Just a little more
The courts' rulings, such as this one, are not recognised by the UK system, and these councils have no legal powers - although many of the women who claim they have been abused also go to the police.
The scholars' judgements, however, can carry moral and cultural weight by ending the divorce before God.
"If I went to an English court [my ex-husband] would say, 'Where is their right to decide about my life?' Now he can't say anything because the decision has been made using Sharia law, and we all believe in that," she explains.
Aleena - not her real name - says she wanted a divorce because her partner used to rape her on a regular basis. He was also a polygamist.
"When I contacted my nearest Sharia council for a divorce they pressured me into mediation, which I didn't want.
"It arranged the mediation with one of its local religious advisers. I had to visit this man alone at his home. He asked me very personal questions about my sex life.
"He said that polygamy was allowed. He said, 'Be patient, you have lasted 22 years, why do you want a divorce now?'"