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Marital Disharmony and Friction

Summary of Friday Sermon

delivered by the Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community

November 10th, 2006

NOTE: Alislam Team takes full responsibility for any errors or miscommunication in this Synopsis of the Friday Sermon

Citing the second verse of Surah Al Nisa (4:2) Huzur gave a discourse on marital disharmony and friction in his Friday Sermon.

Huzur said unfortunately complaints regarding this subject are on the increase. At times extremely coarse allegations are made about women or they are severely mistreated by the in-laws and if it were not for the grace of Allah that in light of His commandment ‘keep on admonishing’
(87:10) and in subservience and representation of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) and the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) attention is drawn to counsel and to advise, there would be great despondence and hopelessness.

Huzur said that today he would counsel and advise in the hope that his counselling will be blessed, he prayed that may Allah bless the words that he counsels with. Huzur said it is distressing to hear incidents concerning marital friction in the sense that our aims and objections are so lofty and here we are, entangled in egotistical webs borne out of trivial matters.

The advent of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) took place to remove all animosities and to replace them with love and to attract those who were ‘lost’ towards God with gentleness and forbearance. This is a great objective for each Ahmadi and none can fulfil it until they rid themselves of their egocentric tendencies. If we do not have gentleness and courtesy in our homes how could we show the way to others for we would be lost ourselves! Each Ahmadi should reflect over themselves and their homes and contemplate if they have unconsciously drifted away from the teachings of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace).

Both men and women should self-reflect; in addition both sides of in-laws should self-reflect for it could be the fault of either side although usually it is the male side that commits the excesses.

Huzur said that on his instruction Ameer Sahib has carried out a survey, which informs us that the rate of incidents of culpability amongst men are three times that of women whereas in 30% to 40% of the matters it is the in-laws who create the friction.

The verbal aggression of the in-laws sometimes drives the girl to go back to her parents in estrangement. Although it is wrong of her of her to do so but it is the man’s responsibility that while he respects his parents he also looks after his wife.

Putting it in perspective Huzur said it is not as if there is no virtue or sincerity in the Community; certainly the majority of the Community is firm on what is good, there are those who trust their daughters-in-law more than their own offspring. However regarding this issue if similar surveys were carried out in USA or Canada as the one in the UK, similar picture would emerge there. The department of Tarbiyyat and all the auxiliaries need to be very pro-active in this matter.

Huzur explained that the foremost point at the announcement of the Islamic Nikah, which is comprised of Quranic prayers, is of adopting taqwa. Therefore when one is giving the consent for one’s Nikah, one should be most heedful to abide by the Divine commandments that are recited at the time.

Huzur said if husband and wife care for one another, are respectful towards each other’s relatives then those who seek to create splits in relationships will never be successful. If they follow taqwa then the inciter, no matter how close they are to them, will not succeed. Both husband and wife should stay firm on taqwa, pray for the mutual relationship to grow stronger and to have regard for the respective relatives. If there is an issue the husband and wife should clear it all up by talking to each other with love and affection rather than let it fester which creates nothing but hatred.

Huzur said at times men make dreadful allegations against their wives in pursuit of second marriage. If the need for a second marriage is warrantable then they may go ahead, but if the sole aim is to get rid of the wife and hope that she may seek Khula so that if they have not yet paid the Haq Mehr they may avoid it, then it is a petty and mean ploy. Huzur said in such instances the Qadha board should ensure that the Haq Mehr is paid to the woman.

Huzur said some men use the excuse that the wife is disobedient, that she does not respect his parents, rather disrespects them, that she incites the children and by gossiping brings disrepute to the family in the neighbourhood. Referring to verse 35 of Surah Al Nisa, Huzur said there are clear commandments in such instances, the first of which is to counsel and chastisement is allowed only when dishonour is caused. However, this should never be used as an excuse to commit excesses in other matters such as why is the bread cooked in such a way, why have you spoken to my parents in this manner etc. Huzur added, that the said verse reminds men that if they consider themselves physically stronger then women, let them be mindful that Allah is far greater than them and that they have no significance in His Presence.

