Channel: Bilal Dannoun
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Give me that support. We're not
sales. All right.
All right. Let's get the ball rolling Scheffler. Thank you so much for coming.
I'll be the first one meeting you. And I think all of a sudden, we're actually meeting you
flying down to Sydney just to meet you. I did some searching on you. And I knew you before the podcast, or not in person, and a few Googling, also a couple of podcasts with you. And you're always known as love doctor, right? And I'm sure you get that a lot. And I'm sure you're bored of it by now. But my question to you is, how did you get that name? Like, what is your CV to get that title? You know, how are you married, how many kids you have, how many wives you have right now, how many times you've been divorced, and then you must have this extensive CV, to get the total to share with us that? Well, I have been around for quite a long time in Sydney, and especially in the space of
Darwin, being one of the first English speaking dairies in Sydney
during the time that they were very few,
you know, preachers or activists who spoke in the English language. And so that sort of kick started things for me, even though I pretty much started off in the space of, you know, filk and salah. And then moving on to, you know, all sorts of topics that are related to Islam. I was an Arabic teacher, I compiled a book called Arabic reading made easy. I did courses on different areas of jurisprudence,
and then saw,
you know, that, hey, I could probably do well in the space of marriage.
When I saw another celebrant, and interestingly that celebrant spoke English, and interestingly that celebrant, may Allah have mercy upon him, he married off my parents. And then later on he married off me. Right. So when I used to see this celebrant, and mmm, I said, Wow, what a job that this guy has. He gets to go around and just marry people often say nice things and have all this dessert and sweets. It's fun.
And then I go, and he gets paid for it. And it's dour. I go, You know what I want to be in this space. I think this is a good space, you can interact with people from all walks of life. So then I started to just really focus on all things marriage, and
you know, between being a celebrant, and then marriage counseling, and then divorce facilitation.
And subhanAllah I really found that to be very beneficial, because in my space of work, I get to interact with many different cultures.
Interestingly enough, my the people, the Muslims that I interact with are not primarily Arabs, even though I'm Lebanese, myself of Lebanese background, but I found that I'm gravitating a lot towards the non Arabs because they are the ones who are looking primarily for an English speaking Imam. So whether it's the Afghans, the Bangladeshis, believe it or not, one of my biggest clientele is the Bangladeshis. And, you know, they they're ready to give me citizenship
in Bangladesh, so yeah, that's pretty much you know, how it started. And then, you know, you have a few of the Close Brothers, you know, crack a joke and say, hey, the love doctor that gets around and, and, you know, and that's sort of more or less how the journey began. And that's now been about 22 years. Well, you've had the title 20 years probably close to that. It's, it's, you know, I guess not everybody knows that title. But, but yeah, that's how long it's that's how long I've been in this space for sure. I mean, I mean, marketing, right? And I feel like you should rebrand yourself to the actual love doctor. Trademarks. And
I'm telling you, it's all about branding, right?
Make a killing two boys. It's all about marketing, right? You can market yourself with love, but nothing you should go places, even bigger places. I appreciate the insight 11 Tip.
Chef, one thing I've always wondered about in the marriage space. So I'm married, got two kids. And you find you come across a lot of people who
let's say they're dating, then let's say an and Islamically, unsanctioned relationship, and they speak to people around them as Okay, well, we're how do we go about this? What's the next step and everyone's
The stock standard response most people give is you have to halophyte Make it Hello, just get married. That's it. That's, that's the net natural next step in evolution of your relationship, just get married, put a ring on,
from an Islamic perspective, from your experience, is that really the best solution every single time? Well, you need to make sure that you're compatible with that person, you may have just got, you know, going into this relationship out of lust,
you know, so I think it's important number one, that you ensure that this person that you're with, are you compatible with them? Do you share the same values? Do you do they even qualify to be your spouse? Are they Muslim for in, especially in the case of, you know, a Muslim woman is only allowed to be married to a Muslim man, otherwise, the Muslim man can be married to the people of the book.
So I think number one, make sure that you are compatible. And then number two, do things right. So that, number one, you don't go
causing injustice to yourself in this world, their life and and hence being potentially punished in this life before the hereafter?
Maybe? So I think, yes, you do need to do things properly. And we have an Hamdulillah, the Quran and the Sunnah to guide us through that process.
