Islamic Marriage - Sharia Law

Introduction to Islamic Marriage

Introduction to Islamic Marriage

Muslim men and women enter marital relationship through their religious ceremony of Nikha (Islamic marriage). Most marrying Muslim couples register their Sharia Wedding civilly as well. By registering their marriage civilly offers recognition to their marriage in English law. Where a Muslim couple fails to register their muslim marriage civilly, their relationship is only recognised under Sharia law.

In recent years there is an increase in the use of Sharia courts found by an independent review committee on behalf of the Home Office. The committee has published its findings on 1 February 2018.

The review committee found that a significant number of Muslim couples fail to register their religious islam marriage civilly. Consequently, they have no option of obtaining a civil divorce. The study reveals that it is mostly women who use Sharia courts and in 90% cases they are seeking divorce as they cannot seek divorce under English law.

The study also reveals that it is mostly women who suffer in case of a breakdown in relationship or marriage as they do not receive any Legal Aid offered by English legal system under Family law.

Islamic Marriage


The report’s key recommendation is to amend the Muslim Marriage UK Act 1949 and the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 to require Muslim couples to undergo a civil marriage ceremony before or alongside the Islamic marriage ceremony, in order to afford Muslim women the full protection of the Family law.

The review paper also calls for awareness campaigns, through schools, colleges and community centres to educate Muslim women of their legal rights in the UK. The report also recommends creating a regulatory body or system of self-regulation of sharia councils, including a code of practice.

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