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Prioritizing Family Over Divorce: Lessons from Islam

By Hashim Msusa

Divorce is a painful and traumatic experience that affects not only the couple but also their families and children. In Islam, marriage is considered a sacred bond that is not easily broken, but divorce is allowed as a last resort in certain circumstances. Allah (God) Almighty says in the Noble Qur’an, “And if you fear a breach between them, send an arbitrator from his family and an arbitrator from her family. If they both desire reconciliation, Allah will cause it between them (4:35)

The aftermath of divorce is devastating for everyone involved. Parents may experience various emotions, including anger, frustration, sadness, and regret. However, it is essential to remember that Allah is with those who are patient. As the Qur’an says, “And be patient, for indeed, Allah does not allow to be lost the reward of those who do good (11:115)

Children are the ones who are affected by divorce. They may feel confused, angry, and abandoned and blame themselves for their parent’s separation. Providing emotional support and reassurance to children is crucial during this difficult time. The Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon Him) said, “He is not one of us who does not show mercy to our young ones, nor honour our elderly”.

Divorce also affects the two related families, including grandparents, uncles, and aunts. They may feel torn between the two parties and experience a sense of loss. However, it is essential to maintain good relations with both families and not take sides. As the Qur’an says, “And speak to people good [words] and establish prayer and Almsgiving and bow with those who bow [in prayer and obedience]” (2:83).

When a couple is going through a divorce, it is not just the family members and children who are affected, but the entire society. The role of society and neighbours in this situation is crucial. They can offer emotional support and practical help to ease the burden of divorce. Islam emphasizes the importance of maintaining good relations with neighbours and the community.

The Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon Him) said, “He is not a believer whose neighbors are not safe from his mischief.” This statement shows the importance of treating neighbours with kindness and respect. Therefore, during a divorce, the neighbours should show compassion and empathy towards the couple and their children.

Divorce should be considered a last resort in Islam, and every effort should be made to avoid it. Seeking counseling and guidance from religious leaders and elders is essential before making any decisions. It is also crucial to communicate effectively and resolve conflicts amicably. The Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon Him) said, “ The best of you are those who are best to their wives”.

In conclusion, divorce is a complex and painful experience that affects not only the couple but also their families, children, and the wider society. Neighbours and the community should play an active role in providing support and resources to ease the burden of divorce. By promoting healthy relationships to prevent relationship breakdown, society can help preserve the sacred bond of marriage.