And that process is there, that's been divinely communicated to us. So there must be good in a there must be Baraka in it, we need to always be mindful of what's going to bring about blessings. If the foundation is weak, then most likely the marriage will be weak. And then you bring children into this mix. And then it becomes complicated. You measure compatibility, how does it work from a design perspective, then when in order to determine compatibility, you need to know that person. So technically, you need to be in some form or relationship with them to get to know them well enough to determine whether they are compatible life partner for that person, but he's somebody that you
can date that person. Okay, that traditional dating seen, while other Muslims is impermissible? So how do you go about determining compatibility, when you can't be in relationship with them, you can visit the parents. So if, you know one thing I would recommend is actually like having a visit so you visit the you know, the woman's parents and wellies home, you can sit in a common area and talk just because you're visiting, it doesn't mean that it's going to work out it means that hey, I want to get to know this person, if you don't have a Wally and this is a lot in the case of reverts where they might not have a family because they their you know their parents may be against their daughter
marrying a Muslim or they've had to be basically be ostracized from their parents. Here, Muslim community organizations come in Imams come in, they go to their organization, they can meet up at the Organize at the Islamic organization, they can always find if you don't have the support of family, you can always find you know, elders or a couple
that you can, you know, get to know that person in their home. Without being alone, being alone with a person the shaytaan is the third and that could lead to haram taking place and and that's what a lot of the times happens, should come back to what Moses said, when you start off a relationship in a non Halal way. And then you end up getting married making a hello
with Allah actually give blessings to that marriage, considering the way it started, was not halal. Because a lot of that happens right now in the community where it's just boyfriend and girlfriends everywhere, right? And they be like, Okay, we're gonna make a Hello. Let's make a hello. But the voices are going up as well. Do you think there's a correlation between that because most relationships or most marriages start not Hello, always. It may be but however,
you only at the end of the day. We encourage repentance and Tober and Toba in a really destroys what came before if a person is has sincerely repented to Allah azza wa jal and does things right. The relationship can be turned around to be a blessed relationship. Maybe they, you know, they continue to do the Haram even beyond the KK or the Nika and hence that's where the that's why the marriage is toxic. Well, that's why it's leading to how do I mean one of the one of the first questions that I ask couples in my office when they come in after the you know their name and occupation, maybe age and background is how's your relationship with Allah? Because that's going to speak volumes about
what's happening inside the home. And hence we have the, the pious people of the past. They said so
Words that should be written in gold. And that is if you don't repair your relationship with the Creator, or if you want your relationship with the creation to be repaired, repair your relationship with the Creator. And hence there's a relationship there is a definite definite correlation or relationship between your connection with Allah and your connection with your spouse. So it is important that we keep things highlighted that we don't wander off that Now traditionally speaking, for 1000s and 1000s of years, people have been getting married through the traditional way and it's worked and we don't know divorce to be so high as it has been in this day and age. And that could be
largely due to, you know, one's disconnection from Allah azza wa jal and not doing what's right because Allah azza wa jal says, women are sobre como se but Infibeam meqasa. But ADA con, that whatever of mercy but of misfortune that befalls you is due to what your own hands have earned. Right? So that's something that we always I think we need to keep at the forefront of our minds that if we want Baraka in our marriage, that we need to start off on strong solid foundations. Okay, go through the process and ensure that we keep things in sha Allah, halal and that we're doing what Allah azza wa jal loves.
The idea of blessing that you mentioned,
I noticed and I see this a lot in the culture now the idea that you have to have a large and lavish sort of wedding, everyone, like we need to have the biggest wedding we needed this and that caught the wedding. Exactly like don't ask everywhere, get massive. And then I think when people have that going into the wedding, or the or the marriage, it's like we have to have this to start the wedding.
Do you think that the Rafa is on that Nikka at that moment, because they're going into it? From what I understand, you can correct me if I'm wrong against the Sunnah in regards to how marriage should begin in terms of the celebration of it. And then you have like, lots of music and intermixing and things like that.
So one of your thoughts on the Sunnah is to is to celebrate your special day, that's called the walima. Right? There's a wedding feast. That is Sunnah, right? But of course, everything has limits. And what we need to be mindful of if we, that this will emit must include, you know, halal aspects. And, you know, you mentioned for example, having, you know, musical instruments having, you know, you know, you know, free mixing of the two genders and dancing and, and what have you, this is going to take away from the baraka, you've already now started your marriage out on the limb, you're out on the limb already, for how, you know, there was the baraka going to be, you know, coming from, you
know, I've seen Subhanallah when I think back about some of the most beautiful moments when it comes to
couples celebrating their wedding, we, you probably have seen this where, where, you know, the bride is dressed in her wedding outfit and the groom in his, and they're actually, you know, somewhere in the world serving poor people. And if you've seen these scenarios, and that's how they wanted to celebrate their wedding, they wanted to celebrate by by giving, and you know, what a mindset to have. And that is so beautiful to give.
