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Islamic marriages in the United Kingdom - Essay Example

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Islamic marriages in the United Kingdom Marriages are regarded as one of the long-standing and crucial ‘institutions’ of human living. The traditions and ceremonies involved in a marriage may differ from one religion to another but the notion behind a marriage is the same throughout the world and that notion is conception of a relationship and family…
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Islamic marriages in the United Kingdom
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Download file to see previous pages Marriage is one such key event and the religion impacts and dictates that event as well. This is particularly applicable to Islamic marriages, with all aspects of the union based and dictated by the religion of Islam and its teachings. In United Kingdom (UK) also, Islamic marriages are conducted on those lines, with the marriage or nikah being conducted with or without official registration under UK laws. When the marriage is not registered under UK laws, its validity is questioned, leading to host of problems for the women. With those Islamic marriages being considered null and void under the UK laws, a Muslim man have the dubious advantage of marrying more than once without officially divorcing his wife and also denying his wife various rights and benefits. This paper focusing on the existence of Islamic marriages and the maximal non-registration of those marriages in the United Kingdom, will discuss how those marriages have no official or legal recognitions, thereby leading to many legal and personal problems for the Muslim women or in particular wives. Arranged marriages are more common in the Islamic religion, and that is visible in the Islamic community in UK as well. The arranged marriages are closely related to the “closed system” because it kind of helps to preserve the family traditions, rituals and the maintenance of kinship among the relations. Even if a Muslim man and woman decides to get married, without the initiation done by the parents, then also marriage is arranged according to Islamic customs. However, the basic Islamic viewpoint is, Islamic families in UK or in any country has to follow conservative norms regarding the marriage and the resultant evolution of family, thereby avoiding same-sex marriage, living together outside marriage, etc., for them to be constituted as a family. In an Islamic perspective, a family should normally consist of a legally married couple, their children, their parents, other relatives, etc. The emphasis is that a family comes into existence only through two means: blood relationship and importantly Islamic authorized marriage. This is mentioned in the religious texts as well, “And it is He Who has made man from water: The He has set up relationships of family and marriage: And your Lord is ever All Powerful (over things). [Surah AI Furqaan: 54]1. This focus on marriage being a relationship between an heterosexual man and woman forms a key part of Islamic marriage. Mernissi further validates this by stating, “The dynamics of shared spaces between the sexes can best be understood by analysing the functioning of the conjugal unit, the only model of heterosexual relationships that Muslim society …offers to its children.”2 However, all Islamic marriages are not similar, with the actual wedding ceremonies minimally or maximally differing according to the culture or nationality of the Muslim people involved in it. For example, a Pakistani Muslim wedding could be different from the Malaysian Muslim wedding in certain aspects. “Many of the Muslims who marry are from widely different cultures - for example European, Turkish, African, Malaysian, and so on.”3 Another key or even anti-feminine aspect of the Islamic marriage is polygamy, with Muslim men being allowed to marry more than one woman at a time. “Man may have more than one wife, up to the limit of four wives simultaneously - so long as it is ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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