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Islam, Women and Feminism ( 3 March 2014, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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Pakistan and High Divorce Rates: The Girl’s Parents Are To Blame!



By Ahad Kashif

March 1, 2014

Weddings in Pakistan, specifically those orchestrated in the social hubs of our country, are celebrated with extreme pomp, glamour and grandeur. Every Pakistani girl, since the time she hits puberty, envisages herself in an exorbitant, gaudy red Ghagra (gown), sitting beside a handsome prince, who will soon walk her to a dazzling Beamer, waiting smugly right outside the marriage hall.

Meanwhile, though they share a similar view, for guys the accessories are replaced with an Armani suit and a diamond studded Rolex, given to them by their beloved mothers-in-law.

I wish, in the grand scheme of things, life had unravelled the way we had always imagined it to be. But sadly, this is not the case. What our society needs to understand is that riches and glittering weddings are not a guarantee for a long lasting marriage.  And if you believe they are, then why do marriages fail?

Why do things fall apart all of a sudden?

How is it that people can break all the promises they made?

Since when did breaking the Nikah become an option?

Since when did he/she become so replaceable?

You need to understand that marriage in Pakistan is not premised on the fact that it is between two people – it’s between two families. It’s more like a merger between two households with different norms, traditions and values.

From the time period of the engaged through to the Rukhsati allows for a plethora of different feelings to develop and relationships to blossom. It’s a beautiful and gradual process that requires both time and effort. Therefore, when a marriage breaks down two families fall apart.

But the question that we have to ask ourselves is, why is divorce now an option?

Here’s the thing.

It doesn’t require you to be a licensed marriage councillor or a self proclaimed Pir to find out the root of this problem. It’s quite simple really.

No one is willing to compromise and expectations have increased far more than they were a decade ago.

In retrospect, I believe that parent’s are solely responsible for this.

Let’s focus on the girl’s side here first. But before I dive into this, let me make this clear, I’m not a male chauvinist, venting my anger on women. Having cleared that, I have to say that there is a multitude of factors that come into effect with regards to marriage from the girl’s side.

Firstly, mothers nowadays push their daughters to gain financial independence.

Now let’s head back to marriage basics 101, shall we?

According to our Sharia law, the fundamental duty of a man is to provide for his wife. I’m positive that even the liberals will agree with this, let alone the staunch Sharia followers. An independent woman, who earns, defeats the purpose of marriage. Call me orthodox if you want to but I’m as concerned with divorce rates as I’m sure you are. Granting her autonomous financial power just makes her realise that she is better off without him and that he is just a formality or red tape.

You should be able start connecting the dots by now but in case you haven’t, the next point will nail the argument.

Parents love their daughters. Who wouldn’t?

But there is a slight discrepancy between ‘loving’ them and ‘spoiling’ them. Although there is nothing wrong in spoiling them, if a girl has never experienced monetary struggle in her life, or even temporary phases of mediocrity, then she has never learnt to adapt.

Life is unpredictable and not being able to adapt only makes it difficult to live this ephemeral world. Many a times, it is this lack of adaptability that causes much trouble within a marriage.

Now, for all the ‘macho’ guys out there, you have to understand that she is your wife and you have taken her with the permission of Allah (SWT). Treat her with respect, overlook her flaws and forgive her, console her when needed and let her know that she’s wanted. Harsh words have never won any hearts. It’s the softness of the tongue that has melted even the impregnable of hearts.

Finally to conclude, compromise is essential to make sure your marriage lasts. Inflated egos have never won anyone anything. You have to realise that both husband and wife have certain rights over each other and that human beings are inherently flawed, prone to make mistakes.

Hate the mistake not the person.

I sign off with the words of our Holy Prophet (pbuh) that I have always kept locked up in my heart,

“The best amongst you is he who is best to his wife.”

Divorce is not an option. It never was.

Do you think women who are financially independent are less willing to compromise?