DIRECTORATE OF SHARIA
In accordance to the constitution of the Republic of Uganda (1995) Art.129 (d) (1), the Marriage and Divorce of Mohammedan ACT CAP 252 of 1906 and the Uganda Muslim Supreme Council Constitution Article 6 of 2022 as amended. The directorate of Sharia handles the following; –
- Presiding over Islamic Marriages.
- Guidance and counseling in pre and post marital engagement etc.
- Adjudicating and presiding over Marital disputes, inheritance, succession and Guardianship and or custodianship of children.
- Presiding over new converts to Islam.
- Pronouncement of sighting of the eve of month of Ramadhan and Eid days
- Issuance of certificates of Islamic marriages and divorce
- Certifying issued Marriage documents.
To achieve the foregoing, the directorate of Sharia continues to maintain a warm working relationship with relevant government ministries, embassies, parastatal bodies, law enforcement agencies etc.
The directorate of sharia is headed by the director of Sharia Dr. Ziyad Swaleh Lubanga in acting capacity.
The Deputy Director of Sharia Sheikh Salim Musa Serujja Bbosa
The registrar of sharia Sheikh Twaibu Ali Mpanso and Mr. Bbosa Abubakar Kayima the office messenger.
With 2 volunteer staff i.e., Sheikh Saidi Musanyusa and Nakidde Asia
Below is the summary of the activities conducted by the Directorate of sharia;
As the directorate of Sharia, we do not engage directly into conducting the Nikah ceremony but we put up rules and guidelines to be followed by the intending couple. For instance;
- The parties must consent to the marriage. Both the groom and the bride are to consent to the marriage of their own free wills.
- The parties must be Muslims.
- Pre booking is made by the intending Couple or agent.
- Parents / Guardian to the bride must Consent to the marriage in writing.
- All parties / accompanying friends must observe Islamic dressing code, where conditions do not allow then they are advised to stay in vehicles or outside the Mosque.
- Observe the Mosque rules, cleanness and orders.
- Documents of blood test (HIV / AIDS), sickle cells must be given to the Imaam conducting the Nikah.
- Nikah fees; a prescribed fee must be paid by the intending couple towards the Nikah function as well as the Marriage Certificate which is supposed to be issued to the couple at the end of the function.
- For the purpose of record keeping; an Entry form (Form 1) must be issued and filled in by the intending couple for ease of reference.
- The intending couple must bring 3 Passport size photos (Matt Paper quality)
- The intending couple must bring photocopies of National ID or Passport
- The intending couple Must undergo a 2 -3 sessions of pre-marriage guidance and counseling in preparation to the Nikah.
- After the Nikah function, the couple is entitled to be issued with a Marriage Certificate by the Imaam who has conducted the Marriage. There after the Marriage must be registered with URSB as per the public law. And thereafter be forwarded to Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Embassy as it may seem necessary.
In Islam, a Divorce is not perceived as it is but rather in different forms namely;
- Talaka (Divorce) which is initiated by the husband and he has regulations and responsibilities to fulfill towards the wife he is intending to divorce. For example, he must give her a reasonable gift at the time of divorce.
- Khulu-u (Disengagement) This type is initiated by the wife who is also entitled to giving a ransom to the husband she is intending to divorce as per the Islamic law.
- Fasikhi Nika (Dissolution of Marriage) This is conducted when there is disharmony between spouses. When mutual good treatment is not possible, there should be an amicable parting. Further still this type of divorce is conducted when there is a valid reason for instance in case of incest; then that marriage is Null and Void so the Directorate of Sharia intervenes and dissolves it.
While conducting the divorce process, the Directorate of sharia undergoes the following procedures;
- Registering divorce case which involves filling in the Marital Dispute Form (Form II) by the petitioner where the following must be presented to this Directorate;
(i) A Marriage Certificate or any document confirming that they are married.
(ii) An application addressed to the Directorate of Sharia with explanation of the grounds of Divorce or Disengagement.
(iii) Their Identification either National ID or Passport.
(iv) Their bridal or any full photo
(v) The Disengagement or Divorce note.
- After fulfilling the above requirements by the Petitioner, the file is opened and then the Sharia Court summons the Respondent to respond to the allegations registered against him / her by the Petitioner. Powers of Attorney must be presented to this Court in case either of the two (Either Petitioner or Respondent) is unable to attend or living abroad. He / she must give powers of attorney to someone who is well versed with their differences to represent him / her.
- After a fair hearing and a cross examination from both sides, the Court may decide to invite relatives, friends or arbiters from both parties to come and intervene for the betterment and reconciliation of the couple where possible.
- After all the above procedures, the Sharia Court passes a final determination and decision then a judgment is entered.
- After the judgment is entered, the Court summons the parties involved and it is read out before them and then finally the Divorce papers are processed.
- It should be noted that the Divorce Certificate must be registered with URSB as per the public law. And thereafter be forwarded to Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Embassy as it may seem necessary
GUARDIANSHIP AND CUSTODIAN OF THE CHILDREN
Under this matter, the Sharia Court intervenes in two different ways;
(i) Children who are left behind by the mother / father after divorce, the Sharia Court gets in touch with concerned parties so that these children get their basic needs e.g shelter, medication, clothing, feeding and schooling etc.
