Photo: On Islam
Marriage rates among Singapore Muslims soared with relatively lower rates of divorce, thanks to Shari`ah Court marriage counseling programs. (Photo: On Islam)

Singapore, 24 Jumadal Akhir 1436/13 April 2015 (MINA) – As divorces rates increases in Singapore, marriage rates among the Asian country’s Muslims soared with relatively lower rates of divorce among the religious minority, thanks to Shari`ah Court marriage counseling programs.

“After couples get counseled, they realize that there are actually many things at stake,” Mohd Ali Mahmood, senior director of social services at voluntary welfare group PPIS, told the Straits Times earlier this month, On Islam quoted by Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA) as reporting.

“It’s not just a dissolution of a marriage; it’s the dissolution of a family with children.”

According to a recent study by the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF), Muslim couples’ divorce rates have decreased from 14% to 11.4% between 2003-2008.

On the other hand, divorce rates before the fifth marriage anniversary for non-Muslim couples kept the same percentage of 5.1 and 5.6 in the same period.

Analysts believe that the mandatory counseling programs, offered by the Shari`ah Court, are the main reason behind the lower divorce rates among Singapore Muslims.

Launched over a decade ago, the program has been attended by more than 27,000 couples since 2004.

The successful program has convinced about half of the attendants not to break up and keep their marriage.

In Islam, marriage is a sacred bond that brings together a man and a woman by virtue of the teachings of the Qur’an and the Sunnah.

Each partner in this sacred relationship must treat the other properly and with respect.

Divorce is not at all viewed favorably in Islam and is discouraged unless warranted by valid reasons. Divorce is one of the rights that Islam grants to husbands. In most cases, a husband can claim that right.

However, there are also some cases in which a wife can terminate marriage; for example, by means of khul` (wife’s right to obtain divorce under certain conditions). (T/P006/P3)

Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)