Divorce: Who’s Guilty?

In all the divorce cases (may Allah save us from them), we always hear from the wife’s side that the husband was not a good person, was abusive, he did this and that. When you talk to the husband, he says that the wife was this and that.

I recently saw a marriage destroyed becase the husband lost his job. If you ask the wife, she says that the husband was lazy and didn’t want to earn a living… etc.

If you ask the husband, he says that on top of being unable to find a job, the wife was making his life hell by taunting him daily.

So my question is, how do you find out what the real problem is?

I like the fact that you see that the real problem could very well be something else completely!

That is why God’s advice is so valuable when a divorce is imminent. He says in the holy Quran,

“And if you fear dissension between the two [spouses], send an arbitrator from his people and an arbitrator from her people. If they both desire reconciliation, God will harmonize between them. Indeed, God is ever Knowing and Well Acquainted [with all things].” (4:35)

The word God uses for arbitrator is حكما which means “firmly rooted”, “balanced”, “judicious”. Thus, the two arbiters are not given to emotions, are not easily swayed or agitated, and can reach a sound judgement even if it was against their client.

This is how to know the real problem. When one is speaking out of emotion, one could be narrating all of one’s grievances instead of focusing on the question asked. Marriage counselors know this well. That’s why they are paid the big bucks 🙂

One very interesting aspect of this verse is its deliberate syntactic ambiguity! The phrase “if the two of them desire reconciliation” is ambiguous about who the two are: the two arbitrators or the two spouses! As always with syntactic ambiguity in the Quran, it is thusly stated in order to include both interpretations. That is, if the two spouses truly want to reconcile and save the marriage, God will help them save it. If the two arbitrators also want to do their job faithfully, God will make their effort successful.

One Response to “Divorce: Who’s Guilty?”

  1. Aapa says:

    Many people feel divorce is the only option when the marriage becomes stale. They forget the blessings of marriage.

    The way to find out if there are problems in the marriage is to make sure you do something that is individual. You have to have a sense of who you are so you do not get jealous.

    In my years as a therapist I discovered that there is such a thing as spousal jealousy that is usually not talked about. There is something to it.

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