Muhyiddin Abdusshomad 

Assalamu’alaikum wr.wb. 

Pak Kyai (an honor term for Muslim clergy), I am a college student who lives close to the campus. I have a dorm mate who often quarrels with her boyfriend. Once upon a time, they had a big fight until my dorm mate fainted. 

I have tried to advise my friend to end the relationship because it is not healthy, but my friend said that she could not break up with her boyfriend. And the events of the fight accompanied by the violence often occur again. What should I do, Pak Kyai?

The Answer from KH. Muhyiddin Abdusshomad

Wa’alaikum salam warahmatullahi wa barakatuh.

Dear Sister Yani,

Before answering your question, please note that, in Islam the bonding between men and women must be built with a solemn covenant (mitsaqan ghalizha) which necessitates the responsibility and guarding of one another. That is why Islam does not recognize the term pacaran (dating) because the bond is very weak. There are many risks that lurk, and it is very easy to get into the abyss of sin.

Islam only knows khitbah as the gateway to marriage. Khitbah is the commitment of a man and woman to build a serious relationship to the marriage level and involves the family of both parties. Due to these two elements, the bond in the khitbah becomes strong.

Dear Sister Yani,

Although the relationship built by your friend is not taught in religion, but the violence that occurs in a dating relationship is also unjustifiable. With any reason and in whatever form, violence is an act that violates religious norms. What is experienced by your friend in legal studies in an effort to eliminate violence against women is called “dating violence”. The act is wrong not only from the perspective of religion but also the positive law in Indonesia.

In relation to the question that you asked, in the religious view, your position is within the scope of the obligation to do amar ma’ruf nahi munkar (commanding the good and forbidding the evil). This command is very important in Islam. A Muslim’s concern for his/her fate and what befell his/her brother. As explained by the Words of Allah SWT. : 

“The believing men and believing women are allies of one another. They enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong and establish prayer and give zakah and obey Allah and His Messenger. Those – Allah will have mercy upon them. Indeed, Allah is Exalted in Might and Wise.” (QS. Al Taubah, 71)

Dear Sister Yani who is blessed by Allah SWT.

What you are facing right now, in the context of the command includes in the second category, i.e. nahi munkar or forbidding the evil. In this case, religion provides three guidance when seeing munkar through the words of the Prophet: 


“Abu Sa`id Al-Khudri (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, “Whoever amongst you sees an evil, he must change it with his hand; if he is  unable to do so, then with his tongue; and if he is unable to do so, then with his heart; and that is the weakest form of Faith”. [Muslim].

Explaining this hadith, Shaykh Abdul Qadir al-Jailani said that those who deny the act (munkar) are of three levels. First, denial by hand (power), this is the government’s duty. Secondly, denial by the tongue (advice). This is the duty of the ulama. Third, denial by the heart. This one is for Muslims as a whole. “(Al-Ghunyah li Thalibi Thariq al-Haq, juz I, p. 51)

The explanation given by Shaykh Abdulqodir al Jailani shows that the three kinds of ways of denial consist of separate divisions. Prevention of munkar by hand is the authority of the government. The people have no right to do so. What can be done by the people when they see munkar is by giving a warning if they are categorized as capable people or people who have enough knowledge. Whereas if he/she is a layman, then the form of denial is with the heart, that is by disliking, disagreeing, by not supporting the act, and reporting it to the authorities.

Dear Sister Yani,

What you have done by giving warning or awareness to your friend is right. Whether it will be accepted or rejected, it is beyond your ability as a human being. It is the territory of hidayah (guidance) and the power of Allah swt. as the essence that moves the hearts of men.

If necessary, others should also be involved to provide advice and input, such as a family or a respected person. The input should be not only to your friend but also to the violent boyfriend. The chosen words should not be vulgar but touching. Like a person who does fishing, he gets the fish without making the water muddy.

The final step that can be taken is to report the incident to the authorities. However, this step needs to be considered carefully by consulting with various parties, especially the victim, then collecting various evidence and witnesses. Do not let your good intention to help your friend endanger yourself.

Maybe this is the only answer we can give. We salute your concern and sympathy for the bad luck experienced by others. Hopefully Allah swt. gives you abundant rewards. Amen.[]


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