I would like to share my story; I don’t know how to start as when people do speak about domestic violence, they mention their husband or wife. I believe a person who witnesses violence from childhood accepts abusive behaviour from the other half as something hateful, but abnormal. Myself as a child saw very, very ugly violence from my dad towards my mum, Subhan-Allah I don’t want to say anything bad about my parents. May Allah forgive them for what they have done, ameen. This was purely out of ignorance and under the influence of Shayateen, but for the sake of sharing I will say that violence was very damaging to me, even now if I read anything sad such as honour killing stories, it makes me cry.
Me and my siblings were all very close to each other, in a way a comfort for each other, when we were teenagers my dad became more volatile, when his nephew proposed the idea to be my future husband, they accepted it and this made me shell shocked. My life changed from that day, honestly at the age of 18 when I got engaged and later married at twenty-two; truly my life froze the day I got engaged. Until now I have gotten a lot of answers and accepted that we as a Muslim believe in Qadar (the will of Allah) good or bad Alhamdulillah. In my heart I loved my dad but fiercely hated his behaviour and his side of the family as they were ignorant.
I strongly denied my marriage and eventually people did find this out from my rebellious behaviour, I hated the idea to be married into that family including my fiancé, but they were all stubborn with the idea to take me as his wife. Alhamdulillah I was a very good catch, I was beautiful, educated and my dad was rich, also their daughter was getting married to my brother.
My life story is very unusual, before my birth my parents moved to UK in late 50’s, my dad moved us back to Pakistan when we were young, as he didn’t want us to grow up in west, anyway my husband came to England as a ten year old and his family lived in a village which signifies the fact they were very poor. I believe that is how my mother and father wanted to help his family, I don’t understand what were they thinking; I remember after my forced marriage my mum was telling her cousin
‘My daughter will work and will make her in-laws financially strong’. Such was their behaviour that it made me result to completely shutting myself into a cocoon, I did not want to share my concerns and sorrows with my parents, I came close to honour killing, however my dad took the gun and my family intervened two days before my wedding.
I was fuming, in my head I thought straight after the marriage I will get a divorce. Subhan-Allah after the marriage I was confused, when I came back to England I was even more confused, I was trapped, my brain was always numb. I had to start my life from scratch, though I had not liked my marriage I started thinking positively I decided that I will build my life with a fresh start, Alhamdulillah I was positive and 100% faithful to this man.
Along the way I started to get deeply upset and confused as he was not capable of doing anything in a normal organised way, not even do his shirt buttons, or his shoe laces. He would go out in sandals in the freezing cold of December. I was very embarrassed by his antics and before marriage I did see him and he didn’t look like a normal or an intelligent person, in fact he looked dumb and that was the reason I didn’t want to marry him, he had left school at the age of fourteen or fifteen without any qualifications. For me education, getting knowledge was a life line, as he had none of these I felt he was still a teenager, he was very shy, couldn’t speak much. I didn’t see him in a confident and mature way.
Few things which I found to be very abnormal at the beginning were how he would be mini cabbing at night and sleep a good 18 hours. He would drive cars without any license or insurance and even without keys; he would lose everything, when he loses he’s keys he would use a spoon to start the car as a substitute.
I was deeply confused and lost, he was not violent at all just very daft, maybe that was the reason why I found the first few years comfortable with him, there were no screaming or shouting matches in the house. Although I was deeply unhappy, he never brought any money home; whatever he could manage every month would go back to Pakistan to his parents and to his sisters who were here but in a different city. It was his duty to act like the parent for his sisters as he was the only brother to keep the family honour together.
For a good few years I was not arguing, or saying anything I just remained very sad and numb, I had no one who could understand my feelings. By then my parents had also moved back to the UK and they were living with his sister. For me my parent’s doors were almost shut, they were cold towards me, I know that they were busy in their own disputes; my dad now verbal and mum trying to please him, they were also busy in a new investment building big homes in Pakistan. I was living in a different city from them; I was very lonely, living in council homes moving from one place to another. Alhamdulillah I was praying from my teenage years that was comfort for me and my children I loved them so much, I was overly protective towards them, to make them happy was my life ambition. My children were the reasons why in the early years of my marriage I wanted to stay my husband, when my first son was born I used to cry and think if I left this man, my son will blame me for taking he’s dad away from him, little I knew even by living with their father my kids will blame me for their unhappiness? Qadarullah!
