In Islam, married life is described as one filled with mercy, compassion, and tranquility. Marriage is a great blessing. Each partner in the marriage has certain rights and responsibilities, which are to be fulfilled in a loving way in the best interests of the family.
Unfortunately, this is not always the case. When a marriage is in danger, couples are advised to pursue all possible remedies to rebuild the relationship. Divorce is allowed as a last option, but it is discouraged. The Prophet Muhammad once said, "Of all the lawful things, divorce is the most hated by Allah."
For this reason, the first step a couple should make is to really search their hearts, evaluate the relationship, and try to reconcile. All marriages have ups and downs, and this decision should not be arrived at easily. Ask yourself, "Have I really tried everything else?" Evaluate your own needs and weaknesses; think through the consequences. Try to remember the good things about your spouse, and find forgiveness patience in your heart for minor annoyances. Communicate with your spouse about your feelings, fears, and needs. During this step, the assistance of a neutral Islamic counselor may be helpful for some people.
If, after thoroughly evaluating your marriage, you find that there is no other option than divorce, there is no shame in proceeding to the next step. Allah gives divorce as an option because sometimes it is truly the best interest of all concerned. Nobody needs to remain in a situation that causes personal distress, pain, and suffering. In such cases, it is more merciful that you each go your separate ways, peacefully and amicably.
Recognize, though, that Islam outlines certain steps that need to take place both before, during, and after a divorce. The needs of both parties are considered. Any children of the marriage are given top priority. Guidelines are given both for personal behavior and legal process. Following these guidelines may be difficult, especially if one or both spouses feel wronged or angry. Strive to be mature and just. Remember Allah's words in the Quran: "The parties should either hold together on equitable terms, or separate with kindness." (Surah al-Baqarah, 2:229)