Posted by The Risen Pheonix on 10/1/2015 9:21 AM

One of my earliest childhood memories is the one where I wake up from sleep on my step uncle’s lap to find his finger inside of me. I can’t remember how old I was, I was definitely young enough to still be falling asleep on an adult’s lap but too young to really comprehend what was happening. I pretended to still be asleep, because I didn’t like what was happening to me, I was uncomfortable with everything but I wasn’t sure how to deal with it, so I just “slept” through it. I never went near my uncle again after that day. My parents would often take my siblings and I to his house so that his wife could watch us, so I would make sure that I would always stay close to his wife and I never fell asleep around him again. I never told my parents about this experience.

Posted by Anas Coburn on 9/9/2015 2:42 AM

This blog introduces the concept of emotional literacy and its relevance to the prevention of domestic violence, and includes links to extensive resources for understanding the significance of emotional literacy, and for specific parenting techniques to foster it in children.


Posted by Anas Coburn on 8/11/2015 10:39 AM

This very brief blog post reports on a study concerning a disconnect between claimed expertise and actual knowledge. I suggest that the phenomenon reported on here is quite generalizable --- that is, applies to many fields, not merely the one specifically studies.

Posted by Anas Coburn on 7/8/2015 12:17 PM

The virtue of hilm is more easily practiced in Ramadan. This quality of forbearance is one of the hallmarks of healthy relationships, which are based on increased awareness and sensitivity to our behavior and those of others.  Developing healthy relationships needn't be difficult.

Posted by Anas Coburn on 12/5/2014 9:48 AM

Judge Amy Holmes Hehn was presiding over a contentious child custody and parenting-time case when, On Nov. 10, Ian Elias kicked in the door of the home of his ex-wife, Nicolette Elias, and shot her to death with a handgun. He took their two young daughters to his home where he ultimately stepped out into the back yard and shot himself in the head in front of police. Judge Hehn describes everyone involved in the case as ‘heartsick’. The legal system, even when it is working ‘right’, can’t prevent these tragedies. It takes community involvement. Judge Hehn’s perspective, coming from 27 years of dealing with domestic violence has lessons for us all.

Posted by Isra on 11/13/2014 7:11 PM

Dear Daddy,

I have been searching for you my whole life.

You were never lost, never were, and you never will be.

But still I long for the imaginary man that should’ve been, could’ve been, but wasn’t.

Posted by Isra on 7/25/2014 4:02 PM

As a child, it was a constant struggle to separate my father from my desire to practice my religion. 

He made it next to impossible to enjoy prayer, reading Quran, Ramadan, wearing hijab, going to the masjid, and so many other things that should be encouraged and nourished in an adolescent.  [...]

It is unbelievably hard to push forward against negative associations and be able to enjoy your faith when it has been so tarnished by the past

Posted by Isra on 7/17/2014 2:36 PM

When one lives in the solitude of their own mind it can lead them to believe there is no hope, no future, and ultimately no point. When they’ve been told time and again that no one would help or that their life and struggles meant nothing, it becomes easy to fake that smile, the carefree attitude, and quietly slip back into the abyss of sadness once they’re alone again. 

Posted by Isra on 5/27/2014 12:27 PM

An innocent child, she tried to understand the pain that surrounded her.

Resilient, as most children are, she played and laughed, but cried herself to sleep.

From the age she started praying she kept a secret. One that only God knew about. During every prayer, in her quiet conversation with her Lord, she begged Him of a favor: To remove the man called her father from her life or to remove her from his. 

Posted by Isra on 5/22/2014 2:27 PM

Over the course of my life I heard that if I was patient, I would be rewarded. In my adolescence I sought answers by reaching out to different religious leaders. I rarely got a response …and when I did it was the same mantra of endurance and forbearance. Patience in an unrelenting environment does not come easy or free.

Posted by Tanzeel Chohan on 4/7/2014 9:38 AM
Fulfillment of human needs emanate from love. Love in this world is short lived; especially in a marriage. To love for Al-Wadud, for the sake of The Loving God in unison and to achieve love in this relationship is the most fulfilling pursuit of life. All other worldly pursuits are a mirage that consumes our energy and purpose.

In the absence of sincerely honoring each other in a marriage in order to honor Allah SWT, doubts and distrust surface up and erode the foundation of mawaddah – mutual love and compassion that guarantees perpetual happiness on this earthly life; thus, destroying the bond, that the Prophet SW said completes our faith and purpose
Posted by Tanzeel Chohan on 3/22/2014 11:43 AM

The occupants of a house have the ability to make it a home and fill it with Sakina (tranquility). A brick or wooden structure beautified and sanctified by the warmth of affection, tenderness of care, and depth of love is what we see remain timeless as a Sign of the Creator, The All-Wise, when He says in the Holy Quran that “He created your spouses from among yourselves to find repose in them and He has put love and compassion among you” (30:21).

Posted by Tanzeel Chohan on 3/8/2014 10:59 AM
Happy International Women's Day!

