By: Luluk Farida

As long as with the development of technology, human life become easier in accessing science, knowledge, data, information and the fulfilment of their needs without limitation of border and time. In addition to that, the sophisticated technology also make all of forms of violation, violence, harm, and injustice in which later we will call it of Online Gender Based Violence (O-GBV) become easier. As any other form of violence, O-GBV has the law consequences as impacts such as psychological, social, and economic impacts as the same as the physical violence and social violence that happen in the real life for their victims. 

The story of the enforcement of the nudity sentenced to couple of young man and woman, by the Chair of Neighborhood (Ketua RT) in Cikupa, Tangerang on last 11 November 2017; which finally became viral and spread massively in the online media, was an example of O-GBV which is clearly prohibited as taught by Prophet Muhammad PBUH. Both the perpetrator of the enforcement of nudity,  or the person who spread the video of the enforcement of the nudity obtained the same consequence as doing ‘haram’ (prohibited) action as the person who violated the teaching of the Prophet about the violations against human dignity and their honor. In the various hadiths, the Prophet clearly prohibited all forms of violations against human dignity and honor. 

Whoever victims of O-GBV both man and woman obtain impacts on their life, directly or indirectly. The gender based violence that happen in the digital or online forms as well as in the real life, is part of crimes against humanity. Because every victim must be impacted by such crime regardless of their gender men or women. Therefore, O-GBV in Islam has the same law consequence with other forms of violence against humanity in the real life. 

Prophet’s Journey in the Elimination of Gender Based Violence 

Prophet Muhammad along his 23 years of his Prophetic era, had been struggling for elimination of all forms of violence, harm, and injustices through the teaching of Tauhid (the Oneness of God). The mission of the Tauhid teaching is affirming that there is no honor but the honor of Allah, and there is no one deserved to worship except to Allah. Prophet Muhammad teaching the Tauhid through the peace movement and noble character by prioritizing the use of reason. 

In the teaching of Tauhid, all human being have the similar position as the servant of Allah. As mentioned in a Prophet;s hadith: “In the middle of the Tashriq day, the Prophet PBUH said: “O ye all the human being. Remember that your God is only one, and actually your father is the same man. Remember that the Arab people is not nobler than the non-Arab people; and also the non-Arab people is not nobler that Arab people. The red skin people is not nobler then the black skin people, as well the black skin people is not nobler than the red skin people but because of their piety. Had I told you about this?” They replied,”Yes, Prophet. You had told us about this.” (HR Ahmad)

Base on the hadith mentioned above, the Prophet affirmed that all human being are equal, there is no difference because of their skin color, ethnic, or any other things. Something that can distinguish among the human being was just caused by the quality of their piety, not other thing. The noble position of men and women in the Prophet’s Muhammad teaching is not discriminated based on their gender, but just because of the quality of their piety. Therefore, as human being who is mandated to become the Caliph (the representation of God in the world), men and women has the same rights and responsibilities, and there should not be harm, violence, and persecution based on the gender differences. 

A long 23 years of his prophetic era, Prophet Muhammad PBUH had been deconstructing and reforming the harmful culture that happen during the era of ignorance (Jahiliyah) without no exception, including the elimination of patriarchal culture become the struggle movement of the Prophet in eliminating the harm, violence, and injustices. The Prophet uplifted the women’s human dignity which were treated inhuman before, to become equal human being who have the same rights and responsibilities as men. Women who had never been considered in the daily life before, started to be mentioned in many verses in the Quran.  Umar ibn al-Khatthab narrated: From Ibn Abbas ra.said, Umar ra. Said, “In the previous time during the era of ignorance (Jahiliyah), we never consider to women at all. When Islam came and Allah affirmed their position, we just started to think that they also rights on us (men).” (HR.Bukhari)

Through the teaching of Tauhid, the Prophet immediately eliminated the patriarchal cultural practices that bring several impacts on the emerging violence, harm, and injsutices to women. Firmly, Prophet Muhammad prohibited the violence practices, that had been done physically, economically, and socially. In one of the hadith, Prophet Muhammad said: 

