Monster Husbands: Men Who Beat Their Wives

"And among His signs is this, that He created for you mates from among yourselves. that you may dwell in tranquility with them and he has put love and mercy between your (hearts) ..." (Q30{Ruum1:21)

The Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) said:

"I recommend that you treat women with goodness. The best of you are those who treat their wives the best." (Tirmidhi)

He also said: "Dwell in tranquility ... ", and Treat women with goodness ... " What do these concepts mean in Islaam?

Wife abuse is one of the most horrible diseases that continues to tear apart many homes in recent times. What's more is the fact that in Muslim homes, it is beginning to consume families and indeed communities because nobody is talking about it! Many scholars (who by the way could themselves be perpetrators), and the generality of Muslims talk about women's rights. Often one wonders wether they mean it or intend to respect or give these rights in their true perspectives.

The attitude of many, even some women themselves go from self righteousness; "What did you do to warrant such a beating from your husband?"or "She must be a bad wife for her husband to treat her in such a manner!" to justification; "Even Islam allows a man to beat his wife if he is displeased!"

As a result of this misconceived attitude many women are sentenced for life, suffering in silence through all manners of abuse in the hands of the very people that should protect them, their men.

But what is abuse?

The American Medical Association defines it as "... an ongoing, debilitating experience of physical, psychological, and/or sexual abuse in the home,"

Emotional Abuse

The most common form of abuse is emotional and mental abuse. In Muslim homes, this includes verbal threats to divorce the wife, to remarry, or to take the kids away if she does not do exactly as she is told; intimidation and threats of harm; degradation, "humlliatlon, insults, ridicule, name-calling, and criticism; false accusations and blaming her for everything; ignoring, dismissing, or ridiculing her needs; neglect and the silent treatment; spying on her; telling her she is a failure and will go to hell.

It also includes twisting Islamic teachings to make her feel worthless because she is a woman; restricting her access to transportation, health care, food, clothing, money, friends, or social services; physical and social isolation; extreme jealousy and possessiveness; lying, breaking promises, destroying trust; etc. Emotional abuse can take place in public or at home.

Although it's completely contrary to the example of Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam), the Muslim community nonetheless tends to dismiss the seriousness of mental abuse, rationalizing it as a petty argument between husband and wife, and saying it's not serious unless he hits her. In reality, mental abuse does severe psychological harm to many Muslim women. It destroys their self-esteem and makes them question their selfworth; some have mental breakdowns and go insane,

In many cases psychological abuse often times can and tend to lead to physical abuse, which includes pushing, shoving, choking, slapping, punching, kicking, and beating; assault with a weapon; tying up; refusing to help her when she is sick or injured; physically throwing her out of the house; etc.

When physical abuse continues without any form of resistance on the part of the woman or even the community; it escalates in frequency and severity.

Sexual Abuse

Sexual Abuse is another very traumatic form of abuse perpetuated in many Muslim homes in varying grades. This involves forced, violent sex whereby a wife may not want to have sex for health reasons, .but the husband forces her anyway.These forms of abuse are usually interwoven and occur for long periods of time, often starting with mental abuse: and then graduating slowly, into physical and sexual abuse. Many times abuse is perpetuated as a result of the man's frustration, "Iearned behaviour from his father's treatment of his mother, cultural conditioning, acceptance of bad treatment on the part of the woman and Islam's perceived allowance of abuse.



This article was culled from the publications of Deen Communication Limited