Islamic Divorce – Divorce in Islam UK
Our dedicated team specialises in UK Islamic divorces and family law. We will help you take care of all matters in accordance with your faith. We offer guidance to both men and women and can help with all of the steps involved in obtaining an Islamic divorce.
Please note: We can only assist in family law matters for those living in England and Wales.
Nikah and UK Law
Currently, the marriage contract of Nikah has no legal standing under UK law if taking place in the UK. Whilst Islamic law (sharia) recognises it, you will have to carry out an additional marriage at a registry office in the UK if you want to be given the legal status of a UK civil marriage. However, this does therefore mean that you will only have to go through an Islamic divorce and not a civil divorce if you decide to separate.
Couples who decide to only hold the religious ceremony of Nikah are therefore recognised as a co-habiting couple under UK law.
Nikah Conducted Abroad
If a Nikah marriage has taken place in a country with Muslim family law legislation (such as Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, or Iraq), a different legal status applies. Marriages in countries with Muslim family law legislation are legally recognised in the UK, so long as the ceremony was conducted in accordance with those laws.
If you were married in a country that has Muslim family law legislation and you wish to divorce in the UK, you need both an Islamic and civil divorce. This will require what is known as a Talaq or Khula. We can help you obtain your talaq or Khula, as well as advising you on what rights you may have to financial assets, Mahr or wedding gifts.
How to get an Islamic Divorce in the UK
When a man initiates an Islamic divorce, he would do so using ‘Talaq.’ The word ‘Talaq’ is based on the Arabic word ‘talak’, meaning divorce. Talaq is often translated as ‘repudiation’, which means a rejection of a proposal or idea.
There are two main classifications of Talaq – ‘Talaq Al-Sunnah and ‘Talaq Al-Bid’ah’.
Talaq Al-Sunnah is a divorce that strictly follows Muhammad’s teachings. Talaq Al-Bid’ah, is an interpretation of Talaq Al-Sunnah. The Arabic word ‘Bid’Ah’ means ‘innovation’ and Talaq Al-Bid’ah is a kind of innovative adaptation of the initial law.
The main practical difference is that the husband does not have to go through a waiting period with Talaq Al-Bid’ah. He can divorce his wife with one statement.
The steps to Talaq include:
The first task is to submit your application form to the Sharia Council.
The council will then notify your wife.
The council will then check if all your dower obligations have been met.
You will then be issued your Islamic divorce certificates.
There are two ways that Islamic marriages can be ended by a woman – by obtaining a Khula or a Faskh-e-Nikah. If you have a civil marriage, it can be ended by filing for a divorce.
In the UK, laws of civil marriage and divorce apply to all residents, irrespective of sex, colour, race or religious persuasion. For this reason, it is beneficial for Muslim women to understand how they can both follow both Islamic law and UK law at the same time because UK law may allow them more freedoms during the process of divorce.
Khula is a type of Islamic divorce in which you and your husband give your mutual consent. In this situation, you agree to certain terms, such as the return of the Mahr (dowry). If you both agree, the marriage is then resolved.
A Faskh-e-Nikah allows you to apply to the sharia council to have your marriage dissolved without your husband’s consent. This can happen if you believe your husband is unreasonably refusing to give you the Talaq.
The steps involve:
First, we will need to prepare your Sharia Council application.
- Case Creation
Your case will be created by a qualified Mufti, and a copy sent to your husband.
You will then be investigated by the Mufti.
You and your partner will be offered a mediation and reconciliation meeting to negotiate a solution.
- Finalising Divorce
You and your partner will be offered mediation and reconciliation meetings to negotiate a solution.
Your marriage will be dissolved by the Mufti, and you will be issued a divorce certificate.
Here at AWH, we can speak and translate several different languages, and we are closely connected to Islamic scholars. We have been providing well-informed, professional guidance to people going through Islamic divorce for many years and can help you throughout the process of your divorce.
Frequently Asked Questions
How can I get an Islamic divorce in the UK?
There are different manners in which you can get an Islamic divorce in the UK, depending on your situation and on your gender. As a woman you may need either either a Khula or Faskh, and as a man you will need a Talaq.
If you are also married under UK law, or if you had your Nikah in a country where your marriage was recognised by law then in addition to your Muslim divorce you will also need a civil divorce.
Is my Islamic marriage recognised under UK law?
If you had your Nikah in the UK and you didn't also get a civil marriage your marriage is not recognised by UK law, and therefore you will not need a civil divorce.
If, however, you had your Nikah in a country where this is recognised by law before moving to the UK, your marriage is recognised by law and you will need a civil divorce.
If you are looking to understand more about your options in regard to divorce, may that be civil or Islamic, our divorce solicitors are here for you.
What are the benefits of using an Islamic divorce solicitor?
Islamic divorce solicitors can help you with the process of Khula, Faskh or Talaq, whichever you require, as well as help you go through your civil divorce process may you need this.
Islamic divorce solicitors can also help you with all other matters concerning your divorce. Taking care of child arrangements, setting out financial arrangements and splitting other assets are all matters that need to be handled, sooner rather than later.
Our family law solicitors will be by your side throughout the process, helping you move forward.