Divorce - IV
- :Shahid Murtaza Mutahhari
It is evident from the discussion so far made that Islam is opposed to divorce and the dissolution of family life. It has taken every moral and social step to save it from the danger of dissolution, but it has not resorted to compulsion and has not used the force of law. It is opposed to the use of legal force for preventing man from divorcing his wife and to constrain woman to continue to live with her husband. Islam considers such steps to be unsuited to the position of woman in the family, for sentiments and emotions are the cornerstone of family life.
It is woman who receives the warmth of the tender feelings of her husband and passes them on to her children. If the husband loses interest in his wife, the domestic atmosphere becomes cold and dingy. Even woman's motherly feelings towards her children largely depend upon her husband's attitude to her. According to an eminent psychologist, motherly affection is not an instinct in the sense that it is not subject to increase or decrease. The love and consideration which a man shows to his wife has a considerable impact on her motherly feelings.
In short, woman is to be inspired by man's sentiments and tender feelings to be able to extend her feelings to her children.
Man can be compared to a mountain, woman to a spring and children to plants. The spring must receive rain from the mountain and absorb it to be able to put it out in the form of pure life-giving water for the irrigation of flowers and plants. If rain does not fall on the mountain or it is not absorbed by the earth the spring will become dry and the plants will wither.
Just as rain is vital for the fertility of the soil, and for the thriving of vegetable life, the sentiments and feelings of man towards his wife are vital to the prosperity and happy life of the children as well as for their mother.
When the feelings and sentiments of the husband are so important for the success of family life, how can the force of law be used as a weapon against him?
Islam is strongly opposed to the ignoble action of those who divorce their old wives to have new ones. But, in the opinion of Islam, it is no remedy to force an unchivalrous man to keep his wife against his will. Such an action is not in keeping with the natural law of family life.
If the woman tries to return to the house of her husband by force of law and with the help of the executive authority, her occupation of the house will be tantamount to a military occupation. In such a case she cannot become the lady of the household, nor can she become the sentimental link between her husband and her children. She also cannot satisfy her own emotional need for love and attention.
Islam has taken steps to eliminate cases of divorce, but, as a law-giver, it does not like to force the woman, who is the centre of the family system, to live with an unchivalrous man who does not want her.
The action taken by Islam is just the opposite of what the West has done and is doing. Islam fights against the factors which lead to faithlessness and licentiousness, but it is not willing to force woman to live with a faithless husband. In contrast, the West encourages the factors leading to faithlessness and, at the same time, wants to force the woman to continue to live with a faithless and licentious husband.
Islam has utilised all its efforts to keep alive the spirit of humanity and chivalry, and though it does not force an unchivalrous man to keep his wife, it has succeeded practically in reducing the cases of unchivalrous divorce to a considerable extent. Others do not pay attention to these points and seek happiness by force and at the point of a bayonet and they have seldom succeeded.
Apart from the cases of divorce, which take place in the West on the demand of women because of incompatibility and, as described by Newsweek, love of pleasure, the number of cases, which have occurred there and are occurring there and are occurring because of the licentiousness of men, is far higher than the number of similar cases in the East.
Adapted from the book: "Woman and Her Rights" by: "Shahid Murtaza Mutahhari
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