You know, I went to a marriage recently, and one brother,
he, he stood up at the end after the Nicca. And he said, All all gifts that are given to me today are going towards a a charity, you know, you know, organization, or it's going to build an Islamic school in some country. And I thought, wow, that is amazing, like, look at how you could have this couple, you know, are thinking in terms of long term, they're thinking long term about Baraka in their marriage. So they've already opened up a door that is very resourceful that's going to bring about all of this baraka
and, you know, this Masjid was this, this this particular Nikka was at a masjid.
It was segregated. Okay. There was this element of giving, you know, sadaqa on behalf of all the guests, and I thought, wow, that is that is really that's a that's a beautiful, that's a beautiful gesture and a beautiful way to start your marriage. We've seen on the on the flip side of this, I've seen, you know, you know, a marriage that went all out, and how that marriage ended up in divorce, right? You don't have Nikkor and you're gonna divorce for that particular cup. Interestingly, I did the Nika for that couple. Okay. I didn't do the divorce because it was complicated, right. So with complex
catered divorces, especially when the the husband is not cooperating, there's a different process. And that process goes through
an Islamic tribunal that handle those cases, right. So but we what we what you have to understand is that less is more in a sense of there is there is room for has said for envy, there is room for evil I, there's, there's the gossip that comes with it.
So I think we need to be very, you know, humble, nothing wrong with having a really nice, you know, kneecap is just within within boundaries within limits. And, you know, keep in mind the baraka aspect.
When it comes to weddings, I feel like it's most of the time, the female that really wants to extravagant. And it's from my experience, from a friend's experience and whatnot. What advice would you give you, all the sisters out there, the one crazy weddings? Well, I guess, you know, the crazy weddings are this. This mindset is coming from a place of familiarity of a story that they have created from a young age, they have a lot of reference points, looking at all of these weddings and compete as well, and they want to compete. This is competition, there's your social media platforms, you know,
you know, really creating a belief system that this is how it's going to be and this is the only way it's going to be and no, it doesn't have to be that way. And, you know, keep it within the Islamic, you know, requirements. There's nothing wrong with having a wedding dress with having a beautiful ceremony, but just keep it halal. And, and, and, you know, limit how many people on social media, I mean, really, no one on social media should be should be seeing what the blessing this this blessing in its full extent, I guess, in its full flavor, as because it may bring about, you know, how sad and evil I was their turn we rejected to do a marriage because it was too extravagant. Well, not too
I don't recall. I mean, usually, usually, by the time the celebrant or the Imam is there, everything is like really like, you know, low key everyone's behaving, keep it clean, keep it really trust me they do. And then like, like, what happens is,
once you sign that's it. The site like everything, everybody's prim and proper, and if they're just sitting there and they just, you know, you know, mashallah, the best behavior, right? And then this is sort of, you start to see some eyes, look, you know, looking at you and you go, Ah, they're waiting for me to go, because you can see the DJ setup.
Right, the DJ is there. And then and then you see the drummers you know, they're on their outside, and you can hold on to that, has that already happened.
So, yeah, so you do see a lot of that I don't get to see
until I'm gone, you know, and hamdulillah I'm blessed shall we do to talk about sort of the material side of marriages and whatnot and the dowry? Or Mahara is a is an important part of Islamic marriages and things like that. Now, obviously, Islam always encouraged people to have a keep a simple dowry. But there is an argument now that a lot of people have put up from our sisters,
about the fact that a dowry or a larger dowry is in a in a way an insurance policy, is it not that if the marriage goes pear shaped or belly up or the husband turns out to be a very difficult person to work with? At least a woman has this, this pool of money, whatever it may be, that you can simply walk away with and say, well, at least, you know, for all my pain that I didn't go through all this at least a walked away with something is insurance policy for some. What's your take on that?
