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 WIFE ABUSE

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PostSubject: WIFE ABUSE   Sat Sep 17, 2011 12:32 am

Wife Abuse PDF | Print |
WIFE ABUSE IN THE MUSLIM COMMUNITY.
Diep River Masjid - 5th. February 2010.
Masjidul Ummah - Ottery - 12th. February 2010.
Claremont Main Road Mosque - 19th. February 2010.
Almighty Allah, Exhorts us in the Holy Quran -- “And among His signs are, that He created for you spouses from among yourselves, so that you may dwell in (Peace) tranquillity with them, and he has put love and compassion between your hearts.. Verily In that are signs for those who reflect." Surah Ar-Rum: 30:21 –

Almighty Allah also commands in the Holy Quran: – {Men are the protectors and maintainers of women with that with which Allah as preferred some of you over others (more strength than others) and with that which they support them from their means. –

Our Prophet (Peace be upon him), declared: “"The Believers who show the most perfect Iman are those who have the best Character And Conduct -And the best among you are those who treat their wives the best." (Tirmidhi)

The Muslim Judicial Council SA (MJC) in an article on their website - condemned the recent spate of killings and shocking violent acts perpetrated against women and children reported in the media. A recent study conducted by the University of South Africa’s Institute for Social and Health Sciences, (UNISA) revealed that more than 20% of men admitted to being physically violent towards their partners and each year an estimated 2.5 million people seek health care for non-fatal injuries, of which half are caused by violence. It is therefore fitting that we have some discourse that affect Women both islamically and generally. & our Topic today will deal with Wife abuse in the Muslim Community- The abuse of Women is not only a Muslim problem – but a general problem – but because we are Muslims first we need to look seriously at what is happening in our Community.

The abuse of wives has hurt and psychologically scarred many Muslim women, destroyed many Muslim families. How much longer can we afford to look the other way? Domestic violence is the single major cause of injury to women.-- based on information from some Muslim leaders, social workers, and female activists in South Africa, approximately 15 – 20 percent of Muslim women are abused emotionally, physically, and sexually by their Muslim husbands. (There are no hard numbers, because community leaders have not taken the well-known problem seriously enough to research.)

And Despite Islamic teachings of justice and compassion, global research shows many Muslim women in Africa, South Africa the United States, Europe and other parts of the world, even in so called "Islamic Countries" are no exception. It is stated that large numbers of Muslim women are abused verbally, emotionally, physically, and sexually by their Muslim husbands. (There are no hard numbers in the Muslim Community of South Africa, because Community leaders have not taken the well-known problem seriously enough to research).

The social dynamics prevalent in society which fuel violent behavioural patterns are:- widespread poverty, unemployment, differences in income; patriarchal notions of masculinity that valorise power; experience of abuse during childhood and weak parenting; - freely available firearms; - widespread intoxicant misuse;- and lack of sufficient law enforcement.

20% of women surveyed in antenatal clinics in South Africa reported sexual violence by an intimate partner and 30% reported psychological abuse. In many ways marriage, as an institution, represents a microcosm of what is in fact happening in the broader (or macro) social and cultural lives of Muslim society. 20th century Islam has been a chequered one – one which has not only known its isolated moments of glory but also moments of extreme tension and animosity, and, at times, even perversity. The challenges, demands, and tasks of the contemporary world that confront us are immense and varied. Our responses to all of this, while not exactly being immense, have indeed been equally varied

Wife-abuse, which stretches across all ethnic, educational, and socio economic lines, results in severe emotional, physical and psychological pain for many Muslim women, a stacking up of sins for many Muslim men, and many weak, unhappy Muslim families that fail to contribute adequately to the development of the Muslim community. Despite the severity of the problem, the Muslim community has largely closed its eyes and devoted very few resources to helping the victims and stopping the abusers. This is very unfortunate because family violence is one of South Africa's most critical health problems..

Although Islam promises women protection from such problems, the reality in many Muslim homes is different. The most common form of abuse is verbal, emotional and mental abuse. In Muslim homes, this includes verbal threats to divorce the wife, to remarry, or to take the children away if she does not do exactly as she is told; intimidation and threats of harm; degradation, humiliation, insults, ridicule, name-calling, criticism; false accusations and blaming her for everything. Ignoring, dismissing, or ridiculing her needs; neglect and the silent treatment; telling her she is a failure and will go to hell; twisting Islamic teachings to make her feel worthless because she is a woman; restricting her access to transportation, health care, food, clothing, money, friends, or social services; physical and social isolation; extreme jealousy and possessiveness; destroying trust; etc. This can take place in public or at home.

