Posts Tagged ‘domestic violence’

As i was working out at the gym today the News Screens flashed at me from all main Australian Broadcasters. It revealed two Muslim women from the group called “Hizb Ut Tahrir” having a discussion about if and how it is justified for a man to physically hit his wife or not. In the video the two women talk about different interpretations of a certain verse in the Qur’an and they take out a Siwak (toothbrush) and tap each other with it to indicate this is the “beating” that is accepted, though not encouraged according to some Islamic opinions.

The video made all mainstream news and as i was working out i did indeed shake my head at this moment because it seems that Muslims are often the ones that shoot themselves in the foot by having such discussions and leaving the grounds of interpretation open far and wide.

Yet in a way, it’s actually good that this video was released and the Media published it because, let’s face it, we as Muslims and Islam as a faith already have a deplorable reputation and that bar could barely be raised any lower sadly, but at the same time it has opened up a discussion and dialogue about a huge problem, not necessarily in the Muslim community but in the Australian community at large, and that is domestic violence.

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The video in question of two women in Australia discussing if wife beating is permissible in Islam.

Now theologically, without a shadow of a doubt, beating your wife, or in fact anyone for that matter is absolutely unacceptable and a widely condemned action from an Islamic standpoint and this is the important crux of the discussion because all we are seeing right now are superficial opinions and snippets of dialogues that scrape the surface of this troubling detail.

What we need to do, or i need to do for that matter, is get to the core of the matter and we must examine, if indeed this action of “wife beating” is an accepted practice of Islam- the religion- and if i can convince you that it is not, then we can clearly make a distinction on whether or not this person is acting in accordance of not only the laws of his religion but also the laws of the land that he lives in and in this case we’re talking about Australia.

Now let us start with the verse in Question, which is found in the Qur’an. Chapter 4, verse 34.  “Men  are the supporters  of  women   by  what Allah has  given  one  over  the  other  and what   they  spend  from  their  wealth.  So  righteous   women  are  obedient,  guarding  in absence what Allah would  have  them  guard.  But those from  whom you  fear  rebellion  –   advise  them;  forsake  them  in  bed;  and (finally) strike  them.  But   if  they  heed to you  ,  seek no  means  against  them.   Indeed, Allah is  ever  Exalted  and  Grand.

The verse in question from its origins has been open to much interpretation, confusion and dissension upon Islamic scholars and believers alike, yet this verse as a standalone doesn’t carry with it enough information on whether this language is that of symbolism or one of absolute literal instruction. The Hadith literature that at times further clarifies some of the more ambiguous verses of the Qur’an can shed more light on certain topics and this topic of “wife beating” is widely covered.

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Does the Qur’an and Islamic literature really indicate to beat your wives?

What we now need to do is observe if the founder of Islam, the Prophet of Islam, Muhammad (pbuh) followed the above instructions literally, did he hit his wives? Did he endorse hitting women? If he is a role model on how a man should treat his wife and if he was the living, breathing and walking Qur’an – we must then assume that if the above verse was literal, that he would then indeed beat his wives.

Our first piece of evidence comes from one of Muhammads wives, her name was Aisha. This woman later came to be a massive collector of Hadiths (sayings of Muhammad) that have been preserved for the last 1300 years. In one Hadith that is actually rarely cited we see something that is very clear cut and absolute. She states in the Hadith Below:

Aisha reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, did not strike a servant or a woman, and he never struck anything with his hand.

Source: Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim 2328, 

Not only that, Muhammad himself convinced a woman not to marry a man because he had a reputation of beating women. She had three men make proposals to her and Muhammad helped her measure up who would be the most suitable. One man was poor, the other was a wife beater and the third was pious. It was stated:

Allah’s Messenger said: So far as Mu’awiya is concerned, he is a poor man without any property. So far as Abu Jahm is concerned, he is a beater of women, but take for marriage instead Usama b. Zaid. (The Pious man)

Source: Muslim, Book 009, Number 3526:

When a companion of Muhammad approached him and asked how he should treat his wife, Muhammad responded with a very simple and clear instruction.

I went to the Apostle of Allah and asked him: What do you say (command) about our wives? He replied: Give them food what you have for yourself, and clothe them by which you clothe yourself, and do not beat them, and do not revile them.

