Saudi Arabia has one of the highest divorce rates in the world. In 2010, over 18,765 divorce cases were recorded. According to a local expert, Awad al-Harbi, this means one divorce occurs every 30 minutes.
The reason for the high number of divorces? In Saudi Arabia it is extremely easy to get a divorce. No long drawn out court cases are required and a husband can divorce his wife on the radio or even by SMS.
An unnamed Saudi man has recently divorced his wife because she "disobeyed" him. The wife took the liberty of going on a business trip alone, which is not allowed in the Arab republic.
The husband phoned into a radio talk show which deals with marital problems and discussed his situation with the host, Sheikh Ghazi al-Shammari, a prominent Islamic scholar.
He explained that when they first married, he had accepted his wife’s demand to work provided this would not interfere with their marital life.
However, he told the host that his wife had “offended his manhood” by traveling to a business conference in the capital Riyadh on her own and without obtaining his approval.
The host and scholar advised that the man should divorce his wife.
Al-Shammari said in a later interview with Al-Arabiya
, “Such a wife is suspicious because she insisted to travel alone to Riyadh and without ample reason. I did not rush with the advice because I saw that the issue was dangerous and that we should not remain silent more about it.”
However the caller then heeded the advice and proceeded to divorce his wife of ten years during the live broadcast.
The host later said that the man should consider remarriage, if his wife repents her actions.
: “The husband called me in my program this afternoon and told me that he was financially capable and did not want his wife to work and that he is having problems with her about this issue for more than 10 years and that he has been patient for long. But the issue has developed to the extent that she would travel without his approval.”
“He was surprised that she sent him a text message from the airport telling him that she was traveling alone... and this is why I advised him to divorce her because she was not obeying her husband, a matter that is very important in Islam.”
“I did not make a mistake with my advice to the man, because what the wife did, travelling without his consent from Jeddah to Riyadh, is a serious matter and a cause for doubt,” he stated.
In Saudi Arabia it couldn't be easier for a husband to divorce his wife. All that is necessary is for him to say he is divorcing his wife three times.
A while back a Saudi man even divorced his wife via SMS
. After sending the text message to his wife, he called two relatives to confirm his actions. A Saudi court confirmed the divorce by calling the two relatives to confirm the husband's intentions.
Another Saudi husband
divorced his wife using a loudspeaker in a shopping mall. While shopping with his wife and 3 children, they separated when he visited a men's clothing store.
As he left the store he noticed a man giving his wife a note with his phone number, which she accepted and put into her bag.
He immediately used the mall's loudspeaker system to shout out the words of divorce, even though she was with her 3 children.
On the other side of the divorce system in Saudi Arabia, women are at a severe disadvantage. If they wish to divorce their husbands they have to endure a lengthy and tedious court process, which can continue for months. These cases are often further complicated if the husband is unwilling to attend the hearings. Judges are then reluctant to issue rulings, although they do have the right to issue a police order to force the husband to attend court.
Seems that not all is fair in love and divorce and the latest technology rules for Saudi Arabian husbands.