Divorce cases on the rise in Brunei

Azlan Othman

Divorce rates in Brunei have been persistently high in the last five years, based upon the number of divorce registrations recorded at the Syariah Court.

According to statistics, there were 550 divorce cases in 2016, 587 in 2017, 522 in 2018, 624 in 2019 and 583 in 2020.

These figures were cited by Chief Syar’ie Judge Pehin Orang Kaya Paduka Seri Utama Dato Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz Haji Awang Salim bin Haji Besar, in his key paper presentation Keluarga Sakinah, Mawaddah, Warahmah (The Peaceful, Loving and Compassionate Family) during an international Mu’tamar Fiqh Al-Usrah (Islamic Family) conference yesterday.

Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Haji Aminuddin Ihsan bin Pehin Orang Kaya Saiful Mulok Dato Seri Paduka Haji Abidin was the guest of honour at the event hosted by the Religious Teachers University College of Seri Begawan (KUPU SB) to mark National Family Day 2021.

The Chief Syar’ie Judge said, “The process of building a family which is Sakinah, Mawaddah and Rahmah (peaceful, loving and compassionate) is certainly not free of trials and problems. If these can be addressed and overcome with maturity by the couple, guided by the precepts and teachings of Islam, the marital bond will be strengthened.”

Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Haji Aminuddin Ihsan bin Pehin Orang Kaya Saiful Mulok Dato Seri Paduka Haji Abidin and Chief Syar’ie Judge Pehin Orang Kaya Paduka Seri Utama Dato Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz Haji Awang Salim bin Haji Besar at the conference. PHOTO: YUSRIN JUNAIDI

Elaborating on the divorce case figures, he said, “It appears that marriage is not being taken seriously. The numbers also clearly show the couples’ lack of preparation for
married life.

“This is important to maintain harmony within the home, establish a loving family and prevent divorce.

“To build a Sakinah family is far from easy. The question is, how can a family be described as one? To answer this, Islam has already given us some principles on the qualities of a Sakinah family.

“Among the qualities of a Sakinah family are being blessed by Allah the Almighty, able to resolve problems and conflicts, striving and being grateful, and having a healthy family dynamic. “According to hadith, a Sakinah family possesses insight and obedience in carrying out religious obligations, respects parents, provides Halal sustenance and lives modestly by spending within their means.

“This also includes acknowledging errors and faults, as human beings are inevitably prone to errors. However, we are also required to immediately seek forgiveness from Allah the Almighty when committing a sin, apologise when at fault and be forgiving.”