Stemming the tide of marital abuse

I write this with a heart that is heavy, a mind that is agitated and a spirit that is in turmoil…The word on everyone’s lips right now is the very unfortunate incident involving a lady – a wife and a mother, accused of the murder of her husband following a couple’s spat which turned ugly.

I am in shock and saddened by all the accusations and as the next person, but beyond that I am outraged. Yes, outraged! As the gossiping tongues will tell you, the background to this incident played out thus….


The lady is a faithful co-wife and mother of children to a husband with eight children.  On that day he nonchalantly walked into their marital home talking to a girlfriend on his cell phone, uncaringly and cruelly he carried out the conversation on speaker phone mode; with every word every lewd innuendo and every salacious endearment spoken in his wife’s presence. Is it any wonder that the lady was incensed and angered?  In an attempt to snatch the phone away from him he bit her hand and the quarrel escalated as he tried to snatch it back from her, in all the aggression and grappling that followed, he either lost his balance and fell, or was accidentally pushed down the stairs.  It was a fall that was fatal and he lost his life.  Here I must emphasise that I do not condone acts of violence in any form or manner I do NOT support the taking of another’s life for it is never ours to take. Allah says in the Holy Quoran: “Therefore We ordained for the Children of Israel that he who slays a soul unless it be (in punishment) for murder or for spreading mischief on earth shall be as if he had slain all mankind; and he who saves a life shall be as if he had given life to all mankind.” (5:32)

I stand firmly and solidly against domestic and marital abuse by either partner. What has shaken me to the core about this case is the provocation this lady was subjected to. She may have known that her husband despite his two wives and eight kids had other girlfriends outside.  An audio tape of the first wife confirms that he was used to talking to the girls in front of them.


This day the second wife was deeply hurt and went down to tell her mate who pleaded with her to ignore him and just be patient.  However on that dismal day she couldn’t.

So when she went back upstairs and he was continuing to callously parade it before her, her humiliation was complete, and this was probably the last straw that broke her composure, her level of forbearance.  Angered, shattered, and humiliated she reacted, as did he, and most unfortunately we know the tragic outcome.

I write this not to interfere with the law and the justice system. A life has been lost and after due investigation and probe the law must take its course. I write this because it has made me look deep into the fabric of our society and it has made me wonder …what sort of society supports a man through all of his questionable acts and condones them? The answer chills and frightens me….it is because they were committed against a woman To all, the men and yes, the women, who are calling me out now I am NOT A RADICAL FEMINIST I believe with all my heart that God in His wisdom has created unique and specific rules for both genders, and they must be followed as God meant them to be. And because He said: “Men are the protectors and maintainers of women.” (4:34) does not mean men are better in anyway than women, actually

Allah subhanallahi wa Taala also said, Human beings, We created you all from a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes so that you may know one another. Verily the noblest of you in the sight of Allah is the most God-fearing of you. Surely Allah is All-Knowing, All-Aware.” (49:13)

I believe that God created both genders with strengths and weaknesses, with virtues and vices, with foibles and frailties. I believe that God created men and women as equals. The closest to Him among them as He said are those with greater faith, why then in our own society is female half so powerless, so vulnerable? From our formative years, we have been brought up to think we are here to provide and take care of men, our aims must be only to please, respect, follow and obey him. Our mothers taught us what they were taught, and their mothers before them. We are conditioned thus. As a matter of course, we now say the same things to our beautiful free-spirited daughters. We take away their sense of self, the essence, the spunk, and turn them into docile, timid creatures that must be moulded and turned into obedient, servile wives.

From what I was taught, I wholeheartedly concur RESPECT. A woman is blessed if she has a husband that is a true gentleman. He is her strength, her support and the wind beneath her wings, and she is his. The bedrock of every union is the great respect we hold for each other. A marriage cannot survive without it.  I have ingrained it in my own children.  But to be clear I teach them MUTUAL RESPECT.

The time has come for us to ask the question: how many of us rear our sons that way?  How many of us teach our sons respect for women?  Aren’t the husband and wife each one half of a whole?  What would a marriage be without a spouse?  Is marriage not a union of minds, of bodies and of souls?  If so is not the status of one partner equal to that of the other?  A man can build a house with his wealth, but it is merely an empty shell until a woman fills it with love, laughter and joy, and makes it a home.

Time is upon us women and as mothers, while teaching our daughters how not to behave, to start teaching our sons how they must behave!  Let us raise sons to be truly men, real men. A real man does not feel powerful when hurting his women emotionally or physically, a real man does not find pleasure in any form of her pain, a real man does not want his women at his feet, but by his side, as partners.

Let us raise a generation of sons to know love.  To give and receive respect. To be secure in their masculinity and to know that when he gives his wife the respect she deserves she will give him her heart forever.  Let us raise a generation of men who stand tall not because they are walking on the weak but lifting them up.  Let there soon come a time when no man will deliberately hurt and humiliate a woman just because he can, or because she is already in is house. Let no woman feel so powerless that she does not know her own worth.  Let no woman be the others foe. Let us come together and empower each other. May we never be fearful to expand our horizons and follow our dreams; to acquire more knowledge to stand up for ourselves.

Let’s do all this brothers and sisters; let us build and leave a legacy of respect, love and compassion for the next generation and the ones to follow

Hajiya Maryam wrote this piece from Kano


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