Recent Scholarship: Journal Issue on Unregistered Marriages

An upcoming special issue of the Oxford Journal of Law and Religion focuses on unregistered Muslim marriages, which was also the topic of a recent SHARIAsource roundtable. The articles reiterate that one of the main challenges with unregistered marriages is that there are certain benefits and state protections that are only available to legally recognized spouses. The articles address legal and cultural issues in five Muslim-minority states (England and Wales, Italy, Malta, and Finland) and one Muslim-majority state (Tunisia).

Legitimizing a Muslim Marriage in Malta: Navigating Legal and Normative Structures

This article explores the strategies adopted by Muslim and Catholic spouses in celebrating and legitimizing unregistered Muslim marriages in Malta.

Modern Traditions in Muslim Marriage Practices, Exploring English Narratives

This article uses the concept of liminality to argue that these relationships may in fact indicate signs of integration, not isolation. Liminality is employed here to signify a process of transition from one set of cultural norms to another, and unregistered religious-only marriages in this theoretical framework represent a transition from state recognized unions, towards the widely accepted cultural norm of cohabitation.

Between ‘Official’ and ‘Unofficial’: Discourses and Practices of Muslim Marriage Conclusion in Finland

Drawing on interview data from imams and their assistants in eight Helsinki-based mosques, state officials at the local registration office, and selected Muslim women and men, this article analyzes how ‘marriage’ as a civil and religious institution is framed and how the legality of marriage is constructed in these discourses.

The Legal Treatment of Islamic Marriage Ceremonies

This article analyzes the scope for entering into a legally binding religious marriage or combining civil and religious elements, the consequences for the parties if the marriage does not comply with the law, and the offenses that may be committed by officiants in such cases. Against this background, it goes on to consider a number of options for reform.

Law and Social Change in Tunisia: The Case of Unregistered Marriage

This article examines the application of Tunisia’s law on marriage registration by judges and lay people between independence and 2011 in order to understand to what extent this law was effective in bringing about social change in the field of marriage registration.

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