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Islam and Domestic Violence

By Hassan El-Najjar

Khutba for Friday Prayer,

25 Safar, 1430, February 20, 2009


(Al-Room, 30.21)

And of His signs: He has created for you from yourselves mates with whom you find rest , and He ordained between you love and mercy . In this, there are signs for people who ponder .

(Al-Room, 30.21)

4.1 . O mankind!
Be careful of your duty to your Lord Who created you from a single soul and from it created its mate and from them has spread a multitude of men and women.

(Al-Nisssa, 4: 1)

ۡٔ ٱۡۖ ۡ ۬ ٱۡ ٱٓ ٱۡۖ ۡ ٰ ۡۡۖ ۡ ۡ ۡ ۡ ٱۚ ٱ ٱٲ ٱۡ
(2: 222)

They ask thee concerning women's courses. Say: They are a hurt and a pollution; so keep away from women in their courses, and do not approach them until they are clean. But when they have purified themselves, ye may approach them in any manner, time or place ordained for you by Allah. for Allah loves those who turn to Him constantly and He loves those who keep themselves pure and clean. (2: 222)
ٓۡ ۡ۬ ۡ ۡ ۡۡ ٰ ۡۡۖ ۡۚ ٱ ٱ ٱۡٓ ڪ ٰۗ ٱۡۡ
(Al-Baqara, 2: 223)
Your wives are as a tilth unto you; so approach your tilth when or how ye will. but do some good act for your souls beforehand; and fear Allah, and know that ye are to meet Him (in the Hereafter) and give (these) good tidings to those who believe. (Al-Baqara, 2: 223)

ٰٓ ٱ ۡ ٱٓ ۡ۬ǝۖ ۡ ۡ ۡ ٓ ۡ ٓ ۡ ٰ۬ ۬ۚ ٱۡۡۚ ۡ ٰٓ ۡ ۡٔ۬ ۡ ٱ ۡ۬ ڪ۬

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 the 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. (Al-Nissa, 4: 19)

ٱ ٲ ٱٓ ٱ ۡۡ ٰ ۡ۬ ٓ ۡ ۡٲۡۚ ٱٰٰ ٰٰ ٰٰ۬ ۡۡ ٱۚ ٱٰ ٱۡ ٱۡ ٱۡۖ ۡ ۡڪۡ ۡ ۡ ۗ ٱ ۬ ڪ۬

(Al-Nissa, 4: 34)

Men are the protectors and maintainers of women, because Allah has given the one more (strength) than the other, and because they support them from their means. Therefore the righteous women are devoutly obedient, and guard in (the husband's) absence what Allah would have them guard. As to those women on whose part ye fear disloyalty and ill-conduct, admonish them (first), (next), refuse to share their, beds (and last) beat them (lightly); but if they return to obedience, seek not against them means (of annoyance): for Allah is Most High, Great (above you all).

(Al-Nissa, 4: 34)

ۡ ۡۡ ۡ ٱۡ ۬ ۡ ۡۦ ۬ ۡ ۡٓ ٓ ٰۡ۬ ٱ ۡٓۗ ٱ ۬

(Al-Nissa, 4: 35)



