ANALYSIS OF THE CONCEPT OF ALHADANAH (CHILD CUSTODY) AFTER DIVORCE AMONG MUSLIMS IN KATSINA STATE NIGERIA (2007-2017)

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ANALYSIS OF THE CONCEPT OF ALHADANAH (CHILD CUSTODY) AFTER DIVORCE AMONG MUSLIMS IN KATSINA STATE NIGERIA (2007-2017)   

ABSTRACT

This research work Titled―the practice of people of katsina stateon child custody after termination of marriage‖ endeavored to look into the situation of children after marriage separation, in order to present the Islamic rules and regulations of child custody, and to appraise the implications of negligence of a child after marriage termination….etc. In order to attain the aforementioned goals, the researchadopted the descriptive statistical method distributed questionnaires, and made some personal observations. A total of our hundred and five (405) questionnaires were distributed in some selected local governments within the three political zones of Katsina State. Therefore, the selected local governments in Katsina  Zone are; Katsina, Dutsin-ma and Kaita local governments.FromDaura

Zone are; Daura, Mai‘adua and Kankia local governments, From Funtua zone are; Funtua, Malumfashi and Musawa local governments areas. The questionnaire was distributed to four (4) categories of respondents i.e. Fathers, Mothers, Social Welfare Workers, and Court Workers. Three hundred and seventy seven out of the distributed questionnaires were successfully retrieved(377); the opinions of the respondents were gathered, analyzed and presented with the use of Frequency tables and percentages. More ever; the research concluded with a number of results, the most important of which include: – A divorce hurts all the family members, including the children. On the other hand,mothers are showing more concern on the child after separation, than fathers.- According to the Court in katsina state ―parents in broken homes are not performing their obligations towards their children as prescribed by theShari’ah. e.tc. Lastly;, the research recommends that, – Fathers, whose power of divorce is mostly at their hands, should be reminded of Allah‘s injunction on divorce and its potential negative consequences for themselves, their partners and their children in general 2- supreme council affairs in collaboration with government agencies should execute public punishment on any husband who divorced his wife and neglected the children without strong reasons, for it will serve as a deterrent to other parents.

 

CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTION

 

1.1       Background to the study

 Marriage is ordained in Islam in order to safeguard faith, attain the pleasure and acceptance of Allah and Procreation, for the continuity ofthe human race, as well as to enjoy the prayer and blessings of children. Perhaps on this basis, the Prophet (SAW) made marriage and procreation as one of the sources of reward. He says:

…when a person dies his deeds come to an end except for three things. Sadaqatul Jariya (ceaseless charity); a knowledge which is beneficial, or a virtuous descendant who prays for him (for the deceased).‖(AbuDawud 2011:2:8).

 

The above narration states that when a person dies, his deeds come to an end‖. This is an indication that he will no longer receive any reward for his actions except from three categories of actions. These are: charities that exist after him(Sadaqatul Jariya) such as building a mosque, hospital or digging a well, a school or any charitable asset which continues to be useful to the society as long as people continue to benefit from it, he will get a reward for his kindness.Similarly, knowledge, which a person made effortto educate others or to participate in the propagation of knowledge by either writing books orfinancing education. Furthermore, parents who trained and guided their children, and who continued in righteous acts even after their death, shall therefore continue to enjoy the reward oftheir activities. On this basis, the Prophet (S.A.W) has enjoined his followers to marry and procreate to add to the numberof his followers who are righteous persons,whoseeffort in the religion shall beuplifted.

The above citedTradition of the Prophet (SAW) indicates the importance of children to man. The Qur‘an further explains that children are gifts and blessingsof Allah (SWT) to married couples. Therefore, they should be honourably received with all concern and not to harm or destroy them. Allah says in this regard;

To Allah belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth, He creates what He wills (and plan). He bestowed (children) male or female according to His will (and plan), or He makes them (Both) male and female and He renders whom He wills barren. Indeed, He is Knowing and competent. (AshShuraQ.42:49).

