The Saptapadi (Sanskrit “seven steps”/“seven feet”; sometimes called Saat Phere: “seven rounds” ) is the most important ritual of Vedic Hindu weddings, and represents the legal element of the Hindu marriage ceremony. The couple conduct seven circuits of the Holy Fire (Agni), which is considered a witness to the vows they make to each other. In some regions, a piece of clothing or sashes worn by the bride and groom are tied together for this ritual. Elsewhere, the groom holds the bride’s right hand in his own right hand. Each circuit of the consecrated fire is led by either the bride or the groom, varying by community and region. Usually, the bride leads the groom in the first circuit. In North India, the first six circuits are led by the bride, and the final one by the groom. In Central India and Suriname, the bride leads the first three or four circuits. With each circuit, the couple makes a specific vow[clarification needed] to establish some aspect of a happy relationship and household for each other.
Islam (Arabic: الإسلام) is the second-largest religion in India, with 14. 2% of the country’s population or approx. 200 million people identifying as adherents of Islam (2018 estimate). It makes India the country with the largest Muslim population outside Muslim-majority countries. The majority of Indian Muslims belong to Sunni sect of Islam while the Shia form a sizeable minority. The Barwada mosque in Ghogha, Gujarat, India is thought to be the first mosque in India which was built before 623 CE by Arab merchants. Following an expedition by the governor of Bahrain to Bharuch in the 7th century CE, immigrant Arab and Persian trading communities from South Arabia and the Persian Gulf began settling in coastal Gujarat. Ismaili Shia Islam was introduced to Gujarat in the second half of the 11th century, when Fatimid Imam Al-Mustansir Billah sent missionaries to Gujarat in 467 AH/1073 CE.