A Societal Imperfection With No Place In A Perfect Religion
By Asma Hanif
Muslim Link Contributing Writer
Peace is the absence of violence. In order to make peace with others,
one must first have peace within themselves.
Domestic violence is an affliction disruptive to the peaceful
co-existence of husband and wife. Such disruptive states infringe not
only on the immediate family, but also the Islamic family community at
Domestic violence does exist within the Muslim community. One may
consider this existence an imperfection within a perfect way of life,
or a paradox in which imperfect humans behave imperfectly. However it
is viewed, it's presence cannot be denied.
Dr. Pamela Heath, Medical Director of Muslimat Al-Nisaa, states
"Domestic violence within the Muslim community is difficult to
quantify due to under-reporting. It would not surprise me if
non-Muslim physicians over-estimate it and Muslim physicians
under-estimate it. Neither is doing any good for the victims or the
image of Islam".
We cannot hope to attain a peaceful existence until we acknowledge
both on an individual level and at a community level that abusive
behavior does exist within Muslim individuals and within the Muslim
Admittedly the world is full of problems, ranging from homelessness
and domestic violence, to drug addiction and fornication.
If we fail to acknowledge these real world problems, then we allow
them to carry over into our Islamic way of life, and subsequently fail
to circumvent the human imperfections which created them.
However, domestic violence cannot be justified under the guise of
human imperfection -- a cornucopia of experiences, mistakes and
illusions relative to man's reliance on his own unguided opinions and
desires. Therefore, regulation of actions cannot be by our own
judgment, but by choosing to be guided by the Quran and the Sunnah of
Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) without any consideration of
Communities which fail to discourage violence and persecution in
accordance with the Quran and Sunnah will also fail to provide
shelter and social services for its victims. In these communities,
open harassment, or other harmful acts against innocent individuals
not only continue unopposed, but they flourish.
Within the conceptual framework of Islam, a perfect religion, there
can be no tolerance of domestic violence. Such tolerance signifies a
passive acceptance of domestic violence as well as an injustice which
one is unwilling to prevent. Failure to be proactive in the face of
domestic violence can be understood as a magnanimous indulgence shown
toward the perpetrator without the moral determination to externally
disapprove of the action.
This kind of tolerance implies indifference towards right and wrong
and in principle, a countenancing of this imperfection.
Hence, it is clear that tolerance of domestic violence is a failure of
every man to recognize their religious, moral and ethical obligations.
Truly, "Man's inhumanity to man makes countless thousands mourn!"
Intolerance of domestic violence should be a prominent characteristic
of believers, nationally and internationally . Further, for the safety
and protection of those victimized by their and our silence, including
the 'covering of faults', perhaps there should be the establishment of
some degree of universal recognition of abusers.
Allah (Subhanahu w taala) Says: "This day, I have perfected your
religion for you, completed My Favour upon you, and have chosen for
you Islam as your religion" (Quran, Surah V:3)
Allah (Subhanahu w taala) completed His favor on us with a 'perfect'
way of life, if there are any imperfections in creation, it is due to
disobedience to Allah (SWT). Even though there exist many examples of
imperfections in society, none exist as flaws in Islam. When we
utilize the Quran and Sunnah as our criteria it serves to purify
mankind from all imperfections.
Inherent within this perfect religion are ayaat and hadith which
should touch the hearts and conscience of the ummah compelling them to
leave behind apathetic behaviors and move aggressively toward the
elimination of domestic violence as a social ill within the Muslim
If we don't have the desire to make things better, then things will
never get better.
Domestic violence has to be resolved in the context of Islam. Those
who know Islam, understand Islam, and love Islam must become proactive
in keeping 'peace' within this perfect religion.
The paradigm of thought cannot simply be the abhorrence of domestic
violence, but must also include the enforcement of the tenets of
justice contained within Islam, a Perfect way of life. Protecting
victims should be a simple matter of adherence to the Quran and
Sunnah. However, preventing abuse requires active work by the
community at many levels.
Insha Allah on August 2nd & 3rd, in the Washington, DC area, Muslimat
Al-Nisaa organization will provide a conference, forum and fundraising
banquet whereby community beliefs and attitudes that support domestic
violence will be changed and the entire Muslim community will see
themselves as part of the solution. SAVE THE DATE!
The organization is currently seeking funding for the Dr Maryam Funches Shelter for Muslim Women Victims of Domestic Violence.
Muslimat Al-Nisaa at www.mnisaa.org or
Mail: 5115 Liberty Heights Ave,
Baltimore, MD 21207
Asma Hanif, Executive Director
Muslimat Al Nisaa
Health, Shelter & Social Services, INC
5115 Liberty Heights Ave, Baltimore, MD 21207
(410) 466-8686 fax (410) 466-5949
"In Service To Those Who Serve ALLAH(SWT)"
Source: Asma Hanif, Executive Director" <email@example.com>