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Interview | Nour Domestic Violence

I Got Red Roses Today

I got red roses today
It wasn’t our anniversary
Brick-hard fists pounded me
Blood splattered, yet thirstily he hounded me
Face swelled, teeth cracked
Mercy and leniency he lacked
Smiles crossed his face
That grace couldn’t replace
But I know he’s sorry because he sent me red roses today

I got red roses today
It wasn’t my birthday
He flung me effortlessly across the room
And I thought, this is the end, this is my doom
My feathery body that once swayed thumped hard against the door
I heard it splinter into a million pieces on the floor
Screaming with soreness, battered with scars
I woke up coughing, as he watched from afar
But I know he’s sorry because he sent me red roses today

I got red roses today
It wasn’t Valentine’s Day
He soaked my face with inconceivable words to provoke me
Pinned me to the wall, his hands quivering to choke me
When my lungs couldn’t inflate
I thought, finally checkmate
But he re-started his violent game
And my screams silent like he tamed
But I know he’s sorry because he sent me red roses today

I got red roses today
Today, is my funeral
As I lie in the dark, where he can’t touch my lifeless body
The affliction, the violence, I am able to disembody
If only I had injected myself with potency
Overdosed and fought his brutal spree
I would have returned the roses he sent
As he has always been the raging red, the fiery red that caused torment
It is now, that I realize he isn’t sorry because he sent the last red roses too late.

Poem by Enas Suleiman

Domestic violence is not only physical abuse, it is also emotional, and verbal abuse.

SubhanAllah, a topic never really talked about by Muslims and being swept under the carpet. Your husband, the man that is supposed to look after you and take care of you, protect you by any means necessary, but what happens when after you get married you realise he has a temper? He shouts and curses, then it turns to physical abuse, do you bear with it, being the 'obedient' wife, what does Islam say?

Unfortunately I've known many women who experience domestic violence, some of them are family and some people that I have just heard about. I have heard some horrific stories about how some 'Muslim' men treat their wives, it often brings me to tears gets me angry at our community and frustrated at the fact that these women are suffering in silence.

But who do they turn to in such situations? My family is from the indian subcontinent. if a woman experiencing domestic violence asked my grandmother for advice she would tell them to grit their teeth and bear it, women like my grandmother were never educated and taught about their rights in the folds of Islam, they have obscure and sometimes very disturbing views on domestic violence towards women in Islam.

There are stories that I've heard about a man (very distant family member) was taken to jail for using a knife to cut off his wife's ear.....all because she fed her daughter the last bit of his favourite dish and was taking too long to make him some more. I've heard of a sister of mine who is putting up with domestic violence because she is afraid that if she left her husband, people would have second thoughts when it came to marrying her younger sisters and also because she is afraid of how she would bring up her son on her own.

My heart bleeds when I hear such stories, these women shouldn't have to suffer in silence.

And now they don't have to, I present to you....Nour

Nour is a domestic violence non-profit organisation that was an idea in 2009, with a website launch in 2010 ( and is being eventually developed into a charity. It is different in its kind to other fantastic dv charities out there; as we are able to recognise the Islamic faith and be sensitive to that, whilst additionally offering the Islamic perspective to dv, as unfortunately many ignorantly believe it is permissible within the teachings of Islam.


The name Nour interestingly came to us immediately, which translates as angelic light in Arabic with connotations associated with peace, tranquillity and hope. We wanted to be a service that provides that very spark of light during the darkest days of our victims. Our full slogan is Nour – strength, support, solace. We work to help all victims find their strength to take action, get the support from their family and friends and from Nour to enable them to find solace in their life with whichever path they decide to pursue.

- Who is the founder of the organisation and how/why did they set this up?

The idea for Nour emerged back in 2009 when we (two friends now the co-founders) were discussing issues that were plaguing the Muslim community and women in general and realised that despite the presence of numerous notable domestic violence charities, there was no service available for Muslim domestic violence victims, to offer the help with the religious sensitivity and understanding. We found that this has hindered many victims approaching organisations for help or even acknowledging that the abuse they were suffering was wrong in the eyes of the law and within Islam. Rather than becoming angry or futilely reacting, we decided to be pro-active, and hence we are now able to introduce Nour a year later.

