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Domestic Violence: Excavating Shariah Series- Part 2

written by Theresa Corbin

Part 1

As a faith community, we are facing a serious crisis in human (and God given) rights violations. Many of those “in charge” are and have been misusing religious texts to cripple more than half of our population- women.

We are a global community and these issues have infected our lives on a global scale. Because of these issues, Saadia Haq and I are “Excavating Shariah” in an attempt to chip away at the fiqh interpretations (human understanding of the Shariah (Islamic) law) that have either intentionally or unintentionally ignored the female experience, oppressed women, or co-opted women’s religious dedication.

We take it as a serious matter that Islam has been wrongfully used as a weapon against women. We feel we have the right and an obligation, as Muslims, to speak on these issues. Currently we are “excavating” the affront that is Domestic Violence.

Domestic violence is a global issue. According to WHO “Most of this violence is intimate partner violence. Worldwide, almost one third (30%) of women who have been in a relationship report that they have experienced some form of physical and/or sexual violence by their intimate partner in their lifetime. Globally, as many as 38% of murders of women are committed by a male intimate partner.”

It is a men’s issue. But there are some (or rather many) who claim that Islam gives men the right to physically harm their wives.

In Islam, marriage is based on on love and mercy, as we read in the Quran:

{And among His signs is this: That He created mates for you from yourselves that you may find rest, peace of mind in them, and He ordained between you love and mercy. Lo, herein indeed are signs for people who reflect.} (Quran 30:21)

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Domestic Violence: Excavating Shariah Series- Part 1

written by Saadia Haq from the Human Lens

Part 2

There is no denying the prevailing existence of domestic violence among Muslim communities that continue to lag behind in out-dated centuries on matters of women’s status and rights in Islamic societies. But just like so many anti human practises are brushed under the carpet and deemed not that important, violence against Muslim women continues inside their homes and outside.

Among Muslims, regardless of their sect there is an invisible consensus on the disputed relationship of their understandings on Islam and domestic violence. It is very common to note, that majority Islamic societies continue to operate under the cultural stigma of hiding the evidences of abuse meted to women. The harsh reality of most Muslim nations is the inability of recognising the abuse by law order authorities, police and judicial system. Here the many victims of domestic violence are treated to scorn, alienations and charged under distorted versions of Sharia dreamed by bigoted clergy.

Most Muslims lap up distorted teachings promoting an array of bizarre methods by which men should make wives more obedient and in failing to do so, wife beating becomes permissible. The notions of men having authority over women that women are to be obedient establish an authoritarian structure with the husband as head of the wife. These tactics are justified by the reason that Allah created men superior to women and thus men are the maintainers of women.

Last year, Pakistan made cringe worthy news when the chairman of the Council of Islamic Ideology, a powerful religious body announced a ridiculous proposal to legalize the ‘light beating’ of wives at the hands of their husbands. This sent a wave of joy to local men who in any case are prone to wife beating and abuse. The golden moment was interrupted by the national outrage and revulsion with street protests, civil societies, media, and had a few politicians react with disdain on legalizing domestic violence within Muslim marriages.

Continue reading here on the Human Lens. Part 2 here.


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Interview with A SheFighter: Podcast ep. 4

 

SIGN ME UP!

In this episode of the islamwich Podcast, Kaighla interviews Sarah Barakah, one of the head trainers at SheFighter, a women’s-only gym in Amman, Jordan.

It’s no surprise that Muslim women are more in danger in this country than at any other time. Since San Bernardino and Paris, violent attacks against Muslims has more than tripled, and most of those victims are women.

Also, let’s not blind ourselves to the reality that Muslim women suffer violent abuse at the hands of their husbands, fathers, brothers, uncles, and other relatives within and outside of this country, regardless of the fact that abuse is STRICTLY FORBIDDEN in Islam. Call any Muslim women’s shelter in America and the first thing they will tell you is that if you are not suffering from domestic abuse, they literally have no room for you.

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A Part of Me Refused to Die: A Review

Last week we posted a podcast (listen here) about our experiences in abusive relationships and why sabr, or patience, does not mean that anyone has to put up with abuse as it is a type of oppression. 

This week, we are taking a glimpse into a marriage that is abusive in  A Part of Me Refused to Die, and discover that some abuse victims are caught between the oppression of culture the liberation of Islam. 

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Review by Janet Kozak

The autobiographical, A Part of Me Refused to Die, is a harrowing story of redemption in which the heroine ultimately decides to stay in an abusive marriage.

Penned by author Nisha Sulthana and published by the small but growing independent Islamic publisher, Niyah Press, it’s a real-life tale of love, devotion, and patience – all in the face of unrelenting physical and emotional abuse. However, more than a collection of moments, it’s a story of increased connection to Allah and a deepening of religious experience.

When we throw ourselves into Nisha’s tale, and into her shoes, we learn that her decision to stay is due in part to cultural restrictions and taboos surrounding divorce. Her decisions are a by-product of un-relenting South Indian 1960s and 70s social pressure to put on a happy face and push her sons to succeed in studies and other projects – even though Nisha and her three boys were suffering every day behind closed doors.

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Patience in an Abusive Marriage?: Podcast ep. 2

Podcasted by Kaighla Um Dayo and Theresa Corbin

 

Too many Muslims are suffering (and forcing their kids to suffer) in an abusive marriage, often under the belief and delusion that somehow Allah loves those who patiently endure abuse at the hands of their spouse. Or, they believe that what they are suffering isn’t *exactly* abuse. Or, worse, they have been told by religious leaders and family members to “stay for the sake of the kids and have patience”.

Here, we refute all these myths.

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5 (More) Questions about Islam & Other Things

Q’s A-ed by Theresa Corbin

The need for answers is huge, as I discovered from last week’s Q&A post and from life in general.

So here are 5 more of your burning questions about Islam- and more- answered to the best of my ability.

Q and A 2

Q1: Why are there so many different opinions on whether it is OK or not allowed for a husband to beat his wife?

A1: When thinking about subject matter of such importance, you have to wonder whether people are allowing their inner most desires to influence there verdicts rather that the truth. To be sure, the opinions of modern day imams are not being influenced by their desire, we need to go back to what the early scholars of Islam took as the Prophet’s Muhammad’s (Peace be upon him) meaning.

Taking into account that the Prophet (PBUH) never hit any woman, expressly forbade people to do so, and that the verse stating it is allowed can be translated very differently; any sane person can come to the conclusion that beating one’s wife is forbidden. Read more

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Are There Hypocrites Among Us?

Written by Janet Kozak

There are people amongst us, who call themselves Muslims and strive on a daily basis to strip Muslims of their Islamic rights. I would argue that they are actually not Muslims but hypocrites amongst us. A Muslim must always be striving to implement the Quran and Sunnah – and one who actively fights against it, or ignores pieces that are integral to creating healthy, happy, homes and societies, is not of us.

 

hypocrites2

 

The reasons for such abuses are manifold – but mostly stem from a clear ignorance of and lack of reverence for Sharia and Islam in general. Many of those placed in authority of the Muslims, especially in non-Muslim majority countries, are severely lacking in any foundational or specific studies of Islam.

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