Should you register your Nikah? Important questions you should ask
What is the difference between Religious law and English law and how does this affect you?
These are two questions you may wish to consider as a Muslim couple getting married in England.
The basic principle is that when you enter into a “Nikah” ceremony in England you will be married under Religious law. This however is not the same as being married under English law.
Before making the decision to register your “Nikah” it is important to know your legal position.
If a Muslim couple getting married in England do not register their marriage in an English civil ceremony, they will not benefit from automatic legal rights given to married couples under English law.
Choosing both a religious and civil marriage
Registering your ‘’Nikah’’ means you will be legally protected under English law. You will also be entitled to Married Couple’s Tax Allowance and you will have legal protection in death or divorce.
If, however you choose not to register your “Nikah”, you will have little to no legal security. When your spouse dies or if your marriage breaks down you will not have sufficient legal protection under English law.
This also means that you won’t be able to claim any financial relief should you need a divorce, even if you have been married with a “Nikah” for any length of time.
Legal requirements under English law
Previously, there had been discussions about whether a Muslim marriage that was not registered under English law was to be classed as valid, void or even a non-marriage.
However, these discussions had little impact changing the position under English law.
The reality is that although a “Nikah” ceremony in England satisfies the religious aspect it does not fulfil the legal requirements under English law.
If you are not sure about registering your “Nikah” or how to find out if you married under English law, please talk to a solicitor who is experienced in Islamic family law. It’s best to ensure you are fully protected, both from a religious aspect and under English law. Therefore, it may be beneficial for you to register your “Nikah”.
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