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Domestic violence

Farah Sarwar 

As she lies on the cold floor, huddled up in a foetal position, he reigns in on her. He punches her eyes because she looked at him the wrong way. Next are her lips, because she answered back. She can taste her blood filling up in her mouth, but instead of spitting it out she swallows it in fear of getting hit for ruining the kitchen floor. Before he leaves, he throws a couple of punches to the stomach that once carried his children . She’s left to cry, wondering why the man she married treats her like this. And wondering what she has done wrong.

Domestic violence is a topic that is familiar to us. Many of us may be victims. Many of us may have sisters, mothers or aunts who go through this on a daily basis.

Domestic violence exists in every religion, ethnicity, race and socio-economic group. But what needs to be understood is that domestic violence does not exist in Islam. Although some ignorant and ill-minded people will use verses from The Noble Quran to justify a man beating his wife, anyone who knows that Islam is a religion of peace and harmony will know that this is clearly not the case. Statistics in the UK show that domestic violence is widespread. It accounts for 17 per cent of violent crime. One in four women will experience domestic violence in their lifetime, and one in six men. (But women are much more likely than men to be the victim of multiple incidents of abuse, and of sexual violence). One incident is reported to the police every minute, and around 120 women are murdered by a current or former partner per year - that's around two women every week.

Although this statistic is alarming, it is based on figures that have been reported. What about the ones that go unheard? These are the people that we need to call out to. To lend a hand and be a shoulder to cry on. Many of us who have an outside perspective will ask why so many sisters decide to keep shut, say nothing to anyone but pick up the pieces, stay locked up in the house waiting for the bruises to fade. Or doing the school run wearing sunglasses to hide their black eyes and telling their children: “Mummy was being silly and banged her head on the door.”

There are many explanations. One that everyone has heard of is ‘izzat’ (honour), and we as a community have gotten to know this word like it was our best friend. Sadly, many of our sisters in abusive relationships will not leave in fear of bringing shame on their family, or ruining their family’s reputation. Or they might stay because they feel their children need a father figure, and their needs are less important.  

These women need to understand that domestic violence is by no means justifiable. Keeping silent only lets the abuser think they have won the battle, and allows them to start this vicious cycle all over again. Meanwhile, abusive men who believe beating up their wives is acceptable need to have a good look at the life and character of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). He taught us that the way in which the husband treats his wife is a reflection of his faith.

The Prophet told us how the husband should treat his wife; he should not hurt her emotionally or physically, treat her gently, communicate effectively and support her in times of difficulty. Therefore, the one who abuses his wife verbally and physically is one who is weak and lost in their faith.

How can he feel a sense of power in the punches and kicks he gives to his wife? How can he feel he’s in control every time he humiliates her? What good does he feel when his son/daughter has witnessed what he has done to their mother? How would he feel if some man did this to his mother, sister or daughter? We as a community need to stand together and eliminate domestic violence.

We need to educate and tell our sisters that it is wrong what is happening to them –  that they don’t need to accept it, and that help is available. By allowing it to happen, they are telling their children to accept it as normal. From here, a vicious cycle starts again – only this time it will be passed down the generation.   

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Comments (5)

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Domestic abuse is a terrible experience most carry the
emotional bruises for the rest of their lives...however there
are lack of any resources for MUSLIM women. Yeah we got
women aid and all but we need an organisation that is more
sensitive towards Islam and the issues that our communities
face..also there are other types of abuse like child abuse that
goes unnoticed...hopefully people are more aware now
:/...lool late poster x) great article mashallah, very moving x

[1] at 22:30 on 7 Sep 12 report this

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Domestic Violence just ruins peoples lives :'( its just sad.
May Allah guide and help those who still go through with
this problem...Ameen.

[2] LamishaxD at 11:23 on 16 Feb 12 report this

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May Allah help all those suffering from Domestic Violence

[3] amnah1992 at 21:46 on 7 Mar 10 report this

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Those men need to realise how pathetic they are, using religion to justify their cruelty. Excellent article.

[4] Bushra at 22:00 on 21 Jan 10 report this

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Sister Farah touches upon an important, yet unfortunately, ill understood subject. The muslim generation of today are exposed to thousands of misinterpretations of the Qu'ran, domestic abuse being one of them!

insha'allah this article will have helped illuminate some of the more ambiguous verses of the Qu'ran which have given reason for Westerners to question the very moral fabric of islam.

As Salamu Alaykum

[5] natashaahmed1985 at 04:05 on 21 Jan 10 report this

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