If we look back to the MaHA the origin of the MaHA is a gift we're at when he said I saw Ducati in and they give you know, women, you know the bridle money as a gift, it's a gift. It's a basically it's a thank you, thank you for accepting my proposal to marry you. And unfortunately over time, that's now changed. Where we know the Hadith whereby, you know, the prophesy Salah married off a companion to a woman by virtue of some verses of the Quran, okay, that he would be, you know, teaching or an iron ring if you have one, right. That was the simplicity of the Maha, but like you said it later on became more of an insurance policy. Right. And sadly, even though it's an insurance
policy, I remember vividly reading
a post by an imam who worked for an Islamic organization for many, many years.
And he was processing divorces. And he said, and it just really, like, shocked me that he said of the 1000s of divorces that were processed through this Islamic organization, only a handful paid them I have paid that insurance policy. Right.
So, so unfortunately, that's one aspect of it. The other thing that I'm seeing a lot of that's very sad, is that because of, you know, non compliance or the husband not willing to pay up the MaHA that is owing that he agreed to pay in that contract that if he divorces her, he will pay her a lump sum. Right.
And because what what men have caught on or husbands have caught on is that isn't there's a sort of a loophole. And that is, I'm going to make it very difficult for this for my wife, because I don't really want to divorce her or, number one, I don't want to divorce her, or I don't want to divorce her and be out of pocket. Right? So so what do they do? They say, Well, you know, what, if you want to divorce, there's something in Islam called holler. And holler is an annulment of the marriage on the part of the woman She's demanding the divorce. And so part of one of the conditions of hello is for the woman to forfeit all or or some of her dowry or Maha, right, or Dawa as a small, correct.
And so Subhanallah this leaves a lot of women who are in toxic relationships, right? Well, I just went out, if he's not going to pay me, I don't want anything, then I just went out. And so they come out of the relationship, they say, Yep, I forfeit my dowry. Now release me from this marriage. And then the husband cooperates. Right? And that's, that's unfair, that's really unfair, especially when the wife is most likely leaving, because of this man's, you know, toxic behavior, and maybe abuse and what have you, right? So my recommendation to the sisters is to try and go through an Islamic tribunal to, to have their, you know, their rights maintained, and to try and have some mediation
and arbitration to ensure that they can have at least
you know, some of this dairy, if not all of the dairy, especially if the husband has the finances to do that, and especially if she has grounds for a divorce, if she has like Islamic grounds for a divorce, why should she be ripped off her mother? Why, you know, so I'm hoping that Insha Allah, with, you know, that with the progress of the Islamic community, in the West, and I'm here, I can only really speak about Australia. I don't know about the models in other countries. But my hope is that there will be there will be that the Islamic tribunals in this country in this country, and other western countries will have enough power to ensure that if they are no the marriage by way of
fessor, an annulment that the woman is still going to be entitled, by through a court order. That is, you know, through an Islamic tribunal sort of connection or I don't know how that looks like exactly where the woman is still entitled to her Mahara her dowry after an Islamic verdict has been given in her favor when the mode has been given the
people sign thing. And that that makes it a contract. Now, in the in the legal world, looking to Sherlyn legal walling under a court that is a binding contract. You're absolutely right. And there is there is precedents, or precedent cases in Australia, whereby the husband did not pay the Mahara where he divorced her, she took the Islamic document to the court of law. And the Court of Law demanded that this man honor this contract because it is a contract. Right? So that's a very interesting scenario. And there has been more than one scenario. And this and that case became precedent. Females can do that. Because obviously,
if you wrote on a napkin, it's still it's still boiling contract. So even if it was verbal Islamically you need to honor that agreement or otherwise you're going to be standing before Allah one day. And this is really a message for the husbands out there. You know, you need to understand that. That if you don't pay the Mahara, that that is owing you're gonna stand before Allah azza wa jal before the judge of all judges and you're going to have a debt. You know, I mean, the prophesy Selim, he refused to pray to lead
uh Janessa prayer because of a a companion who passed away, and he had like, I think it was like two dead hands or dinars in debt. And he said Salou, Allah Sahibi. Come pray over your companion to show you the seriousness of not paying your debts. Sure, but my hair has come to a point where it's almost like a barrier to entry to marriage. Because people aren't females are asking ridiculous sums. Now, my sister got married not long ago, a couple of months ago. And she asked for, for my hair. And I thought it was a bit much, right. But she says her friend wanted to help her friend, this friend that what's going on here, like when I got married, my wife wanted was literally three
gold bracelets. Because my two grand three grand, although shocked, I'm like, Well, I've got a better way to cheat on this one. But it's come to a point where it's a massive barrier to entry. Considering that in Australian law, when you get married, and then divorce, the court still gives so much to the female. So is there a reason why men should be asked extravagantly considering if a divorce does happen, the wife will take the house, the children, your superannuation, and she's taking so much more than the mother. So what what are your views on that?
