Disillusion and distress


Divorce is the most difficult phase of a married couple’s life. As adults, they might eventually get over the tough period, but children become a collateral casualty. Their minds are tender and can slip into a state of shock on seeing parents split forever. The adverse effects of divorce can be long-lasting on children and may impact their relationships. Allah says:

وَإِذَا طَلَّقْتُمُ النِّسَاءَ فَبَلَغْنَ أَجَلَهُنَّ فَلَا تَعْضُلُوهُنَّ أَن يَنكِحْنَ أَزْوَاجَهُنَّ إِذَا تَرَاضَوْا بَيْنَهُم بِالْمَعْرُوفِ ذَٰلِكَ يُوعَظُ بِهِ مَن كَانَ مِنكُمْ يُؤْمِنُ بِاللَّهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الْآخِرِ ذَٰلِكُمْ أَزْكَىٰ لَكُمْ وَأَطْهَرُ وَاللَّهُ يَعْلَمُ وَأَنتُمْ لَا تَعْلَمُونَ

“And when you divorce [the] women and they reached their (waiting) term, then (do) not hinder them [that] (from) marrying their husbands when they fairly agree between themselves. That is admonished with it whoever [is] among you believes in Allah and the Day [the] Last; that (is) more virtuous for you and purer. And Allah knows and you (do) not know.” (Sura Al-Baqarah 2:232)

In Islam, marriage is a sacred bond not only between humans but also to Allah SWT as the Creator of the Universe. Marriage is highly important in Islam that is considered as half of the religion. But not everything goes smoothly as planned, so doesn’t marriage. Many marriages in modern times ended in divorce, even between Islamic marriages. Allah says:

يَا أَيُّهَا النَّبِيُّ إِذَا طَلَّقْتُمُ النِّسَاءَ فَطَلِّقُوهُنَّ لِعِدَّتِهِنَّ وَأَحْصُوا الْعِدَّةَ وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ رَبَّكُمْ لَا تُخْرِجُوهُنَّ مِن بُيُوتِهِنَّ وَلَا يَخْرُجْنَ إِلَّا أَن يَأْتِينَ بِفَاحِشَةٍ مُّبَيِّنَةٍ وَتِلْكَ حُدُودُ اللَّهِ وَمَن يَتَعَدَّ حُدُودَ اللَّهِ فَقَدْ ظَلَمَ نَفْسَهُ لَا تَدْرِي لَعَلَّ اللَّهَ يُحْدِثُ بَعْدَ ذَٰلِكَ أَمْرًا

“O Prophet! When you divorce [the] women, then divorce them for their waiting period, and keep count (of) the waiting period, and consciously revere Allah, your Lord. (Do) not expel them from their houses, and not they should leave except that they commit immorality clear. And these (are the) limits (of) Allah. And whoever transgresses (the) limits (of) Allah then certainly he has wronged himself. Not you know; perhaps Allah will bring about, after that, a matter.” (Surah At-Talaq 65:1)

Islam encourages all Muslims to maintain a good relationship with their families, and whoever keeps the ties of kinship will be hugely blessed by Allah SWT. Divorce may cause discord in the family that causes them to fall apart. This is surely not a thing Allah SWT likes.

Here are some of the negative effects of divorce in Islam:

  1. Causing the Wrath of Allah SWT
  2. Mood swings and irritability
  3. Constant stress
  4. Feeling Insecure
  5. Lower self-esteem
  6. Aggressive, angry
  7. Poorer social skills
  8. Disillusion and distress
  9. Losing a Way to Jannah
  10. Emotional Pain and Suffering

Many children unconsciously blame themselves for their parents’ divorce and sense the responsibility to mend the relationship again. However, this may cause pressure on them that lead to negative thoughts and them having nightmares. Children no longer feel warmth and happiness due to their parents’ divorce. Soon they will develop a severe mood swing that affects their interaction with other people. They tend to withdraw themselves from society and opted not to talk to anyone. Allah says:

وَإِنْ عَزَمُوا الطَّلَاقَ فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ سَمِيعٌ عَلِيمٌ

“And if they resolve (on) [the] divorce – then indeed, Allah (is) All-Hearing, All-Knowing.” (Surah Al-Baqarah 2:227 )

Negative Effects of Divorce for Children

The one who suffers the most from divorce is the children. Parents’ divorce could affect them until they grow up. Here are the negative effects of divorce on children.

