An Incident

Maulana Wahiduddin Khan I The Sunday Guardian I  February  04, 2023

One day I got a call from a city in India. It was from a lady who said that her sister and brother- in-law were on the verge of a divorce due to irreconcilable differences. And that they were to sign the divorce papers that same day. She requested me to pray for her sister ’s welfare.

I insisted on talking to her sister, and we duly spoke on the phone. I asked her the reasons for her decision, and she had some complaints. After hearing her out, I told her that her problem was not significant enough to warrant a divorce. And that the differences they had were mainly due to her heightened sensitivity. She had complained that her husband never listened to her, and it was she who always had to listen to him.

I gave her many examples to show her that life does not function on a bilateral basis. It is rather run on a unilateral basis, and she was no exception to this rule. This principle has been called Qawwamiat, or bossism in the Quran (4:34), i.e. just as there is a boss or a manager in a company or an institution; in every home, too, there is a boss or a manager. This is a natural law, and is not related to gender equality or inequality. If we fail to recognise it, there can be no peace and harmony either in the home or in any institution.

The sister listened to my advice, and returned to her husband. She withdrew her divorce papers and accepted her husband as her boss, without setting any conditions. They now lead a happy married life.