KARACHI: Though between 5,000 and 6,000 divorces occur in Karachi each month, there are very few books out there which can help those who have been through the painful process pick up the pieces and move on with their lives. Advocate Muhammad Rais Khan’s fifth book, ‘Talaq ke Baad’ tries to fill this void.
The launch of the book was held on Thursday at the Arts Council. The book, written in Urdu, describes the concept of marriage, the types of nikah and divorce as well as their various kinds. It also addresses the rights of both partners and the problems which may crop up after divorce.
Khan told The Express Tribune that he has taken up a number of divorce cases, but in one of them, the father dragged his screaming child home. This compelled him to write a book. “A split happens because of a number of reasons, including a huge difference in partners’ education levels, class, age or personalities,” said Khan. “I have tried to explain almost each and every issue concerning marriage and divorce, including custody of children, to people.” Justice Aqeel Ahmed Abbasi of the Sindh High Court was the chief guest and shared his experiences. “The most painful part is the custody of children. We usually try to convince both parties to live together and withdraw the case because divorce has terrible consequences in our society,” he said.
Prof. Dr Muhammad Iqbal Afridi, the head of Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre’s psychiatry department, said that the method of marriage in Islam is very simple but it has been unnecessarily complicated by people themselves. “We have adopted traditions from other religions and this had made everything complicated,” he said.
He added that in the subcontinent, women become pariahs after divorce and it causes them a lot of emotional pain. “Divorce rates can be controlled if we choose our partners more carefully.”
In his speech, Reiki master Dr Taj Alam Siddiqui criticised parents who force their children to marry a partner who they have selected. In around ten per cent of such cases, the marriage survives as the partners make huge compromises.
“We have to educate parents so that they do not impose their wishes on their children,” said Siddiqui. He praised the author’s efforts for writing a book on issues that emerge during marriage or after it. “In our society, women are thought of children-producing machines. In most cases, the family pressures a husband into divorcing his wife because she can’t give birth or only have daughters,” he said.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 6th, 2012.