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The Appeal Court Rules a Nikah Has No Legal Standing in British Law

by in Relationships on 17th February, 2020

The court of appeal in England has ruled that a nikah is not valid under English law, the judgment was delivered on Friday the 14th of February and referred to nikah marriages as “non-marriages”. This means that all Muslims wishing to get married must do so legally through a civil ceremony in order to be recognised. Many imams have already been performing a nikah only when the civil is completed, London Central Mosque state on their website that the civil certificate is “extremely important”.

For further information from London Central Mosque visit the website.

Daniel Jones, from the law firm BLM, said the appeal court judgment was “a real blow for all concerned”.

He added, “The decision … will leave Muslim women in the UK in legal limbo, compelled to turn to sharia councils to pursue Islamic divorce. This often involves lengthy delays and does not afford women the same financial protections as would be granted if their ceremonies were recognised as a marriage under English law.”

The judgment came as a surprise to many as it overturned an earlier high court ruling that in fact stated Islamic marriage did come under English matrimonial law.

Aina Khan, international family lawyer and marriage law reform campaigner for register our marriage welcomes the changes as “we needed clarity in the law”. A religious marriage that is not registered under English law is not going to qualify for any financial rights as it is a non-marriage. Khan says only women who are wealthy enough to go to court or who have connections with lawyers to go to court struggle to get justice. In order for a nikah marriage to protect women financially, a civil must be done.

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Selina Bakkar

Selina Bakkar

Co-founder of Amaliah amongst many other roles. Selina is passionate about empowering those around her and just trying to be a better person. She loves looking after plants and a good cuppa because motherhood and running is not for the faint hearted. She is also Co-founder to Aishah and Eesa and currently a one digit mother, Alhamdulilah. You will find her in the local charity shop, garden centre or park with her kids. Have a listen to the Amaliah Voices podcast. Link in bio peeps. To join the Amaliah Writer Community email me at [email protected]