Judge rules estranged Muslim wife's Sharia marriage is NOT VALID

Judge rules estranged Muslim wife's Sharia marriage is NOT VALID under English Law in landmark High Court ruling - leaving her a 'limited' claim on his cash and property in divorce row Nasreen Akhter wanted a divorce from her husband Mohammed Shabaz Khan But Court of Appeal rules no divorce can be granted if marriage was not lawful  Couple didn't have civil ceremony after Sharia marriage 'had no legal effect'  Landmark ruling has implications for people of faiths such as Hindus and Sikhs Mrs Akhtar won 2018 High Court case -  is expected to appeal to Supreme Court 

By Martin Robinson, Chief Reporter For Mailonline

Published: 11:21 GMT, 14 February 2020 | Updated: 13:59 GMT, 14 February 2020

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A Muslim woman's Sharia marriage to a property developer in a London restaurant 22 years ago was not valid under English law and she only has a 'limited' claim to his cash, property and pensions and is not entitled to any maintenance, senior judges ruled today. 

Nasreen Akhter wanted a divorce from her husband Mohammed Shabaz Khan who she married in a religious 'nikah' ceremony carried out by an imam in 1998.

But in a landmark ruling in London today three family judges said the English courts did not recognise their Sharia marriage saying it 'had no legal effect'.

The judgment means Mrs Akhtar is powerless to claim significant sums of money or property from Mr Khan in the same way a legally married woman can because they did not also have a legal civil ceremony as well. 

Mrs Akhter is expected to appeal to the Supreme Court in a case that has major implications for people of other faiths including Hindus and Sikhs.

Leading family law barrister Camini Kumar told MailOnline even though they have four children and lived together for almost two decades she will have 'limited' claims to his assets.

She said: 'The judgment confirms that when their relationship breaks down these women cannot make the financial claims against their husband that they would be entitled to if they had married in a qualifying ceremony. They are to be treated as any other cohabiting couple in the eyes of the family court.' 

Nasreen Akhter wanted a divorce from her husband Mohammed Shabaz Khan who she married in a religious 'nikah' ceremony in 1998 - today the Court of Appeal ruled they can't divorce because they were never legally married

Mohammed Shabaz Khan had argued she couldn't have a divorce on the basis that they are 'not legally married' in the first place because they are married 'under Sharia law only'.

Nasreen Akhter wanted a divorce from her husband Mohammed Shabaz Khan (both pictured in 2018) who she married in a religious 'nikah' ceremony in 1998 - today the Court of Appeal ruled they can't divorce because they were never legally married

She added: 'There are some women who are married in Islamic ceremonies who believe they are

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