Monday, July 21, 2008

"Children these days have no patience!"

Its a comment that I have heard all too often by the elders in my community when it comes to discussions about the young people of the community getting divorced as early as one month into the marriage. I can't say that I don't agree, because I do - people my age have no patience when it comes to preserving a relationship. I think the problem is multifaceted, there isn't just one answer.

Muslim youth now a days are getting married (performing their nikkah) younger and younger in an effort to protect themselves from committing sin, while I couldn't think of a better possible answer to such a problem, I feel that the immaturity of many youth contributes to the rising percentage of divorce within the Muslim community. Its common practice for a young couple to perform their nikkah and live with their respective parents until they finish school as neither of them have enough money to pay rent and provide for a household. This is all well and good until this couple decides to treat this union as either a "halal" boyfriend-girlfriend relationship or as just an engagement. I think what young people fail to realize is that once a nikkah is done, no matter how simple and how small it is, it is still a wedding! He is your husband and she is your wife. Sure, Islam makes divorce very easy, but it is out of the mercy of Allah (SWT) and should not be abused.

I often find situations in which there is a total lack of patience along with a total lack of respect for the other person in cases of divorce. I am single and have never been married, some may argue that my situation puts me in position to make such observations, but I think I have seen enough in my years to draw conclusions as to what I think is going wrong.

There is a total lack of patience! I know that I have said that I would never run my household in the manner in which my parents have. To that comment, I would also like to add that I don't want to have a marriage like my parents either, but if there is one thing from my parents relationship that I would like to incorporate in my marriage when the time comes is the patience that both my parents exhibit in their dealings with one another. Masha'Allah, my parents have been married for 25 years, my father's brother and his wife have been married 30 years, my grandparents were married for 55 years (they took the 'till death do we part' literally, Alhamdulilah). Needless to say none of these marriages were the cookie-cutter, always on your honeymoon kind of marriages. Of course there are ups and downs, there are misunderstandings, arguments, fights even, but subhan'Allah they pulled through. So, I find it amazing how the youth of today can end a marriage in just months-its obvious that no effort was put into making those marriages work.

Another classic argument made is the "we're not compatible" argument. A friend of mine was telling me about her friend - a good Muslim girl- that simply packed her bags and left her husband a month after the wedding because she thought she had nothing in common with him. Where is the logic in that? Whatever happened to trying to make it work, getting to know your husband better so that you can develop common interests? While I may be no expert on making a marriage work, I know a little about friendships in that I know it doesn't always click in the first month of friendship and often times you have to put in an effort to make a friendship work but in the end its worth it. Whatever happened to compromise?

One of the things that pains me the most about the rising numbers of divorce in our communities is that it breaks up the family structure and tears down bonds within the community. I feel that many of the Muslim youth are failing to see the importance of marriage in our society and in our deen. A husband and wife are to be garments for one another so that we may find tranquility in their presence, yet we see the opposite happening in today's society.

I pray that Allah (SWT) place immense amounts of love and mercy between the hearts of married couples all over the world and that He blesses them with long happy lives together (ameen).

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