Although it's completely contrary to the examples of our beloved Prophet Muhammad, (saw), (who was the most gentle and kindest of human beings), the Muslim Community nonetheless tends to dismiss the seriousness of mental abuse, rationalizing it as petty arguments between husband and wife, and saying it's not serious unless he hits her. In reality, mental abuse does severe psychological harm to many women. It destroys their self-esteem and makes them question their self-worth; some have complete mental breakdowns. Furthermore, psychological abuse can lead to physical abuse. Physical abuse includes pushing, slapping, punching, kicking, and beating; Physical abuse escalates in frequency and severity.

Another reason why abuse isn't stopped is that many abused Muslim women simply don't seek out help. They're afraid that if their situation becomes public they will lose their privacy, and they fear the abusers will become more hostile when the negative publicity gets back to them. Furthermore, many abused Muslim women remain silent because they lack confidence in themselves and believe that they somehow deserve the abuse. Abused Muslim women also keep quiet out of a feeling of hopelessness and a belief that no one will help them, out of financial dependence on their husbands, out of a desire to keep homes together for the children's sake, or out of love for the abusive husbands.

Why do Muslim men abuse their wives.

Research indicates numerous reasons why a man batters the woman he claims to love. In South African Society violence is portrayed as an acceptable and effective method of gaining control. Researchers indicate that violence is prevalent in schools, sport and is popularized by the Media, films, television, books and newspapers.

Abusers are often part of a cycle, picking up the habit after watching their own fathers' abuse their mothers. And their own children learn this abusive behaviour and abuse their wives. (This is an important point because the longer the Muslim community tolerates abuse; the longer it will be passed on from father to son, from generation to generation.) For cultural reasons, some Muslim men accept the idea that it's normal for a man to hit his wife and that she is no more than a piece of his property. Some Muslim husbands' abuse their wives as a result of frustration resulting from economic hardship, political oppression or stress experienced outside the home, or an inferiority complex

Tragically, some Muslim men actually use Islam to "justify" their abusive behaviour. Focusing on rituals, considering themselves to be islamically knowledgeable, and disregarding the spirit of Islam, they wrongly use the Quranic verse that says men are the protectors and maintainers of women to go on power trips, demand total obedience and subservience. Many Muslim males misinterpret Qur’anic verses that talk about how to treat a disobedient wife and use it as a license for abuse.

In reality, the Quran and Sunnah provide clear instructions on what procedures a husband must use in conflict situations where the husband is innocent and the wife is rebellious and at fault. Almighty Allah states 4/34 ‘– There are different interpretations of this verse-- One translation of Chapter 4, Verse 34 of the Quran states, in part, "And as for those women whose ill-willed rebellion you have reason to fear, admonish them first; then leave them alone in bed; then beat them lightly; and if thereupon they pay you heed, do not seek to harm them." (Muhammad Asad translation).

Another translation of the same verse states, "As for women you feel are averse, talk to them persuasively; then leave them alone in bed; and go to bed with them when they are willing. If they open out to you, do not seek an excuse for blaming them." (Ahmed Ali translation).

A general explanation of the verse is that The first step is a peaceful discussion between the two of them about the problem and solutions. This is intended to soften hearts and eliminate misunderstandings. If this doesn't work, the next step is for the husband to tell his wife his expectations in a firm, decisive manner.

If the rebelliousness and disobedience continues, the husband is supposed to leave the bed, which is really a punishment for both of them for not being able to resolve their differences. If that fails to solve the problem, representatives of both sides meet to try and arbitrate. As a last resort, if he thinks it will prevent divorce by letting the wife know how serious he is, the Quran states (Wad ribu Hun na) " Normally translated by some translators as (beat her lightly). -. Note the differences in the translation of the Arabic word daraba. One translation indicates beating while the other indicates consensual sexual relations. These are only two meanings of daraba. The same word also can mean to separate, leave or depart. The Quran itself uses daraba 16 times, and in nine of those instances, the meaning is to separate or depart. –

Note also that we have not discussed the meaning of women's ill-willed rebellion or aversion, (NUSHOOZ) according to the Quran, that would lead a man to take the steps outlined in Chapter 4, Verse 34. That conduct (regardless of how one interprets daraba) is an issue of debate among Islamic thinkers and scholars. Moreover, the general principles of a relationship are unambiguously stated in Chapter 30, Verse 21 of the Quran: "Among the signs of Allah is that he created mates for you among yourselves - so that you may get peace of mind and tranquillity from them, and has put love and compassion between you. Verily there are signs in this for those who reflect." Which interpretation of daraba is more popular? Unfortunately, the one that connotes beating. But we need to consider why that translation is more popular while ones that are more in tune with the flow of the verse and the overall teachings of Islam are not.

