This is part two of Krista’s review of the Reviving the Islamic Spirit Convention. You can see part one here.
Dr. Zainab Alwani, an Islamic studies professor and community activist, was the second of the female speakers, on a panel entitled “The Apple’s Rotten Core: The Social Implications of Domestic Violence.” She listed a number of statistics related to domestic violence, including that an average of four women in the United States die every day because of domestic violence.
Alwani was clear that domestic violence constitutes oppression (zulm) in Islam, as an act that violates sacred laws created to protect the rights of spouses and children. She listed a number of different forms that domestic abuse may take, including emotional abuse, using children against spouses, using male privilege, financial abuse, sexual abuse, and name-calling or making fun. She pointed to the murder of Asiya Hassan by her husband, and the murders of Amina and Sarah Said by their father, may they all rest in peace, as some of the more high-profile examples of where domestic violence within our communities can lead.
The solutions that Alwani proposed for addressing domestic violence included looking to the example of the Prophet (pbuh) and to the Qur’an for guidance, and remaining aware of the importance of accountability within Islamic law. She encouraged friends and relatives of people being abused not to be afraid to step in and help where possible.