Thursday, May 26, 2011

Breaking the cycle of abuse with Latifah Hameen

Latifah Hameen is an author and speaker from Irving Texas who has written extensively about the patterns and effects of relationship abuse. Although her writing is geared primarily towards teens and young adults, the counsel and advice can be used by men and women of all ages. She has been a practicing Muslim for 32 years and is a member of the Muslimah Writers Alliance, an internationally based collaboration of Muslim women writers and advocates working to counter negative and inaccurate perceptions of members of the Muslim community.

Sister Latifah was inspired to write about abuse after having been in abusive relationships with Muslim men throughout a 20 year period and says that Islam has influenced her writing through the strength that Allah (swt)*has given her to be able to tell her story of abuse; Allah is the Arabic word for God and is used in Islam. After attending a seminar on abuse, she noticed how difficult it was for her to sit through the seminar and decided to take the steps necessary to confront the abuse that she had experienced and the effect that the abuse had had upon her.

Her first book, Suffering in Silence: Breaking the Cycle of Abuse, was published by Spencer-Majeed Publishing in 2006 and is a self-help book in which Sister Latifah shares her experiences with abuse and seeks to educate on the abusive relationship cycle. In a radio program with Kingdom Ambassadors Worldwide Network (KAW), Sister Latifah explained the five different types of abuse and how to recognize the red flags of an abusive relationship. There is physical abuse, mental/emotional abuse, spiritual abuse, social abuse and financial abuse.

Physical abuse is the most obvious and encompasses physical violence in the form of hitting, pushing and shaking, etc. Mental/emotional abuse involves name calling and humiliation as well as manipulation and ignoring someone as a means of inflicting mental or emotional harm. Spiritual abuse can take the form of using religion to control another or withholding religious freedoms from someone. Social abuse involves keeping someone isolated and separating them from friends and family and financial abuse is comprised of withholding money and/or accountability for finances.

Life Reminders

Psalm 145:8-9 The Lord is Gracious and Merciful
The Lord is Gracious and Merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. The Lord is good to all, and His Compassion is over all that He has made.

Matthew 11:28 Gentleness and Humility
“Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

Surah 33:21 Beautiful Pattern of Conduct
Ye have indeed in the Messenger of Allah a beautiful pattern of conduct for any one whose hope is in Allah and the Final Day, and who engages much in the Praise of Allah.

Sahih Muslim, Book Unknown: Changing an Evil Action
“Whosoever of you sees an evil action, let him change it with his hand; and if he is not able to do so, then with his tongue; and if he is not able to do so, then with his heart; and that is the weakest of faith.”

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