Imam Qari Asim. Senior Editor of Imams Online and Chair of MINAB
Many kinds of violence: rape, trafficking, domestic violence, sexual assault takes place everyday throughout the world.
Violence against women occurs in all societies regardless of culture, ethnicity, religious background and socioeconomic status. According to the UN, 1 in 3 women and girls experience physical or sexual violence in their lifetime, most frequently by anintimate partner.
Violence against women is as serious a cause of death and incapacity among women of reproductive age as cancer, and a greater cause of ill health than traffic accidents and malaria combined.
There is a need for cultural shift so that the half of our population represented by women and girls can live free from fear, violence and everyday insecurity.
For Muslims, it is extremely important that we stand up for elimination of violence against women. Islam grants women, as it does men, fundamental rights to life, property, and opinion, and has done so for more than 14 centuries. However, it cannot be denied that despite this, they’ve had to fight for equality every step of the way.
As an Imam, I regularly come across cases of violence in relationships. Like many other Imams in the country, I am distraught to hear that some men try to justify violence against women by using religion. The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) never abused any woman throughout his life, even though it was culturally acceptable to do so at that time. Although it was seen as a badge of honour for men to beat women 1400 years ago, the Prophet Muhammad always treated women with compassion, care and dignity. The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) urged against such violent behaviour. He has said:
“Do not beat the female servants of Allah” (Abu Dawood)
This is a clear prohibition from the Prophet of God not to use any form of violence towards women in general. There are many other statements attributed to the Prophet which talk about how women in the home should be treated – with kindness, care and dignity.
Do not beat the female servants of Allah” (Abu Dawood)
Always remember: It is better to prevent than to cure. This is a categorical and clear prohibition from the Prophet of God not to use any form of violence towards women in general and there are many other narrations that talk about how women in the home should be treated – with kindness and dignity.
In People who are violent try to excuse themselves by saying they lost their temper, well lets look at what the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be up him) says about this, “A strong person is not one who Do not beat the female servants of Allah” (Abu Dawood) Domestic abuse has direct health consequences including higher rates of mental illness in women, contributing to depression, anxiety, stress, self-harm and suicide.
Domestic violence tears lives and families part. It leads to emotional and psychological trauma, including depression, shame, anger and suicide.
It has a devastating impact on an individual’s physical, mental and emotional health. For children the emotional effects of witnessing domestic violence are very similar to the psychological trauma associated with being a victim of child abuse. Many of those children who have witnessed violence in a home environment then grow up either using violence or receiving violence in their domestic life, without seeking much help, because for them domestic violence is the “norm”. This cycle of violence must be stopped.
There are definitely cases of men suffering domestic violence, but by far throughout the world, it is women who are the prime victims of sexual violence (in particular in conflict areas) and domestic violence in their own homes.
Let’s pledge that from this Elimination of Violence Against Women Day, we will thank the women and girls in our lives for the sacrifices they have made, and will take time to recognise what it must be like to be a woman around the world where they often confront abuse, inequalities and discrimination.