22nd August 2020 at 11:15 am #112615songbird1Participant
Hey lovely ladies,
I have taken a massive break from this site and have been burying my head in the sand, ignoring my feelings. Sometimes things can get overwhelming and it’s easier to just pretend everything is fine, which we know is bad but hey, we’re all human!
I’ve come back to the site in hopes of finding someone from the muslim community to talk to and help me understand a few things. I’m British but reverted to islam a few years ago when I met my partner. I feel like as time has gone on, there are more rules and regulations that my partner tells me of, that seem to benefit him far more than me and because I dont have muslim friends to talk to about it, it leaves me wondering if it’s true or to go with my gut when it seems wrong. Im very independent and always have been but I feel like he wants me to be someone I’m not.
Any sisters who can help me out?
23rd August 2020 at 8:46 pm #112658LisaMain Moderator
Welcome back to the Forum! I hope you find the support you are looking for.
Just to say if you feel like you are in need of some additional support, you could chat to a Women’s Aid worker in confidence via our Live Chat service (weekdays 10am – 4pm and 10am – 12pm weekends). They won’t tell you what to do, but can discuss your situation and signpost you to other support that’s relevant for you. You can access the chat service here: https://chat.womensaid.org.uk/
Believe in yourself- you shouldn’t have to change for someone else.
24th August 2020 at 4:17 pm #112689EggshellsParticipant
Hi Songbird1. Just trying to bump your post in the hope that someone who can help will spot it.
I really don’t know anything about Islam but I’m pretty sure that just like Christianity and the Bible, the Quran can be interpreted in many different ways to suit different people’s ideologies.
Have you tried calling your local DV charity? They may be able to put you in touch with an Islamic support worker. xx
16th April 2021 at 12:45 pm #124861Rosarybeads1Participant
I am a Muslim and I am going through spiritual Abu abuse where isolated verses are used to control women. Luckily I have good friends and family learned in the religion who have helped me see how wrong my controlling partner is.
I would advise you to search YouTube, many scholars are talking about these matters finally. Spiritual, mental, verbal, emotional abuse are not allowed in Islam and are grounds for separation.
I have lost myself in this suffering for (detail removed by Moderator) years, and hope to do something about it. All I know is, it is wrong.
23rd May 2021 at 3:11 pm #126229ZiggyParticipant
Salaam wa rahmatullah.
You posted a fair while back, but maybe this will find you. I pray you are doing well.
Unfortunately some Muslims come from countries that have some pretty messed up aspects to their cultures. And often, people merge the problems of their cultures and pass it off as religion, to suit their own needs. It’s both disgusting and manipulative.
I think it’s important to have access to the right support and knowledge. Do you have a support network in place? And do you have anyone that you turn to for spiritual guidance?
I know being a revert can itself be very challenging and more often than not, both isolating and lonely. I hope this isn’t the case for you. But can imagine how difficult it is having a manipulative partner on top of existing struggles.
I’m a British Muslim. Not a revert exactly, but have only officially considered myself muslim for the last (detail removed by moderator) or so. Please don’t hesitate to drop me a message if you’d like to do so.
I pray that you’re well and your situation gets easier 💚
10th February 2022 at 3:58 pm #138741AngeltakemehomeParticipant
What rules and regulations is he telling you sister? I am also a revert.
13th April 2022 at 7:35 pm #141839GoldenFishParticipant
I hope you’re well. If you come back here again and read this message, don’t bury your head in the sand, please. What feels to you as abuse cannot be justified by any rules and regulations of any religion or make it right to be inflicted on you. Abuse is abuse and it will catch-up with you when you have nearly lost your soul. You may seek validation from Muslim scholars but at the end of the day, this is your life and if you feel the way you do you may just try to justify his behaviour of the name of religion or culture. You need a partner in a relationship, not a religious debate. Don’t get hung up on the religious idea. Don’t allow yourslef to be more and more restricted, isolated or co-dependent. Best of luck
27th May 2023 at 2:34 pm #158757
Please trust your gut feelings as nobody should be making you feel controlled under the guise of religious rhetoric, it’s a ploy that most abusers use to justify their abusive actions. Seek out your own path and see how the rules diminish. I am a Muslim and firmly believe that religion should not be used to justify abusive manipulation of any kind.
