For the past few weeks, we have been studying the topic of divorce. Due to the many injustices and indecencies that take place during this stage, it is important that we remember the instructions of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala which are also social graces.
Divorce is not an opportunity to show the worst side of your character – a Muslim’s character remains upright and filled with Allah consciousness no matter what stage of life he is at.
Following are the recommendations for handling your with grace and dignity:
Keep it Private: Avoid the drama and blame games. Two people came together to start a family and to live together till the end of their lives. But it did not work out. Their marriage was a test for them; they were incompatible, so they decided to separate their paths.
There is no need to publicize it on social media, call people and inform anyone and everyone that you come across. Only your close family has the right to such private information.
A well-mannered person does not divulge the secrets of their private life. Become respectable!
Avoid Name Calling and Mudslinging: Whether you are the one seeking divorce or you have been divorced, don’t forget your manners. Trials are not punishments of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala (the ones who think likes this must change their thinking). Rather, Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala breaks us to make us better.
The way you handle your trial speaks volumes about your character. Name calling and mudslinging does not befit a Muslim – you two came together, it didn’t work out…you leave gracefully.
Do Not Divulge Secrets: Living so close to one another, spouses are best aware of each others’ secret gardens and weaknesses. When you separate your paths, don’t go around the town or in your family spreading gossips about your partner or making snide remarks. Instead of demeaning them, work on improving yourself. Reflect on, why this happened.
Do Not Stalk them: If you have decided not to live together, leave the other person alone. Respect their privacy. Do not stalk them online or offline. Do not visit their social media profiles to see what they are up to. Do not ask the mutual friends to update you regarding them. You are DIVORCED now, move on!
Take Time to Heal: Instead of lamenting over who is going to marry now, give yourself time to heal. It is for this reason that women have been a healing period [‘iddah]. Families should respect others’ pain and loss and not make or ask hurtful questions. Get connected with Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala – let Him heal you. You do not always need another human being to hear you out – Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala is there for you always.
Do Not Poison the Children: Be careful of how you speak with the children. Do not poison them against their parent. You might get over it but not your children. Don’t damage their personalities. Keep your conflict behind closed doors. Do not fight in front of them or in your room while you can be heard from outside.
Do not harm one another because of children. Discuss child maintenance and custody with maturity and understanding. It is an instruction from Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala.
Do not ignore your children. Your marriage might not have worked out but it is not your children’s fault. Love them and give them your utmost attention.
Become Productive: Life is a test – learn to forgive and forget and move on with your life. As long as you remain productive – in the most acceptable way, befitting a Muslim – your sorrows won’t come back to haunt you. Despair is from Shaytan. Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala says in the Qur’an, “And whoever fears Allah – He will make for him a way out,” [at-Talaq 65: 2]. He says this in none other than Surah at-Talaq, SubhanAllah!
Remember your matter is with Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala as long as you are conscious of Him, and live within the parameters that He has provided, you are on the right track.
Friends and families should not take sides of either of the parties. They should be polite and respectful to both the divorced woman and man, and keep their dislikes and personal opinions to themselves. Support them if they ask you but do not pester them. Do not ask them questions or the reason “why”. It didn’t work out – end of story. Do not make assumptions and do not start planning their second marriage. A divorced woman is permitted by Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala to think for herself, in an acceptable manner.
Do not add fuel to the fire by your personal opinions and updating them regarding their ex-spouse.
Above all, the words that Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala used when talking about marriage is taqwa – Allah consciousness. If a person is conscious of Allah, he will not treat the other person wrong. The words used at the time of parting [talaq or khula] are ma’aroof and ehsaan. Do not forget the Islamic adab. Do not just jump into marriage, also ask the right questions, make a thorough background search and know what you are falling for. Give priority to religion and character.
Every relationship has its own unique dynamics, do not judge others.
[Compiled from the sites of: Debretts and Diane Gottsman]