Oscar Wilde once said,
If your divorce thrills you—you’re on the right track! What then is the religious concept of it?
I’d try and cover most or all religious concepts of divorce in Nigeria as a country, and even countries which share the same beliefs as Nigeria.
For us to adequately talk about divorce, something must have bound people together that needs separation which is basically called marriage.
Marriage is a union of two or more people that creates a family tie and carries legal, social, and/or religious rights and responsibilities.
In different religions/cultures, some agree to one man one woman, some agree to one man many women, and some cultures agree to one woman many men (polyandry). (forgive my tautology).
Briefing on marriage before we go into a divorce.
Marriage as defined earlier is the unionism of two people to live together “till death do us part” but sadly together forever doesn’t last long like initially expected, 5-15 years divorce probably happens.
Some don’t even last that long again, I heard the case of a couple who dated for 6 years only to divorce 6 months later, It’s that crazy.
Nowadays, a lot of people go for facial, pocket, or body attraction over what marriage is truly all about.
Marriage is a school where you collect the certificate even before the journey begins because you don’t know what you are in for, and to burst your bubbles facial, pocket or body attraction fades including money, wealth, boobs, and the rest.
How you accept these changes during those tough times defines and determines the length of your together forever.
Spoke to one of my close fathers and he said, marriage is based on three things: Love, Trust, and Patience. Love binding people together, trust keeping them together when asunder are coming, patience during tough times like they say, tough times doesn’t last tough people do.
After all these are taken into account, all other things should be put into consideration not might, it’s should.
WOW, I have said a lot about marriage already well it’s just a bonus for readers. Now, unto the main topic of today, Divorce.
Divorce is the legal dissolution of a marriage. It’s the separation of two or more parties on whatever reasons might be the cause.
Now, what’s the religious beliefs or concept of marriage.
I’d be talking about two major religions, Christianity and Islam.
The biblical concept of divorce:
Let’s start from the origin but before then, who instituted marriage?
And the Lord God said, “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him.”
And Adam said: “This is now bone of my bones And flesh of my flesh; She shall be called Woman Because she was taken out of Man.”
Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.”
This is where the famous “bone of my bone” expression came from. God himself instituted marriage, making helpmate for each other, bone of your bone between two people, not three or four, two people male and female not male and male or female and female.
So, why then do we divorce? From the inception of the bible, God never supported divorce even when eve committedand sent them out TOGETHER, Adam was even trying to blame eve but God clothed both of them, punished both of them, and sent both of them out.
Note, from the inception of time women were majorly minorities, the Bible never to gave reference to women as much as men. This would be helpful later on.
The origin of divorce according to the scriptures was by Moses in Deuteronomy 24:1
(“When a man takes a wife and marries her, and it happens that she finds no favor in his eyes because he has found some uncleanness in her, and he writes her a certificate of divorce, puts it in her hand, and sends her out of his house).
Moses’ major reason for divorce was if you find some “uncleanness” in her and I’m like, so if she doesn’t make her hair or lose guard during her menstrual period, I just send her home?
Then Malachi came in Malachi 2:16
[16a]“For the Lord God of Israel says That He hates divorce, For it covers one’s garment with violence,”
and he was very clear, God hates divorce. This then put me in a state of confusion, when then is the limit of this uncleanness? or what are the criteria of divorce?
Jesus Christ now came in Matthew 19 and explained it more, I’d pick verses from it
The Pharisees also came to Him, testing Him, and saying to Him, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for just any reason?”
So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.”
So the major thing is for God to join both parties together like the bone of the bone not joined by your selfish decisions (you have to pray on this part). Now that we have established that God hates divorce, then when is divorce accepted in Christianity?
And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is divorced commits adultery.”
So He said to them, “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her.
And if a woman divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery.” Jesus Blesses Little Children
So basically, you are not allowed to divorce someone for some fetish reasons except for adultery, because adultery is a sin and we are not to be equally yoked with unbelievers.
2 Corinthians 6:14
Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness?
This has just stated why Jesus Christ said divorce her on this note but I come again, what if it’s the male that did it, do we still divorce? I said earlier that, women were minorities and a woman by herself cannot commit adultery except with the help of another man so both parties involved are adulterers. So the adultery applies to BOTH parties not women alone.
