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The role of Shariah Councils in England

Date:28 APR 2016
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There has been plenty in the media about Shariah Councils and what they supposedly do or don't do. As is always the case there is a need to separate fact from fiction and so this article (in a question and answer format) is designed to clarify and distinguish between the two. It is based on my previous experience as a pro bono legal advisor to a Shariah Council in the north of England.

What is the primary purpose of Shariah Councils?

Shariah Councils are established and run by qualified Islamic scholars to resolve marital disputes between Muslim couples. Sometimes they are called upon to mediate in an attempt to reconcile a marriage but usually their services are utilised to Muslim women who are 'stuck' in unsuccessful marriages when their husbands refuse to give Islamic talaq (divorce) unreasonably.

Simply put Shariah Councils are used by Muslim women as a mechanism by which they can obtain dissolution of the Islamic Nikah (Islamic marriage) when their husbands unreasonably refuse to give talaq.

Why is a civil decree absolute not sufficient?

Shariah Councils can only dissolve marriages from an Islamic point of view....

Read the full article here.