Procedure of Issuing Religious Divorce and Resolving Matrimonial Disputes at Sharīʿah Councils in the uk

in Arab Law Quarterly
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Abstract

The unavailability of civil courts to hear cases relating to Muslim family law and other related matters persuaded community leaders and religious scholars in the United Kingdom to establish several Sharīʿah councils. This article explores the role played by these councils in resolving matrimonial disputes, especially the process and procedure of issuing an Islamic divorce. Library and empirical research methods were employed. Three main uk Sharīʿah councils were visited wherein mediation and arbitration sessions, as well as monthly meetings, were observed to examine how disputes are handled and decisions made. The study leads to several findings. Mediation and arbitration are the main methods used in the process, and despite the relative success of Sharīʿah councils, they face challenges resulting from the dichotomy and overlapping jurisdictions of Islamic and English family law and the non-alignment of divorce issued by uk courts and religious divorce.