At a time when man is free and society liberal, the focus is on women’s rights, gender equity and the Domestic Violence Act, one would have expected a decrease in violence against women; instead the opposite is true.
How does Islam deal with these vices? Islam’s focus is on prevention, that is, protection of women against these crimes. In this regard, Islam has recommended the following:
Respect for the female gender: as a mother, she has 75% of the rights of parents because of pregnancy and suckling, among others. In Islam a man’s position is elevated when he treats his family well. In respect of daughters, Islam recommends additional care and attention because of their vulnerability, and great rewards are bestowed on those parents who treat their daughters with respect and who did not take advantage of them.
Islam teaches us to treat every other female as our own.
Islam recommends a dress code for men and women which is in agreement with modesty. When we look at the dress of women of the past with long sleeves, skirts, etc, there was less violence against women. Today more of the body is exposed and the violence has increased. In one study by Donnerstein and Berkowitz, it was demonstrated that, “exposure to the media depicting women in a degrading, subordinate situation, even if not explicitly sexual or violent in nature will lead to [the] increased violent behaviour of men against women in society.” Little effort is made to connect violence against women with this reality. Women are portrayed on television as vehicles for the satisfaction of male fantasy. They are brainwashed to think that their bodies are objects for the pleasure of others. As a result some of them accept abuse from the ones for whom they are supposed to provide ‘pleasure,’ when they claim dissatisfaction. Females who look at themselves through the eyes of others are more prone to depression, low self esteem which can lead to failure. Every female has the right to protect her chastity and maintain a dress of dignity, honour and respect which will ensure her rightful place in society. This dress will not only protect her against rape but will assist those contemplating such acts to desist from this behaviour. The dress of females will ignite the flame of passion among men or extinguish this flame. Those who encourage women to abandon their chastity are the ones who corrupt or humiliate them.
Islam teaches us to look, listen and speak what is lawful and good. The culture of our society encourages violence against women in the form of violent movies, vulgar and degrading advertisements, songs promoting violence, pornography, violent computer games, and violence as a means of solving problems instead of peace. A culture which is violence free must be created and violence-free zones are a must in order to rid our society of violence.
Islam seeks to promote violence-free homes; Islam prohibits husbands from abusing their spouses. Violence in the home will produce violent children, therefore Islam prohibits alcohol and narcotics which are some of the main contributing factors to violence. The society should assist in promoting healthy marriages. Research has found that some men who turn to crime and display violent behaviour, came from single parent families, broken homes or homes of violence.
Education is compulsory for every Muslim male and female. Islam addresses men who suffer from insecurity because of their spouse’s education or wealth and encourages them to harness the strength of their spouse for the benefit of their family. The education of males will ensure the use of their heads instead of their hands.
Islam promotes equality among the different sexes. There is no stronger or weaker sex, and strength does not mean defeating your opponent in a wrestling match but is your ability to control your anger.
Real men do not beat women.