6th July 2023 at 2:29 am #159686pigeonpersonParticipant
I can relate so strongly to what you are going through. It’s completely and utterly unacceptable that he is using religion in order to justify his abuse of you. That happened to me too and I’m glad I found your post. I don’t know the extent of his abuse, but in my case it started out seeming like it was just protective, and progressed into extreme, paranoid jealousy and possessiveness, controlling who I was allowed to talk to, where I was allowed to go, what I was allowed to wear. I wasn’t allowed to wear perfume or makeup. I was coerced into wearing abaya and hijab, against my will, just for a quiet life, and before I left I was strongly considering wearing the burqa, not for religious reasons, but just so he couldn’t accuse me of making eye contact with anyone and beating me for it, because he wouldn’t be able to see my eyes.
Your partner has absolutely no right at all whatsoever to use Islam as a justification to hurt you in any way, not emotionally, not physically, not sexually or in any way at all.
It worries me that you don’t have any friends who are also Muslimahs. Is that because he is isolating you?
Readng your story makes me so angry that the same that happened to me is happening to you. It’s emotional and psychological abuse on top of religious and spiritual abuse.
Religious abuse is not uncommon in any of the religions. I’m not a Muslimah, but a woman from a different religious and cultural background (I don’t want to specify for safety purposes). I married a Muslim and it went horribly wrong relatively quickly, but because of the religious arguments he used, and because of the strong disapproval of my community and family, I was also reluctant to speak out about the abuse for fear not only of my ex husband’s reaction, but also my fear of being told “I told you so”. I was so deeply ashamed, because I had “been warned”.
My ex used to taunt me that there is no concept of marital rape in Islam. Abusers use the argument that the Nikkah (marriage contract) is a wife’s permanent consent to have sex with her husband whenever he wants. I had a civil marriage, not an Islamic one, but that didn’t stop him from using this disgusting argument. There are arguments all over the internet about this. It’s absolutely sickening how many men seem to think a woman requires a “valid reason to deny her husband sex”. I was told that not feeling like sex wasn’t a valid excuse, that my duty as a wife was to provide sex, domestic chores, childcare, cooking cleaning, laundry, and that he had a religiously sanctioned right to kick me out if I didn’t comply.
He told me that men need “(removed by moderator)” and that if I didn’t provide that “(removed by moderator)” he would find someone else who would.
Abuse is abuse and it doesn’t matter what the scholars say, it doesn’t matter what the Quran or the Hadiths say: you don’t need a religious argument to feel safe in your own home, with your own husband. I used to desperately read the Quran looking for verses that would explain to my ex husband why he shouldn’t abuse me. It felt like a triumph when I found something I thought he would listen to, but he always found some other verse to trump me with. But the more I searched, the more disillusioned I became with the whole thing. I’m completely secular today.
My children went through so much religious trauma. I caught my husband teaching my daughter that men are the authority over women. She was basically brainwashed by him until we fled to be submissive and to serve men, to train to be a domestic servant to her future husband. Thank goodness we left before she got much older. He used to “joke” about arranging a marriage for her “when she misbehaved” or was “disobedient”. It terrified her.
Culture and religion: neither are an excuse to abuse one’s wife.
(Detail removed by moderator).
When he had supervised contact with the children because of his violence, he told me that in his country, it would be me losing contact with them for being disobedient. He was always telling me (removed by moderator).
I wasn’t allowed any male friends. That turned into I wasn’t allowed to have ANY friends, because he disapproved of them. (Removed by moderator).
I would weigh up your own beliefs: are you a Muslimah because you believe, or because you married? If you truly believe, it’s worth finding advice from Muslimahs who share your views. There are online forums for Muslimahs to chat and ask advice. But please, treat it as a separate issue completely to the fact that you are being abused. If something makes you feel uncomfortable, it’s because it’s not right. If a religious ruling makes you uncomfortable, don’t question your own innate sense of right and wrong: question why you would be willing to change who you are in order to fit in with someone else’s religious ideas. Don’t lose your self.
I completely lost myself in my abusive marriage. I don’t believe in modesty culture. I believe men must respect women no matter what they are wearing. When I met my husband, I was wearing clothes like a vest tops, t-shirts, trousers and skinny jeans. Yet I ended up covering from head to toe, baggy, long, long sleeved dresses and head coverings which I pretended to like, pretended to choose to wear, just to please him. But in reality, I hated the way I looked. I felt completely humiliated.
Go with your gut: if it feels wrong, it is wrong, no matter what religious verses or texts back it up. There are some incredibly nasty, misogynistic, extremist preachers out there, spreading deeply misogynistic interpretations. It’s especially worrying when people like Andrew Tate and Sneako say they have reverted, and certain very outspoken members of the dawah community cry out with joy and give excuse after excuse to justify their appalling behaviour.
