Conversion of either of non-Muslim spouses to Islam has far-reaching legal consequences in matters of the law of personal status in the Malaysian context. This is due to the existence of two different legal systems governing family matters or matters of personal status. Muslims citizens are governed by Islamic family law, whilst non-Muslim citizens are governed by civil law. The existence of dual legal systems, in the case of conversion of either spouse of any civil marriage, leads to a conflict of interest between both parties, for the marriage has to be dissolved according to civil law and the divorce petition has to be applied by the non-Muslim spouse in the civil court. This article attempts to analyze the conflict of laws caused by such conflicts of interest on matters related to the claims of property after the death of either spouse or their conversion. This article focuses mainly on the issues of inheritance and jointly acquired properties.
Muhammad Ali al-SabuniAl-Mawarith fi al-shari’ah al-Islamiyyah fi daw’ al-Kitab wa al-sunnah p. 43; Najashi Ali Ibrahim Ahkam al-mawarith fi fiqh al-Islami (Misr: al-Maktabah al-Tawfiqiyyah 1978) p. 63.