(ii) Children who orphaned either by the death of their mother or father; the Directorate of Sharia works hand in hand with their guardians or next of kin to ensure that their property is safe guarded well until they are of age as per Qur’an Ch 4: 6. As it directs on the same.
Inheritance is considered as an integral part of Sharia law.
Muslims inherit from one another as stated in the Qur’an and Hadith. The heirs of a deceased Muslim’s wealth are determined in Sharia and apply to every Muslim. Inheritance of property in Islamic law comes only after the death of a person. Any child born into a Muslim family does not get his rights to property on his birth. If an heir lives even after the death the ancestor, he becomes a legal heir and is therefore entitled to a share in the property.
- When one of the beneficiaries of the demised person requests the Sharia Court to intervene into the distribution exercise or disputes on the deceased’s estate, the following procedure must be done;
- Filing in the Inheritance entry form for record purposes and ease of reference.
- A Death Certificate Must be presented.
- Giving the Highlights / Statements by the applicant
- Letters of administration if any be presented with the relevant documents confirming the same.
- Last will of the deceased if any be presented.
- Marriage certificate or any document confirming the marriage(s) of the deceased.
- Bridal photos and that of their children (Orphans) be presented to this court.
- Recommendation letter from Area Imam and that of area LCI is also a pre requisite in this case.
- Log Books, Land Titles and or Agreement confirming ownership of the property to be distributed among the beneficiaries.
- Identification of the deceased and that of widow (s) or widower either a National ID or Passport.
- Photo copy /copies of the related important documents.
- After fulfillment of the requirement, registering inheritance case, the Court summons all the beneficiaries to the deceased’s estate for confirmation of what was presented, particularly properties registered, the right beneficiaries to the deceased i.e., children of the deceased, widows to the deceased and discussing how and when the distribution exercise will be conducted.
- After all the above being fulfilled, a date is set to make inspection and valuation of the bequests on ground and recording their nature to study whether the deceased left debts or debtors and reliabilities / businesses etc.
- The Directorate of Sharia then Distributes the properties to their respective beneficiaries according to their shares in accordance to the Islamic law as well as distributing the shares to the rightful beneficiaries.
- Finally, a Distribution report is prepared and a date is set for the site allocation demarcations of the shares to respective beneficiaries as well as shares out of moveable assets/cash.
Pronouncement of sighting of the Crescent Moon on the eve of the holy month of Ramadhan and Eid days
The Directorate of Sharia is responsible for informing the public to watch out for the crescent as well as informing the entire Muslim fraternity the sighting of the crescent for either for the holy month of Ramadhan or the month of Shawal in preparation for Eid –el -Fitri day. On the same issue, Sharia is also responsible to announce the Arafa day as well as Eid Aduha Celebrations via all media houses countrywide.
Issuance of certificates of Islamic marriages and divorce
The Directorate of Sharia is responsible for issuance of Marriage Certificate booklets to different Imaams, County Sheikhs and District Kadhis throughout the entire country for easy of reference, coding and to do away of forgery and corruption embedded in the issuance of the same.
Certifying Marriage and Divorce Certificates/Engagements
The Directorate of Sharia is the overall department assigned with the duty and responsibility to certify the Islamic Marriage, Divorce Certificates or marriage engagements.
Different individuals, government organs or NGOs approach this Directorate to verify Marriage or Divorce Certificate in question is Valid and True for different purposes.
Individuals apply for verification of Marriage at times when a partner is dead. In this matter, through investigations are carried out after which verification is given out and recommendation on what action is given.
Back ground of the Directorate
The Directorate started in 1987 after the general elections of UMSC which brought in the late Sheikh Sa’ad Ibrahim Luwemba in the office of the Mufti of Uganda. The first Director of Sharia was Sheikh Ahmad Naswiibu Lubega who headed the directorate from 1987 up to 2002.
Sheikh Hussein Rajab Kakooza with his deputy Sheikh Yahya Ibrahim Kakungulu from 2003 up to 2014.
Sheikh Yahya Ibrahim with his deputy late Sheikh Abdul-Hayyi Mukiibi from 2014 up to 2020.
His Eminence, 2nd Deputy Mufti of Uganda Sheikh Muhammad Ali Waiswa who acted in the acting capacity as Director of Sharia from June, 2020 up to February, 2023.
Dr. Ziyad Swaleh Lubanga and is being deputized by Sheikh Salim Musa Bbosa since 1st March, 2023 to date.
Fact File of Director for Directorate of Sharia
DR. ZIYAD SWALEH LUBANGA, Ugandan nationality, born in Wakisi, Kyagwe, a resident of Walukuba, Menya close, Jinja city.
PhD holder at Islamic University in Uganda (IUIU), Faculty of Islamic Studies and Arabic Language, a Senior Lecturer since 2013 at same Department.
- The reality of Islamic legislation and its impact on human life, (Arabic language) printed in 2006 by Imam Muhammad bin Saudi Islamic University, Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
- Zakatul-Fitir (Luganda version) printed in 2017 by Husma Solution Litd.
- Zakatul-Fitir (English version) printed in 2017 by Husma Solution Litd.
- Zakatul-Maali simplified printed in 2021 by Husma Solution Litd.