fbpx
CommunityWomen

What Does Islam Say on Violence Against Women?

Allah (SWT) repeatedly says in the Quran to show love and kindness, and warns that men should not harm their wives even after divorce. Allah (SWT) has even forbidden us all to call each other bad names and to humiliate one another.

Advertise on TMV

Allah (SWT) repeatedly says in the Quran to show love and kindness, and warns that men should not harm their wives even after divorce. Allah (SWT) has even forbidden us all to call each other bad names and to humiliate one another.

Globally, an estimated 736 million women have been abused – and most violence against women is perpetrated by current or former husbands or intimate partners, according to the United Nations.

Gender-based violence has become prevalent across the world, with statistics saying one in three women are abused in their lifetime by an intimate partner. This abuse comes in different forms, be it physical or psychological. Despite some figures suggesting the figure is higher than that, this violence is evident in every race, religion, and social setting. 

In some corners, this type of gender-based violence is regarded as Intimate Partner Violence (IPV). According to the US Department of Justice, between 1998 and 2002, of the almost 3.5 million violent crimes committed against family members, 49% of these were crimes against spouses.

As it is often said and even seen, however, Islam has proffered a solution to all our problems – hence our motivation for looking at gender-based violence that has been deeply entrenched in our society from the prism of Islam.

Domestic Violence and Islam

Marriage has become the harbinger of domestic violence, despite a number of sayings of the Holy Prophet underscoring the sacredness of the institution.

There is a hadith from the Holy Prophet (S) where he says, “Ma buniya fil Islam bina’un ahabba ila Allah azza wa jal, wa azza min al-tazwij – there is no institution, there is no institution in Islam that is more sacred than the institution of marriage.”

Marriage in the Islamic context is a means of tranquility, protection, peace, and comfort. Abuse of any kind is in conflict with the principles of marriage. Any justification of abuse is in opposition to what Allah (SWT) has revealed and the example of Prophet Muhammad (S). 

In a number of Qur’anic verses and Prophetic hadiths, we have seen Islam’s description of marriage, which categorically elucidates it as an exceptional and significant institution. An instance is in verse 30:21 of the Qur’an:

And among His signs is this: He created for you mates from among yourselves, that you may dwell in tranquility with them, and He has put love and mercy between your (hearts): Verily in that are signs for those who reflect.”

Tranquility, love, and mercy in the aforesaid verse are the keywords. This is enough to show us how Allah (SWT) places marriage and its guiding principles.

In Islam, violence can never come in the same sentence as the sacred institution of marriage. Similarly, in Qur’an 9:71, Allah said:

The Believers, men and women, are protectors one of another: they enjoin what is just, and forbid what is evil: they observe regular prayers, practice regular charity, and obey Allah and His Messenger. On them will Allah pour His mercy: for Allah is Exalted in power, Wise.”

In yet another verse (16:90), the Holy Qur’an says: “Allah commands justice, the doing of good, and liberality to kith and kin, and He forbids all shameful deeds, and injustice and rebellion: He instructs you, that you may receive admonition.”

The Qur’an in verse 4:19, in a similar development, underscored the image of women in Islam where it says:

O believers treat women with kindness even if you dislike them; it is quite possible that you dislike something which Allah might yet make a source of abundant good.”

Prophet Mohammad (s) has also been quoted in a variety of traditions buttressing the viewpoint. 

Aisha, the Prophet’s wife, said, “The Prophet never hit a servant or a woman” (Sahih Al-Bukhari). Moreover, the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) never resorted to beating his wives, regardless of the circumstances.

Another hadith of the Prophet (s) says, “Give her food when you take food, clothe her when you clothe yourself, do not revile her face, and do not beat her.”

They are your garments, and you are their garments.”

(Quran 2:187)

Contemporary Muslim researchers and writers like Nada Ibrahim, a Senior Research Fellow in Domestic and Family Violence at the University of South Australia are now mostly of the opinion that, any violence and coercion against women that is used to control or subjugate is considered to be oppression and is unacceptable in Islam – even if it is sanctioned by cultural practices.

Conclusion

Arabian society at the beginning of Islam sanctioned appalling violence towards women. But far from giving permission for wife-beating, Allah (SWT) prohibited or at least severely curtailed excessive violence against women.

Allah (SWT) repeatedly says in the Quran to show love and kindness, and warns that men should not harm their wives even after divorce. Allah (SWT) has even forbidden us all to call each other bad names and to humiliate one another. Abusive behavior does not reflect the kindness and love that is required of us all to show towards our spouses.

Violence in any form should be understood as having no place in Islam. After going through this factual evidence, it should also be known that Islam does not in any way denigrate a woman to the extent that she should be physically, sexually, mentally, or spiritually abused. 

Related

Latest

Advertise on TMV

Advertise on TMV

Latest videos