Seek un­der­stand­ing and learn

New Straits Times - - Letters -

MALAYSIA is one of the coun­tries in the world with a pop­u­la­tion com­pris­ing more than 50 per cent of Mus­lims and Is­lam as the of­fi­cial re­li­gion.

To in­crease pop­u­la­tion and re­store fam­ily in­sti­tu­tions, Mus­lims are en­cour­aged to get mar­ried. Mar­riage is not sim­ply an oc­ca­sion of “be­ing to­gether”, but the bind­ing of two lives.

To main­tain a har­mo­nious mar­riage, ev­ery cou­ple goes through ex­pe­ri­ences and learn from them.

A Mus­lim cou­ple will per­form akad nikah as an obli­ga­tion to pu­rify their re­la­tion­ship. The word zawj is used in the Qu­ran to mean a pair or a mate. In general, its us­age refers to mar­riage. Is­lam en­cour­ages mar­riage, which is a phase in life that promises bless­ing and sus­te­nance.

How­ever, not all mar­riages are suc­cess­ful. Some cou­ples strug­gle in their re­la­tion­ship, while oth­ers seek free­dom (di­vorce) when they find no way to save the mar­riage. Is­lam dis­cour­ages di­vorce — it is the most hate­ful thing that is per­mis­si­ble.

In re­cent years, there has been an in­crease in the num­ber of di­vorce cases among Mus­lims in Malaysia. They in­volve cou­ples aged be­tween 20 and 40. The num­ber of cases rose from 20,916 in 2004 to 47,740 in 2012, and to 49,311 last year.

The Is­lamic Re­li­gious Depart­ment of Se­lan­gor has urged young Mus­lims to re­con­sider mar­ry­ing early. It says a cou­ple must un­der­stand the mean­ing of mar­riage, fam­ily and par­ent­ing be­fore ty­ing the knot.

Di­vorce cases in Se­lan­gor also in­crease ev­ery year. The state has the most num­ber of di­vorce cases among cou­ples aged be­tween 20 and 40.

Most mar­riages do not last longer than 10 years. The main rea­son is in­com­pat­i­bil­ity be­tween the cou­ples. Also, with more women in the work­force, they are in­de­pen­dent and can sup­port them­selves.

Ad­vance­ment in tech­nol­ogy also con­trib­utes to a rise in di­vorce cases.

There is no one rea­son why di­vorce cases are on the rise — it is a com­bi­na­tion of rea­sons. And, there is no de­fin­i­tive so­lu­tion to the is­sue of di­vorce. Mar­riage coun­sel­lors can help, but can­not pro­vide a so­lu­tion.

There­fore, cou­ples must un­der­stand their part­ners well be­fore tak­ing the plunge.

Love alone is some­times not enough to solve prob­lems in a mar­riage.

FATIMAH AZZAHRAH HASHIM In­ter­na­tional Is­lamic Univer­sity Malaysia In­ter­na­tional Is­lamic Univer­sity, Kuala Lumpur

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