26: Domestic Violence

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Domestic Violence (DV) is a prevalent issue in society today.

Statistics in Trinidad and Tobago [Newsday 2023[1]] indicate:

  • 30% of all women in intimate relationships have experienced physical or sexual abuse from their partners, and
  • 1 in 5 women (20%) having experienced abuse by non-partners within their lifetimes.

Statistics reflect that DV is not restricted or limited to any specific group in society – it includes persons of different races, ages, localities, economic classes and educational backgrounds. While primarily perpetuated by males to females, DV is not restricted to a specific gender – abuse is also meted out by women to men. That being said, that 50% of women experience abuse in their lifetimes is significant, startling and unacceptable.

The effects of DV go far beyond the individuals involved, and impact other members of families, extended relationships, the neighborhood, the workplace, security and health sectors. It damages affected individuals’ morale; their confidence levels; their behaviors and physical capabilities; decision making and cognitive functions; faith and trust in others and in Allah; can even result in irreversible physical, psychological and emotional damage; and in murder or suicide.

DV is neither permissible nor excusable in Islam. All Muslims are required to honor their families and abide by the Islamic injunctions that guide us on how to operate as a family unit. Islam means peace, and we greet each other with peace. That being said, reports indicate that Muslims are not immune to domestic violence, and this paper is an effort towards eradicating the presence of this phenomenon in the Muslim community. There should be no incidents of domestic violence in Muslim households – rather, Muslims should be at the forefront of being an example for others and working towards solving the issues in the wider national context. We call on the Muslim community to adopt a ZERO-TOLERANCE policy towards DV in their homes and in their families.

[1] https://newsday.co.tt/2023/03/09/deyalsingh-reveals-startling-data-6250-domestic-violence-cases-in-2-years/


DV is defined as violent or aggressive behavior within the home, typically involving the violent abuse of a spouse or partner, of parents and children, or among family members or residents sharing a property. It includes physical, sexual, emotional or psychological or financial abuse committed by a person against a spouse, child, any other person who is a member of the household or a dependent. [Trinidad and Tobago Domestic Violence Act Ch. 45.56, 1999[1]]

[1] Ministry of the Attorney General and Legal Affairs Domestic Violence Act 1999 


Abuse is a broad term and relates in a general sense to the cruel or violent behaviors perpetrated by one party to another, or in other connotations from improper use of substances and materials.

It is important to note that DV is includes, but not the same as, violence. Violence entails the use of physical force to cause harm. Where physical violence in involved, these can attract additional charges or accusations of assault, battery, and other breaches of the law based on the prevailing circumstances and jurisdictions. Violent interactions can manifest in relationships, or by complete strangers, and can be one-off incidents or patterns of repeated behavior. DV may include use of force, but also includes the victim’s fear of being harmed.

DV, on the other hand, may take physical and/or non-physical forms, and hinges on aggression by someone in a position of power against another, in a domicile. Some jurisdictions make the distinction between domestic violence as being between spouses, whereas acts against others in the household, including children, are classed as domestic abuse. In this paper, we include under the banner of DV acts against others in the household or in long-term relationships, including acts against children, extended family or neighbors.

In this consideration, abuse can take different forms, including:

  • Physical abuse in the form of acts of violence or suppression that injures a person
  • Verbal abuse and the act of making cruel remarks against another person. This includes the use of threats aimed at another person (e.g. the threat of divorce)
  • Emotional & psychological abuse that are perpetrated to control, isolate or frighten others. These include blackmail, threats, insults, constant scrutiny, manipulation, humiliation, intimidation, frustration, dismissiveness, disrespect or neglect
  • Economic abuse in the form of withholding from someone their just dues, limiting resources and/or access to resources; or giving the bare minimum to instill feelings of unrest or anxiety or dependency.
  • Sexual abuse in the form of sexual acts forced upon another person, without their consent. This includes acts against men, women and children, and includes rape, assault, exploitation, harassment, or sharing sexual images / recordings of others without their consent. In some cases sexual abuse includes incest perpetrated by parents or guardians on children.
  • Technological or digital abuse, through which technology devices and tools are used to control, coerce, threaten, stalk, harm or incite others to do the same against other individuals. This includes but is not limited to cyber bullying.
  • Spiritual abuse in the form of obeah, voodoo or other acts designed to affect others, or give the impression of affecting others, physically, mentally, spiritually in their wake to sleep states, at home or elsewhere.


