Jan 30, 2009, 3:46 AM
Islam discourages divorce but, unlike some religions, does make provisions for divorce by either party.
There are many reasons why divorces occur, and the first reason for divorce is inconsolable conflicts between the partners.
Every relationship has its struggle and conflicts, but in some marriages conflicts reach an overwhelming level until one or both of the individuals could not take it anymore.
Usually, conflicts and fights go on for years until the couples realise that they want to split. Divorces caused by conflicts could end up in a very bad way.
Lack of commitment is another reason for divorce, especially among young couples. Usually, some couples get married in a rush without fully knowing each other.
These couples end up in many situations where they cheat or lie or are unable to fulfill commitments to their partner.
In most cases, the lack of commitment comes from the male partner. All these reasons could lead to infidelity. Although most people consider infidelity as a cause of divorce.
There are several other reasons for divorce such as lack of communication and significant differences. Communication is very important in marriage, especially when making big decisions. Lack of it could lead to divorce.
Marriages where couples have different religious views could end in divorce, when the views clash causing the couple to end up in huge arguments.Parents may also have different views when it comes to deciding what faith the children should be brought up in.
Another reason is prioritisation of different life goals. When husband and wife have different goals for which they would sacrifice anything, the marriage can become compromised.
This could happen in most cases if people prioritise their careers or professional lives over marriage. If both people are strongly focused on different life goals of marriage.
For Prof. Muhammed Sano, a counselor and principal assistant in charge of translation at the Ministry of Justice, people nowadays are accustomed to a certain way of life, and when entering a marriage they have expectations of what the marriage will be like, and those expectations are unrealistic.
He said even if the expectations are met there is usually a great lack of appreciation for the spouse.
“Would you jump into the eight-foot deep section of an Olympic pool without knowing how to swim? Couples need to prepare themselves for marriage in a realistic way before jumping in without a paddle”.
The main cause of divorce, some would say is financial problems. Everyone cares about money and, therefore, it causes problems, he stressed.
He added that one of the major reasons for divorce among young couple of this present generation is lack of evidence within couples and marriage is fundamental in Islam.
Sano pointed out that looking at the current situation and generation, most girls put material as a priority in marriage, pointing out that marriage should be agreed based on love and for Allah’s sake.
“Our girls are not marrying for God’s sake, but for material, especially wealth which leads to divorce at the end of the day as the money fades away”.
He added that it is the responsibility of the man to protect and take care of the welfare of his wife, which is written in the holy book; but women should be very careful when certain conflicts arise between her and the husband.
“Men of today do not want to marry our girls. All they say is I’m yet to settle and if they are forced to at the end of the day it crashes and that leads to the high rate of divorce,” he said.
Kinneh Saho, a 32-year-old woman who spent more than 15 years in marriage, said they got marriage because of God’s sake. “Whether your husband gives you fish money or not you maintain the marriage, but now that is not happening, girls are not patient and if you are not patient your marriage breaks”.
Emphasising that parents also count in the rampant divorce of young couple, she added that most parents consider wealth and status, which during their time was nothing, but they were great with their husbands.
“Marriage is a contract in this generation. You divorce anytime you feel like it and, as a decent wife and mother, you have to be patient in marriage. Nobody said marriage is easy, but we just have to understand each other as a spouse and be committed”.
For her part, Ajaratou Sainabou Njie, who spent 33 years in her marriage without a single child, painfully said young age is a major problem of divorce.“Marriage at a very young age increases the likelihood of divorce, especially in the early years of marriage”.
Couples should be patient and faithful with each other if they want a healthy marriage life, she said.
“One should carefully choose a partner. It is bad to be counting husbands or wives for one particular person,” she added, stressing that women should not be ‘picky’, as status and wealth is one thing our parents and grandparents never considered, which made them stay longer in marriage than this current generation”.
“Patience in marriage is always accompanied by a smile,” she concluded.