On 'Stock Graphic' Nikah Contracts
As the very first online shop to offer decorated nikahnamas since late 2018, and reviving the nikahnama tradition, we're overjoyed to see so many couples taking a closer look at their nikah contract and placing more importance in what it means. We're so happy we get to offer the world so many of our own unique designs by our talented in-house artists.
Since launching, we have noticed many sellers popping up selling contracts with stock graphic vectors as their 'designs', sometimes for extremely marked up prices. While we've had many cases of sellers stealing our calligraphy and design compositions, what are some others are selling are not necessary illegal, however we feel it's important to educate the customer on what they are buying, especially if they're selling a significant amount of money on such a significant piece.
While we pride ourselves in working for years with traditional artists on real designs, many of the other available nikah contract designs are simply graphics purchased from Shutterstock and Creative Market. Shutterstock's profile Hassan Haider (suspiciously) has thousands of graphics. These designs can be downloaded with a free trial, or purchased with a license for very low rates. We've linked to some of the most popular designs at the bottom of this post. While its legal to resell these designs if their license is purchased, we caution customers to spend too much, because it's simply not worth it to pay $100+ for such a low cost design, and because it kills the creativity in our community, and it prevents real Islamic artists from being valued and supported. We ourselves simply can't afford to support more artists if we have to compete with others who are just selling cheaply downloaded graphics.
We have heard too many stories of customers investing $100+ for what they thought was someone's real artwork, only to find out it was just a stock graphic design. Some sellers argue that they are purchasing these stock graphics from real artists, but they have no idea how much the artist is actually being paid, they have no relationship with the artists, and they have no idea where the artists graphics even originated.
When purchasing a nikahnama from our website, you can rest assured you are purchasing an original piece composed by artists and calligraphers you can trace back to, and you are supporting traditional Islamic art and creativity. When you invest in our work, it allows us to design even more ideas for our community, and you can rest assured your money is going towards artists, not Shutterstock.
To help you discern the difference between stock graphics and real artistic nikahnamas, we have linked to some of the most commonly used graphics below, and will try to continue updating this. If you're interested in recommendations for the few other vendors who are actually selling their own unique nikahnamas, simply contact us and we'll share a few links with you!
Most importantly, please do not forget that a decorated nikahnama only acts as a cover page for your actual nikah contract. Many vendors are selling these cover pages without educating their customers without what else they might need for their contract, and we find this tragic, as our entire intention of reviving this was to help people take a closer look at their actual contract text.
Here is some commonly used Stock calligraphy for nikah contracts. Vendors are using this calligraphy and selling it as their own 'handmade calligraphy':
Here's links of some of the most commonly used stock designs (we will be updating these as we find new links):
Here are some other guidelines for purchasing a nikah contract from any vendor:
When selecting a vendor for your nikahnama, it's important to ask whether they provide a complete marriage contract that includes clauses on the mahr and example text for additional clauses. Without these elements, your nikah contract may be incomplete.
It's also worth inquiring about the quality of the printing materials used for your nikahnama. Ask your vendor about the type of paper and ink they use to ensure that your contract won't fade over time in the sunlight.
Another important question to ask is whether the calligraphy and artwork used in your nikahnama is original or licensed from a stock website. This can help you understand the value of the artwork and ensure that you're not paying for something that isn't truly unique.
Finally, it's important to find out whether your nikahnama will arrive flat or in a tube. If it's packed in a tube, you'll need to plan for extra time to have it flattened and prepared for the nikah ceremony.