If a woman does, you know, want that security in the future, then she whatever, that she should write that in the contract, it should be in the marriage contract, whether you want half of the house, whether you want a certain amount of money
because at the time of divorce, you're only going to be entitled to any financial contributions you actually made. Or you're going to be entitled to the Mahara, that has been unpaid.
So I think it's better to be very clear from the beginning about what you want in the future. So you're not transgressing any aesthetic guidelines. In saying that I would, my proposal would be for a more realistic Maha Maha that can be paid throughout probably the course of the marriage. So what you could probably propose is say, let's say let's work with $50,000. Right? And we said the mod is $50,000. But it's payable in installments, that it's payable over $5,000 per year, or whatever it is that you guys want to agree on. And, and it's payable over the next 10 years, right? Now, you know, that's better than to wait at the end and maybe not get anything, okay? And then that $5,000 That
10,000, that money that's accumulating, you can invest it, okay? You might want to invest it say with some company called TGS.
You know, you may want to, you know, invest it in something that's going to give you some return. And at least you can, you can now make financial contributions towards your, towards the home. Now, you've got, you've got, you've actually got your 14 you've got, you can invest it in whatever you like, it's your money at the end of the day.
I'm more for for having this sort of installments, or having an upfront payment and a delayed payment. Right. But the delayed payment is not upon divorce. And, you know, if we look back at Mahara, it was never meant to be at the time of divorce. That was never the the objective of Mahara.
However, Mahara is a financial agreement. So you can have an agreement to say, Well, I'm open to having the deferred amount be paid, if you divorce me, or if you die,
then I'm open for that delay. And that's what you're essentially saying in the marriage contract by signing that on there as well. I've got a family friend, who got married and the wife asked for Maha. And always very interesting, nobody could, like no one could believe this at all. She asked for him to memorize a surah of the Quran and to recite it back to her, and to have the understanding of the Torah as well. So you need to understand what it's saying that that the fear of it and to recite it back and after that, they could get married. And other people were saying, is that even allowed? Are you allowed to do that?
Yeah, it was very interesting. But is that something that can be done? Of course, it's up to the woman to accept or to reject. I mean, that's her mother. And mother can be a service. Muhammad can be a
Um, you know, a product or, you know, something tangible.
But interestingly, because we're talking about Mahara, we have to also, because we have a diverse community, not all communities have this whole deferred amount. So I get, especially now in the West, that, you know, we have cultures coming together, I actually get fathers calling me. And they say, you know, let's say, for example, the father is from an Indonesian background, and the Indonesian boy is going to marry a Lebanese girl. And now the Lebanese and the Arab tradition, they're very big on this, you know, you know, this deferred amount and being somewhat of a of a chunk of an amount, right.
And the Indonesians, for example, and the like, they, they just give them a HUD on the day, they will actually frame it, they will put like, maybe $2,000 or 3000, or 5000, whatever, it may be a few $100, they will frame it, they will, they will do something really, you know, artistic with it. And they just bring it and they give it on the day. And that's it. Hello, see Annie, it's done deal. So he calls me up. And he says to me, I remember a conversation and he said, the father of the bride is saying that they want X amount of dollars. And can you help me with this one? Can you make me understand and have to make them understand that now there's a lot of cultural elements coming in
here. So yes, there's different cultures are also going to do things slightly different. Right. And, and that's, that's something that we'll also need to understand what's the most ridiculous murder? You see?
I remember once, there was a million dollars, there was a million dollars. That was some time ago. But in a more recent incident, subhanAllah, we I had a brother reached out to me, and he came and saw me and he said to me, Look, the the family is not really asking for much. They're only asking for,
you know, few $1,000. That was right. And he said, Look, you know, I want to be the better person and I want to, I want to put down half a million dollars. I said to him, Brother, are you really sure you want to do this? Like, you know, this, this is a commitment that if you commit to this, and if anything goes wrong,
then you need to you need to basically walk the walk here. So anyway, I didn't agree. I didn't agree with him. I didn't agree with this. I just didn't feel good about it. And there was a few other things surrounding the case. That didn't make me feel comfortable, right. We did the marriage and Hamdulillah we included the amount because that's what he wanted.
