This article deals with intestate succession against the background of the complex Islamic legal aspects of faskh and talaq as forms of divorce. It elaborates on the divergent views held by Islamic scholars and explains the foundational principles of Islamic law. The article offers a new perspective on the ground-breaking case of Hassam v Jacobs and sheds light on its surrounding circumstances and factual background in order to indicate that the Cape High Court may have unnecessarily pronounced on the recognition of polygynous Muslim marriages, an issue which in fact may not have been before the court. The article also examines how the Islamic law of divorce is practically administered by Islamic organisations within Cape Town. Practical recommendations are offered for dealing with the complexities of recognising and administering aspects of Islamic law in secular courts and the interaction with Islamic bodies administering Muslim personal law.