Provision for divorcees

October 25, 2009 § 8 Comments

A couple of weeks back I had to review Surah Al Baqarah for an assignment I had to submit. More specifically the second Juz’ of the Qurán regarding divorce.

As I was going through it I came across this specific verse that caught my attention.

وَلِلۡمُطَلَّقَـٰتِ مَتَـٰعُۢ بِٱلۡمَعۡرُوفِ‌ۖ حَقًّا عَلَى ٱلۡمُتَّقِينَ

And for divorced women, maintenance (should be provided) on reasonable (scale). This is a duty on Al-Muttaqûn (those who fear Allah). (2:241)

If we ponder upon this verse and more specifically the Arabic of this verse, Allah subhanna wa ta’ala says this is a ‘Haqq’ a religious duty and an obligation for those who fear Allah. [IE – Have taqwa].

One of the conditions of Imaan is to fear Allah subhanna wa ta’ala, no body can claim to be a Muslim and say they don’t fear Allah azza wa jal. However, to actually become one of those who are Muttaqun, you have to have a deep sense and recognition of that fear and be acting upon it.

In this verse, Allah subhanna wa ta’ala is saying that if anyone truly deeply fears Allah, they will provide for divorcees in a reasonable manner. And it should not just be limited to provision but should extend to kindness and dealing with them justly.

Thirdly, this verse is not directed just at the family of the divorcee but the society as a whole. The word, ‘Muttaqun’ is used which is plural.

In our societies this verse is rarely acted upon or much less known. Especially in the Asian region, a divorced Woman is considered the lowest of society and isn’t given her rights. Much less spoken to properly. Although this has been changing over a period of time, it still exists in some Muslim societies.

Two of my Sisters are divorced and I remember when we’d first visted Pakistan after her divorce a relative of ours blatantly pointed her out to another Woman loudly whispering, ‘Look, its her, the one who got divorced’. This was done in public at someone elses wedding we were attending.

This was a long time back, but it still shows the absolute state of ignorance some people are in. When my second Sister was divorced, we heard someone had said that it was a ‘family problem’.

Divorcees rarely get married again and have a stigma attached to them. It’s okay if her husband is abusive and an alcoholic and that going through everyday is hell – but God Forbid she seeks a divorce or he gives it her. As it is, any divorcee, be it Man or Woman has a difficult time dealing with seperation, they also have to deal with the crap from society as well.

Whats deeply saddening is that this view is held by a lot of Muslims, maybe ignorant-about-the-deen Muslims, but Muslims all the same.

If we look at the time of the Prophet sallalahu alayhi wasallam and even during the time of the Sahaaba radi allahu anhum, divorce was a common matter and divorcees weren’t looked down upon. Although it should be used as a last resort, when you’ve exhausted all means to stay married, it still is something you can use which is permitted by Allah subhanna wa ta’ala and the Prophet sallalahu alayhi wasallam.

Anyway, one of the parts of assignment consisted of looking into the iddah period every Woman who is seperated with her husband either through divorce or his death or Khulda. And guess what, its different according to each Woman and her condition. Any fiqh which is related to Women is considerably so much more complicated apparently.

Oh and the person who bad-mouthed my Sister? Sadly, a couple of years later her own daughter got divorced too.

In the end, if only people actually read the Qurán and understood it.

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