High Court judge to rule on validity of Islamic wedding ceremony

A High Court judge was asked to determine whether an estranged couple who took part in an Islamic wedding ceremony in a London restaurant are validly married.

Nasreen Akhter, 46, claims her “Islamic faith marriage” to Mohammed Shabaz Khan, also 46, was a “valid marriage”. Mr Khan, however, has contested this.

Mr Justice Williams is analysing the case at a hearing in the Family Division of the High Court in London.

Lawyers have said the ruling will have implications.

The judge heard the couple had taken part in a ceremony in a restaurant in Southall, west London, in 1998.

Mrs Akhter, who wants a divorce, said the ceremony had been conducted by an Imam before about 150 guests.

She said Mr Khan had become her “husband” and he had considered her his “wife.”

She said, “From my limited understanding of Islam at the time it did comply with all the requirements. I saw him as my husband. There was no question in my mind at all. He always introduced me as his wife.”

Mr Khan wants to block Mrs Akhter’s divorce application on the basis that “we are not legally married.”