Channel: Jamal Badawi
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In the name of God the benevolent the merciful, I greet you all with a greeting that is used by Muslims assalamu Aleikum, which means peace beyond to you. I'm your host Hama Rashid. Today we have our 43rd program in our series dealing with the social system of Islam. We'll be having our final segment dealing with the topic of rights of relatives and next, and kin in Islam, and we'll start a discussion of dissolution of marriage in Islam. I have joined me on the program as usual. Dr. Jamal betawi of St. Mary's University, or Jamal assalamu, alaikum Salaam.
Before we proceed with today's program, could I have you is as our fashion highlight the main points that we touched on last week in our program, certainly, in last week's program, we try to discuss the what was mentioned in the Quran, and the prophetic tradition concerning the rights of parents and the treatment.
And it was indicated that
this kind of bearish in Arabic or kind treatment is translated in a variety of ways in terms of the treatment, respect, obedience, and help to parents financially when they are in need.
And we indicated that this elements of that kindness to parents
are applicable. And they still hold even if the parents who are not Muslims, even if the parents were not to fish, with their children, especially in the old age when they become a little bit impatient or irritable. And we indicated that there are several prophetic traditions which warn us against being disobedient and inconsiderate to our parents, that the only case where a person can disobey his parents is when they command him to do something, which is contrary to the teaching and commands of God. Now, before we move on to our new topic, is there anything that can be done or anything that should be done for one's parents after their death? There are several prophetic
traditions also that shows certain obligations, even if parents are already dead. In one saying that was merited in Bharani, a person would be obliged to try his best to fulfill their oath or commitment if they made one and could not fulfill, let's say, during the lifetime provided, of course, it's permissible
to pray for them to or to pay off their debts if they were in debt,
not to expose them to any curse after their death by avoiding engaging in, you know, polemics with someone who may curse them.
And if the person the Prophet says, do these things, then he would be regarded as someone who's kind to them even though during his lifetime, he might have not been too kind to his friend, that his God would forgive him.
And another thing generated and Bharani and alibi hockey. The Prophet also recommended that one should make prayers for their souls, after their death, and if possible, visit their graves and make prayers there.
In fact, in one of the very interesting saying of Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him narrated in Bukhari Muslim in Abu Dawood. It says that when a person dies,
everything is finished for him that is, he cannot get any more good deeds to his credit, except in three cases, if he leaves behind a charity which is a constant, continuous charity.
If he lives behind him, he or she useful knowledge. And the third, if the person lives behind, pious children, who keeps praying for forgiveness for him. In other words, he benefits 10 after his death, and the father or mother from the prayers of their, of their pious children. ACCION is a very moving prayers, which is recommended it's in the Quran, but it is also recommended to be recited after each of the five daily prayers that the Muslim makes you know the stretcher in the five appointed times for prayers. In Arabic it says up the Gianni Maki masala tea woman's realty Robin.
mini Naomi said in the transition of minigames says Oh our Lord
Make me one who established regular prayers and also raise such among my offsprings, Oh our Lord and accept my prayers. Our Lord, grant your forgiveness to me, to my parents, and to all believers in the day of reckoning that appears in chapter 14 in verse 46. So constant prayer would be one very useful
activity after the death. Now in addition to the obligation of a Muslim towards his wife, his children, his his parents, are there any obligations
towards other relatives? Yes, in the Quran, as well as in the prophetic tradition, there's also emphasis on being kind to can or relatives, and to keep one's ties with them and kindness in their treatment.
In fact, in the first chapter in the Quran, the first verse discusses that issue again and exhorts the believer to keep good relationship with his relatives. In chapter 47, and the Quran, verse 22, there is warning there again, of breaking ties with relatives, and it makes breaking ties with relatives, analogous with making corruption or doing mischief on Earth.
In one of the sayings of the Prophet narrated in Bukhari and Muslim, he says,
he or she who believes in God, and in the Hereafter, he should be. And then he gets three criteria, one, to be generous and hospitable to his guests. Secondly, to say something useful, and good or to keep quiet. And thirdly, to keep ties, or kind, cordial ties with friends and relatives. So that's one of the criteria indicating beliefs and attempt really to follow the past.
Now, we discussed the situation of parents that weren't too kind to their children and the other the obligations that can be kind of a guideline. What about the situation where you have relatives that are not kind, are they still entitled to receive treatment? back? Yes, it is consistently analogous to what we discussed before. Yes. In fact, reciprocity is not a necessary condition for the person to be kind to his relative.