“O humankind! Reverence your Lord who created you from a single person and created of like nature his mate and from them scattered countless men and women; reverence God through Whom you demand your mutual rights and the wombs that bore you…” (Quran, 4:1).

The words that appear in the chapter on Women indicate two things. One that woman is an equal component in the creation of human beings and second that women are greatly respected for carrying the responsibility of multiplying men and women on God’s Earth.
Posted by Zerqa Abid on 2/7/2014 5:11 PM

This February marks five years since the beheading of Sr. Aasiya Zubair, the co-founder of Bridges TV, in Buffalo, NY. She was a victim of domestic violence. In public, her husband was a highly educated, courteous, very professional, successful business man. In private, he was a wild, heartless beast with no mercy or respect for women or the mothers of his children. Aasiya was his third wife. Both ex-wives divorced him because of severe domestic abuse. He was known as abusive husband within his community, but he still managed to marry a third time, to abuse his third wife for seven years and to brutally murder her in the Bridges TV channel’s office that they ironically co-founded to dispel negative stereotypes about Muslims.

In the past five years, more North American Muslim sisters have shared Aasiya’s fate: murdered by their own husbands. Their number includes Nazish Noorani in New Jersey, Shaima Alawadi in California; Sakina Williams in New York; Nasira Fazli in Ontario; Mona Elswedy in Pennsylvania;  and Sarwat Lodhi  in New York.

Posted by Karla Kellam on 9/27/2013 8:37 AM

Indian film makers are tackling child abuse in an innovative way... by releasing educational videos to YouTube.  One of these was made by documentary film maker, Sanjay Kumar Singh, and is called "Chuppi Todo" (Break the Silence.)

Posted by Karla Kellam on 9/20/2013 8:24 AM

A man in Utah did not lose custody of his children, even though they had been beaten with an electrical cord, due to cultural differences. Whose responsibility is it to educate new immigrants as to cultural norms regarding child discipline, treatment of spouses, etc.?

Posted by GuestBloggers on 8/21/2013 12:04 PM

By Yusra Gomaa  (courtesy of altmuslimah)

Brother and Sister “H-H-Hello, Asalaamu’alaykum. Umm, my name is Amna and I have two young children. The state is terminating my parental rights, and there’s nothing I can do. I didn’t know who else to call. I have one month to find someone before they go up for adoption. Can you please help me find a Muslim to adopt my children?” The mosque director began a three-week campaign in Tennessee to find Muslims both willing and qualified to adopt these two children, but found none.

Posted by Zerqa Abid on 6/11/2013 3:53 PM

Have you ever seen an elderly mother/mother-in-law become a free maid for cooking, babysitting and taking care of the household while the couple is resting, watching TV, going out and partying?

Have you ever seen adult children and grandchildren yelling at and abusing their parents and grandparents all the time.?The forms of abuse might include physical, emotional, financial and social abuse.

Have you ever seen an old parent dumped into a nursing home for 10 years or more where nobody understand their language, halal food is not served, and family members and friends are not allowed to or unable to visit?

Have you ever seen adult children picking on their elderly parents' weaknesses, digging into their past, putting them down in front of others including their grandchildren, making fun of them, accusing them of things that they never did, and then calling them liars?

Posted by Project Sakinah National on 6/10/2013 11:12 AM

Let's Team Up with Ramadan!

Project Sakinah and Ramadan are natural partners. We go along the same lines.

Ramadan requires one to be loving and merciful not just toward family and neighbors but towards all creatures while fasting and focusing on one's relationship with the Creator of all. This extensive control on one's negative behavior and longer worship hours during taraweeh prayers and throughout the day bring tranquility (Sakinah) in people's minds and lives who actually indulge themselves into fasting and other routine rituals of the month with sincerity.

Ramadan also brings family, friends and communities together in a big way. People open their hearts and homes for each other. People share not only their meals but also their time, wealth and other blessings with the community members. This is why, Ramadan gatherings are the largest and the most meaningful gatherings of the year.

Project Sakinah too gathers community to talk about growing strong, violence free families. We team up with organizations and community members to bring programs and workshops to the communities that would help individuals in controlling their anger, resolving their family conflicts, raising their children and taking care of their elderly with love and mercy. We aim to bring sakinah, the tranquility, in each household through our team work, inshaAllah.

Posted by GuestBloggers on 4/16/2013 1:41 PM
One out of three Muslims who responded to the survey conducted by Peaceful Families Project and Project Sakinah in 2011 reported experiencing some form of abuse under the age of 18. 
It is time we started having open conversations about violence within our families, time we begin to look at the protection of our children as a communal, 
rather than simply a family responsibility -- and time we redoubled our efforts to learn and practice effective parenting.
Posted by Karla Kellam on 4/9/2013 8:03 AM

Setting standards for media consumption can make it easier for families to guard their eyes and ears.

Posted by Zerqa Abid on 3/29/2013 10:46 AM

Khalil Wimes, a 6-year-old boy died due to parental abuse in Philly last March. His drug-addict parents starved him for three years. They would beat him with whatever they would find. They had him in a room that had nothing but a filthy, urine-wet mattress. After his death, doctors found his 29 pound body covered with a "sea of scars" and wounds. Full story here.

