The Truth: Muslim Women Get Abused Too

A lot of people would rather I not talk about this, however, “veiling” it will not make it go away. This is a nasty little truth that is ignored so that many Muslims can keep their self righteous attitudes. Just like all women, of all faiths, across the entire world, some Muslim women suffer at the hands of their husbands, or fathers, or brothers. The only way to solve a problem, is to admit you have one, and we… have one.

I have been posting on my Facebook and on this blog about issues that need to be addressed in our community and our ummah. Unfortunately, I have had some naysayers, but I have had some supporters too.

Today, I got a message from a sister: “Thank you for speaking out even when it ruffles feathers!!! With help from Allah and your posts I have been able to stand up against domestic violence.” She also sent photos of her bruised body and face… the indelible marks of a man’s hand grabbing and squeezing her arm, restraining her against her will to listen to the hate spew from his vengeful tongue.

My heart sank, tears boiled up in my eyes and anger replaced them when they fell. Alhamdu Lillah, she told me she kicked him out today. She only converted recently and yet felt empowered enough to say “no” and want to write about it. I encouraged her and support her fully.

She told me, that he had told her, she cannot tell anyone about the abuse. That to do so was haram because it would reveal his sins. This is so typical, I have heard some Muslims say, “oh you cannot call the police if you are getting beaten at home, because it is forbidden for the kafir to be involved in our business.” LIES!!!! I told her what is in the Quran, that so many Muslims forget. “Allah does not like that evil should be uttered in public except by him who has been wronged. And Allah is Ever All- Hearer, All- Knower.” (4:148)

Violence has the same cycle: isolation, degradation and control. What this brother did was to try to isolate her and feed her lies about Islam. He is a Muslim, but a terribly misguided one. And please men, do not think you are immune because you find yourself to be rightly guided. If you say such and such mosque is full of biddah, or you consistently use words like jihad, haram, or kafir… then you are one of the most dangerous Muslims; those that lie about Islam, take what you want of it, manipulate some and throw out the rest.

Abuse takes many forms as well. Not all men physically abuse women; psychological, sexual, spiritual and financial abuse are just as vicious and sometimes more because the healing process takes a much longer time. I have experienced it myself.

These Muslim men are all the same. They love to quote the Quran: “Men are to support women by what Allah has bestowed on them over one another and for what they spend of their money. The righteous women (صالحات) are obedient/dutiful women (قانتات); they keep private the matters for which Allah would keep watch over. As for those women from whom you fear desertion, then you shall advise them, and abandon them in their sleeping place, and go away from them. Then If they yield to you, then do not seek a way over them; Allah is High, Great.” (Qur’an 4:34) What ignorant men do not either know or do not admit is that “qaanitaat” or obedient/dutiful is referring to being obedient to Allah, as the word is used throughout the Quran to discuss the relationship of Abraham, Maryam and all Muslims with God.

I quoted the correct translation of that ayah, but the misguided ones quote it differently… instead of after abandoning their beds, they say “beat her lightly”. This is a twisting of words, because what the direct translation says is “strike the road”.. meaning he threatens her with a divorce by having a separation. This is apparent when you read the next ayah, which discusses the means to a reconciliation.

There is one thing these type of Muslim men hate more than anything else… a woman telling them what the Quran says. When you try to use the truth of the Quran to state your case, they get flustered and treat you as if women, by default of being a woman, could never know anything about the Quran. Also, many are hafiz (meaning they have the Quran memorized), however having it memorized does not mean you live by it. The other issue is that just because someone knows Arabic, does not mean they understand the true meaning of the Quran. The Quran is written in classical Arabic, of which few if any Muslims nowadays use as their common daily language.

There are hadith upon hadith on this topic, such as: “Abusing a Muslim is a sin and killing a Muslim is disbelief.” (Bukhari and Muslim). Also, “The Prophet never beat any of his wives or servants; in fact, he did not strike any living being with his hand except in the cause of Allah or when the prohibitions of Allah had been violated, and he retaliated on behalf of Allah.” (An-Nasaa’i) Why then is it so hard for these Muslims to accept the truth. They are wrong and we should not be silent any longer.

The photo is linked to an organization here in the States that helps Muslim women and children. The Muslimat Al-Nisa organization provides health, social services, education and shelter to the underserved population. They have helped Muslim women in abusive situations to escape and rise to their feet. If you would like to learn more, please visit their site. In the spirit of Ramadan, please consider sadaqah jariyah for this grassroots Muslim organization.

Please speak out against the injustices done to our sisters in Islam and all women of the world. Take a stand and do not ignore the pleas for help. Do not worry about rocking the community boat. As every Muslim knows, “If one of you sees something wrong, let him change it with his hand; if he cannot, then with his tongue; if he cannot, then with his heart and this is the weakest faith.”


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