In recent news Turkey has revealed the death toll of 666 women till date being killed due to domestic violence, between the years of 2009 and 2012. The interior Ministry have concluded the result of these women’s death is not entirely their husband’s accountability, but family and relatives too. It is very poignant to have come across this news as we habitually report the rate of domestic violence sufferers but not the deaths! Civil society organisations are quarreling that such official figures which can be found here are not to be relied upon, as some of the deaths have been recorded and disclosed as suicide; by family members or relatives who are concealing the crime to avoid doing the time.
The figures are not sensationalised nonetheless the latter figures show a decrease each year than the former presenting some work is being done in favour. Yet lives are still being taken and it is becoming a charade it seems, no one hears a thing and no one says a thing, domestic violence is becoming sanitised by us, Muslims! Is it not our problem? Or only theirs?
Death by domestic violence is murder, point blank, period. Murder is wrong in Islam and outside, it is a human thing to know. And today we find there are those who know the truth and hide the truth, they are the same as the oppressor as they knew and did not do anything to cease. Domestic Violence is a slow killing process, which is enabling plenty of time to act, however these family members know the truth, accepting the corruption and lying in defence of the murderers. These are the type of people Allah is talking about in this ayah.
Because of that, We decreed upon the Children of Israel that whoever kills a soul unless for a soul or for corruption [done] in the land – it is as if he had slain mankind entirely. And whoever saves one – it is as if he had saved mankind entirely. And our messengers had certainly come to them with clear proofs. Then indeed many of them, [even] after that, throughout the land, were transgressors.
Surah Al Maidah, Verse: 32
Islam makes men rise to the challenge of becoming the greatest of men, and they were warriors but not against their women! The strongest of men are tamed by Islam which should remind us of the story of Umar Ibn Al Khattab (Ra).
It is reported that a man came to ‘Umar ibn Al-Khattab (radhiAllahu anhu) to complain about his wife’s ill-temper. While he was waiting for ‘Umar to come out of his house, he heard ‘Umar’s wife scolding him and ‘Umar quietly listening to her, and not answering her back. The man turned around and started walking away, muttering to himself: “If that is the case with ‘Umar, the leader of the believers, who is famous for his uprighteness and toughness, then what about poor me?!” At that moment, ‘Umar came out of his house and saw the man walking away. He called him and said, “What is it you want of me, O man?” The man replied: “O leader of the believers, I came to complain to you about my wife’s bad-temper and how she nags me. Then I heard your wife doing the same to you, so I turned around, muttering to myself, ‘If that is the situation of the leader of the believers, then what about me?'” ‘Umar replied, “O my brother, I bear with her because of her rights over me. She cooks my food, bakes my bread, washes my clothes, breast-feeds my child…and yet none of these are her duty; and then she is a comfort to my heart and keeps me away from forbidden deeds. Consequently, I bear with her.” The man said, “It is the same with me, O leader of the believers.” ‘Umar said: “Then, O my brother, be patient with her, indeed this life is short. (Adh-Dhahabi, Al-Kabâ’ir 194)
He, the Amir Al Mu’mineen, the absolute ruler didn’t change anything about this situation, by seeking Allah’s pleasure he was able to have patience with his wife out of love and mercy. Not allowing any arrogance or his position to dilute he’s relationship with his wife.
So how is this your concern or mine ? The saying goes ‘help your brother, whether he is an oppressor or is oppressed.’ Islam emphasises prevention is better than cure, if we can capture the cause we can prevent the effect by intervening. There are common misconceptions and signs which are discussed here, you can use this as a guide when and where needed or suspected.
A man asked: ‘O Messenger of Allah! I (knowhow to) help him when he is oppressed, but how can I help him when he is an oppressor?
‘He said: ‘You can restrain him from committing oppression. That will be your help to him.’”
[Al-Bukhaari & Muslim]
Ibn `Umar and his father, reported that the Messenger of Allah said: “A Muslim is a brother of another Muslim. (So) he should not oppress him, nor should he forsake him (i.e. when he is being oppressed).”
[Al-Bukhaari & Muslim]
Subhan’Allah such hadiths show the importance of thinking of others, helping your brothers and sisters, and doing what you can with in your capability to help. In this day and age we are flourishing with services, shelters, charities, law and legislations thus enabling us to always have an option. We have more and younger Muslims taking the path of law, counselling and social work bi’ithnillah they are able to fulfil their careers effectively to help the Ummah in need.
There is a story to help inspire how the Muslims should run to one another when the call for help beckons, the story climax of going into battle just for ONE woman.
Imam ibn Athir records in ‘Kamil’ the story of a Muslim woman who was captured by the Romans and held in a place named ‘Amuriyyah. Not content with only capturing her they tried to dishonour her.
Frightened and alone she called out the name of the Khalifa, [Ya Mu’tasim] ‘Oh Mu’tasim’. A man witnessed this incident and rushed to the Khalifa informing him of what had happened, when he heard the plight of this woman he responded bravely, Labbaik [I am here at your call]’. He prepared a large army and set off for battle and to rescue the woman. Mu’tasim’s army trounced the enemy and entered ‘Amuriyyah. After destroying the enemy stronghold, they came to the woman and freed her from her captures.
The surprising number is just going to grow IF we are not made aware of how domestic violence affects all communities, not just ours. May Allah give the Muslimah’s paradise for losing their lives in such a tragic way, as I have said before Islam teaches us prevention is better than cure, and here we are faced with deaths taking place truly that is our fault, our failure we just are not doing adequate, there is still lots to do.