Author: Zerqa Abid Created: 3/21/2010 4:35 PM
In the Pursuit of Sakinah: Sakinah means tranquility. Sakinah in family life can only exist in the absence of all types of violence. This blog is dedicated to all those who are suffering due to family violence and are asking Allah for sakinah in their lives. This blog is also dedicated to all those who are fighting against family violence.
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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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.

Contributors

 

Topics

 

Blog List

Stand with Purple
The Plight of Abused Muslim Parents
Revive the Spirit: Do 4 Things for Aasiya
It's all about Saving Muslim Lives at Home!
Stop Domestic Violence: Wake Up, Speak Up, Team Up
Do we have a Will to End Domestic Violence?
VOICE TO ACTION: Muslims Against Domestic Violence
Did We ever Bother to know Muzzammil?

 

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Project Sakinah
Dar al Islam
P.O. Box 180
Abiquiu, NM  87510

703.531.8179