Some time ago, I was informed that a Muslim brother repeatedly beats on his wife. When I first received the news, the fact that this is still an actual practice is generally disgusting. But, the fact that Muslims do this is worse, and the fact that I know the person is excruciatingly painful to know. This is mainly due to the fact that Muhammad, the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him), the ultimate religious example to & for all Muslims, was never known to abuse any of his wives, not in the least. He was even known to have prohibited a Muslim woman from marrying a Muslim man who was known during his lifetime as a woman-beater. Yet, we who come after him, who claim to be adherents to his noble example & lifestyle, act completely the opposite of his example & lifestyle. Now, as Muslims we know that accusations against people without evidence is a sin in and of itself. But, the person who told me this is an upstanding member of the Muslim-Community, among those who know them. And, when this person related this news to me, I really didn’t know how to handle this shocking revelation, and to be honest, I still don’t really know how to deal with this.
I had been struggling to find a solution to my torn conviction, by thinking about the following questions: How do I approach a Muslim, who’s been accused of manifesting Domestic-Violence? How can I approach a Muslim about this issue, without either learning later on that the allegations themselves were fraudulent, or causing tension and/or hatred between this individual & myself? How am I supposed to react, if the person whom I approach admits to manifesting Domestic-Violence and/or won’t stop abusing their respective spouse? If it is confirmed that these allegations are true, will he be dealt with accordingly, or will he be given a pass because of his status in the Muslim-Community?
All of these most important questions have been spinning in my head, as if I was obligated to do or say something about this situation. There were actually additional questions that I had going through my mind like: Since the person who told me this obviously knew that this was going on before they told me, why would they only tell me? Also, the person who told me about this situation specifically requested that I keep this information confidential (i.e. I’m not supposed to tell anyone). Then, I started thinking to myself, and my thoughts turned into more questions: How can I, as a Muslim & a man, keep something like this a secret? Do I expose this situation anyway, in search of the truth, at the expense of blatantly violating the trust of someone who confided in me? What if this backfires in my face, and it is not even investigated, or even taken seriously by the leaders of our community? What if the allegations are false & I begin to spread this allegation around, and because of me, this person’s reputation is tainted because of a lie?
Honestly, the whole affair is just a mess. One, for the simple fact that Domestic-Violence is a fabric of our society. Two, the fact that Muslims actually take part in such a shameful action. Three, the fact that a Muslim whom I know personally, a person whom I deemed to be a stand-up individual, (whom I now look at completely differently, in a negative way, because of this situation), has been accused of such a deplorable thing.
My gut-feeling tells me that I should do or say something. But, what should I do & what should I say? I don’t know the answers to any of these questions. But, I do know this: Domestic-Violence is a disgusting practice, that is used by cowardly individuals, to control others, under the guise of Islam. There are Muslims (some whom I probably know personally) who wouldn’t dare to strike another man in the street; yet, they’ll strike their own wives.
Also, many aspects of Domestic-Violence among Muslims stem from cultural constructs, which predate Islam arriving to certain civilizations & peoples and unfortunately, Domestic-Violence has not been culturally abandoned by many of these Muslims, who come from from homes & societies where there’s nothing wrong with beating your wife senseless. And, I’m not just picking on foreign/immigrant Muslims and/or people who were born Muslim; there are many Muslims who accepted Islam & Muslims hailing from Non-Muslim countries, who’ve grown up in families & societies where Domestic-Violence has been a normal part of life for generations.