SERVICES How does the Islamic Sharia Council work?
95% of all letters received by the Council are related to matrimonial problems faced by Muslims in the UK. The other 5% are related to people asking for Islamic injunctions (fatawa) pertaining to their daily lives. Matters of dispute amongst Muslims groups have been also referred to the Council for resolution.
From cases pertaining to matrimonial disputes, the majority are from women who are seeking a divorce from their husbands. The procedure adopted by the Council for such cases is described below.
Validity of the Council's divorce certificate
A divorce decision issued by the Council dissolves an Islamic marriage to which it applies only and has no bearing on the staus of any coexistent civil contract (one which is recognised as legally binding under UK Law); for a civil divorce, applicants are advised to refer to the UK legal system for assistance in this area.
A woman applying for divorce is required to provide the Council with the postal address of her husband or one of his relatives. In the event of such an address being unavailable and/or the husband's whereabouts being unknown, the applicant will bear the cost of the Council posting a notice in a recognised, local newspaper. The notice will solicit the applicant's husband to contact the Council within a month from the date of the notice, regarding his opinion on the application for divorce.