DV is usually framed in the presence of some type of abuse among relations and those in a dwelling. We recognize DV to feature commonly among different types of relations, not restricted to a dwelling or residence, but in its proximity by distance (i.e. neighbors) or in proximity of relations (family members). From this view, DV commonly features in:

  • Relations of husband and wife, either as a married couple or as courting or divorced couples. Relations can become abusive in singular instances or become a pattern of behavior.
  • Parents or step-parents and children, occurring in both directions. In some instances the parent might become abusive towards the child/children, and in other instances child might become abusive towards the parents
  • Children and their siblings. Some children at times can become abusive towards their siblings either as patterns of behavior or temporarily and mend relations soon after. From experiences shared with MajlisTT this often occurs among adult siblings when new members of families are introduced (such as the spouse of a sibling) which changes the relationship dynamics. Other instances suggest lingering issues of favoritism, allocation of inheritance or control of resources and assets, or tension arising from use of shared spaces.
  • Extended family relations (cousins, uncles, aunts, grandparents, etc.). This can typically manifest as similar iterations of children and siblings – new family relationship dynamics, differential treatment and/or tension arising from use of shared spaces.
  • The relations of in-laws. Tension among in-laws can become abusive – typically with abuse erupting after a build-up of friction, tension or other forms of discontent over a period of time; but otherwise in one-off instances of disquiet or disrespect.
  • Among neighbors. Similar to relations of in-laws, tension features from buildup of issues, or singular instances of disquiet that trigger violent outbursts.


The effects of DV reverberate to not just the individuals involved, but to the other members of the family and the extended families, neighborhood and friends or acquaintances, the workplace, and even at the national level of security and health facilities, etc.

Effects of DV include

Physical Health: common physical effects include:

  • Death: murder, suicide or both
  • Paralysis or loss of use of organs or limbs
  • Disfigurement, scarring
  • Bruises, cuts, swelling or sprains on the head, face or body
  • Broken limbs or dislocated joints
  • Involuntary trembling or shaking
  • Cold sweating
  • Shortness of breath
  • Muscle tension
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Unhealthy weight loss / gain
  • Changes in eating and sleeping patterns, including insomnia
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Menstrual cycle or fertility issues in women

In addition, longer-term effects include chronic illnesses that affect: blood pressure, circulation issues, breathing difficulties, digestive issues including kidney failure, cancer, stroke or heart disease or more.

Mental Health: common mental effects include:

  • Anguish, distress, desperation or violation
  • Anger, irritability, short-temper, aggression or low tolerance
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), including flashbacks, nightmares, severe anxiety, and uncontrollable thoughts
  • Fear, anxiety, nervousness or restlessness
  • Psychological disorders and disruptive behavioural patterns
  • Memory loss
  • Depression, including prolonged sadness
  • Suicidal thoughts or attempts
  • Alcohol, drug or other substance abuse
  • Low self-esteem, low self-worth, insecurities, feelings of inadequacy or feeling unworthy
  • Apprehension, discouragement, demotivation, deference
  • Distrust, fear or avoidance of commitment, aversion to building relationships

Homelessness, Migration or Poverty: Resulting from DV incidents, some become homeless or are forced to migrate or live in poverty and squalor as a result.

Abandoning Religion: Some people convert to other religions or abandon Islam or religion entirely after experiencing DV incidents.

Infidelity & Divorce: Some persons, after DV incidents, can engage in infidelity, or choose divorce as a consequence of DV incidents.

Many victims of DV experience combinations of the above effects. Effects are always immediate, and often extend into the short, medium and long terms. Some persons do not have an opportunity to feel the effects – their lives are taken at the time of the incident. Others are able to put it behind them and live functional lives. Yet others live with the occurrence and its memory over extended periods.

For some people, DV becomes what they are familiar with or all they know, and they perpetuate its occurrence in their relations with others throughout their lives – continuing a cycle of abuse across generations and societies.

How can a human being do this to another? We look at the root causes of DV in society.


