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Volume :26 Issue : 97 2000      Add To Cart                                                                    Download

“MATRIMONIAL DELAY AND DIVORCE IN THE GULF SOCIETY” - CAUSES AND SOLUTIONS...A Contemporary Reading

Auther : By: Abdulhameed Ismail Al-Ansari, Ph.D.

 
 

This study deals with the problem of the late marriages and high divorce rates in the Arabian Gulf Region. These two problems are becoming increasingly more important as their negative social consequences become more evident day after day.

The first section deals with the issue of late marriages and study argues that - contrary to common beliefs – the reasons for late marriages is not “high dowries” as one may be lead to believe by the mass media. The study then deals with suggested solutions to the problem, such as:

  1. Specifying dowries, as in the United Arab Emirates. This law is of minor social consequence.
  2. Providing financial support for marriage seekers. This method provides some help to young couples seeking marriage but does not solve the problem.
  3. Preventing males from marrying a non-citizen female. In spite of laws promulgated in this regard, problems still persist.
  4. Female citizens marrying non-citizen males. The study does not recommend this solution, but concludes that it is necessary to promulgate laws that guarantee that the children of this marriage are granted the nationality of the mother in this case.
  5. Encouraging early marriage. This method is found to cause more harm than good, as this type of marriage, for the most part ends in failure and causes more social problems.
  6. Encouraging polygamy. In addition to increasing cases of divorce, this suggested solution gives rise to more problems and it negatively impacts the children.

Finally, the study shows that the real cause behind the problem is the prevailing social system in the region and the mode of the relationship between the two sexes as compared to the same in early Islam.

The issue of maidenhood (women passing the age at which they are still found to be marriageable) – according to the study – is related to the larger problem of the prevailng social norms in the Gulf society, spefically, the image of women in the eyes of men and the social status of women and the degree of openness that exists between the two sexes in acordance with Islamic laws. Here the study deals with the issue of the co-mingling of the sexes: does Islam permit it? And what are the legal structures governing the meeting and cooperation between sexes.

The second section deals with the problem of divorce: it causes and rates that reach up to 35%. The study summarizes the reasons behind this problem with the following two points:

    1. Preventive measures: Stressing the importance of focusing on developing sound means for choosing the right partner, because prevention is far better than cure and because choosing the right partner is the basis of a successful marriage. The prevailing methods of marriage in the Gulf Region are assessed and means of solving matrimonial problems are discussed.
    2. The freedom to select a partner is questioned, as intervening facators are found to defeat the purpose for which freedom was granted in the first place. The solution, according to this study, is to provide the couple with opportunities of a restricted get-together with the blessings of the families and according to the desire of the individuals involved.

    3. Remedial methods: the study reviews traditional remedial methods of solving matrimonial disputes and finds them inadequate compared to the Islamic method of remedy.

The study recommends the following:

    1. The importance of re-examining laws pertaining to the family in the Gulf Region and particularly the issue of divorce and the divorced woman’s rights.
    2. working towards the promulgation of laws that deal with the rights of children in the Gulf.
    3. to review the academic curriculam and books so as to guarantee the principle of equality,
    4. the correction of woman’s image in the media, and to issue a law stipulating medical check-up before marriage.

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May 18, 2017

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