There was one thing that I really appreciated about him; he was always as cool as ice, even though he was the reason for the abruptions, all night at ‘work’ next day spending hours sleeping. I had to deal with all the appointments, payments, bills, household etc. I was on work related benefits, I was just hand to mouth and any demand about money would bring up argument, it was him who had an outside life for hours and hours, while I was shut at home with screaming kids without any social life
Couple of years later I found out about his secret life I realised he was a very cold and calculated criminal with different personalities. Though he acted dumb for not giving me any money he was very committed to his extended family, he had to visit them hundred miles away over small occasions, and my objection would be the stance of the argument, he was very sarcastic but not physically violent.
I was upset about how he would never compliment me, I could feel he was not open about his past or what makes him sad or happy, or what type of dreams he has for himself or his kids, or what he is expecting from me as a wife. There was something unusual about his life which I was not happy with. Now I understand it was secrecy and dishonesty.
After 8 years into the marriage his true colours started to show, he was quite open about his hatred towards me, and started ‘experimenting’ new businesses with his cousins, who were all quite dodgy, and to themselves they were ‘cool’. When he told me he wanted to buy and sell goods illegally, I was shocked as to how he got these cheap ideas into his head, and so I asked him not to even think about doing this type of work. Before all this time he just was pretending to be lazy and careless.
Not long after he was a different person, he had a burning desire to become a millionaire and now his masks were coming off and I could see someone very different and ambitious. I start to investigate on him and I was shocked to find out he was involved in an alcohol business, so I confronted him, tried to talk to him and he was giving me excuses that he is just helping his cousins.
Slowly he was open and confident in showing his hatred toward me, he was throwing plates and glasses, pushing and hitting me, he would go for long hours and far without any connection. Now his business was open to me he was openly doing transactions and taking and giving orders. My life entered into dark tunnel with pure evil around me. After some time I found out he was actually living the life of darkness, he was with women, he had an alcohol business and he was into gambling. I could not believe it; I was struggling and coping with my teenage children on my own, and this was the time when all the covers came off.
Subhan-Allah, Allah exposed his lies, I found out that he was a professional gambler since his teenage years. That was enough for me to understand his character and my life with him, during the height of this saga I got the strength to go court for an injunction on him as he was more physically abusive toward me in front of my teenage boys and 5 years old daughter, but still I dropped the charges when he started crying and begging me not to go ahead with the injunction.
I was still quite confused then all praises be to Allah who guided me, protected me and gave me victory Allahu-Akbar! I went for Ruqya (exorcism) and my life changed Alhamdulillah, after a few sessions I gave him the notice for separation, as yet I still have not gotten to the final decision which I am asking for Allah’s guidance to help me finalise this decision.
May Allah give me guidance to be thankful for His Love and Mercy, which gave me the ability to feel Allah with me through du’a, through His beautiful names. I only had ALLAH by my side and He was enough for me Allahu-Akbar.
Truly this du’a makes me cry:
“None has the right to be worshipped but Allah alone, He fulfilled His Promise, He aided his slave, and He alone defeated Confederates”
It is a very long and an on-going story but I can conclude by saying the words from the Book of Allah
“O mankind! There has come to you a good advice from your Lord (i.e. the Qur’an, enjoining all that is good and forbidding all that is evil), and a healing for that (disease of ignorance, doubt, hypocrisy and differences,) Which is in your breasts, – a guidance and a mercy (explaining lawful and unlawful things) for the believers”
Also the following hadith
“Du’a is the weapon of the Believer”
And finally this Hadith is so true and my journey on the path of Allah is so amazing, and specific that this du’a is so comforting for me.
“It is the Decree of Allah and He does whatever He wills”