What Punishment Lies for My Violent Brother?

Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil

Question:Assalam alaykum,

My brother’s disrespect towards women, despite his religiosity, is escalating on a daily basis.He kicked my mother. He has punched his wife’s head so severely she is left with bruises but she is not allowed to say anything to anyone.

What punishment lies for someone who is so arrogant that he  says that if he kills anyone, Allah will forgive him?

Answer: Assalamualaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

Ya Latif. What a horrifying situation.

Dear sister, please speak to your sister-in-law and mother in private. Let them know that they are in danger, and you need to call the police. Please come up with a plan that will keep both of them safe. Please consult a culturally-compassionate lawyer, social worker, and counsellor and explain what is happening. Explain that your mother and your sister-in-law are afraid of your brother, and if there’s anything they can do to help empower them. Ultimately, they need to be the ones to make that final decision of ending their nightmare.

Your sister-in-law sounds terrified, helpless, and can probably see no way out. This intervention will only work if she is on board. Many abused wives are so traumatised that even after leaving their husbands, many return, only to be murdered. Go to counselling with her, if necessary, and do not tell your brother.

Will asking a trusted local imam or community elder for help make things better or worse? I am concerned that exposing the truth to a local scholar could cause your brother to fly into a rage and assault his wife and your mother even further. Please pray istikhara up til seven times about getting outside help. If Allah makes it easy for you to seek out help, then take that path. If He does not, then take a different path to seek help. If confronting your brother head on with an outsider will only make things worse, then you must proceed carefully.

Narrated by`Abdullah: Allah’s Messenger (upon him be blessings and peace) said, “Abusing a Muslim is Fusuq (i.e., an evil-doing), and killing him is Kufr (disbelief).” [Bukhari]

It was narrated that ‘Abdullah bin ‘Amr said: “Killing a believer is more grievous before Allah than the extinction of the whole world.” [Sunan An-Nasai’]

Narrated Abu Sirmah: The Prophet (upon him be blessings and peace) said:” If anyone harms (others), Allah will harm him, and if anyone shows hostility to others, Allah will show hostility to him.” [Sunan Abi Dawud]

Your brother sounds like someone who needs psychological counselling. He is delusional if he believes that it is acceptable to hit his mother and his wife, because Allah forgives everything except for shirk. The sins he commits against creation are an entirely different matter. It is obligatory upon him to stop oppressing his wife and mother, and to ask for their forgiveness.

If he thinks it is acceptable to kill another human being, then his wife will be his first target, and your mother may be next. His daughter is also not safe. Ya Latif. May Allah protect you all and guide him.

It is easy for him to be outwardly religious, because his ego is flattered by the praise of others. The true test of a man is how he behaves with his family, when he is away from the public eye.

Instead of making dua for your brother’s death, make dua for Allah to lift this tribulation from your family in the way that He chooses. Please keep in touch with us at SeekersHub. You and your family are in my duas.

Please see:

My Brother Is an Extremely Controlling Husband. How Can I Help His Wife?
Some Prophetic Supplications for Difficulty and Distress

Wassalam,
Raidah

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Photo: U.S. Air Force Photo by Josh Plueger