Divorce 101: ‘Disparities in education levels and class cause marriages to fall apart’

Published: October 6, 2012
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Book also addresses the rights of both partners and the problems which may crop up after divorce. DESIGN: URSHELA RIAZ & ZAINAB LOTIA

Book also addresses the rights of both partners and the problems which may crop up after divorce. DESIGN: URSHELA RIAZ & ZAINAB LOTIA

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.

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Reader Comments (13)

  • Sindhi_Sufi
    Oct 6, 2012 - 6:14AM

    When will male chauvinist society of ours change to accept a divorced woman with same respect and freedom of re-marriage as with male. Divorce is a taboo but for only a woman but man always gets Scot free. He can re-marry easily and he can take no blame but a divorced woman has no life and due respect in our society. This MUST change now. Grow up our society.

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  • Toba Alu
    Oct 6, 2012 - 6:37AM

    Divorce is indeed painful, growing up in a modern society is a challenge and demand scrutiny of how society deals with changes. Arranged marriages f.i. served its purpose well for a long time in rural small conservative societies (with local social control mechanisms). In modern societies arranged marriages have virtually disappeared. Male dominated societies have difficulties in accepting that women are going to have or are/will fight for equal rights and opportunities. This struggle has just started in Pakistan (mainly urban). It will affect everything from relationships between man and women, couples and their relatives, religious beliefs/interpretation, status in the community, to employment opportunities and laws, to inheritance laws, and a lot more. Welcome to the 21th century. Changing the attitudes/traditions of men is however more difficult and time consuming than allowing your daughters to get an education. I hope more books will cover this subject, it may help young people in their decision making process.

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  • Abdul Basit
    Oct 6, 2012 - 9:05AM

    Divorce is a good thing.It’s better than staying together with a person you don’t love.Staying in an unhappy marriage with fights and conflicts is far more damaging for the children than anything else.Watching their parents abuse,criticise and insult each other ruins the children.Watching the father beating up the mother or hearing the mother bad mouth the father all day long is extremely damaging to a child’s psyche.It’s much better to get divorced and live separately and have your own lives.
    Sticking together out of fear of being stigmatised by society is doing no one any favours.Women with abusive husbands who insult them,degrade them should have enough self-respect to leave such husbands but sadly too many of our women out of fear choose to stay in unhappy marriages.

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  • zeeshan rathore
    Oct 6, 2012 - 9:09AM

    women have got to stop taking the abuse.You’re not being ‘good’ or ‘nice’ if you continue to stay with a man who doesn’t respect you,doesn’t love you.Women who like to delude themselves that they are being ‘good’ by ‘sacrificing’ are doing themselves and their children no favours.This ‘sacrifice’ line has been fed to our girls from birth by a Patriarchal society that ensures the interests of men get looked after.There is nothing brave or praiseworthy in staying in a bad marriage.There is no glory in being a victim.

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  • Khurram Awan
    Oct 6, 2012 - 9:33AM

    Are you sure 5-6000 Divorces per month.??? I cannot believe that. This amounts to more than 50,000-72000 Divorces annually in just one city alone and that is a huge number. The primary reason in my view is the love of the Money and Salute to the Rising sun mentality of Cities that is leading to this behavior as In sub urban regions still Divorce is a very big thing.

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  • Haroon Soomro
    Oct 6, 2012 - 9:33AM

    Men in our society expect to be treated as gods.They are taught from childhood that they are better,superior to women and should assert their superiority over women every chance they get.Pakistani men cannot handle,tolerate well educated,self-condfident women and if the woman happens to be earning than the husband feels his ‘mardangi’ is in question.These insecurities are present across all classes of men in our society.
    The root cause of discord,conflict in marriages is the male’s belief that he is a superior being and that his needs,wants should get first priority and they expect their wives to behave as submissive slaves who yield to everything the ‘majazi khuda’ says,to agree with the opinion of the husband all throughout life.

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  • Anwar
    Oct 6, 2012 - 10:31AM

    We have mixed religion with culture and created un necessary hurdles in getting married and the cosmetics associated with them are large. May God help us all to understand the true faith.

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  • Oct 6, 2012 - 10:32AM

    I must congratulate the author on choosing a wonderful topic for his book. Divorce in Pakistani society has the most alarming effects on children and lead to degradation of society in general.

    I only wish there could be an English translation or version to such a book. (Note to author: I could help edit/sub it!)Recommend

  • Broken Heart
    Oct 6, 2012 - 10:38AM

    Its so much pain when a boy and a girl like each other but because of different cast they can’t marry.

    The pressure of parents to follow the family traditions and not to marry in other cast is like a nail hammered in the head. Islam has given complete decision making rights to boy and girl and they can marry with their own choice but our so called culture is the main problem.

    Why can’t a Sindhi can marry a Punjabi or vice versa? These are our double standards!!!!! we only pick those things from Islam which are beneficial for us and leave the rest.

    May Allah help us, our society and our parents to think logically and in the context of Islam.

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  • curious
    Oct 6, 2012 - 2:01PM

    The world would be a better place if alot of people stayed single as marriage is a big responsibility and women and men should be humble enough to admit they are not capable of handling marriage. Also in Pakistani culture alot of parents want to dump in particular their daughters onto somebody else once they come of age, as it is costing them too much so the best is to dump their problem/daughter onto somebody else. That is why Pakistan needs to follow some population control policy like they do in China and also educate people on using contraception and living within their means and that also means having a few children 1 or 2 not a bundle!

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  • Uzair
    Oct 6, 2012 - 3:23PM

    the headline for this article is very wrong, I think most of the marriages fall apart because Pakistanis dont really understand the meaning of freedom and are the worst when it comes to staying in your limits.

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  • Someone
    Oct 8, 2012 - 9:49AM

    @Sindhi Sufi: It’s not male chauvinism; it’s illiteracy and self-invented cultural barriers. I think our religion is very clear on this. Marriage is very simple in Islam and so is divorce. There are no taboos for a divorced woman in Islam.

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  • She
    Oct 8, 2012 - 11:37AM

    It all starts with when one of partners considers himself superior to the others in terms of anything, be it education, style, class, thoughts whatever. It starts when you stop respecting your differences and believe that he/she doesn’t matches your standard and there you do. You start looking for someone who deserves you and equal to you in your ways. That’s where you are WRONG. Don’t look for diamonds always. With some work you can even transform the coal into one. Its all your capability, your optimism and your view of person that comes in. Trust and support can do wonders.

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