Salafi Shariah Council = DIY rough justice WARNING 2: Islamic Sharia Council, Leyton, UK

Heres another council that lies in the name of the Shariah. These are very costly lies at £400 a head. See how they twist hadith to suit their new desire: “quickies” [easy divorces] (this article appeared on a Islamic forum first)

In The Name of Allah The Most Merciful The Most Compassionate INTRODUCTION I feel it my duty to warn my Muslim brothers and sisters regarding the proliferation of sharia councils in the Muslim Community. It seems a lucrative avenue as £200 to £400 per divorce. Thus no sister who really has a valid case for divorce should be duped by the local masjid council that has basically seen this as a way to bump up revenues in difficult times from desperate people. There are some practices that these councils employ that will give one a nice-looking certificate in one’s hand that tells you what you want to hear, but in reality in the sight of Allah Most High you are still divorced to the man you were wanting to be free of.

WHICH SHARIAH COUNCIL SHOULD I GO TO? IT IS A FACT THAT A JUDGEMENT MADE BY A A QAZI OR SHARIAH COUNCIL THAT CONTRAVENES ISLAMIC PRINCIPLES IS VOID. THIS MEANS THOUGH A SHARIAH COUNCIL MAY DECLARE A NIKAH TO HAVE ENDED IT ACTUALLY REMAINS INTACT. IF THE LADY, WHO RECEIVED SUCH A SHAM KHULA/FASKH CERTIFICATE, GETS MARRIED AGAIN THAT NIKAH WILL BE HARAM AND NOTHING BUT ZINA. IN THIS ARTICLE WE SHOW HOW SEVERAL MUSLIM COUNCILS IN THE UK ARE WORKING IN THIS WAY. THUS IT IS THE RESPONSIBILITY OF EVERY MUSLIM WHO IS LOOKING FOR A SHARIAH COUNCIL THAT THEY ONLY TAKE THEIR CASES TO RELIABLE SHARIAH COUNCILS OPERATED BY TRUE EXPERT MUSLIM SCHOLARS. In our study of the condition of Shariah councils in the UK we have found grave discrepancies. In some cases it is a mere set up to make money with applications in some of these places costing £400. In this paper there are two serious errors that we focus on as they are found to be present in the Islamic Shariah Council (or London Sharia Council- LSC) , Leyton, run by Dr. Suhaib Hassan and Haitham al-Haddad, The Green Lane Council located in the Green Lane Mosque in Birmingham and the Dewsbury Shariah Council (DSC) run by Mawlana Yaqab Qawi and Mawlana Ijaz. The former two councils ascribe to the Ahl al-Hadith/Salafi practice of Islam and the latter council claims to be a Hanafi/Deobandi council. The former are known to use “Forced Khula” and the latter is known to use a Maliki idea of “Shiqaq,” albeit erroneously as we shall explain.

FORCED KHULA` The LSC is a council of predominently salafi scholars. The crux of the problem is that major Shariah scholars and their schools meticulously outlined all the reasons that validly could be used by a Qazi to dissolve a Muslim woman’s marriage. These causes number around ten in total. The Shariah councils we are dealing with however, either due to incompetency or due to feeling the pressure of delivering the desired verdict by the insistent wife, when they find these causes are not found and the husband is not at fault, they still give the wife her

certificate. She often unfortunately has little concern for its genuineness. Obviously this is no representation of the Shariah and is only legitimizing Zina. Let us deconstruct the flimsy basis they throw up to show how it is nothing but a derailing of the Shariah that in the process destroys families, undermines the central place of the family in the Muslim society and spreads Zina in the name of religion. They explain that they are finishing the Nikah on the basis of Khula and they quote the hadith of Habiba bint Sahl r. and Thabit ibn Qays r. to back this up.