Few weeks, maybe a few months later, they're getting more slow. Wallahi
are getting a divorce. And subhanAllah. Long story short, now we have the courts between them. Yeah.
So for the money for the money.
Because it gets really ugly. Yeah. With that amount of money, you're bound to have something going on. That's crazy.
So yeah, so I think
probably one of the craziest some of the craziest stories I'm hearing and more recent times is gold diggers,
where we have some women getting Nikka they seem to be quite genuine and and they will have a Mahara and in the contract, but they don't really intend on staying long in the relationship. Now, I don't want to like scare the viewers.
But you can probably, you know, that's why due diligence is key. Take your time, ask the right questions. Make sure you're close to Allah, make sure you do your Istikhara prayer to ensure that you know, you see any red flags, right. But could you describe some just for the viewers?
Perspective? Red flags, you know, maybe you know, many divorces, divorced many times,
not practicing, you know, you know, check in with their family, with their friends with the community. Does anybody know you who gonna ask about you who can vouch for you?
You know, what was the conversation focused on was, you know, financials and your bank account and things like that.
So, you know, that's something to also keep in mind. I just thought I'd throw that in there.
I've got a question around.
We'll do a contracts and whatnot. Now there's obviously the court of law in Australia or in most Western countries protects women quite strongly.
On the men side, the male side, you know, men who are wealthy would go into a marriage, usually with a prenup or something like that. What's the Islamic stance on that? Men allowed to have a prenup, or what's, what's the Sharia is standing in? Or is it something that you would encourage people to look at? In the context of there being a possibility of gold diggers of people don't take advantage of a person's good nature that you might say, well, you know, it's probably best because you are a person of means that be
You may be actually out there looking at your wallet rather than looking at your heart or your life
can it can they predict themselves? Well, you know as the saying goes, the smart person learns from his own mistakes and the wise person learns from learns from the mistakes.
So, I think in this context
in this day and age Yes, I think if you're coming in cashed up, if you're coming in with assets
then yes, prenuptial agreement does not go against Islamic Sharia because you're preserving your you know, your hard earned wealth right.
And of course, you come in you give the bride her dowry, okay. And what is and basically ensure that you are the husband that you need to be towards her as a financial financial your your financial obligations towards her her right her financial rights are ensured
that you ensure that, that you take care of her that you're a gentleman towards her that you
you know, that you are the imam in your home that you're a leader you lead by example, that you are responsible that you are mature, that you feel Allah as soldier when you come in, you know, that's your role as a husband, right.
And, you know, the role of the wife is to protect, you know, her her husband's assets and to be ensuring that she is loyalty him she is respectful to, towards him dutiful towards him, right. So there's nothing wrong with the the husband coming in and protecting his assets. Okay? Because we have seen cases where the woman doesn't just go over, go after her Mahara. She goes beyond the MaHA and that is injustice. And that is oppression against herself. Okay, and oppression against her husband, if she's asking for more than what the Sharia has stipulated and if she's not sure, then seek out the opinion or fatwah, okay, or ruling from, you know, a high standing imam or Imams to
ensure that you are not taking more than you are entitled to, so that you don't go causing injustice against yourself. That's easier said than done. Because it surely court always favors the female. But it should the Australian court can favor the female, but she has the right to accept or reject in the current within the context of Islam. So she was she should be taking is whatever she's entitled to Islamically after having consulted and Islamic tribunal, or Islamic Mmm. And so yes, you are entitled to one, two and three, you're not entitled to anything beyond this scope here. Okay, and you you taking more than that you've got you've gone now and transgress the limits that Allah
has said, and does he some tribunal then consider the context of the divorce if, for example, if the husband's been unfaithful to his wife, then the court of law in Australia would say, Look, you know what, because of his infidelity, the wife is deserving of more notice this tribunal reflect that sentiment as well as they will, you know, because he's done wrong by you, then you deserve more, or is it just because well, so how do you quantify that? How do you quantify the contribution? That's something that the Muslim judge will need to quantify? I'm not the judge. I don't really, I don't sit with these panels. Hence, there's a lot of cases that do come to me if there's a mutual
and then yes, I will take on the case and I will mediate and give support to both.
