A Muslim hospital consultant was told yesterday that he must pay his ex-wife maintenance even though under Islamic rules he believes he owes her nothing.
A judge told Dr Zaid Al-Saffar that he must follow ‘the rule in this country’ and share his money.
The Appeal Court decision means Dr Al-Saffar must pay £60,000 to his former wife, academic Hanan Al-Saffar.
The ruling sounded a warning to Muslim couples who believe their marriages are ordered according to sharia law and agree to be bound by Islamic courts.
Lord Justice Ward told Dr Al-Saffar: ‘The rule in this country is that you share and the starting point is equal division.
‘You came out of the marriage without having made your wife any substantial capital payment.’
He added: ‘Life is sometimes hard; do not be consumed with bitterness.’
But Dr Al-Saffar said after the case: ‘By playing the system and pretending to be a victim she got everything, which I think is totally unfair.
‘Family law in this country is biased against Muslim people.’
The consultant rheumatologist at Scarborough Hospital in North Yorkshire, who is also the head of the Islamic Society in the resort town, was married for eight years, and the couple had two children.