There are a range of various causes that can be identified that trigger instances of DV. These causes can be the result of (1) issues affecting the individual perpetrator, (2) a reaction to behaviors of the victim, (3) the influence of the cultural or social environment, or (4) combinations thereof. We can identify root causes to include:

Individual / Personal Causes

Attachment and abandonment psychological issues. These include a range of behaviors and psychological behavior patterns that feature which cause tension and friction in relationships, including:

  • Distrust
  • Fear of intimacy or commitment
  • Fear of rejection / pushing others away
  • Relationship anxiety / codependency
  • Separation anxiety
  • Settling in unsatisfactory relationships / maintaining unhealthy relationships
  • Emotional instability
  • Envy and jealousy
  • The need to control others
  • Constant need for reassurance
  • Constantly striving to please others / everyone
  • Feelings of insecurity or hyper-competition
  • Hypersensitivity to criticism
  • Overthinking and rumination

Psychological disorders, including bi-polarity, depression, attention-deficit disorders, insanity, dictatorial / narcissistic / megalomanic behaviors, or a propensity to tyranny, cruelty or a lack of empathy (typically labelled as psychopath or sociopath).

Substance abuse and addiction. Especially use of narcotics, either those that can be obtained legally or illegally.

Misinterpretation or misinformation of Islam and what is acceptable, such as an erroneous perception of the permissibility of abusive behaviors in relations.

Envy in relationships – envy between partners where 1 becomes envious of the other, or envy of partners against others in relationships.

Control and challenges to authority, particularly where 1 person attempts to dictate and another rebels or sabotages such attempts.

People want to be heard, seek attention or lash out against others. In some instances, persons act out against those in proximity, even though those victims were not the intended targets of DV acts. In others, perpetrators act out against a situation irrespective of who becomes the victims.

Emotional immaturity or poor anger or crisis management. Different persons have different ways of reacting to situations or communications, which can include inconsideration for others and perpetuation of feelings of disrespect, belittling, hostility or otherwise negative behaviors. In other instances, some persons equate assertiveness with aggression, or poorly manage anger and let it feature in negative ways including DV. In times of perceived crises, especially with high emotive states or severe consequences, DV also can feature when interaction becomes strained, misconstrued, or opposing among parties.

Interpersonal Causes

Poor choices in choosing partners, including common law relationships. Person of diverse backgrounds, cultures, values and beliefs coming together can increases the risk of friction and tension – either in their relations or in the relations of their families’ interaction. The keyword is the risk of tension – which is not absolute.

Differences in lifestyle preferences or values and beliefs. Differing values, beliefs or behaviors based on perception of what is right or wrong, what is permissible or not, what is expected or what is insisted on, all serve as examples of differences that can cause tension and lead to DV behaviors.

Miscommunication or misunderstandings on single issues or in general conduct. Instances of misunderstood communications, actions or behaviors all feature to misconstrue understandings, create doubt, or infer erroneous meanings, which lead to tension and instances of DV.

Changes to behavior after marriage or after having children – for e.g. if 1 person becomes more pious and the other more wayward. From the experiences shared, it features in some instances that persons in relationships choose different pathways in their religious or social conduct, which leads to tension and instances of DV.

Some people promulgate or engage in gossip, lies, slander and other similar behaviors that result in instances of DV.

Financial & Resource Causes

Financial problems and the stress or misalignment of priorities as a result of resource scarcity. There were instances where persons had different priorities that led to dissonance, tension and outbursts of DV. In other instances, stress of poverty causes strains and tension in the relationships, with triggers often leading to DV incidents.

Disagreement on matters relating to inheritance and property. Instances featuring disagreements of how resources are shared, accessed, or assets are distributed often lead to tension and outbreaks of DV among parties. Some may feel left out, sidelined, cheated, discriminated against, used or victimized, which can result in DV incidents. Conflicting positions, preferences, priorities or pursuits also risk breeding tension that can manifest as DV.

Environmental, Social and Cultural Causes

External influences. There have been instances described where persons were influenced by others, including their peers, social circles, work colleagues, family members, to perpetuate DV incidents, or act in ways that result in incidents of DV by the affected parties. In some cases persons were ill-advised and in others persons were embarrassed into acting in particular ways, leading to DV incidents.

Cultural practices and social norms. There are instances where cultural practices result in DV incidents. Expectations of different parties result in tension. In a common thread of occurrences, the wife moves into her husband’s family dwelling and becomes the servant to the household, triggering instances of DV. This also features as preconceived notions of family roles – for e.g. after marriage the wife is expected to leave her job and stay at home.