It's been a year, but I still can't get my head around the fact that this baby was suffering so much for so long and NOBODY around him DID ANYTHING to rescue him. The community has done nothing after his death to protect other kids either. 

What is our communal response to Khalil's death? 

Posted by Zerqa Abid on 2/13/2013 4:55 PM

AasiyaAs this week marks fourth year of that tragedy, we still reflect upon her loss and grieve for her children who are being raised without both parents since then. We know that we cannot change what has already happened, but we also know that we might be able to stop similar incidents from happening by taking solid preventive measures by changing community’s attitudes toward family violence and taking a wholesome approach to grow healthy families.

With this in mind, here are 4 quick things we can do to commemorate her memory and to take a step forward in growing healthy families and building tranquil homes.

Posted by GuestBloggers on 2/12/2013 3:00 PM
International Purple Hijab Day in EthiopiaBy Sr. Hadayai Majeed, Atlanta, GA

I was so shocked when I heard the news of Aasiya Zubair's murder four years ago. I was watching TV when the announcement came on CNN. For about five minutes I felt my den literally spin like in the movies. When an event is so traumatic it is unbelievable.

I had worked with Muzzamil on several promotional projects for Bridges TV. He always spoke so fondly of his wife. He spoke about her at presentations giving her most of the credit for getting the TV station started (idea and money). No clue he had a sinister dark side. I felt so bad the first few days immediately after the news broke I became physically ill. We were discussing (a group of us) how to have a time and way to reflect on domestic abuse (before Sr. Aasiya's murder) that would be truly Islamic. So many Muslims...
Posted by Karla Kellam on 2/7/2013 9:35 AM
Although many Muslims do not celebrate Valentine's Day, seeing all the hearts and romantic gifts can get single Muslims to start thinking about finding a spouse. Often today’s modern Muslim woman thinks she doesn’t need a wali—especially if she’s older or a revert.The concept of having a “guardian” can brush up against a woman’s desire to make her own decision. For reverts, the default wali choice is often their Imam—who they may or may not be comfortable with. Yet, the Muslim concept of a wali, or guardian, makes a lot of sense—especially if one is trying to find a spouse through the most popular choice today, online matrimonial sites.

E-Walis are Good For:

* Reverts/Converts to Islam

* Older Muslims seeking a spouse (including those who are widowed/divorced)

* Younger Muslims who may be trying to find their own match without parental influence

So what’s an e-wali? Simply another pair of eyes that you would carbon copy (CC) or blind carbon copy (BCC) on all of your correspondence between potential...
Posted by Karla Kellam on 1/16/2013 3:27 PM
It didn't receive the nationwide media attention it should have, but this week a Muslim Mom and her daughter went through a harrowing experience.  A little five year old girl was abducted from her school in Philadelphia.  Alhamdullilah, she was found alive, roughly 20 hours later, the next morning.  She was shivering in the 30 degree temperature in nothing but a shirt at a local playground.  Only Allah(swt) knows what that poor little girl went through during that time.

Her Mom wears the abaya and often the niqab.  The abductor knew this, and also wore an abaya and niqab.  The substitute teacher (being a substitute) did not know the Mom, and believed the woman when she said that she had already signed the girl out--letting her go.  Nobody knew the little girl had been abducted until it came time for the girl to go home--six hours later.

It's obvious...
Posted by Karla Kellam on 1/15/2013 9:37 AM
Financial reasons are one of the main reasons why domestic violence survivors return to an abusive spouse.  Because of that, having a financial plan for your future can be key.  Here are five tips that you can implement.  Working with your local domestic violence shelter, you can help develop a more robust plan.

1) If possible, have copies of all important papers and financial documents stored in a safe location outside of your home.  This can be with a friend/family member or in a safe deposit box at a bank.  Include birth certificates, passports, social security cards, mortgage documents, bank account numbers or statements (if e-statements print them out if you do not fear your home computer activity is being monitored), credit card numbers and statements, student loan documents, etc.  If your spouse controls these documents, work safely and slowly to get copies and have them sent directly to your P.O. box.

2) Start saving something--even $10--weekly towards your financial independence.  There...
Posted by GuestBloggers on 11/5/2012 4:06 PM
Don't allow child abuse.

by Karla Kellam

We have been following 10 year old Abdifatah Mohamed's murder since April. Just this month, justice for him was finally achieved when his stepfather was found guilty. The prosecutor plans to ask for the maximum sentence of 25 years to life. In the meantime, we learned about another case of a seven year old boy, Yaseen, who was beaten to death “like a dog” by his mother Sara for failing to learn enough Qur'an during a Hafiz program. She is now on trial along with her husband in Wales (UK) for his murder.

Posted by Zerqa Abid on 7/26/2012 2:07 PM

A major problem in handling the issue of family violence is the lack of funding. Although Muslim Americans raise tens of billions of dollars each year, most of this money is sent overseas in the name of relief efforts. Most of what stays home is spent on building mosques and Islamic schools. Domestic violence shelters and social services organizations hardly get any support from the community across the country.

