Recently, the social media has been shocked by the joint confirmation of Bill and Melinda Gates, informing the public of their decision: they are ending their 27 years of amazing marriage blessed with three incredible children. I understand you guys might say: So what? Is it our business, or does this affect us? Well, you are right one way and wrong the other, because Bill Gates has tremendously changed and made our work so convenient since the creation of Windows and Microsoft up to present.
I’m quite sure 97% of us are still using it, and even those who shifted and upgraded into Apple certainly started from Windows too. Besides, the couple are championing philanthropic works, donating billions of their wealth for the welfare of the poorest of the poor around the globe – I couldn’t imagine how tough it would be to handle and manage our tied-up days filled with urgent tasks required to be completed on-time without Microsoft Office as we know that we are racing against endless deadlines, precisely because responsibilities are always more than our time.
Undeniably, the problem is that the number of the estimated divorces in our community is increasing every single year, and yet it’s ignored in a sense that it’s nowhere discussed amidst countless seminars and symposiums be it Islamic or civil physically or virtually. Needless to specify there are also various statistics from Arab countries alarming the public about the escalating reports of divorce in Arab world annually.
In light of this communal cancer that slowly yet painfully destroying our community, I can see there are two kinds of divorce in my own personal perspective:
First, Destined or pre-ordained
Before we were born, every series of happenings in our lives till death has been already sealed, but we neither know nor remember it. And among those is divorce among many, unfortunately. Nevertheless, some of the Muslim scholars has agreed this might be somehow altered through prayer or charity. So, keep praying; don’t lose hope.
Second, Abandoned or curable
This is the point I want to shed lights on – help me my Lord address it. If we thoroughly examine the root causes behind this, we can surely concur with the following factors:
Ironically, there were few marriages that were almost on the brink of divorce before they were finally solemnized, because of the so-called “arranged marriage” that has been part of our culture for a long time, especially in us Mranaw, where unfortunate marriages were built on. In fact, this practice is not even accepted in Islam as both groom and bride were not alike given an absolute freedom to voice out their willingness and readiness in this crucial transformation of their lives.
I believe it’s fair enough to say that politics or our practice of politics rather is to us how cancer is dangerous to the human body. I have seen it myself at an early age: close relatives, best friends, or even father and sons ended up as the worst enemy because of politics. And the saddest part is that it also became the foundation of marriage sporadically among us Bangsamoro. Meaning the wisdom is all about politics, not to see the spread of good boys and girls in the community, or awla’don sa’lihin wa bana’ton sa’lihat. It hurts, doesn’t? The truth hurts, indeed.
In this case, if we are not man enough to head and lead our family, then its direction towards the future is not that strong to withstand challenges ahead. If we go back to the wisdom of marriage when the Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) called upon us, it’s about responsibility and capability as He said “Oh group of youth! Who among you is capable physically, emotionally, and financially or BA’AH; then get married…” It’s just regrettable that our unparalleled love for our wives sometimes causes negative consequences when they fully take over to drive life into its direction rather than the men as captain. Don’t get me wrong, my dear sisters; it’s still a shared effort towards success. In fact, it should be that way; the only point is that the man should lead.
Psychologically, I prefer to use the words: Men and Women rather than husbands and wives, for the former seems stronger than the latter. With all due respect, women were worthless before until Islam came giving their value and importance in building strong community, modelling by no other than Khadija bint Al-Kuwailid and Aishah bint Abebakr, both are the Prophet’s wives. However, this doesn’t mean that the nature of men will be overtaken; they should always be men leading, and you sisters have to follow and support. In short, you are co-actors and co-pilots in life.
This is another cancer of every society that almost leads into disbelief. Even the Prophet (PBUH) had regularly sought refuge in Allah from poverty; it’s poisonous towards well-being. In reality, if wealth can’t guarantee a successful marriage, then undying poverty contributes to divorce. Some might logically argue that it was rather worse during the Prophet era along with his companions. That is correct, but our time is totally different as it turns into a digital world, so every family member wants to have a gadget for instance that may trigger frustration in the end.
Parental guidance should continue particularly when their sons or daughters get married. They have to proactively monitor them regularly, because they are the experts when it comes to family disputes; however they, parents, are doing the opposite for the sake of privacy and adulthood or they might want to literally unload their burdens. It’s so sad; isn’t it?
LACK OF COUNSELING PSYCHOLOGY
It’s astonishing that despite our struggles with so many societal issues that have to be emotionally and mentally cured, we can hardly find an office or agency that specializes in Counseling Psychology in the whole Bangsamoro Region. In fact we Marawas trust hospitals and therefore we have many doctors, and we have many lawyers because it’s the pride of the family but the whole community to have attorneys who would stand for the rights. To be straight, I wish that someday we can have Ulama that are also trained in modern Psychology, for surely Islam can accommodate it. Other Muslim countries like UAE have established and institutionalized this. I firmly trust, if we have this where struggling couples can seek needed assistance and remedy, many divorces could have been saved.
SOCIAL MEDIA INFLUENCE
Living in our generation is certainly complicated, provided that social media is destroying our souls and mindsets piece by piece except those few who understand it. The dilemma is that we can’t either say NO to it, and we gradually become what we watch, read and listen to. And this will definitely reshape our perspective in life that we might even demand or look for something not attainable in real life, but our environment told us different direction that constitutes misunderstanding in our then happy family. In short, we have to be cautious and mindful with what we watch, read, and listen to.