If you have recently been through a divorce and you are a Muslim of deep faith, you may have tried all you could to make your marriage work, for The Prophet Muhammad espoused the importance of treating marriage as a blessed thing. The truth is that in countries like the United States, there is a divorce rate of close to 50% for all marriages, and 31.14% for Muslim marriages in particular. The rates vary from country to country, but some Muslim leaders have noted that divorce is on the rise, not only in specific races or ethnic backgrounds. Reasons for divorce can include a fervent desire to protect children against growing up in a home in which fights and arguments are rife. Opting for a divorce is always a challenge because many parents can worry about the effects it can have on children. To sail through the process smoothly, commitment from both parents is key; this commitment is essentially one of the well-being of their child. When both parents are happy in their respective lives, it is easier to raise confident, happy kids who do not feel guilty for the break-up of the marriage.
Relying on Inspirational Verses
When you feel low, or you don’t understand how the marriage you thought would last forever has crumbled, rely on the Qur’an to bolster your spirits. One verse from Surah At-Talaaq says:
And will provide for him from where he does not expect. And whoever relies upon Allah – then He is sufficient for him. Indeed, Allah will accomplish His purpose. Allah has already set for everything a [decreed] extent.” Qur’an | 65:3
The Prophet Muhammad (S) did speak against divorce, yet passages such as these remind Muslims that we are never alone, even during our toughest challenges.
Focusing on Children
The Qur’an states that husband and wife should consult each other fairly about their children’s future:
Mothers may breastfeed their children two complete years for whoever wishes to complete the nursing [period]. Upon the father is the mothers’ provision and their clothing according to what is acceptable. No person is charged with more than his capacity. No mother should be harmed through her child, and no father through his child. And upon the [father’s] heir is [a duty] like that [of the father]. And if they both desire weaning through mutual consent from both of them and consultation, there is no blame upon either of them. And if you wish to have your children nursed by a substitute, there is no blame upon you as long as you give payment according to what is acceptable. And fear Allah and know that Allah is Seeing of what you do.” Qur’an | 2:233)
It is important that differences be set aside so as to ensure that children’s material, physical, emotional, and spiritual needs are met. The parent who has main custody of the children (unless custody is shared) should continue to raise the latter as agreed by both parents. This holds true when new stepfamilies are formed. Even if you remarry and your new spouse has children, the vital arrangements for your children made with your ex-spouse should be respected. You should also ensure that the norms you have already established in your home (e.g. bedtimes and routines) are followed by your new blended family for greater ease and practicality.
Relying on Others for Support
When divorce is new, adjusting to your new life without your spouse will surely take time. It is therefore key during this time to build a social circle, relying on friends and family to strengthen and bolster you when you most need it. Visit your mosque, take part in fundraising efforts, and be active in your local community. Research has shown that religious worship is the only group activity that results in sustained happiness. Worship in the company of others enables you to feel like part of something greater than yourself and allows you to feel accompanied during divorce and other tough times in life.
If you are undergoing a divorce after having tried to make your marriage work, take heart; all you can give is your best. Read passages from the Qur’an that will enrich and strengthen your faith, take part in worship, and give back to the community as a way to take the focus off yourself. Commit to a good relationship with your ex-spouse for the good of your children and to ensure that your separation means that there is more peace and stability in your new home.
Written by Jennifer Dawson for muzmatch
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