By Abeer Shah
March 3, 2014
This article is in response to the very illuminating, thoroughly informative, thought-provoking essay by Ahad Kashif in The Express Tribune titled Pakistan and High Divorce Rates: The Girl’s Parents Are To Blame!
The said article is littered with the ubiquitous problem in our society which is stuck in the throes of reconciliation between Islam and modernity.
Islam and modernity, you say?
How could this be?
This is a concept that eludes many of the citizens of our over-populous nation and they finally throw their hands up in the air, let out a dramatically long sigh and say,
“You know what? Not to be sexist or anything but I really don’t think women…”
And la la la… the conversation trails off to their cavemen thoughts on how women should stay at home, dream of their Prince Charming, dress nicely, look pretty and for the love of God, never gain that offensive ‘financial independence’. Because, you know, it leads to divorce and stuff.
I could literally go line-by-line as to how completely misapprehended the points expressed in that article were. But is there really a need? Are we seriously still trying to find some kind of scapegoat to blame all our marriage problems on? Yes, divorce sucks and it’s a horrible truth of our modern society but people should never forget that it is a necessary evil.
Sometimes marriage happens between the wrong people, for the wrong reasons, in the wrong environment. It cannot thrive. Sometimes it’s the husband who’s to blame, sometimes it’s the wife, sometimes it’s some third-party person. But it can happen due to a multitude of reasons; not, as Mr Kashif conveniently put it, due to the girl’s family and their ‘daughter-spoiling’ ways.
The author keeps dropping in quotes from Islamic text but I doubt he’s thoroughly been through them himself. There are many stories about divorce cases amongst the companions of the Prophet (pbuh), may Allah be pleased with them all, citing varying reasons for divorce – religion, incompatibility or even simply that they didn’t love each other. So where exactly does the author get off, boldly declaring divorce to be off-limits to all of us?
Furthermore, there is nothing, absolutely nothing, in Islam that prevents women from working; so how is something as major as divorce somehow a consequence of a woman’s desire to work? Completely skewed correlations, if you ask me.
The worst part is the divorcees out there reading his harsh and misguided words. People spend years of their lives blaming themselves for things they couldn’t control and marriages that couldn’t work out. I’m sure these people felt really uplifted and happy hearing a man – who says there’s no need for a marriage counsellor to figure out what’s wrong (excuse me while I snort in derision at that) – narrow down their entire harrowing divorce experience and the continuing after-effects of it, to one simplified, completely distorted version of the truth.
I would like to apologise to you all on behalf of that article and may Allah grant you the strength and support to finally achieve peace.
So, to all those ‘foolish’ girls out there getting beaten up, raped, emotionally abused and manipulated by your husbands, I am sorry your parents spoilt you into thinking that you could have something like respect and stuff from your life-partner. Because you know, that’s why your marriages are in trouble.
And to the boys out there – be nice to your wives and say a few good things about their cooking. But if they want to get out of the house for a job or something, you won’t be blamed for stopping them and curtailing their independence. I mean, they are stepping on your manly, macho pride, aren’t they?
I am really sorry someone wrote an article like that in this day and age. I guess we still have a long way to go. May Allah guide to us to what is right and keep close-minded, deluded thoughts out of our heads.
I can imagine Him looking down at us as we use His religion to make pointless conclusions of our own.
Abeer Shah is a fourth-year undergraduate student who loves to write, read sarcastic feminist blogs, and greet the world with that same sense of humour.