Donate now
Barnabas Fund - International Headquarters River Street, Pewsey, Wilthire. Phone: +44 1672 565030 Latitude: 51 deg 23 min 18 sec N Longitude: 1 deg 45 min 48 sec W .
UK: Polygamy amongst British Muslims inc...

Email:

UK: Polygamy amongst British Muslims increasing

To

Email address:
Separate multiple addresses with a comma (,). Maximum of 10

From

Your name:
Your email address:
Security test:
Please enter the numbers that appear here in the box below.
refresh captcha
CAPTCHA Image
Security code:

Details provided here will never be used in any other context

UK: Polygamy amongst British Muslims increasing

Country/Region: United Kingdom, Europe

A growing number of young British Muslims are taking second or third wives, according to religious leaders quoted in news reports.

Shah-Jahan-Mosque_4X3.jpg
Only about 10% of UK mosques are registered to conduct weddings
CC BY-NC 2.0 by  Swamibu

The Islamic Sharia Council said that it was receiving an unprecedented number of inquiries about polygamous marriages.

Polygamy is illegal in Britain, although taking a second, third or even fourth wife is considered legitimate within many Muslim communities in accordance with sharia law. Muslims are married in an Islamic religious ceremony known as nikah. Only about 10% of UK mosques are registered to conduct weddings so for a marriage to be legally recognised in British law it has to be in one of these mosques or accompanied by a civil ceremony. Many weddings do not meet these criteria so the wife, whether first, second, third or fourth, is not legally recognised in the U.K. This means that Muslim men can easily ‘marry’ their second, third or fourth wives at the mosque without committing polygamy under the law. There is also a special exception on polygamy for men who have married second, third or fourth wives in other countries where polygamy is legal and who then come to the UK with their families or bring their other wives in.

Khola Hasan, lecturer and adviser to the Islamic Sharia Council, said it was clear that polygamy among the younger generation was on the increase. She said:

Out of 700 applications for divorce in 2010, 43 cited polygamy as the reason.

Ms Hasan said that her research uncovered three main reasons for the growth in polygamy. The first is the growing number of young Muslim men who want to practise a more orthodox and conservative form of the religion. She said:

Young men who have come into a more radical understanding of faith know it is illegal to marry more than once [under British law], but do it to spite the system. These marriages have the lowest record of succeeding.

The second and biggest group are men whose first marriage has failed.

Perminder Khatkar, who used the findings from the Islamic Sharia Council in an investigation for the BBC Asian Network, said there was also growing concern that wives in polygamous marriages are unaware that they have no legal rights.

Meanwhile a Daily Mail investigation last week reported concerns that some Muslim men in bigamous or polygamous marriages were exploiting the British benefits system.

Baroness Flather, who was born in Lahore said:

The wives are regarded by the welfare system as single mothers, and are therefore entitled to a full range of lone parent payments.

As a result, several ‘families’ fathered by the same man can all claim benefits, as they are provided for by the welfare state, which treats them as if they were not related.

It is certainly difficult to discuss this phenomenon of serial marriage and exploitation of the benefits system, with few people in Britain seeming to want to confront the disturbing truth.

Social workers estimate that there are around 20,000 bigamous or polygamous marriages in the UK.

Two years ago, another peer, Baroness Warsi, born in Dewsbury to Pakistani parents, and now a Coalition Cabinet Minister, also voiced her concerns. She said that cultural sensitivity was stopping politicians addressing the problem.

External links

Please note: We have no control over other websites and links do not signify that we endorse the website(s). We have no responsibility for the content of the said linked website(s).

Read Daily Mail article The truth about polygamy: A special investigation into how Muslim men can exploit the benefits system

Read BBC News article The British Muslim men who love 'both their wives'

Read The Australian article A growing number of young British Muslims are taking second or third wives in an unexpected revival of polygamy, according to religious leaders.

Help us: Share this article

Email:

UK: Polygamy amongst British Muslims increasing

To

Email address:
Separate multiple addresses with a comma (,). Maximum of 10

From

Your name:
Your email address:
Security test:
Please enter the numbers that appear here in the box below.
refresh captcha
CAPTCHA Image
Security code:

Details provided here will never be used in any other context

christian, persecution, charity, church, persecuted, sookhdeo, Islam

Partner with Barnabas

partner-box.jpg

Our magazine - Barnabas aid

Barnabas aid magazine

Other articles

Follow Barnabas

or

receive news & appeal emails as they are published

From Twitter

From Twitter_icon

    Daily prayer

    Daily prayer_icon
    • “It is not typical for a man to show or talk about his weaknesses and admit them. These days the fear and pressure from the authorities and the Muslim world reveal the condition of my heart.” A Christian leader in Central Asia shared frankly in a letter the way in which the constant pressure he faced was wearing him down. He wrote how, having finally recognised his fears and defeats, he had then received encouragement from the Lord through the words of 2 Corinthians 1:1-10. Pray for our brother “M.T.” and the countless other Christians around the world living with ongoing opposition that the Father of compassion and God of all comfort will draw close and comfort them in all their troubles. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed 19 hours ago

    • Thank the Lord that, with the help of Barnabas Fund, two house churches in a strict Central Asian country were able to purchase coal-powered generators. Winters there are harsh, and the power supply can Barnabas is helping 30,000 displaced Iraqi Christians be erratic. This particular congregation used to meet in a church building, but in 2009 their permit to assemble was revoked and seven of their members were questioned at the police station. Since then the church has had to meet in members’ homes. Pray that the Lord will continue to bless their ministry and that the generators will allow the church to continue to expand despite opposition from the government. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Sat, Nov 2014 00:00

    • An Uzbek Christian who had converted from Islam died earlier this year and was buried. The local Muslim leaders banned any Muslim from attending the man’s funeral. But one of his work colleagues, a radical Muslim who had been struck by the Christian’s words and way of life, attended the funeral anyway, ignoring all the threats and warnings. She was puzzled by such a hostile reaction to a man she knew to be “God-fearing”. At the funeral she heard the Gospel and decided to give her life to Christ. Pray for “F.” as she is now being disciple and growing in her new faith, that she will be strong in the face of opposition from the Muslim community. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Fri, Nov 2014 00:00

    • Pray for hundreds of Christian, Yazidi and Turkmen women held in Badush Prison in Mosul, Iraq by ISIS militants. The women are reported to be raped daily unless they agree to convert to ISIS’s brand of Sunni Islam. The UN estimates that there have been roughly 1,500 Iraqi women and children from the Christian and Yazidi communities abducted by ISIS and then forced into sexual slavery. Ask our Heavenly Father to have mercy on each one of these women and children and to deliver them from evil. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Thu, Nov 2014 00:00

    • Give thanks to the Lord that, through the generosity of Barnabas Fund supporters, over 30,000 displaced Christians in northern Iraq are being assisted through four local partner organisations on the ground. By funding the distribution of food, blankets, hygiene items and other basic needs, Barnabas has enabled them to survive their first months of displacement. But their needs will be greater now, as the Iraqi winter has set in. Pray that God will provide. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Wed, Nov 2014 00:00

    © Barnabas Fund 1997 - 2014 All rights reserved.
    Barnabas Fund & Barnabas Aid are registered trade marks