If the case involves asking for more than the Mahara, then I refer this case to these cases to an Islamic tribunal to give their judgement, it's not my area now. There's a there's a, there's a line that I can't transcript a transgress. You touched on a bit earlier just in this discussion in regards to the roles and responsibilities of like, a husband and a wife. And in today's age as well, the lines are so blurred.
And I find that it can be an issue of trying to get the ideas across to both the men and the women as well, in regard to what their roles and responsibilities they should be and how to enact that in today's age way. You get the narrative of it shouldn't be that way. In like a Western sort of environment. How can we get those ideas across and have and have the youth understand how things need to be because I find that when people start to step outside of those boundaries, or or the lines get a bit blurred? Things start to break down a bit within the marriage as well. Well, number one, we need to really ensure that the connection
between the youth and Allah is very strong, we need to go back to basics. It, you know, marriage has worked well for, you know, 1000s of years. And to come into a day and age and see divorce statistics at over 50%. Right. That's one in every two marriages, almost failing. mean this statistic is is I guess, more so from the Western world. I don't I'm yet to see, you know, data being collected by the Muslim world that would probably reflect that but but we are seeing we are seeing definitely divorce on the rise. We need to ask ourselves some questions, what, what's changed? What's changed is where we're trying to go against the divine narrative. And that divine narrative is the Quran and the
Sunnah and we go back, if we're going to go and derail or veer away from the Quran and Sunnah we're going to see problems happening, right? Our roles, our duties or obligations, our rights have been well defined by our maker, okay by Allah azza wa jal. And the key, the key message here would be to really learn about,
you know, your role as a husband and your role as a wife,
to ensure that you get it right, don't challenge the divine narrative, right. So Hamdulillah, Allah subhanaw taala blessed me in more recent times, to craft an online Muslim Marriage Course. So and the goal of that was to really was to to have a platform available for potential spouses and spouses about the knowledge that they need to know to ensure that they have a happy, a healthy, and a thriving marriage, you notice how I didn't say ordinary, I don't want you to be in an ordinary marriage. Because what we've learned over time is that a good marriage is going to keep you happier, it's going to keep you healthier, right? But for you to be in a happy and a healthy marriage, there
are guidelines, there are rules, and if you violate violate these Maxim's or these rules,
you go, it's, you're going to see it come up in your marriage. So number one, the number one key, and I've even seen this in the Western literature, where they talk about where psychologists get together, and they do this research, and they realize that knowledge, right, and communication, right, are two of the greatest contributors to a happy or a healthy and a long lasting marriage. You know,
you really want to find yourself happily married, and for you to be happily married. There's a number of moving parts, right? Be it you know, your connection with Allah so He can place the baraka in your marriage that we've been talking about, be it the the cultural, I guess, norms and expectations that you need to factor in, be it personality types, be it your your needs, as a human being, what you prioritize and what your values are. And you know what, you know, what are you also what's your story in terms of your insecurities and your sensitivities? And
have you been traumatized? Have you healed from that trauma?
Do you know about the nature of a man and a woman and what resonates with a woman? What resonates with a man? Did you grow up with primarily boys in your family girls in your family? Did you grow up seeing, you know, toxic parents? Is all your references, you know, divorced, you know, parents in divorce uncles and Auntie's that are creating this narrative. There are so many contributors to why we're seeing divorce today and knowledge. I believe learning unlearning and relearning is key. It's instrumental. And, you know, going back to traditional marriages, then we have, you know, the, you know, the feminist movement Liberalist, which is, which is a branch of the Liberalist movement. So,
you've got liberalism, you've got feminism, you've got,
you know, politics coming into this. You've got, it's really messy. It's really, really messy. I honestly feel it's a challenge for many of the youth today to get married and especially with the mixed messages that they are getting from their environment.
I'm so is it complicated it is. But that's why I'm really really suggesting get knowledge, get the right knowledge to ensure that you are going to be in a happy marriage because I can tell you now, much of your happiness after marriage is going to come from your marriage, much of your, you know, the health of you, your mental health, your physical health, your resilience to feel better, even how much money you're going to end up making in the future, and is going to be dependent to a large extent on the quality of your marriage. So let's touch on divorce. Because divorce can be painful. And my friend here went through divorce in America revert and then got pulled back somehow,
something happened to me.