What if, any of the parties decide to repent and seek restitution from God and God which is merciful forgives, why won’t you a human forgive? Whether male or female, this might be a painful process but God forgives so should we.
Now, if any party decides to involve adultery and you want to go biblically, first tell the family member both of you confide in or seek counseling from more experienced people and pray, then you separate not divorce.
If the marriage is life-threatening, domestic violence, and similar cases, it is strictly advisable to separate not divorce.
Separation is staying apart, going for counseling trying to build back the love between both parties. If the issue, still persists and there is no change from either of the parties and it’s life-threatening then it’s best to separate permanently not the one you will just wake up one morning and file for divorce out of the blues, NO.
When you marry the bone of your bone, it’s will definitely be one of the best experiences but any other person can be a hell experience. The person that loves you will never try to cheat on you or divorce you.
A lot of our parents at some point got cheated on but they saved their marriage, rather than divorce even though the world we are in today glorifies divorce rather than marriage. Humans are bound to make mistakes but our ability to love, trust and be patient keeps marriages to last for 40-50 years. The Islamic perspective on divorce.
The prophet Muhammad peace be upon him said, “of all things, lawful divorce is the most hateful to Allah”.
The statement implies that divorce is lawful in Islam but should only be done as the last resort and shouldn’t be taken lightly. A chapter in the Quran, Suratul Talaq[Q65: 1-12] was dedicated to proving this concept.
Therefore, Islam has laid down rules and procedures for divorce.
“and live with them on a footing of kindness and equity if you take a dislike to them it may be that you dislike a thing and Allah brings about through it a great deal of good”
There are numerous instances of divorce in the world today, but only four distinct ones are lawful in Islam.
• Divorce at the instance of the husband (Talaq).
• Divorce at the instance of the wife(Khul).
• Divorce by court order(Faskh).
• Divorce by mutual consent of the husband and wife(Mubara’ah).
Divorce at the instance of the husband (Talaq): In this case, the husband asks for a divorce and there’s a ruling which states, ” If the husband asks for a divorce and intercourse has occurred, he pays full dowry. If the husband asks for a divorce and no intercourse has occurred, the husband pays half the dowry”
Divorce at the instance of the wife(Khul): Khul is the right of a woman in Islam to divorce, and it means separation from her husband. In this case, the dowry has to be paid only if intercourse has occurred in the marriage. After divorce, the husband is responsible for the education and maintenance of the children. The mother has custody of the children till the age of Hizanah which is seven years/age of puberty for the son and age of puberty/till marriage for daughters.
Divorce by court order(Faskh): means, a decree of dissolution of a marriage granted by a court, upon the application of the wife when the husband unreasonably refuses her divorce, on any ground or basis permitted by Islamic law. The granting of divorce by a court is an irrevocable form of divorce and has the effect of dissolving the marriage immediately.
Divorce by mutual consent of the husband and wife(Mubara’ah): The literal meaning of the word Mubarah is “obtaining release from each other.” It is said to take place when the husband and wife, with mutual consent and desire, obtain release and freedom from their married state. The request to separate in mubarah may proceed either from the wife or from the husband and as soon as it is accepted dissolution is complete. It is an irrevocable form of divorce.
Dowry in Islam is for the wife alone not the family and, to be stated by her. It should be something of value, for cases where the dowry hasn’t been paid, then all the procedures listed above are to be followed.
An important concept that cannot be ignored while discussing divorce in Islam is the waiting period prescribed for the wife in preparation for the cessation of the marriage contract known as *IDDAH*. During this period, the wife cannot remarry another man and her movements are restricted to the house of the husband except for important outings.
The waiting period prescribed after pronouncing divorce is 3 months but for a pregnant woman, it lasts till after her delivery.
There are various reasons behind the waiting period some of them are, probability of reconciliation, a period of sober reflection, detection of pregnancy, Catering for the pregnant woman, and Catering for the divorced woman during the period.
The Quranic verses [Q2:226-237] can also be referred to for further clarification.
In conclusion, is divorce really worth it?