Polygamy Matters Campaign

The First Things About Polygamy in the UK

Polygamy and the Law                                                       

In order for any marriage to be recognised as legally valid in the UK the marriage must be:

  • monogamous (one partner)
  • carried out in accordance with the legislation requirements

Polygamy is ILLEGAL in the UK unless…

For a polygamous marriage to be considered valid in the UK, the parties must be:

  • based in a country where polygamous marriage is permitted
  • and must have entered into the marriage in a country, which permits polygamy

However there is evidence that Muslims are entering into polygamous marriages, in the UK, through religious ceremonies called ‘niqha’s’ that are not registered by the state and are not recognised under UK law.

Some women, in the UK, do not realise they are entering into a polygamous marriage or they don’t feel they have a choice. In addition all polygamous marriages that take place in the UK are done through the niqha ceremony, which, unbeknown to many Muslim women, isn’t recognised under UK law. Therefore if the marriage breaks down, the woman isn’t protected by the law in the same way as a civil monogamous marriage couple is.

Contact Halaleh Taheri (Director at MEWSo) on 07958145666 or office@mewso.org for more information and/ or if you have client’s in a polygamous marriage needing support.



Polygamy in Depth