Muslim marriages about to get equal recognition

Approximately 1.5% of the South African population is Muslim, with this percentage being estimated to be slightly higher in eMalahleni specifically.

Up until very now, Muslim marriages were not recognised by the South African legal system, and thus those married under Muslim rites were left with very little legal recourse or protection.

The Western Cape High Court has ordered that the current law be changed to formally recognise Muslim marriages for the first time in South African history.

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On August 31, this order was made after the Western Cape High Court found that the discrimination experienced by those in Muslim marriages amounted to a breach in the Constitution.

Currently, Muslim marriages do not enjoy the same privileged status as customary and civil marriages or civil unions do.

Muslim women are often left with little recourse when facing divorce, unable to claim any portion of their husband’s wealth or estate, or upon the death of their Muslim husbands should they die intestate.

“Muslim women can now enjoy legal protections that are afforded to people that get married under the Marriages Act, legal protection that Muslim women have not had,” said WLC lawyer Charlene May.

  AUTHOR
Aimee-Lee Verster

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