Domestic Violence
Dear Readers,

The formation of the MADV section caused some controversy among a few Muslims who are regular visitors to ITMR and those who had heard about the MADV webring through various mailing lists and so on. Most people were supportive of such a campaign as shown below. Others lost their tempers and called it a "slanderous" move because "domestic violence does not exist in Muslim communities!" Well...see for yourself...

The first e-mail is one I received from a net-friend. We have been friends for several months now because of our interaction with regard to my website and issues affecting local Muslims. She is lovely, warm and friendly girl and I would never have guessed that beneath it all, are scars of a great deal of suffering. I'll let you all read the story for yourself. I replaced some words with **** in order to respect her privacy.

First I have to make my intentions clear. I am showing my friend's story to you with the hope that inshallah, it will help snap Muslims in denial, back to reality. Domestic violence does exist despite the fact that it is so much against Islam. This does not mean that ALL or MOST Muslim men abuse their wives...It is to say that some do and even ONE is too many, don't you think? We need to make a united effort as an Ummah to totally reject such behaviour and at the same time, help our erring brothers understand that they are committing a grave sin. It is a breach of trust and a violation of basic human & religious rights to cause such suffering to another human. A true Muslim does not abuse his wife in any way. If you're a true Muslim, stand up against it now. Spread this message.

My heart goes out to my friend, her mother and their whole family. I strongly believe and pray that Allah will compensate them & reward them for their patience and tolerance toward their erring father. May Allah guide him to the right path.

Regards, Fareena Alam
Webmaster: Islam - The Modern Religion
 
 
 

Hi Fareena,
 

It's me again. I personally think that having a section dedicated to the fight against domestic violence in Muslim households is a commendable one. Indeed, it was a brave move on your part. I anticipated that you would receive protest e-mails, and you did! :-)  

It is only expected. That is the thing with some sections of the Muslim populace. They exhort the virtues of Islam and at the same time, they know at the back of their minds, that domestic violence does exists among their community. Yet, they'd rather not hang out the dirty laundry. What would others say? That's what they would think.  

You are indeed right...Muslims all over the world should wake up and face reality. Islam is a perfect religion but Muslims themselves are imperfect in many ways. Whatever is inmperfect should be made right. 

I myself come from a family who has endured many years of abuse. When we were young, my dad, (what you would say your average married ****** man) had this habit of hitting my mother when the rough gets going. I suppose you can say my mom kinda married the wrong guy, for he was quite the ladies' man even though he was married. I remembered once when I was 9 or something, he was really trashing her in the kitchen. I recall peeping from my room and saw the chopping board whizzing in mid-air. I don't even know who hit whom but I think I can make the guess.  

Anyway, the problem stemmed from my dad's gallivanting ways. He even had a 2nd wife once and my mom does not agree to that. I suppose that's when the abuse began. He has since divorced the 2nd wife but his gallivanting ways never left him. 

He is ** years old now and 3 months ago, after a trip to *******, he broke the news to my ** year old mom that he had married another in *****. A ** yr old divorcee with one child. It really was devastating. History repeats itself, it seems. Worse, he was fired from his ***** job for his frequent trips overseas. As such he does not have the means to support two families and ended up borrowing. Now he is in deep debt.  

My mom's had enough of it after ** yrs of marraige. She has since filed for divorce with the Syariah Court. Her case will be heard on **** 1999. He had wanted to sell our flat as a means to clear his debt. But my mom, a co-owner, objected to the decision and now he is in limbo. He went to ******* again last week and since then has not returned. Word has it that he intended to disappear for 3 months so that the Court can easily facilitate my mom's request for a divorce on the grounds that he had not provided her with nafkah for 3 months. That way, the flat will be sold, proceeds will be halved and he can get his share. 

As much as he is my father by blood and he has to a certain degree done his duty as a husband and father up till recently, frankly speaking, I have lost all love for my dad. For the physical abuse to my mother that he inflicted, I have yet to forgive him. And now, even though the physical abuse has stopped, the psychological abuse still continues. My mother has ceased, I think, to be the passive wife with an O level from the ***** stream. But I know she is still undergoing emotional stress. I suppose it is difficult for her to pack and leave when we were young. Where could she go with * little tikes? (Mind you, the *th child is not even hers. My half-sister is the result of his marriage to his 2nd wife in 19**). 

My siblings are all adults now. My say is - enough is enough. My dad is the kind who thinks that just because he is husband and father, he is king. The wife is there to bear kids, cook and clean the house. I am bitter for the unhappiness he created now - not when I am intending to marry in ****** and my would be husband is a convert to Islam. My mother is terribly embarrassed by this but fortunately, my fiance is very understanding. 