This has to change. We need to learn, as individuals and as a community, to portion our charity. While it is important to help Muslims all over the world, it is obligatory to help the oppressed, the needy, and the vulnerable at home first. We need to understand that the entire world responds to natural disasters and relief efforts in the most cases, but hardly anybody responds to a child or woman abused behind the closed doors. How that money sent overseas is being used/misused and what impact it really makes is a topic of another discussion.

We also need to understand that the future of the Muslim community is only secured by building healthy communities and nurturing healthy individuals. This goal can only be achieved by addressing various issues that a Muslim American family faces today. The active investment in strengthening our families is a long overdue and avoiding it is a communal crime.

Posted by Zerqa Abid on 7/15/2012 12:00 AM

A major source of confusion and misunderstanding about the permissibility of domestic abuse in Islam to discipline one’s wife is the disputed translation of the famous verse 4:34 of Quran. Abdullah Yusuf Ali, like many other scholars, translates it as following:

“… As to those women on whom part ye fear disloyalty and ill conduct, admonish them (first), (next) refuse to share their beds, (And last) spank them (lightly); …

This and similar translations have been challenged on two grounds by several Muslim scholars in the recent years. The first is on grounds of alternate meanings of the word “durbahunna.” For example, the Global Muslim Women’s Shura Council  writes in its report Jihad Against Violence: Women Struggle for Peace:

In classical Arabic, the word daraba has 25 different meanings. “Beat” or “chastise” are two of them, but another is “go away from.” Therefore, the verse could be interpreted:

As to those women on whose part you fear disloyalty, first admonish them, then abandon their sleeping places, then go away from them.

Posted by GuestBloggers on 6/12/2012 10:42 AM

by By Karla Kellam

 A little over a month ago, on April 17, a ten-year-old Muslim boy named Abdifatah Mohamud, was brutally murdered in Buffalo, NY by his stepfather—beaten to death more than 70 times with a rolling pin.  

One month prior to Abdifatah’s death, on March 19, six-year-old Khalil Wimes died at the hands of his parents. 

We cannot dismiss these stories with a pitying shake of the head because we, the Muslim community, share the burden of guilt. We have remained woefully silent on the issue of child abuse and family violence within our communities.

Posted by Zerqa Abid on 5/7/2012 11:54 AM

  Khalil &  Abdifatah
“Khalil was dead from head trauma March 19 when his parents, Tina Cuffie, 44, and Floyd Wimes [aka Latiff Hadi], 48, brought him to Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. His corpse weighed only 29 pounds and bore a sea of scars across his face and the rest of his body, according to police reports. Authorities believe Khalil suffered beatings at the hands of his parents for as long as two years, and he was photographed with obvious scarring at the same time the social worker was visiting him and his siblings in 2011.” ─ Reports Philadelphia Inquirer.

“On the night of April 17, Ali Mohamad Mohamud tied up his stepson Abdifatah Mohamud, stuffed a sock in his mouth, covered it with duct tape and then beat the boy to death, Buffalo, N.Y.,” police told ABC News affiliate WKBW.

“An autopsy showed that the fifth grader died after being hit more than 70 times with a rolling pin.” --- ABC News.

We as a community seriously need to do something about such parents who torture their kids in all sorts of ways in the name of discipline. Police and children services come later. Where are family members, neighbors and community members? Why is there nobody to stop them? This does not happen in just one night. Instead, such deadly incidents happen after several incidents of lesser severity. In this case, it is apparent that nobody stopped these brutal people at all.

Posted by GuestBloggers on 4/11/2012 10:34 AM

We are Shaima Alawadiby By Karla Kellam

As the facts about the Shaima Alawadi murder case continue to trickle in, it appears more and more that she was the victim of family violence, rather than a hate crime. As somebody who works to prevent family violence at Project Sakinah, this does not come as a surprise to me—nor was it an unexpected turn of events to many of us in the domestic violence/family violence community. Of all the women killed in America in 2007, 64% of them died at the hands of a family member or an intimate partner. While it is possible that this might be matricide, which is exceedingly rare (85% of children who murder one or more of their parents are male), family violence is not.


Posted by Zerqa Abid on 1/4/2012 1:26 AM

As we enter into 2012, we reflect upon the past year with mixed feelings. On one hand, our hearts are heavy with the memory of Nazish Noorani and many others who have been victimized by their own spouses in 2011.  On the other hand, the level of our community’s engagement with us, and with other efforts dedicated to stopping violence within our families over the course of the year gives us hope and encouragement to continue the struggle.

Our main focus during 2011 was on collaborating with existing organizations and upon launching our multi-faceted campaign. Here are our major achievements for 2011, along with future plans for 2012:

Posted by Zerqa Abid on 8/22/2011 7:39 AM

 As I write this post, it has been five days since the murder of Nazish Noorani, 27, a mother of two, in Boonton, NJ.   

A week prior to her death, she texted her brother...