 

The Qur‘an further states:

 

Lost, indeed, are they who, in their weak-minded ignorance, slay their children and declare as forbidden that which Godhas provided for them as sustenance, falsely ascribing(such prohibitions) to God: they have gone astray and have not found the right path. (Q6:140)

 

Ibn kathir in his Tafseer to this verse said; ―As for this life, they lost when they killed their children and made it difficult for themselves by prohibiting some types of their wealth, as an act of innovation that they invented on their own. As for the Hereafter, they will end up in the worst dwellings, because they used to lie about Allah and invent falsehood about Him. In this regard,Allah (SWT) says;

 

Say: “Verily, those who invent a lie against Allah will never be successful.” (A brief) enjoyment in this world! And then unto us will be their return, then We shall make them taste the severest torment because they used to disbelieve.) (10:69-70

 

Therefore, the religion of Islam considers one of its basic objectives among the five fundamental objectives that it seeks to achieve is the protection of progeny. The parents are obliged to properly take care of the children by feeding them, educating them, and inculcating in them the love of the Islamic religion and the Prophet

(S.A.W). The Quran commands:

 

Enjoin prayer on thy people and be constant therein, we ask them not to provide sustenance we provide it for thee, but the (fruit of) the Hereafter is for

righteousness.(Q20:133)

 

Ibn kathir in his commentary to the above cited verse he said; it means that Allah does not ask of you a provision: We provide for you.thus,  if you establish the prayer, your sustenance will come to you from where you did not expect. As further elaborated in the verse.

…And whosoever has Taqwa of Allah, He will make a way for him to get out (from every difficulty). And He will provide him from (sources) he never could imagine.Q 65:2-3)

 

Imam Tirmidhi (nd) and Ibn Majah(nd) recorded that Abu Hurayrah said that the Messenger of Allah said, Allah the most exalted said;

 

…”O son of Adam, perform My worship and I will fill your chest with wealth and fulfill your needs. If you do not do so, then I will fill your chest with toil and I will not fulfill your needs.) (Ahmad V. 16/8681)

 

It is also reported from Zayd bin Thabit that he heard the Messenger of Allah saying,

 

Whoever makes the worldly life his major concern, then Allah will scatter his situation for him (i.e. make it difficult) and his poverty will be placed between his eyes. He will not get from this world anything except that which has already been written for him. Whoever makes the Hereafter his intention, then his situation will be gathered for him (i.e. made easy) and his wealth will be placed in his heart. The worldly life will come to him anyway (in spite of his not seeking it).(Abu abdul-halimy V. 2: p 390)

 

In the light of the above immediate cited hadith, the Prophet (SAW) elaborated in the following saying:

Teach the kid how to pray at age seven; and beat him against his refusing at the age of ten. (Transmitted by Abu Dawud2011:V1:

p 127)

 

The foregoing evidence, from the Qur‘an and Hadith indicate the obligation of training a child in line with the religious instructions. This responsibility must be shouldered by the two parents, the father and the mother, and any negligence is a violation which will attract heavy penalty from Allah (S.W.T). In view of this, the

Qur‘an warns:

 

O ye who believe betray not the trust of Allah and the Messenger nor misappropriate knowingly things entrusted to you. (Q.8:27)

 

The above Qur’anic quotation indicates that children are a trust of Allah (S.W.T). The importance Islam attaches to children,therefore, neverallows children to suffer or become the victim ofmarriage separation. Islam gives a high and befitting concern to children and hence frowns at divorce by emphasizing patience and tolerance between couples, instead of separation.

Betrayal includes both minor and major sins, as well as those that affect others. Ali bin Abi Talhah (nd) said that IbnAbbas commented on the Ayah,

 

Nor betray your Amanat

 

The Amanah refers to the actions that Allah has entrusted the servants with, such as what He ordained. Therefore, Allah says;nor betray.

`do not abandon the obligations.”

Ibn kathir in his tafseer said Abdur-Rahman bin Zayd commented that ―Allah forbade you from betraying Him and His Messenger, as hypocrites do.”  Allah (S.W.T) says;

 

And know that your possessions and your children are but a trial (from Him to you.)

(Q64:15)

 

He grants these to you so that He knows which of you will be grateful and obedient to Him, or become busy with and dedicated to them instead of Him. Allah (S.W.T) also says;,

O you who believe! Let not your properties or your children divert you from the remembrance of Allah. And whosoever does that, and then they are the losers.(Q.63:9

 

Ibn kathir V 7: 321-325) here we understand that both wealth and children are trust (amanat) from Allah to man so man should not in what so ever betrays the trust.

