Established in 2002 as 501-C (3) non-profit organization, the North American Islamic Shelter for Abused (NISA) was created to alleviate challenges related to abuse and domestic violence, issues statistically on the rise within the Muslim community. NISA aims to address the concepts of ‘ma’roof’ and ‘munkar’: enjoining what is right & forbidding what is wrong, while examining disputes within families, as well as addressing elder abuse, premarital counseling, spiritual counseling and community outreach awareness.
NISA’s mission is to preserve human dignity by aiding those who live in an unsafe environment filled with pain, fear and hopelessness. We promote domestic harmony and aim to restore an Islamic family system that brings the rights of the husband, wife, children, and relatives into equilibrium. Our approach is to handle domestic violence while incorporating a spiritual dimension, which is necessary to deliver effective services and sustain efforts. NISA seeks to increase awareness about domestic violence in our community at large. Help is free, available and should be sought before family problems become irreparable.
Rooted in Islamic values, NISA strives to create a more just community in which people of all cultures and beliefs can participate. Our primary goal is to reduce the incidents of domestic violence and achieve domestic harmony among families through collaborative efforts with the community and other established organizations. NISA does not discriminate. We provide services to all who seek our assistance.
About Domestic Violence
What is Domestic Violence?
Domestic violence (DV) is a generic term for abusive behavior between couples. It is a learned systematic behavior that uses physical, sexual, and/or psychological abuse in order to exert and maintain power and control over an intimate partner. The patterns of abuse do not usually begin with an act of violence. Psychological Abuse, including isolation, minimization of a partners decision-making abilities and obsessive jealousy, are usually initiated first. Abuse and battering is a system of behaviors to control another person’s actions and feelings.
Domestic violence has claimed the lives of women and men, irrespective of class, education, race, religion, status and orientation. Primarily women, but also men, are physically abused and emotionally exploited right within their own homes and families. Recent FBI statistics show that a woman is beaten every 12 seconds, nationwide. A domestic partner will assault 1 out of 4 women in the United States at least once in her lifetime. In addition, children in homes where domestic violence occurs are physically abused or seriously neglected at a rate of 1500% higher than the national average of the population.
Source What Islam Says About Domestic Violence: A Guide for Helping Muslim Families By Zainab Alwani & Salma Abugideiri.
Islam and Domestic Abuse
The foundation of an Islamic marriage is described in the following verse from the Holy Quran:
“And among His signs is this: that He created for you mates from among yourselves, that you may dwell in tranquility with them, and He has put love and mercy between your (hearts). Verily in that are signs for those who reflect.” (Quran : 30: 21).
The above verse can be taken as a reminder that spouses are inherently equal and that the union between them is a peaceful and compassionate one. Marriage is considered in Islam to be an act of obedience to God, and the goal of each person within the marriage is to please God by living a divinely guided life and avoiding His prohibitions. Any behavior or interaction done with the intent of upholding divine instruction will be rewarded by God in the hereafter and will contribute to a healthy family unit. Islam does not regard woman in any way inferior to man. It makes both of them equal partners in the business of life. They are two wheels of the same carriage and the carriage cannot move forward without either. The following verse shows that men and women come from the same root and are branches of the same tree.
“O Mankind! Reverence your Guardian Lord, Who created you from a single person, created, of like nature, His mate, and from them twain Scattered like seeds countless men and women” (Quran : 4: 1)
Under no circumstances does the Quran encourage, allow, or condone family violence or physical abuse.
“The best of you are those who treat their wives best” – Prophet Mohammed (peace be upon him)