 "I dont no wht to do…Cant talk to him cuz he abuse me than…He dosent wanna live with me…I dont no kids get scared of him sometimes…I m so tired of this…I dont no i m scared…someday u will find me dead but its cuz of kashi…he wants to kill me."

Unfortunately, regardless of her warning, she could not save herself. Her husband, Kashif Pervaiz, successfully plotted and killed her with the help of his girlfriend, Antoinette Stephen.  

Posted by GuestBloggers on 6/27/2011 3:05 PM

by Hafeeza Kelli Yasmin
June 3, 2011

This is part of a series of posts entitled “Muslims Making a Difference,” featuring Muslims benefiting society at different levels.

Domestic violence is an issue within Islam which is intolerable; it is a sign of oppression, and Allah ‘azza wajal condemns oppression.

The name Nour in Arabic means angelic light, and thus a name that reflects peace, tranquillity and hope. It is a metaphor for the light at the end of the tunnel, to bring back hope in those who have fallen victims of the devastating sin of domestic violence.  Nour launched its website in 2010 and has now earned the title of a non-profit charity.

What makes Nour stand out from all the rest is that they are able to recognise the Islamic faith and the sensitivity that comes with domestic violence. Unfortunately, many Muslims ignorantly adopt the false impression that Islam permits the act of domestic violence

Posted by GuestBloggers on 6/27/2011 2:17 PM

by Munira Lekovic Ezzeldine
June 20, 2011

Abuse is a topic that many Muslims shy away from because it is uncomfortable to tackle an issue that is complex and appears unsolvable.  Many times when I address the topic of marriage, I clarify that the strategies I suggest do not apply to abusive relationships. Yet, what I have learned is that people who are in abusive relationships don’t acknowledge the abuse and instead try to do everything to “fix” their marriage and resolve the unhappiness they feel.  Abusive relationships have a completely different dynamic and “marriage advice” cannot solve the problem of abuse. Sadly people do not understand that an abusive relationship is a dysfunctional relationship, therefore the only way the relationship can change is if both husband and wife get professional counseling because without intervention the abuse will only get worse and the relationship will continue to deteriorate.

Posted by Hesham A Hassaballa on 4/22/2011 2:49 AM

On April 21, the Supreme Court in Pakistan upheld the acquittal of five men accused in the gang-rape of Mukhtar Mai. To God we belong, and to Him shall we return.

Posted by Hesham A Hassaballa on 4/7/2011 11:24 PM

From where did this come? Where in the Qur'an does it sanction the murder of a woman on the mere accusation of adultery? What sort of barbarity is this?

Posted by Hesham A Hassaballa on 3/4/2011 2:03 AM
In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

It is with great pleasure that I come on board as a blogger for Project Sakinah. As my first post, I want to share the Friday Sermon I gave about Domestic Violence, in the wake of the horrific beheading of Aasiya Zubair by her husband.

We praise God, the Almighty, the Precious Beloved. All praise is due to Him. We seek refuge in the Lord from the evil tendencies of our selves and from the evil of our actions. We bear witness that there is nothing worthy of worship except God alone, and we bear witness that Muhammad (pbuh) is God's Messenger and Servant. Whomever God guides can never be misguided. Yet, whosoever God leaves to stray can never be guided aright except by His leave. We ask the Precious Beloved to send down His Mercy, His Prayers, and His blessings upon Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), upon his family, his companions, and the Muslims everywhere. Amen. By now, everyone has heard of the truly outrageous and barbaric murder of Sister Aasiya...
Posted by GuestBloggers on 3/1/2011 12:00 AM

by Sandra Molinari

Sandra Molinari has worked in the sexual and domestic violence field for the better part of a decade. She discusses the need for prevention and the underlying causes of domestic and sexual violence, including the underlying causes at the community and societal levels.

"Why not instead ask the question, 'Why did X hurt Y? And how can X and others be prevented from hurting people in the future?' As a woman in one of my groups once put it: All this empowerment work that is focused on us survivors of domestic violence is great: I can tell you I’m never going to put up with that kind of abuse again! But what about my ex? He’s just going to move on to another woman and start beating her up. What are we going to do about him? Where does the violence end?…

Posted by GuestBloggers on 2/21/2011 12:00 AM

by Parvez Ahmed

Amidst all the euphoria about Egypt’s peaceful revolution, the news of CBS news reporter Lara Logan being sexually assaulted fell like a ton of bricks. The people of Egypt, especially its youth, have been such an inspiration that any hint of deviant behavior understandably elicits gasps and should provoke soul searching. Sadly, the incident is not that isolated.  

Posted by Zerqa Abid on 1/26/2011 11:24 AM

 February 12, 2010, marked the first anniversary of the gruesome murder of general manager and co-founder of Bridges TV, Sister Aasiya Zubair Hassan. She was killed by her husband, Muzzammil Hassan, the other co-founder and CEO of Bridges TV.

