When NikahNama™ founder Nushmia Khan is asked what drives her motivation regarding the business she founded, her reply is always the same: “To help Muslims be Muslims more beautifully.” NikahNama™ is reviving an age-old tradition that is inherently Islamic. Numerous Islamic scriptures illustrate the merit of marriage and its link to faith. NikahNama™ recognizes this completion of one’s faith in a beautiful way.
Following the birth of her first child, Khan wished to commemorate the occasion in a unique and memorable fashion. True to her creative nature, she recreated a “walad-nama,” or birth announcement. Part and parcel of Islamic history, the “walad-nama” was once prevalent throughout the Muslim world, but began to dissipate as time progressed. One “walad-nama,” however, soon morphed into an entire NikahNama™ enterprise.
Established in Iran, the nikah nama is a legal document that certifies Muslim marriages. Years ago, nikah namas were adorned beautifully in celebration of the lofty occasion. As time went on, however, contracts became more standardized, drifting from the detailed ornamentation of previous years.
NikahNama™’s designs range from classical Moghul art to art inspired by the far-east in Malaysia. Research takes the Nikah Nama™ team through pages of museum archives to artists as far as Pakistan and Turkey.
So where does the NikahNama™ team derive inspiration for their stunning gold-adorned scrolls? NikahNama™’s designs range from classical Moghul art to art inspired by the far-east in Malaysia. Research takes the NikahNama™ team through pages of museum archives to artists as far as Pakistan and Turkey. However, this process in it of itself is what Khan finds most enjoyable.
“And He has set between you love and mercy…” (Quran, 30:21) This seminal aya of the Qur’an adorns the NikahNama™, a reminder of the sanctity of marriage. Beneath it, the contract lists details such as names, witnesses, location and dowry.
Upon completion of an order, NikahNama™ prepares a sample for customers to view. After any changes have been made and the design finalized, the design is sent to print. As a lovely rustic touch, NikahNamas are finished with hand-painted gold embellishments. Recalling her own wedding, Khan laughingly describes her use of paper and string from Paper Source for her first nikah nama.
From its endearingly simple inception, the NikahNama™ has become a focal point of many marriages today. Influencers such as travel blogger Saira Arshad display a gold-adorned NikahNama™ on their special day. Interestingly so, NikahNama™ has managed to amass such a widespread, clientele mainly through word of mouth.
Recounting her days as a video journalist, Khan mentions that although enjoyable, she found technological art to be rather transient. Instead, she seeks to create a lasting memory for generations to come. Ultimately, Khan hopes that through her art, people will gain greater proximity to Allah.
From its astounding success even in its early stages, it can only be anticipated that NikahNama™ will continue to grow in the coming years. A nearly extinct art form has now been reborn. Thank you, NikahNama™.