LONDON - Shocked by the recent murder of a Muslim woman by her husband, British imams came together to East London mosque on Saturday, March 16, to denounce domestic abuse and confirm Islam's position on rejecting violence against women.
We called it 'imams against abuse' rather than 'violence' to acknowledge that there is emotional and psychological abuse as well that needs to be addressed, 36-year-old Shaikh Shams Ad-Duha Muhammad, who runs the Ebrahim College in Whitechapel, east London, told the BBC.
There is also the abuse where in-laws put too much pressure on daughter-in-laws.
Islamic Guidance on Treating Wives Islam & Wife Beating (Special Folder)
We are looking at all of these different cultural manifestations and phenomena.
Attended by imams from across London, a panel of male speakers will talk about marriage and Islam's position on oppression.
It will also address more unique problems of abuse that can manifest within South Asian communities in the UK.
Referring to the demographic nature of British Muslims, Shaikh Shams noted that in many cases the society mixes between what was in Islam and what was sub-continental or Arab culture.
I think if you look at the people who are speaking, we have become imams in the West, we have grown up here, and we are in the unique position of being able to look at what Islam has to say about things like marriage and discuss them objectively, he said.
The event was suggested after the case of solicitor Mohammed Rahman, from east London, who beat his wife to death after years of violence.
Rahman, who worked at the Tower Hamlets Law Centre, was jailed for life in November 2012 for killing Jasmin Chowdhury.
Salman Farsi from London Muslim Centre, where the event will be held, said the case had prompted more action on violence.
It's a really sad and horrific case of where domestic abuse can lead on to something that's really horrendous, said Farsi.
This was cold-blooded murder.
The event organizers stressed the need to address both emotional and psychological abuse.
There are many social and cultural pressures, some of which may lead women to believe that leaving their husband is wrong, Nurjahan Khatun, director of the Jagonari Centre, said.
Located in east London, the Jagonari Centre; a women's educational resource centre set up by Bangladeshi women, works with the mosque to find solutions for the problem.
The center targets men who could be seen as at being risk of carrying out domestic abuse.
The heart of the matter is, according to Women's Aid, two women die every week from domestic abuse.
That's a shocking figure, and we need to highlight it and educate as many people as we can.
However, Shaikh Shams could not accept how could a man justify abusing a woman.
I'm married, I have three sisters, and I find it very difficult to come to terms with any man who thinks it's OK to abuse a woman, he said.
Britain is home to a sizable Muslim minority of nearly 2.5 million.
The majority of the multi-ethnic minority has Indian, Bengali and Pakistani backgrounds.
In Islam, marriage is a sacred bond that brings together a man and a woman by virtue of the teachings of the Qur'an and the Sunnah.
Each partner in this sacred relationship must treat the other properly and with respect.
Woman is recognized by Islam as the full and equal partner of the man in the procreation of humankind.
By this partnership, she has an equal share in every aspect. She is entitled to equal rights, she undertakes equal responsibilities, and she has as many qualities and as much humanity as her partner.
Moreover, the relations between the spouses in Islam should be based on tranquility, love and mercy.
Reproduced with permission from OnIslam.net