To give you my documentation of this, there is an interesting
exhortation that Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him was telling to Ali, one of the great
early Muslims and his cousin that was narrated by Ronnie and bizarre and that hack him in different wording, but basically told him this said, should I tell you ollie, about the most novel of characters in this life and in the Hereafter?
That is, to be kind, and to keep Cordell contacts with your friends and relatives, or with anyone Vinnie who broke his tie with you. In other words, if somebody breaks his ties with you, keep your ties with them. The second to give he who deprived you,
thirdly, to forgive he who oppressed or have been unfair, or unjust to you in Buhari and Abuja, would the Prophet peace be upon him put it even more explicitly, he says that the person who keeps his cordial ties with Israel relatives is not the one who simply reciprocate because they are doing the same. But the true person really is one who
keep the ties even though they try to break those ties.
Well, now, are these teachings are they a question of moral or legal obligations? While there is no difference among Muslim jurists that the minimum the very least to be said about those teachings that they are religious morals or moral religious teachings? That's the least to say about that.
However, in terms of translating this broad obligation into specific financial responsibility, let's say for maintenance, we find that there are differences of opinion on that of course, the category of parents, children and spouses, there is no dispute about that, you know, the, the obligation is both moral and religious and financial, there is no question about that.
But in terms of similar type of financial obligation towards relatives, we find that there are two basic interpretations. Among the Shafi, Maliki and jaffery Muslim jurists.
They interpreted this texts to me in a general concern for the welfare of relatives, more of a moral and religious opinion.
But not necessarily a fixed legal financial responsibility towards relatives.
They say you could do it and you should do it. But the ultimate responsibility for poor relatives is not only yours, but rather the collectivity or the entire society. So they're not denying it, but they say it's shared responsibility. And some other jurist like the Hambali and Hanafi jurist, their view is that this obligation is more than moral and religious, and that the person is also obliged
to financially support relatives other than parents, children or spouses. And they indicated that the extent of that responsibility or the amount that one may be responsible for for a very needy relative could be determined either by the potential share of inheritance, that they may take from you if you die or you take from them if they die, depending on the degree, how close or far relative they may be. And other interpretation, like the Hanafi, they say depends depends on the degree to which or Mahamaya, the degree to which a person would be eligible or ineligible to marry. To get married to whatever the basis, they say, there are some possible criteria to determine to what
extent you may be financially responsible for needy relatives. So there are both interpretations as well. Now, if one were to take the The second thing, that is the that it is a legal obligation, financially speaking, right to help needy relatives, what kind of conditions are required for such an obligation, okay, if you're talking about relatives, let's have second degree or relatives or not, in the three categories that we mentioned before children, parents and spouses,
then there are broadly five basic conditions. One is that there should be some degree of closeness in terms of being a relative to be eligible for that. A second is that that relative should be really in need, and not is rich and just want you to supplement his income, he should really have a genuine need. Thirdly, that he would be unable to earn on his own, not because of laziness, or anything that is unable, for whatever reason,
firstly, that you as a person, providing that help should also have the facility to do that. In other words, you should have enough beyond the basic needs of your immediate family to provide additional help and support for the relative and a fifth condition that was added that they should also be Muslims. However,
most of these conditions, especially last three conditions are waived. In the case of the main categories, for example, a wife,
even if she's not a Muslim, one status is responsible for her financially, it doesn't matter
daughter's the person is responsible for them, even if they are adults, if they're not unmarried, because Islam does not require the woman or the girl to work against her well, in order to earn her living, she's always taken care of.
It applies to
sons, if they are minors, but an able bodied son, for example, could still be, you know, asked to support himself. And it applies also to parents, even if parents were not of the same religion were not Muslim, still they are entitled for this support. Of course, even for relatives, where difference of religion may bar the legal obligation to support it does not bar the moral obligation if the person is able to provide help and support for them.
I like to move now to our new topic of dissolution of marriage, and begin by asking you what Islam view of divorce is in comparison to other religious and legal systems. One in any society, we are taught by sociologists, there must be some kind of mechanism they have always been some mechanism to end a marriage which is not successful, and marriage which is no longer achieving its purposes.
