Canadian Muslims are joining hands with other people across Canada taking part in a campaign, entitled the 16 Days of Activism, starting on November 25th, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, and ending on December 10th, Human Rights Day. It is important for us to join hands with other communities in addressing this issue in light of recent events and given the rise in Islamophobia.

Here, I would like to start with a serious question that I will try to answer below. Why do some “Muslim men” abuse their spouses? There are a number of factors for their abusive attitude. Here are just some of them:

a)        Abusers are often part of a cycle, picking up the habit after watching their own fathers abuse their mothers in Canada or in countries from where they come. Such fathers give an example to their children who learn abusive behavior and then abuse their own wives.

My dear brothers and sisters in Islam! The longer Canadian Muslims tolerates abuse, the longer it will be passed on from father to son, from generation to generation, more innocent sisters will suffer, Islam’s image be destroyed and the islamophobes will have more material in their hands to attack Islam and Muslims and present us as not being compatible with modern times and democratic societies.

For cultural reasons, some Muslim men accept the idea that it’s normal for a man to hit his wife. I have heard a statement: “She has to tolerate even if he is going out with the other women.” Astagfirullah!!!

This is an insult to our Din Hanif (Pure Faith)! This is an insult to the Qur’an and the Sunnah! Islam is totally against indecency as Islam is against any sort of violence…specifically domestic violence.

Those who say such deviating statements do not know much about basic principles of Islamic morality.

b)    Some Muslim husbands abuse their wives as a result of frustration resulting from economic hardship, problems with children, or an inferiority complex (very low self-esteem).

c)   Some Muslim husbands with superficial ties to Islam due to their weak faith, poor Islamic knowledge, and lack of interaction with the Muslim community, do not know that abuse is unacceptable in Islam or that is what they say.

d)   Tragically, some Muslim husbands use Islam to justify their abusive behavior. They focus on rituals and consider themselves to be Islamicaly knowledgeable; however, they disregard the spirit of Islam and wrongly use the verses of the Qur’an and sayings of the Prophet Muhammad (S) and misrepresent these two sources of Islam by misinterpreting them for their own selfish interests.

They disregard the Islamic requirement for “the head of the house” to consult with other members of the family when making decisions. Then, if the wives dare to speak up or question their “views or orders” they misinterpret Islam and use it as a license for abuse and violence.

Respected brothers and sisters in Islam: It is our collective responsibility to educate these men that what they do is against the logic and spirit of Islam and we must (if they do not accept the advice) report them to the agencies that will, one way or another, make them realize that what they do is unacceptable and that there are consequences that they will bear because of their unacceptable and illegal behaviors and actions.

1 ACTION ITEM for today: Please enlighten yourself by reading some creditable writings about the perspective of Islam on the topic. Here is just one source:

(…to be continued…)