Wednesday 25 November 2015

International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women

Today is the United Nation's International Day for the Elimination of Violence against WomenThe Day is to raise awareness and announce the start of 16 days of activism against gender-based violence, with a focus on strategies to prevent violence against women and girls. The UN's website states that:

35% of women and girls globally experience some form of physical and or sexual violence in their lifetime

As a woman and a mother, that is a frightening and depressing statistic.  You would think that technology, education and globalism would have changed the world enough that people understand that it is just not acceptable to abuse a woman.

As a mother I am very clear with my children that it is never okay to hit a women or to accept being hit as a woman.  I support that with the guidance from my faith (from the Quran and the sayings of our beloved Prophet PBUH) that says:

O ye who believe! Ye are forbidden to inherit women against their will. Nor should ye treat them with harshness, that ye may Take away part of their dower ye have given them,-except where they have been guilty of open lewdness; on the contrary live with them on a footing of kindness and equity. If ye take a dislike to them it may be that ye dislike a thing, and Allah brings about through it a great deal of good. - Quran (4:19)

Retain them [women] in kindness or release them in kindness. But do not retain them to their hurt so that you transgress (the limits). If anyone does that he wrongs his own soul. Do not take God’s instructions as a jest“ (Qur’an 2:231).

“The Believers, men and women, are protectors one of another: they enjoin what is just, and forbid what is evil: they observe regular prayers, practise regular charity, and obey Allah and His Messenger. On them will Allah pour His mercy: for Allah is Exalted in power, Wise.” (Qur’an, 9:71).

"The most perfect of the believers in faith are the best of them in morals. And the best among them are those who are best to their wives." [Narrated in Mosnad Ahmad, #7354, and Al-Tirmidhi, #1162]

A companion asked the Prophet of God what is the right of a wife over her husband?’ He said, "That you feed her when you eat and clothe her when you clothe yourself and do not strike her face. Do not malign her and do not keep apart from her, except in the house." (Abu Dawud).

In his last sermon Prophet Muhammad, peace be on him, cautioned the believing men to "be kind to women-you have rights over your wives, and they have rights over you." He also said, "Treat your women well, and be kind to them, for they are your partners and committed helpers."

That is not to say that Muslim's always act on Islam as they should or that violence against women is any less a problem for Muslims.  I think that's why its important for us all to be clear on our stance on it and for brothers to be clear in their position, as the white ribbons pledge says:

To "pledge to never commit, condone, or remain silent about violence towards women"

I love the Muslims for White Ribbon campaign here that offers resources and a khutbah (Friday sermon) campaign to help promote the issue.

image source (original infographic here in large size)


  1. This is a question for Muslim men. Your teenaged daughter comes to you and says she wants to be a chemical engineer (or some other traditionally male occupation). She has no interest in getting married or having children until she is firmly established in her career. She tells you that she wants to avoid being financially dependent on her husband because so many men are controlling and abusive. How do you respond?

    1. Hmm... I would be surpised that she thinks this way knowing that she has such a kind, gentle and caring Muslim man as her dad and role model.

      Apart from that my daughter is quiet scary,so I don't think I would want to argue with her really.