Family structure and relationships. Broken homes, single-parent homes, abusive, neglectful or inconsiderate parents, step-parents, children or family members all feature to foster situations where DV occurs. In some single-parent homes persons become abusive to their children in fits of frustration and anger. In others, persons were neglectful or abusive to their elderly parents who relied on them for care. In yet others, some family members felt taken advantage of in dealing with some situations while other family members exhibited disregard, taking advantage of the situation for personal gain, or otherwise exhibiting negative behaviors towards them. These can lead to instances of DV.

Metaphysical or Supernatural Causes

Jinn & Sehr (practices of magic and other efforts involving supernatural forces). In some cases persons can be affected directly or indirectly by metaphysical forces and behave in ways that result in DV incidents – perpetrated by themselves or against their persons by others.

Spiritual issues (the influence of Shaitan/Satan). Some persons can be influenced in their thinking by Shaitan to act in certain ways that result in DV incidents. In one instance a person who was always playfully mischievous to their partner triggered a DV incident, which resulted in disruptive effects to the individuals and their relationship. 

In summary

The general root causes can be attributed to:

  • Values and beliefs which may vary by individual and over time
  • Individual psychology, personality and behavior
  • Interpersonal interaction abilities and maturity
  • Culture, customs and practices
  • Persons may not want others to know of instances of DV affecting them, their families or persons in their circles. This may happen for a number of reasons:
  • A person might feel embarrassed to have others learn of their situation, or fear that raising the issue would embarrass the family or popular individuals involved.
  • A person may choose to bear the sacrifice for the sake of his/her children, household and its stability
  • A person may not have someone they can turn to, confide in or trust, or they may not trust that others would handle the issue with diplomacy or tact
  • A person may want to escape the situation (with or without their dependents) but not have the means to look after themselves or find alternative arrangements.
  • Fear that if they leave and are caught, they can be subject to even harsher treatment or they may endanger those they leave behind.


Some persons misunderstand or misrepresent Islam to fit their outlook, narrative, culture or otherwise adhere to beliefs and practices which they were wrongly taught. We address the issues relating to DV from Islamic theology, to clarify its position.

7.1 Permissibility of husbands to beat their wives

Some persons interpret Islam to maintain that it is permissible for men to beat their wives based on the Quranic verse (Quran 4:34) – and use this as the justification for acts of DV. The Quran says:

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). [Quran 4: 34]

Such persons should note the conditions and sequence of activities enunciated in the Quran, and not overstep Quranic injunctions, or adhere to the principle without or beyond the defined conditions.

  1. Admonish them
  2. Separate from them in beds
  3. Beat them (lightly)

In Tafsir ibn Kathir it is mentioned it should not be a severe beating that is administered. Beating lightly is informed in Ahadith (that specify do not slap the face, do not cause severe injury such as breaking bones, etc.) Abdullah ibn Abbas narrated this means striking with a miswak or something small. Generally, this provision is understood to mean causing embarrassment, not pain, and be the basis for her to realize she has done something wrong, not cause her harm. Finally, we remind persons of the hadith that guides us “people who beat their wives are not the best of you.”

We remind Muslims of the guidance from Quran and Ahadith with regards to treatment of women:

O believers treat women with kindness even if you dislike them; it is quite possible that you dislike something which Allah might yet make a source of abundant good (An Nisa 4:19)

And of His signs is that He created for you from yourselves mates that you may find tranquility in them; and He placed between you affection and mercy. Indeed in that are signs for a people who give thought” (Ar-Rum 30:21)

A companion asked the Prophet Muhammad (peace be on him) 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 Dawood)

Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, “The believers who show the most perfect Faith are those who have the best behavior, and the best of you are those who are the best to their wives, and I am the best to my family”. (At-Tirmidhi)

7.2 The position of the husband as leader of the family, and ways to deal constructively with opposing views by his wife

In Islam, the husband is the leader of the household. We are told this in the hadith:

Ibn ‘Umar reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, “All of you are shepherds and each of you is responsible for his flock. A man is the shepherd of the people of his house and he is responsible. A woman is the shepherd of the house of her husband and she is responsible. Each of you is a shepherd and each is responsible for his flock.”

