Getting Forgiveness for Abuse
By Imam Abdullah El-Amin, TMO
Iâ€™d like to start with the reminder of our beginning â€“ our creation as Adam, ALLAHâ€™S Kahlifa of creation â€“ whom He created to be a perfect submitter, created him from water (moral consciousness), and endowed him with the light of intelligence to utilize the material and spiritual creation to enhance himself and everything else under ALLAH.
It is no secret that the Muslim community is loaded with cases of spousal abuse and many of us (men and women) think we are doomed to be bad or predisposed to accept abusive behavior from our spouse or others. Many men (and some women) inflict abuse because they have been conditioned to be abusive since they were children. Perhaps theirs were abusive to their mothers and they witnessed this growing up.
Science has said that by the time we are six or seven years old, our personal mentality is pretty much shaped. Your mindset is basically what you will be for the rest of your life.
So some men whose brains were ingrained with this type of thinking grow to be abusive to their spouses as well.
And similarly, some women who witnessed an abusive relationship between their parents take on the same mentality. They grow to accept it and see it as normal, and it becomes a part of them. Both are wrong.
This is part of the life experiences (wombs) that ALLAH mentions in 4:1 of the Qurâ€™an. Every experience that ALLAH allows to happen to you, or allow you to witness, is designed to make you stronger and test your faith. You should not feel that this is your lot in life and you are doomed to that existence. Quite the contrary, this can be a boost in your human strength.
ALLAH says He will forgive you (for giving abuse and accepting it) if you repent and donâ€™t keep doing it and making excuses for it. (This is very important).
As human beings, ALLAH has given us the uncanny ability to control our own minds and the dispositions and mentality that comes out of our minds. La illaha illala truly means nothing is above the human being (Adam) except The Creator. We control our minds by thinking positively on the dictates of ALLAH and submitting to them. This pushes out the negative and allows strong iman (faith in ALLAH and His Message) to reign in us allowing us to lead peaceful and productive lives.
So, like the scientists say, if your mind has been affected by witnessing negative abusive behavior, you will probably have these feelings for the rest of your life. But they do not have to control you. This is where ALLAH comes in and gives you insight and strength.
First you realize these negative feelings are wrong and are a tool of the devil. ALLAH did not create you to be abusive to any of His creation. Nor did He create you to accept abuse. You are better than that. You are Adam. Those devil-inspired feelings are supposed to bow to youâ€¦not vice versa.
And remember, those who inflict abuse are guilty and committing great sin. And similarly, those who accept abuse are guilty. Both are lowering themselves beneath the lofty station ALLAH has placed them on. Itâ€™s as if you are denying the Favors of ALLAH. Keep the faith. Remain strong. Remember ALLAH often and the victory is yours.
â€œAnd those who, having done an act of indecency, or wronged their own souls, should remember ALLAH and ask for forgiveness for their sins; and who can forgive sins except ALLAH? And are never stubborn in continuing (and excusing) the wrong they have done. For them, the reward is is forgiveness from The Lord and gardens with rivers flowing underneath as an eternal dwelling; how excellent a reward this is for those who work and strive for goodâ€. 3:135-136 Qurâ€™an
As Salaam alaikum
Al Hajj Imam Abdullah El-Amin