However, in so many societies past and present in various religious doctrines and legal systems,
we find that the difference there is not in the basic principle but rather in the extent to which divorce may become permissible and differences with respect to the mechanism or procedures through which divorce may be sought.
Now among those societies or religious doctrines or legal systems
They were those who narrowed down, divorce admitted, made it very, very restrictive,
to make divorce, for example, permissible only in the case of death, or adultery, and in some cases even, even if there's separation because of adultery, that none of them would be permitted, permitted to re marry. So this one, you know extent of restriction.
There are those also who liberalized divorce, to an extent which made it very easy and very simple
to perform without any procedures or precautions or checkpoints.
This included people in the past as well as present even in the past, we find that the pre Islamic Arabs in jaha, or the days of ignorance used to look at divorce very, very lightly, just a very simple matter, you know,
but based on whims.
In the present time, you read, for example, about what what happens in some of these states in the United States like Nevada, where you could theoretically marry and divorce and marry and divorce so many times, even in the same day, there is not much restriction on it, just like any simple social contract. Well, neither of these
approaches seem to have succeeded in really addressing some of the very practical and difficult problems faced in human societies.
On one hand, the over restriction of divorce, regardless of the goodness of the reason,
leads practically to many difficulties. It is too idealistic.
It is good. If that happens, it's very good. If there is no divorce at all. There's no question about that. But knowing the human nature and the shortcomings of human beings, it just becomes something beyond human ability to achieve that particular state. What is the result of over restriction people either abused their own, ignore the rule, or in some cases even defy the rules restricting
divorce to some unreasonable extent.
On the other hand,
we find that too much liberalisation also resulted simply in parallel and chaos, disintegration of the family and as such disintegration of the Society for the family is the cornerstone of society. Now, how does Islam stand visa v. These two positions are views that can be summarized, perhaps in one word, a moderate position. To explain it more fully. Maybe four or five basic points may explain first of all, Islam emphasizes the importance and sanctity of marriage, there is no question about that in several programs in the past, we have discussed the position of marriage in Islam, what was mentioned about it in the Quran and prophetic tradition. Suffice to recall the verse, verse 21, in
chapter four in the Quran, where marriage was described as mytho and holier than a solemn covenant. So there's no question about that. It follows from this that in Islam, also, the ideal situation is no divorce, continuation and permanency of marriage. There's no question about it.
A second point to remember however, is that taking into account human nature, we find that you cannot expect 100% of marriages to be 100% successful, it just doesn't happen.
There may be managers which are unsuccessful, which
really are miserable, maybe for both sides. Now, if there is no recourse if there is no way out of this unhappy situation, after trying to resolve the problem, it may result in permanent suffering for the rest of one's life something which is perhaps beyond human tolerance for most people.
As a result of this a third point, there must then be some recognition of divorce, at least as a last resort to solve these types of problems, and it is better actually, not to put one's face in the sand, but to face the problem head on and try to regulate it rather than ignore it as if these problems you know the do not exist. A first point is that Islam while it acknowledges the permissibility or legitimacy of divorce, in some cases, it does not encourage us encourage divorce. In fact, to be more accurate, Islam discourages divorce. In fact, one of the most eloquent things said about divorce is the sale of property.
Muhammad peace be upon him as narrated in Abu Dhabi and attack him, in which he says about halali. And Allah He has never done a Pollock. He says the most repugnant, the most detestable act that God has allowed or made lawful, is divorce. This, of course does not mean that any divorce or the pursuit of any divorce in any situation is detestable and repugnant.
But this saying is interpreted to refer to divorce when there is no good ground, no good reason for divorce. In fact, one of the great Muslim jurists
Hamble put it very nicely said divorce, like many other acts in Islam, could fall into the category of obligatory commendable, permissible or forbidden. To give examples he said, divorce may even be obligatory or almost obligatory in the case where no chance for reconciliation is there, despite of several attempts to reconcile husband and wife where it's just miserable thing to continue.
Secondly, said it could be commendable act. In case for example, the wife neglects her religious duties. And there is fear that her children may grow up. If they get any children as religious and all attempts to bring her to be a good believer did not succeed. In that case, he regard that as commendable. Certainly, divorce could be permissible. If there is good ground for it, there is good reason that this is the best solution in that case. And finally said, divorce could be in the category of forbidden if there is no good reason for it.