Huzur said unfortunately the trend is on the increase that as soon as the marriage takes place, feelings of hatred begin. It seems that Ahmadis are being influenced by the others in this. If the marriage is not of one’s liking, then in accordance to the pledge of the Nikah one ought to abide by taqwa, however, if feelings of dislike continue to develop, then ponder over it all, reflect over it and seek mediation. It is regrettable that some demand from the first day that they do not wish to live with their spouse and it transpires that the marriage only took place due to parental pressure and that their intent was to marry elsewhere. Huzur said parents should not destroy lives in this manner.

Citing part of verse 20 from Surah Al Nisa (4:20) as a guide Huzur said there is tendency among some men from Indo-Pakistan who marry girls living in the Western world that as soon as their immigration status is confirmed they tend to turn nasty. Then there are those who marry girls from Pakistan etc. but later maintain that they do not quite like them. It has become trendy to maintain that they feel there is no compatibility. These people should reflect and ponder over this; their actions are far removed from taqwa.

Huzur said yet another malady that is destroying homes is that after marriage, despite the capacity to live independently, young men stay at their parent’s home. If the parents are elderly and disabled then it is the son’s duty to stay with them. However, if there are other siblings to share this duty then there is no harm in living separately.

Huzur cited part of verse 62 from Surah Al Nur (24:62) and with reference to the writings of Hadhrat Khalifa tul Masih I (may Allah be pleased with him) explained a most excellent point that a joint family system is only beneficial if it promotes love and affection, otherwise there is no commandment for it. This is obvious as the verse clearly mentions separate abodes for parents and siblings etc. If this system were followed then the traditional hostility between mother-in-law and daughter-in-law would cease. The Quranic verse is indicative that living in a joint family system is not obligatory.

Huzur said sometimes parents emotionally blackmail their sons in staying together. He added that the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) came to spread love and that we should desist from spreading hatred in this way. Having said all this, Huzur added that indeed the commandment to take care of close relations on both sides of the in-laws is fundamental.

Some men, who in their presumption, avail of ‘resources’ that are available to them and are perhaps not available to their wives are in fact preparing a fire for themselves. These include men who flee with the children to other countries, separating them from their mothers. Immediate action should be taken [by the Community] against such men and whoever aids them. Then there are those who prejudice the children against their mothers and these children go on to give evidence against their mothers in courts. Huzur said it is unfortunate that some office-holders help such men. All this destroys the children’s sense of morality.

Huzur added in the situation where parents are expelled from the Community, their children, including those who are in Waqf e Nau are also expelled and later in case of pardon, each individual case is presented to the Khalifa of the day whether the Waqf is to be reinstated or not.

The crux of the matter is to remove oppression and create justice and among the duties of Khilafat, justice ranks very high. The office holders of the Community should be mindful that they represent the Khalifa in their tasks and ought to carry out their obligations fully mindful that God is ever watching them. If they are angry with someone over something, they should wait a couple of days before handling the specific matter.

Huzur reiterated that the aspects mentioned in the Nikah prayer should always be kept in mind; abiding by taqwa and to say the right word (qawl e sadid). Huzur advised to say Istaghfar, to seek forgiveness and mercy from Allah. Men should always be mindful that just as their parents have rights over them, the mothers of their children have rights over their children. Huzur said he is addressing the men as it is mostly the men who are the cause of such situations. Huzur said they should look after their wives and that this would result in their homes being happy homes.

Huzur read out an extract from the writings of the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) that beautifully expounded the merits of kind and compassionate treatment of one’s wife.

Huzur concluded on the prayer that may Allah make us follow the paths of His pleasure and enable us to do the most excellent deeds that His Prophet (may peace and blessings of Allah be on him) and the Messiah (on whom be peace) imparted to us.