Interviewed for Albawaba News Portal, Dr. Ibrahim Negm, Egypt’s Grand Mufti’s top adviser, delve into real issues that Egypt’s Fatwa House or ‘Dar al-Ifta’ is up to during this critical time in Egypt’s history.
Hereunder we highlight part of the interview on the current divorce rates:
There has been a lot of talk on the alarming ‘divorce rates’ in Egypt. How does Dar al-Ifta delicately attending to this social ill, considering it as ‘phenomenon’ rather than a religious question?
There is no doubt that divorce is an overriding concern of any healthy community that cares for the psychological well-being of its members.
In Egypt, recent statistics have confounded us that one in three marriages ends in divorce. It is frightening to think that a single blithe utterance of the ‘divorce mantra’ could threaten to end families forever! We are really bearing down hard on ourselves by allowing this to merely happen. Thus Dar al-Ifta is fully aware of the enormity of the task to put the brakes for this nuisance in our society, guided by Islamic rules and directives as well as sociological and psychological studies. But we really need first to understand the nature of divorce. Here is our answer to the tragically high divorce rate.
Broadly, the issue of divorce requires the cooperation and concerted efforts of all state institutions alongside the religious institutions. Without such integration, the problem will remain and even outlive till it is no longer resolvable.
Therefore, we are trying to weather this issue by principally looking into its root causes at both the social and cultural levels.
Dar al-Ifta offers ‘marriage training programs’ for those would-be couples, preparing them for this momentous life decision by educating them about concepts of family, rights and duties of marital life …etc.
Dar al-Ifta also established a committee to settle disputes, including family disputes that mainly end in divorce. We also welcome any suggestions from any agency to expand its role in solving this serious problem.
In Dar al-Ifta, we are carefully examine every ‘divorce case’ without losing sight of the fact that it is not our goal to finalize it as ‘divorce’ is not just a simple ‘word’ uttered by a person in a specific state of mind. Rather, it is an ‘unfavorable decision’ that, in many cases, only brings social, cultural and emotional woes to the parties involved. A little bit of investigation can go a long way to spare us all such tragedies, let alone the untold stories of many unknown sufferers.
Hence, we painstakingly analyze the large volume of ‘divorce requests’ so as to keep that ‘divorce spree’ under check in the society. Additionally, we offer counseling to lawmakers to pass laws that would circumscribe the grounds of divorce. These efforts have successfully resulted in distilling the number from a staggering 3277 per day to only 3 cases that are handled. See how powerful it is the ‘pre-emptive measures’ in mitigating and attending to this social ill.