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08 March, 2005

The un-smooth course of true love

Lunch at The One with Jumeirah Jill delivers a tale of red tape and legal woes over the transfer of a marriage certificate.

Jill, an English lady, has been married under British law to her husband, a subcon muslim, for the past quarter of a century. Recently the couple wanted to transfer their UK marriage certificate to Sharia law. This took nine separate visits to the courts - including one on Christmas morning - before they eventually saw a judge for the final approval. "Where are the witnesses?" the dishdash demanded. The couple were bewildered. "I need the presence of the witnesses to your first marriage to make this transfer."

It was pointed out that given the 25-year-gap, all the witnesses were at best thousands of miles away, at worst deceased.

"I also need your father or guardian's consent," the judge ordered.

It was pointed out that given Jill's vintage of nearly three score years, fathers, grandfathers and uncles were regrettably no longer available.

"OK, take this to the clerk to stamp." The judge dismissed them.

Relieved, Jill and her husband visited the clerk to get their new certificate. A shock was in store. "I am very sorry," the clerk apologised, "but the judge has refused the transfer." The couple were bewildered. "It says here a problem about witnesses," the clerk continued. "Were you not able to produce them?" The explanation of distance and death was made.

"But why did you not just bring any people?" the clerk asked. "You should have just brought any people, and said they were the witnesses."



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