Skip to main content

Make an enquiry







    Contact Us

    Preston Office
    Tel: 01772 258321
    DX: DX 714573 Preston 14
    Fax: 01772 258227

    Garstang Office
    Tel: 01995 607950
    DX: DX 63970 Garstang
    Fax: 01995 600897

    Kendal Office
    Tel: 01539 628042
    DX: DX 714573 Preston 14

    Lancaster Office
    Tel: 01524 548967
    DX: 63502 Lancaster

    Clitheroe Office
    Tel: 01200 422264
    DX: DX 15154 Clitheroe

    Email: enquiries@harrison-drury.com

    Is an Islamic faith marriage protected under English law?

    Share

    Charlotte Hurst, a solicitor in Harrison Drury’s divorce and family law team, outlines the position for Islamic faith marriages following a recent ruling in the Court of Appeal.

    Islamic faith marriages, also known as nikah marriages, are common amongst couples of Islamic faith residing in England and Wales.

    A recent ruling by the Court of Appeal has made it clear that unless civil proceedings take place in addition to the nikah ceremony, there are no protections available under English law. The ruling has been made following a High Court case in 2018 which involved a woman filing for divorce from her husband after only undergoing a nikah ceremony.

    The Judge ruled that the couple’s nikah ceremony, which was not followed up with a civil ceremony, constituted a ‘void’ marriage under the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973. The wife was therefore entitled to a decree of nullity in accordance with English law.

    This approach was taken because, at the time of the nikah ceremony, the couple had the intention to undertake a civil ceremony, which the husband then refused. The High Court ruled that the marriage had been entered into with a disregard for certain formalities.

    The Court of Appeal has subsequently overturned the decision, stating that upholding it would diminish the formalities necessary for a marriage. The Court of Appeal also ruled that the High Court could not hold the couple’s marriage to be ‘void’ because it never legally existed under English law in the first place.

    Couples of Islamic faith should therefore ensure that they have a civil ceremony in addition to a nikah ceremony, in order to be deemed married under the provisions of English law.

    If you require any further advice regarding faith marriages and the English law or to seek specialist advice from Harrison Drury’s family law team, please contact Charlotte Hurst on 01772 258321.


    Questions & Answers

    Leave a Comment

    Leave a comment

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


    x

    Manage your privacy

    How we handle your personal data

    The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) gives you more control over how companies like ours use your personal information and makes it quicker and easier for you to check and update the information we hold about you.

    As part of our service to you, we will continue to collect, use, store and share your data safely and securely. This doesn’t require any action on your part.

    For more detailed information view our Privacy Hub