There’s some incredibly toxic stuff out there in the online Islamosphere, just as there is in other religious arenas online, and unfortunately, a lot of religious justification for abuse against women is happening online. It’s incredibly toxic.
On the other hand, there are Muslims and Muslimahs challenging misogynistic ideology, so that gives me hope.
I didn’t have any support with regards the religious elements of the abuse against me, as I was always told “That’s culture, not religion” which just made it more confusing, as that was actually irrelevant: what matters is that you shouldn’t be being controlled, or abused, in any way.
I rejected all religion completely after I left, (though I still practice certain elements of my own cultural heritage) but when I was in the abusive situation, I became super observant in the religion of my own culture, to comfort myself, to try to find some control over my own life, because I felt I had none. Unfortunately, I now think that was a huge part of me staying too long sadly. That “family sticks together through thick and thin” stuff wore thin by the time he was threatening to kill me and the kids. There’s a lot of cultural and religious stigma associated with divorce in my community (which I left). That was very unhelpful.
I always tend to write a lot then think I wrote too much, but hopefully some of my own experience will help you navigate your way to safely.
Abuse is never okay.
Religion isn’t an excuse.
Culture isn’t an excuse,
Just like mental illness or drug or alcohol use isn’t an excuse.
Take care of yourself, Sister. I hope things get easier for you and that you are able to find the support you need to navigate this situation. I feel a deep affinity with Muslim women and women from my own community who are going through domestic abuse, justified by their husbands through religious texts.
I dream of a day where female leaders will be universally accepted by all religions, and where all misogynistic texts will be completely abrogated, and put on a shelf out of reach of those who seek to justify their abuse.
25th August 2023 at 12:02 pm #161219
Thank you for posting your comments and for being so brutally honest. I can completely resonate with the comments you’ve made and also come from a culturally secular background, even though I grew up in a Muslim household. I can’t say too much about my ex or how I ended up being subjected to domestic violence, as it could identify me. I’d like to say so much more about the comments you’ve mentioned but feel constrained due to safeguarding reasons. I will say one thing though, after being made homeless by my biological mother at a very young age and then later in life by an abusive ex-husband; I’d like to see how many people would continue to sustain their belief. As an adult, I take full responsibility for the mistakes I’ve made and I’ve made quite a few. I do believe in Karma and I also believe in progressive Islam, which may not fit everyone’s interpretation of Islam. But, after experiencing numerous counts of abuse at the initial hands of my family and then, by an abusive ex-husband that I thought was someone who I could trust. I prefer to stay away from organised religious events and focus on what I can develop in myself.
Please continue to make your comments, as it’s always good to hear from people who have less dogmatic views.
6th July 2023 at 10:19 am #159690pigeonpersonParticipant
I have just found this whilst scrolling through older posts and thought it might be helpful to you and others.
Like I said, it’s irrelevant really whether it’s religion or culture.
A non abusive Muslim husband will treat his wife with kindness and respect. An abusive man, regardless of his religion or culture, will be abusive. If it feels like abuse, it’s abuse.
20th August 2023 at 3:08 pm #161021
I hope that you are safe and well.
I am a Muslim, have read about Islam thoroughly, and continue to inform myself on various branches of the faith. Please be assured that your safety is of utmost importance in Islam and nobody should be forcing or projecting their individual interpretation of Islam onto you. The prophet (PBUH) did not force believers into the faith and mostly lived by example. I would consult your local Women’s Aid centre regarding your concerns and if it helps, even try seeing if you can source an outreach worker to help you with the issues you are facing. Islam is primarily about working in the community and if that aspect of Islam can help you, then see if you can reach out to help services locally. Again, please remember that my comments are mere suggestions and in no way should they be interpreted as forced actions you should take.
I sincerely wish you all the peace and support you can gain with the issues you are currently facing.
Keep safe and well, Sister.
26th August 2023 at 6:52 am #161245
I realise I’ve posted a few comments here regarding this topic, but I’d also just like to mention another; abusive men and women can come from a variety of ethnicities, and religious and social backgrounds. They don’t all have to have stereotypical characteristics of Muslim men. Yes, there are some cultures and religious texts that are more predominantly veered towards being patriarchal, and certain aspects of religious texts are open to being misrepresentative of the truth by certain religious groups, who are abusive. I would question everything and anything that makes you feel uncomfortable and seek support from someone you can trust, because if something doesn’t feel right to you, then I’m sure it isn’t.
The best of luck, Songbird1, in your quest to keep safe and well,
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