Define: Plague

  • any large scale calamity (especially when thought to be sent by God) (source: Google web definition)

Subhan Allah… (especially when thought to be sent by God). Well although I’m in total disagreement regarding that second half of the definition, I do agree that Allah (the one and true deity worthy of worship) is associated with us in this life, whether it be with blessings or calamities (let me explain before you jump the gun).

All things that are good are from Allah, and all things that are evil are from Shaytan and from the evil within ourselves (and NOT Allah). In terms of calamities, Allah is worthy of mention due to the fact that if we as His slaves had not turned away from Him, the oppressions that befall us would not have happened, and Allah would surely have made us victorious over evil. One plague that is sweeping the world today and at an increasing rate is divorce; divorce rates are on the rise across the world. Taken from a website that is solely dedicated to divorce rates in the U.S (divorcerate.org) suggests that:

50% of all marriages in America end in divorce

Half, half… again I say that HALF of all marriages in the U.S end in divorce. Every other marriage ends in divorce? Unfortunately this trend, this plague, has infiltrated Muslim societies and is on the rise. Although reports indicate that the divorce rate in Saudi Arabia is at 20%, I suspect it is significantly higher than that.

702559_broken_relationship_1I myself have been infected with this plague; as a young man with a failed marriage I have personally witnessed the way this disease enters the homes, the minds, and the hearts of those involved. I truly believe that I know the cause of divorces, or a cause to be more specific. There are many reasons why divorces occur, either due to bad judgement of character, deceit by the other party to lure someone into marriage for worldly benefit, purely innocent ignorance on both sides regarding compatibility issues that only arise later, or maybe even a failure of the hearts to beat together.

However one particular reason which I feel is the source of other reasons, and has caused divorces to elevate its status from an unfortunate event to that of a plague, is Shaytan (Satan). We all know the authentic hadeeth (saying) Imam Muslim reported on the authority of Jabir ibn `Abdullah, who stated that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) said:

“Iblis (Satan) places his throne upon water, then sends his groups. The closest to him are those who (tempt people to) commit the most grievous of sins (fitnah). One of them would approach him and say: I did such-and-such. Iblis would reply: You have done nothing. Another would approach and say: I did not leave him (a man) until I caused him to leave his wife and for them to be separated. Iblis would bring him close to his throne and would say: How good you are!” 

With thousands of years of experience on ibn adam (son of Adam), Iblis has gained tremendous knowledge on the weaknesses of man, and has devised intelligent approaches to the destruction of Muslim homes. The soldiers of Iblis enter our homes fully armed with a variety of ways to infect upon us divorce, allow me to think of a few whispers that creep inside of our head:

  • Husband: “I work so hard at the office, and all she does is stay home with the kids. She should at least get a part time job to help pay for the bills”
  • Wife: “I’m tired of him strolling in this house after coming home from a nice desk job and acting as though I should be serving him, I have the tougher job”
  • Husband: “Look at her, complaining about this… complaining about that… I take her out somewhere almost every week… she should be thankful I do that on top of everything else I do for the family”
  • Wife: “Why is it that the woman should obey the husband? It cannot be that Islam condones inequality between the genders! I’m going to talk to him about not having to ask him about anything I do from now on!”
  • Husband: “I need a break from work, from the house, from wife, and kids… I’m going to put my foot down and explain why I should be able to go on a vacation with my buddies at least once a year”
  • Wife: “I shouldn’t have to look pretty for my husband when he gets home while having to take care of the house and kids. Sure I’ll brush my teeth in the morning, but to expect more is not fair.

These are just a few of the many thoughts that creep into our minds. These thoughts are consciously or sub-consciously injected into our minds through several channels such as magazines, the Internet, and Satellite television. We as Muslims and non-Muslims alike – we as humans – have a fitrah (natural decency) instilled in us as humans; it is in the husband’s nature to be protective of his wife, it is in the nature of the wife to be monogamous and loyal to her husband, it is in the nature of both husband and wife to love and be loved by a companion, so why is it that we find it so hard to hold on to that when we have it?

There’s a lot of resources out there to preventative steps towards divorce post marriage, such as couple’s therapy, books on how to ‘heal’ a relationship that is already rocky, and the like. Perhaps we should be focusing a lot more on preventative steps towards divorce BEFORE marriage. This can be done by figuring out the answers to some of the following questions:

  • Who am I? Put some effort into realizing exactly who you are as a person, your likes, dislikes, turn ons, turn offs, attributes of your personality, goals, life objectives, etc…
  • Who completes you? Figure out your compatibilities with your ‘to be’ partner based on yourself.
  • Is it okay to ask / discuss / debate / communicate? Don’t let societal taboos restrict you from learning about your potential husband / wife. However be sure that it is appropriate to discuss from an Islamic perspective; it’s all about balance.

By setting up a comprehensive approach to determining whether the person you intend to marry is right for you, followed by lots of effort and love to make it succeed after marriage, insha’Allah (God Willing) the marriage will be a happy one and plague free.

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