Blaming women for divorce in the name of Islam?

Published: March 3, 2014
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The worst part is the divorcees out there reading his harsh and misguided words. People spend years of their lives blaming themselves for things they couldn’t control and marriages that couldn’t work out.

This article is in response to the very illuminating, thoroughly informative, thought-provoking essay by Ahad Kashif in The Express Tribune titled Pakistan and high divorce rates: The girl’s parents are to blame! 

The said article is littered with the ubiquitous problem in our society which is stuck in the throes of reconciliation between Islam and modernity.

Islam and modernity, you say?

How could this be?

This is a concept that eludes many of the citizens of our over-populous nation and they finally throw their hands up in the air, let out a dramatically long sigh and say,

“You know what? Not to be sexist or anything but I really don’t think women…”

And la la la… the conversation trails off to their cavemen thoughts on how women should stay at home, dream of their Prince Charming, dress nicely, look pretty and for the love of God, never gain that offensive ‘financial independence’. Because, you know, it leads to divorce and stuff.

I could literally go line-by-line as to how completely misapprehended the points expressed in that article were. But is there really a need? Are we seriously still trying to find some kind of scapegoat to blame all our marriage problems on? Yes, divorce sucks and it’s a horrible truth of our modern society but people should never forget that it is a necessary evil.

Sometimes marriage happens between the wrong people, for the wrong reasons, in the wrong environment. It cannot thrive. Sometimes it’s the husband who’s to blame, sometimes it’s the wife, sometimes it’s some third-party person. But it can happen due to a multitude of reasons; not, as Mr Kashif conveniently put it, due to the girl’s family and their ‘daughter-spoiling’ ways.

The author keeps dropping in quotes from Islamic text but I doubt he’s thoroughly been through them himself. There are many stories about divorce cases amongst the companions of the Prophet (pbuh), may Allah be pleased with them all, citing varying reasons for divorce – religion, incompatibility or even simply that they didn’t love each other. So where exactly does the author get off, boldly declaring divorce to be off-limits to all of us?

Furthermore, there is nothing, absolutely nothing, in Islam that prevents women from working; so how is something as major as divorce somehow a consequence of a woman’s desire to work? Completely skewed correlations, if you ask me.

The worst part is the divorcees out there reading his harsh and misguided words. People spend years of their lives blaming themselves for things they couldn’t control and marriages that couldn’t work out. I’m sure these people felt really uplifted and happy hearing a man – who says there’s no need for a marriage counsellor to figure out what’s wrong (excuse me while I snort in derision at that) – narrow down their entire harrowing divorce experience and the continuing after-effects of it, to one simplified, completely distorted version of the truth.

I would like to apologise to you all on behalf of that article and may Allah grant you the strength and support to finally achieve peace.

So, to all those ‘foolish’ girls out there getting beaten up, raped, emotionally abused and manipulated by your husbands, I am sorry your parents spoilt you into thinking that you could have something like respect and stuff from your life-partner. Because you know, that’s why your marriages are in trouble.

And to the boys out there – be nice to your wives and say a few good things about their cooking. But if they want to get out of the house for a job or something, you won’t be blamed for stopping them and curtailing their independence. I mean, they are stepping on your manly, macho pride, aren’t they?

I am really sorry someone wrote an article like that in this day and age. I guess we still have a long way to go. May Allah guide to us to what is right and keep close-minded, deluded thoughts out of our heads.

I can imagine Him looking down at us as we use His religion to make pointless conclusions of our own.

Abeer Shah

Abeer Shah

A fourth-year undergraduate student who loves to write, read sarcastic feminist blogs, and greet the world with that same sense of humor.

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • mohib khan

    This article depicts our society in the light of the infidels. Lets remember that Islam was the only religion which gave women the right to choose. It forbids adultery yes. But every society every religion does that.Why grudge that to Islam? Adultery is the worst crime a man or a woman can commit and it destroys the very fiber of the society. .Recommend

  • Umar

    I am a divorce’ and i’d say her 100% financial independence was one the main reason of divorce not to say it was all about woman its from both sidesRecommend

  • Hira Kamal

    Spot on! Thank you so much for this. Had been contemplating writing a retort to that horrendous blog myself, but I couldn’t have put it any better. Recommend

  • Alina Javed Siddiqui

    Finally! Someone took a stand for clearing things up >_>Recommend

  • AK

    I do agree to some points made around here, however, this is a typical piece that either sex would write about the opposite gender. Do remember, there are some men out there, who actually want their wives to pursue their aspirations be successful in their careers, and support them in every which way in achieving the same.

