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Syariah Law

Selected matters pertaining to Muslim individuals in Singapore are heard in the Syariah Court of Singapore. Our lawyers are experienced in matters under the purview of the Syariah Court, which includes Muslim marriages, divorce, maintenance and custody of children.

Our lawyers have represented clients at both the Syariah Court as well as the Syariah Appeal Board. Our lawyers have acted for clients ranging from simple divorces to high-net-worth matters involving cross-border considerations.


Muslim Law Matters – Landmark Decisions that have impacted on practice of Muslim Law at the Syariah Court.

DZ v EA – [2021] 8 SSAR 241 – where the Appeal Board held that a written agreement made by the parties, even if not made in contemplation of divorce, on their various matrimonial properties should be taken into account by the Court if the parties’ subsequent conduct (on the ownership and payment) was fully consistent with the terms of the agreement.

EB (Intervener) v EC [2021] 8 SSAR 284 – the Appeal Board granted consent order on the variation of the matrimonial flat between the Wife and her father-in-law as the Intervener on behalf of the deceased Husband even though the Syariah Court had held that it had no jurisdiction to hear any application for or against the intervener with respect to the substantive variation of the order on the matrimonial flat.

CY v CZ [2020 ] 8 SSAR 38 – where the Appeal Board held, for the first time, that the structured approach in the Singapore Court of Appeal case of ANJ v ANK [ 2015] 4 SLR 1043 on the division of matrimonial assets could be applied in the Syariah Court of Singapore.

Lorraine Therese Maxim v Zein Cesar Majul in Originating Summons 45716 (unreported) 2014 – where the Syariah Court allowed the divorce of an American woman with a British man (neither of whom were domiciled in Singapore). This led to a significant amendment to the AMLA in 2017 by Parliament that for Syariah Court to have jurisdiction, at least one party must be a Singapore domicile or have habitually resident for at least 3 years preceding the filing of the summons.

AA v AB [2011] SSAR 120 – where the Appeal Board for the first time overturned an order of the Syariah Court on custody, care and control which had been based purely on the wishes of the children when interviewed. The Appeal Board issued directions on the weight to be given to the children’s wishes.

Zaini Ibrahim v Rafidah Rahman [2007] 3 SSAR 135 – where the Appeal Board accepted arguments that the concept of joint custody is not inconsistent with Muslim Law. This decision revolutionized custody orders at the Syariah Court.

Yeo Pei Chern v Seow Zheng Xin, Isa [2007] 4 SSAR 146 – where the Appeal Board had to consider the application of section 35(2) of the Administration of Muslim Law Act (AMLA) on the jurisdiction of Syariah Court where the validity of a marriage conducted in London was in dispute.