Road Rage and Domestic Violence

By Imam Abdullah El-Amin, MMNS

If you believe that ALLAH is the only God and nothing is higher than yourself except God, then you must also believe in yourself as the cream of creation and a majestic piece of work created by ALLAH. Believing in yourself as the top of the creation mountain means not allowing the Shaytan to have any authority over you as you go about your everyday lives, which are not always peaches and ice cream.

One of the most senseless actions a person can be involved in is Road Rage.  Here you have a person you don’t even know that cuts you off in traffic and gets in front of you. You get so angry that you don’t even think about the fact there is always someone else (or a traffic light) ahead of them.  Now, as noted, you probably never saw this person before in your life and probably will never see him/her again.  So why would you chase them down, give them the finger, and possibly incite more retaliation?  A good rule of thumb is “If you see someone that is crazier than you are…let them go.”

This road rage seems to be brought on by the same weak-minded insecurity as the cowardly act of domestic violence.

This week, a prominent member of the Buffalo, NY Muslim community and TV channel owner, brutally murdered his wife.  To say I was shocked is an understatement to say the least.  You see, I knew and worked with the alleged perpetrator for many years.  I even assisted him in building the TV station.  And all that time I never had any idea that, first, abuse was going on in the home and second, that this person had the capability to commit such a brutal act.

Then it dawned on me that we all have the capability and ability (and sometimes the desire) to commit such acts.  It is only through the grace of ALLAH that He blesses most of us to have a balanced, sane mind.  I have no idea what makes people snap and go out of their human nature.  But I do know that if you concentrate too much on any part of creation, and allow it to rise above your own nature, which is the highest of creation, you will knock yourself off the lofty position ALLAH has placed you on and become lower than Shaytan.

Prophet Muhammad (s) reminded the believers to “Do not become angry.”  If you allow another human being, or any part of creation, to make you get destructive, you are submitting to the will of the Shaytan devil.

ALLAH, The Almighty, gives strict, explicit instruction to a man on dealing with a disobedient wife (though I’m not saying the wife was disobedient – I don’t know.  The times I met her, she seemed a nice peaceful lady).  He (ALLAH) says first you admonish her (talk to her).  If that doesn’t work, you withhold sexual relations from her.  And if that doesn’t work you GO AWAY FROM HER.  You notice I didn’t say “beat her” or “strike her lightly” as many in the Muslim world believe).  Prophet Muhammad (s), who is our human example, is never reported to have abused or even struck any of his wives.  So in that case, beating a woman is forbidden.

People become abusive for many different reasons.  Abusive men for the most part, have a need to control.  They must have the female under their thumb and demand complete submission.  They also are so insecure that they cannot bear the thought of the spouse leaving them.  I understand this was the case of my friend in Buffalo who had been threatened with divorce and had some sort of peace bond out on him.

Let this tragic unfortunate incident be a lesson to us brothers and sisters.  Keep your thoughts on being submissive to the will of ALLAH.  Don’t let the admiration…or fear of another human being turn you into a monster.

We pray for the soul of the deceased and pray Almighty ALLAH accepts her good deeds and has mercy on her for her misdeeds.

As Salaam alaikum
Al Hajj Imam Abdullah El-Amin


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