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Chicago: Muslim woman TikToked her divorce, then her husband killed her

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There is, of course, domestic violence in all cultures. So to post this is just “Islamophobic,” right? Wrong: there is domestic violence in all cultures, but only in one does it have divine sanction. Islam doesn’t teach that man may kill his wife, but once you’ve allowed him to beat her, accidents will happen.

The Qur’an teaches that men are superior to women and should beat those from whom they “fear disobedience”: “Men have authority over women because Allah has made the one superior to the other, and because they spend their wealth to maintain them. Good women are obedient. They guard their unseen parts because Allah has guarded them. As for those from whom you fear disobedience, admonish them and send them to beds apart and beat them.” — Qur’an 4:34

Muhammad’s child bride, Aisha, says in a hadith that Muhammad “struck me on the chest which caused me pain, and then said: ‘Did you think that Allah and His Apostle would deal unjustly with you?’” — Sahih Muslim 2127

An another hadith states: “Rifa`a divorced his wife whereupon `AbdurRahman bin Az-Zubair Al-Qurazi married her. `Aisha said that the lady (came), wearing a green veil (and complained to her (Aisha) of her husband and showed her a green spot on her skin caused by beating). It was the habit of ladies to support each other, so when Allah’s Messenger came, Aisha said, ‘I have not seen any woman suffering as much as the believing women. Look! Her skin is greener than her clothes!’” — Sahih Bukhari 7.77.5825

“Sania Khan: She TikToked her divorce, then her husband killed her,” by Sam Cabral, BBC News, August 9, 2022:

When she left a bad marriage, Sania Khan said some members of her South Asian Muslim community made her feel like she had “failed at life”. Through TikTok, she found support and comfort in strangers – until her ex returned and murdered her.

This story contains details that may be upsetting to some readers.

Her bags were packed. She was ready to be free.

The 21st of July was to be the day Sania Khan, 29, left Chicago, Illinois – and the trauma of a relationship gone wrong – to begin a new solo chapter in her native Chattanooga.

Instead, that day, she returned home to Tennessee in a casket.

Three days earlier, officers had found Khan unresponsive near the front door of the Chicago condominium she had once shared with her estranged husband, Raheel Ahmad, 36. She had a gunshot wound to the back of her head and was pronounced dead at the scene.

Upon arrival of the police, Ahmad had turned the gun on himself, taking his own life.

According to police reports shared with the Chicago Sun-Times, the pair were “going through a divorce”, and Ahmad, who had gone to live in a different state while separated from Khan, had travelled some 700 miles back to their former home “to salvage the marriage”.

The grisly murder-suicide was the tragic final chapter in the life of Khan, a young Pakistani-American photographer who had recently found recognition on the social-media platform TikTok as a voice for women fighting marriage trauma and divorce stigma in the South Asian community.

Her death has left her friends shaken, and has reverberated with her online followers and other South Asian women who say they have felt the pressure to stay in unhealthy relationships for the sake of appearances….

“They had a fabulous, big, fat Pakistani wedding,”a childhood friend recalled. “But the marriage was built on a foundation of lies and manipulation.”

Khan’s friends claim Ahmad had long-standing mental health issues. The couple had been mostly in a long distance relationship before marrying, which her friends say likely obscured the extent of their incompatibility.

The problems came to a head last December when, her friend said, Khan told her that Ahmad had a mental-health crisis and she felt unsafe. The BBC was unable to reach the Ahmad family for comment.

Members of the Khan family declined, through Khan’s friends, to comment for this story.

About a dozen murder-suicides take place in the US every week, about two-thirds of which involve intimate partners, according to the Violence Policy Center.

Mental illness and relationship troubles are often identified among the top risk factors for women facing abuse by their partners. Domestic violence experts say women are most at risk of being killed by an intimate partner when they are leaving the relationship.

The December episode convinced Khan – who had until then kept details of the relationship private – to open up about her unhappy marriage, friends said.

They said Khan discussed the struggles in her marriage, telling them that her husband wasn’t sleeping and often acted strangely, that he was refusing her pleas to seek help or go to therapy, and that she felt his mental health struggles had become her burden.

But friends allege that, while they told Khan to leave the marriage, others counselled her to stay in it.

Ms Williams, 26, said her old friend broke down when they last met in Chicago in May.

“She told me that divorce was considered shameful and she was extremely lonely,” she told the BBC – recounting how Khan used the phrase “what will people say”, more commonly known in Urdu and Hindi as log kya kahenge….

But with the support of her friends, Khan filed for divorce and secured an August hearing to finalise the split.

She also filed a restraining order and changed the locks on her doors, friends said.

And she began sharing her story on TikTok, describing herself as “the black sheep” in her community….

“My family members told me if I left my husband I would be letting Shaytan [the devil in Arabic] ‘win’, that I dress like a prostitute and if I move back to my hometown they’ll kill themselves,” says another….

At the time of her death, more than 20,000 people were following Khan on TikTok.

Bisma Parvez, 35, a fellow Pakistani-American Muslim woman, was one of them.

“I remember, [after] the first video that I saw of hers, I just prayed for her,” she said.

“Women in these situations are told to have ‘sabr’ [patience in Arabic] and, in an abusive relationship, patience is not the answer.”…

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