DOMESTIC VIOLENCE IN MUSLIM COMMUNITY
By Ibn Al-Hajj Rafique as-Sanghoi
The Muslim community needs to have open discussion on this issue, as it becoming a more escalating occurrence.
Domestic violence is any incident of threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between adults who are or have been in a relationship together, or between family members, regardless of gender or sexuality. Whatever form it takes, domestic violence is rarely a one-off incident. More usually it’s a pattern of abusive and controlling behaviour through which the abuser seeks power over their victim. Domestic violence occurs across society, regardless of age, gender, race, sexuality, wealth and geography. Victims of domestic violence suffer on many levels – health, housing, education – and lose the freedom to live their lives at ease and peace, without fear. Domestic violence is most oftenly men against women, however there are many reports of violence of women against men.
Whether it is physical, emotional or sexual abuse, it threatens the very existence of healthy communities. Unfortunately this is on the increase within Muslim communities. Some may argue it has always been there, just never challenged. The truth of the fact is, more Muslims of today are not educated within there rights as Muslims, and have often mixed their cultural roles to Muslim roles. These have come about more with the decline of Islamic awareness, bringing more oppression upon especially the female gender. Nevertheless, if the status of a female is examined within Islam, it can be clearly understood that the level of respect, calibre, and honour of females, should immediately rule out any male force or oppression on women, and thus eliminating domestic violence.
The key points that both couples and families need to comprehend is the destruction of the family and lives of the children. A husband that demonstrates violence to his wife will not only mentally harm her, but his own children too. How can a mother or wife fulfil her roles if she is in continuous fear and isolation. Furthermore, a family that stands by domestic violence, need to question themselves, how will there daughter be in her home, or is she living in silence like their daughter in-law. Joint families should mean a mercy of understanding to a family environment, not an encouragement of torture or harassment and violence.
We the Muslim community, both east and west, need to be proud of the heritage of good Muslim culture and teaching we have. If ever we are not sure how to conduct ourselves, we should reflect upon the life of the Blessed Messenger of Allah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam). The way the Messenger conducted himself (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) with his wives and people of his (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) household, it can be established that domestic violence has no home within Islam. Whether it is in the form of financial, sexual, social, physical, psychological or emotional, there is no justification within the folds of Islam.
May Allah guides us along the sunnah (traditional methodology) of His Beloved (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam). Ameen.