Rafed English

Conciliation is Best

The prevalence of divorce in the latter half of this century 81 is attributable to a number of reasons including :

1. A short sighted and arbitrary way of choosing a partner for life because of emotions and the like.

2. A tendency towards over expectation by one partner of the other and an excess of idealising.

3. The pressure of man made laws limiting real freedoms, opportunities for work, travel and obtaining free goods and so on.

4. The spread of exhibitionism, social mingling, licence and dissipation, whereby a man can find someone apparently more beautiful than his wife and a woman can find a man more preferable than her husband.

5. The decline of the restraint promoted by religion and morals and a moving away from the Islamic way.

However, this notwithstanding, it is imperative that marital problems be solved without resort to divorce, for divorce is described as being the most detestable of all that God has made lawful.

The emissary of God has said: 'There is no permissible thing more beloved in the sight of God than marriage, nor is there any permissible thing more detestable in the sight of God than divorce' 82.

Imam Al-Sadiq has said: 'God loves the house in which there is matrimony and hates the house in which there is divorce for there is nothing more detestable in the sight of God than divorce' 83.

In another tradition from Imam Al-Sadiq he commands: 'Marry and do not divorce for the heavenly throne verily shakes as a consequence of divorce' 84.

Why then has God not outlawed divorce altogether?

The answer is that the home may have become an unbearable hell on earth. Alternatively, many things may add up to make reconciliation impossible.

In the case of the Christian church when it forbade divorce, millions of men and women remained partner less, after finding their natures incompatible. Hence corruption and licence and perversity flourished as each partner found, in the air of poisonous freedoms promulgated by the West, all manner of means to prostitution and adultery put in front of them while the media and advertising egg them on.

There is no doubt that if there were present in society institutions dedicated to conciliation and trained conciliators together with charitable bodies, these problems which cause damage to the family, harm the children and come between relatives and at times end up in murder and suicide would certainly reduce.

Certain divorce lawyers who do not heed God and do not experience any barrier from government or society can exploit the will of one of the partners to separate. He then fills his coffers at the expense of religion, conscience and morals. If he were to heed God however he would make haste to resolve matters between them, as in the Qur'anic verse: 'Conciliation is best' 86.

81 The instance of divorce in the Islamic world has shown an unprecedented rise. In Kuwait there is one divorce for every three marriages, 29% of which take place within the first year of marriage, and 67% take place within the first five years of marriage. In Egypt there are 4 million divorced women, .The rate of divorce has risen in recent years to 25%, and the rate of cancelled engagements has risen to 15% while the rate of marriage has fallen to 20%.

82 Supplement to Shi'a Guide; Volume 3; Page 2.

83 Shi'a Guide; Volume 15; Page 267.

84 Shi'a Guide; Volume 15; Page 267.

86 The Holy Qur'an: Women(4):128.

Adapted from the book; "The Family" by: "Imam Muhammad Shirazi"

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