Rafed English


Some discords become very complicated and defy all solutions, and family-life becomes extremely intolerable. In such cases, only two alternatives remain 1. to leave the couple in the same condition, which in the words of the Qur'an is: "The torment of the Fire;"

2. to release them from the bond of marriage, so that each can find another suitable lifepartner. Common sense prefers the second alternative; and Islam has adopted the same.

Christianity prefers the first alternative, i. e., to compel the couple to remain as man and wife even if they intensely hate each other. It is based upon the following alleged words of Christ It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement. But I say unto you, that whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery: (Mathew, 5:31 -32).

Let human nature decide whether it is only the fornication which pollutes the matrimonial atmosphere ? Does not hot temper or flaunting each other's rights create equally intense discord?

Is not negligence in maintenance, disloyalty, desertion, or disobedience enough to turn the home into a Hell?

It is necessary here to emphasize in so many words the wisdom of divorce in many cases, as allowed by Islam. Suffice it to say that now even the followers of those religions which do not allow divorce are resorting to parliaments to establish "divorce" in their countries' legal systems, sometimes in face of fierce opposition from their churches and religions.

The Hindu religion does not recognize divorce; Hindus a few years ago made divorce a part of their legal system through the "Hindu Code Bill".

The Anglican church is opposed to divorce; Anglicans through an Act of Parliament (of which all the Bishops are members) have allowed them selves to be divorced by the courts. And here is an interesting side-light. The sovereign is the Head of the Anglican church; and as such is supposed to uphold the theory of illegality of divorce.

And the same sovereign, in his/her capacity of Head of State, signs the Acts of Parliament legalizing divorce.

Why could not King Edward VIII marry a divorcee, while at the same time hundreds of thousands of his subjects were getting divorce under his own authority? Does it mean that Christians have two sets of rules: one for great people, another for the common folk?

The Roman Catholic church also is fanatically opposed to divorce. But compelled by the hard facts of life they have found a method to dissolve the marriage, without calling it "divorce". If someone has the patience of `Job' (Ayyub) and the money of Qarun, he can obtain, after several years' pleading, a decree from the Vatican, declaring that the marriage was null and void from the very beginning.

Ingenious, is not it? The only difficulty is that it can be obtained by wealthy tycoons only. "In recent years, Pope Paul VI has streamlined the cumbersome process ... that could drag a case out for as long as twenty years. But despite the Vatican's attempts to limit legal fees, costs at the Rota remained high, sometimes running into thousand of dollars and making annulments available mainly to the prosperous." (Time, November 13, 1972)

And if the marriage was not a marriage from the beginning, what is the status of the children of that marriage? Are they also illegitimate? Italy, under pressure from the Vatican, had resisted the popular demand of legalizing the divorce. Now, there also, an Act has been passed and has become Law.

As soon as the act became law thousands of people applied for divorce, most of whom had been separated from their spouses for twenty or even thirty years.

So much suffering can be caused to humanity by such doctrines. And not only suffering but also encouragement for frustrated people to indulge in sins. Can a couple, separated for twenty or thirty years, remain chaste? Surely, they will find partners to satisfy their natural urges - unlawfully, of course.

Adopted from the book: "The Family Life of Islam" by: "Sayyid Saeed Akhtar Rizivi"

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