He refers, for example, to a saying of the Prophet, and edited in a tirmidhi and other references, that if a woman ask her husband, or push him to divorce her without with a good reason, then she will not get the smell of Paradise about men. There's something similar also in Abu Dhabi, and an essay, he says it is not one of us, He who tried to spoil a woman or spoil the relationship between a woman or a wife and her husband. So they could be all kinds of categories. The main idea here is to emphasize is that seeking divorce or divorcing, without really a strong and good reason, and without exhausting other steps and procedures, is something that would not be acceptable Islam.
I think you've answered my next question, in part, but still, I'm sure there would be those who would say that even though there might be some justification for divorce, that in the case of Islam, divorce is much, much too easy in the sense that when you want to divorce, it's simply a question of saying three times I divorce you.
How would you respond to critics who might hold that particular point of view? That's Ms. Brothers. It just reminds me with some analogy that I used once in one of the lectures on women in Islam and marriage.
And they said that some people may claim that marriage is so easy.
All you have to do is to simply say I do.
And we all know that the word I do in marriage is the climax of so many things that has taken place prior to the utterance of the statement. We know that the first there is the search for the proper spouse there is the engagement, there's negotiation there is discussion there is getting to know each other there is basic commitment. And then finally, when the contract is negotiated, you say I do now mind you, there may be some people who make or commit some abuses or aberration concerning divorce by taking it too lightly. But so is the case also of someone who take marriage lightly also, just like somebody meeting another lady for the first time and it says Well, hello, how are you? I
like you Let's get married. I do. That sounds silly and taking something which is very serious, in a very light way. It's just in two minutes. They are married after they they saw each other and that doesn't make much sense.
There are definitely some individuals who may be so unscrupulous and not God fearing that they take divorce lightly the same way that people can take manage also like like this. This people could be Muslims, or claiming to be Muslims or could be non Muslims. It doesn't make a difference. It is aberration whichever way you look at it. Now it is important
To make a clear distinction between what people may do by way of abuse or aberration, and between what Islam teaches, unfortunately, we find many of the writers that you caught it, for example, seem to overemphasize the cases of abuse
of divorce. And they really concentrate on it and present that to the Western leaders as if this is the ideal Muslim society, or even in some cases, as if this is the reflection or manifestation of the teachings of Islam. As one sociologist put it, he said that you cannot thoroughly compare the professed moral values of one system with the behavioral practices of another system. Either you compare the professed moral
teachings of both or you compare the behavior, of course, but to compares Professor teachings with actual behavior in some other society or system is another unfair and biased type of comparison.
It is quite true. To start with that the procedures for divorce in Islam may be relatively simpler, may be relatively less bureaucratic than what we find in some other legal system. But this doesn't mean at all, that they are taken lightly.
Because by the same token, the procedures also for marriage in Islam are relatively simple. The procedure of revocation of divorce, that is making reconciliation is also simple and informal. So it follows also that the procedure for divorce is consistent with this overall approach of Islam of reducing bureaucracy and too much publicized ation, or publication of something which might pretend to the private aspects of the of the family life. But to say that it is less bureaucratic or less complex is one thing, and to say it's taking lightly, is totally different.
Thank you mentioned that the horse is not something in Islam that is taken lightly. Are there any specific measures
in place to avoid any abuser? Or to avoid the situations of hasty divorce? Oh, yes, there are plenty of them I I doubt if we really have enough time in the remaining portion of the program merely to deal in some detail with them. But basically, yes, there are measures pertaining to the initial selection even of one's spouse or future spouse to avoid the serious problem from arising in the future. There are teachings pertaining to what to do when there is some difficulty between the between husband and wife. There are certain measures to be taken when the wife is the one who is at fault and what to follow before getting to the point of divorce. There are measures to be taken when
the fault is the husbands when the husband is the one who is oppressive or unreasonable.
There are controls also by way of waiting period that even if divorce is uttered, it does not become effective immediately. There are certain procedures and waiting period which might allow for a possibility of reconciliation between the two parties involved. So there are lots of these procedures. In fact,
perhaps it's worthwhile to
come back to this in some future programs and analyze because the system of divorce in Islam is quite unique in terms of the checkpoints that it provides. Okay, well, we'll leave it at that for today's program because we have exhausted our time. We want to invite you back next week when we will continue our discussion of dissolution of marriage in Islam. Thank you for watching. Assalamu alaikum peace beyond you