ۡ ٱ ٱٰۡ ٱ

ٰٓ ٱ ۡ ٱٓ ۡ ٱۡۖ ٱ ٱ ڪۡۖ ۡ ۢ ۡۡ ٓ ۡ ٰ۬ ۬ۚ ۡ ٱۚ ٱ ۡ ۡ ۥۚ ۡ ٱ ۡ ۡ ٲ ۡ

ۡ ۡ ۡ ۡ ۡ۬ ۡ ۡ ۡ۬ ۡ ٱٰ ۚ ٲڪۡ ۦ ۡ ٱ ٱۡۡ ٱۡۚ ٱ ۡ  ۥ ۡ۬

ۡۡ ۡ ۡ ۡۚ ۡ ٱ ۡ ۥۤۚ ٱ ٰ ۡۦۚ ۡ ٱ ۡ۬ ۡ۬

ٱٰٓٔ ٮٕۡ ٱۡ ٓٮٕۡ ٱۡۡۡ ٰ ۡ۬ ٱٰٓٔ ۡ ۡۚ ٰ ٱۡۡ ۡ ۡۚ ٱ ۡ  ۥ ۡ ۡۦ ۡ۬

ٲ ۡ ٱ  ۥۤ ۡۡۚ ٱ ۡ ۡ ٔۦ ۡۡ  ۥۤ ۡ

ۡ ۡ ۡ ۡۡ ٓ ۡۚ ٰ ۡ۬ ۡ ٰ ۡ ۡۚ ۡ ۡۡ ۡ ٔ ۖ ۡ ۡ ۡ۬ۖ ۡۡ ۡ  ۥۤ ٰۡ

Al-Talaq (65)
In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
O Prophet! when ye do divorce women, divorce them at their prescribed periods, and count (accurately), their prescribed periods: and fear Allah your Lord: and turn them not out of their houses, nor shall they (themselves) leave, except in case they are guilty of some open lewdness. Those are limits set by Allah: and any who transgresses the limits of Allah, does verily wrong his (own) soul: thou knowest not if perchance Allah will bring about thereafter some new situation. (1)

Thus when they fulfil their term appointed, either take them back on equitable terms or part with them on equitable terms; and take for witness two persons from among you, endued with justice, and establish the evidence (as) before Allah. Such is the admonition given to him who believes in Allah and the Last Day. And for those who fear Allah, He (ever) prepares a way out (2)

And He provides for him from (sources) he never could imagine. And if anyone puts his trust in Allah, sufficient is (Allah) for him. For Allah will surely accomplish His purpose: verily, for all things has Allah appointed a due proportion. (3)

Such of your women as have passed the age of monthly courses, for them the prescribed period, if ye have any doubts, is three months, and for those who have no courses (it is the same): for those who carry (life within their wombs) their period is until they deliver their burdens: and for those who fear Allah, He will make their path easy. (4)

That is the Command of Allah which He has sent down to you: And if anyone fears Allah He will remove his ills from him, and will enlarge His reward. (5)

Let the women live (in 'iddah) in the same style as ye live, according to your means: annoy them not, so as to restrict them. And if they carry (life in their wombs), then spend (your substance) on them until they deliver their burden: and if they suckle your (offspring), give them their recompense: and take mutual counsel together, according to what is just and reasonable. And if ye find yourselves in difficulties let another woman suckle (the child) on the (father's) behalf. (6)


Statistics about domestic violence in the US:

Intimate Partner Violence and Age of Victim,

Provides estimates of violence by intimates (current or former spouses, girlfriends, and boyfriends) against females with an emphasis on victim's age, 1993-99. Included are 1999 rates of intimate partner violence against females overall, rates for specific violent crimes (rape/sexual assault, robbery, aggravated assault and simple assault), and 1993-1999 trends in fatal and nonfatal intimate partner violence. Also presented are 1993-99 aggregate rates of intimate partner violence by victim's age focusing further on victim's race, Hispanic origin, annual household income and marital status. Additional statistics on domestic violence provided include the percentage of same-sex intimate partner violence, presence of weapons, injuries to victims, type of intimates who offend, and reporting to police. The data for this report are drawn from the NCVS and the FBI's Supplementary Homicide Reports.

Highlights include the following:

  • Intimate partners murdered 1,218 women during 1999. From 1993 to 1999 intimates killed 45% of all female murder victims age 20-24.
  • Women separated from their husbands were victimized by an intimate at rates higher than married, divorced, widowed, or never married women.
  • Women age 35-49 were the most vulnerable to intimate murder, while females age 16 to 24 were the most vulnerable to nonfatal violence.


US: Soaring Rates of Rape and Violence Against Women

More Accurate Methodology Shows Urgent Need for Preventive Action

Human Rights Watch December 18, 2008

The numbers in this survey show an alarmingly high rate of sexual violence in this country. This should serve as a wake-up call that more must be done to address the problem in the US.

