Islamic Attitude to Divorce

Definition of Divorce
Divorce is a word used for the cessation of a marriage contract. There are different ways of bringing a marriage contract to an end. Some are lawful, some are not. Divorce has some implications, obligations and rights. Islam has a laid down procedure for divorce.
In Islam, marriage is an age-long contract between the husband and the wife. Islam encourages spouses to live together in harmony and prevent separation or divorce. Allah describes a marriage contract as a strong covenant Q 4:21. However, in cases reconciliation of parties to a marriage contract is impossible, Islam, reluctantly, permits divorce.
Teachings against Divorce in the Qur'an and the Hadith
  1. The Prophet said ‘of all things lawful, divorce is the most hateful to Allah’ (Abu Dawud 13:3).
  2. The Qur'an 4:18 states.. ‘And live with them (wives) honourably. If you dislike, then, it may be that you dislike a thing and Allah brings through it a great deal of good. 
Divorce as a Last Resort
  • If all efforts to live harmoniously as husband and wife fail, Allah allows divorce through a laid down procedure.
  • The Qur’an states that‘But if they separate (divorce) Allah will provide abundance for every one of them from His bounty, and Allah is ever All-Sufficient, All-wise’ (Qur’an 4:130).
Evils of divorce include:
  1. Enmity. 
  2. Poor upbringing of children. 
  3. Displeasure of Allah. 
  4. Sadness to one or both parties. 
  5. Weakening of family ties. 
  6. The wife’s beauty might have been reduced. 
  7. Break of covenant.
Implications of Islamic Teachings on Divorce

  1. Marriage should be a source of happiness and love and should be made so.  
  2. Islam provides a means of reconciliation between spouses to avoid divorce. 
  3. If living together in happiness and love is not possible, peaceful divorce is allowed in Islam. 
  4. There are laid down procedures for a divorce that is unavoidable. 
Lessons from Islamic Attitude to Divorce

  1. Islam is realistic to recognize that it is possible for
    Couples not to be able to reconcile and live together. 
  2. Islam provides rules and regulations to guide rights
    and duties of husbands and wives, the violation
    of which may lead to divorce. 
  3. Divorce is not the end of life to either or both of the husband and the wife. 
  4. Divorce has numerous disadvantages and so should, as much as humanly Possible be avoided.

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