Khula is the giving of a sum of money (usually the dowry) by the wife, and in exchange, she gets her marriage cancelled. Any reasonable minded person can see if ending a nikah was as simple as this, and as is made out by these Shariah councils, there would hardly be a Nikah left in the Muslim world, as which marriage does not experience its woes and tests? Let us analyse the Hadith that apparently seems to sanction this accordin to them. It is found in Sunan of Imam al-Nasai, Hadith no. 3492, p. 485, also in Sunan Abu Daud, Hadith no. 2227 and Muwatta p.518:

`Amarat bint Abd the daughter of Abd al-Rahman informed that Habiba bint Sahl was in the Nikah of Thabit bin Qays bin Shammas. (One day) the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) left his home for the Fajr prayer and found Habiba standing at his door in the dark. The Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him) asked: “Whose there?” Habiba replied: “I am Habiba the daughter of Sahl, O Messenger of Allah.” “What is your issue?” asked the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings upon him). She replied: “I do not wish to be with Thabit….”So when Thabit came, the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him ) said to him: “This is Habiba the daughter of Sahl. She has mentioned what Allah wished for her to mention…”.Habiba said: “O Messenger of Allah, I still have everything he gave me.” So the Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him) said: “Take it from her”. Thabit took it from her and she (went and) stayed with her family. (Al-Nasai)

REPLY Firstly, this idea of Khula` where a third person (a council) forces it, even though the husband does not agree to it, is utterly rejected by the vast majority of scholars, including the four established schools of law (Hanafi, Maliki, Shafi and Hanbali). They all define Khula not as these Shariah councils conveniently do. Rather they state that Khula is a contract that is utterly void if the husband does not agree to it. That the four schools hold this view is well documented and the following works can be consulted that have reproduced the evidences from these schools to substantiate this point; see Mufti Taqi Usmani’s treatise Khula Ki Haqiqat and Mufti Rashid Ludhyanvi’s treatise in Ahsan al-Fataawa called Jabri Khula`, vol. 384-404. Secondly, lest the reader assume that these oceans of knowledge did not understand the hadith above of Thabit bin Qays r, let us discuss its reality and show how it is actually these councils that have grievously left the path of Islam, and have no shame in twisting and

mangling the hadith of the Messenger of God (peace be upon him) to legitimise their whims. The first thing that we must accept is that it was not the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) who dissolved the Nikah of Qays r. If he(peace and blessings be upon him) in this hadith was acting as a judge (as opposed to a counselor) he would have merely declared the Nikah dissolved himself without needing to ask Thabit r. to do a thing. If one looked at all the narrations about this incident, one would note that there is a concerted attempt from the Prophet(peace and blessings be upon him to create an exchange betweeon both parties in order to finalise the end of the Nikah. Thus this is a clear indication that this was Khula as understood by the majority of the scholars and not a judge’s ruling that does not need a husband’s approval. This means the cause of the final ending or dissolving of the Nikah was effected by the husband and not the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) , though he of course facilitated it (in his role of an advisor or counselor). One has to accept this as the verbs used in the hadith again underline the doer (faa`il) of the act of dissolution was Thabit and not the Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him). Had he, as a judge been the effecter of the divorce, the verb of doing would have been ascribed to him (like “he dissolved” or “he declared as rescinded”). On the contrary the doer is emphatically Thabit r. only. This also means that had Thabit r. not gone through with the giving Talaq, the Nikah would still have been intact. What makes this explanation beyond any doubt are the other narrations of this incident:

Other Narrations of the Incident Thabit bin Qays A. The Hadith of Imam al-Bukhari in Sahih al-Bukhari. In this narration we find the words of the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) to Thabit: “Accept the garden and divorce her one Talaq (talliqhaa tatliqah).” Hadith no. 5273, Kitab al-Talaq. The most astonishing thing is that those who are forever quoting Sahih al-Bukhari, when Imam Bukhari in a solid narration, completely contradicts them, they unhesistatingly turn their backs on Bukhari! Here the words leave nothing to the imagination. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) is advising him to give her Talaq in exchange for property. Khula and Talaq for property are essentially the same, and in both cases the husband is instrumental. B. The Hadith of Abu Daud also tells the decision was ultimately the husbands and not the Prophets (peace and blessings be upon him). In this narration the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) says: “Take the garden and divorce her (faariqhaa).” Hadith no. 2228, p.323, Kitab al-Talaq. Had it been the Prophet’s (peace and blessings be upon him) decision as a Qazi he would have said: “I dissolve the Nikah,” and there is no assigning any duty to the husband. Thus it becomes clear that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) is acting more as a facilitator between the two sides rather than playing the role of a Qazi who issues a judgment regardless of the wish of the husband. How different is this to the way these Shariah councils work, they quote the above hadith but do they give the choice to the husband? Do they tell him you should divorce her, or give her divorce? If one of them even does say this to the husband, it is a vacuous gesture as their intention is always to finish the marriage for him. So

