Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Islamic Family Values

In his special sermon of October 05, 2012 on the occasion of the Annual Conference [“JALSA SALANA”] of the Jamaat Ul Sahih Al Islam International, the Khalifatullah Hadhrat Munir Ahmad Azim Sahib (atba) of Mauritius reflected on the fundamental values and structural norms on which the edifice of human society is constituted. The speech explains, in simple and eloquent manner, the Islamic family values which are designed to address all the vagaries of human nature and the complex contingencies of   man-woman relationships in society.

Read the Extracts from the Sermon:

Another infrastructural unit for human society is the family. To constitute a family, the most important part is the relationship between man and woman. Just as Islam has laid down certain rules for the honour and responsibility of man, it has placed woman also on the same footing with respect to man. The Holy Quran says: “They are a garment for you and you are a garment for them.” (2: 188)

Besides, the Quran has placed both man and woman on the same status of equality so far as their rights are concerned by declaring: “O you who believe! It is not lawful for you to inherit a woman against their will; nor should you detain them wrongfully that you may take away part of that which you have given them, except they be guilty of a flagrant evil; and consort with them in kindness, and if you dislike them, it may be that you dislike a thing wherein Allah has placed much good.” (4: 20)

Moreover, the following verse of the Holy Quran shows the basis of the relationship between men and women: And one of His signs is this, that He has created wives for you from among yourselves that you may find peace of mind in them, and He has put love and tenderness between you. In that surely are signs for a people who reflect.” (30: 22)

The only means of creating a relationship between man and woman is marriage. In today’s world the choice of a partner is made on the following consideration: beauty, wealth and social standing. That’s the reason why difficulties arise and multiply, in social life. Our Holy Prophet (saw) has said: “The first thing to consider when a partner is sought for is virtue and moral standing.”

Beauty, wealth and social rank are transient things. The only thing durable and permanent is virtue which is an asset in a partner and which helps to tide over all the difficulties that crop up in conjugal life. After marriage, the best way to entertain good relationship among families has been summed up by the Holy Prophet in these words: “The best among you is the one who treats his wife best, and I act better than you towards my family.”


In spite of these guidance and exhortations, it may be that human choice proves defective for some reason or other. It may happen that the married couple does not enjoy a blissful life owing to incompatibility of temperament, or as it may be said in this age of science, because husband and wife are not turned to the same wavelength. In these circumstances Islam has made the provision of divorce although our Holy Prophet (saw) has said: “Of all the permissible things divorce is the most hateful before God.”

May be this accounts for several Muslim husbands and wives living separately for years and not divorcing for they have been told that divorce is the most heinous thing in the sight of God. On the other hand, we see that in western countries they go to the divorce court for very trifling reasons. Islam ordains that in a case of difficulties between a husband and a wife, both parties should appoint responsible people from their own families to act as mediators who would try to bring about a reconciliation. Consequently the Holy Quran says: “And if you fear a breach between them, then appoint an arbitrator from her folk. If they (the arbitrators) desire reconciliation, Allah will effect it between them. Surely, Allah is All-Knowing, All-Aware.” (4: 36)

However, if the mediation fails and the reconciliation becomes impossible then they resort to divorce, just as a surgical operation becomes necessary, when other remedies prove inefficacious. In the divorce case, too, Islam asks the husband to deal equitably with his wife as regards her financial situation.

The wife has no right to remarry until three menses are over. If she is pregnant, the husband has to provide for her till she has delivered. The husband has to support his wife and so all financial burdens are put on his shoulders, although the wife may be an earning member of the family and earn even more than her husband.


I am convinced that the Islamic teaching regarding marriage and divorce can help to solve many social problems and eradicate the many ills human flesh is heir to. Many unsuccessful marriages are due to the fact that both men and women do not have a proper control over their carnal passion and are inclined towards adultery and fornication. This social evil has taken vast proportions and has become a cancer worm of society. Prostitution has become a sort of trade and has been legalised in many countries and is on the way of being legalised in other countries according to certain newspaper reports. Thus a very big social evil, an evil condemned by all religions, which has gotten a social status and official recognition by the laws of the several countries of the world.

According to Islam, adultery is the enemy NUMBER ONE of society and is punishable by law. However, in certain circumstances a husband is compelled to seek the companionship of another woman, for example, if a wife is contaminated with leprosy, suffer from some incurable disease, or is barren and cannot bring forth children to satisfy the paternal craving of her husband. In the same way there may be a surplus of women in a country as it happened after the last world war.

In these circumstances is it advisable that men and women should live a free licentious life, commit adultery and give birth to countless unwanted babies that would become a burden to society and to government? Not at all. To meet this emergency Islam has given permission to man to marry more than one wife when the need arises, but he should not exceed four wives. Besides all the wives should receive equal treatment which is not an easy affair. The world that was anti-Islam on the question of divorce has had to resort to it through legislation. The same world is up to now against POLYGAMY with the ills attendant upon such a measure. Let us hope it will come up to the standard of Islam and make special legislation to adopt and legalise Polygamy as it is far better than adultery.