Six in 10 Muslim wives not legally married

About 6 in 10 Muslim women who have had traditional Islamic weddings in Britain are not legally married, according to a survey.

They have had a nikah marriage but 61% failed to go through a separate civil ceremony, recognised by the family courts.

If their marriage breaks down and they cannot agree on a division of assets, it means they must fight through the civil courts rather than start with a presumption that they will get an equal share.

The survey, of 923 women in the UK, was based on responses to community researchers rather than random sampling. The findings will be broadcast on Tuesday on Channel 4 in The Truth About Muslim Marriage. [The Times (£)] Read more

New Channel 4 survey reveals The Truth About Muslim Marriage

A ground-breaking Channel 4 survey has revealed that almost two thirds of Muslim women married in Britain are not in legally recognised marriages, as they have not had a civil ceremony alongside their Nikah religious ceremony. Many of these women are unaware that they therefore do not have the same rights and protections afforded to couples who are married in the eyes of the law.

The survey also explored attitudes towards polygamy, finding that the vast majority of women questioned did not wish to be in a polygamous relationship, and more than a third of those who were in such a relationship had not agreed to it. (The Truth about Muslim Marriage, Channel 4, 10pm, 21st November).

One ceremony which unites virtually all of Britain’s three million Muslims is the Nikah – the traditional Islamic wedding ceremony. Ninety-nine per cent of those women questioned had a Nikah marriage. But, without having a separate civil ceremony, the Nikah alone is not a legally recognised marriage. This can cause serious problems for some people if their relationships break down. [Channel Four] Read more