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Choose 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 legislation, leaving her with restricted claims to a divorce payout.

The landmark court docket ruling at present determined that Nasreen Akhter and Mohammed Shabaz Khan’s Islamic bridal ceremony, which had taken place in entrance of 150 visitors at a London restaurant, had “no authorized impact”.

The landmark ruling means Mrs Akhtar is powerless to say cash or property from her former husband in the identical approach 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 legislation
PA:Press Affiliation

The Courtroom of Attraction judges’ choice means Mrs Akhtar is powerless to say important sums of cash from Mr Khan in the identical approach 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 along 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 legislation, solely underneath sharia or Islamic legislation.

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 kids collectively and had supposed to comply with their nikah ceremony with a civil ceremony underneath English legislation.

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

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

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

They argued the ruling will power Muslim ladies to show to “unaccountable” Sharia courts in divorce and household circumstances.

Pragna Patel, director at marketing campaign group Southall Black Sisters, stated: “At this time’s judgment will power Muslim and different ladies to show to Sharia ‘courts’ that already trigger important hurt to ladies and youngsters 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 Courtroom of Attraction, stated: “The legislation in these circumstances just isn’t maintaining with society.”


“These weak ladies want higher safety than the legislation at present supplies.”

In 2018, an impartial assessment of sharia councils really helpful that Muslim {couples} ought to endure a civil marriage in addition to a non secular ceremony to offer ladies safety underneath the legislation.

The assessment, instigated by Theresa Might in 2016 when she was house secretary, discovered {that a} important variety of Muslim {couples} didn’t register their marriages underneath civil legislation, and “some Muslim ladies don’t have any possibility of acquiring a civil divorce”.


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