    Secondly, the last few paragraphs of the article clearly represents the one sided mentality of the writer.Recommend

  • Nida

    Thankyou thankyou thankyou Abeer for saying all that we had wanted to say after reading that sacrilegious article. I was seething till today but this retort of urs is just what was needed. Well written.Recommend

  • https://www.facebook.com/shail.arora.589 Shail Arora

    let the blog wars begin…Recommend

  • Hammurabi

    Reason for high divorce rate is that the girls have acquired education and are no more the sllaves of their husbands.Pakistani woman is not a western lady who would divorce her husband if he snores in sleep.They seek divorce when her ego is hurt by in laws and husband.She is cooperative most of the time.But the boys want Kareena in beauty and Masi Sakina in kitchen.Recommend

  • Sara W

    Awesome…..Very well written…esp this “So, to all those ‘foolish’ girls out there getting beaten up, raped, emotionally abused and manipulated by your husbands, I am sorry your parents spoilt you into thinking that you could have something like respect and stuff from your life-partner. Because you know, that’s why your marriages are in trouble” (Y)Recommend

  • Jawad Hassan

    I just come through both of articles, thank you abeer for writing up such a good article on this issue. I guess this is a good reply. well done :)Recommend

  • Umar

    this blog has nothing just a reply to Mr. Ahad’s article to which i am more attracted to. What was in that article that made her write such a penniless pieceRecommend

  • gp65

    This was a rebuttal to an earlier blog which said that women getting financial independence was the reason for increase in divorces. By no means did it imply that ALL men are as antiquated as the one who wrote that blog.Recommend

  • gp65

    Please read again. There isn’t one negative word in this article about Islam.
    Also you should stop thinking of all non-Muslims as ‘infidels’. We no longer live in a Caliphate. Fidelity means loyalty and a Pakistani Muslim or Christian maybe perfectly loyal to PAkistan.Recommend

  • gp65

    So in what way did her financial independence contribute to divorce – having more money in the home was very uncomfortable – eh?

    Think about it, if she was financially independent during the marriage, she must have been financially independent before the marriage too – right? Why then did she marry you – just so she could divorce you?
    Don’t know you and don’t what went wrong in your marriage but somehow it is unlikely that her financial independence was the ’cause’ of problems between you. It may very well be that financial independence allowed her to choose divorce and end a marriage that wasn’t working. HAd she not been financial independent, her ability to make that decision would have been greatly constricted.Recommend

  • Zara

    you had issues with her being financially independent and divorced her? so you are the fault, not the financesRecommend

  • abubakar

    Looks like every other person these days is trying to be an expert on islam.
    and “marriage counseling” seriously? This website should be renamed to express tribune for elite class pakistanis or western born/raised pakistanis.

    p.s islam does not give right of divorce to a women, deal with it. Stop manipulating using this issue from islamic point of view.Recommend

  • Leila Rage

    THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!

    Thank you for writing this! It is the perfect response to a chauvanistic blogRecommend

  • Leila Rage

    So wrong. Islam allows a woman the right to demand divorce, and this right is known as ‘Khul’.Recommend

  • Parvez

    That was an interesting rebuttal to the other blog, which I thought was either deliberately slanted or simply badly misinformed.
    In Islam marriage is a ‘ contract ‘…….and like all contracts is entered into carefully. If for some reason the two parties can not co-exist, like all good contracts there is a provision and rules for both parties to end the contract……….its clear and precise.
    All else is human conjecture and weakness.Recommend

  • Nobody

    Your comment stands true except for your statement about western women who divorce because their husband snores. I don’t know where you got that idea. Granted men and women around the globe sometimes divorce for idiotic reasons as we often see men in culturally Muslim countries abuse their self appointed power to divorce women, but generalizations are not fair to either part of the world. Many women in the west seek divorce for reasons their eastern counterparts want to divorce, but can’t. Difference is western women have a lot more freedom to pursue said divorce. Anyways, I’m going a bit off topic here.Recommend

  • Nobody

    Islam doesn’t give women the right of divorce? Really? Did you study a different version of Islam than most?
    Muslim men want women to THINK they do not have the power to divorce. Common problem among old school insecure men who find it difficult to relinquish power they’ve maintained for centuries. It needs to change and the western model where women can divorce men as easily as men can divorce women ought to be implemented.
    Allah may have granted men a slight (emphasis on slight) upper hand in divorce assuming men could handle it. They’ve proven they cannot and use this as a way to oppress women. Times have changed and cultures need to change with it. We are not living in the 7th century anymore.
    Cheers.Recommend

  • Ammar

    I am still at a shock that a liberal site like express tribune allowed that blog. And i am more shocked that a guy with his views is living in my country (Canada). Hoping he changes his views.Recommend

  • Dante

    You do realize this is internet, right? So you don’t just believe what anyone says and play blame games.Recommend

  • Dureen A Anwer

    Too bad the original blog has been taken down :PRecommend

  • Emm Kay

    Getting divorced is no big deal!!! Its always better to be single then to be in a relation and be miserable!!!!! Grow up people. Weddings are ‘sunna’t’ and not ‘far’z’!Recommend

  • Qaiser Habib

    Why original blog is down???Recommend

  • Grosskreutz

    Original blog with deliberate exaggerations was planted to get the desired reaction.