While decision-making is at the discretion of the head of the household, leadership is and should be established from the home. To be an effective leader, the husband should consult and engage with the members of the household regarding matters affecting them, and try to gain consensus. We are guided thusly in the Quran:

And those who have responded to their lord and established prayer and whose affair is [determined by] consultation among themselves, and from what We have provided them, they spend. (Quran 42:38)

Consultation includes not just the wife, but also children when they have the capacity to understand good from evil.

And those who pray, “Our Lord! Grant unto us wives and offspring who will be the comfort of our eyes, and give us (the grace) to lead the righteous.” [Quran 25:74]

The best of you is the best to his family, and I am the best to my family. (Tirmidhi).

In so doing, the husband has the opportunity to live good, be good and do good, having open channel of communication.

Wives must respect and honor their husbands, and obey them. We are told in Islam:

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….” (Quran 4:34)

“And they (women) have rights (over their husbands as regards living expenses) similar (to those of their husbands) over them (as regards obedience and respect) to what is reasonable” (Quran 2:228)

Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) is reported to have said: “It is not permissible for a woman to fast when her husband is present except with his permission, or to allow anyone in his house without his permission.”

We remind everyone that obedience to the husband regarding permissible acts is obligatory on wives. We are told in a hadith:

Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) is reported to have said: “There is no obedience to any created being if it involves disobedience toward the Creator.”

Obedience does not mean subservience or slavery, however. Husbands are reminded that marriage is based on love, mercy, honor, peace, and dispensing his responsibilities with justice and refinement.

7.3 The role of the man when faced with conflicts between his wife and his mother/parents

Relations between in-law frequently occur in households. In instances of tension, obedience by the wife to the husband takes priority. For the man, obedience to his mother takes priority. A man has more rights over his wife than her parents. The man should obey his parents because they have more rights over him.

At the same time, it should be noted that the wife is the stewardess of her household, not living with (and under the influence of) her in-laws. It should be noted that generally, married couples live on their own. Conditions may vary across societies – it is left to the individual to observe this practice as an Islamic principle. It is better for the couple to live together separately from others.

We also note the rights of the wife enshrined in Islam – the husband must provide (within his means) the mahr; finances (for provision for the household); and accommodation

7.4 The acceptability of corporal punishment for disciplining children

Some persons defend the permissibility of persons to discipline their children through the use of corporal punishment. Such persons are reminded of the hadith following:

On the authority of Abdullah bin Amr bin Al-Aas, may God be pleased with them both: The Prophet, may God’s prayers and peace be upon him, said: (Command your children to pray when they are seven years old, and beat them for doing so when they are ten years old, and separate them in their beds); (Narrated by Ahmad and Abu Dawud)

The conditions for this provision are highlighted – it relates to the child’s inclination to pray, and also manifests as a sequence over a period of years of reminders and encouragement. Persons are guided to encourage children, advise them, command them, and after that process, are allowed to administer corporal punishment, from 10 years onwards.

Muslims are guided to temper the severity of punishment in this instance. We remind persons of the hadith “He is not from amongst us the one who does not have mercy on children or respect for the elders.”

Whilst corporal punishment is manifest in the penal law (hudood or judicial decree), this is done for persons convicted in a court for different types of misconduct, in Islamic countries. In domestic situations, for children, while it is seen as a last resort, there is no record in sunnah that Prophet Muhammad (peace be on him) beat any individual or any animal.

Anas ibn Malik reported: I served the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, for ten years. By Allah, he never even said to me, “Uff!” He never said harshly, “Why did you do that?” or, “Why did you not do that?”

Persons who fear Allah and follow the Sunnah in their interactions with others (as representatives of Allah) will temper their behavior, and avoid harsh or dissociative actions against others. The family should be kind, loving, gentle, merciful to one another. So that everyone behaves with each other in an environment of love, kindness, patience and perseverance.


How do we solve the issue of DV and mitigate the damaging effects on persons?

Solutions would feature at different levels, including that of the Muslim community as a whole, the institutions and jamaats (including volunteers / activists championing the issue), and the individuals. Of the individuals, different parties would include the aggressors or perpetuators of DV, the victims, related parties to the first 2, and others. We look at the role of each one:

8.1 Community

We believe that Islam is the perfect way of life, and presents the right balance of individual behavior, interpersonal interaction principles, guides and examples, and social justice.

