Honour Killings, Domestic Violence and Misogyny Are Un-Islamic and Major Crimes


(Mississauga) On the blessed day of Eid Milad un Nabi (the birthday of Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him), the thirty four Imams and the Islamic leaders affiliated with the Islamic Supreme Council of Canada have issued the following Fatwa reminding Muslims that honor killings, domestic violence and misogyny are un-Islamic actions and crimes in Islam. These crimes are major sins in Islam punishable by the court of law and almighty Allah.

FATWA (religious edict)

In the Name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful

We, the undersigned Imams, are issuing this Fatwa as a reminder to the Muslims of North America regarding the issues of domestic violence, honor killings and misogyny in our society. The recent Shafia family trial in Kingston, Ontario has reminded all of us that we need to do more in order to prevent such tragedies in future. There are some Muslims who would commit a crime and then use Islam to justify their crime. According to the Qur'an the biggest liar is the one who tells lies on Allah.

There is no justification for honor killings, domestic violence and misogyny in Islam. These are crimes in the court of law and in the sight of Allah. Therefore, this Fatwa is issued based upon the command of almighty Allah in the holy Qur'an;

"Let there among you be a group that summon to all that is beneficial commands what is proper and forbids what is improper; they are the ones who will prosper." (3:104)

"Believing men and believing women are protecting friends of one another; they enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong; they perform salat and give zakat..." (9:71)

"Those who, if We establish them in the land (with authority), establish regular prayers and practice regular charity and enjoin the right and forbid the wrong..." (22:41)

Our beloved Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said in a Hadith;

"When people see a wrong-doer and do nothing to stop him, they may well be visited by God with a punishment."

It is an obligation upon us (the Imams) to inform all Muslims in Canada and around the world that in Islam:

1. Honor killings, domestic violence, misogyny, spousal abuse, child abuse in all forms are forbidden.

2. The relationship between the husband and wife is based upon mutual love and kindness.

"And among His Signs is this, that He created for you mates from among yourselves, that ye may dwell in tranquility with them, and He has put love and mercy between your (hearts): verily in that are Signs for those who reflect." (30: 21)

In the event of a family dispute, the Qur'an urges husbands to treat their wives with kindness.

"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." (4: 19)

"And in no wise covet those things in which Allah hath bestowed His gifts more freely on some of you than on others: to men is allotted what they earn, and to women what they earn: but ask Allah of His bounty: for Allah hath full knowledge of all things." (4:32)

In Islam there is no gender based superiority. In fact, the relationship between a husband and wife is based upon mutual love, respect and care.

"They (wives) are your garments. And ye are their garments." (2:187)

3. Some people quote the following verse from the holy Qur'an to prove that a man has superiority over his wife.

".... but men have a degree over them (wives) and Allah is Exalted in Power, Wise." (2:228) The above verse is not about the superiority of the man. Rather, it is about the greater responsibility of the man in running the home such as fulfilling the food, shelter, clothing, education and safety needs of family members.

The Qur'an recognizes gender equality. The idea of superiority is based on honesty/piety only. "O Mankind, We created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female and made you into nations and tribes, that you may know each other. Verily the most honored of you in the sight of Allah is he who is the most righteous of you" (49:13).

4. We would also like to clarify the translation of verse 34 of Surah Al Nisa. Some translators have the Arabic word, "wadhriboo-hunnah" ( وَٱضۡرِبُوهُ نَّ ) translated as "strike" OR "hit" (with toothbrush). In our opinion, this is not the correct translation.

In a case when a married woman develops a sexual relationship outside the marriage, the Qur'an requires the husband to follow three steps and not to become violent.
a. First educate her
b. Second take separate beds
c. Cite her to authority

Here is the correct translation of verse 4:34.

The men are supporters/maintainers of the women with what God bestowed on some of them over others and with what they spent of their money, so the righteous women are dutiful; guardians to the unseen with what God guarded. And as for those women you fear their disloyalty, then: (first) you shall advise them, and (second) abandon them in the bed, and (lastly) cite them (to the authority). If they obeyed you, then seek not against them a way; Truly, God is High, Great. (4:34)

5. In Islam, obedience of Allah is NOT acceptable to Allah unless the person does it with his or her heart. In Islam the reward of a good deed from Allah depends on a person's intension. If the person is forced to do certain things against his/her will then there is no reward from Allah.

"There is no compulsion in religion......." (2:256)

Therefore, beating or abusing a family member in order to force them to follow Islam is not acceptable to Allah. Parents have the responsibility to educate children about the teachings of Islam but they have no right to abuse or harm them. They need to be a role model for their own children. The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said, "help the oppressed and the oppressor". People asked the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him): "We understand how to help the oppressed, but how should we help the oppressor?" He replied, "By stopping him from the oppression".

