The Application of Islamic Family Law in the Philippines

There’s an interesting article published in the Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs, entitled: The Legal Impediments to the Application of Islamic Family Law in the Philippines. The abstract of the article reads:

This study examines the legal impediments to the application of Islamic Family Law in the Philippines. It is carried out by critically analyzing the legal effects of the secular principles, the Constitution and other laws of the state towards the enforcement of Islamic family law in the Philippines. This research establishes that the Islamic family law in the Philippines is part and parcel of the Philippine secular laws, the enforcement of which is not a consideration of the religious beliefs of the Filipino Muslims, but rather of their cultural traditions. The religious characteristics of Islamic family law are not implemented in the country. The Shari’ah court in the country is an integral part of the Philippine judicial system, yet deprived of the authority to enforce religious rulings or to administer Islamic religious institutions. A woman or a non-Muslim is not legally disqualified for appointment as judge in the Shari’ah court. The decision of the Shari’ah court can be appealed to the Supreme Court of the Philippines, whose decision may possibly deviate from the basic teachings of the Shari’ah. Whether such a decision has deviated from the basic teachings of the Shari’ah or not, it will still become part of the Muslim legal system in the country. These are among the legal impediments, restrictions, conflicts and contradictions of enforcing the Islamic family law in a secular polity.

The link to this Journal is here (the link contains just the quoted abstract). Any thoughts?

44 comments

  1. Good day atty. I need an advice on my current situation I’m married We are separated but not in legal way… We have son We don’t have regular communication with him embraced I found peace..I met a single man with good character he help me in terms of financial and moral but i am afraid because my husband is now claiming that we are family.and everytime he was angry he was violent I want to file annulment for my husband but I don’t have money enough..my salary is enough to support my family can u advise me what the proper way to do?

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  2. good day attorney…. can i ask…? im christian before and i got married to a christian guy through civil wedding.. and upon embracing the islam… i am aware that i cant be married to a kafir(non muslim).. so in islamic religion,he is not my husband anymore… but in phil. law,we are legally married… the question is, can i divorce him through sharia law? is it acceptable in phil law? coz they consider a sharia law as a law of muslim people..
    and we are already separated before i converted islam.
    i hope for your response and help me this kind of matter…
    thank you…. have a nice day….

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    1. Salam,
      1. Your marriage is under Civil rites, which means it can only be dissolved by filing a petition of annulment , or getting a judicial decree, declaring it null and void ab initio, same case, it is only by way of petition to the REGULAR COURTS;
      2. Claiming that you are no longer married to your husband because of your conversion is not proper, marriage is a bind which can only be declared dissolved by proper courts, both regular and shariah courts;
      3. Besides, muslim women, which you are now because of your conversion cannot file a divorce to a non-muslim husband, aside from the fact that your marriage is under Civil rites;
      4. The only way for your marriage to be dissolved is … yes there is a way, but this is given only through legal counselling…if you interested, kindly ask the moderator for my email add, for i believe i cannot post it here..

      Certified Shariah Counselor

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      1. I need legal advice regarding my marriage with a christian man. We have separated for about 3 years now. I have converted to Islam and married a Muslim man under the shariah court of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. I would like to know the legal civil and shariah ways in where I could seek the dissolution of my previous civil marriage. I am willing to pay for legal advice. I can send the money through bank transfer and the communication would have to be through email or internet calls as I am currently here in Saudi Arabia. I hope for your urgent response. Thank you.

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      2. good pm sir/mam…
        my concern is about my marriage status. im married to christian man and noW separated for 3 years. i Worked in saudi and met my boyfriend muslim man, We are planning to get married next month here in philippines because he Will come here,Will my christian marriage be null and void? Where here in manila me and my boyfriend can go to be married? thank u

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    2. Aisha, according to Article 180 of Presidential Decree 1083 “the crime of bigamy shall not apply to a person married under Muslim law in the Philippines” therefore your marriage is valid. If your previous husband also wants to remarry another person he can revoke his Philippine Citizenship and acquire another citizenship so that he can file divorce abroad and submit it to NSO because amended Article 26 of Executive Order Number 227 states that “Where a marriage between a Filipino citizen and a foreigner is validly celebrated and a divorce is thereafter validly obtained abroad by the alien spouse capacitating him or her to remarry, the Filipino spouses shall have capacity to remarry under Philippine law.”

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  3. kasal kami ng asawa ko under Shariah Law,,may 1 kami anak na babae…..under custody ng asawa ko…6 yrs old now…gusto ko po sy divorce kasi may kinakasama sy bago girl habang nagwowork ako dto K.S.A……pwd po ba ako mg file ng divorce dto sa Philippine embassy ng,,riyadh K.S.A? thank u po..

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    1. Salam, you can only file your petition for divorce were the marriage was registered, in your case, its not in KSA but here in the Philippines…you can also try talking to your husband to have a mutual mubaraat (divorce) this is the cheapest way to get your divorce, otherwise you will shoulder the expenses of filing a petition.

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    2. maryamJ, you can go to a Sharia Court in KSA and file a petition for “divorce by ila” which means your husband didn’t touch you in bed for a period of not less than 4 months. After the shariah court finalizes your divorce paper, you send a copy of it to the Philippine Embassy.

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  4. good day attorney…. can i ask…? im christian before and i got married to a christian guy through civil wedding.. and upon embracing the islam… i am aware that i cant be married to a kafir(non muslim).. so in islamic religion,he is not my husband anymore… but in phil. law,we are legally married… the question is, can i divorce him through sharia law? is it acceptable in phil law? coz they consider a sharia law as a law of muslim people..
    and we are already separated before i converted islam.
    i hope for your response and help me this kind of matter…
    thank you…. have a nice day….

