Divorce - Reasons and Solutions
Munira Ezzeldine & Omar Ezzeldine, July 15, 2007
Four Major Reasons for divorce
1. Criticism – attacking personality and character.
e.g. instead of stating, “Could you take out the trash”, the spouse states, “You didn’t take that trash out, such an irresponsible person.” This is found more among women than men.
2. Contentment – this is one step above criticism.
e.g. rolling one’s eyes or humor to tear down the person in the presence of others.
3. Defensiveness – to get out of the relationship.
4. Stone walling – simply refusing to respond; just disengage.
e.g. not my problem, let it go attitude. This attitude is predominantly found in men.
Communication between the spouses is the key factor to solution. It requires a greater level of commitment.
Excerpts from Sunday lecture addressed by Munira Ezzeldine author of "Before the Wedding: 150 Questions for Muslims to Ask Before Getting Married" at Islamic Center of Southern California on July 15, 2007.
Different Perspectives on Divorce
Divorce is a reality and is often debated. Muslims living in West have the option to divorce and no longer considered taboo at least here in United States. The other factor includes the throw-away culture that doesn’t impact spiritually and physically something like a pre-owned vehicle.
Dealing with those who are already divorced
The matter that dealing with that affected person is personal. When the Companions asked the Prophet (Pbuh), why such and such person got divorced, the Prophet’s reply was better not speak about that. Speaking negatively about that person will have a negative impact and we should allow that person to have a positive outlook to move on with his future.
Dealing with those who are at the brink of getting divorced
Provide idea of therapy and counseling, especially with those who is a certified counselor in marital/family relations. The Muslim community lacks in certified professional in this field and effort should be made to train the Imams who are often approached by the people who are affected in the community.
Therapy is great and will help solve some of the issues that are hurting one's marriage.
Dealing with those who are married
According to the research done by the University of Missouri.
1. Each person must be a giving person
2. Both are spiritually strong
3. Both are independent thinkers – have own values & goals
4. Committed to relationship
5. Good communicators
6. Able to show appreciation
7. Both have positive outlook
8. Responsive to others
9. Respectful to others and
Tips for Happy Marriage
1. Taqwa – God consciousness.
2. Anger – One should control the anger; antidote is humor.
Abu Hurayrah, may Allah be pleased with him, reported that a man said to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), "Advise me." He said, "Do not become angry." The man repeated his request several times, and each time the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) told him, "Do not become angry." (Reported by al-Bukhaari, Fath al-Bari, 10/456)
3. Able to resolve conflict.
It is reported in one of the hadiths that two rewards will be granted to that person who resolves conflict even though the spouse is wrong otherwise one reward will still be granted to that person for resolving the conflict.
4. Never shout at each other.
Luqman the wise advised his son, "And lower your voice. Verily the harshest of all voices is the voice (braying] of an ass!!" [Quran 31:19]
5. When criticize do it lovingly.
6. Never bring up the past mistakes.
7. Take time for family.
8. Never go to sleep with an argument unsettled. In other words, stay awake and fight - Just a humor!
9. At least once a day express gratitude to your spouse.
Both spouses should be kept in the loop because everyday both learn something new and keep changing especially due to external events and both should make every effort to remain on the same page.
10. Have done something wrong, seek forgiveness.
Then learnt Adam from his Lord words of inspiration, and his Lord turned towards him; for He is Oft-returning, Most Merciful. [Quran 2:37]
Excerpts from Sunday lecture addressed by Omar Ezzeldine, Assistant Principal of Tustin High School at Islamic Center of Southern California on July 15, 2007.