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A Test of Faith

Allah has given us the ideal and most beautiful description of what a marriage should be; “And among His signs is this: that He created for you mates from among yourselves so that you may dwell in tranquility with them.  He has put love and mercy between your hearts; in that are signs for those who reflect.” (Quran 30:21)

We all fall short of this ideal at times; we are human beings, flawed and imperfect.  Couples disagree and argue but at what point does that behavior cross the line and become something unacceptable?  Domestic violence is much more severe than the typical marital disputes experienced by most couples.  Domestic violence is a pattern of abusive behaviors used to establish power and control over another person.  A victim of domestic violence lives in a constant state of fear and uncertainty.  Domestic violence can take several forms but the ultimate goal is always the same; control a spouse through fear and intimidation.  Most people think that domestic violence occurs in the form of physical abuse (hitting, slapping, kicking, choking, etc) but it can also take the form of verbal abuse, isolation, economic control, threats and intimidation. 

If we are honest with ourselves, we must admit that domestic violence exists within the Muslim community.  It is unpleasant, embarrassing and we would all like to pretend that it doesn’t exist, but we all know that it does.  Those who try to raise awareness of this problem are sometimes accused of airing our community’s “dirty laundry” or risking a negative reflection upon Islam.  It is time that we speak out publicly against domestic violence with one clear, strong, and united voice.  There can be nothing less than zero tolerance of domestic violence in our community.  Domestic violence is clearly an example of injustice and oppression. Islam instructs us to stand for justice even if we must speak against ourselves, relatives, or someone with wealth and position. (Quran 4:135). 

What do our religious leaders say when a victim asks them for help?  How can we help a friend or relative who is living in fear and denial?  Do we minimize their concerns; do we judge them; do we worry about what people will say; do we get involved?

October is domestic violence awareness month; this is a good time for action.  Contact Bridges to Family Harmony Coalition at mwl@mwlusa.org or go to our website at www.mwlusa.org to learn how you can make a difference.

 Bridges to Family Harmony Coalition
October 2009 

Muslim Women's League
3010 Wilshire Blvd. Suite #519
Los Angeles, CA 90010
(323) 258-6722

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