AN OLD FRIEND confessed her thoughts of asking for divorce after 25 years of marriage, because of her persistent marital problems that she could not tolerate any longer. Her fear of Allah (taqwa) made her more patient to stay in the relationship, but she still felt unhappy and unsatisfied. Why does Sûrat Al-Nisâ’ (the Surah of Women) — where many commands regarding rights and responsibilities of spouses are given– begin with reminders of taqwa? Because, the Islamic prescription for success in married life is based on taqwa: fear and consciousness of Allah. A direct consequence of this awareness is that a fight for rights is replaced by a concern for responsibilities.

In this article and the subsequent ones we will attempt to shed a light on the most common Muslim family problems that hinder building a happy home and to investigate their solutions based on the Quran and Sunnah.

What is a Happy Home?

Is a happy home the most extravagant house that has a huge space furnished with the most expensive furniture, appliances and entertainment equipment? How do we seek happiness? When faith is weakened or lost, the search for happiness continues in different directions—all in vain:

But the disbelievers—their deeds are like a mirage in a lowland which a thirsty one thinks is water until, when he comes to it, he finds it is nothing but finds Allah before him, and He will pay him in full his due; and Allah is swift in account. [Sûrat Al-Nûr, 24:39]

Islam is the final and complete message to humanity that depicts in detail the way of life which guarantees achieving a genuine lasting happiness in both this life and the hereafter. We refer to genuine happiness as the state of contentment, satisfaction, pleasure and harmony with oneself and other human beings.

Only Islam—the way of Allah— guarantees genuine and lasting happiness; true happiness is a state of contentment, satisfaction, pleasure and harmony with oneself and other human beings.

A Happy Home is Our Top Priority!

The first step is to realize that a happy home is our—every man and woman’s—top priority. Allah is happy with those who keep their families—parents and spouses— happy as a way of submitting to Him. Seeking happiness is the most fundamental instinct and desire of all human beings—and that cannot happen except in a happy home. It is worth all the effort, time and energy. Not only that, but a happy home is helpful in achieving success in other fields of life—whether Islamic or worldly.

What are the Challenges?

In today’s world –where faith takes a back seat in life– family and home are facing tremendous stresses and challenges. In societies that are ruled by secular systems and constitutions of man-made laws, family suffers the most serious consequences. With the human conscience almost dead, the only motivations that control and guide human behaviors are selfishness, materialism, and immediate self-gratification. The man-made laws and regulations have only a limited effect on shaping human attitudes and behaviors. Whenever the disbelievers are able to get away from the watchdogs of the system, they would not hesitate to follow their desires regardless of the effects on others, since they do not fear the ultimate super power, Allah, subhanahu wa ta‘ala.

Even in Muslim societies, families are struggling due to local cultures that adopted a distorted understanding of Islamic teachings or that are influenced by other foreign traditions. Between the rigid traditions of the East and the bankruptness of the traditions imported from the West, many sincere Muslims are torn. What adds to their problems is lack of Islamic institutions that provide social or counseling services in the form of education or mediation. Consequently, so many Muslim couples are forced to seek refuge in non-Muslim institutions and end up destroying their families for trivial problems that could have been solved, if only they had had adequate Islamic education and guidance.

The problems that our Muslim families are facing range from domestic violence and teenage abuse to small but persistent problems which, if ignored, might develop a sense of resentment and dissatisfaction. With time the accumulated effect of these small problems that happen frequently can be as damaging to the relationship as the big ones.

In an incident of a teenager who was beaten by his Muslim father, the police took the child away from his Muslim family and moved him to a Christian family. In another case an argument about a minor issue started between a Muslim couple escalated to a level that made the neighbors call the police, who arrested the husband. Later the couple regretted what had happened, but the case against the husband is still in, and both of them have to fight to prove the husband’s innocence. In another case the couple had been having problems for years; they sought help from a mainstream counselor who charged them a lot of money just to listen to them for hours without saying a word. Now they have filed for divorce in the American court system. The Muslim woman confidentially confessed to me her thoughts of asking for divorce after 25 years of marriage, because of her persistent marital problems that she cannot tolerate any longer. Her fear of Allah (taqwa) makes her more patient to stay in the relationship, but she still feels unhappy and unsatisfied.

The above examples are real life stories from a small sample that I came across through my volunteer work as a Muslim family counselor for a short period of time, demonstrating the size of the problems that our Muslim families are facing. Besides the suffering from the original problem, we have to be aware that often the interference of the police can only make a bad situation much worse. This is not to discourage anyone from seeking help in case of serious abuse, but we must be very cautious in making such a decision, and do everything possible to find Muslim institutions to help before getting the law involved. The law is basically heartless; besides, interference of the authorities that do not understand our culture and religion often only adds to our problems.

Learn from the Prophet’s Example

In addressing most of the problems that our families are facing, we have the best role model in the life of Prophet Muhammad, ﷺ. We must put forth the necessary effort to study his Sîra, how he dealt with his family, how his wives dealt with him through the hardship that they went through. We are sure to find a cure for every ailment only if we approach it with complete submission to and absolute trust in Allah. Allah emphasizes this concept in the Quran:

Say, (O Muhammad) ‘If you should love Allah, then follow me, (so) Allah will love you and forgive you your sins. And Allah is Forgiving and Merciful. [Sûrat Âl ʿImrân, 3:31]

And obey Allah and the Messenger that you may obtain mercy. [Sûrat Âl ʿImrân, 3:132]

What can we gain and implement from the contemporary research in human relationships generally, and specifically in marital relationship?

Our problems now seem different in form and context from the ones that Muslims used to face at the time of the Prophet and his Companions, but they still have the same root reasons and can be solved by the same methodology that was successful fourteen hundred years ago. Human nature never changed and it will never change. The core relationship between husband and wife is the same and will stay the same until the end of the world. However, there is still some benefit from exploring the contemporary social science fields and adopting what fits our Islamic laws and guidance.

37 Comments

  • Veronica Kascle

    Fri | 6 Shaban 1437AH | 13-5-2016 - 9:11 pm

    Sometimes, even when two people are doing the best they can Islamically, a marriage still tends to fall apart. Does it make there Islam weak? I’m not sure, but I can say, staying in a marriage where both parties are miserable is often more hurtful. There are many factors that play into divorce.

    I wish Divorce was less stigmatized within the Muslim circle. Men and women should be more supported through the process. Often times, the woman is regarded as a failure or a source of trouble. Divorce may be the last option, but it needs to be recognized as an Islamic right that one should not be shunned or made to feel guilty over. Enduring misery doesn’t necessarily translate into piety. Sometimes, leaving is much more difficult then staying.

  • Veronica Kascle

    Fri | 6 Shaban 1437AH | 13-5-2016 - 9:11 pm

    Sometimes, even when two people are doing the best they can Islamically, a marriage still tends to fall apart. Does it make there Islam weak? I’m not sure, but I can say, staying in a marriage where both parties are miserable is often more hurtful. There are many factors that play into divorce.

    I wish Divorce was less stigmatized within the Muslim circle. Men and women should be more supported through the process. Often times, the woman is regarded as a failure or a source of trouble. Divorce may be the last option, but it needs to be recognized as an Islamic right that one should not be shunned or made to feel guilty over. Enduring misery doesn’t necessarily translate into piety. Sometimes, leaving is much more difficult then staying.

  • Veronica Kascle

    Fri | 6 Shaban 1437AH | 13-5-2016 - 9:11 pm

    Sometimes, even when two people are doing the best they can Islamically, a marriage still tends to fall apart. Does it make there Islam weak? I’m not sure, but I can say, staying in a marriage where both parties are miserable is often more hurtful. There are many factors that play into divorce.

    I wish Divorce was less stigmatized within the Muslim circle. Men and women should be more supported through the process. Often times, the woman is regarded as a failure or a source of trouble. Divorce may be the last option, but it needs to be recognized as an Islamic right that one should not be shunned or made to feel guilty over. Enduring misery doesn’t necessarily translate into piety. Sometimes, leaving is much more difficult then staying.

  • Veronica Kascle

    Fri | 6 Shaban 1437AH | 13-5-2016 - 9:11 pm

    Sometimes, even when two people are doing the best they can Islamically, a marriage still tends to fall apart. Does it make there Islam weak? I’m not sure, but I can say, staying in a marriage where both parties are miserable is often more hurtful. There are many factors that play into divorce.

    I wish Divorce was less stigmatized within the Muslim circle. Men and women should be more supported through the process. Often times, the woman is regarded as a failure or a source of trouble. Divorce may be the last option, but it needs to be recognized as an Islamic right that one should not be shunned or made to feel guilty over. Enduring misery doesn’t necessarily translate into piety. Sometimes, leaving is much more difficult then staying.

  • Veronica Kascle

    Veronica Kascle

    Fri | 6 Shaban 1437AH | 13-5-2016 - 9:11 pm

    Sometimes, even when two people are doing the best they can Islamically, a marriage still tends to fall apart. Does it make there Islam weak? I’m not sure, but I can say, staying in a marriage where both parties are miserable is often more hurtful. There are many factors that play into divorce.

    I wish Divorce was less stigmatized within the Muslim circle. Men and women should be more supported through the process. Often times, the woman is regarded as a failure or a source of trouble. Divorce may be the last option, but it needs to be recognized as an Islamic right that one should not be shunned or made to feel guilty over. Enduring misery doesn’t necessarily translate into piety. Sometimes, leaving is much more difficult then staying.

    • Ahmed

      Wed | 3 Ramadan 1437AH | 8-6-2016 - 4:02 pm

      there is no way two people are doing the best they can Islamically. No possible way. im pretty sure you talking about a believer and Muslim. a Muslim who don’t believe that Muhammad peace and blessing on him said that the women should obey the man. with No doubt. one of them have a disease in their heart. how come the divorce come after 10,12,15 years of marriage because the woman don’t think about the division that she cause. on the father and the kids.
      Allah is the most knowing. maybe one of them is having health issues psychological issues he believe he/she is islamically OK. am not sure about your comments. divorce in Islam is very simple and is the only religion that allowed divorce but not in your case you should struggle to come to Allah first. I believe in this Ramadan you may find your self.

      Please Don’t give your opinion. this is Islam and Muhammad said whom ever innovate will be in hell

      thanks

  • Veronica Kascle

    Veronica Kascle

    Fri | 6 Shaban 1437AH | 13-5-2016 - 9:11 pm

    Sometimes, even when two people are doing the best they can Islamically, a marriage still tends to fall apart. Does it make there Islam weak? I’m not sure, but I can say, staying in a marriage where both parties are miserable is often more hurtful. There are many factors that play into divorce.

    I wish Divorce was less stigmatized within the Muslim circle. Men and women should be more supported through the process. Often times, the woman is regarded as a failure or a source of trouble. Divorce may be the last option, but it needs to be recognized as an Islamic right that one should not be shunned or made to feel guilty over. Enduring misery doesn’t necessarily translate into piety. Sometimes, leaving is much more difficult then staying.

  • Veronica Kascle

    Veronica Kascle

    Fri | 6 Shaban 1437AH | 13-5-2016 - 9:11 pm

    Sometimes, even when two people are doing the best they can Islamically, a marriage still tends to fall apart. Does it make there Islam weak? I’m not sure, but I can say, staying in a marriage where both parties are miserable is often more hurtful. There are many factors that play into divorce.

    I wish Divorce was less stigmatized within the Muslim circle. Men and women should be more supported through the process. Often times, the woman is regarded as a failure or a source of trouble. Divorce may be the last option, but it needs to be recognized as an Islamic right that one should not be shunned or made to feel guilty over. Enduring misery doesn’t necessarily translate into piety. Sometimes, leaving is much more difficult then staying.

  • Veronica Kascle

    Veronica Kascle

    Fri | 6 Shaban 1437AH | 13-5-2016 - 9:11 pm

    Sometimes, even when two people are doing the best they can Islamically, a marriage still tends to fall apart. Does it make there Islam weak? I’m not sure, but I can say, staying in a marriage where both parties are miserable is often more hurtful. There are many factors that play into divorce.

    I wish Divorce was less stigmatized within the Muslim circle. Men and women should be more supported through the process. Often times, the woman is regarded as a failure or a source of trouble. Divorce may be the last option, but it needs to be recognized as an Islamic right that one should not be shunned or made to feel guilty over. Enduring misery doesn’t necessarily translate into piety. Sometimes, leaving is much more difficult then staying.

  • Islamwich

    Sat | 7 Shaban 1437AH | 14-5-2016 - 7:42 am

    You’re absolutely right, Veronica Kascle. We recently recorded a podcast on domestic abuse and the Muslim responsibility to leave such situations. As well I’m (Kaighla Um Dayo) part of a new initiative to debunk divorce drama and support divorced women. Can you inbox me and we can talk more? We could use your voice!

  • Islamwich

    Sat | 7 Shaban 1437AH | 14-5-2016 - 7:42 am

    You’re absolutely right, Veronica Kascle. We recently recorded a podcast on domestic abuse and the Muslim responsibility to leave such situations. As well I’m (Kaighla Um Dayo) part of a new initiative to debunk divorce drama and support divorced women. Can you inbox me and we can talk more? We could use your voice!

    • Veronica Kascle

      Sat | 7 Shaban 1437AH | 14-5-2016 - 8:14 am

      Awesome. It’s always nice to see women helping women. Not sure how much help I can be, but I’ll give it a go.

    • Veronica Kascle

      Sat | 7 Shaban 1437AH | 14-5-2016 - 8:14 am

      Awesome. It’s always nice to see women helping women. Not sure how much help I can be, but I’ll give it a go.

  • Islamwich

    Sat | 7 Shaban 1437AH | 14-5-2016 - 7:42 am

    You’re absolutely right, Veronica Kascle. We recently recorded a podcast on domestic abuse and the Muslim responsibility to leave such situations. As well I’m (Kaighla Um Dayo) part of a new initiative to debunk divorce drama and support divorced women. Can you inbox me and we can talk more? We could use your voice!

    • Veronica Kascle

      Sat | 7 Shaban 1437AH | 14-5-2016 - 8:14 am

      Awesome. It’s always nice to see women helping women. Not sure how much help I can be, but I’ll give it a go.

  • Islamwich

    Sat | 7 Shaban 1437AH | 14-5-2016 - 7:42 am

    You’re absolutely right, Veronica Kascle. We recently recorded a podcast on domestic abuse and the Muslim responsibility to leave such situations. As well I’m (Kaighla Um Dayo) part of a new initiative to debunk divorce drama and support divorced women. Can you inbox me and we can talk more? We could use your voice!

    • Veronica Kascle

      Sat | 7 Shaban 1437AH | 14-5-2016 - 8:14 am

      Awesome. It’s always nice to see women helping women. Not sure how much help I can be, but I’ll give it a go.

  • Islamwich

    Sat | 7 Shaban 1437AH | 14-5-2016 - 7:42 am

    You’re absolutely right, Veronica Kascle. We recently recorded a podcast on domestic abuse and the Muslim responsibility to leave such situations. As well I’m (Kaighla Um Dayo) part of a new initiative to debunk divorce drama and support divorced women. Can you inbox me and we can talk more? We could use your voice!

    • Veronica Kascle

      Sat | 7 Shaban 1437AH | 14-5-2016 - 8:14 am

      Awesome. It’s always nice to see women helping women. Not sure how much help I can be, but I’ll give it a go.

  • Islamwich

    Islamwich

    Sat | 7 Shaban 1437AH | 14-5-2016 - 7:42 am

    You’re absolutely right, Veronica Kascle. We recently recorded a podcast on domestic abuse and the Muslim responsibility to leave such situations. As well I’m (Kaighla Um Dayo) part of a new initiative to debunk divorce drama and support divorced women. Can you inbox me and we can talk more? We could use your voice!

    • Veronica Kascle

      Veronica Kascle

      Sat | 7 Shaban 1437AH | 14-5-2016 - 8:14 am

      Awesome. It’s always nice to see women helping women. Not sure how much help I can be, but I’ll give it a go.

  • Islamwich

    Islamwich

    Sat | 7 Shaban 1437AH | 14-5-2016 - 7:42 am

    You’re absolutely right, Veronica Kascle. We recently recorded a podcast on domestic abuse and the Muslim responsibility to leave such situations. As well I’m (Kaighla Um Dayo) part of a new initiative to debunk divorce drama and support divorced women. Can you inbox me and we can talk more? We could use your voice!

    • Veronica Kascle

      Veronica Kascle

      Sat | 7 Shaban 1437AH | 14-5-2016 - 8:14 am

      Awesome. It’s always nice to see women helping women. Not sure how much help I can be, but I’ll give it a go.

  • Islamwich

    Islamwich

    Sat | 7 Shaban 1437AH | 14-5-2016 - 7:42 am

    You’re absolutely right, Veronica Kascle. We recently recorded a podcast on domestic abuse and the Muslim responsibility to leave such situations. As well I’m (Kaighla Um Dayo) part of a new initiative to debunk divorce drama and support divorced women. Can you inbox me and we can talk more? We could use your voice!