We reiterate the position that there should be no incidents of domestic violence in Muslim households. We call on the Muslim community to adopt a ZERO-TOLERANCE policy towards DV in their homes, neighborhoods and in their families.

Instead, Muslims should be at the forefront of being an example for others and working towards solving the issues in the wider national context. The community should see it as a collective responsibility to ensure that its members are protected – in particular the more vulnerable – elderly, infirmed, women and children.

Given the sensitive nature of the problems identified, there needs to be some undertaking by the community to support the provision of arrangements or facilities that offer protection and care for affected members. This can include:

  • A family court to look at Muslim cases and advise on Islamic solutions or guidelines to help with issues
  • Institutions that can provide the needed services to victims and those affected, while adhering to Islamic injunctions on dresscode, parda, meals, and avenues to practice Islam.
  • Trained counsellors, mediators, psychologists, doctors, nurses, social workers and other persons involved in care for victims, children and others affected.
  • Support network of persons who have been able to overcome the negative effects of DV, and are in a position to help others do the same.
  • Print and digital content and materials on the issues, including research and statistical insights, kuthbas, case studies and highlights.

8.2 Institutions and Jamaats

Institutions: Some institutions provide dedicated care and support to persons affected by DV. These include the following (This is not an endorsement of any institution, and information is subject to change without notice).

National bodies

  • Family Court (See Courts Services Directory Appendix 1)
  • Regional Health Authorities (See Contact Information Appendix 2)
  • Social Welfare Division, Ministry of Social Development and Family Services (https://social.gov.tt/social-welfare-division/) (See Appendix 3)
  • Police – 999
  • Ambulance Services – 990
  • The Children’s Authority Hotline Numbers – 996 / 1 (868) 800-2014

Active NGOs and institutions:

  • 1 (868) 800-SAVE – Domestic Violence Abuse Hotline
  • Rape Crisis Hotline – 1 (868) 627-7273
  • Legal Aid – 1 (868) 625-0454
  • Family Court – 1 (868) 627-8716/623-2631/624-1307
  • Victim and Witness Support – 1 (868) 624-8853
  • The Shelter (A safehouse for victims of domestic violence) 1 (868) 345-4218 / 1 (868) 345-4555 / admin@trinidadshelter.com

Jamaats & Individual Advocates

The jamaats stand at the front lines to ensure DV issues are preventatively and correctively managed within their communities. Their involvement can feature in a number of ways.

Awareness: Imams, kateebs and advocates can prepare / deliver kuthbas, talks and distribution materials to raise awareness of the issue, highlight the Islamic position, guide persons on the signs and symptoms that feature, advocate for the need for action and sensitize persons on the root causes and its effects.

Monitoring: Imams and jamaat officers are best-placed to know the families aligned to the jamaat, and through regular interaction can detect signs of DV, or risks of its occurrence.

We also note that data to inform measurement of instances of DV are not available. As such, institutions seeking to track the number of incidents should liaise with bodies that are involved – in the institutions listed above, as well as organs like the Divorce council and related bodies that are positioned to capture such data. In the agenda of Zero-tolerance, such monitoring can inform progress, and direct efforts to programs and responses that have demonstrable results.

Services: Imams and jamaat officers can orchestrate services to the community to help avoid or resolve issues, including:

  • Establishing a hotline or other mechanism to receive calls and reports of instances of DV.
  • Hosting a visit by practicing psychologists or counsellors to speak to the issue as part of events, share cases, outline issues, risks and treatments.
  • Imams and jamaat officers can take action where necessary – speaking to parties, referring persons to trained personnel, making reports (even discreetly) on behalf of victims. There would be the need for training for persons getting involved in this space.
  • Establish a data-sheet of the issue, including contact information and other supporting information (including for e.g. nearby police station contact information) and guidelines as required.
  • Build trained persons in the jamaat to be able to provide support, through for e.g. counselling, mediation, print and digital content and materials

8.3 Individuals

Some persons have been aggressors and perpetrators of DV. Others, victims, while yet others, witnesses or parties related to the situation or incidents.

8.3.1 Islamic guidance relating to the issues

Islam guides us on treating with the issues in a number of ways. Some guidance apply to the perpetrators of DV, others to victims or other related parties. Some guidance applies to all persons.