Source: Abu Dawud, Book 11, Number 2139:

Yet one of the greatest evidences that beating is clearly not allowed or mandated in Islam is a historical event that occurred with Muhammad and his wives. There was a situation that ensued where Muhammad was dissatisfied with his wives, they were charged with jealousy amongst each other and conspired against their husband in order to “get even” about certain woes they felt in regards to their relationship. Clearly, if Muhammad had the green light in his book to “beat” his wives for “disobedience” then this would have been the perfect opportunity for him to recite this verse and then get physical!

Yet this never happened. This particular event was called the “Incident of I’la”.

Thereupon, he vowed that he would keep away from his wives for a month in order to show them that the worldly life was unimportant for him, to teach them a lesson, to decrease the jealousy among them and to measure their love of and loyalty to him.

After this vow, he started to live in the arbor called Mashraba. This was a small humble room with a straw bed, a pillow stuffed with bark and his food items were barley and water. His companions were convinced he had divorced his wives and they wept at his poor form while indicating the high figures of Persia and Rome lived like Kings.

Yet this was his way of dealing with supposed “disobedient” wives. He had already advised them and spoken to them, he then separated himself from their beds for an entire month and he did not lay a single hand on them before, during or after this event.

Source: Bukhari, Volume 7, Book 63, Narration 212

domestic-violence

In Australia 56 women a year are killed in domestic violence disputes.

So given the above information we can clearly see something is amiss. If the Prophet of Islam and the verbal communicator of the Qur’an never beat his wives, then how is it possible that this verse can be taken literally? This is why a Muslim man who intends on following their Prophet in his treatment to his wives should live by his ideals, which was NOT to beat them- ever! Muslim men that use this verse in their holy book to legitimize them beating their spouses are not only cowards, they have a clear and negligible misunderstanding of their own faith and their own Messenger.

Not only is this abhorrent and debasing action clearly unacceptable within the context of religion, it is clearly unacceptable within the society of which we live in. In Australia domestic violence is a major issue. According to the Domestic Violence Prevention Centre :

“On average at least one woman a week is killed by a partner or former partner in Australia. One in three Australian women has experienced physical violence since the age of 15.”

These statistics are alarming, it indicates that in Australia alone 56 women are KILLED in domestic violence incidents yearly and a staggering one in three women has experienced physical violence from the age of 15. That is approximately 4.5 million Australian women.! 

So let us not pretend this is a “Muslim issue” and let’s not make it a Muslim issue as the media seems to be stipulating that domestic violence is an ESPECIALLY Muslim problem, it most definitely is not and the majority of the domestic violence cases in Australia are not being conducted by men reading Quran 4:34.

In Australia it is illegal to beat your wife, period. It is a highly intolerable action that should be dealt with in accordance to the law, yes the Australian law. Protections are already in place for women that encounter domestic violence encounters and they should utilize them, whether they are Muslim or not.

Muslim women that are dealing with abusive husbands should remind them of the examples above, inform them that their treatment against you is not in accordance to the Messenger of Allah and make it clear that if they are believers and want to replicate Muhammads treatment of their wives to their own lives that they should not, and cannot beat you!

I hope you have read this article and gained a better understanding on how and why this problem exists not only Worldwide but also within the Muslim world. All of my sources are Authentic Islamic sources that are verified and accepted by all mainstream scholars of Islam. I ask my fellow Muslims to please discuss this situation while the heat is still on.

People are on TV boasting about wife beating and making excuses on how some elements of wife beating are okay and it clearly enables others to navigate their way through to domestic violence when all of my examples show, without a shadow of a doubt, in clear language that Muhammad never hit his wives.

Today is our day to speak out and highlight to the media, to the wider general Australian public AND to fellow Muslims that we do not accept wife beating in our theology, hence in our lives. We reject it and we are law abiding citizens that stand by the laws of our land and our religion.

Peace and blessings be upon you.

Ramey

Our Mission is Protest! Our Weapon are bare breasts!” – This is the Mission Statement of extreme Feminist group FEMEN who for the last few years have appeared in many Media Outlets flashing their breasts and scrawling bold statements across their mostly naked bodies to promote women’s rights.

Lets be honest, their official mission statement almost sounds like a parody. Yet these girls take themselves very seriously. They claim their “God” is a “Woman” yet also simultaneously state their FEMEN “Ideology” is Atheism. It almost appears that this group even today is unaware of what exactly they are and what exactly they stand for.

