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Statement Against Domestic Violence: The Female Scholarship Network

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Statement Against Domestic Violence: The Female Scholarship Network

All praise is due to Allah ﷻ , our Lord, Creator, and Sustainer, Who made us into varying nations and tribes, from a diversity of languages and cultures, and made for us spouses from among ourselves so that we may find tranquility with them; and He has set between us love and mercy.

Peace and blessings be upon our beloved messenger and example, Muhammad ﷺ and his blessed family and companions.

The following is a statement formally issued by the Female Scholarship Network; a group of over 100 female Islamic scholars, teachers, and daa’iyyas across Canada, the United States of America, the United Kingdom, Australia, and elsewhere around the world.

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This statement is to condemn the disease of domestic violence that has permeated the Muslim ummah for far too long. While domestic violence is a universal human problem not specific to any race, religion, or culture, we as Muslims have a spiritual obligation to look within our ummah and to command the good and forbid evil. The consequences of domestic violence in our families, our communities, and our societies at large are simply too grave to ignore.

Abu Sa’id al-Khudri reported: The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said:

مَنْ رَأَى مِنْكُمْ مُنْكَرًا فَلْيُغَيِّرْهُ بِيَدِهِ فَإِنْ لَمْ يَسْتَطِعْ فَبِلِسَانِهِ فَإِنْ لَمْ يَسْتَطِعْ فَبِقَلْبِهِ وَذَلِكَ أَضْعَفُ الْإِيمَانِ

“Whoever among you sees evil, let him change it with his hand. If he is unable to do so, then with his tongue. If he is unable to do so, then with his heart, and that is the weakest level of faith.” [Sahih Muslim]

It is in this spirit that we issue this formal statement.

As female scholars and da’iyyas, we are acutely aware of the prevalence of domestic abuse. This may occur throughout the marriage, during the divorce process, and even after divorce. Most recently, we have seen several cases of abuse resulting in murder. In light of this, we would like to emphasize the following points:

  1. Islam has forbidden oppressing or abusing one’s spouse. It is haram to harm another individual in general; this is even more emphasized for a believer, and even more so for one who is under the shepherdship and care of another in the bond of marriage.[1]

  2. It is haram to help or enable someone to abuse their spouseand it is a responsibility on us to stop such harm and oppression if we are witness to it.[2] 

  3. The pre-marriage process should be done with transparency and openness by both the individuals and families involved. To deliberately conceal issues of concern that may harm the other spouse -such as mental health issues, substance abuse, unregulated anger management, etc.- is a type of deception which is categorically haram.[3]

  4. We must take mental health issues seriously in our community and support efforts to provide care that is spiritually sound and Islamically based. We must support institutions and organizations that can help the vulnerable in our community, and recognize when we or family members need help.

  5. We must de-stigmatize women leaving a harmful relationship. The Prophet ﷺ himself lovingly welcomed back two of his daughters after they were divorced. Parents must understand their role as protectors, and extend loving support for their children, before, during, and after marriage. We must rid ourselves of attachment to cultural norms (both of the East and the West) that contradict Islamic teachings and guidance in these matters.

  6. We must endeavor to make the way out of marriage easier for women in cases where it is established that abuse is taking place, and never send them back to potentially life threatening or mental health harming situations. It is imperative that imams and community leaders have a plan of action in place to assist victims trying to escape harmful circumstances, and provide them with safety and security, in consultation with other experts.

  7. We must bring qualified counselors and therapists into our communities who can provide Islamically sound counseling, and educate on topics related to domestic violence, intimate partner violence, and suicide; which are all intrinsically related.

  8. We call on imams and teachers in the community to regularly raise the issue of abuse and family violence, such that its seriousness, profound harm, and categorical prohibition is well understood. Furthermore, we must present positive models, methods, and strategies to healthy conflict-resolution, decision making, and other ways to develop healthy, happy, and sound marriages in our communities.

As an ummah, we need to be exemplary in our respectful and compassionate treatment of women, whom our beloved Prophet ﷺ consistently honored throughout his lifetime through both his words and actions.  May Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) help and guide us as a community to strengthen our resources, increase our infrastructure, and further our knowledge on how to effectively help people in abusive situations, as well as help our community to better cultivate God-conscious, balanced, and healthy relationships. Ameen.

Signed,

Dr. Shaykha Tamara Gray, Rabata (Minnesota, USA)
Dr. Shaykha Haifaa Younis, Jannah Institute (California, USA)
Dr. Shaykha Rania Awaad, Maristan (California, USA)
Shaykha Umm Jamaal ud-Din Mouna Parkin (Australia)
Shaykha Zaynab Ansari, Tayseer Seminary (Tennessee, USA)
Shaykha Muslema Purmul, The Majlis (California, USA)
Shaykha Shazia Shamshad Ahmad (Texas, USA)
Ustadha Aisha Hussain Rasheed (Maldives & Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)
Shaykha Rumaysa Sidat (UK)
Ustadha Fadwa Silmi, The Rahmah Foundation (California, USA)
Ustadha Suzanne Derani, The Rahmah Foundation (USA)
Dr. Sameera Ahmed, The FYI (Michigan, USA)
Shaykha Sumaiya Akram, Al-Salam Institute (UK)
Muftiyyah Nasima Umm Hamza, The Quran Institute (UK)
Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil (Malaysia)
Shaykha Sarah Ahmed (Texas, USA)
Ustadha Jinan Yousef (UK)
Ustadha Faatimah Knight (Virginia, USA)
Ustadha Hosai Mojaddidi, MCC East Bay (California, USA)
Ustadha Kaltun Karani, Hikma Academy (Minnesota, USA)
Ustadha Amal Abdifatah, Strive Sisterhood (Minnesota, USA)
Ustadha Noura Shamma (Ohio, USA and Turkey)
Shaykha Maryam Amir, Qariah: The Women Quran Reciters App (USA)
Shaykha Safiyya Dhorat, AlMuhsinat & Spiritual Birth (UK)
Shaykha Alia Dada (California, USA)
Ustadha Sumaiyah Saleem (UK)
Ustadha Hafsah Sayeed (UK)
Ustadha Alima Ashfaq (UK)
Ustadha Amina Mujela-Botic (Bosnia and Herzegovina)
Ustadha Aamenah Patel (UK)
Shaykha Marzuqa Karima (UK)
Ustadha Coalsuma Bibi (UK and Turkey)
Shaykha Imaan Barday (Leicester, UK)
Ustadha Aisha Hasan, The Qarawiyyin Project (UK)
Ustadha Nuriddeen Knight (Tennessee, USA)
Shaykha Zehra Hazratji (USA)
Ustadha Ibtihal Ramadan, PhD, University of Glasgow (Scotland)
Ustadha Sadia Razaq, Ilm Essentials (Maryland, USA)
Ustadha Yusairah Batan (UK)
Ustadha Zahida Suleman (UK)
Ustadha Faduma Warsame, Strive Sisterhood (Minnesota, USA)
Ustadha Saira Lari, MAS Bay Area (US)
Ustadha Marjaan Ali (Texas, USA)
Ustadha Misba Khan (UK)
Ustadha Dunia Shuaib from Guided Hearts Institute (Texas, USA)
Ustadha Dur-e-Nayyab Khan (UK)
Ustadha Rehana Sadiq (UK)
Ustadha Suzanne Kasim (USA)
Ustadha Zainab bint Younus (Canada)

 


[1] Some texts that confirm this are the following: The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said:

الْمُسْلِمُ مَنْ سَلِمَ النَّاسُ مِنْ لِسَانِهِ وَيَدِهِ وَالْمُؤْمِنُ مَنْ أَمِنَهُ النَّاسُ عَلَى دِمَائِهِمْ وَأَمْوَالِهِمْ

“The Muslim is the one from whose tongue and hand the people are safe, and the believer is the one people trust with their lives and wealth.” [Sunan an-Nasa’i]

Abdullah ibn Umar reported: I saw the Messenger of Allah ﷺ circling the Ka’bah and saying, “How pure you are and how pure is your fragrance! How great you are and how great is your sanctity! By the one in whose hand is the soul of Muhammad, the sanctity of the believer is greater to Allah than your sanctity, in his wealth, his life, and to assume nothing of him but good.” [Ibn Majah]

The Prophet ﷺ taught, “There should be neither harm nor reciprocating harm.” [Ibn Majah]

The Prophet ﷺ said, “Whoever strikes someone unjustly will receive retribution for it on the Day of Resurrection.” [Al-Adab al-Mufrad]

[2]  The Prophet ﷺ said, “Help your brother, whether he is an oppressor or he is an oppressed one.” People asked, “O Allah’s Apostle! It is all right to help him if he is oppressed, but how should we help him if he is an oppressor?” The Prophet said, “By preventing him from oppressing others.” [Sahih Bukhari]

