Srinagar: Kashmir’s Grand Mufti Nasir-ul-Islam Saturday said that divorces, marital feuds and domestic violence related cases are at their all-time high in Kashmir and the situation is going from “bad to worse with a series of reasons responsible for the growing menace.”
In an interview with local news agency Kashmir News Observer, Mufti Nasir said the surge in domestic violence, marital feuds, and divorces first surfaced six years ago when the “Muslim Personal Law Board or Islamic Shariah Court” registered a series of cases pertaining to these issues.
“It was in 2016, when our office received record complaints. Then numbers continued to increase and today, the situation is grim, in fact going from bad to worse,” he said.
He said “wrong use” of the internet including social media, ill-treatment to new brides by their in laws and husbands, and drug abuse are “major reasons”.
Six years ago, the Grand Mufti said, he used to resolve or issue divorce decrees to at least two or three cases a month.
“Today, at least 100 divorces take place in my court on regular bases within one to two months,” Mufti Nasir said.
He said that the youth are hooked to drugs and that also has become one of the reasons for marital feuds which ultimately lead to divorce between the couples.
“Love affairs or flirting by both men and women on social media and internet is also leading to the growing rates of divorces and marital feuds,” he said.
“First women talk to strangers, then chat regularly, then meet and then enter into extra-marital affairs, which leads to big feuds and then to divorces,” he said.
Mufti Nasir said that domestic violence was also another reason for rising divorce cases in Kashmir.
“I urge the in-laws and grooms to treat the new member (bride) as their own daughter. Unless this happens, domestic violence won’t stop. Have come across cases where the husband beat his wife within a month after marriage,” he said.
The Grand Mufti also said that “moral degradation” is touching new heights in Kashmir.
He said he has received cases in the past few years where a father had raped his own daughter and, in another case, where parents had sold their daughter into flesh trade.
“This doesn’t suit a place like Kashmir, but I am sorry to say that this is happening. Our society is rotting and rotting fast,” he said.
He said every divorce pains him, but he is left with no option as husband and wife do not live together because of reasons “I mentioned already.”
Asked about the solution to the growing problems in Kashmir society, the Grand Mufti said that it is the primary responsibility of the parents of “both the to-be bride and groom to allow the couple talk to each other and seek each other’s opinion before marriage.”
He also advocated mass awareness about marriages including the rights of a bride and duties of grooms post marriage. “Here, local Imams can help. I urge Imams to make aware young women and youth about post marital responsibilities through their Friday sermons,” he said.
(KNO copy with minor editing)