Is divorce a moral sin from the Quran’s point of view?

According to the Public Relations and Information department of Research Institute for Islamic Culture and Thought, The scientific meeting ” Comparative comparison between the “divorce” in Islam and in the modern world ” was held on Sunday, 23rd of February by the ethics group of the research department for Islamic systems, On-site and Online .

In this scientific-promotional meeting, Hujjat al-Islam wal-Muslimeen Mohammad Reza Jabaran as the presenter, and Hujjat  al-Islam wal-Muslimeen Faraj Allah Hedayatnia and Amir Ghanvi were present as critics .

Hujjat al-Islam wal-Muslimeen Mohammad Reza Jabaran, member of the academic staff of the ethics department of the Research Institute, gave a speech in this meeting:


The interesting thing to me was that divorce among spouses in today’s society has become a value and is known as a special life style that can be chosen; which people can choose like any other choice. But in the past, divorce in this form, has not been popular not only in our culture but anywhere in the world. Divorce used to have just this practical value of overcoming the difficulties of life, but nowadays divorce is recognized as a social value and a life style. It is mainly because of the changes in relationships  and also the change of human attitudes on various issues .

Increasing rate of divorce in society

Regarding values, society has reduced its dependence on religion, beliefs, and spirituality, and gatherings have become much less than they used to be in the past, and society is moving towards secularism, materialism, and individualism. Moral values and norms are changing, and today, instead of sacrifice, patience, tolerance, and an idealistic view of the future, man seeks to satisfy his desire and gain his own benefits. The economic dependence within family members is decreased, and especially the economic dependence of women on men is lowered, and providing sustenance is not just a masculine work, and women at least cooperate economically, if not being equals with their husbands.

Many functions of the family have been delegated to other institutions such as education institutions. The necessity of having a family-based life, has also disappeared under the influence of modernism. The result of all these changes has made divorce a lifestyle, and as a result, choosing divorce has become much faster than in the past. On the other hand, from the legal point of view, divorce is a choice by a person and causes the annulment of the marriage, but from the social point of view, divorce is not just an individual act, but it affects the person, his children and his wife, and even the society. For this reason, divorce has become a problem in the world today .

Social effects of divorce

When a society considers phenomenon as something causing a problem, this indicates that this phenomenon should either not happen at all or the way it occurs should be changed. Based on this, if we accept the point of view of human society that divorce should be recognized as a problem, then either the principle of divorce is impossible or it should not happen in the current form, which means that divorce should be absolutely prevented or limited. The experience we have from human societies and especially the Catholic Christian society shows us that preventing divorce has led to bitter experiences such as the separation of people from religion, because in many cases, the people who got divorced did not have the right to attend the church .

This experience showed that divorce cannot be stopped and prevented, Therefore there is one more way left for us, and that is to limit divorce. The Holy Quran has provided suitable solutions to rectify this problem. In terms of social sciences, divorce has a different definition from its legal term, and it is said that divorce is “an institutionalized method under the supervision of social organizations to end the marriage bond”. Therefore, two features are to be considered in divorce, one is “institutionalized” and the other is “under the supervision of social organizations”. In addition to ending the mutual living, divorce also affects the society .

Divorce in the modern world

Family-centered life in the modern world is morally no different from the way a single lives, that is, a person is free to be either single or married, and neither of them can be praised or blamed. Sociologists say that in modern thinking, man does not accept any of the traditions, therefore, various forms of marriage have emerged in modern civilization and the contemporary world, and they all seek to find an official and legal status and obtain social justification. And among them is the divorce of homosexuals. This view of the family, which has become devalued from the point of view of modern human beings, has made marriage no longer a sacred covenant, but an individual and free choice based on romantic love .

Most of the people give their spouses the right to choose divorce, and today, authorities that used to try to prevent divorce, accompany the couple until they reach the goal, so modern society has such problems. But in Islamic thinking, which is based on the Holy Quran, divorce, It is not a lifestyle but an emergency strategy to untie and tackle the knots and challenges of life, and if someone chooses divorce, although it is not a problem legally, it is morally sinful. The Holy Quran has sufficiently instilled this point of view to its audience both in theory and legislation.

According to the Qur’an, marriage originates from a divine source. The Holy Quran considers human society to be in need of marriage. These issues lead us to the theoretical point of view that unnecessary divorce, as long as family life is going on and functioning, is at least a moral  sin, and legally it must be difficult for divorce to happen, just as the Almighty God has made marriage simple .

Justified divorce according to the Holy Quran

Also Hojjat al-Islam wal-Muslimeen Farajollah Hedayatnia , a member of the academic faculty of the Fiqh and Law department of the Research Institute, gave a speech as a critic in this meeting, which you can read below :

The term of “comparative study” exists in both law and jurisprudence. Here, the two sides of the comparison must be the same in nature, for example, two legal or moral systems, or divorce in the Qur’an compared with the Torah and the Bible. But if we compare divorce in the Qur’an, which is a systemized collection of the Islamic legal system, with what exists in the modern world regarding social relations, it becomes somewhat difficult, and the answer would already be clear; because between hijab or riba in the Qur’an with the current state of society, there are so many differences, so the two sides of the comparison must be of the same type .

On the other hand, it is not a novel to say that “the Qur’an accepts divorce in an exceptional way, but now it has become popular in the society”, and it would have been better if the title of the meeting was “the Qur’an’s solutions to prevent  divorce”. Another point is that the data and information of the article is great, but it should also lead to knowledge and present a new theory. Another issue is that the term “criminalization” has been applied about divorce, which I don’t think is correct, because divorce is a social harm like poverty and unemployment, and it is not haram either. Therefore, if what is meant by “criminality”, is haram(forbidden) divorce, like divorce during menstruation, then it not correct to apply the term “criminalization”.

The Qur’an has proposed many solutions to prevent divorce, but where the marital relationship leads to harm, then the justified divorce is acceptable, and where there is a fear of transgressing divine limits, it is basically “recommended” to do so. Therefore, it should be explicitly mentioned that God has accepted divorce as a solution .