’s religion. If they put as much interest in their people’s heath and welfare like they put in hating us their countries and their people would be happier. KEEP Islam in Islamic states and give your people a life besides hating us. Everyone cannot be wrong especially when it is the same Muslim women who are showing us their acid destroyed faces because a Muslim man can do what ever he wants to a woman who does not want him? Arabia is worth trillions yet they have just as much dirty ghettos as we do and people dirt poor why? Women cannot even drive in Arabia, that is so barbaric in my opinion. Why are they so afraid of women being themselves, why are they intimidated by women so they are kept see, hear say nothing. Why does the king and the rich live so much better over there just like the rich lives here. I mean no disrespect I really want to know the answers and since Muslims say we teach lies about Muslims in the U.S. I am asking you the source…

      Thank you for your time

      • Hi Neena,
        I am an American convert of about 20 years now. As an American I understand your question. First let me say, please separate the religion from the people. Religion is from God, rather it be the bible or quran. Now the people on the other hand are all the same through out the world. Good bad and ugly. ..from my experience living and traveling overseas I can tell you. For the most, Muslims don’t hate us Americans. They want a life were they feel free. The problem I see is the government’s in these countries. They repress their people. And it’s not as simple as you may think for the average person to do anything about it. Due to the major corruption. So when you see muslims coming to America, they want to same things as the next person. Freedom to live their lives the same as us. The hate for America is a very small percentage. Unfortunately they make a very large impact on all muslims. I hope this helps you some.
        Thank you
        Mona…….an American

    • can you plz tell me what is the diffrence between shia and sunni muslim wedding on the basis of clothing and rituals.

    • Hi, I’m a Law Student working on a moot problem. I have a simple doubt, if a Shia woman marries a Sunni man and the Sunni man divorces her by talaq-ul-biddat (which is condemned by Shias) then what law will be applicable?
      And does the Shia woman(who wants the divorce to be declared a nullity) have any solution?

    • I am sunni n divrced. Two people have shown intrest in marrying me. both are shia. i am affraid they want temporary. both say If parents dont agree they ll marry themselves. I have not decided I want my family to choose I dont have any personal disliking for shia ppl. but I am affraid I marry any of them they ll have temporary marrige . i have asked them they say they dont want temporary. What should I do. n its strange only shia ppl are intrested to marry me? Can you please sincerely guide me.

    • Hi there I have questions about the difference in reality between Shia and Sunnis which I’m not aware of.
      For everyday life like prays and fasting and nikkah we are sunni and have a proposal from a shia for our sister and want to know whether it will create major differences as all marriages should be done to last a lifetime

    • Iam glad you corrected the author because I was about to drop a big paragraph here. These misconceptions will further more break us.

    • Salam brother
      Would you be able to enlighten me about the difference in Shia and Sunni nikkah specifically the dua that is read?

      If a Sunni sheikh performs the nikkah for a Shia and Sunni couple is that accepted within Shia ruling and vide versa?

      Jazak Allah Khair

    • Just a question. Why are there two Imams in a Shia wedding. Ali Mohsin.Please explain Thank you I will appreciate your considered reply

  2. Thank you Ali for pointing out all those facts and corrections per the Shi’a perspective. Even in this day and age of access to official information at our fingertips, people still perpetuate misinformation. I suggest those who would like correct infomatipn to look at a Shi’a website to see what they say about themselves. http://Www.al-Islam.org or http://www.sistani.org

  3. hi,
    i wanna ask is there any pro in future to get marriage with a shia boy and suuni girl??

    wat would be the problems are…??
    plz define that

  4. Also another thing,

    “5. It is observed that Sunnis are a comparatively more rigid and more orthodox minded sect than the Shias.”

    Forgive me if I interpreted this incorrectly – I do believe Shia’s can be just as orthodox as Sunni’s. One sect is not more liberal than the other (however, between individual Muslims, that’s another story).

  5. Hi Haya,

    I don’t think these differences should hurt any relationship between people of two sects.

    Differences are there, but it depends on the couple how much weightage they give to religious intricacies in their life.

    Having a moderate and tolerant behavior in their marital life, and giving each other full freedom to practice his or her own sect’s practices, can allow them to enjoy the ultimate happiness in their relationship.

    Moreover, let your children freely choose whichever sect they’d prefer. Parents shouldn’t fight over making your children follow the sect of only one parent.

    Ali Mohsin

  6. Personally we wouldn’t have differences in opinion, if we just followed the rules of the Quran and Sunnah. They’re the only legitimate resources that would guide how and Islamic marriage is conducted and that’s it. What’s Allah’s ordained surpasses any human opinion. Allah o Allam.

    • Am happy to see Samiea Khan’s reply. My opinion in this regard is similar as well. Let’s follow the teachings of Holy Quraan.
      Thanks Samiea Khan.

  7. Dear Haya,

    Sunni and Shia can get married inly if the nikah is done according to Shia rules other wise the nikah is not valid. Secondly if the the shia boy or girl stops practiscing their relegion after marriage then also the marriage doesnot stand valid.

  8. it is quite an interesting and informative discussion. i just think that their are sooooooo many little differences in both the sects, if those difference are un eliminate able then at least they are easily tolerable. yet muslims are being cashed to kill each other ….are those people deserve leadership??? should we follow them? who just use those innocent blind followers to for their vested intrests and personal gains at the cast of our religious extreme divide????????

