Divorce is the most unlikable act in Islam but despite being an Islamic society, its percentage presents an increasing trend in Pakistan. According to Gilani Research Foundation Survey for 2022, 60% of Pakistanis opined that the divorce rate has increased in the country. There are many reasons behind a such trend, ranging from domestic abuse to possessing different perceptions about life. No matter, who initiates divorce proceedings, commonly a woman is blamed, especially if she is educated and a professional in the patriarchal society of Pakistan. Erroneously, male chauvinists regard such women not only the admirers of western ethos but also as threats to stereotypical practices and traditions.
Moreover, as per the media sources, for a single month of January 2022, in Rawalpindi alone, the family court issued 11 notices of Khula, while in 74 cases husbands filed for divorce. These statistics note that the main contender for filing a divorce are still husbands, which in many cases are ‘unilateral’ in nature. It may be because not only families but society, as well reassure a male that for him, it is easy to remarry as compared to a divorced woman. Secondly, families and friends at times play a significant role in fanning the differences between the couples. In the majority of cases, the spoilers are on the male side. In such a sociocultural paradigm, no matter how unreasonable the cause of divorce is, often a husband takes this one-sided step. This is even though while contracting a marriage, the permission of a woman is required, but in case of a split, this is no more a norm.
Thus, the role of Ulemas is significant, who could talk about the seriousness of such actions. Second, after hearing both parties, the Arbitration Council should be a binding authority, while finalizing divorces. Third, social training should be started, Third, the only legal and religious step which could minimize this trend is a realistic ‘Haq Mehr’ as it is prescribed in Surah al-Nisa, which could provide women at least financial security, in case of breakup instead of becoming a vehicle of hate and anger.