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Rights of a Wife in the Case of Conversion to Islam under Family Law in Malaysia

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Abstract This article focuses on the issues of conversion to Islam of one party to a non-Muslim marriage. In Malaysia, some legal problems need to be addressed, particularly concerning the rights of a wife to the ancillary claims after dissolution of the marriage such as maintenance, matrimonial property and custody. These issues have been discussed by the Malaysian courts in their judgments when they preside over cases involving conversion to Islam. Among the issues that have been raised is whether a non-Muslim wife is entitled to maintenance after her husband has converted to Islam and, if she is still entitled, for how long. Other problems concern which party shall be entitled to custody of any children as well as the legal status of the marriage. All these issues need to be discussed further as to whether amendment of the existing relevant law is necessary. This article analyses the legal provisions and the cases that have been decided by the Malaysian courts on conversion to Islam.

Affiliations: 1: Ahmad Ibrahim Kulliyyah of Laws, International Islamic University Malaysia Kuala Lumpur Malaysia

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