  9. Well, I have a basic question, why the Shia Imam’s do curse the people who have erred (in their views) in their lectures.. These negative energy grabbed by the passive listeners wouldn’t have psychological effect – ??!! And where would they drain that? Cursing and cursing .. really too much. perhaps we can think about the past and future well being of the humans

  10. Correction: -I mean the present and future of the human beings

  11. please describe about ismili wedding with suni.becase i want to marry with a ismili girl.

  12. my name is Syed m danish i am from Pakistan Karachi know a days i m living in UK London student 2 years my e-mail is d_int_pvt_ltd@yahoo.com . my Pakistani cell no is 00923452371023 and UK no is 00447405385411,
    i want to marriage any shia Muslim girl i am shia Muslim who is shia girl can you marry with me any time i am unmarried i am 28 year old good looking smart boy 5 time pray namaz attended everyday any one gilr and boy can you help me plzzzzzzzzz

  13. my name is Syed m danish i am from Pakistan Karachi know a days i m living in UK London student 2 years my e-mail is d_int_pvt_ltd@yahoo.com . my Pakistani cell no is 00923452371023 and UK no is 00447405385411,
    i want to marriage any shia Muslim girl i am shia Muslim who is shia girl can you marry with me any time i am unmarried i am 28 year old good looking smart boy 5 time pray namaz attended everyday any one gilr and boy can you help me plzzzzzzzzz

  14. Question:
    What if a Christian girl has known this Sunni Muslim for 4 yrs now. They fall in love but want to get married. They can’t because of course she is Christian and he is Muslim. Now the muslim is willing to convert. Can this be allowed?? Or can someone explain the consequences of him converting? Thanks!

  15. Michelle,

    Muslims allow their men to marry christian girls without any of them changing their religions.

    If he converts to Christianity, he would be called an apostate and apostates are supposed to be killed by the rest of the Muslims. There’s no exit door in Islam for either male or female.

    The best solution would be that none of you guys should change your religions.

    If you want him to change his religion and he is willing to do so, then don’t tell anyone about that. Also, if you guys are not in any Muslim or Arab country right now, then I don’t think there would be any issue at all; you will be safe.

    • he lives in PAKISTAN and I live in USA. So if he converts and wants to return to PAKISTAN to visit his family…. They will kill him right there and then????

      • Lol, Michele… I have personally met quite a few Muslim Pakistani and Indians in the U.S. who married white or hispanic girls (Christians by faith) and are now living happily. Meanwhile they have visited their families in Pakistan with their American wives accompanying them. Their families warmly welcome them every time and not even in any remote chance would they ever think of killing them. So, don’t over-think this, if you love him, go get married with him. People living in big cities of Pakistan are pretty moderate and liberal now, they won’t object to their son getting married with a girl of another faith and nationality.

  16. 3. There is no stipulation for entering into a fixed length marriage in the case of Sunnis which is present in a Shia marriage.

    4. There are no witnesses required for a wedding ceremony between Shias which is vital for a Sunni wedding.

    I need an elaborated meaning of above mentioned two differences can anybody help me

    Thank you

  17. I m sunni ;i believe in sunnah
    I dont know any diffrence
    I wanna save my whole islam my whole community

  18. we all are one ….we all are muslims
    so no need to seperate on the bases of sect

  19. we all ar talking about two groups from that only one group can be good shiya’s get married for a time period that means the get married just for fun also what happens to the children born for them so if someone asking which is the right group u think and see what is the right group

  20. How can you say there’s no differences between Shia and Sunni?
    I am a Pakistani Christian and I have two friends, one Shia and one Muslim and they have fierce discussion about Islam, every time they meet.
    From what I understand from their discussions, Shias don’t believe few parts of the Sunnah and many parts of the Hadiths and say the latter were corrupted by Sunni (like the episode of Mohammed who is in doubt if the voice he heard was the voice of Allah or of a demon; or common beliefs, like the age of Aisha, who Sunni believe strongly to be 9, while Shia say it was 16 or 17 year old…).
    A few Sunni allow the beating of their wives if they misbehave (even though the extension of this beating depends on the individual intelligence of the person), while Shia say it is a practice introduce by Wahabis.
    Radical Sunni don’t believe Shia are legitimate Muslims, such as the Zahidis. Shia are more open to them.
    Sunni are keen to literal interpretation of the Quran. Shia are keen to more metaphorical interpretation of it.

    Yes, they believe both in the Quran and in Mohammed but the differences are as much as the differences between a Christian and a Jew.

  21. i am ismail and i am a suni muslim i bf that a shia peaple ar a wrong bc if i say i BF allah n muxammed scw i have to follow what they said n strongly i have to take all what quran and hadith syas as the pakistani boy says there is alot of hadiths that u are no BF so shia is not a real muslim allah says اطيعواللةواطيوالرسول is that mean take a have leave a have no realy hadith is what our messenger tolds us

  22. Assalam o alaikum brothers and sisters im having a question from all of you as i m a sunni girl and want to marry a shia guy we both understand eachother but dont want to convert eachother. But the problem is our families wants nikkah in their own way. Now im just badly stuck in this problem we dont wants to end our relation but need a solution for our problem so that both families would be happy. Kindly help me

  23. Shia and Sunni are not mentioned in the Quran. We all are Muslims, so we can’t follow the right path.

Leave a Response

Please note: comment moderation is enabled and may delay your comment. There is no need to resubmit your comment.

Articles on DifferenceBetween.net are general information, and are not intended to substitute for professional advice. The information is "AS IS", "WITH ALL FAULTS". User assumes all risk of use, damage, or injury. You agree that we have no liability for any damages.

See more about : ,
Protected by Copyscape Plagiarism Finder