Many of you know by reading my earlier posts on the topic that this particular murder had hit me and my family very hard. We felt the Zubair family’s pain directly, as we knew if we had not acted on time the dead victim could have been my first cousin, Sadia, instead of Aasiya. Sadia is Muzzammil’s ex-wife. We were thankful to Allah for saving Sadia’s life. At the same time, we were very sad for losing Sr. Aasiya at the hand of an established, known abuser. Since we personally knew many major players of the story, our reaction has been mixed with grief and anger. Grief for Aasiya’s children and her family. Anger toward the community and friends around the couple.

Posted by GuestBloggers on 1/25/2011 12:44 PM

Written by Usama Hassan

God and Muhammad, peace be upon him, clearly wished to ban domestic violence, as numerous hadiths indicate. The verse was always known to be a temporary compromise, an extremely limited concession that required minimum use of violence, if at all. “New” findings are:

1. Numerous hadiths say emphatically, “Don’t beat your wives.” The Qur’an apparently says, “You may beat your wives.” This apparent difficulty must be resolved. The verse is perhaps the most quoted by critics and enemies of Islam, the Qur’an and the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him.

2. The article tries to highlight a basic and serious flaw with the way many Muslims read and teach the Qur’an, including some preachers and clerics. Helping to correct this problem will, God-willing, open the way to dealing with numerous other controversial issues and “problematic” ayahs and hadiths.

3. Many issues around human rights and women’s rights, gender-equality, dhimmitude etc. may be fruitfully-addressed along similar lines.

Posted by GuestBloggers on 12/1/2010 11:19 AM

Written by Anntoinette Cooper  

The stereotypical views and myths associated with Islam and Muslim women; the generalization of the Muslim population by mainstream society and the countless fears of victims which include the threat of deportation, blacklisting from the religious community, mistreatment from authority figures, undue scrutiny of Islam and the list goes on. All of these add to the already complex issue of domestic violence within our community making it even more compound.

Posted by GuestBloggers on 9/30/2010 9:25 PM

A WISE Publication

Domestic violence, also known as “intimate partner violence,” is a form of violent or oppressive domination over a family member or partner. It occurs in families and relationships around the world and across culture, religion, race, and geography. Domestic violence manifests in various forms, most commonly as physical violence, but also as emotional abuse and financial control. Many of those who suffer from domestic violence fear for the safety of their lives and are thus reluctant to come forward. Although domestic violence victimizes both men and women, the majority of the victims are women.

As a worldwide phenomenon, domestic violence remains an ever-present reality in the lives of millions of Muslims. Throughout the world, violence destroys the ability of Muslim women to thrive within their families, communities, and nations. Moreover, perpetrators of domestic violence often try to justify their acts in the name of Islam.

Posted by GuestBloggers on 9/30/2010 9:10 PM

Written by Rafia Zakaria

The killers of 16-year-old Aqsa Pervez were convicted on June 18. Mohammad Pervez and Waqas Ahmed, Aqsa’s father and brother, were sentenced to life in prison by a jury in Ontario, Canada.

Aqsa was killed after being picked up by her brother from her school bus stop. She was taken to the family home where she was found dead by the police. DNA material belonging to her brother was found under her fingernails and her father confessed to the murder.
According to accounts published in Canadian newspapers, Mohammad Pervez killed his daughter because she did not subscribe to his conservative values. She wanted to get a part-time job and did not want to have an arranged marriage. According to a statement made by Aqsa’s mother, Mohammad Pervez told her that he had killed his youngest child because “the community will say that you have not been able to control your daughter” and “this is my insult, she has made me naked”.

On Dec 10, 2007, the day of her death, Aqsa was tricked into coming back home and then strangled. The cause of her death was deemed to be asphyxiation and evidence showed that Aqsa had fought for her life in her last moments. On the day the sentence was announced, Aqsa’s mother was present in court and pleaded to the judge to spare her husband and son.

Posted by GuestBloggers on 9/30/2010 8:58 PM

Written by Imam Johari Abdul Malik

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.

Posted by GuestBloggers on 9/30/2010 8:01 PM

Written by Mehnaz M. Afridi 
Courtesy:  Common Ground News Service (CGNews)

Los Angeles, California - International Women’s Day on 8 March provides an opportunity to raise awareness of the work women are doing to combat gender inequality. Violence and inequality affect women around the world, including women in Muslim societies who, like their non-Muslim counterparts, are engaged on a day-to-day basis to improve their environments for the better.

Travelling back and forth to Muslim-majority countries such as Pakistan, I witness the amazing work that women are doing both for human rights and economic growth firsthand. Women are running companies, shelters and businesses, and countering the images of disenfranchised, illiterate and socially deprived Muslim women so pervasive in Western media.

Bushra Aslam, for example, opened an orphanage in Islamabad for young girls after the 2005 Pakistani earthquake. She provides educators, mentors, counsellors and interfaith activities for the 45 girls living there. Another inspiring figure is Rukhsana Asghar, the president of Fulcrum, a Pakistan-based human resources consulting company that offers scholarships to train girls from poor families in preparation for jobs.

