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Take the case of a friend of a friend who tried to separate from her husband. She paid her own rent, utility bills and living costs, as well as solely providing for her three children who were all under the age of 10.Her peace of mind and happiness were all on hold as she tried to obtain a divorce through the Sharia Council because her husband refused to grant her one.) three times over a period of separation and the divorce is legitimate. She has to go to an Islamic judge in a Muslim country, or a sharia council in non-Muslim countries, to seek a judicial decree on specific grounds to be free.The civil law courts under which she should have been protected could not grant it because she had been naïve, foolish, ignorant, or bullied out of her rights, depending on your perspective.Not undergoing a civil ceremony had been one of the biggest mistakes of her life. She fully understood how she had allowed herself to become a victim, but she still wanted a religious end to her religious wedding.The groom was reportedly arrested along with his father and the registrar.The little girl is believed to have also been taken into custody along with her mother.
Why did she need a religious person or certificate to tell her that her marriage was over?
If she does not have any grounds for a divorce, she has to waive her “Mehr” – a compulsory financial gift by her husband. He was the type of man who insisted on paying for all her friends at the table if they were single or unaccompanied by a husband.
I remember my friend’s friend at social events 10 years ago when she was dating her husband-to-be. We all thought he was a gentleman and she revelled in the knowledge that he was all hers.
“In contrast, if there has not been a civil marriage, the fee of the Sharia Council is £300-£400 because of the extra work needed to investigate the divorce application.
Plus I am increasingly hearing complaints of one year-plus delays and misogyny, which causes deep distress to women who are already suffering.”Khan has her proposals ready: “If there has been no civil ceremony and the wife does apply to a sharia council, the divorce should become a paper process as in English law and there should be no requirement to attend before a panel of scholars and discuss private matters, unless the divorce is defended.