  • Lose Focus in the Activity
  • Stressing the Child
  • Acute Sadness
  • Prone to Abuse
  • Mental Depression
  • Educational Effects
  • Behavioural Problems
  • Losing Emotional Support
  • Trust Issues in a Relationship
  • Causing a Severe Moodswing

Children are the silent victims of a parent’s dysfunctionality and suffer the most. Many have extreme thoughts of guilt, trauma, and confusion. They think of running away from the situation or even think of suicide. The effect on children varies based on their age, gender, and understanding of the situation. Many parents who fail to discuss the family situation find their children confused trying to seek answers and sometimes solace from others including elder family members, teachers, school mates or even strangers. Allah says:

عَسَىٰ رَبُّهُ إِن طَلَّقَكُنَّ أَن يُبْدِلَهُ أَزْوَاجًا خَيْرًا مِّنكُنَّ مُسْلِمَاتٍ مُّؤْمِنَاتٍ قَانِتَاتٍ تَائِبَاتٍ عَابِدَاتٍ سَائِحَاتٍ ثَيِّبَاتٍ وَأَبْكَارًا

“Perhaps his Lord, if he divorced you, [that] He will substitute for him wives better than you submissive, faithful, obedient, repentant, who worship, who fast, previously married and virgins.” (Surah At-Tahrim 66:5)

Divorcing parents must be honest and straightforward in discussing what is happening within the family. They must be reassured that:

• both parents love them,
• it is not their fault, and
• they will be taken care of no matter what the outcome of the family situation will be.

The biggest loss of broken home children whose parents are divorced is the loss of emotional support. Things could be worse when the children were looked after by one of the parents without having access to communicate with the other. Parents should be honest and straightforward in answering all the questions that they might have in their minds. Allah says:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا إِذَا نَكَحْتُمُ الْمُؤْمِنَاتِ ثُمَّ طَلَّقْتُمُوهُنَّ مِن قَبْلِ أَن تَمَسُّوهُنَّ فَمَا لَكُمْ عَلَيْهِنَّ مِنْ عِدَّةٍ تَعْتَدُّونَهَا فَمَتِّعُوهُنَّ وَسَرِّحُوهُنَّ سَرَاحًا جَمِيلًا

“O you who believe! When you marry believing women and then, divorce them before [that] you have touched then not for you on them any waiting period (to) count concerning them. To provide for them and release them (with) a release good.” (Surah Al-Ahzab 33:49)

Another negative effect of divorce that leaves a bad impact on children is behavioural problems possibly developed by them. They may grow up to be an emotional person with antisocial tendencies, easy to lose their temper, and assaulting behaviour. On the most extreme side, they may become a social misfit.

Below are only some of the effects of divorce on children


Divorce is associated with diminished psychological well-being in children and adult offspring of divorced parents, including greater unhappiness, less satisfaction with life, a weaker sense of personal control, anxiety, depression, and greater use of mental health services. A preponderance of evidence indicates that there is a causal effect between divorce and these outcomes. Allah says:

وَإِن يَتَفَرَّقَا يُغْنِ اللَّهُ كُلًّا مِّن سَعَتِهِ وَكَانَ اللَّهُ وَاسِعًا حَكِيمًا

“And if they separate, Allah will enrich each (of them) from His abundance, and Allah is All-Encompassing, All-Wise.” (Surah An-Nisa` 4:130)

Children of divorced parents are also more likely to experience conflict in their marriages and are more likely to experience divorce themselves. They are also more likely to be involved in short-term cohabiting relationships, which often dissolve before marriage. Allah says:

فَإِن طَلَّقَهَا فَلَا تَحِلُّ لَهُ مِن بَعْدُ حَتَّىٰ تَنكِحَ زَوْجًا غَيْرَهُ فَإِن طَلَّقَهَا فَلَا جُنَاحَ عَلَيْهِمَا أَن يَتَرَاجَعَا إِن ظَنَّا أَن يُقِيمَا حُدُودَ اللَّهِ وَتِلْكَ حُدُودُ اللَّهِ يُبَيِّنُهَا لِقَوْمٍ يَعْلَمُونَ

“Then if he divorces her, then (she is) not lawful for him from after (that) until she marries a spouse other than him. Then if he divorces her then no sin on them if they return to each other if they believe that they (will be able to) keep (the) limits. (of) Allah. And these (are the) limits. (of) Allah. He makes them clear to people who know.” (Surah Al-Baqarah 2:230)

It is true that children whose parents were divorced have a trust issue in a relationship. It will be hard for them to believe that love exists, which end up rather not getting married than having to get divorced in the future. Moreover when the divorce involves several conflicts under the children’s knowledge. Allah says:

وَلِلْمُطَلَّقَاتِ مَتَاعٌ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ حَقًّا عَلَى الْمُتَّقِينَ

“And for the divorced women, (is) a provision in a fair manner – a duty upon the righteous.” (Surah Al-Baqarah 2:241)

Children of divorced parents also achieve lower levels of socioeconomic status, income, and wealth accumulation than children of continuously married parents. These outcomes are associated with lower educational achievement. Allah says:

لِّلَّذِينَ يُؤْلُونَ مِن نِّسَائِهِمْ تَرَبُّصُ أَرْبَعَةِ أَشْهُرٍ فَإِن فَاءُوا فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ

“For those who swear (off) from their wives (is a) waiting (of) four months, then if they return – then indeed, Allah (is) Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” (Surah Al-Baqarah 2:226)

Young men or women between the ages of 7 and 16 who had experienced the divorce of their parents were more likely than youths who had not experienced the divorce of their parents to leave home because of friction, to cohabit before marriage, and to parent a child before marriage. Allah says:

الَّذِينَ يُظَاهِرُونَ مِنكُم مِّن نِّسَائِهِم مَّا هُنَّ أُمَّهَاتِهِمْ إِنْ أُمَّهَاتُهُمْ إِلَّا اللَّائِي وَلَدْنَهُمْ وَإِنَّهُمْ لَيَقُولُونَ مُنكَرًا مِّنَ الْقَوْلِ وَزُورًا وَإِنَّ اللَّهَ لَعَفُوٌّ غَفُورٌ

“Those who pronounce zihar among you [from] (to) their wives, not they (are) their mothers. Not (are) their mothers except those who gave them And indeed, they surely say an evil [of] [the] word and a lie. But indeed, Allah (is) surely, Oft-Pardoning, Oft-Forgiving.” (Surah Al-Mujadilah 58:2)

Another negative effect of divorce on a child is drops their school grades. A broken home child whose parents were divorced loses huge emotional support since they found that their house is no longer complete. It affects their ability to focus on school, which lead to a drop in grades. While education is one of the most important things for a child to develop a brighter future, it shouldn’t happen to their education. Allah says:

لَّا جُنَاحَ عَلَيْكُمْ إِن طَلَّقْتُمُ النِّسَاءَ مَا لَمْ تَمَسُّوهُنَّ أَوْ تَفْرِضُوا لَهُنَّ فَرِيضَةً وَمَتِّعُوهُنَّ عَلَى الْمُوسِعِ قَدَرُهُ وَعَلَى الْمُقْتِرِ قَدَرُهُ مَتَاعًا بِالْمَعْرُوفِ حَقًّا عَلَى الْمُحْسِنِينَ

“(There is) no blame upon you if you divorce [the] women whom not you have touched nor you specified for them an obligation (dower). And make provision for them – upon the wealthy according to his means and upon the poor according to his means – a provision in a fair manner, a duty upon the good-doers.” (Surah Al-Baqarah 2:236)

From the explanation above, it is clear that there are too many negative effects of divorce in Islam. As good Muslims, let’s do our best to avoid divorce, for the sake of the children and the marriage itself.