However, in spite of several invitations in the Qur‘an for couples to reconcile their differences and not to divorce, some Muslims in the contemporary periodare heedless to such instructions and are also heedless to most of the Shari’a provisions in respect to children when divorce occurs. In view of this, children become the victims of separation of marriage; it is either the mother would be left with the child without due assistance or the father collects the child and exposes him to the danger and mal-treatment of his other wife or wives. In view of this, this research is designed to study how children are treated after the separation of marriage, with special reference to Katsina State.

1.2       Statement of the Problem.

The essence of marriage is to attain to the pleasure and acceptance of the Lord.However, this cannot be attained to unless all the injunctions of Allah (SWT) are respected and practised. Divorce in Islam is permissible when its conditions are strictly adhered to.

The children, as the products of marriage, are neglected after separation today. It is either they are left at the hands of the financially handicapped, the mother, whose alternative to sustain the child is to either employ him in hawking or allow him to roam about for his livelihood. In such a situation, the child becomes likely to miss the chances ofschooling or to have a goodmoral training. On the other hand, the husband collects the children and leaves them at the hands of his other wife or wives whose rivalry with the mother of the child would instigate her to subject the child to hardship that may have an adverse effect on his life, without the father allowed toknow the true condition of the child. The bone of contention is what would be the outcome of such negligence and maltreatment of the children after the separation of marriage? Are people really aware of the provisionsof Islam as regards children after marriage separation? Who is responsible for the obligations or rights of a child after the separation of marriage and what process should be followed? Are there resulting punishments on the parents who deliberately become unaware of the neglected right of children after separation of marriage?.

1.3 Objectives of the Research

The objectives of this research include:

  1. To examine the attitude of parents, (fathers and mothers,) to children after termination of marriage.
  2. To present the Islamic rules and regulations of child custody.
  3. To evaluate the problems and challenges of child custody in the contemporary

Katsinastate.

  1. To appraise the implications of negligence of a child after marriage termination.
  2. To proffer solutions according to Shari’ah provisions to the problems and challenges of the child custody in the contemporary Katsinastate.

1.4 Research Questions

In conducting research on the practices ofKatsina State people on child custody after marriage separation, there is the need to answer certain questions, such as:

 

  • What are the attitudes of parents to children after the termination of marriage?
  • What are the rules and regulations of child custody in Islam?
  • Are there problems and challenges to child custody in the contemporary

Katsina state.?

  • What are the implications of negligence of child‘s rights?
  • What are the solutions to the problems and challengesof child custody in

Katsina state.?

Many Qur‘anic verses emphasize on the need for a Muslim to strictly adhere to the teachings of the religion. However, some children in Katsina state.have turned to be beggars, some have become nuisance to the society; some become psychologically affected not because they have no parents, but because of the separation of their parents‘ marriage. Some husbands thought of punishing their wives after divorce by transferring all their responsibilitiesof caring for the child to the mother, whose incapability isapparently clear. Similarly, some men, because they hate the wife, equally hate the children; on the other hand, some women are not ready to surrender their children to their husband, even where it is evident that they cannot cater for the need of the children. Indeed, the resultant effects of the actions ofthe parents are on the children.Therefore, any research that stands to guide the parents about their obligations to children especially after separation of marriage would not only be significant in the moral up-bringingof the children, but it would curtail the rate of crime and promote virtue in societies.This will in turn improve the economy of the people. More importantly, it would invite the pleasure of the Creator, Allah (SWT), because of the respect accordedto His laws and, thus the society will be secured. Certainly,neglecting children is tantamount to putting the society in jeopardy and hence the future of leadership and societies will be at stake.

  • Scope and Delimitation of the Study

The scope of this study will cover the practiceof custodianship of children after terminationof marriage in Katsina State. However, this research is restricted to only nine local governments. The selected places include: Katsina, Batagawara and Dutsinma local government from Katsina zone;Daura zango and Sandamu local government from Daura zone, and finally from Funtua zone Funtua, Bakori and Faskari local government areas.The study will be limitedto only ten years, that is from 2008 -2017.

ANALYSIS OF THE CONCEPT OF ALHADANAH (CHILD CUSTODY) AFTER DIVORCE AMONG MUSLIMS IN KATSINA STATE NIGERIA (2007-2017)   

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