My khushu was far from being high. It was Fajr prayer and I could hear him wailing. I wished he would stop but it only got louder. I guess the Imam felt the same way because the surah he recited was not long.
It was after exams and almost everyone had gone home for the break except for a few of us, particularly the graduating students. She was a mother of three, a boy and two girls. I had never met their Dad so I cannot tell if he was dead or she had divorced him or worse he was just one of those men that left and never looked back. I heard a door shut and then the boy said, ‘e kuku pami’. I could hear him sobbing as he walked down the passage. We all kept quiet in the masjid as if nothing had happened. After all we were just students and the mosque was situated by the house. I thought we were all weak. We were weak to see something wrong but not correct it. I knew she was struggling being a single mother with three children and one of them becoming a truant. I knew she tried so hard to make them all turn out right. But I still thought she should not beat him like she was going to kill him. He needed his Dad, he needed a father figure there are issues a mother no matter how super she could be could not handle. I left the masjid pondering. We need help, I thought.
*** * **
I could hear her sobbing but what could I do? I was far away but I wanted to help her. How could he beat her and send her out late at night and she was pregnant! She did not deserve him and sometimes I thought she should pull out from the marriage. But later I realized it was not as easy as I thought. Umm Yousef, who is a survivor and DV(Domestic violence) advocate said ‘The best explanation or metaphor that I came across over the last few years after I came to understand that what I had experienced in my marriage was, in fact, abuse was a YouTube PSA (public service announcement) that shows a woman slowly struggling and drowning in a tank of water, and just as she is about to drown the water gushes out and she gets a moment of relief, only to have the tank start filling up again. That is how the cycle of abuse works and feels…’ I ponder again but this time I try not to go asunder. Seriously we need help. The Ummah needs help and it is like we turn a blind eye to issues like this. Like it does not happen or like we do not know anyone that is going through such. I know talking about Tawheed, learning Fiqh are important issues but these things are also cogent and it is destroying our homes. It is destroying our very foundations. We need counselors, we need Muslim professionals not just the Scholars. I do not want to bear this burden anymore (at least not alone). So who’s with me?