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A New Muslimah: This Muslim Woman Abuses Me at Work

Questioner

Anonymous

Reply Date

Sep 19, 2017

Question

For 2 years, I have been working as a slave. I’ve been accused of things I have not done. I have been humiliated and degraded many times. I recently discovered that the person who psychologically tortured me is a person of misconduct in Islam. Should I keep secret all about the abuse she has endured for me and all the evil she has done to me? And, about that person's conduct?

Counselor

Answer


A New Muslimah: This Muslim Woman Abuses Me at Work

In this counseling answer:

“You can try to move on with your life or you could speak to a trusted imam in confidence about what happened to you. You can also seek counseling.”


As-Salamu ‘Alaykum sister,

Thank you for writing to us. I am so sorry to hear what you have had to endure due to this person. She most certainly is not of Islamic conduct and, in fact, is committing haram acts. What she did to you was horrible and she will have to stand before Allah (swt) regarding this treatment of you.

Sister, this is very sad to hear, especially since this person was supposed to be of Islamic character and representative of a Muslim. No Muslim is supposed to harm another (especially another Muslim). It is a grave sin.

I am not sure how you met this person, if you knew her beforehand, or if you took a job with her in another country. Sometimes when one seeks a job outside of their country, they may be subject to abuse as the host feels the employee has no recourse nor family support in the area. While this is not the norm, it can happen.   Again, I am so sorry to hear this happened to you.

While I do not know your current status in relation to this person, or if you are still in contact with her, you have a few choices. You can either make du’aa’ to Allah (swt) to help you get through the pain, hurt, and betrayal you experienced. You can try to move on with your life or you could speak to a trusted imam in confidence about what happened to you. You could speak with him keeping her name anonymous as the goal is emotional and spiritual healing, not revenge. If you desired, you could indicate who the person was in order to tell your full story if needed, but asking that it be held in confidence. An imam could guide you in a resolution of this hurt and abuse from a spiritual nature.

You can also seek counseling, dear sister, in order to help you on the path of resolution.  This will aid you from a psychological perspective, assisting with working out your feelings as well as any resulting depression, anger, anxiety, fears or other issues you may have developed as a result of your experience of being abused.

I also encourage you to seek legal action if you were raped, physically abused or otherwise violated in a way in which deems legal intervention a need for accountability.

When someone humiliates us, accuses us of things we did not do, and degrades us, it hurts deeply. Often times we carry that hurt, pain, and distrust with us for a long time. It can destroy a lot of joy we once may have had in our lives as well as future opportunities.   When we have been hurt/betrayed that bad, it can leave a scar if we let it.

Just as in any other religion, sadly, there are evil people who seek to destroy others. As she has treated you this way, dear sister, you can bet she has treated others in the same manner before and most likely will in the future. It is my feeling that people in the community already know about her and her abusive ways.  In Islam, one is not supposed to gossip about or backbite another; therefore, it may not be public news, but private knowledge.

Regarding abusive from other Muslims, the Prophet Mohammad (saw) was reported to have said:

“None of you should point his weapon at his brother, as Satan may provoke him (to hurt his brother) and as a result, he would fall into a pit of Fire.”(Al-Bukhari)

In another version:

“He who (even) points at his brother with a piece of iron is cursed by the angels until he puts it down, even if the other was his blood brother.” (Muslim)

This weapon, sister, can be in the form of backbiting, verbal and emotional harm, and degrading abuse such as you experienced. Thus, it is not a matter that is taken lightly.

The Quran says about this:

“O you who have believed, let not a people ridicule [another] people; perhaps they may be better than them, nor let women ridicule [other] women; perhaps they may be better than them. And do not insult one another and do not call each other by [offensive] nicknames. Wretched is the name of disobedience after [one’s] faith. And whoever does not repent – then it is those who are the wrongdoers.

O you who have believed, avoid much [negative] assumption. Indeed, some assumption is sin. And do not spy or backbite each other. Would one of you like to eat the flesh of his brother when dead? You would detest it. And fear Allah; indeed, Allah is Accepting of repentance and Merciful.” (49: 11-12)

As we can see dear sister, truly the loser and the one who will suffer is the women who abused you. She may have deep psychological issues which cause her to treat you (and probably others) in such a horrific manner, or maybe she is just an evildoer. Only Allah (swt) knows. On the other hand, as you are a victim and survivor of this abuse, in sha’ Allah, Allah (swt) will grant ease and make your path towards healing from all this drama and pain an easy path. 

I kindly suggest dear sister that you seek out counseling to address any lingering issues such as anxiety, depression, anger, fear, distrust (if they exist). Seek out the spiritual guidance from an imam to heal the spiritual wound this may have left. Make du’aa’ to Allah (swt) and seek refuge in Him who is most merciful. Allah (swt) knows the wrong that was done to you. He loves you dearly. Please do seek comfort in Allah (swt) as well as try to move on with your life by taking the outlined needed steps for healing.

Please, let us know how you are doing.

***

Disclaimer: The conceptualization and recommendations stated in this response are very general and purely based on the limited information provided in the question. In no event shall AboutIslam, its counselors or employees be held liable for any damages that may arise from your decision in the use of our services.

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About Aisha Mohammad-Swan

Aisha Mohammad-Swan received her PhD in psychology in 2000. Aisha worked as a Counselor/Psychologist for 12 years for Geneva B. Scruggs Community Health Care Center in New York with a focus on PTSD, OCD, depression, anxiety, substance abuse, marriage/relationships issues, as well as community-cultural dynamics. She is certified in Restorative Justice/ Healing Circles, Conflict Resolution, and Mediation, and is also a certified Life Coach. She is currently studying for her certification in Islamic Chaplaincy, and takes Islamic courses at SHC. Aisha works at a Women's Daytime Drop in Center, and has her own part-time practice in which she integrates counseling and holistic health. Aisha also received an MA in Public Health/Community Development in 2009 and plans to open a community counseling/resource center for Muslims and others in the New York area in the future, in sha' Allah.

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