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IL Muslim attorneyWhen you are facing a significant legal matter, whether it is a family law matter such as a divorce or a business dispute, you want to have an experienced attorney who understands your background and the specific cultural issues that may be affecting or influencing your case. While many lawyers and clients alike do not immediately think about the ways in which cultural or religious differences can impact a divorce case or a commercial law contract, it is important to consider how these differences can influence one or both parties and for everyone involved in the case to respect such cultural differences.

In particular, members of the Muslim community, especially with familial ties to India and Pakistan, tend to have different cultural understandings and practices than the ones that are more typical of Western societies. We want to say more about the importance of cultural awareness and respect in solving legal problems.

Preventing Cultural Bias in Legal Proceedings

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spousal support changes, Islamic divorce lawyer ChicagoStarting January 1, 2015, Illinois made significant changes to its laws regarding spousal maintenance. The formula for determining maintenance underwent significant alteration. This revives an ongoing debate among Muslim scholars and attorneys, however: a non-religious court may order spousal support, but it is generally considered to be haram amongst Islamic faithful. Divorce laws in the United States take precedence over religious laws, but within Islamic law itself, there is a growing trend to argue in favor of maintenance, under the Islamic principle of mut‘at-al-ṭalāq. It is possible for some to reconcile the two bodies of law.

Traditional Rationale

Generally, under traditional Islamic law, post-divorce maintenance was held to be haram because it was seen as an "additional" benefit to the wife. She was said to have “exhausted her share” during the marriage by being fed, clothed and sheltered by her husband. Support was permissible during the three-month religiously imposed waiting period (“‘iddat al-ṭalāq”) but not afterward.

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hire a lawyer when buying a house, Oak Brook real estate lawyer, Muslim law attorneyBuying or selling a home can be one of the major turning points in the life of a person or a family. However, the process can become extremely complex. Some believe that they can manage by themselves, but in truth, there are several aspects of home buying and selling that can cause real problems if not handled appropriately by a competent real estate legal professional.

Experience and Support

The main reason to hire a real estate attorney to help with your home sale or purchase is their experience. Real estate, unlike many other legal fields, is infinitely complex. It is not uncommon for a home buyer or seller to let their agent act on their behalf, only to discover they have missed some integral part of the purchase agreement--some covenant or restriction--that binds them to performance. If an unusual situation crops up, most laymen are not going to be familiar enough with the law to be able to successfully negotiate.

In addition, many find it a great help to have someone who knows the law acting on their behalf. While obviously, the significant majority of real estate agents are entirely legitimate, there are many who misrepresent themselves or their listings. Chicagoland real estate fraud is still, unfortunately, a thriving business. Real estate attorneys are trained to spot inconsistencies in purchase agreements and leases, and can be the difference between a successful move and a scam being rewarded.

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Posted on in Estate Planning
By Ausaf Farooqi, Esq.

muslim-prenuptial-agreementsPicture this scenario. You are about to invest between $50,000-$150,000 in a business venture. The business venture has about a 50% chance of failure. If the venture fails, the losses incurred will include the entire initial investment as well as possibly tens of thousands of dollars more in additional costs and legal fees. You can, however, protect yourself substantially from future costs, legal fees, and recoup part of your initial investments if you enter into a contract prior to the investment. The cost of that insurance would likely be between $2000-$3000, split between the two parties entering into the business venture.

Given the probability of failure and the potential sunken costs, it would be almost irresponsible to enter the business venture without entering into an initial contract to protect yourself and as much of your investment as possible. The reality is, however, that Muslims enter into such a venture nearly every day without contemplating how to protect themselves from the failure of that venture.

Marriage is difficult and expensive. For Muslims, there are often two wedding ceremonies – the Nikkah and its reception and the Walimah. Many of the different ethnic cultures among Muslims have additional wedding related ceremonies and practices. The average cost for these events range between $30,000 - $100,000.

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