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  5. Salam Anty, can I file a harassment case to my husband 1st wife who keeps on harassing me from time to time for she cannot accept me as my husband’s legal 2nd wife which is allowed in Islam. JAZAKALLAH Khair…

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  6. Salam Atty, can I file a harassment case to my husband 1st wife who keeps on harassing me from time to time for she cannot accept me as my husband’s legal 2nd wife which is allowed in Islam. JAZAKALLAH Khair…

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  7. I was married in 2006 and was abandoned by my husband in 2010. I filed an annulment (due to his psychological incapacity) in 2011 but since it was too expensive, I had to forego my case. I want to marry my boyfriend (a foreinger) but my civil status is what’s keeping me for making my domestic partnership legal. Reading about the sharia law granting divorce, I plan to convert to Islam. Please help enlighten me on my next legal steps.

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  8. Atty gd eve..im here in abroad working as seaman and i had so many cases filed by my ex wife and we got married in christian rites but i was converted in muslim when we are separated alrdy. And to close the case i alrdu given her all my properties in order to support my 2minor kids. My question is can i file a divorce in sharia court so that my previous marriage will be null and void. Pls send me an answer thru email cz i cant work properly here. Thanks atty.

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    1. gerry, you can divorce your wife in the sharia court because it is stated in Presidential decree 1083 Article 178. Effect of conversion to Islam on marriage. The conversion of non-Muslim spouses to Islam shall have the legal effect of ratifying their marriage as if the same had been performed in accordance with the provisions of this Code or Muslim law, provided that there is no legal impediment to the marriage under Muslim law.” Also your marriage to your ex wife was done under religious marriage which can be dissolved under that article.

      You can divorce her on the ground of ila if you hadn’t touch her in bed for not less than 4 months:

      Article 47. Divorce by Ila. Where a husband makes a vow to abstain from any carnal relations (ila) with his wife and keeps such ila for a period of not less than four months, she may be granted a decree of divorce by the court after due notice and hearing.

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  9. Salam, i’m married but i don’t have any paper’s from Shariah. Only from Imaam. Atty can we get a Shariah papers in any Shariah Court dito sa Pilipinas? Anong requirements po Atty.? paki sent nalng po sa email address ko.. Salamat Atty. Assalamu Alaikum

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  10. hello atty. same an case ko. kasal kami sa huwes at simbahang katoliko then naghiwalay kami but not legally. sabi ng husband ko nagpaconvert daw sya sa muslim at binigay nya name nya sa muslim (which i forgot)at pinakasalan nya ang babae na may asawa at mga anak din at kasal din ang babae sa asawa nya (not with my husband) sa katoliko at may 3 anak ang babae sa asawa nya bao pa sila napakasal sa muslim ng asawa ko.. kulang n kulang ang financial support nya sa amin. nagpakasal sya at nagpaconvert sa muslim pero kumakain sya ng lecon baboy at nakita namin yun. ano po magagawa ko laban sa kanila at parama rin maayos ang allotment sa amin ng mg a anak ko.

    thank you

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    1. bhe, You can fly to the nearest Sharia court in Mindanao and file a case of divorce under Presidential Decree 1083 Article 52. Divorce by faskh. The court may, upon petition of the wife, decree a divorce by faskh on any of the following grounds :

      (a) Neglect or failure of the husband to provide support for the family for at least six consecutive months;

      After the divorce, you can file for child support because it is stated under Article 54. Effects of irrevocable talaq or faskh. A talaq or faskh, as soon as it becomes irrevocable, shall have the following effects:

      (e) The husband shall not be discharged from his obligation to give support in accordance with Article 67

      Article 67. Support for wife and infant.

      (1) The wife shall be entitled to support during the marriage. In cases of divorce, (talaq), her right shall be extended up to the expiration of the ‘idda. However, in case the wife is pregnant at the time of the separation, she shall be entitled to support until delivery.

      (2) Any divorced nursing mother who continues to breastfeed her child for two years shall be entitled to support until the time of weaning.

      Article 68. Support between ascendants and descendants. The ascendants and descendants shall be obliged to support each other in the order in which they are called to succeed by intestacy the person who has a right to claim support.

      Article 69. Payment.

      (1) The obligation to support shall be demandable from the time the recipient needs it for maintenance, but it shall not be paid except from the date it is extrajudicially demanded.

      (2) Payment shall be made daily, weekly or monthly in advance, and when the recipient dies, his heirs shall not be obliged to return what he had received in advance.

      (3) If the recipient is the wife, the rule established in the foregoing paragraph shall apply even though the marriage is dissolved.

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  11. Goodevening attorney.. Makitanong ako sir Tungkol sa situation ko. Kasal po ako sa isang muslim. ngtratrabho sya sa saudi until now. palagi kming hindi magkakasundo, lagi poh kami ng aaway at minumura mura nya poh ako sa tuwing mag aaway kami. hindi ko na kaya ang ugali nya attorney at kulang din siya sa financial needs. Wala pa kming anak. Ang tanong ko sir kung pwd ba ako mag file ng divorce dito sa pilipinas kht na nsa abroas poh ung asawa ko. Sana mo matulungan nyu poh ako sa problma ko. Salamat attorney.

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  12. attorney good pm po… may asawa po ako dati pero hiwalay na po kmi ng 5yrs tapos may kinakasama po ako ngayon may 1 na po kming anak pwede ko po b syang pkasalan under islamic affair khit po kasal kmi nung una kung asawa sa civil… balik islam po ako sana po mabigyan nyo po ako ng advice maraming salamat po.

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