A growing number of young Muslims in the UK are entering marriages that are not legally recognized. This is because couples are having an Islamic wedding (nikah) without the civil ceremony needed for the marriage to be recognized under British law.
Family lawyer Aina Khan says that she is dealing with an increasing number of cases where mostly young Muslims have a nikah, planning to have a civil ceremony later, but then never to it. She said: “‘My colleagues and I are having to deal with hundreds of cases where things have gone wrong because the wedding has not been registered.”
Dr Ghayasuddin Siddiqui, the head of Britain’s Muslim Parliament, says the lives of many Muslim women are being ruined because their Islamic marriages are not legally recognized. “This allows Muslim men to control their wives because they can threaten to leave them and end the Islamic marriage by just saying the words ‘divorce, divorce divorce’ to her,” he said. He furthermore claims that this practice fosters polygamy.