My father; the wife beater.

​Reverberating sounds of slaps, punches and screaming echoes through the corridors into the room. A chaos of sounds made on and from the body. My younger sibling crawls up to me and seeks protection in my arms while I try to control my anger and the hot tears in my eyes. I am hearing my mother getting beaten and I’m powerless to prevent it . 

Quran 4:34 has given me the worst experiences and memories ever. The strings of incidents that still follows and that prevents me from being honest about who I am. I have no patience for apologists and Muslims who try and excuse this verse. I have seen it first hand many times. It is sanctioned in Islam. That is a fact. 

Yes, my dad is a wife beater. I don’t know why I am sharing this story here. But I want to speak about it, and how it was, is and will be always justified with a Quranic verse. I know the fact the Qu’ran justifies it will be hard to accept but the truth always is. 

The verse didn’t make him beat his wife. I am aware of that, but it helps him to justify his action as it is permissible to “strike ones wife if you fear arrogance from her”. But still I couldn’t always accept that as an excuse for the violence in the place I call my home. He didn’t fear Allah, didn’t think he was committing any sin by beating her.

Going between them never helps, because what happens between a man and his wife can not be questioned either. (Sunan Abu Dawood: 2142) Our most beloved prophet allowed a man to beat his wife. And apologists say he was a feminist and Islam honours women when you see so many verses that are obviously making women inferior to men.

Wife beating and all the Quranic verses and Hadiths that justifies such violence were one of the reason why I left Islam. I couldn’t stay in a religion that allows violence or inhuman activities. 

It didn’t matter what she would have done or where and how light he beat her. The only thing that mattered was Islam allowed wife beating to keep your wife in check, and make her submit to you and your needs. 

Muhammad said do not strike on the face. It’s the principle that mattered. However lightly, it’s still domestic abuse. 

 The Quranic verses that talks about wife beating: 

I know that the last Ayah talks about not breaking an oaths. But if you read the story behind it you will understand that the beating there wasn’t necessary. But to God breaking ones oath is worse than beating his wife. He didn’t care about the women’s sufferings that were about to arise from that verse.

Muhammad himself hit his favourite wife Aisha in the chest(Sahih Muslim, Book 004, Number 2127) 

Bukhari (72:715)Muslim (4:2127), Muslim (9:3506)Abu Dawud (2141) are some among the authentic justifications about wife beating in Islam. The point is it’s not a unislamic issue , in fact it’s VERY Islamic.

This is the matter in many Muslim households all around the world. My story is neither the worst, nor uncommon. Reading them are not going to stop it but it will at least encourage us to learn about the original ideology. 

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My name is Hafsa

I was brought up in a family of generations and generations of Muslims, who lived and died as Muslims. Our family was a huge, religious family who was all in contact with each other all the time according to the Islamic way of life. My aunts and cousins wear the Niqab and Jilbab with their abaya while the males sport a beard and preach Islam. Yeah, that is my family. Many of the males have gone to the Islamic Madrasas and one of them is also in the Islamic Council in our country.They have accepted Allah and devoted their life to Deen while I was not religious.

Since I was a child, I have always questioned a lot of things about Islam and it’s concepts, but I was never given an answer for it. I was disciplined for asking questions that would be against my religion, and some told it was Shaitan that was fuelling curiosity to my innocent mind. My parents were embarrassed because of me.

One of my favorite cousins told me to accept Allah and put my trust on him.

I was a Muslim, praying only in front of my parents and fasting only because my mother stopped annoying me with eating. It became a part of life, with me stop caring about it and blindly going with their trend. I went on with life and studies with all these questions in my mind, and I finished my O/L’s.

That is when my life changed. My mother knowing me well, paid to attend a workshop for young Muslim women. I didn’t want to go there, but she forced me into going. During those three days, I learnt a lot about Islam and how much Islam respected women. I was amazed by the religion and started praying for real. I knew I wouldn’t change my life so quickly so I took baby steps. When my father asked me to wear the abaya then, I agreed to him and started wearing it with honor. I stopped talking to my cousin brothers except in front of my parents. Everything went well.

At the previously mentioned workshop, they connected us with a group of young women according to their place to one person. We were to attend their place once a week and discuss Islam. I loved the empowering energy there and went without failure. Our leader wanted us to learn the Quran on our own while we discuss it there too. That worked well for me, I love reading and learning everything.

As months passed away, I started questioning more things. Now, I knew a lot of things but I couldn’t stop questioning. I ignored them as much as possible, accepting it to be Shaitan’s way to weaken my Iman.

I told myself, I didn’t know enough of the religion and I kept learning.

Slowly as I learnt, my Iman weakened, I found many things that were unfair to mankind. I stopped going for the class thinking all the discussion there has started to make me feel overwhelmed. By the time, I went back to school for my A/L’s, I’m in doubt.

Life changes as we learn more and get matured about things.

When at school, I regretted my choice of wearing the abaya. Not immediately, but after a year or so in school. My school was a Muslim girls school so I had to wear hijab there too, but I couldn’t stop wondering what I could have done if not for this hijab covering me from everyone. I told my parents and that didn’t go well. So I wore it every day with hatred. During those two years, things started getting more violent around me. My mind never at rest, kept me awake during nights with a lot of questions.

Finishing my A/L’s, I came back to the reality of an Islamic family. I have read a lot during my A/L’s (actually I preferred reading nonstudying materials to my school books). I found many things that contradict things that were taught to me at the class and by my elder cousins. This time, I didn’t keep my questions away. I asked them out loud and was ignored by everyone. I started getting cynical and get violent with my feelings. The whole family decided that my outspoken personality is not good and stopped letting the little ones to converse with me. I was cool with it because it meant fewer people in my life. I kept on reading and writing (my biggest passion) while things happened around me, and finally decided I can’t do this religion thing anymore.

I’m done with religion.

That was what I said to myself. 

There were more things that happened during each of these times, I will get to them while reasoning out and admitting the reason that made me #exMuslimbecause