Islamic Views on Marriage and Divorce
Islamic views on marriage and divorce hold that marriage is a form of legalization of sexual relationship between a woman and man and legitimization of the children that the couple produces. Couples and children that they bear are recognized by common law after co-habiting for 20 year. They are treated like a wife and husband and their children are entitled to similar inheritance rights and legal rights as those provided to legitimate children in the law.
Marriage or Nikah in the pre-Islamic communities refers to a relationship between a woman and a man. In this relationship, women do not have inheritance right and they had absolute dependence. They were treated like chattels. However, Prophet Mohammad made marriage in Islam a civil contract where a woman in it retains her individuality.
Marriage in Islam does not merge the personality of a woman with that of the husband. Thus, after marriage a woman retains absolute ownership of property that she has without extraneous control from the husband. It is reported that Prophet Mohammad said that marriage is his Sunna and Muslims who do not follow that way are not his followers.
According to the statement by the prophet, mockery has no place in Islam. Muslims view marriage as a legal process that legitimizes procreation and sexual intercourse as well as the produced children by a woman and a man. Marriage process is valid and lawful in Islam.
In Islam, divorce is allowed. A man may divorce the wife after solemnizing marriage if there are problems in the marriage. However, there are conditions that can allow for a divorce. It is important to note that divorce and Talaq are condemned strongly in Islam. If there are difficulties in a marriage that the wife and husband cannot solve, each is expected to appoint a conciliator or arbitrator to resolve the problem.
The Qur’an states that (4:35): “If the fear Shiqaq between the Twain, appoint two arbiters, one from his family and other from hers, if they wish for peace, Allah will cause their reconciliation”. Islam allows a man to divorce a wife if she disobeys a lawful order from him.
However, reconciliation measures should be taken with the wife or relatives before divorcing her. Islam teaches that all efforts that are provided in Sunna and Qur’an should be made before terminating a marriage. Thus, Islam view of divorce is that it should be the last option after all reconciliation measures have failed.
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