Dubai: A wife was divorced because she telephoned her husband while he watched football, another because she was late to bring a glass of water to her husband and a third was divorced because she used extra salt in food.
These are cases which were described as "silly and childish" by Abdul Aziz Al Hammadi, a marriage counsellor at Dubai Courts' Family Guidance and Reconciliation Section.
"Sharia Courts herein and across the Arab countries have been witnessing cases of husbands divorcing their wives over ridiculous and impractical reasons … some husbands are abusing the religious right to divorce by terrorising and bullying wives and threatening them with divorce over [the] silliest reasons. This is [unacceptable] in Islam and Sharia. Divorce is not a game to fool around with and destroy a family. It is not just a simple word that a husband or a wife should spell out in a recreational or entertaining manner. Divorce, in Islam, is limited to a set of laws and rules. It is a huge responsibility and liability for the man and the woman. When husbands or wives claim divorce they should be seriously aware of their demand because its aftermath is what counts," said Al Hammadi in a presentation about divorce titled "Divorce between compassion and mishandling".
He strongly cautioned husbands and wives against exploiting the right to divorce which he described as "destructive to families and children and leads to shortcomings which negatively impacts the society" when he addressed a conference titled "Sons of Divorce, Where To?" at Al Ittihad Women Association in Sharjah.
According to Sharia, a husband is counselled to adopt a civilised and productive method and to be responsible and patient before divorcing.
"We call that ... the gradual edifying reconciliation method … whenever a husband notices a bizarre behaviour from his wife, he can advise her, then avoid sleeping with her in one room and if that doesn't work out then he can whip her gently in a manner that makes her understand the situation.
"A woman can also claim divorce because her rights, dignity and self-esteem are protected and respected by Sharia. Divorce is a big responsibility. Eventually a couple should consider the religious, educational, cultural, emotional and social outcomes before pursuing ... divorce," said Al Hammadi.
A husband or wife should consider reconciliation and settlement before heading to a Sharia court for divorce, Al Hammadi concluded.