Dear Believer Series: Abuse is real, get help.

Dear Believer,

Abuse is real. Daim Khalid posted an extremely powerful video the other day highlighting the dichotomy of abuse juxtaposed with external portrayals of religiosity. It left me reeling. I spent years working with domestic abuse organizations like Harbor House and with ICNA Relief USA creating women’s shelters. Throughout it all I found one overwhelming reality.

Sometimes the same people who were praying in the front row were the same people abusing their wives at home. Sometimes it was the same woman complaining of her husband that was bleaching all of his clothing and keying his car.

Abuse is real. It’s a problem that is extremely prevalent in every community, faith-based or other. However, as a person claiming to have divine guidance, you really have to ask yourself? What are you doing?

What are you doing to ensure that you aren’t the one abusing another? Yes, you! I’m talking to you, the one reading this. Have you ever laid a hand on someone? Have you ever mentally abused someone intentionally? Have you ever had someone close to you tell you that you’re hurting them, and you did nothing to change it?

It saddens me when people respond, “You’re just taking it that way that was not my intention.” Or people who are told that they should see a counselor but don’t go because, “I don’t have a problem.”

What you need to realize is that “hurt people hurt people.” You might be hurting people and not even realizing it. You might be shoving years of pain under the rug that may be causing you anguish that you take out on others without even realizing it.

You might have turned to religion thinking that God is your way out, He is… but you can’t know God without knowing yourself. When you realize your imperfections, your sins, your heartaches and needs, then you come to realize your dependency on Him and your need to rectify your internal state.

Don’t let the same heart that Islam came to purify be the same heart that turns cold from hurting others.

You are not evil. You are not the thoughts that come to your mind. You are the decisions you make. Choose wisely.

With love,

Arthur K. Richards


Shout out to Nisa Homes, Harbor House, and ICNA Relief for the important work being done. If you find that you are in an abusive relationship please don’t be afraid to seek help. If you question that you are the one doing the abuse, seek help.


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