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Decide guidelines Muslim couple’s sharia marriage ceremony not legitimate leaving spouse ‘restricted’ payout in divorce row

Judge rules Muslim couple’s sharia wedding not valid leaving wife ‘limited’ payout in divorce row


A MUSLIM lady’s 18-year Sharia marriage was not legitimate underneath English regulation, leaving her with restricted claims to a divorce payout.

The landmark courtroom ruling as we speak determined that Nasreen Akhter and Mohammed Shabaz Khan’s Islamic bridal ceremony had “no authorized impact”.

The landmark ruling means Mrs Akhtar is powerless to say cash or property from her former husband in the identical manner a legally married partner can
PA:Press Affiliation
Mr Khan claimed his former spouse was not entitled to divorce, arguing the couple weren’t married underneath English regulation
PA:Press Affiliation

The Court docket of Enchantment judges’ determination means Mrs Akhtar is powerless to say vital sums of cash from Mr Khan in the identical manner a legally married partner can.

She could have a “restricted” declare to money, property and pensions and isn’t entitled to any upkeep from her Muslim husband.

Ms Akhter filed for a divorce together with her former husband after their relationship broke down in 2016.

However Mr Khan blocked the transfer, arguing the couple weren’t married underneath English regulation, solely underneath sharia or Islamic regulation.

Ms Akhter stated she had seen Mr Khan as her husband, and he had “at all times launched me as his spouse”.

The pair have 4 youngsters collectively and had meant to comply with their nikah ceremony with a civil ceremony underneath English regulation.

LANDMARK RULING

However the excessive courtroom heard that Mr Khan refused to undergo with a authorized course of regardless of frequent efforts by Ms Akhter to steer him.

The Court docket of Appeals’ ruling means Ms Akhter is powerless to say vital sums of cash or property from Mr Khan in the identical manner a legally married partner can.

Campaigners claimed the landmark judgment might have “profoundly discriminatory penalties” for ladies and upholds an antiquated system of marriage.

They argued the ruling will pressure Muslim girls to show to “unaccountable” Sharia courts in divorce and household instances.

Pragna Patel, director at marketing campaign group Southall Black Sisters, stated: “As we speak’s judgment will pressure Muslim and different girls to show to Sharia ‘courts’ that already trigger vital hurt to girls and kids for cures as a result of they’re now locked out of the civil justice system.”

Charles Hale QC, of Four Paper Buildings, who represented Ms Hussain earlier than the Court docket of Enchantment, stated: “The regulation in these instances is just not maintaining with society.”


“These weak girls want higher safety than the regulation at present offers.”

In 2018, an unbiased evaluation of sharia councils beneficial that Muslim {couples} ought to endure a civil marriage in addition to a non secular ceremony to provide girls safety underneath the regulation.

The evaluation, instigated by Theresa Might in 2016 when she was house secretary, discovered {that a} vital variety of Muslim {couples} didn’t register their marriages underneath civil regulation, and “some Muslim girls haven’t any possibility of acquiring a civil divorce”.


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