Sarah Tofte, researcher for the US Program at Human Rights Watch

(New York, December 18, 2008) -

A new government report showing huge increases in the incidences of domestic violence, rape, and sexual assault over a two-year period in the United States deserves immediate attention from lawmakers and the incoming administration, Human Rights Watch said today. The statistics show a 42-percent increase in reported domestic violence and a 25-percent increase in the reported incidence of rape and sexual assault.

The National Crime Victimization Survey, based on projections from a national sample survey, says that at least 248,300 individuals were raped or sexually assaulted in 2007, up from 190,600 in 2005, the last year the survey was conducted. The study surveyed 73,600 individuals in 41,500 households. Among all violent crimes, domestic violence, rape, and sexual assault showed the largest increases. Except for simple assault, which increased by 3 percent, the incidence of every other crime surveyed decreased.

"The numbers in this survey show an alarmingly high rate of sexual violence in this country," said Sarah Tofte, researcher for the US Program at Human Rights Watch. "This should serve as a wake-up call that more must be done to address the problem in the US."

The projected number of violent crimes committed by intimate partners against women increased from 389,100 in 2005 to 554,260 in the 2007 report. By comparison, the number of violent crimes against men by intimate partners went down.

"Domestic violence is often a hidden crime, and these numbers are a stark reminder of how serious and widespread this problem is," said Tofte. "The Obama-Biden administration should make prevention and protection against all forms of domestic and sexual violence a top priority."

The National Crime Victimization Survey is conducted every two years, with data gathered in phone calls made to a sample of households across the United States. Due to criticism from experts in the subject, the survey's methodology was adjusted in 2007 to capture more accurately the incidence of gender-based violence. The authors say in the report that the higher numbers may reflect the new, more accurate methodology rather than an actual increase. Two major shifts were to describe types of sexual assault to those being interviewed, and to replace "computer-assisted telephone interviews conducted from two telephone centers" nationwide with interviews "by field representatives either by telephone or in person."

"The new numbers indicate that previously, the government significantly underestimated the number of individuals affected by domestic and sexual violence in this country," said Tofte. "Authorities should urgently adjust public policies, law enforcement, and provision of support services accordingly."

Human Rights Watch is currently investigating and monitoring the criminal justice response to sexual violence. The organization's recent work includes investigating the backlog in untested DNA evidence collected in rape cases in the US. In Los Angeles City and County alone, there is a combined total of at least 13,000 untested sets of evidence, known as rape kits, sitting in storage.

Human Rights Watch's national recommendations include:

The Obama administration should appoint a special adviser on violence against women in the US; Congress should restore full funding to the Office on Violence Against Women; The Department of Justice, through the National Institute of Justice, should authorize comprehensive studies that more accurately track sexual and domestic violence in the US, especially among individuals who are least likely to be surveyed by the National Crime Victimization Survey; Congress should increase funding for sexual and domestic violence prevention, intervention, and treatment programs; Congress should amend the federal Debbie Smith Act, a grant program designed to eliminate the rape kit backlog, but that states can and have used for other kinds of DNA backlogs; The US should ratify the UN Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), which obligates states to prevent, protect against, and punish violence against women.

Intimate violence

  • About 1 in 320 households were affected by intimate partner violence.
  • Female victims are more likely to be victimized by intimates than male victims. In 2005, of offenders victimizing females, 18% were described as intimates and 34% as strangers. By contrast, of offenders victimizing males, 3% were described as intimates and 54% as strangers.
  • The rate of nonfatal intimate violence against females declined by nearly half between 1993 and 2001.
  • Between 1976 and 2002, about 11% of murder victims were determined to have been killed by an intimate.
  • The sharpest decrease in number of intimate murders has been for black male victims. An 81% percent decrease in the number of black men murdered by intimates occurred between 1976 and 2002.




Opinions expressed in various sections are the sole responsibility of their authors and they may not represent