Majlis Ugama Islam Singapura
28 June 2013 / 19 Sya’ban 1434
Undertaking of Responsibilities In The Event of Spousal Separation
Friday Jemaah blessed by Allah,
Let us increase our taqwa toward Allah by heeding all His commands and avoiding what Allah has prohibited upon us.
In last week’s sermon, we shared tips on the steps that can be taken by couples when they are faced with marital conflicts and crisis. However, not all couples are able to solve their conflicts, or ride through the choppy waters. At times, the issue that they are facing is too complicated and has prolonged for too long that it is difficult to rectify the situation. In cases where the husband or wife has neglected his or her responsibilities toward the other, or where infidelity has occurred, the marriage may not be saved because it is too difficult for the spouse to forgive.
These issues normally end in a divorce. In some cases, divorce or talak is the last solution in solving a marital crisis and conflict. On that basis, divorce is allowed in Islam, as a way out, even though it is hated by Allah s.w.t.
Furthermore, the ruling for divorce has occurred even during the time of Rasulullah s.a.w. In fact, the rules of divorce came about based on the cases that were brought to Rasulullah s.a.w. such as the ruling for ‘khulu’, or the act of redeeming the talak. This includes the story of the wife of Thabit Bin Qais r.a. who once met Rasulullah s.a.w. and complained: “Ya Rasulullah! I do not blame Thabit for defects in his character or his religion, but I, being a Muslim, dislike behaving in un-Islamic manner (if I remain with him).” On that the Prophet said (to her), “Will you give back the garden which your husband has given you (as Mahar)?” She said, “Yes.” Then the Prophet said to Thabit, “O Thabit! Accept your garden, and divorce her once.” [Sahih Bukhari].
Hence, if all other efforts have been exhausted but the conflict is still not solved, then allow me to humbly suggest for the couple to commit to the following issues, even if the divorce is the only way out for them:
Firstly, keep good relations with your former spouse.
As how we got married in a good way, we should also separate in a good way. Remember what Allah says in surah Al-Talaq verse 2:
Which means: “And when they have [nearly] fulfilled their term, either retain them according to acceptable terms or part with them according to acceptable terms. And bring to witness two just men from among you and establish the testimony for [the acceptance of] Allah . That is instructed to whoever should believe in Allah and the Last day. And whoever fears Allah – He will make for him a way out”
My dear brothers,
Let us think about this, why Allah has called for the couple who wants a divorce, an amicable split.
And why not, whether you like it or not she is your former wife. And in the past, you turned to her for comfort and loved her dearly. Her children are yours too. This means, she is the mother to your children. And such, value the happy times you had together, including the times when you were married.
Do not let the conflict that has resulted in a divorce lead you to severe all ties with your former spouse.
For wives, give your former husband the opportunity to fulfil his duties as a father. Do not deny him the right to meet his children. Do not let your anger cause your children to become victims in this situation. A victim of the lack of attention and love from their father.
As such, how can we reduce the effects and impact of the divorce? The solution is to ensure that the children continue to be showered with love and attention from both parents.
The last thing we want is the negative effect due to the separation. Even if we are unable to lose our hatred and anger due to the old wounds, we must continue to cooperate with our former spouse for the sake of our children.
Secondly, ensure that we fulfil our responsibilities toward our children
The second aspect that needs to be emphasised after any separation, is ensuring that we fulfil our obligations as a father.
Remember, while our marriage has ended, it does not in any way mean that our relationship and responsibility as a father has ended. Our responsibility as a father never ends until the Day of Judgement. Remember, it also does not end when we have our new family or even when we have children from our second marriage.
This can be done by ensuring that we fulfil our financial responsibilities in raising our children, as well as in meeting their educational needs. At the same time, we need to take the time to be aware of their development. How are their akhlak, how are they doing in their studies, who are their friends, what are their daily activities and routines?
In order to ensure that they lead hamornious lives, instilled with sound aqidah, praiseworthy akhlak and intellectually matured, both parties need to cooperate and work together. And this means both parents, mother and father.
Hopefully, today’s sermon is able to give us some useful reminders. It serves as a reminder for those who have separated, as well as those who are married and those who are planning to get married. Divorce is not the ultimate solution, and if we feel that is the best solution, think about it properly and mull over it deeply before we utter the words for divorce. Think of the consequences, my brothers.
If we really feel that this is the best way out, then remember and always remember, that we must continue to maintain a good relationship as a mother and father to our children. And for their sake and their prosperity.
And for couples who have separated and need advice and support, they can contact the PPIS As-Salam Family Service Centre, set up specially to help divorced couples.
May Allah always with us, to assist us and ease our affairs, and keep the bond and the well-being of our families. Amin.