Well, just thought I'd share with you my story as the topic of domestic violence arises. The worst thing about it is that it extends to more than the scars and bruises on the woman's body. It's the scars and bruises that are in her mind...that is much harder to overcome. You may reproduce this story if you want but pls state anonimity and delete some specifics as I do not want some friends (who know my predicament) read about it on the Net. I leave that up to you. 

Before I go, let me tell you an amazing story. Two years ago, when my dad was away on a trip to ****, my mom had a weird feeling that he was cheating behind her back. So one night, after her maghrib prayers, she prayed to Allah. She said, 'O Allah, if indeed my husband is being untrue to me behind my back, please show me the sign". And you know what?  

3 days after he came back, he was struck my a sexually transmitted disease. It was syphillis. He had committed 'zina' with a woman he had known there. After that, he vowed 'taubat nasuhah' to my mom - never to wrong her again. This year, after he married the other woman, he fell into debt amounting to more than $10,000, isolated by kith and kin and admitted to thehospital on 3 occasions for his ***** conditions. All these, within a span of 3 months. 

I leave it up to you to deduce. 

Indeed, Allah is Great and he hears the prayer of a good wife. 
 

A good weekend to you, 

****** 
Fri, 21 May 1999

Dear Readers,

It's very encouraging that there are many people out there who are willing to address the issue of domestic violence in Muslim communities. Our sisters, mothers, grandmothers, daughters....they have been silent long enough. This e-mail is from a married brother, alhamdulillah!

Regards, Fareena Alam
Webmaster: Islam - The Modern Religion

Dear Sister Fareena, 
  
Assalaamu 'Alaikum Wa Rahmatullaahi Wa Barakaatuh 
  
It would seem from all the negative response you had against you in the "Domestic Violence" issue, sadly, shows the level of Imaan and Taqwa in the Muslim Ummah. These people are either extremely naive or not concerned for the truth. Both these issues, ie. naivity and non-concern, are perhaps the most dangerous to a Muslim.  

We, as Muslims, must be aware of the problems around us. Pretending that such problems don't exist, or that it does not concern us, or not caring about them is a mark of Kufr (disbelief).  

If one organ of this Ummah ails, the whole Ummah ails. I would liken these "Muslims" to those who say that the Muslims of Bosnia and Kosovo must have deserved what they got, or to those "Muslims" who see the refugees from Kosovo in the many news reports and do not feel an urge to help. 
  
Domestic violence does happen in Muslim homes done by Muslims, as does child molestation, child abuse, homosexuality, murder etc. Some may not call it "domestic violence" as they might that the Qur'aan allows you to "beat" the wife if she is disloyal or does not conduct herself as a Muslim (Surah 4, Ayat 34). First of all, this "beating" is an absolute last resort, perhaps instead of divorce, and it should be "light", NOT A BASHING.  

And the minute one hits his wife's face, he has committed a grave sin. In fact, Islam does not like excesses and anything in excess of "light" beating is domestic violence. 
  
I commend you in your effort, and may Allaah (SWT) reward you for speaking the truth. 
  
Jazaak Allaah. 
  
Brother in Islam, 
***** 
  
PS. Small request: Feel free to publish my email but I would like to remain anonymous, Inshaa Allaah. Thanks. 

Fri, 21 May 1999 
 


 

Dear Readers,

Here is yet another e-mail with regard to the same matter. It was sent by Brother Yahya who maintains the "Islamic News and Information Net". I am grateful that he has helped forward all my "domestic violence" mails to his mailing list because it has more than 700 subscribers.

To subscribe to ININ-NET: Send "subscribe inin-net" (without the quotes) in the body of a message to majordomo@muslimsonline.com

Before I end my little note, I want to ask the Muslim Ummah: If such a large number of Muslim men are jailed for domestic violence, can you imagine how big the number of unreported cases must be?

Regards, Fareena Alam
Webmaster: Islam - The Modern Religion

Date: Mon, 24 May 1999 08:50:33 -0400 (EDT) 
From: Islamic News and Information Net <inin@muslimsonline.com> 
To: inin-net@muslimsonline.com 
Subject: [ININ] Feedback regarding domestice violence in the Muslim community (very important reading!!!!!) 
Sender: owner-inin-net@muslimsonline.com 

                        ||           ||  o   || 
                _o_,_\ ,;:   .'_o_\ ,;:  (_|_;:  _o_,_,_,_; 
               (  ..  /     (_)    /            (        . 
                          Bismillah irRahman irRaheem 
           In the Name of Allaah, The Most Gracious, The Most Kind 
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Assalamu'alaikum, 

Before reading the information below which I recieved from Fareena, I want to tell you that I was talking with a Muslim chaplain this weekend who works with Muslims in Prison in the Toronto area. 

