Culture Legal view of Marriage
Legal view of Marriage
Even though the marriage commitment is for life, should it so happen that after marriage the two partners find it impossible to live together the Islamic law provides for the termination of the marriage contract. The termination of the marriage contract can be initiated by any party which has decided that the other party cannot or will not satisfactorily fulfill the commitment implicit in the marriage contract, namely, to provide enough physical, emotional, psychological and spiritual happiness.
It is evident that the judgment as to whether a marriage partner is getting enough satisfaction out of his or her marriage is a subjective one and therefore belongs entirely to the partner himself or herself.Consequently, for the dissolution of marriage Islam does not require that a partner prove to some authority such as a court that there has indeed been a failing on the part of the other partner in the fulfillment of his or her marital obligations.
It is enough for the dissatisfied partner to say that he or she can no longer love or respect the other partner to be able to continue living with him or her. Third parties such as relatives, the community, etc. can and indeed should get involved at some stage of marriage difficulties and try to prevent the break-up of the marriage through counseling, etc.; but they cannot oblige any marriage partner to remain in the marriage bond, as for example the catholic church or the Hindu tradition that obliges couples to remain tied in marriage until one of the partners dies.
A man can on his own dissolve the marriage by following a prescribed procedure, the details of which need not concern us here. A woman can dissolve the marriage by asking the husband to divorce her and if he refuses can go to court which should arrange the terms of dissolution as regards to compensation and order the husband to dissolve the marriage.
To avoid this procedure the woman can include in the marriage contract the condition that she can dissolve the marriage without having to go to court.The party which initiates the divorce may have to pay some compensation to the other party. This compensation may be the return of the marriage gift in the case of a woman initiating the divorce and payment of an alimony in the case of a man taking that step. Again, the details of these matters are out of the scope of this article.