Marriage is a legal contract that binds the two persons with one another till death. You owe to live together in hardships and happiness, health and sickness. You promise to support each other and live a contented life together. It is the basic necessity of human beings. The human nature carves for the personal affection that can be fulfilled in the right terms through marriage. Different regions and religions celebrate this contract differently.
Where Muslims sign Nikkah papers, the Hindus take seven rounds around the fire. Christians have a ceremony of vows. In any case, you are supposed to show the marriage certificate to declare yourself husband and wife to the government. But it seems the UK has caused trouble for Muslim couples. Why is it so? Read in the article to get the complete insight of it.
Nikkah Papers will not be Considered Official Documents Anymore
Nikkah is a legal contract in Islam which is performed by Imam to hold two people together in a sacred bond. However, now it will no longer be considered a valid marriage ceremony in the United Kingdom (UK) as per the judgment of the court of appeal on the 14th of February. The Court of Appeal in the country has reversed an earlier decision from two years ago, which declared it a legal way of marriage.
How can the Muslims be Married Under the Legal Way of the UK?
According to the court of appeal in England, a Nikah is not valid under English law, referring to it as non-marriages. This means that all Muslims wishing to get married must arrange a civil ceremony to be recognized by the law. Many Imams have already been performing a Nikkah only when the civil is completed. Read more: Brexit: All you need to know about the UK leaving the EU
Why was this Decision made to make Civil Ceremony Vital?
The decision was made in a divorce case of Nasreen Akhter and Mohammed Shabaz Khan, who were married through Nikkah in 1998. There was no civil ceremony other than the Nikkah in the presence of an Imam and 150 guests. In 2016, the couple separated with Mohammad Shahbaz contesting to block his wife’s divorce petition, saying that they had not been legally married.
In 2018, the husband said in the Family Division of the High Court that they had married under Sharia law only. Whereas, Nasreen Akhter argued that she was entitled to the same legal protection and settlement as offered to other married couples because when she was got married, Justice Willaim ruled that the marriage falls under the scope of the 1973 Matrimonial Causes. Read more: Schengen, UK and US visas Holders allowed free entry to Saudi Arabia
What is the Take of Lawyers on this Decision?
The decision, which now means that Muslims in the UK should organize civil marriages like Christians and Jews in addition to the Islamic way of marrying, has caused many controversies. Daniel Jones, from the law firm BLM, said
The appeal court judgment was a real blow for all concerned. 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 recognized as a marriage under English law.
International family lawyer and marriage law reform campaigner for register our marriage, Ain a khan said,
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. Only women who are wealthy enough to go to court or who have connections with lawyers to go to court struggle to get justice. For a Nikkah marriage to protect women financially, a city must be done.
What is the Opinion of People on this New Law of the UK?
People took the social platforms to talk on this heated discussion that has made many Muslim couples in trouble. People remarked,
This ruling might have negative consequences for Muslim women who are vulnerable to being exploited by some husbands, especially if they refuse to take part in a civil marriage. https://t.co/D7meF14fum
— Akeela Ahmed MBE (@AkeelaAhmed) February 14, 2020
— لا اله الا اللــــــــه (@LovelySoraya) February 14, 2020
[AUDIO @bbcasiannetwork] An unregistered religious marriage is now to be called a “Non-qualifying ceremony“ instead of ”non-marriage”. I welcome the new less pejorative term, but it is small comfort to those who are still going to suffer legal injustice-whatever term we give it! pic.twitter.com/Kw83E09rM1
— Aina Khan OBE (@ainakhanlondon) February 14, 2020
'A survey in 2017 found that nearly all married Muslim women in the UK had had a nikah and almost two-thirds had not had a separate civil ceremony.' I know quite a few who intentionally declined a civil ceremony…https://t.co/qGfGKafLRc
— Nadifa Mohamed (@thesailorsgirl) February 14, 2020
All imams who perform a nikah should be qualified to register marriages.
Appeal Court rules Islamic marriages invalid in UK https://t.co/Coo5HC31lZ
— The Sky Project (@TheSkyProject2) February 14, 2020
The decision is undoubtedly questioning because it lets down the Islamic teaching and declines their importance. Let’s see how long the country will sustain this decision. Till then, please share the article with your UK fellows and let us know in the comment section how you feel about it?