He told me that in 1987 the percentage of all inmates in prison who are Muslim was only 1%. Now in 1999 the percentage of inmates who are Muslim is close to 12%. 

He told us that the NUMBER ONE reason why these people (Muslims) are there is because of domestic abuse. They were beating their wives. Many from the Muslim countries thought because they could do that back home they could also do that here and get away with it. WRONG!!!! They are now is jail. 

Any man who beats his wife is a full fledged coward and I hold him in contempt and may Allah curse him in this life and in hell. All e-mails I recieve which apologize for the cowards will be deleted and not read. Read on...... 

Yahya Abdul Rahman

<my part of the e-mail (which contained the true story above) deleted> 
 

Dear Readers,

Another e-mail from a sympathetic sister who has another tale of horror to tell. I seek solace in the belief that not all Muslim men are this shameless - most Muslim men are good, kind husbands. Then why do these cases exist? Perhaps, it would be good to hear some feedback from the offenders themselves. In the meantime, please read on....

Regards, Fareena Alam
Webmaster: Islam - The Modern Religion

Assalamu Alaikum sister Fareena,

I must commend you on your website and your efforts to bring Domestic Violence in the Muslim Community to the attention of fellow Muslims. I must apologize for such a delay in responding to an email I recieved from brother Yahya thru his ININ mail list, I don't get to the computer much these days. 

I think you are doing a wonderful service to women/men who are abused. It is sad that others are offended by what you are doing. I am fortunate that I have a husband that does not believe it is right to beat a woman, Al-Hamdulillah! But I feel it is important to help those who are being abused, whether it be physical or mental. 

There are only a couple of Muslims where I live, so there are no resources for Muslims here that I can give you for my area. I have tried to help a non-muslim co-worker on several occasions get out of her abusive relationship........I have seen her so badly beaten all I could do was cry for her. I felt so bad for her. 

She eventually married him, unfortunately she felt since they had a child together that is where she should be, after the marriage he continued to beat her, when she would call in sick at work we all knew why......it is a sick feeling one gets inside just knowing about the situation that is occuring. She became pregnant shortly after their marriage, and lost the baby at nearly 6 months due to one of the many beatings she incurred during the pregnancy. She called me to come to the hospital and it was the hardest thing I've ever had to do to look at this man......the sight of him made my stomach turn inside out. 

I, along with her family tried many, many times to get her to leave, but she refused.......we tried contacting the Police for help, but she wouldn't press charges or go to a shelter. When he saw I was trying to help her, he cut off all contact between us, she wasn't allowed to speak with me, so we had to meet here and there privately so he wouldn't find out.......we both knew what would happen to her if he ever found out. 

I always asked her why does she stay, it is like she is in prison, she always has bruises, she was always belittled, and the fear she had in her eyes was tremendous........she always said "Who wants me?" He had taken every ounce of confidence from her, until she believed all the things he said to her. 

I use to tell her I was afraid he was going to kill her and she didn't act as if it bothered her, she was so tired I think she thought hat would be an end. It wasn't long before he moved her away to another state where only he has family, and friends.......I tried to tell her not to go, but she did. I recieved a phone call from her during a visit down here, she had become pregnant again, and he had brought her down to rid her of the pregnancy, and she complied with his requests. 

I didn't hear from her again until a few months ago, she had come down to visit her mom and had run to pick up a Pizza for them, so she stopped by for a very quick hello.......we talked for several minutes, and I could see how at ease she was, like she was so relieved to have a few minutes to talk with someone, then she asked if I had put on alot of weight, and I responded I was pregnant.......I could see how hurt she was by my words, and she left very quickly. 

I feel so badly for her, and I think of her often........I still worry that eventually he will kill her, she deserves so much more out of life........I tell you all of this because I'm sure there will be at least one Muslimah that comes across it that will be in the same situation.......unwilling to get help because they have been so broken by their abusers words and fists, that they begin to believe they deserve it......

To anyone who feels this way, I would like to say......you have to believe in yourself before you can get the courage to leave, and no matter what your abuser may tell you......you are beautiful, smart, and a good person.....and with the help of Allah you can leave, just lean on Him.......He will hold you up in your time of need.

Wasalam,
Your sister in Islam


 
 
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