Muslims Working Against Domestic Violence

I was quoted in a NY Times article about the outstanding work that Muslim activists are doing across the country to prevent domestic violence in our communities. Many of us have been doing this work for many years, and I was featured in a front page article in the NY Times nearly 20 years ago about my work mentoring new fathers in a community based grass root effort in Washington, D.C. My wife, Nia Seale, was working in that same institution with young mothers.
However, I want to be clear that we reject the implication that Islam is somehow inherently violent against women and that a “new interpretation” is needed to address this problem. Our goal is to return people to the original and proper understanding of the Qur’an and Sunnah on this issue. We believe that the Words of the Qur’an are the Words of God revealed to the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) and that it has been preserved. The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) – who is the best example – never beat his wives. The Qur’an calls upon men to be maintainers and protectors of women and this is a religion of expressing God’s love  (rahma) and being kind to one’s spouse. The goal of a marriage in Islam is to promote love and compassion between the spouses and the family in general.

I’d like to also mention that I am also leading an initiative called Muslim Men Against Domestic Violence. and that Shaykh Muhammad Adam and I edited a book authored by Salma Abu Gidieri called “What Islam Says About Domestic Violence“. Sister Salma is a certified family counselor in the Northern Virginia community. I recently did a seminar on this subject with Sister Salma at Texas Dawah Conference and a powerful film developed by FAITH  on domestic violence was shown that explains the reality of domestic violence and gives its solutions

I also participated in many interfaith projects to train community leaders on the reality of domestic violence, proposed solutions and developed training materials. In addition, MANA is also leading a marriage initiative in order to help Imams and community members to achieve these objectives. There is no doubt that Muslims are on the ground and active in fighting domestic violence

Finally, I just want to mention that I am grateful to God that my wife and I are approaching 20 years together and that we are very happy together and we have been spared of having this sickness in our family. In our gratitude to God for having saved us, part of our family’s ministry is to help and work with young couples.

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14 Responses to Muslims Working Against Domestic Violence

  1. [...] and works toward fighting this problem. Further, Imam Muhammad Magid of ADAMS and my good friend Imam Johari Abdul-Malik of Dar Al Hijrah are also involved in this [...]

  2. [...] masha Allah, and there are many activists here leading the fight to prevent domestic violence. Imam Johari is amongst them. Brother Tariq Nelson – who is also masha Allah, very active in our community – has [...]

  3. [...] I was also very happy to see in the article the work of Imam Johari Abdal Malak. On his blog, Muslims Against Domestic Violence, Imam Johari wrote: Our goal is to return people to the original and proper understanding of the [...]

  4. Abdur Rahman says:

    Salaams Imam Johari,

    Ma sha Allah. Allah bless you in this important work. A good friend of mine (Shaykh Amer Jamil from Scotland, UK) has written on this same topic. If you’re interested, I can send you his short paper on this (via e-mail).

    Abdur Rahman

  5. [...] The issue of battered Muslim women has made it into the Islamic blogosphere recently.  It is a sad reality indeed, and one that needs to be addressed.  A good friend of mine has addressed this topic.  It has also been addressed recently by Imam Johari Malik. [...]

  6. 4Dvertigo says:

    I’m was pleased to read your post and wish you sucess in your endeavours. God bless.

  7. ZIM says:

    ASKM,

    The word Domestic Violence somehow brings an image of a woman beaten, bruised and left half dead on the living room floor by the one who promised to love and care for her. That is not true! DV comes in tons of shapes and forms, marrying someone with an intention to leave her after getting a greencard and citizenship in the country, or putting a person down constantly using degrading language, refusing to fulfil the basic needs to maintain a decent life style, verbal abuse, stopping her to meet with her family and friends, constant threat of divorce, pressure tactics etc. There are millions of forms of DM that people need to recognize early one. Rage, beatings and physical abuse does not happen at the first meeting, in most cases, this is the last level of abuse that comes after using several of the tacts mentioned above for years. I personally believe women and young women in our culture must be taught early on the signs of such behavior to be taken seriously and seek help early on.

    Salaams!
    ZIM

    • Sister N says:

      Thank you for mentioning all the constituents of DV!! I completely agree that this is fundamental in understanding.

  8. Islam abhors and prohibits Domestic Violence on Four levels: 1)- No Emotional Abuse; that is, not to subject the woman to any stressful situation to leave her emotionally and psychologically traumatized. 2)- No Verbal Abuse; that is, not to use any foul language or curses on the woman at any time. 3)- No Financial Abuse; that is, not to withhold spending financially on the woman at any time. The onus of financial spending rests on the husband in Islam. He maintains the household and spends out off his means to sustain his wife and keep the house runing. Any neglect in that regard is termed Financial Abuse in Islam. 4)- No Physical Abuse, and that is the most abhored in Islam. At the time when slaves were bought and sold, Islam emphasized that anyone who subjects his slave to any physical abuse (slapping/flogging, etc..) would have to atone for that by freeing that very slave. Now, the wife is not bought by the husband and therefore she is not a slave. If the atonement for abusing a slave is freeing and letting him go, what will be the atonement for abusing one’s wife who is not a slave. That is why the Prophet says ” Treat your women right and with utmost care, they are regarded as trust given to you by Allah”. I, Sheikh Rashid Lamptey makes sure that my congregants at the Muslim Association of Virginia, Dar al-Noor, are given a dose of Domestic Violence lessons every now and again to ensure the smooth runing of the family which is the unit of the society. To that end, I provide a variety of counseling and sermons/lectures on the issue of Domestic Violence to my community and the Muslim community at large.

    • Umm Zaynab says:

      Assalamu alaykum, shaykh,

      I am in London, UK, and I am trying to start a movement against Domestic violence. I am in dare need of support since I don’t find many people I can cooperate with in here. I need to take advice from people more experienced in the field than I. Can you email me please?

  9. alwaysred says:

    I think this topic is quite important and i would like to get more involved in it and help out if I’m able to do so.

    How can I do that?

    UmmAbdullah

  10. Islamify.com says:

    Muslims Working Against Domestic Violence

    “I’d like to also mention that I am also leading an initiative called Muslim Men Against Domestic Violence. and that Shaykh Muhammad Adam and I edited a book authored by Salma Abu Gidieri called “What Islam Says About Domestic Violence“. “

  11. ama says:

    I am very happy that this topic is being talked about. To many muslim women and there children are going through the hardship of domestic violence.

    When I lived in Egypt I witnessed muslim husbands beating their wives in the street. It was very disturbing hearing their screams while the people around watched on. The people in those countries don’t get involved if the women that is being hit, is the man’s wife.

    I actually no a British sister who married an Egyptian and experienced domestic violence. She told me one day her husband was hitting her in the street and the police drove up to them. they asked her husband who she was, when he told them she was his wife, they drove off!

    I hope if there could be some sort of refuge for westeners who have married arab men and made hijra, but have found themseleves trapped in that country and cut of from family and friends.

  12. chips zynga says:

    lol several of the comments people enter are silly and unrelated, oftentimes i ponder whether they actually read the subject matter and content before placing a comment or if perhaps they take a moment to look at the title of the article and come up with the very first thought that drifts into their minds. at any rate, it really is relaxing to look over smart commentary from time to time compared to the same exact, outdated post vomit that i constantly discover on the web i’m off to take up a smattering of rounds of facebook poker hasta la vista

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