The muslim personal law (shariat) application act


An Act to make provision for the application of the Personal Law (Shariat) to Muslims in India

Whereas it is expedient to make provision for the application of the Muslim Personal Law (Shariat) to Muslims in India

It is hereby enacted as follows:


1. (1) This Act may be called MUSLIM PERSONAL LAW (SHARIAT) ACT, 1937.

(2) It extends to the whole of India excluding the North West Frontier Province (now in Pakistan).

2. Application of Personal (Law to Muslims):

Notwithstanding any custom or usage to the contrary, in all questions (save question relating to agricultural land) regarding intestate succession, special property of females, including personal property inherited or obtained under contract or gift or any other provision of Personal Law, marriage, dissolution of marriage including talaq, ila, zihar, lian, khula and mubaraat, maintenance, dower, guardianship, gifts, trusts and trust properties and wakfs (other than charities and charitable institutions and charitable and religious endowments), the rule of decision in cases where the parties are Muslims shall be the Muslim Personal Law (Shariat).


3. Power to make a declaration:

(1) Any person who satisfies the prescribed authority:

(а) That he is a Muslim, and

(b) That he is competent to contract within the meaning of Section 11 of the Indian Contract Act, 1872 and


(c) That he is a resident of a province of India, may by declaration in the prescribed form and filed before the prescribed authority, declare that he desires to obtain the benefit of the provision of this section, and thereafter the provision of Section 2 shall apply to the decadents’ and all his minor children and their descendants as if in addition to the matters enumerated therein adoption, will and legacies were also specified.

(2) Where the prescribed authority refuses to accept a declaration under sub section 1, the person desiring to make the same may appeal to such an officer as the provincial government may, by general or special order, appoint in this, and such officer may if he
is satisfied that the appellant is entitled to make the declaration, order the prescribed authority to accept the same.

4. Rule Making Power:

(1) The Provincial Government may make rules to carry into effect the purposes of this Act.


(2) In particular and without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing powers, such rules may provide for all or any of the following matters, namely:

(а) For prescribing the authority before whom and the form in which declarations under this Act shall be made.

(b) For prescribing the fees to be paid for the filing of declaration and for the attendance at private residence of any person in discharge of his duties under this Act; and for prescribing the time at which such fees shall be payable and the manner in which they shall be levied.

(3) Rules made under the provisions of this section shall be published in the Official Gazette and shall thereupon have effect as if enacted in this Act.


5. Dissolution of Marriages by Court in certain circumstances: (Repealed by Act VIII of 1939 – The Dissolution of Muslim Marriage Act 1939, Section 6.)

6. Repeals:

The under mentioned provisions of the Acts and Regulations, mentioned below shall be repealed in so far as they are inconsistent with the provisions of this Act. Viz.

1. Section 26 of the Bombay Regulations IV of 1827.

2. Section 16 of the Madras Civil Courts Act.

3. Omitted as per amendment in Act XVI of 1943 – Section 3(b).

4. Section 3 of the Oudh Laws Acts, 1872.

5. Section 5 of the Punjab Laws Act, 1872.

6. Section 5 of the Central Provinces Laws Act, 1875.

7. Section 4 of the Ajmer Laws Regulations, 1877.

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