  • Do not be aggressive to others: Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet also said: “None of you should point his weapon at his brother, as Satan may provoke him (to hurt his brother) and as a result, he would fall into a pit of Fire.” (Al-Bukhari)

(Abdullah ibn Mas’ud reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “The believer does not insult others, he does not curse others, he is not vulgar, and he is not shameless.” Source: Sunan al-Tirmidhī

  • Do your duty responsibly to those in your care: Ibn ‘Umar reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, “All of you are shepherds and each of you is responsible for his flock. A man is the shepherd of the people of his house and he is responsible. A woman is the shepherd of the house of her husband and she is responsible. Each of you is a shepherd and each is responsible for his flock.”
  • Be forgiving and seek forgiveness: seek forgiveness abundantly, overlook the faults or mistakes of others if they have wronged you in the past, and know that Allah is Most Forgiving, Most Merciful. Islam tells us:

“Say, “O My servants who have transgressed against themselves [by sinning], do not despair of the mercy of Allah. Indeed, Allah forgives all sins. Indeed, it is He who is the Forgiving, the Merciful.” (Qur’an 39:53)

“And those who, when they commit an immorality or wrong themselves [by transgression], remember Allāh and seek forgiveness for their sins – and who can forgive sins except Allāh? – and [who] do not persist in what they have done while they know.” (Quran 3:135)

Abdullah ibn Amr reported: The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Be merciful to others, and you will receive mercy. Forgive others, and Allah will forgive you.” [Bukhari]

  • Do not be unjust to others: “We made a covenant with you, that you shall not shed your blood, nor shall you evict each other from your homes. You agreed and bore witness.” (Qur’an, 2:84)

“Who is more unjust than one who invents a lie against Allah or rejects His signs? Beware, the unjust shall not prosper.” (Quran 6:21)

  • Restrain your anger: Those who can control their anger have strength, and those who cannot are powerless in the face of it. We are told in a hadith: “The powerful man is not the one who can wrestle, but the powerful man is the one who can control himself at the time of anger.” We are taught in Islam:

Restrain your anger: Who spend [in the cause of Allah] during ease and hardship and who restrain anger and who pardon the people, and Allah loves the doers of good. (Quran 3:134)

Do not get angry: Abu Hurayrah (reported): “A man said to the Prophet, ‘Give me advice.’ The Prophet, peace be upon him, said, ‘Do not get angry.’ The man asked repeatedly and the Prophet answered each time, ‘Do not get angry.’” [Bukhari & Muslim]

Do not display anger: Prophet Muhammad (peace be on him) is reported to have said: “When one of you becomes angry while standing, he should sit down. If the anger leaves him, well and good; otherwise he should lie down.”

Stay silent when angry: Prophet Muhammad (peace be on him) is reported to have said: “If one of you becomes angry then he should stay silent.”

Make wudhu: Prophet Muhammad (peace be on him) is reported to have said: “Anger comes from the devil, the devil was created from fire, and fire is extinguished only with water. So when one of you becomes angry, he should make wudu.”

  • Be patient: “O ye who believe! seek help with patient perseverance and prayer; for Allah is with those who patiently persevere.” (Quran 2:153)

“And obey Allâh and His Messenger, and do not dispute (with one another) lest you lose courage and your strength departs, and be patient. Surely, Allâh is with those who are As-Sâbirûn (the patient).” (Quran 8:46)

  • Defend yourself: “Certainly, those who stand up for their rights, when injustice befalls them, are not committing any error. The wrong ones are those who treat the people unjustly, and resort to aggression without provocation. These have incurred a painful retribution. Resorting to patience and forgiveness reflects a true strength of character.” (Qur’an, 42:37-43)

“You may fight against those who attack you, but do not aggress. God does not love the aggressors. You may kill those who wage war against you, and you may evict them whence they evicted you. Oppression is worse than murder. Do not fight them at the Sacred Masjid, unless they attack you therein. If they attack you, you may kill them. This is the just retribution for those disbelievers. If they refrain, then God is Forgiver, Most Merciful. You may also fight them to eliminate oppression, and to worship God freely. If they refrain, you shall not aggress; aggression is permitted only against the aggressors.” (Qur’an, 2:190-193)

