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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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When Women Rule in Birmingham

When Women Rule in Birmingham

(p.123) Chapter 8 When Women Rule in Birmingham
On British Islam

John R. Bowen

Princeton University Press

This chapter looks at the Birmingham Central Mosque's council, where women take the lead. The Birmingham council began as a place for women to find advice and help, and only later transformed itself into a shariʻa council. Women may come or call for a variety of reasons. However, many who contact them regarding a divorce are turned away because of a rule adopted several years previously by the council. The council had been hearing all cases where a woman wished to end her marriage, until one day when they granted a woman her religious divorce, only to have her turn around and stop cooperating with her husband on the civil divorce. This unfortunate consequence of their divorce judgment led the council to only accept cases where the civil divorce—if one was needed—had been completed, so that women could not keep their husbands from remarrying.

Keywords:   Birmingham Central Mosque, shariʻa council, women, divorce, religious divorce, civil divorce

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