Subhan Allah, domestic violence in a marriage is a topic I have debated and re-debated writing about numerous times. While it's a very controversial topic, it's also an extremely important one that we need to discuss. This sensitive topic is close to a lot of hearts, but many choose to remain silent.
Let's start by discussing the essence that a marriage should be based on and what we should follow to make it succeed. We have the guidance and structure that is prescribed in the Quran. In addition, we have the example of the best of humanity, Prophet Muhammad (صَلّى االلهُ عَلَيْهِ وسَلَّم).
The Prophet (صَلّى االلهُ عَلَيْهِ وسَلَّم) showed us through his Sunnah ways in which spouses should interact with you each other. He gave us examples of so many things by being the best of examples.
In one hadith this is what he tells us: Abu Hurairah narrated that The Messenger (ﷺ) of Allah said: “The most complete of the believers in faith, is the one with the best character among them. And the best of you are those who are best to your women.”
عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ، قَالَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم" أَكْمَلُ الْمؤْمِنِينَ إِيمَانًا أَحْسَنُهُمْ خُلُقًا وَخِيَارُكُمْ خِيَارُكُمْ لِنِسَائِهِمْ خُلُقًا "
Further in another hadith: Abu Hurairah (Allah be pleased with him) reported Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) as saying: A believing man should not hate a believing woman; if he dislikes one of her characteristics, he will be pleased with another.
عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ، قَالَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم " لاَ يَفْرَكْ مُؤْمِنٌ مُؤْمِنَةً إِنْ كَرِهَ مِنْهَا خُلُقًا رَضِيَ مِنْهَا آخَرَ ."
This last hadith shows us that we are all not perfect human beings and thus, we shouldn't expect perfection from each other.
Arguments between spouses are a normal part of a relationship. How these arguments are handled and how often they occur is an important aspect. Different research studies have been published that showed arguing too much or not at all, are signs that a relationship isn't going too well. Communication, admitting fault, and being frank are a crucial part of having a successful marriage.
We need to remember that the culture or norm that one grows up in is not the norm of our beautiful deen. Islam doesn't encourage harming women, disrespecting them, or mistreating them. There are a lot of misconceptions that we as a community have to overcome in this area.
In our beautiful deen, men are taught to treat women with respect, love, and rahmah (mercy). After all, women are our mothers, sisters, daughters, nieces, aunts, granddaughters, and grandmothers.
In Surat Al-Nisa, verse 19, Allah subhan Wa talla tells us:
وَعَاشِرُوهُنَّ بِالْمعْرُوفِ فَإِن كَرِهْتُمُوهُنَّ فَعَسَىٰ أَن تَكْرَهُوا شَيْئًا وَيَجْعَلَ اللَّهُ فِيهِ خَيْرًا كَثِيرً
"...And live with them in kindness. But if you dislike them, then perhaps that you dislike a thing and Allah placed in it much good."
A relationship could be deemed as abusive if it contains verbal, emotional, or physical forms of abuse.
Here are some signs that a relationship is not healthy: