Wife Beating in Islam
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This article explores how wife-beating is promoted in the Qur'an and Hadiths, along with commentary from Muslim scholars, statistics on wife beating in the Muslim world, and common apologetic arguments made by Muslims and responses to them.
- 1 Introduction
- 2 Islamic Scriptures and Wife-Beating
- 3 Early and Modern Muslim Scholars on Wife-Beating
- 4 Statistics on Domestic Violence in the Muslim World
- 5 Response From Muslim Women
- 6 Objections Made by Muslim Apologists
- 7 Conclusion
- 8 See Also
- 9 External Links
- 10 References
Domestic violence in the Muslim world is to some extent emboldened by Islamic religious texts such as the Qur'an and the Hadiths. Such texts, which not only allow, but actually command husbands to beat their wives in certain circumstances, have been a tool to maintain control and dominance over Muslim women, reinforcing an intensely patriarchal society.
Islamic Scriptures and Wife-Beating
Wife-Beating in the Qur'an
"Beat them" (4:34)
Domestic violence is a societal problem in many countries, but in the Muslim world it is divinely ordained and justified by the Qur'an in verse 4:34.
So that the meaning is clear, three translations of this verse are provided below. The word 'beat' in the arabic is daraba (beat, strike, hit).
Yusuf Ali translation: Men are the protectors and maintainers of women, because Allah has given the one more (strength) than the other, and because they support them from their means. Therefore the righteous women are devoutly obedient, and guard in (the husband's) absence what Allah would have them guard. As to those women on whose part ye fear disloyalty and ill-conduct, admonish them (first), (Next), refuse to share their beds, (And last) beat them (lightly); but if they return to obedience, seek not against them Means (of annoyance): For Allah is Most High, great (above you all).
Pickthall translation: Men are in charge of women, because Allah hath made the one of them to excel the other, and because they spend of their property (for the support of women). So good women are the obedient, guarding in secret that which Allah hath guarded. As for those from whom ye fear rebellion, admonish them and banish them to beds apart, and scourge them. Then if they obey you, seek not a way against them. Lo! Allah is ever High, Exalted, Great.
Shakir translation: Men are the maintainers of women because Allah has made some of them to excel others and because they spend out of their property; the good women are therefore obedient, guarding the unseen as Allah has guarded; and (as to) those on whose part you fear desertion, admonish them, and leave them alone in the sleeping-places and beat them; then if they obey you, do not seek a way against them; surely Allah is High, Great. )
All three translations agree with each other and establish that the Qur'an not only allows, but actually commands wife-beating for persistent misconduct, or even merely the husband's fear of such. The Qur'an states two methods must be used to make the wife become obedient and if they do not work, then wife-beating is instructed. It also states men have authority over women, and women are to be obedient, thus establishing an authoritarian structure with the husband as head of the wife. The reason given for this is that Allah created men superior to women and because men are maintainers of women.
- ٱلرِّجَالُ (ar-rijaalu) - men
- قَوَّٰمُونَ (qawwaamoona) - maintainers
- عَلَى ('ala) - over
- ٱلنِّسَآءِ (nisaa'i) - women
The "beat them" part:
- فَعِظُوهُنَّ (fa'aithoohunna) - then (fa) admonish ('aithoo) them (hunna)
- وَٱهْجُرُوهُنَّ (wahjuroohunna) - and (wa) forsake (hjuroo) them (hunna)
- فِى (fy) - in
- ٱلْمَضَاجِعِ (almadaji'ai) - beds
- وَٱضْرِبُوهُنَّ (wadriboohunna) - and (wa) beat (driboo) them (hunna)
- فَإِنْ (fa'in) - then (fa) if (in)
- أَطَعْنَكُمْ (ata'anakum) - they obey (ata'ana) you (kum)
The root of the word وَٱضْرِبُوهُنَّ (wa-driboo-hunna) is ضرب (d-r-b). The letter ٱ (alif waslah) is not pronounced here but if it was without the و (-wa, meaning "and") prefix and at a beginning of a speech it would be read as "i", so the word would be "idriboohunna" (ٱضْرِبُوهُنَّ).
There are many other words, derived from this root, with a similar meaning, used in the Qur'an:
- Verse 2:60 "...strike (ٱضْرِب, drib) the rock with your staff..."
- Verse 2:73 "...strike it (ٱضْرِبُوهُ, driboo-hu) with a part of the cow..."
- Verse 8:12 "...so strike (فَٱضْرِبُوا۟, fa-driboo) on their necks..."
- and others.
The word "lighly" does not appear in the original Arabic version and it is only added by some translators.
Job beat his wife (38:44)
The Qur'an also states that the prophet Job (Ayyub) was commanded by Allah to beat his wife using a bunch of grass / twigs / rushes (dighthan).
Tafsirs such as Ibn Kathir's explain the story behind this verse. The lesson from the Qur'an is that it is better to beat your wife in a relatively unpainful, yet still humilating way, than to break an earlier oath that you will beat her.
Tafsir Ibn Kathir
Wife-Beating in the Hadiths
Some Muslims deny the Qur'an permits wife-beating and claim verse 4:34 has been misinterpreted, but in the hadiths there are several examples, from various hadith narrators and collectors, of Muhammad ordaining wife-beating, thus confirming the correct understanding of surah 4:34. There are multiple hadiths in which Muhammad's companions beat or struck women (sometimes in his presence), and somewhat conflicting evidence narrated from his wife, 'A'isha, on whether Muhammad himself used physical force against women. In the section following this one, we identify hadiths in which Muhammad attempted to moderate the level of violence.
In our first hadith, Muhammad causes his wife Aisha physical pain by striking her in the chest. The word used here is lahada, which means he pushed violently or struck her chest. Please note that the sunnah.com website (and websites that copy their text) use the Dar-us-Salam translation, but have taken it upon themselves to drastically alter the translation of this sentence for apologetic reasons. Below you will find the original translation.
On the other hand, a hadith in Abu Dawud records 'A'isha saying that Muhammad never hit (daraba) a woman. There she seems, perhaps generously, to have disregarded the time when Muhammad pushed / struck her painfully in the chest as mentioned in her hadith quoted above, assuming both are authentic.
The evidence is straightforward regarding the actions of some of Muhammad's companions. In the next hadith, Abu Bakr (the first Rightly-Guided Caliph of Islam), also strikes (his daughter) Aisha violently with his fist.
In the following hadith, Abu Bakr informs Muhammad he slapped Khadijah’s daughter, and Muhammad responds by laughing and tells Abu Bakr his wives are asking him for more money. Abu Bakr and Umar (the second Rightly-Guided Caliph of Islam) respond by slapping Muhammad's wives, Hafsa and (for the third time) Aisha.
In the hadith below, Ali (the fourth Rightly-Guided Caliph of Islam) gives a slave-girl a violent beating in front of Muhammad.
At one time Muhammad gives a decree instructing men to not beat their wives, but changes his mind once Umar (the 2nd rightly guided Caliph) informs him that some of the women have become emboldened towards their husbands. Then, when some women complain about getting beaten, he makes only the mildest remark about their husbands instead of immediately protecting the women.
In another hadith, Umar instructs a man to beat his wife after she tried to prevent him from having intercourse with his slave girl.
A hadith graded Hasan (the 2nd highest level of authenticity) quotes Muhammad saying that a man should not be asked why he beat his wife:
In the following hadith, a woman complains to Muhammad about her husband and shows him where he had beaten and bruised her. Muhammad listens to the husband’s side of the story and comes to the conclusion the reason why his wife is complaining is because he cannot sexually satisfy her and she wants to go back to her ex-husband, when all she is really saying is that he is abusing her. Instead of scolding her husband for beating her, Muhammad says she cannot re-marry her ex unless she has sexual intercourse with her husband first.
In the authentic version of the "Farewell Sermon", Muhammad compares women to domestic animals and once again tells men to beat their wives, but without severity.
In other narrations of the farewell sermon we find the same comments about beating, such as in the following Sunan Abu Dawud hadith (graded Sahih by al-Albani). In the translations of these it is clear that just like in the Qur'an, Muslim men were not only permitted, but commanded to beat their wives:
The caveat, "but not severely", appears also in the other narrations of the farewell sermon in other hadith collections, though the English translators in some cases mistranslated the same Arabic phrase, as explained in the next section.
In summation, we find in the Hadiths:
- 'A'isha did not consider Muhammad himself to have ever hit a woman, although on one occasion he painfully pushed / struck her in the chest
- Muhammad at first forbade the beating of Muslim women, but was persuaded to allow it when Umar warned that the men were losing control of their wives
- Muhammad allowed some of his prominent companions to hit women and slap his own wives (the very women whom all Muslims adore and refer to as "the Mother of believers"
- Muhammad merely makes a mild remark about other men when their wives complain about beatings ("They are not the best among you")
- Muhammad forbade Muslims from questioning men who beat their wives
- Three of the four Rightly-Guided Caliphs beat women
- Muhammad reaffirms the Qur'anic command of wife-beating in his parting sermon, albeit "without severity". He did not merely permit it, but commanded it.
It is clear from all of the above that wife-beating has been an accepted part of Islam since its inception. Even if Muhammad had some reservations about the beating of women, he repeatedly indulged men who used physical discipline on women in his presence, and was persuaded to not only permit wife beating, but actually commanded it for certain types of misconduct.
Attempts to moderate the severity of the beatings
It seems that Muhammad was concerned that the Muslim men were beating their wives too severely. Some hadiths record his efforts to control the severity of the beatings.
In another hadith, Muhammad advises a recently divorced woman against marrying someone who he knows to be 'very harsh with women'.
In the following hadith, Muhammad says not to beat your wife's face.
Mu'awiyah asked: Messenger of Allah, what is the right of the wife of one of us over him? He replied: That you should give her food when you eat, clothe her when you clothe yourself, do not strike her on the face, do not revile her or separate yourself from her except in the house.Abu Dawud said: The meaning of "do not revile her" is, as you say: "May Allah revile you".
Another version of the same hadith is worded more generally, saying, "do not beat them". If this version is a more accurate reflection of what Muhammad said, it could be that it occured in the temporary period in which Muhammad forbade beating (see Sunan Abu Dawud 11:2141 quoted above).
A lengthy hadith in Sunan Abu Dawud includes an instruction to beat your wives, but not severely, if they allow anyone whom you dislike to lie on your beds, which were rolled out on the floor in bedouin tents. 'beat them, but not severely' is in the arabic 'fa-idribuhunna darban ghayra mubarrihin"', and literally means 'beat them, a beating without violence, severity, sharpness, vehemence'. It is very similar to Muhammad's farewell sermon quoted above and includes the following:
A shorter version of the Farewell Sermon appears also in Sunan Ibn Majah. The Arabic words here translated "and hit them, but without causing injury or leaving a mark" are actually the same as in the Abu Dawud hadith and al-Tabari's version of the farewell sermon quoted above, with a literal translation being, "beat them, a beating without severity".
Similarly, the translations of the farewell sermon in Jami` at-Tirmidhi 5:44:3087, which says "and beat them with a beating that is not painful" and Jami` at-Tirmidhi 2:10:1163, which says "and beat them with a beating that is not harmful" are in fact the same arabic words as mentioned above in the other versions.
Al-Tabari's tafsir for verse 4:34 seems to be the earliest record of the idea that wife beating should be done with a miswak / siwaak (a small stick-like item used as a toothbrush). These do not appear in the main sahih hadith collections, but are of interest nonetheless.
Al-Tabari's tafsir for verse 4:34
The phrase 'non-severe beating' is 'darban ghayra mubarrihin'. See the word definitions explained above regarding its appearance in the Abu Dawud hadith and Muhammad's farewell sermon.
Tabari also has Qatada clarifying that it means ghayr sha'in (without being disgraceful, outrageous, obscene, indecent).
Note that there is a widespread apologetic fiction that 'darban ghayra mubarrih' means "a light tap that leaves no mark". The origin of this claim is obscure, but there is no justification for such a translation.
Putting the hadiths together, it seems that Muhammad condemned those who beat their wives as severely as their slaves. At one time it seems that he forbade beating, before changing his mind. It seems that by the time of his farewell sermon he emphasised that beatings should not be severe.
If Tabari's hadiths are to be believed, Muhammad at some point stated further that the beating should only be with a miswak or the like. It is, however, rather far fetched that verse 4:34 can be interpreted in this way. The idea that a husband should attempt to regain obedience from his wife by tapping her with a toothbrush after failure to achieve the desired result by admonishing her and banishing her from his bed is surely too nonsensical to have been the intended meaning of the verse when Muhammad first uttered it.
Furthermore, even if Muhammad and verse 4:34 had instructed husbands to use an entirely painless beating on their wives (clearly that is not the case, as well as being an oxymoron), it would still be a humiliation and contribute to the general attitude in Islamic sources that wives must obey their husbands, who can discipline them, and controlling attitudes generally towards women in Islam.
Early and Modern Muslim Scholars on Wife-Beating
Classical Muslim scholars have written a lot of commentary and jurisprudence in relation to wife-beating in the Qur'an. Here we will quote a few of them, as well as some more recent scholars:
If the wife does not fulfill one of the above-mentioned obligations, she is termed "rebellious" (nashiz), and the husband takes the following steps to correct matters:
(a) admonition and advice, by explaining the unlawfulness of rebellion, its harmful effect on married life, and by listening to her viewpoint on the matter;
(b) if admonition is ineffectual, he keeps from her by not sleeping in bed with her, by which both learn the degree to which they need each other;
(c) if keeping from her is ineffectual, it is permissible for him to hit her if he believes that hitting her will bring her back to the right path, though if he does not think so, it is not permissible. His hitting her may not be in a way that injures her, and is his last recourse to save the family.(d) if the disagreement does not end after all this, each partner chooses an arbitrator to solve the dispute by settlement, or divorce.
Reliance of the Traveller
Then he attempts a new direction, appealing to her femininity and emotions, by making her feel that he doesn't want her or love her. When this doesn't work, he says to her: With you, I have reached a stage which is only appropriate for inhumane people - the stage of beating.
MEMRI: Special Dispatch, No. 2229, February 5, 2009
MEMRI: Special Dispatch No.2868, March 19, 2010
Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid, Islam Q&A, Fatwa No. 10680
Modernist imams tend to interpret Qur'an 4:34 as advocating a "symbolic" beating, or reject the traditional interpretation of the verb daraba in this verse, as have a few recent translators of the Qur'an, as discussed in the section on Apologists below.
Statistics on Domestic Violence in the Muslim World
Given the fact wife-beating is divinely ordained in Islam, one must wonder how this effects the Muslim world. Here are some statistics on domestic violence in the Muslim world:
83% of Jordanian women approve of wife beating if the woman cheats on her husband
60% approve of wife beating in cases where the wife burns a meal she's cooking
52% approve of wife beating in case where she's refused to follow the husband’s orders
- Palestinian Authority area
. . .
Altogether, 33.7 percent of women said they considered suicide as a solution to their problems.
- South Mediterranean Region
Response From Muslim Women
Because domestic violence is divinely ordained in Islam, it is an epidemic in many Muslim countries. Even though it is divinely sanctioned, some Muslim women have found the courage to speak against domestic violence and reach out to other Muslim women who are suffering, although some of these advocates still deny the fact Islam sanctions wife-beating.
