The Malaysian Islamic Development Department (Jakim) has proposed that married Muslim couples attend a post-marriage course aimed at strengthening the family institution and reducing the divorce rate in the country.

Jakim Family, Social and Community Development director Zakuan Sawai said his division had prepared a working paper on the proposal for the approval of the state Islamic religious departments.

“The proposal seeks, among others, to compel Muslim married couples to attend the three-day, two-night course which will focus on domestic issues, the marital relationship and upbringing of children,” he told Bernama here today.

Zakuan said the course, in four phases, targeted couples who had been married for one to five years, six to 10 years, and 11 to 20 years and above.

According to him, Jakim’s focus would mainly be on couples who had been married for only one to five years. This group was found to frequently face marital discord during a study done by the department.

“This is because they are still in the process of familiarising themselves with one another.”

He said efforts to develop the course were initiated in 2012 and a pilot project was currently being held here to obtain feedback on the present module.

“The course will be introduced to civil servants before being expanded to the public.”

He said the course differed vastly from the pre-marriage course as it dwelled more liberally on marital issues, including husband-wife health and relationships.

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