- Why do you think domestic violence is very prevalent in our society?
Many factors contribute to why DV is prevalent within our society, one being lack of Islamic education, which in turn allows the perpetrator to misinterpret Quranic Ayahs and use that as an excuse for one’s violence. There is not alot of awareness out there regarding this taboo subject and for too long it has been brushed under the carpet, Nour would like to change this insha’Allah and ensure this issue is no longer turned a blind eye to. There is not enough help or advice out there for victims to reach out to and so they suffer alone thinking Sabr is suffering in silence.

- What can we, as ordinary people do to help those that are experiencing domestic violence? / What can we do to educate people about domestic violence?
Recognising that one is going through DV is the first step to changing their lives for the better. We must ensure them that they are not alone and there are means out there who can help them, be it Islamic, Legal or health advisors.
The use of creative arts such as poetry helps to translate feelings that are not necessarily easy to express in normal speech and allow us as the reader to understand the emotions attached to domestic violence rather than just the facts and figures. Our website is fortunate enough to be able to publish exclusive works by various notable individuals related to the topic of domestic violence. The power of words is always underappreciated, and this was only realised by us when we suddenly got floods of comments to these works and more victims who approached us for hep stating that they had finally got the courage or motivation after having read our feature articles.
Nour has proposed plans to host nasheeed (song) events and other creative art festivals to get more people involved and to learn about Nour though these mediums, and to more importantly be more educated and aware of domestic violence and its impact in our society.
The power of speech is invaluable and it does not take much for every individual to spend some time educating themselves about dv and spreading awareness about it to their friends and family. Nour is always looking for volunteers to get involved with organising and providing help at our events. We always rely on the generous donation of the public and local business to support us, so that we can continue providing free services to our victims and continue the work. We can vouch 100% of our donations absolutely go towards our victims and projects.
We are currently planning key events in March and require immense funding and would like to ask the public and local businesses to support Nour.
If you are interested in providing any help to Nour, then please get in touch with us as to discuss this further.

- What are Nour's future ambitions?

The service Nour provides to victims is always free but currently is limited to online help through email contacts although we are absolutely working to expand this. All victims are able to have access to our team of advisor's which include Islamic advisor's, counsellors and legal advisor's. Islamic advisor's include those who have studied Islamic literature and alike such as Alimas and Sheikhs who are able to provide the Islamic knowledge to help a person understand that Islam does not condone violence and to help provide the support and sensitivity they may require to understand their situation. Our counsellors are all qualified in their field but additionally have background knowledge of Islam to offer confidential advice with the religious sensitivity. Our legal advisor's offer advice on matters that may relate to family disputes and personal safety related to domestic violence such as custody of children and restraining order.

All services are also available for non-Muslim victims too and we also welcome abusers/offenders to contact us if they wish to seek help to end their violence towards their partner. The advisor's can be accessed through our website - and by clicking on the contact tab. Nour also works to spread awareness about this taboo subject, we work hard to ensure this issue will no longer be brushed under the carpet and we want to educate those people who feel domestic violence is acceptable in the name of Islam, which it clearly is not.

We aim to expand on this insha’Allah in the near future providing help lines, shelters, after care packages to survivors.

Please keep Nour in your humble du’aas.

Domestic Violence awareness week is this week and Nour have a launch dinner also coming up.

I applaud everyone at Nour for all their hard work and I pray that inshaAllah we can make a difference to the lives of all women. Our sisters in Islam and mankind you are not alone.

I leave you with a saying from the best of mankind himself the holy prophet Muhammad pbuh.

'The most perfect believer in the matter of faith is one who has excellent behaviour; and the best among you are those who behave best towards their wives.' 
-Al-Tirmidhi Hadith 278 Narrated by Abu Hurayrah

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