[3]The Prophet ﷺ taught, “Whoever deceives us is not one of us.” [Sahih Muslim]

 

Related reading:

 – Domestic Violence Series: Marital Disputes, Ego, And Shame

Domestic Violence Series: Marital Disputes, Ego, And Shame

 – Domestic Violence And The Muslim Community

Domestic Violence And The Muslim Community

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10 Comments

10 Comments

  1. Batman

    July 25, 2022 at 4:52 PM

    Domestic violence is wrong, it doesn’t matter what the perpetrator’s gender is. The way we are raising awareness about domestic violence against women, we need to uplift men too who are subjected to this evil. Why does society assume that torture and violence are suffered by women only? The laws against domestic violence are women-centric excluding the possibility that men too can be harassed. Many men who face domestic violence do not seek any justice. Many men face false charges of domestic violence that completely ruins their lives. Moreover, even if women are found guilty of abusing their husbands, they get out of it easily because there is no stringent law against it.

  2. Truth

    July 26, 2022 at 6:24 AM

    The custom of joint families, interference by in-laws, family politics, and men who are brainwashed by their own mothers don’t deserve to have a wife.

  3. Sister F

    July 27, 2022 at 10:05 AM

    I appreciate the statement. I do have an issue with this sentence however, “ We must endeavor to make the way out of marriage easier for women in cases where it is established that abuse is taking place.” What is meant by establishing that abuse is taking place? If a woman comes forward and says her husband beat her a few weeks ago for example, and the bruises have faded, how is she supposed to establish that it took place? This exact situation happened to me and to this day I don’t think certain people believed what happened to me because I didn’t report it straightaway (due to shock and denial as is common with victims). Furthermore how do you establish that emotional abuse has taken place over a long period of time? I think this was a badly worded sentence and should probably be edited because it sends the message that unless you have concrete proof, we can’t believe your claims of abuse. Jzk.

  4. Truth

    July 27, 2022 at 2:32 PM

    Sister F, without proof anyone can falsely accuse their spouse. If abuse is taking place, a woman has the option to seek khula. If it is not easy to seek khula, an abused woman can stay at her parents home, or rent her own place. Domestic violence, whether physical or psychological, should not be tolerated by anyone. In reality, it is more difficult for men to leave abusive marriages because they are scared of being implicated in a false case, lose child custody, and have to pay hefty amounts in alimony and child support.

  5. samuel

    July 27, 2022 at 8:24 PM

    The female scholar’s first point is nonsense: “Islam has forbidden oppressing or abusing one’s spouse.”

    Allah commands men to beat disobedient wives in 4:34. There are several sahih hadith in which Muhammad approved of a Muslim man beating his wife. Even in Muhammad’s farewell address he placed the female as inferior to the male and that stated that she should be beaten “lightly.”

  6. Truth

    July 28, 2022 at 2:08 AM

    Samuel, in case of a dispute, the Holy Quran talks about admonishing a wife first, then refusing to share the bed.

    We follow the noble example of Prophet Mohammad (SAW), and he never beat his wives. He was always loving, polite, and respectful to his wives.

    … And live with them in kindness. For if you dislike them, perhaps you dislike a thing and Allah makes therein much good. (Holy Quran, 4:19)

    The best of you are those who are best to their wives… (Sahih Hadith)

    Treat your women well and be kind to them for they are your partners and committed helpers. (Last Khutbah)

  7. Reader

    July 28, 2022 at 10:37 AM

    Why is a woman refusing to have sex not considered abuse against the husband?

  8. Reader

    July 28, 2022 at 10:50 AM

    @Samuel: A woman went to hell for tying a cat, not feeding the cat and the cat died. A prostitute went to heaven after giving a dog water to drink. If abuse is forbidden towards animals and kindness is emphasized for animals, how can Islam allow abuse towards spouse? Islam emphasizes kindness towards spouse.

  9. A Husband

    July 29, 2022 at 3:06 PM

    Joint families are common in Asian countries, and a lot of marriages are ruined due to the pathetic behaviour of in-laws, mostly the mother-in-law.

  10. Truth

    July 29, 2022 at 5:12 PM

    I am so surprised women don’t write against mothers-in-law who oppress their daughters-in-law and brainwash their sons against their wives.

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