In the last two decades there is a rise in divorce rate in Pakistan. The main reasons are: lack of sacrifice, forced marriages, greed, joint family system, difference in social status and one of the main reasons highly career oriented women. There are situations in which Divorce is the only answer. Divorce is something which is hated by ALLAH, but it is allowed because there are situations where divorce is the only option. It is not beneficial to raise children in an unstable home. Most of the divorces take place due to lack of communication plus inferiority complex. With the divorce rate on the increase in Pakistan women becoming increasingly independent often place their careers before family and husband. Surah Al Baqarah:
''AND IF YOU FEAR THAT THE TWO (i.e.) Husband and wife) may not be able to keep the limits ordered by ALLAH, there is no blame on either of them if she redeems herself (from marriage tie)”. Introduction:
Marriage is a sacred bond that unites two people. In our social context, marriages are not only seen as the union of two individuals but as a way to unite two families. A man and a woman tie the knot of marriage and promise each other to spend their lives together no matter what the circumstances are. Men and women have the equal right. They can do what they want to do. If they love each other, they are going to get married. The crucial time begins when this knot loosens up for any reason and leads to the unpleasant alternative of divorce. Divorce is a legal process that ends up a marriage. In the past, there were a few divorces because there were not many problems like in these days. Divorce is hard but it is not impossible to deal with it. A divorce occurs when a husband and a wife decide that they no longer want to be married. They go through a legal process to end the marriage officially. Many divorces happen quickly. However the process can take a long time. Some divorces take a year or more to be finalized. Divorces sometime can be simple and inexpensive. Otherwise, it can involve expert lawyers, religious scholars and judicial procedures and even a lot of money. Sometimes, parents can’t agree on custody of children and division of property. In this type of case, a judge decides who is the responsible for the children and how to divide the property. In Western worlds, divorce is very common, as a matter of fact, it happens almost every day. Two people decide to come together and take a vow to share the rest of their lives together, forever. Both after a while for one reason or the other they want out and want to go their separate ways; sometimes not even considering the fact they children are involved. Some of them go into marriage and come out quickly why others stay together for 10 years and more before they decide they want out. Divorce has been permitted in most ages and countries for certain causes. At present, the only countries which do not allow divorces are the Philippines (though Muslims have the right to divorce) and the Vatican City, a state which has no procedure for divorce. Countries that have relatively recently allowed divorce are Italy (1970), Portugal (1975), Spain (1981), Ireland (1996) and Malta (2011).
How it is a Sociological Problem?
Divorce can never be reckoned as a strictly private affair, because society as a whole, whether we are speaking of the community, the state or nation has a stake in successful and acceptance of mature responsibilities of marriage by its adult members. Wholesome, stable family life is desirable in the first place because it is important for effective living and therefore effective citizenship. Divorce is the direct measure of dis-organization of the larger society. It may lead to rise in crime. It is widely held that broken homes, where divorce has occurred, may lead to crime as the children are not provided with proper care, nourishment and security. The great majority of the families begin when two persons get married and they hope to live happily afterwards. Most people marry in the hope of finding permanent happiness with a member of opposite sex. Marriage becomes a starting point of a family and the only form of institutionalized sex behavior. And when the bond of marriage is broken it shakes the foundation of family. Society could be divided in t five major institutions; Religion, education, Political, Economy and family which may be conceived as “an organized way of meeting human needs”. Needs which a family may fulfill are reproductive, socialization, economic and psychological security. When family is broken, these functions may not be justified or performed inadequately leading to disorganization of larger society. A disorganized institution may have an adverse effect on other institutions of society
Divorce; Islamic Perspective:
Historically, divorce has been limited in Muslim countries by both law and social expectations. Generally, Muslim countries have a lower rate of divorce than other countries at a similar stage of development. For example, the divorce rate in India, a Hindu majority country is three times of the neighboring country, Pakistan. Many Muslim countries have gradually introduced reforms to family law that enable women as well as me to practice their right of divorce. Divorce is the most hated permissible thing in the sight of Allah. It dissolves families and deprives children the family atmosphere. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said: "The most hateful permissible thing (al-Halal) in the sight of Allah is divorce." (Abu Dawud, Hadith 1863, Ibn Majah, Hadith 2008). The spouses should avoid divorce as much as possible. If they have difficulties and problems, they should be patient and forbearing. They have to try to work out their differences and seek help from their relatives, friends or professional counselors. Due to the sacredness of the marriage contract, Islam asks both the husband and the wife to keep and respect this bond. Thus, each partner in this sacred relationship must treat the other kindly and properly. A man must not divorce his wife to bring harm upon her, as this constitutes an act that demolishes this noble establishment, breaks the woman’s heart, and possibly separates the woman from her children without any reason. Thus, the separation between a man and his wife (without just reasons) was considered one of the major and grave sins, and one of the most beloved actions of Satan, as was narrated in a number of hadiths.
