Structural and Cultural Responsibility 

In one of the hadith text, Prophet Muhammad saw requested to all of the companions for helping the evil person for not doing harm, and for the victimized people for not being victim again. Such a request of course will be applied in general for all of us, in accordance with our capacity.  

عن أَنَسَ بْنَ مَالِكٍ رضى الله عنه يَقُولُ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم انْصُرْ أَخَاكَ ظَالِمًا أَوْ مَظْلُومًا  (صحيح البخاري).


From Anas bin Malik said, Rasulullah SAW said: “Help your brothers who do wrong and who are wronged.” Then a friend asked: “O Messenger of Allah, I will help him if he is wronged. But how do you help those who do wrong? ”. He replied, “You prevent him from committing wrongdoing, then you have actually helped him” (Sahih Bukhari, Kitab al-Ikrah, no. Hadith: 7038).


In the hadith as mentioned above, it is explained about our obligation to help the people who are victimized. On the other side, the Prophet also instructed to help the wrong doers by preventing them from not doing the violation. In another hadith, Prophet PBUH  also requested for preventing ourselves  from doing violation from the hand (power) we have, tongue (verbal), and also the hurt (commitment for the rejection of violations). 

عن أَبي سَعِيدٍ الخدري رضي الله عنه قال: سَمِعْتُ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم يَقُولُ مَنْ رَأَى مِنْكُمْ مُنْكَرًا فَلْيُغَيِّرْهُ بِيَدِهِ فَإِنْ لَمْ يَسْتَطِعْ فَبِلِسَانِهِ فَإِنْ لَمْ يَسْتَطِعْ فَبِقَلْبِهِ وَذَلِكَ أَضْعَفُ الإِيمَانِ (صحيح البخاري).


From Abu Sa’id al-Khudriy ra., Said: I heard Rasulullah SAW say: “Whoever sees evil happening, then change (it so it doesn’t happen) with his hands. If you can’t, then change it with his tongue (verbal. If not able, then with his heart ”(Sahih Muslim, Kitab al-Iman, no. Hadith: 186).


Hands are symbols of concrete actions that can stop somebody from doing munkar (violation) in the form of sexual violence. At present, the most effective way and enable efforts to utilize all state resources is through the enactment of the Law on the Elimination of Sexual Violence. The law has the potential to deter perpetrators, as well as provide protection and rehabilitation for victims. This law is very important to be passed to ensure that all citizens, especially women, are protected from all forms of sexual violence.

In a hadith text, those in power have a responsibility to ensure that those who are wronged get protection and that the poor can meet their needs.


مَنْ وَلِىَ مِنْ أَمْرِ النَّاسِ ثُمَّ أَغْلَقَ بَابَهُ دُونَ الْمِسْكِينِ أَوِ الْمَظْلُومِ أَوْ ذِى الْحَاجَةِ أَغْلَقَ اللَّهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ دُونَهُ أَبْوَابَ رَحْمَتِهِ عِنْدَ حَاجَتِهِ وَفَقْرِهِ (مسند الإمام أحمد).


“Whoever gets the mandate of power and government over people, then closes the door (does not give protection to) the poor, the wronged, or who has a need, then Allah will close the doors of His grace when he is in need of it (Musnada Ahmad, no. 16187).


The substance of this hadith text demands those who hold the power to provide protection to those who are wronged, namely victims of sexual violence. Sexual violence seriously threatens those who are socially weak, especially women and children. Sexual violence can threaten the future of the victim’s life. The state, therefore, is responsible with all legal instruments, policies, and resources at its disposal to ensure its citizens feel safe from all fear, injustice, injustice and violence, especially sexual violence.

Apart from the structural path, public education in the cultural path is also important and must. A good law, if it is not well understood, let alone not accepted by the people themselves, we can be sure that its implementation will actually be bad. Instead of protecting victims of sexual violence, it can actually add to the burden and violence against the victim.

In the spirit of cultural education, it is very important to present the will of the Prophet Muhammad at the time of Haj Wada ‘so that all components of the ummah think, say and behave well to women. Especially, because women are often looked down on socially, so they are easily made victims of all crimes and violence.

عَنْ سُلَيْمَانَ بْنِ عَمْرِو بْنِ الأَحْوَصِ حَدَّثَنِى أَبِى أَنَّهُ شَهِدَ حِجَّةَ الْوَدَاعِ مَعَ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم فَحَمِدَ اللَّهَ وَأَثْنَى عَلَيْهِ وَذَكَّرَ وَوَعَظَ ثُمَّ قَالَ اسْتَوْصُوا بِالنِّسَاءِ خَيْرًا فَإِنَّمَا هُنَّ عِنْدَكُمْ عَوَانٍ لَيْسَ تَمْلِكُونَ مِنْهُنَّ شَيْئًا غَيْرَ ذَلِكَ (سنن ابن ماجه).

From Sulaiman bin Amr bin al-Ahwash, said: My father has told me that he attended the Hajj Wada ‘(farewell) with the Messenger of Allah. He (gave his speech) by giving thanks to Allah SWT, praising Him, reminding (us) and giving advice (to us), then said: “I will testify to all of you about women, to always do good (to them), because they among you are often seen as (like) prisoners. In fact, you have absolutely no right from (and to) them, except for (their) goodness ”(Sunan Ibn Majah, Kitab an-Nikah, no. Hadith: 1924).


In the context of sexual violence, the kindness in this testament will refer for not committing to the sexual violence, not considering it as common and usual, and not giving a bad stigma to victims of violence. On the contrary, making every effort in order for women and children to be free from all violence actions. Helping, protecting, and empowering victims of violence is our collective responsibility, whether through structurally or culturally. 

The kindness that the Prophet PBUH asked for in this testament,  of course will be completed if it was based on a dignified view of women, did not demean or discriminate, both inside and outside the home. Namely, the perspective and behavior that places women and men as full life subjects, who have the rights to all the benefits of life and are free from all forms of violence. Through this perspective, it will be easier to handle violence and work to protect victims. Hopefully.

* Author is Lecture in IAIN Syekh Nurjati Cirebon and  Initiator of Mubadalah

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