    And it worked !Recommend

  • abubakar

    That’s right islam doesn’t grant a women right to divorce, she has to obtain khula through courts, which is a gigantic hassle especially given the condition of our courts system. Whereas a man can divorce her wife or WIVES by simply uttering the word three times. It wouldn’t take an Einstein to figure out, there’s a huge difference between these two courses of action.
    and I do agree though that a western model should be adopted instead. But adopting that model won’t help, it’s the mindset and culture that needs to change, and I don’t see it happening anytime soon.Recommend

  • abubakar

    So there’s no difference in your view between actually divorcing and demanding a divorce (khula)?Recommend

  • Manahil

    To correct the wrong views stated in the other blog so that people don’t think it’s the truth and follow the wrong advice?Recommend

  • x

    Infidels? seriously? If you want others to respect your religion, even if they don’t believe in it, then you have to respect theirs first because isn’t that what your religion is supposed to teach you? Also, it is true that men in our society do commit adultery and their wives put up with it because they do not have the option of leaving due to financial dependency and social pressures. And social pressures are entirely unrelated to religion. Divorce is ‘na pasandeeda’, (not liked) but perfectly permissible for even ‘western’ reasons such as wife not attracted to husband or incompatibility. Hazrat Zainab divorced Hazrat Bilal because of this reason and Hazrat Muhammad (sw) married her later so marrying divorcees is also ok in Islam, and hazrat Zainab was a working woman. Also, the prophet (sw)/s first and favourite wife was financially independent.Recommend

  • x

    Women do have the right of divorce in Islam btw. So please recheck your facts other than listening to rapid mullahs spouting their distorted version of Islam to keep our society backwards. Divorce is ‘na pasandeeda’, (not liked) but perfectly permissible for even ‘western’ reasons such as wife not attracted to husband or incompatibility. Hazrat Zainab divorced Hazrat Bilal because of this reason and Hazrat Muhammad (sw) married her later so marrying divorcees is also ok in Islam, and hazrat Zainab was a working woman. Also, the prophet (sw)/s first and favourite wife was financially independent.Recommend

  • Farah

    “Sometimes marriage happens between the wrong people, for the wrong reasons, in the wrong environment. It cannot thrive.”. SRecommend

  • abubasim khan

    Thanks.I was waiting for a such good & correct reply.Such reply was very essential to avoid misunderstanding.Recommend

  • https://www.facebook.com/shail.arora.589 Shail Arora

    I still maintain that he was working on a project for his final semester.Recommend

  • Hammurabi

    @Nobody08:disqus I know western women do not seek divorce on petty matters. I was trying to say that eastern women avoids divorce till the end.comparatively, due to our social barriers.Some western ladies are even more dedicated and committed to their husbands.Recommend

  • abubakar

    You are trolling right?Recommend

  • Faraz Talat

    I shouldn’t have to applaud you for stating the obvious, but as a society, we’ve regressed to a point where even this sound radically liberal.

    Now, I must go and congratulate another brave Pakistani blogger for saying that cannibalism is a bad thing.

    (Not scoffing at your blog, by the way. We did need this, and good job indeed)Recommend

  • Ark

    It seems to me that you are the trolling oneRecommend

  • Sarah

    Divorce is an option that’s why its there! Yes, for muslim women to get divorce is not similar to the western way but the option is there in a form of khula.
    What took the cake was his comment about how women are to be blamed for the marriage not working out. It’s a shame how men can be so backward-minded. It’s so easy for them to transfer their guilt on women. It simply shows how men are insecure and can’t handle women trampling on their egos!Recommend

  • Afrooz R

    does the term “in the name of islam” have any meaning in these times? Isnt it used to reinforce the argument made when there is an underlying absence of facts or logic?Recommend

  • What’s a penniless piece? Penniless is an adjective about poverty, not about logic or reasoning. Recommend

  • x

    How is that trolling? I’m giving facts. Recommend

  • Fahad Sheikh

    are you married?
    no i don’t think so
    come out of the box see broadly whats happning out thereRecommend

