We all know the hideous statistic … 50% of marriages end in divorce. The question is do Muslim marriages fare any better? According to the late Dr. Ilyas Ba-Yunus (may Allah have mercy on him) we are not far behind. In a study he conducted at the State University of New York at Cortland, he shows the divorce rate is 31% among Muslims living in North America and reaching 37% in New York, Ontario, and Texas.
Why are one-third of our marriages failing? Who is to blame when we haven’t seen anything close to this in our parents’ generation? Among our parents, a divorce couple was truly an anomaly. True, in marriages back home the social stigma of divorce would prevent ending bad marriages. But when then exception becomes the norm, we have gone too far.
How did we get to this point? Who is really to blame? We often hear “love marriages” or perhaps a degenerative society. How much does Bob Dylan’s famous line “the times they are a-changing” apply here?
The sheer truth is society is not to blame, not love or ever Bob Dylan for that matter. Who is? We are.
We are not listening. Not listening to who? Our Prophet and his timeless advice. We are not listening. He told us clearly, “A woman is married for four things: her wealth, her noble ancestry, her beauty and her religion. So marry the religious woman; (otherwise) you will be a loser.”
Honestly, how many of us have beauty or from a “good family” at the top of our list? And when things don’t work out we wonder why. And when marriages do start to fail do we heed to Allah’s commands of patience and mercy and obey the simple prophetic counsel of “don’t get angry?” Or do we scream in our loudest voices, telling each other where to go in the hereafter?
Are we honouring our wife and respecting our husband as the Prophet commanded? Or are you living according to another standard?
Many of us are lost and we don’t know where to turn. Qibla, a leading organization for teaching Islam online, has a course on Islamic marriage taught by Ustadha Hedaya Hartford, a family law scholar and author. In the Successful Islamic Marriage, she will cover all the essentials of a successful Islamic marriage through first explaining the basic fiqh of marriage and divorce, including common misconceptions and mistakes.
You will then learn about making the right choice before marriage, and what qualities to look for in a potential spouse. She will also spend a good portion the course giving tips on staying married, including establishing good communication, dealing with problems and destructive habits, being aware of potential triggers, and setting good habits with in-laws.