Let us first give you a brief history of this feminist group. The group was founded in the Ukraine in 2008. The group carries about 170 “active protesters” across Europe and boasts a “social support group” of approximately 25,000 people. Given these facts and figures, the numbers are quite underwhelming yet the bottom line is these controversial ladies are stirring societies pot, yet the question one must beg is- “Are their protests actually useful?

A couple of days ago the FEMEN group attended a “Muslim conference” in France of which Men were up on stage talking about the rights of women in Islam. Moments before the men get up to speak the two women take over the stage with their bare breasts shouting “Nobody Makes me Submit!“. The Men giving the speech backed away and let the women take the stage- moments before being shoved and even kicked off the stage by one man. In typical FEMEN style the women are carried away as they leave desperate screams in the background, not leaving without a “fight”.

FEMEN protester crashes Muslim Conference in France.

FEMEN protester crashes Muslim Conference in France.

Yet further evidence that these women are confused as to what their goal is lies in the message they were promoting that night. “Nobody Makes Me Submit!“. Who is asking her to submit? And to who exactly? Is she talking about Muslim men making them submit? Oddly enough they are not Muslim so nobody is asking them to supposedly submit and never is the word “submit” issued for Muslim women in regards to how they treat their husbands. Is she talking about Muslims making them submit to Allah? Very unlikely to happen, especially in France.

So the end result with this protest is that it makes them look like a couple of crazy women screaming about nonsense flashing their breasts to a bunch of unsuspecting Muslims- it doesn’t appear the point hit home this time. It almost appears to me that the FEMEN group tend to much favour controversy over tackling genuine issues and doing productive things to actually make a change to Women’s rights around the world.

They have protested against some good causes- misogyny, unfair pay, domestic violence, religious extremism and more. Yet simply because they tend to protest against some unjust causes it doesn’t mean their way about it is reasonable. Appearing in public and private events and functions, being loud and disruptive, being mostly naked and using profanities and vulgarity in front of Men, Women and Children are actions that speak louder than the cause. Their “message” is wiped away by their sheer loudness. They tend to scream “Look at me!” instead of “Look at my cause” and that is why i deem FEMEN to be a failure in the world of protests and activism.

FEMEN protester hacking off a cross in a park.

FEMEN protester hacking off a cross in a park.

There is absolutely no evidence, in their 7 years of “service” that their means of protest has birthed any actual change to the causes they are supposedly fighting for. There is no evidence that their fight has yielded a reawakening of minds when it comes to the plights of Women’s rights and feminism. On the contrary many see FEMEN as a public nuisance- a bunch of self righteous women who simply bring attention to themselves, rather than their causes.

Oddly enough, if they were to protest (with their clothes on) in regards to Women’s rights, they’d find that their cause would shine brighter because people wouldn’t be too busy tackling them into police vans or taking screenshots of their breasts. There are many respectable, proud, strong and defiant Women’s rights groups that fight for women and do so in a dignified fashion. They make their cause their aim and their aim their cause. This is how awareness is given- not by the less you wear but by the more you say. When FEMEN make their statements shouting 5 word slogans and painting 5 words across their bodies they are doing more than simplifying many Women’s right issues around the world.

FEMEN protesters always quickly find themselves in this position.

FEMEN protesters always quickly find themselves in this position.

They are making the plight of Women’s rights more difficult because their methodology puts a negative light on the understanding of true Feminism. They put a massive blot on the hard work many other Women have done in regards to combating issues facing women in today’s societies. Let me give you a wonderful example of a WOMAN who has done MUCH for womens’ rights in a humbling, respectful and defiant matter.

Angelina Jolie. 

Angelina Jolie. This woman does activism right.

Angelina Jolie. This woman does activism right.

Whilst Femen are out shouting at the Pope, burning crosses and painting each others breasts, we have this Celebrity who has done more than they ever could. Angelina Jolie has traveled to the World’s most impoverished nations, she has spoken to Women of all cultures and religions, she has spoken with pride at the United Nations fighting for the rights of the poor, women and refugees. She’s all class and FEMEN are all crass. The sooner we all realize this, the better.

Peace, Salam- Ramey