Domestic Violence

The terms domestic violence and domestic abuse are often used to refer to violence that occurs between intimate partners. Actually, both terms refer to any violence or abuse that occurs within the domicile, or home. Today, in order to better clarify who is involved in the violence, the preferred term is intimate partner violence (IPV). This is because it can refer to current and former marital partners as well as separated marital partners, or current and former cohabitates, and is gender neutral.

Domestic Violence includes more than physical abuse. Violence between intimate partners includes both physical and sexual abuse, as well as any threats of physical or sexual abuse. IPV also includes psychological, emotional, verbal and economic abuse. All are very damaging to the well-being of both the victim and the perpetrator, and all constitute forms of oppression (dhulm) in Islam.

Domestic Violence in Islam

Muslims are not permitted to hit their spouses. Some have argued that verse 4:34, the so-called “chastisement verse” may be interpreted as giving permission to hit a wife if certain prior conditions are fulfilled. Others have said it means to “tap lightly,” and some suggest it means to hit the wife with a miswaq (toothbrush). But in the Qur’ānic paradigm, marriage is represented as a means of tranquility, protection, encouragement, peace, kindness, comfort, justice, mercy, and love (2:187 & 229-237; 4:19 & 25; 9:71; 30:21). For a thorough discussion of 4:34, see Imam Abdullah Hasan’s “The End to Hitting Women: the Qur’anic concept of darb” In addition to this excellent discussion, you can find a good collections of khutbas and talks about Domestic Violence in Islam in our video section, here. We’ve also prepared a list of publications about the topic, and there are a large number of blog entries also on the site.

This section of the site explores the signs and symptoms of Intimate Partner Violence. Find out:

Learn the signs and symptoms of abusive relationships and their impacts on everyone close to such a relationship. Get inspired by the moving accounts of survivors. Wake up; arm yourself with knowledge, and Take Action.



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