  • Usman Khalid

    A lot of divorcees blame spouses for the divorce. It’s easier to blame others rather than look inward and introspect and explore the possibility that you yourself may have been wrong somewhere.It’s just human nature. No divorcees has ever said that he/she went wrong anywhere in the marriage. Everyone thinks they are perfect. That is human tendency.Another curious tendency is this —-a lot of divorced people also tend to think that a lot of marriages in the world are actually unhappy ( they are wrong in thinking that) it’s just a way of consoling yourself by thinking “so what if I am divorced, most married people are actually unhappy in their marriages” SOmetimes such people can accept their own failing and faults. They know they are missing out on love and happiness and to make themselves feel good, they need to delude themselves into believing that most marriages are loveless etc.It’s pitiful. Just ignore such people, gp66 Sir. Divorcees tend to berate or look down on the institution of marriage because they themselves have failed at making their marriages work. Sour grapes.Recommend

  • Zainab Bhatti

    This is amazing. The sad truth is that a major part of the population in our country believes that it is actually the girl’s job to sustain the marriage. Divorces are happening due to an increase in intolerance from both the sides. Not just the female’s.Recommend

  • Hammurabi

    There in no consensus on this in Islamic jurisprudence.The opinions of the four Imams are different on this matter.Recommend

  • Hammurabi

    It was Zaid Bin Haris,not Hazrat Bilal.Quran gives special rights to the Prophet(SAW)which are not for every one e.g. marrying more than four wives is authorized by Quran to the Prophet.(SAW)Recommend

  • abubakar

    Well if those are your facts, your facts are heavily mistaken and wrong, it was zaib bin harris as the other commentator has mentioned, and he divorced hazrat zainab not the other way aroundRecommend

  • abubakar

    Well for starters he mentioned the “facts” wrong, that’s why I said he’s trollingRecommend

  • Ruxx Inno

    i totally agree…besides its all the more important for a man to accept and appreciate the above mentioned point of view…Recommend

  • -SHAGY-

    Western couples will not seek divorce over petty issues…they will rather seek counselling!Recommend

  • Lt Col Imtiaz Alam(retd)

    Please get your facts right first. Hazrat Zainab RA was married to Hazrat Zaid Bin Haris RA. The reason for divorce was not that she did not like his face but he was below her status a freed slave. Hazrat Khadija RA was a business woman prior to her marriage with the Prophet SAW. She managed her affairs through Manager’s sitting at home. After her marriage she surrendered everything to the Prophet SAW and led the life of a truly respected Housewife.Recommend

  • Lt Col Imtiaz Alam(retd)

    It is the sagacity, patience & love of a women which sustains a marriage. I do not rule out other factors but if a woman decides not to be the “Captain” things can run smoothly. You can have only one Captain to run the ship. Unfortunately , once she starts earning she thinks she can do away with her spouse & is no more dependent on him. She becomes the “Boss”.Recommend

  • manahil

    Yes, but in a marriage, both spouses should be co – dependent on each other. The woman should not lead the man, but a man should not lead the woman either. The ‘Boss’ should simply be Allah.

    Please stop thinking all working women are overbearing and bossy. Recommend

  • Shaikh Abdul Rehman

    Miss Abeer, You should take a look on how a working women been in the office. How people make gossip on back of her. How she has to talk to her collegue, being gentle in the office and if the women is having a hijaab as per shariat at workplace? These questions always come in mind when a women ask permission to work.Recommend

  • Lt Col Imtiaz Alam(retd)

    Allah has clarified this aspect in Surah Baqara where he has placed the Husband a step above. Please do read the Literal Translation and the Tafseer by a renowned scholar. May I suggest Abdullah Yousuf Ali. You can Google & find out.Recommend

  • Sarah Uzair

    This is by far the stupidest thing i have read to date…
    Western model is pathetic, something conjured up by human beings. Lets not give superiority to something made by humans to something by Divine Law.
    Khula is for a female’s benefit and in some ways we might be able to percieve em fully but that does not mean it is not the equivalent of a divorce.
    What needs to change is the court system here and the lazy lawmakers who purposely make things harder for women and shun their rights of independence.
    A law has currently been passed making it legal for a man to get a million wives without permission from his wife… why? Recommend

  • Sarah Uzair

    A very well written article …. (y) …
    shows both sides of the issue … blaming females for divorce is bloody hell WRONG. …
    if divorces are on the rise, its because of so many other factors, in particular, the financial crises that people face today which has afflicted so many …. next up is education ..
    jaahil awaam and the integration of india’s culture into our own has confused our people who need to impress others with a pretty woman who is submissive and has no brains or opinions of her own..
    whats she good for is bearing kids and cooking for her man who probably cheats on her with a million other women ….Recommend

  • manahil

    What exactly do you mean by step-above? If a woman is working, she is stepping ‘above’ her husband?Recommend

  • Lt Col Imtiaz Alam(retd)

    A ship can have only one “Captain”.Recommend

  • begotSolours

    Hi there A very interesting site you can visit about this topic is ‘save your marriage’ I find it helpfulRecommend