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‘Maybe It’s Divorce We’re Taking Lightly’

Practical & Psychological Struggles Behind Divorce

“This is really a shame,” the woman said. “The divorce rate of Muslims is so high. Why are Muslims taking marriage so lightly?”

It’s a question we’ve likely all heard or uttered by our own tongues. But the more I live, the more I’m developing a different perspective…

Anisa’s Story

Anisa was twenty-two when she got married, but she was sixteen when she met eighteen-year-old Samir.

They met in Honor Society and were drawn to each other, the only practicing Muslims at school.

Anisa wore hijab, and Samir spoke openly about Islam.

Though they shared no classes, they saw each other during the club’s weekly meetings after school.

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Neither Anisa nor Samir thought much of their frequent talking.

But there was so much to discuss and so much that drew them together.

They shared the same goals in life, and they both dreamed of teaching Islam on a large scale.

It was a year before Anisa and Samir got back in touch.

Anisa was browsing a friend’s Facebook page when she saw Samir’s profile.

Her heart pounded in excitement, and her hand trembled nervously as she sent him a friend request.

Less than an hour later, he accepted, and it was clear that Samir was excited to hear from her.

When Samir graduated, Anisa couldn’t escape the sense of sadness that overwhelmed her, but she tried to focus on school.

She kept telling herself it was just loneliness. But, something deep inside said it was something more…

They talked online almost every day after that. But they still didn’t admit to themselves what was happening.

But when Anisa gave Samir her phone number and told him the times to call (when her parents weren’t home), she started to feel a little guilty.

But they talked mostly about Islam and what they envisioned for themselves in the future…and in marriage.

Anisa was eighteen and months away from graduation when Samir surprised her by visiting the school.

It was time for Honor Society, but when she saw Samir, she couldn’t bring herself to go inside.

“I had to see you,” he said as they walked down the hall.

They both kept their hands tucked deep into their pockets, but they couldn’t avoid the furtive glance. “I miss you, Anisa.”

The words sent Anisa’s heart fluttering, and she barely found her voice. “Me too.”

When she realized that her response made no sense, they both laughed awkwardly.

They were sitting on the bleachers outside when Samir said, “I know it’s wrong to have these feelings…” Anisa averted her gaze, her face growing warm in embarrassment. “But I can’t take this anymore. I need to be with you…properly, you know?”

“No,” Anisa’s mother said later that night when Anisa confided in her about Samir.

“You are too young. Besides, he’s not from our country. It can never work. I’ll mention none of this nonsense to your father. Stupid girl, don’t go and ruin your life for some boy.”

“I’m not giving up,” Samir said on the phone the next day, but his voice betrayed how heartbroken he was. “I’m talking to your father.”

“Stay away from my daughter!” A week later, Anisa shuddered as her father’s voice carried to the solitude of her room.

She heard the front door slam, and she rushed to the window, her heart dropping as she saw Samir walking to his car, shoulders slouched.

“I’m not giving up,” Anisa told Samir on the phone the next day.

“I wish we could run away together,” Samir said, a hint of humor in his sad tone. They both laughed, but when Anisa hung up the phone, tears stung her eyes…

'Maybe It’s Divorce We’re Taking Lightly' - About Islam

When Anisa was twenty-one years old and in her third year in university, her parents said they had found a “good boy” for her.

“You will not refuse Abdullah,” her mother said the night before Anisa was to meet him.

“Your father worked very hard to find the right match for you.

Abdullah finished medical school and comes from a good family. Do not disappoint us.”

Samir met Anisa on campus after she told him the news.

Anisa cried unabashedly as Samir fought back tears, but he couldn’t keep himself from pulling Anisa close to him.

Islamic limits blurred at that moment and neither cared.

They just wanted this moment, which they would never have again…

Naturally, Anisa’s marriage to Abdullah was strained from the start.

Her heart was attached to Samir, and no matter how hard she tried, she could not loosen the hold Samir had on her heart.

But she convinced herself that her mother was right.

A good Muslim girl did what her parents wanted, even if it wasn’t what she wanted for herself.

“We are good Muslims, Anisa,” her mother had said after Anisa and Abdullah met.

“We are not forcing you. Allah forbids this. But if you do not marry Abdullah, know you are breaking your parents’ hearts, and I will never forgive you for that.”

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About Umm Zakiyyah
Umm Zakiyyah is the internationally acclaimed author of the If I Should Speak trilogy and the novels Realities of Submission and Hearts We Lost. To learn more about the author, visit or subscribe to her YouTube channel.