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On British IslamReligion, Law, and Everyday Practice in Shari'a Councils$
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John R. Bowen

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780691158549

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691158549.001.0001

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Background to the Shariʿa Councils

Background to the Shariʿa Councils

Chapter:
(p.47) Chapter 4 Background to the Shariʿa Councils
Source:
On British Islam
Author(s):

John R. Bowen

Publisher:
Princeton University Press
DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691158549.003.0004

This chapter provides the background to the shariʻa councils and explains why Islamic divorce has become the focus of shariʻa council practices. In 1982, a collection of Islamic scholars met in Birmingham to create a new Britain-wide shariʻa council. The scholars had hoped to deal with a wide range of religious issues, from banking and mortgages to standards for halal food. However, few of these issues were brought to their doors. As one of the founding scholars, Suhaib Hasan, said later, “We intended that the council provide decisions for the Muslim community on any and all matters, but pretty soon it became clear to us that we were spending all our time giving women divorces. This was not what we set out to do, but there was a vacuum in the community and we filled it.” When a marriage has broken down, ways must be sought to allow the woman and the man to remarry.

Keywords:   shariʻa councils, Islamic divorce, shariʻa council practices, Islamic scholars, Muslim community, religious issues, marriage

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