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Dealing with Divorce: Reading Recommendations

Dealing with Divorce Series: Part I | Part II | Part III | Part IV

By Mariam Ahmed

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Photo: Martin Gommel

During any life experience, there are lessons learned and ways to take those lessons and turn them into a positive change in your life. After a divorce, you may find yourself reevaluating your entire relationship as far back to the first time you met or spoke to your former spouse. You will probably try to figure out where things went wrong, what you could have done better or differently, and why this is happening to you. Rest assured that all of these feelings are normal. Try not to be too hard on yourself. It is normal to feel guilt, regret, and even anger, but as long as you take each and every one of those sentiments and turn them into something positive, this will help you move forward to your better and healthier self.

Below is a list of reading recommendations; books I came across that have helped me personally through my journey of going through a divorce.

  1. The Qur’an: Remember in Islamic School when your teacher would ask the class what their favorite book was? More than half the students would say “the Qur’an” and you would roll your eyes thinking, “Oh, how original.” Well guess what, your favorite book is going to become the Qur’an, if it is not already. The Qur’an is your go-to book. The gems you will take away from each read will become more and more valuable during your journey, navigating through the emotions and the ups and downs of this experience. And my favorite lesson of all is that no matter how big your hardship may seem, Allah’s subhanahu wa ta`ala (exalted is He) mercy and graciousness are much bigger.
  2. The 5 Love Languages by Dr. Gary Chapman: I appreciate this book a lot, because it allows you to recognize that each and every one of us expresses our love in different ways. Five love languages are explored and the way in which we expect to be loved and to give love are discussed. This might be a difficult read because you may wish you applied some of the lessons from the book to your own marriage, but just know that, insha’Allah, you will be able to apply them to your next. A healthier and happier marriage due to the many lessons learned.
  3. Getting Past Your Breakup: How to Turn a Devastating Loss into the Best Thing That Ever Happed To You by Susan J. Elliott JD MEd: This is a great book and reference throughout your entire divorce and healing process. This book is an instructional guide of what to do and not to do during a breakup. I would find myself sitting in a park with a huge smile on my face because I realized that I was not alone in so many of the feelings and struggles I was going through. I particularly appreciate that this book teaches you to not be so hard on yourself, but to learn to love yourself and move forward to a much better you.
  4. Reclaim Your Heart by Yasmin Mogahed: A great book to put things into perspective. Ustdha Yasmin truly nails it in this book as she describes the importance of our relationship with Allah (swt) and our struggle to rid our hearts of worldly things. And yes, even the people we love are considered worldly things. This is something most struggle with, but learning to turn to Allah (swt) at all times and to let your relationship with Him fill the void will arm you against disappointment when things do not go the way you expected.

What are some of your go-to books to help you get through this difficult time?

I leave you with a quote from Sheikh Omar Suleiman.

“Wake up knowing that Allah is greater than any obstacle you may face today.”

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14 Comments

  • Thanks a lot dear Sis for sharing this.
    Can this books be ordered on the net? Do they have electronic versions?
    Jazakumullahu khairan.

    • Salam Sister Rahma,

      I purchased all of these books through amazon. You may check amazon to see if there are e-versions of the book. Good luck and I hope the books are just beneficial to you as they were for me.

      -Mariam

      • As salamualaikum,

        Thank you for sharing, I would need some suggestions regarding my marriage and hope you answer me.
        I got married one year ago, with the same excitement which every girl does.
        But there was no such happiness in the relationship, we never lead a life of a husband and wife for even a day, when my parents and inlaws confronted my husband, he gave excuses like i have no experience, i need some time, i am in lots of debt. He promised my parents everytime that he will give me all the rights of a wife but everything in vain. Everytime he gives excuses for every matter. Now my parents said that they cant allow me to stay like this and said that we will file for divorce, for which again he says give me time i will change. My parents are very tensed thinking of my future and how to deal with the society after divorce. I am going in depression thinking about these situations, it is also affecting my parents health. Please give me some suggestions how to deal with these problems. I cant see my parents and my in laws suffer because of this relationship.