From Abi Bakrah, said that the Prophet of Allah the Almighty preached to the people and said,”Do you know, what day is today?” They replied, “Allah and His Prophet knew better.” Abu  Barakah explained, “We thought that he will give name the day with another name”. Then the Prophet said, “Is this the month of Nahr?” We replied, “It’s rights, the Prophet of Allah.” Then he asked again, “What is the name of the country? Is this in a country?” We replied,”Yes, it’s rights, the Prophet of Allah.” Then he said, “Then verily Allah had prohibited the blood, treasure, honor, and skin color of you among others; as the haram status of the day, this month, and this contry of yours. Is it enough for me to tell you about this?” We replied, “Yes”. Then he said, “Dear Allah, watch us. So, whoever who present today should tell to the people who don’t come.” (Kitab Sharah Shahih Bukhari on the Chapter of Fitnah).

Based on this hadith, the Prophet Muhammad had prohibited the violation against human rights to all human being without any discrimination. Everybody both men and women are the whole human being whose rights must be protected, so clearly and frankly the Prophet prohibited the presence of the bloodshed, treasure, honour and skin color of human being for one another. 

How is the Prophet’s Strategy in the Elimination of Violence Against Women (VAW)

The first things that Prophet did was delivering the message on the order of Allah through the improvement of the noble character, morality, love and compassion manner.  The noble character and improving the attitude to be better, behavior and using of the words during the social interaction among human being is the first teaching of the Prophet after the teaching of Tauhid. The people who committed in Tauhid have to control their attitude, behavior, actions and words so they will not hurt other people, the creature of Allah whoever they are. This is called by the ‘akhlaq al-karimah’  (noble character) which become one of the main teaching of Prophet Muhammad PBUH. He said in a hadith, “Innama bu’itstu li-utammima makaarima ak-akhlaaq” (Means: “Verily, I’m sent (by Allah) in order to flesh out the noble character” HR. Bukhari).

The noble character will be realized in the daily attitude of the Prophets to become the role model for his followers. By referring to the teaching of Tauhid, Prophet Muhammad PBUH prohibited the burial of baby girl practices. Lives in the poligamic cultural environment, the Prophet decided to practice monogamy during his marriage with his wife Khadijah. This must be contradicting with the situation and become his real resistance attitude to the patriarchal culture at the time. When the people in his world were ashamed of having baby girl, the Prophet showed his love and compassion to his daughter. The nick name “Az Zahra”, is a lovely nickname he gave to his daughter, Fatimah. Not only to his daughter Fatimah and his wife Khadijah, to any other women the Prophet show his humble attitude and respect and never did the rude action. 

Narrated from Aisha ra. said: The Prophet PBUH said to Fatimah ra. “Welcome, my daughter”. Umi hani ra. also said, “I came to the the Prophet. And then he welcome my attendance, “Welcome, hi Umi Hani” (HR Bukhari).

The hadith above showed us on how Prophet Muhammad PBUH treated women respectfully and full will compassion whenwomen were degraded. But, the Prophet treated well women with all of his forms of actions starting from the use of the words, gentle and respect attitude towards women. This is part of the Prophet’s teaching in eliminationg violence against women (VAW) through the good concrete example. 

The Prophet also taught the people of the Ignorance society (Jahiliyah) to treat women politely and to respect women, not only by preaching with his words. The Prophet had fight against violence agains women through his concrete actions that he showed to become the role model that can be followed by the people in his era. The proved never use beating or violence actions to solve the problems. This situation as had been narrated in a hadith:

It means: From Aisha ra.said: The Prophet never beat anyone with his own hand, whether to women or his servants, except during the situation of war in the way of Allah. The Prophet never reply any treatment done by other person with same actions, especially when they had violated what had been prohibited by Allah, so Allah Himself will respond such action directy.” (HR. Bukhari)

The Prophet’s behavior as told in the hadith above was a concrete description or picture about the Prophet’s movement in eliminating the violence against women in the daily life through the socio-cultural reformation. All forms of actions and treatments of the Prophet to women is part of his uswah (good concrete example) to be followed by his people. The behavior and actions of the Prophet will become the reference or source of the laws for the society. This is usually known as ‘sunnah rasul’ (examples from the Prophets), the great role model for the people which can be down because of the time and era.{}


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