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MARITAL DISPUTES

 

Islam has placed tremendous emphasis on the establishment, maintenance and preservation of family kinship. Although almost all religions advocate maintenance of family ties, Islam has taken it to unprecedented heights. A Muslim is commanded to be kind even to his non-Muslim relatives. Similarly, he is required to be kind to those relatives who are unpleasant or harsh towards him.

 

There can be several underlying causes or reasons. It usually happens when one person unintentionally wrongs or mistreats another.

 

For example, when someone takes his/her anger and stress at uncontrollable circumstances in their lives out on an unsuspecting scapegoat, hurting the latter in the process. At other times, someone who covets a blessing that they do not possess might feel envious of another who does, and this envy can come out in the form of bad treatment or caustic talk. Then there are personal traits and behaviors that cause conflicts e.g. it is a fact that arrogant and insecure people who suffer from low self-esteem habitually mistreat and demean others just to feel better about themselves.

 

Disputes and disagreements arise mostly with the people we interact with regularly, such as family members, friends and colleagues. In all cases of dispute, it is very important for the others around the two disputing people or groups, especially those in positions of authority, to wisely play the role of advocacy, pacification and moderation in order to prevent the situation from being blown out of proportion and causing a permanent straining of relations.

 

There is a great reward for those who facilitate reconciliation between disputing parties. Narrated by Abu Darda(R)': The Prophet () said: Shall I not inform you of something more excellent in degree than fasting, prayer and almsgiving (sadaqah)? The people replied: Yes, Prophet of Allah! He said: It is putting things right between people, spoiling them is the shaver (destructive).  Sunan Abi Dawud 4919 [1] [2]

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Table of Contents

 

 

Islamic teachings

 

Quran and Sunnah (prophetic teachings) that enjoin upholding ties of kinship highlight the great importance of this matter in our religion. One of the greatest aims of sharee‘ah (Islamic law) is to bring people together and maintain the ties of brotherhood and kinship among them. 

 

Allah says: “Those who join that which Allah has commanded to be joined (i.e. they are good to their relatives and do not sever the bond of kinship), fear their Lord, and dread the terrible reckoning (i.e. abstain from all kinds of sins and evil deeds which Allah has forbidden and perform all kinds of good deeds which Allah has ordained).” Quran Surah ar-Ra‘d 13:21

 

Among the reports of the Prophet’s (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) Sunnah which give a stern warning against severing the ties of kinship is the following:  It was narrated that Abu Hurayrah () said: The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Allah created the universe, and when He had finished, kinship (al-rahim) stood up and said, ‘This is the standing up of one who seeks Your protection from being cut off.’ Allah said, ‘Yes, would it please you if I were to take care of those who take care of you and cut off those who cut you off?’ It said, ‘Of course.’ Allah said, ‘Then your prayer is granted.’” 

 

Then the Messenger of Allah () said: “Recite, if you wish: ‘Would you then, if you were given the authority, do mischief in the land, and sever your ties of kinship? Such are they whom Allah has cursed, so that He has made them deaf and blinded their sight. Do they not then think deeply in the Quran, or are their hearts locked up (from understanding it)?’ [Muhammad 47:22-24].” Sahih al-Bukhari, 5987 and Sahih Muslim, 2554

 

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “The upholder of kinship ties is not the one who is kind to them if they are kind to him, rather the upholder of kinship ties is the one who, if his relatives cut him off, he upholds the ties of kinship with them.” Sahih al-Bukhari, 5991 This is the conduct and attitude enjoined by Islam. [3]

A different counseling cell has been created because of disputes and violence like:

·         Individual Counseling

 

·         Family Counseling

 

·         Pre-marital & Marital Counseling

 

·         Conflict Resolution

 

·         Child & Adolescent Mental Health

 

·         Psychiatric Referrals

 

·         Substance Abuse

 

·         Domestic Violence

 

 

 

 

Few Reasons for disputes-

 

 

Money

 

Couples argue over many things but money is by far one of the most frequent and serious. The solution is to discuss issues openly and consult within the family.