        Jazak Allah

        • Sister Zohra, without being insensitive to your situation, would you be able to elaborate a little on what rights your husband is denying you? I was in a similar situation and I wanted to know how similar it is to mine. JAK

          • As salamualaikum,

            I am denied the right of being his wife, he always has some excuses for everything. I have to earn on my own and lead my life, do everything by my own, he has no concern towards me and family, he does nt even speak properly.
            His sister supports him saying he has no experience for anything. He had a girl friend before and this i got to know after our marriage. I ignored this saying that it was his past. He says he doesnt have any feelings for me but is not ready to leave me either(thinking of his image in society).
            My mother in law always tries to explain him and he hasnt changed till now ( i guess nor will he change)
            I am waiting for Allah guidance through his hardship and hope for a better future.

  • Salam Zohra,

    I want to preface my advice with I am not a marriage and family therapist and the only advice I can give are based on my own experiences. I am not sure what the source of the issues between your husband and you are. My recommendation is to seek a couple’s therapist who can help the two of you work through your issues. Though I am sure your parents’ concerns are valid, you have to look out for yourself and see what it is you want in your life. If you are accepting of your husband’s shortcomings (again dependent on what they are), than you should not allow others to come in between the two of you. If you are not accepting of his flaws, then seek help of a professional, ask him to go to therapy with you as a couple. Try to exhaust your options and if you still feel there have been no changes, then determine whether parting ways is best for you and your deen (no one else). Again, please seek the advice of a therapist or imam. And I pray that Allah helps guide you to what is best for you.

    -Mariam

  • Salam Waleykum wa rhamatoullahi wa barakatou brothers and sisters,

    I am presently going through a divorce now. My husband divorced me because he do not want me to travel without a Mahram to visit my family who lives 5 hours from my home town. I converted about 3 years now and still learning my religion, I got married 2 months ago and my husband live in another country and I live in Canada, we were in the preparations of getting him here to Canada, when one day I wanted to visit my family and he said no there is a Hadith that says that women are not allowed to travel without a marham, ok which I agree with him, but thinking that he would understand that this is very difficult for me because I want to see my family and I do not have a marham here with me because I live alone in this city, I just moved here 6 moths ago and have no friends or family near me. But he explain lots of time to me his point and I explained mine and because of that we could not come to an agreement and he said that he did not want to force me and did not want to stop me from seeing my family but could not disobey Allah and His messenger therefore he divorced me. I do not want to divorce and also I still want to see my family, the solution would be to wait until he comes here to Canada inchaa Allah if everything goes well, but that meaning months
    Please if someone have an advice……

    • 35 hadith found in ‘Shortening the Prayers (At-Taqseer)’ of Sahih Bukhari.
      192

      Narrated Ibn ‘Umar: The Prophet said, “A woman should not travel for more than three days except with a Dhi-Mahram (i.e. a male with whom she cannot marry at all, e.g. her brother, father, grandfather, etc.) or her own husband.)”

      193

      Narrated Ibn’Umar: The Prophet said, “A woman should not travel for more than three days except with a Dhi-Mahram.”

      194

      Narrated Abu Huraira: The Prophet (p.b.u.h) said, “It is not permissible for a woman who believes in Allah and the Last Day to travel for one day and night except with a Mahram.”

      Right babes that’s all of them the divorce has no basis and I’m a convert I travel 48miles and back from my mums not an issue 5 hours isn’t even half a day and if you stay their family so your going to your residence so it’s actually only five hours

      • Salam waleykum Fahtima,
        Barakallahou fiki sister for your comment,

        these were my same arguments, but Allah has decided that it is better that we divorce. Allah knows what is best for all of us.
        I was trying to save my marriage, but no compromises wanted to be done on his part.

        Thank you sister Jazakallaou Khairan

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