In Islam, if a person commits un-Islamic actions (crimes) an institution with authority, such as the police, courts or government, can punish that person - not family members or other private citizens. Honor killing is a major sin in Islam. Those who commit honor killings should face the justice of this world, and they will face Allah's justice too.

Those who cause harm to a family member or anyone else because they believe that the family member or a person have brought disgrace to them OR their honor has been damaged by the actions of a family member commit a major sin / crime by taking the law into their own hands. Only the court system of a country has the authority to decide guilt or innocence, and punish a person, not the family members such as the father, mother, husband, brother, etc.

Honor killing is an un-Islamic practice which has roots in paganism. In Islam, killing or hurting someone in the name of honor is a criminal act which should be punished by the court of law and it will be punished by Allah on the judgment day.

6. Domestic violence is a huge problem across the world. We believe it is not a Muslim problem. It is a human problem. Domestic violence crosses all boundaries. Domestic violence exists in the developed and in the developing worlds. Domestic violence takes place in Christian, Jewish, Muslims, agnostic, Buddhist, Hindu, atheists, etc. houses. It is everywhere. However, as Muslims we must follow the holy Qur'an and the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) which forbids causing harm to children, wives or any other person due to disagreements, disputes or conflicts. All family issues must be resolved within the laws of the country we live in.

As the Imams and religious leaders in the community we have an obligation to inform everyone that Islam condemns domestic violence, honor killings and misogyny. We offer every Muslim family in Canada and the United States the support and guidance they need if a family member seems to be violating the Islamic code of conduct. However, we want to be very clear that no one, except the Canadian/American courts, has the right to punish anyone. It is the requirement of Islam that citizens must follow and respect the laws of their countries. Therefore, Muslims who live in Canada must follow and respect the laws of Canada. Similarly, American Muslims must follow the laws of the United States.

On this important day of Eid Milad un Nabi (peace be upon him), the Islamic Supreme Council of Canada announces "ISCC Families Network" project, which will be rolled out across North America in cities where ISCC's affiliated mosques and organizations exist. This network will work with the young girls and the boys and their parents to help and guide them in resolving issues and conflicts. This network will establish separate girls and boys clubs where they can discuss issues and share their experiences at home, at school and at work. This network will establish working relationships with the police, teachers and other mainstream Canadian and the American organizations in the field of domestic violence, racism, discrimination and bullying. All the services provided by this network will be free to all families.

We pray for the victims of domestic violence and honor killings especially the victims of Shafia family. We extend our full support to the victims of domestic violence. We request all the Canadian and the American Muslims to join "ISCC Families Network". May Allah guide us and protect all of us from the evil of Satan and the wrongdoers. Ameen.

Signed by:

1. Prof. Imam Syed B. Soharwardy - Calgary
2. Imam Mufti Shabbir Alam Misbahi - Toronto
3. Imam Syed Mukhtar Hussain Naeemi - Houston, USA
4. Imam Muhammad Masood Ahmed Soharwardy, Ashrafi - New York, USA
5. Imam Hafiz Qari Ghalib Hussain Akber Chishty - Calgary
6. Imam Hafiz Muhammad Nasir Qadri - Montreal
7. Imam Abdul Latif No'mani - Vancouver
8. Imam Muhammad Ibrahim Hussain Chishty Al Alawi - Toronto
9. Imam Qazi Bashiruddin Sahib - Brampton
10. Imam Hafiz Muhammad Zareef Naeemi - Calgary
11. Imam Syed Akram Abbas - Montreal
12. Imam Syed Ahmed Amiruddin Khan Naqshbandi - Mississauga
13. Imam Hafiz Muhammad Masood Pirzada, Mississauga
14. Alima Hafizah Zaheera Tariq Soharwardy, Calgary
15. Imam Hafiz Intizar Hussain Qadri, Montreal
16. Imam Nizamuddin Sayed Chishti - Calgary
17. Imam Saeed Ahmed Saifee - Toronto
18. Imam Shahid Bashir - Calgary
19. Imam Sayed Sajid Qadri - Calgary
20. Imam Muhammad Anees Siddiqui - Calgary
21. Sister Frana Jahangir - Airdrie
22. Alima Fatema Zahra Soharwardy, Toronto
23. Sister Sumaiya Zaman - Toronto
24. Dr. Lubna Anees - Calgary
25. Sister Alia Shahzad - Calgary
26. Sister Nighat Amir - Mississauga
27. Sister Nurgus Moghal - Mississauga
28. Sister Ezra Asghar Shah - Montreal
29. Mr. Hamza Zahid - Halifax
30. Imam Salim Chishti - New Lebanon, New York, USA
31. Imam Abdul Ghani Owaisy - Houston, USA
32. Imam Muhammad Amin Mujaddadi - Live Oak, California, USA
33. Imam Faiz Rasool Qadri - Houston, USA
34. Imam Zubair Naqshbandi - San Francisco, USA

For further questions, please contact Imam Syed Soharwardy at 403-831-6330 or 416-994-5467 OR email, contactislamicsupremecouncil.com. Thanks

Note: We are in the process of getting more endorsements from various Imams across North America. Their names will be posted on ISCC's website.