Divorce in the Realm of Pakistani Society:
Pakistan has witnessed a rapidly increasing divorce rate in the last two decades. This increment has mostly been observed in the lower and middle classes, with financial instabilities and lack of patience being the most commonly cited factors. Psychologists and divorce lawyers consider the main reason for rising divorce rates as the transformations our social fabric has witnessed in recent times. No matter what the reason, divorce has always been considered a taboo in Pakistani society but the latest trends suggest otherwise. From 2005 to 2008, almost 75,000 cases were registered in Karachi’s family courts, while the period between 2008 and 2011 saw 124,141 divorce cases getting filed. In 2010 alone, 40,410 separation cases were registered in the city’s family courts. As alarming as this rate is, it is safe to assume that the number will be even bigger in the year 2012. The following figures will help you to get an idea about the divorce rate in Pakistan with respect to global divorce rate. • United States – 54.8%
• United Kingdom – 42.6
• Germany – 39.4%
• Japan – 1.9%
• Sri Lanka – 1.5%
• India – 1.1%
• Pakistan – 0.7%
How Divorce impacts Pakistani Women:
Divorce has a far reaching and long lasting effect on the lives of both men and women in the Pakistani society. When it comes to the women in Pakistan, they have greater awareness of their rights, are more educated and enjoy greater financial independence than they used to do up until a couple of decades ago. Although there is little evidence to support this theory, but many experts believe that women’s growing inclination towards their careers instead of their domestic life is a leading cause of divorce. At the same time, it cannot be denied that separation or divorce is very disturbing for any Pakistani woman. For many women, the end of their marriages becomes the beginning of their mistrust in the opposite gender as they see their marriages falling apart due to the betrayal of their spouses. Challenges associated with divorce are compounded due to the financial dilemma Pakistani women typically face. If a woman is not stable on her own, she has to find a way of earning income for herself and for her children. In addition to that, the concept of a woman living on her own is still alien in our social setup. For this reason, if a woman gets divorced, she has no choice but to move back to her parents’ place. Divorced women are inevitably regarded as individuals who are eyed with pity. When a marriage falls apart, it becomes a stressful cycle for women who have to deal with this emotional turmoil while balancing their priorities between children, attaining financial stability and making efforts to rebuild their lives. The onset of so many kinds of stresses and frustration often affect women’s health and consequently, they suffer from different psychological issues such as depression, insomnia and heart diseases. Being adults, it is easier for men and women to understand the harsh realities of divorce. The same cannot be said about children who have to face long term consequences of the decision taken by their parents. In most divorce cases in Pakistan, it is the mother who is given the custody of children, especially if they are younger in age. The process to acquire the custody of children, the legal battles involved, raising children as a single parent is a complex situation in itself and women have to deal with it.
Major Causes of Divorce:
It is not an easy task to find a short list of causes of divorce particularly in our society. However some of the major causes leading to divorce are discussed below. First is infidelity. The main reason often occurs from a man because he goes to work and leave his wife to look after their home and child. He goes to work that means he has a chance to meet other women. Some men not only just talk with other women but have the affairs with those women. Moreover, they may have children outside marriage. In addition, some men may infect the venereal diseases from their paramours. This problem can lead to the divorce of a couple. Second is the domestic violence. This trouble is very terrible. When the couple has not yet married, they will not know the real character of his or her partner but after they get married, they will know what the truth is. The truth that I mean is violence. Suppose a man or a woman like to use it, but his or her partner does not like and cannot bear with that violence. Thus, it causes the divorce problem. Third is the financial problem. Somebody may think that is a little problem but, actually, it is a big trouble. Money is important to live in this world because we have to use money to buy things. If both of men and women do not have money, the other troubles will happen such as disputation that results in the separation.
Last is woman’s independence. In fact, nowadays, women can live alone while men cannot do because the women can rely on themselves. They work and have power as men do. Therefore, when a spouse has some problems that made they cannot live together; the wife agrees to get a divorce because of courage. She can live without a partner which leads to the divorce easily. Due to those causes, it made the effect to the families which have the children. If their parents got a divorce, they would have the inferiority complex. They may be mimicked from their friends when they were young. Furthermore, they may lack the love or care from their father or mother. Moreover, some kids may addict drugs or be led to the wrong ways because they do not get enough attention.
Divorce rate is increasing in our society day by day. Divorced men and widows are facing many social and economic issues. Only few researchers are done to explore the factual relationship between neurosis and divorce but these researches are about western societies and perhaps nobody in Pakistan has tried to find the specific causes of divorce in the light of psychological framework. One major factor is virtually restricted polygyny in which a Muslim is allowed to marry four times. Instead of divorcing his wife man can arrange for another marriage, till four times. Now of course polygyny is restricted to certain conditions, which will certainly increase the divorce rate in society. Mutual tolerance, compromise, patience, sacrifices make married life easier and prevent it from destruction. Couples should sort out issues on their own, rather than allowing someone else to interfere in their lives. Staying happily married is hard work and demands the utmost effort from both parents. There are ways around the trials and tribulations that come with the territory, but those that find them can live long and happy lives together.
“For a couple with young children, divorce seldom comes as a “solution” to stress, only as a way to end one form of pain and accept another”.
Divorce: Finding a Place by Eileen Kuehn
For Better or Worse by Ernest, Morris L. & Loth David
Islamic Divorce in North America: A Shari'a Path in a Secular Society by Julie Macfarlane
Divorce And Family Mediation by Jay Folberg, Ann Milne, Peter Salem