SUSTAINING THE ISLAMIC MARRIAGE INSTITUTION IN MALAYSIA: LESSONS FROM QUR’ĀNIC STORIES
Divorce rates are rising in Malaysia and as a consequence, the sacred Islamic marriage institution is directly affected by this phenomenon. It was reported that the number of divorces in 2010 was 28,035 and it increased rapidly to 48,077 as of July 2016.JAKIM has identified ten major causes of divorce in Malaysia whichare: irresponsibility, weak Islamic foundation, third partyinterference, cultural differences, sexual issues, financial crisis,career dilemma, health problems, moral decay and communicationobstacles. The Quran contains several narratives on maritalrelationship, which can serve as examples for married couples. Thisstudy critically investigates to what extent these Qur’ānic referencesmay guide a married couple’s better understanding of their roles andduties as husband and wife, thus significantly enhancing their qualityof marriage. The research proves that marital life is an arena forjihad, which means married couples must strive and make theirutmost effort to strengthen their marriage. Virtues such as humility,patience and honesty are prime qualities in a marriage, whereasvices such as irresponsibility, arrogance and infidelity aredetriments. The research highlights solutions for almost every causeof divorce as identified by JAKIM, which expects to reduce thedivorce rate and sustain the Islamic marriage institution in Malaysia.Finally, it is recommended that JAKIM should consider including theresearch findings in its post-marital course as it is one of the bestplatforms to propagate the Qur’ānic stories of husbands and wives toMuslim married couples in Malaysia.