Islam was introduced to Arabian society more than 1,431 years ago. That society, like the rest of the world at that time - and much of today's world - was dominated by a patriarchal elite power structure. That power structure did not take kindly to the advent of Islam, in particular the Islamic teachings of equality among all people, including women and slaves. The teachings of Islam posed a threat to the Arabian power structure, which had not encountered a similar threat to its very existence. Aside from persecuting the early followers of Islam, the power elite needed to dilute the teachings of Islam. Based on a statement of the Prophet (saw) the majority of the Classical and Contemporary Scholars refer to the beating, as a beating with a "Miswak" (toothbrush). It is also interesting to note that there is no evidence anywhere that the Prophet (saw) ever beat any Human Being, let alone any of His wives. - This procedure is to be followed only when the wife is guilty of “NUSHOOZ” (discord/ disharmony)

Let us reflect on what was contracted for in the first place in the Marriage Contract –Almighty Explains in 2/229 - “That both husband and wife holds together with fairness and justice or they separate in Kindness. (IHSAAN)” – When the Prophet (saw) was asked by Jibreel (as) about ‘Ihsaan’ he replied: “It is to worship Almighty Allah as if you see Him, even if you cannot (feel the presence of Almighty Allah) be sure that Almighty Allah sees all”

LACK OF UNDERSTANDING - NOT ATTENDING PREMARITAL AND POST MARITAL CLASSES _ The first verse Almighty Allah revealed to our beloved Prophet (saw)” “Read”, (Research, study, Acquire knowledge) ”In the name of your Lord who created you”. The Prophet (saw) stated – “The acquisition of knowledge is compulsory / Mandatory on every Muslim Male and Female”. The acquisition of knowledge on how to live islamically and in harmony with each other and what is expected of each individual from Almighty Allah within the marriage.

Almighty Allah commands in the Holy Quran: –{Men are the protectors and maintainers of women with that with which Allah as preferred some of you over others (more strength than others) and with that which they support them from their means. -- “The male is the Protector, (supporter, leader (Imam) carer and Shepherd) of his females –because Allah has given him more strength than the other”. (Females) So this is then a trust from Almighty Allah that the male should protect and care for his females - and in Surah Mu’minoon verse 8 Almighty Allah states: "Those who faithfully observe their trusts and covenants" (are of the true believers). The Prophet (saw.) said "The best off you - is the best of you toward his family (i.e., wife) and I am the best of you toward my family." At-Tirmidhi”

CONCLUSION: The Muslim community has clearly failed in its obligations to protect many Muslim women and to bring many cruel Muslim men to justice. The community needs to deal much more effectively with wife abuse in order to stop the immediate suffering of people in abusive situations and to help build healthy Muslim families. First, the community must accept the fact that there is a serious problem and resolve to deal with it.

A core group of trusted, active Muslim men and women in each area, who are committed to ending wife abuse in the Muslim community and to strengthening Muslim families, must put support groups in place and become knowledgeable about Islamic guidelines on the family and be trained in crisis intervention and counselling –

The Muslim community has shamefully tolerated wife abuse for a long time. How much longer will Muslim families (and therefore the Muslim community) be weakened by abuse? How much longer will abusers be allowed to run free and unpunished in the community? How much more abuse will Muslim women have to endure before the community decides that enough is enough?

Islam is not just acts of worship and devotion. It requires amongst other things, to: -

Do more than believe; ........... . To practice. -- ·

Do more than belong; ............. ..Participate? -- ·

Do more than dream; ............ .Work hard to fulfill those dreams. ---

Do more than care; .......... Help. --- ·

Do more than be fair; ............. ..Be kind?

Do more than forgive; ............ ..Forget?

But the real challenge is:-

To do more than think differently and ......to make a real difference. -- To our own lives and to the lives of others

We Pray Almighty Allah: O Allah! Help us to live every day as if it was our last. Help us to accept each new day as a gift, and not to waste it. Help us always to use our time to love, to bring peace, to help heal, to reconcile, and to work hard for the bringing of your will on earth

O Allah - awaken within us, the desire to improve ourselves, and to serve Islam better, and the desire to move forward and become more effective Muslims. --

O Allah - help us in our efforts to seek knowledge, understanding and Wisdom, for Your sake. --- Help us to live as true and worthy examples to those who are not yet Muslim.

O Allah! -- If compassion is not possible for us, -- If love is not possible for us- Teach us not to hate - - AMEN

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