    • Veronica Kascle

      Veronica Kascle

      Sat | 7 Shaban 1437AH | 14-5-2016 - 8:14 am

      Awesome. It’s always nice to see women helping women. Not sure how much help I can be, but I’ll give it a go.

  • Islamwich

    Islamwich

    Sat | 7 Shaban 1437AH | 14-5-2016 - 7:42 am

    You’re absolutely right, Veronica Kascle. We recently recorded a podcast on domestic abuse and the Muslim responsibility to leave such situations. As well I’m (Kaighla Um Dayo) part of a new initiative to debunk divorce drama and support divorced women. Can you inbox me and we can talk more? We could use your voice!

    • Veronica Kascle

      Veronica Kascle

      Sat | 7 Shaban 1437AH | 14-5-2016 - 8:14 am

      Awesome. It’s always nice to see women helping women. Not sure how much help I can be, but I’ll give it a go.

  • GL

    GL

    Sun | 8 Shaban 1437AH | 15-5-2016 - 10:02 pm

    jazakumallahukhyrun

  • GL

    GL

    Sun | 8 Shaban 1437AH | 15-5-2016 - 10:02 pm

    jazakumallahukhyrun

  • GL

    GL

    Sun | 8 Shaban 1437AH | 15-5-2016 - 10:02 pm

    jazakumallahukhyrun

  • GL

    GL

    Sun | 8 Shaban 1437AH | 15-5-2016 - 10:02 pm

    jazakumallahukhyrun

  • GL

    GL

    Sun | 8 Shaban 1437AH | 15-5-2016 - 10:02 pm

    jazakumallahukhyrun

  • GL

    GL

    Sun | 8 Shaban 1437AH | 15-5-2016 - 10:02 pm

    jazakumallahukhyrun

  • GL

    GL

    Sun | 8 Shaban 1437AH | 15-5-2016 - 10:02 pm

    jazakumallahukhyrun

  • GL

    GL

    Sun | 8 Shaban 1437AH | 15-5-2016 - 10:02 pm

    jazakumallahukhyrun

  • GL

    GL

    Sun | 8 Shaban 1437AH | 15-5-2016 - 10:02 pm

    jazakumallahukhyrun

  • Ahmed

    Wed | 3 Ramadan 1437AH | 8-6-2016 - 12:42 pm

    well the prophete mohammed may the peace and blessing on him said. if a women ask a divorce with no reason then al janna (paradise) is forbiden on her. and reson are clear if the hasband is kaffer(disbeleiver) or is not able to perferom a sex.
    so in islam No women file for divorce. these new converte they come from kuffer and they try to teach us our releigion. and my prove about this is: the majority of you will say hadith is not true or there is mistake.. if this is your opinion you should look for another releigion islam is not yours because Quran always uses Allah and his massenger and=wa. you should study arabic.. so you can understand if you nuliffy some hadith you should elemniate all hadith, and who the virus you to say i accept this and i beleive on that.. in the system of lie America a system who dosnt beleive in any releigion he gives the women the right to file for divorce well 99.99999999999999999999999 divorce filed are women (system of dajjal)
    well if a divorce happen…. what after a divorce let us look at ISLAM of Muhammed… and beleive me i don’t care about you all if you don’t agree.

    if the women want divorce sure she have 3 month of support then she pick her belonging include your Mom and leave
    she is not allowed to take kids or 1/2 of the money and property. this is iman faith and this islam of allah and muhammed. if you dont like it. then you arent beleiver. and i don’t care for your emotion. you still muslim but the system of dajjal is you law. do you know why: because the women without kids is faster to get married. but if she have the kids she will get married and the step father is muhram on the kids. he may sleep with her daughter as it happen in daytona beach.
    women in islam is to pray her 5, fast her month, and obey her hasband. women in US want to leave the house at 10 pm just to pissoff her hasband.. im discussed but there is a day where all stand front of allah and then you will regret the day that you evil divide the father from his kids.
    allah said its not for a beleiving man or women when Allah and his messenger have dicided a matter, that they should have any choice about their affair. and however disobeys Allah and his mesenger has certainly strayed into clear error.
    33:36

    allah is great and if you proud of Dajjal system American and its ally Muhammed Said the Dajjal will Fall

    when it is said to him, “fear Allah” he led by arrangance to (more) crime.
    enough for him is hell; and evil bed indeed to lie on 1:206

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