Source: The Guardian
When I had my nikah, my Islamic marriage ceremony, I considered myself a married man. In the presence of our nearest and dearest, squeezed into my partner’s front room in Grimsby, an imam led us through a series of vows and the signing of our marriage certificate before offering a prayer and declaring us husband and wife.
It was a beautiful, intimate and uniquely British ceremony, captured by British Muslim TV and featured on Channel 4’s documentary The Truth About Muslim Marriage. This groundbreaking film highlights the toxic fallout of our legal system’s failure to recognise an Islamic marriage as valid.
Three out of five of the British Muslim women surveyed did not, in addition to their nikah ceremonies, have a civil marriage, rendering them outside the legal protections and provisions that marriage brings. I can understand why. If you already consider yourself married, the only real reason to have a civil ceremony is to establish protections in case you divorce. But who thinks about divorce when they’re getting married?