Topic: Faith Conversion Under The Muslim Dissolution Of Marriage Act, 1939

I. Introduction

• Section 4 of the Muslim Dissolution of Marriage Act,

• Under section 4 of this act, if both husband and wife renounce Islam, their marriage is not dissolved but remains intact.

  • In the case of a Muslim Husband

If a Muslim husband renounces Islam, his marriage with his Muslim wife stands dissolved ipso facto.

  • In the case of a Muslim Woman

If a married Muslim woman renounces Islam, her conversion to another faith shall not by itself operate to dissolve her marriage.

  • Provided that after her conversion to another religion the woman shall be entitled to get a divorce on the grounds mentioned under section 2 of this act.
  • Provided that this section will not apply to such a woman who converted to Islam from some other religion but re-embraces her former faith.

II. Effects of Apostasy/ Faith Conversion

  • If a Muslim woman who converts to another faith remarries without dissolution of marriage she can be prosecuted for bigamy.
  • It is to be noted that a husband's conversion to another religion is not a ground for a Muslim woman to seek divorce.
  • Before the enactment of this act, conversion by any of the one spouse resulted in the automatic dissolution of marriage.
  • Conversions by Muslims is forbidden as per many Sharia law interpretations and such converts are called apostates.
  • In some nations, conversion to another faith is considered a sin and can be punishable with death. For example, countries like Iran & Saudi Arabia.

III. CASE REFERENCE

A) MUNNAVAR-UL-ISLAM v. RISHU ARORA: In this case, the wife at the time of marriage converted to Islam but re-embraced her original faith I.e. Hinduism. Hence, her marriage stood dissolved. Hence her case attracted the provisions of section 4 of this act.

B) ABDUL GHANNI v. AZIZUL HAQ: In this case, both the husband and wife were Muslims but the husband converted to Christianity. However, he again re-embraced Islam but the wife before the expiry of Iddat remarried another man. The husband filed a case against his ex-wife, her father & her new husband for bigamy u/s. 494. It was held that no offence has been made.
 

 

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JINALI SHAH Online
on 28 April 2021
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