Posted by GuestBloggers on 9/30/2010 6:03 PM
Muslim Men Against Domestic Abuse interviewed Imam Zaid Shakir about the problem of domestic abuse. Imam Shakir has addreesed this problem in details while elaborating on Quranic verses and Hadith that may have refered to domestic abuse. Here is a video that has been posted with the permission of MMADA.
Posted by GuestBloggers on 9/22/2010 8:00 PM

Written by Dr. M.N. Tarazi

Saturday, July 17, 2010

"Your mother is so great that I did not have to beat her up once in the thirty years we have been married!" a father told his sons as he was trying to praise his wife.

"Every time she will talk back at me I will slap her," a brother told me as I was trying to provide marital counseling for him and his wife. Apparently he had "smacked" her before they came to see me. The mind boggling thing is that when I asked him, "What did she say to you that caused you to hit her?" he replied, "We had an argument and she provoked me so I said to her "Haywaneh!" (you're an animal!) Then she dared to talk back at me saying, "Inteh el Haywan" (you're the animal). Then I exercised my "God given right" to beat her up."

Though this is hardly a common idea in our community, if only a few brothers follow this misunderstanding of our religion, it damages their families and it damages our whole community.

The opponents of Islam often accuse Islam and Muslims of mistreatment of women and allowing men to beat up their wives referring to the Quranic verse 4:34. Unfortunately some Muslim men do strongly believe that this verse in the Quran gives them some "God given right" to beat their wives.

Posted by GuestBloggers on 9/22/2010 7:29 PM

Written by Imam Abdullah El-Amin, MMNS 

January 24, 2008

Courtesy of Muslim Media Network

“Men are the maintainers and protectors of women, because ALLAH has given the one more (strength) than He has given the other, and because they support them from their means. Therefore, the righteous women are devoutly obedient and guard what ALLAH would have them guard. As to those women on who you feel disloyalty and ill-conduct, first admonish them, next refuse to share their beds, and finally, beat them (lightly); but if they return to obedience, seek not against them means (of annoyance): for ALLAH is Most High, Great (above you all). "


Holy Qur’an 4:34

The above verse has been the topic of much discussion and disagreement in the Muslim world for many years. The biggest question from the ayah 34 is whether ALLAH allows men to physically beat, hit, or strike women. For all practical purposes and logical thinking, the answer is NO. This, even though the majority of the Muslim world have accepted and justified the practice of hitting women and say it is sanctioned by ALLAH. If you look at our beautiful, delicate females, and think, you will come to the realization that it is not logically feasible that ALLAH, the sole Creator of us all, would give men carte blanche to hit women if the men are not satisfied with them. The Holy Prophet (s) has never been reported to have struck any of his wives. And isn’t he our example?

Posted by GuestBloggers on 9/22/2010 3:24 PM

In Islam, does God permit husbands to beat disloyal wives? A new translation of the Qur'an says no--but will this take hold?

Interview by Andrea Useem
Courtesy: Beliefnet

While many Muslims say that Islam liberates women, one verse in the Qur'an has sparked debate on this idea for years. According to many popular English translations, verse 4:34 instructs Muslim men who "fear disloyalty and ill-conduct" from their wives to first admonish them, then refuse to sleep with them, and then "beat them (lightly)." Does that verse mean that in Islam, God permits husbands to beat their wives?

Non-Muslims often wonder if this verse justifies domestic violence. At the least, doesn’t it reinforce the idea that women are inferior to men? A new English translation of the Qur'an, published by Iranian-American scholar Laleh Bakhtiar this spring, aims to strike down these ideas. Instead of translating the root verb DARABA as "beat them lightly," Bakhtiar translates this key verse to mean "go away from them." She bases her word choice on, among other things, the example of Prophet Muhammad, who, according to prophetic tradition, never hit anyone in his family, not even lightly, and always treated his wives (there were 12 over the course of his lifetime) with respect.
Critics, like "Koran for Dummies" author Sohaib Sultan, argue that Bakhtiar's translation is a "modern-day revisionist report," saying other well-read translations of the Qur'an have always taken the word DARABA to mean something physical. But Bakhtiar says the word has 17 different meanings, the most popular being "to separate."

Posted by Anas Coburn on 9/7/2010 9:10 AM

Here we are, sitting in front of our respective screens, each with our own motivations and intentions, each with our own life experiences, each of us choosing to spend a few moments – me in writing these words, you in reading them. Violence in Muslim families is not a happy topic, and each of us responds to the idea the words conjure in different ways. Issues like this are daunting, and can seem monumental. But family violence is a reality, and now that we know it exists in our community we must each make a decision about how we are going to respond to this knowledge.

Posted by Zerqa Abid on 3/21/2010 5:34 PM

Did you know that one in every four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime?

According to a carefully estimated guess by major Islamic social service organizations in North America, this statistic applies to the Muslim women too. An estimated 1.3 million women are victims of physical assault by an intimate partner each year 2. This number also includes thousands of Muslim women.

Yes, one in every four Muslim women. You must know some who are already abused.

I know many.

Nearly 17,000 people, mainly women, are killed each year by an intimate partner, according to the National Coalition of Domestic Violence, a nonprofit advocacy group based in Denver.

