DISCUSS FAMILY LAW AND MARRIAGE OPENLY

2013-07-08 07:16

Taking the limited powers religious or theological bodies have over their constituents, especially when it comes to resolving marital, maintenance, child custody, polygamous marriages and inheritance disputes, I would like to recommend to parents and families to have open and healthy discussions around these issues.

To-day, religious beliefs, values and compassion are no more regarded as sacred. Greed, materialism and satisfying of desires have become dear and are regarded as the norm.

In the absence of the Muslim personal law or regulation governing Muslim marriages, women go through a great deal of misery and challenge just to obtain a divorce or a reasonable maintenance from her husband.

One of the major challenges facing Muslim women is that the right to divorce rests wholly and solely with the husband. Should a woman not be happy in a marriage she has to obtain a divorce from her husband. And if he behaves in a spiteful and malicious manner she becomes entangled in a long and bitter struggle to obtain her divorce. Here the theological bodies’ powers are very limited.

Moreover, the sad reality is that many women also find it very difficult to find recourse when it comes to domestic violence and abuse. Due to modesty, shame, patriarchal power and financial reasons many women just suffer in silence and do not seek help.

Children are our future and hope and we need to invest in them correctly by spending quality time with them, guiding and advising them and giving them quality education.

Together with academic education, it is also vitally important for us to educate our children about the rights and responsibilities of marriage and family law.

In this regard, I believe we need to introduce social justice (values of human rights) and practical life skills as a compulsory subject in our schools and as a module for students at institutions of higher learning. This will develop loving spouses and stable parents and effective citizens for the future.

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