*****

Source:  Islamic Supreme Council of Canada


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  5 Comments   Comment

  1. yunus muhammad from U.S.A

    If we as leaders educate our Jammat more on the wisdom of the prophet(pbuh) and less on the physical person, more on his logic and teach the people to think rather than be robots we would have less of this in the muslin community. If we brothers follow The Prophets'(PBUH) example we could end this overnight in the muslin community. We are Muslims first then our race, ethnic group comes next, our tradition is that of the prophet did he beat his wives no we as men should not do that to our wives. wHEN ANGRY GO SIT DOWN, GO LAY DOWN MAKE WUDU. WE HAVE THE PRESCRIPTION THAT CAN PUT THIS ILLNESS TO REST.

  2. George Warrens from Canada

    Assalaamualaikum.

    I would applaud anyone who stands up to remind Muslims of their deen, of the laws and regulations governing our lives, or the standards we are supposed to maintain. I would also applaud anyone who informs non-Muslims of the high moral standards already set by the Quran and the Messenger (sas).

    I question the wisdom and maybe even the integrity of someone issuing a "Fatwa" on any issue which has already been ruled on by Allah (swt) and His messenger (sas). There are many clear laws which are being violated by Muslims. eg. some 'Muslims" drink alcohol. Shall we now issue a "Fatwa" declaring that alcohol is Haram? Is this not an abuse of fatwas and a clear insult to the Book of Allah and His honored Messenger?.

    On another issue. I have been in the Muslim community for many years; attended many mosques, conferences, meetings; read many newspapers and so on,and I had heard in passing of a "SUPREME COUNCIL FOR ISLAM IN CANADA". I asked a lot of Muslims about the SUPREME COUNCIL and only a handful had heard of it. I assumed that this must be some governing body which is an umbrella for all the masjids and the major national muslim organizations of which there are quite a few. Apparently it is not and the majority of Muslims in Canada have never even heard of it.

    I would suggest that any group which seeks to represent Muslims use a name or title which is a fair representation of its actual constituents or followers.

    If I were to start a group in Ottawa, a basement congregation with a couple of dozen members, it would be dishonest and disingenuous of me to name it CANADIAN MUSLIM LEAGUE. Actually it would be dishonest if I were to name it OTTAWA MUSLIM LEAGUE, as this would create a false impression to an outsider.This is so simple that I am amazed that we are actually doing this.

  3. reef from United Kingdom

    Good reminder, however, I can't bring myself to accept the meaning attributed by the scholars to the the verse 4:34. To start with there is a conflict here: when a woman is accused of adultery by her husband there is a separate ruling for the case elsewhere in the Quran. So the 4:34 verse refers to something different, namely "nushooz" (in Arabic). One meaning of this word is "discord". Also, there is no derivation of the Arabic word "adhriboo-hunna" to mean "cite them". But we know the prophet's interpretation of it to mean "hit" but with something the size of a toothbrush. So there remains serious doubt of the meaning of verse 4:34. Having said this, I would also add that a reminder of the famous hadith: "those who mistreat their women are not the best of you" and the fact that the Prophet never raised his hands against anybody except in battle.

  4. Annette Khan from USA

    Assalam alaikum,

    I'm very pleased that this Fatwa has been issued. It is an essential proclamation and reiteration of our stance concerning all types of abuse. I hope Verbal abuse is addressed as well in the near future. Far too many men think this is acceptable and harmless. It is not! It eats us inside and destroys not only our relationship with our husbands but also tries us in our faith. I would like to also address a couple of other issues that need to be clarified and brought out to the general Ummah and that is Sodomy and Suicide bombers. Muslims need to know that these are also Anti-Islamic in every form. I have yet to see a single commentary or article discussing these topics here at Islamicity. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

  5. Maya V from AK

    It is a shame that we Musllims need a fatwa for such things. Still wondering where the concept of honor killing creeped in.

    Again this article is on the other extreme:

    "In a case when a married woman develops a sexual relationship outside the marriage, the Qur'an requires the husband to follow three steps and not to become violent."

    Really?! on an unfaithful relationship (man or woman) does Islam asks someone to be that patient forgetting the honor? My understanding is, in such cases whether it is man or woman Sharia is extreme in punishment.

    In my opinion that Ayat can be interpreted in so many diffrent ways in the light of Sunnah and Hadith showing extreme respect to women - but not the one given above.