“Permission is granted to those who are being persecuted, since injustice has befallen them, and God is certainly able to support them. “[They are] those who have been evicted from their homes without right, only because they say, ‘Our Lord is Allah.’ And were it not that Allah checks the people, some by means of others, there would have been demolished monasteries, churches, synagogues, and mosques in which the name of Allah is much mentioned. And Allah will surely support those who support Him. Indeed, Allah is Powerful and Exalted in Might.” (Qur’an, 22:39-40)

  • Take necessary steps to improve your condition: “Indeed, Allāh will not change the condition of a people until they change what is in themselves.” (Quran 13:11)
  • Make Du’a to Allah, and Trust in Him to look after your affairs: “I respond to the invocation of the supplicant when he calls upon Me” (Qur’an 2:186).

Indeed Allah provides to whom He wills with no limit! (Quran 3:37)

We are told in a Hadith Qudsi, “Whoever comes to Me walking, I will come to him running. Whoever meets Me with enough sins to fill the earth, not associating any partners with Me, I will meet him with as much forgiveness.” (Muslim)

“If it were not for God’s support of some people against others, there would be chaos on earth. But God showers His grace upon the people.” (Qur’an, 2:251)

Do people think once they say, “We believe,” that they will be left without being put to the test? (Quran 29:2) We will certainly test you with a touch of fear and famine and loss of property, life, and crops. (Quran 2:155) “For indeed, with hardship [will be] ease. Indeed, with hardship [will be] ease.” (Qur’an 94:5–6).

“Whoever puts his trust in Allah; He will be enough for Him.” (Quran 65:3)

“And for those who fear Allah, He (ever) prepares a way out. And He provides for him from (sources) he never could imagine” (65:2-3).

“And if any one 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” (Quran 65:3)

“Verily in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find rest” Quran (13:28)

“If anyone continually asks forgiveness from Allah, Allah will appoint for him a way out of every distress, and a relief from every anxiety, and will provide for him from where he did not reckon.” (Hadith)

  • Don’t’ give up hope or contemplate suicide: “O you who believe, do not consume each other properties illicitly; only mutually acceptable transactions are permitted. You shall not kill yourselves. God is Merciful toward you.” (Qur’an, 4:29)

We are told in a hadith: “Whoever Allah wants good for him, He puts them to the test. He puts them through difficulties; like a diamond or gold that has to be burnt after which anything bad from it is removed so that what you have is pure diamond or pure gold.”

  • See something? Say Something: If you see anything wrong happening, try to prevent it with your hand, or speak out against it, or hate it in your heart… (if you are capable to do, then do, do not resort to the 2nd unless you are incapable of the first, and so on)
  • Complementary Solutions

There are available support to help deal with the root causes and symptoms / effects of DV. Where available, people should make full use of what is available and permissible.

Persons are especially encouraged to seek treatment or at least testing after incidents, to determine what the effects may be and get necessary treatment to resolve the issue. Persons may tend to ignore, disregard, hide, or minimize the effects on their bodies after incidents, and in fact cause a minor injury to fester or become more severe, even life threatening in some cases.

Solutions include:

Medical Treatment

  • For physical conditions, including Rehab, Diagnosis & Medication
  • For psychological conditions, including psychological and psychiatric support

Available Interventions

  • Mediation
  • Counselling
  • Arbitration
  • Overcoming Addiction & Substance Abuse

Personal Training and Development

  • Islamic studies – to learn the proper beliefs, behaviors and practices to live their best lives
  • Communication skills
  • Emotional intelligence
  • Anger management
  • Dealing with difficult people
  • Coping skills and mental strength
  • Personal protection
  • Parenting skills


Domestic violence is a recurring issue with severe effects and disruptive repercussions. We reiterate that as a community we should adopt and enforce a Zero-Tolerance approach to this issue. Rather, we should be models and examples to each other and to others in society, to highlight the value of adherence to Islam.

Those who can drive the issue in its awareness, prevention and correction are strongly encouraged to do so, for the benefit of others. We are told in a hadith: “A Muslim is he who others are saved by his hand and his tongue.”

We pray that Allah guides us, protects us, gives us the patience to persevere in the face of trials, and the strength and resilience to work towards changing our situation, with trust in Him and faith that He will look after our affairs, and give us the best in this world, and the next.


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