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ISLAMIC MEDICAL EDUCATION RESOURCES 04

33.5 VIOLENCE, al unf

By Professor Omar Hasan Kasule Sr.

33.5.1 TAKING LIFE

Taking one’s life is a major sin that takes a person to hell and away from jannat. Salat al janazat is not offered for a suicide victim. Any form of harm to others is forbidden. This may be spilling blood or other forms of physical harm such as beating. Killing a human without valid reason is forbidden. The Qur’an condemned the killing of prophets by the Jews. Homicide is a major sin being among the 7 worst sins. The reward of deliberate killing of a believer is hell. Genocide is wholesale killing of people because of race or other distinguishing characteristic for example the genocide of Banu Israil in Egypt. Human torture is common. Opponents or those with different ideas are often victims of torture. Even criminals may be tortured beyond the the legal punishment. The Qur’an condemned the killing of believers at the trenches. Humans throughout their history have displayed levels of purposeless cruelty to one another that is not found among animals. The weak in the society have often been victims of this cruelty.

 

33.5.2 ABUSE OF WOMEN

We learn from books of siirat about the poor status of women on pre-Islamic Arabia. This included denial of the right to life for the women in the pre-Islamic period, denial of the good things of life from the woman, despise of the woman in the pre-Islamic period, considering a woman as a bad omen, inheriting the woman like a piece of property, and sadness at the birth of a girl. The fate of the Quraishi women was worse than that of Ansari women. The woman was also mistreated in pharaonin Egypt. The low and despised position of women exposed them to violence at home and outside the home. Islam protected the rights of the woman. It raised the woman’s status. It acknowledged the physical weakness of mothers necessitating special protection for them. Killing the woman was forbidden. Good treatment of women was ordained. Making fun of women was prohibited. Abuse of women can be physical, psychological, sexual, or emotional. Domestic violence is defined as physical violence, coercion, threats, intimidation, isolation, emotional abuse, sexual abuse, economic abuse. Victims of domestic violence can get protection. Violation of the protection order is a crime.

 

33.5.3 VIOLENCE TO CHILDREN

Any action that kills or causes harm of any kind to the fetus in utero is forbidden by the Law. Ancient and modern societies have practiced infanticide for various reasons. The pre-Islamic Arabs killed their children for fear of poverty. The Pharaohs killed male infants among the children of Israel. Islam ordained good treatment of girls. Justice in giving among children was ordained such that some do not feel less loved and desired. Children are victims of neglect, poor care, beating and torture. Various forms of child sexual abuse are practised: child prostitution, under-age marriages etc. Child abuse: The state is a protector of children and it can intervene to provide care if parents neglect their duty. Obligatory vaccination is in the public interest and overrides individual freedoms and choice. Children are often victims of abuse, physical and psychological.. The battered child syndrome is one of the manifestations of child abuse. The physician is liable for neglecting to report child abuse.

 

33.5.4 ABUSE OF THE ELDERLY

Old age is a period of physical weakness. Islam ordained respecting the rights of the elderly. Good treatment of parents is one of the best acts infront of Allah and has special rewards. If every offspring treated the parents well, there would be no elderly mistreated in the world. Cursing or mistreating parents is one of the major sins and is accompanied by severe punishment. It is rare for a person to curse their own parents; they may however curse parents of others who retaliate by cursing their patents. Allah answers the prayer, dua, of a parent against a child. Geriatric patients or elders can be mistreated by abuse, neglect, or exploitation either at home or in institutions. Elders because of dementia cannot give consent for research and a proxy has to be used. Brain injured patient can be abused.

 

33.5.5 OTHER FORMS OF VIOLENCE

Fire should not be left alight when sleeping. Illegal wars cause a lot of death and suffering. Even in legal wars, no harm is done to non-combatants. Armed robbery causes harm. Some sports are very aggressive physically for example boxing and wrestling. Some sports are very risky like climbing, gliding, and skiing. Occupations may expose workers to harmful situations. Litigation in the occupational setting may arise due to failure to enforce OSHA standards, failure to keep the workers informed, access to employee records, discrimination in the work-place (gender, pregnancy, fetal protection), workers’ compensation, and legal liability of occupational exposure.

(c) Professor Omar Hasan Kasule Sr. 2004