when he says: No I wont. They will take it upon themselves to “end” the marriage. We ask these so-called followers of hadith: Where in any hadith does it say that when a husband refuses to agree to give Khula or Talaq, that the Qazi or shariah council will dissolve the marriage? In conclusion what the LSC and Green Lane Council are doing, opposes all four major schools of law and is a mockery of hadith interpretation, by willfully ignoring the details in other hadith. In a nutshell no Shariah council can force a Khula on a husband. If they say they issue it on his behalf then that is a pure lie and any certificate they issue is not worth the paper it is written on. The lady is still married to her husband. “SHIQAQ” and the DEWSBURY SHARIAH COUNCIL (DSC) The problem again relates to those cases where there is no valid basis for ending the marriage. The DSC again to justify the hefty fee they charge will give her the certificate. Women should not be deceived by merely receiving a paper and should care whether there Nikah is really ended. Which woman would pay so much money, get marrried again and it mean nothing except Zina. The DSC operates by sending three letters to the husband inviting him to come. When the husband turns up at their office and says that they have children and that he himself has not failed in fulfilling her rights or his failings are minor and can be remedied. The council will give the husband an ultimatum: We will give you a month or so to get back with your wife (or else we will give her what she wants). The husband tries to reconcile, but is unable to convince his wife and inlaws. A period of more time may elapse and the husband is sent a letter telling him that the DSC has annulled the marriage. So what is the basis for this? After speaking to numerous people who have been stung by this Council and having analysed some of these cases we can present the following details, which we can assure you the DSC would strive to deny as they know in front of Ulama they already have a very bad reputation and have hardly a shred of credibility left. When the husband cannot succeed in winning back his wife, the DSC amazingly announce that all its procedures have been somehow magically fulfilled and the marriage is irretrievably broken down so they issue the certificate of dissolution. When the details of this “dissolution” were examined they turn out to be another cruel sham like the one operating at the LSC. The DSC usually explain that because Shiqaq has occurred between the couple, they “dissolve” the Nikah. Shiqaq refers to a situation when the relationship is irretrievably broken down and comes from the verse:“If you fear a sever conflict (shiqaq) between them (the spouses), send one arbitrator from his people and one from her people. If they desire to set things right, Allah shall bring about harmony between them. Surely, Allah is All-Knowing, All-Aware.” (4:35). What the DSC is actually referring to is a fiqhi ruling found in the Maliki school that in a case where Shiqaq is feared between the spouses, then a Qazi may do Faskh (a unilateral decision of dissolution). Taking from the Maliki school is understandable in real need, as Mawlana Ashraf Thanvi was so commended for doing when he wrote al-Hilat al-Najiza. But the problem here is twofold. Firstly, the vast majority of Deobandi scholars reject any Hanafi council dissolving a marriage on the basis of Shiqaq, as normally the need that permits leaving the school is not found. But let us for argument’s sake assume the need did exist. Even then, this so called dissolution can only be considered Zina because the very Maliki scholars who do talk of Shiqaq also shackle it with heavy conditions such as there being an

arbitrator form each side, that a serious attempt or attempts be made by the arbitrators to reconcile the husband and wife. With the DSC set-up, there are no arbitrators appointed from both sides. In fact the husband is told nothing of arbitrators at all. Nothing of attempt is made to investigate the nature of the accusations. After a designated time, the Mawlana asks the husband, “Have you got back with your wife.” If the husband has not, for them this is Shiqaq! And another “decree of dissolution” is printed off. IN CONCLUSION WE CAN ONLY WARN THE COMMUNITY OF THE GRAVITY OF THE SIN OF SUCH RECKLESS MISAPPLICATION OF THE SHARIAH. AND TO STAY WELL AWAY FROM THESE COUNCILS AND WARN OTHERS OF THE SAME. Munib ar Rahman

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