Do you think that the current world divorces,
there's a valid reason for divorces or people making decisions? Permanent decisions of temporary situations, situations? Both? That's a good question. I think both I think
you have number one reason for divorce.
I think, in my opinion, that
many, many have not married the right person.
And that could have been due to again, the lack of knowledge due diligence. Immaturity, just wrong reasons. Right. So that's the first sort of site to this. But then
another reason would be that after the marriage, they just didn't have the tools and the knowledge and the know how, and how to manage and to navigate a healthy marriage. Right.
you know, I know personally, as a divorced person, myself, I when I was married, I was very young. And I had zero, almost zero knowledge of,
of, you know, what are the contributors towards a, you know, a thriving marriage? The only, I guess, reference points that I would have had is maybe the movies. You know, think about it. I mean, I never went to an Islamic Marriage Course. I mean, we didn't even have them in my day and age, not that I'm gonna give away too much about my age.
But but you know,
you know, what resources that a lot of us have back then.
And so, you know, you come into marriage, you realize that, Oh, my God, I'm not really compatible with this person, we don't have this same vision, and oh, my god, maybe you know, my partner has got some trauma that's showing up in the relationship, and you probably would have heard me say, one of my favorite quotes that I've come across is, if you don't heal, what hurts you, you will bleed all over those who never cut you. So what we see is, we see individuals coming into a relationship with baggage that's unresolved. And then, and then the other person is saying, Oh, my God, like, Why Why are you behaving this way? I haven't, haven't done anything to you. Well, it's not that you've done
anything, but this person has some some issues that you need to be able to work with. And now they're causing, you know, some, it's causing some damage. So,
yes, so So there is the lack of knowledge and the tools to be able to navigate a healthy marriage, emotional intelligence,
you know, and knowing how to self regulate. So for example, we see that one of the highest reasons of divorce, we find at the top we have infidelity, we find
the lack of emotional intelligence or anger management techniques.
And hence it leads to abuse be it physical, emotional, spiritual, financial, so the only abuse
Yeah, and we find, we find that lack of emotional intelligence up there with infidelity. And then another one would be family interference, families interfering in marriages, and it's causing this toxicity.
You said something very interesting, rather early, and that is
that many people are making a a permanent decision or many spouses are making a permanent decision from a temporary situation. Right? And that resonates a lot because, you know, one of my strategies when I'm dealing with couples who are talking divorce, is to really try and get them to rethink and try and giving them some options because we can become our own enemies. Right, and we're very hasty
You know, and that's the nature of a human being he wants a quick fix, and especially in this drive thru generation that we, you know, experiencing, everything's got to be quick, you know?
And they've, we've been conditioned for something to be everything to be quick, you know, people like would message me, and they want me to answer right? They'll send me the question mark. And it's like, like, you know, do they not realize that I'm probably handing out another, you know, 10s of cases? And how do you want me to quickly answer you, but we see this this hastiness and this agile and this, we have an Arabic proverb, Elijah Lamanna shape on that hastiness is from Shavon. Right. And I think, you know, if I had to summarize would say, yes, that divorce is a result of
improper due diligence, or you've got unresolved issues that you've never done before the marriage that's now showing up in your marriage, or you've married the wrong person, because you're married, because, you know, you confused? Lust, you know, with love. And, you know, you just, you know, and that's what you went in with.
It could be as we said, you know, due to not having the tools and the knowledge to navigate a healthy marriage and understand the nature of the man and the nature of the woman, right?
And it could be just to your hastiness
in wanting to make a rash decision.
Do you know how many times a week I get people reaching out to clarify whether a divorce is binding or not? I mean, that's very, very common for any event for any event, if I, I can probably pay a place a halal bid, if there is such a thing. You know, that the probably the most asked question to any Imam would be regarding whether a divorce is binding or not. Because so many men, okay, would be divorcing their spouse during moments of anger. Right? And that happens way too often. That needs to husbands need to lose this idea of saying divorce during a moment of anger or when they're upset. This is not a light statement, and there's no joking by the way when it comes to divorce. If you
even say jokingly, you know, I divorced my wife that becomes a binding divorce in a snap. It's very serious. Okay, it's one of the top three things of course, I said and said they're serious. Whether it's a job Cabal, Nika, whether it's divorce, okay, or taking back your wife, you know, after during a revocable divorce, so we need to be very, very careful more awareness, I guess, around these the rules related to divorce in Sharla. She just wanted a point, I think