Posted by GuestBloggers on 3/21/2010 5:23 PM
Written by Laila Shaheen

The following article first appeared in Muslim Link.

Domestic violence is a reality in 10 percent of the homes in the United States regardless of ethnicity, socio-economic status or education. That number includes those living in Muslim homes. Often times, women in abusive relationships who decide to leave will end up homeless. The hard economic crisis that we currently face is another factor in the increasing numbers of homeless women in the US. And again, this includes Muslim women.

On March 14th, Sisters in Solidarity to Educate, Respond & Serve (S.I.S.T.E.R.S) held their 3rd Annual Tea, where they honored one woman who has worked diligently to help alleviate the suffering of Muslim women who find themselves suddenly homeless. Sister Asma Hanif, operates a women’s shelter and clinic, Muslimat Al Nisaa, in the Baltimore area. The shelter offers a safe haven to Muslim women and children. While the concept and dream of opening the shelter was initially that of our late sister, Maryam Funches, Asma has carried on with her dream of her dear friend.
Posted by Zerqa Abid on 3/21/2010 4:37 PM

Written by Zerqa Abid

Muzzammil Hassan, the owner and CEO of Bridges TV has been arrested for beheading his wife, Aasiya Zubair.

INNA LILLAHI WA INNA ILAIHI RAJAIUN, indeed everything belongs to Allah (God) and to Him we will return.

This is the news of the year that has once again damaged not only the Muslim image in American society, but it has also damaged our trust and the hope that we place in American Muslim leadership.

It’s been five days now that my family along with the rest of the community has been in shock. The fact that Muzzammil was married to my first cousin before marrying the victim still horrifies us. Ms. Zubair was his third wife. Both of his earlier wives filed divorce on the same grounds of severe domestic violence and abuses.

Posted by GuestBloggers on 8/29/2009 12:00 AM

By Altamash Iftikhar

So today was our first volunteering event in downtown Chicago. We had about 10 volunteers show up and we hit the streets (State St. and Michigan Ave. to be exact) with 2,000 fliers. The fliers had statistics on them (i.e., 1 in 4 women experience domestic violence in their lifetime, more than 3 women and 1 man are killed as a result of domestic violence every day, etc. ...) with the words “don’t become another statistic” and the website ( on the bottom of the flier.

First of all, I want to thank each volunteer that made it out and helped spread the word today. We definitely reached a ton of people and we all had some pretty deep and insightful conversations with people. I had a lot of people asking about the shirt and just asking about the organization in general, but I wanted to reflect on two special encounters that I had today.

Posted by GuestBloggers on 3/14/2009 12:00 AM

By I Am: American Muslim

"He stood right here, in this spot," Brother Alakoum emphasized pointing at the ground next to where he stood as he looked out over the massala, "stood right here and asked for money for Bridges TV."

Earlier in his portion of the presentation, Br. Alakoum had told the story of a man from our community that was such a tyrant that his family celebrated his death at Chuck E. Cheese. He wanted to stress that the issue of domestic violence is real in our community, and it’s time to move to Zero Tolerance. "You think it’s being a man to have your house afraid of you, but then your family celebrates your janaza at Chuck E. Cheese."





Blog List

In The Beginning
Emotional Literacy -- The Key to Preventing Domestic Violence
Feeling Like an Expert?
Forebearance and the Family
The Heartsick Judge
Letter to a Stranger
True Love in Marriage – A Mirage, Why?
Wholeness of Love - The Tranquil Home
Greatness of Women
Stand with Purple
Indian Documentary Film Maker Tackles Child Abuse
Cultural Differences and Child Abuse
Adoption in Islam: Not in my house
The Plight of Abused Muslim Parents
Team Up with Ramadan
Revive the Spirit: Do 4 Things for Aasiya
The Origin of The International Purple Hijab Day
E-Wali--A Good Idea
One Easy Thing to Do to Help Keep Kids Safe
Five Tips on Finances / Your Financial Safety Plan
The Issue of Child Abuse: What We Should Do
It's all about Saving Muslim Lives at Home!
Stop Domestic Violence: Wake Up, Speak Up, Team Up
Please Help Me: The Child Abuse Epidemic
On Shaima Alawadi, family violence, and hate crimes
Hurting Homes
Honor is Gender Neutral
My Khutbah Against Domestic Violence
Abuse of Women is Sadly Endemic
Do we have a Will to End Domestic Violence?
Domestic Violence, Islam and Muslim Women
Domestic Violence: A Violation of Islam
Honor and Terror
Muslims Working Against Domestic Violence
Muslim women wage jihad against violence
Imam Zaid Shakir: The Problem of Domestic Abuse
The Wife-Beating issue and its impact on our community
ALLAH Prohibits Domestic Violence
Does the Quran Tolerate Domestic Abuse?
Inviting Muslims to Respond to Domestic Violence
VOICE TO ACTION: Muslims Against Domestic Violence
SISTERS Annual Tea Honors Muslimat Al Nisaa Shelter
Did We ever Bother to know Muzzammil?
Downtown Chicago Event
He Stood Right Here



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