Over 5,000 divorce cases in a decade

National 1 minute, 49 seconds


MOST domestic conflicts arise from constant disagreements among Muslim couples in Brunei, said a Syariah Affairs Department official.

A total of 5,098 divorces were filed at the Syariah Courts from 2002 to 2012, said Ustaz Hj Saharuddin Hj Patra, head of Family Advice Services Division yesterday.

During the first post-marriage course held in Tutong, he said the most common reason of domestic conflicts was couples not understanding each other and constantly in disagreement.

Delivering his working paper, ‘Resolving Marital Conflicts According to the Way of Islam’, he said husbands ignoring their responsibilities was also common.

Other common reasons stated were infidelity, domestic abuse, problems arising from polygamy and foreign spouses returning to their homeland.

He said not all of the domestic conflicts led to divorce, as some couples managed to reconcile.

“Domestic conflicts or crisis can be found in two situations, one in which they are clear and obvious, for example when a husband and wife constantly quarrel, blame each other, insult each other and have short tempers. The second situation is when it is unclear, can’t be seen and not obvious,” said Ustaz Hj Saharuddin.

“Islam has a comprehensive approach in dealing with family conflicts. Its implemented in stages starting with advice, isolating the spouse or separating where you sleep, and have a tahkim or appoint a mediator such as someone from the Family Advice Service Division,” he said.

He added that if all the steps do not work, then the final step to deal with domestic conflict would be to file for divorce at the courts.

Ustaz Hj Saharuddin further gave practical ways to resolve domestic conflicts, such as to ensure trust between the husband and wife by having a “husband knows, wife knows” situation.

“This means the husband knows everything about the wife, while the wife knows everything about the husband. There shouldn’t be any secrets held between a husband and wife.”

Another advice was to apply management theories into the household by thinking creatively, critically and analytically or using SWOT analysis to help find and solve the source of the conflict.

“Tolerance and understanding must exist between husband and wife to maintain a harmonious and happy household,” he added.

The Brunei Times