 

For instance, the issue of a wife working outside the home can become a contentious one. This should preferably be discussed before marriage. Also, if she does decide to work and the husband agrees, does she want to contribute a certain portion to household expenses or will she keep all of the money for herself (which is her right)?

 

One of the ways to avoid arguments about money is to simply make an easy budget which tracks expenses, income, investments, and establishes a framework for taking care of regular family necessities.

 

Parenting

 

The tug of war that results from differing understandings of parenting are also a source of tension in marriage. One solution is to start learning about Islamic parenting before having children. If you already have kids, you can still learn.

 

Stress

Stress is an almost constant factor in most people. Muslim couples are no exception. Stress from work, for example, is carried into the home.

 

Couples and families need to work out a coping mechanism in the family. For instance, couples can take a walk to talk about the day or go to the Masjid for at least one prayer. They can read Quran individually or together. The methods can vary, but as long as they are Halal and work, they can be used.

 

Domestic Violence

This is an extremely sad reality and unless it is dealt with promptly by victims, perpetrators and/or those concerned about the two, then the family will break. Seeking help is necessary and if domestic violence is not stopped, the destructive effects will not only be harmful to the husband and wife, but to their children as well.

 

Spiritual Incompatibility

This is a growing problem in many places, where Muslims from all around the world live and different understandings of Islam are present.

 

Sexual Dysfunction

This is one of the least talked about problems, but it is one that is wreaking havoc in a number of marriages. Many couples who are marrying are not learning the Islamic perspective on sex and marriage. As a result, when they are not satisfied with their spouse, a number of them may turn to others or seek easy divorce, instead of a solution.

 

Couples have to understand that the marital relationship in this area, as in others, needs work and patience and cannot be the subject of whims and impatience. Knowledge, practice and if possible, the advice of a wise, concerned scholar are two key elements in finding a solution to this problem.

 

Lack of Domestic Skills

While girls are being encouraged to become scientists, engineers and doctors, for instance, there is little to no emphasis being placed on gaining domestic skills. It should be remembered that in Islam, while women are not forbidden from working within Islamic guidelines, and men are encouraged to help with housework, women's primary duty is within the home as a home manager and mother. As a result of the lack of domestic skills, many married couples find themselves in messy homes, where meals lack proper nutrition and in general, there is frustration.

 

If a married couple is working, husbands need to pitch in more in the home and remember that their wife is a not a machine, but a human being who also needs rest after a hard day of work.

 

Conclusion

In the end, let us list the actions the Prophetused to do as a person in authority, when disputing parties came to him to resolve matters between them:

 

1. He heard complains of both sides before passing a verdict or judgement.

 

2. He mentioned the good character and righteous deeds of the wrong-doer if the latter was apologetic and repentant, to facilitate reconciliation.

 

3. He allowed the recipient of an undeserved verbal onslaught to defend their honor, even if they were younger in age.

 

4. He did not - and this is a very important key point - urge the wronged person to keep silent in the name of patience and restraint. He did not allow their oppressor to continue with their injustices. Rather, he made sure that the wrongdoing was not just stopped, but that the one who was wronged also defended themselves.

 

Anas ibn Malik (May Allah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allah () said: “Do not desert (stop talking to) one another, do not nurse hatred towards one another, do not be jealous of one another, and become as fellow brothers and slaves of Allah. It is not lawful for a Muslim to stop talking to his brother (Muslim) for more than three days.” Sahih al-Bukhari 6065 and Sahih Muslim 2558 [4]

 

See also: Domestic Violence

 

References

[1]http://www.thekhalids.org/index.php/newsletter-archive/991-how-prophet-sas-resolved-disputes

[2]http://www.siasat.com/news/how-prophet-muhammad-resolved-disputes-736051/

[3]https://islamqa.info/en/93506

[4]http://www.siasat.com/news/how-prophet-muhammad-resolved-disputes-736051/

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