Every violent man will be able to see the suffering that he causes and every woman afraid of falling into a similar situation will be able to avoid what happened to me
Later he took me to the hospital while I was still unconscious and dropped me off at the gate. He didn't give them my name, my family's telephone number or anything about me.
When my mother finally arrived, the doctor told her I had only a 3% chance of survival.
The reason why he beat me up was very trivial, we had an argument in which we exchanged no more than four sentences.
He had no reason for attacking me this way, but it wasn't the first time he was violent, although he had never been that violent before.
I kept silent until now because I didn't want to see my family being torn apart. I thought that maybe if I was patient enough I could make him change.
Now that I've made my story public, I'm scared. I've almost been through death, so I guess it's pretty normal that I now fear for my life and for my children's lives.
I decided to have my picture published so that it would be a lesson for others, for every man and every woman.
I'm just hoping that the judge will be fair to me and that my husband receives a punishment equal to what he did to me. No more, no less Every violent man will be able to see the suffering that he causes and every woman who is afraid of falling into a similar situation will be able to avoid what happened to me.
Some people have called me a heroine for doing so, but I don't know why.
Maybe people have appreciated that I dared to talk about a taboo subject so that others don't face the same thing.
In my opinion it isn't about being heroic, but about talking about what happens in reality.
However uncomfortable it is, it's better to talk about reality than to pretend that nothing bad is ever happening.
I believe I've encouraged other victims of domestic violence to follow suit.I'm now campaigning with a human rights organisation which has received many letters and I have also received personally many letters of support from women saying that they will fight back.
BBC News, April 30, 2004
Iqbal was born in New York to parents who had immigrated to the United States from the tribal areas of Pakistan. She had a strict Muslim upbringing and when she was 16, her parents arranged her marriage to a 38-year-old man. She claims her husband turned violent during their 10 years of marriage.
When she finally left him, she did not know where to turn. Going home wasn't an option, she said.
"My parents ... made clear that they would disown me," Iqbal said. "My father even said ... 'You're lucky you live in America because if you lived back home, you would have been dead by now.' "
She was hiding out in her office at work when a friend put her in touch with Robina Niaz, whose organization, Turning Point for Women and Families, helps female Muslim abuse victims.
"It was such a relief ... to speak about things that ... I thought no one would understand," said Iqbal, who has received counseling from Niaz for more than two years and calls Niaz her "savior."
"Robina understood the cultural nuances ... the religious issues," Iqbal said.
"There's a lot of denial," she said. "It makes it much harder for the victims of abuse to speak out."
When Niaz launched her organization in 2004, it was the first resource of its kind in New York City. Today, her one-woman campaign has expanded into a multifaceted endeavor that is raising awareness about family violence and providing direct services to women in need.
Niaz's mission began after a difficult period in her own life. Born and raised in Pakistan, she had earned a master's degree in psychology and had a successful career in international affairs and marketing when she moved to the United States to marry in 1990.
"It was a disastrous marriage," she said.
As Niaz struggled to navigate the American legal system during her divorce, she said she appreciated how lucky she was to speak English and have an education. She realized that many immigrant women without those advantages might be more likely to stay in marriages because they didn't know how to make the system work for them.
"If this is how difficult it is for me, then what must other immigrant women go through?" she remembered thinking.
After volunteering with South Asian victims of domestic violence, Niaz, who speaks five languages, got a job using those skills to advocate for immigrant women affected by family violence.
But Niaz's focus changed on September 11, 2001. "I was no longer a Pakistani-American ... I looked at myself as a Muslim."
Niaz said the backlash many Muslims experienced after the terror attacks made abuse victims more afraid to seek help; they feared being shunned for bringing negative attention to their community.
"Women who were caught in abusive marriages were trapped even more," recalled Niaz.
In 2004, Niaz used her savings to start Turning Point for Women and Families. Today, her work focuses on three main areas: providing direct services to abused women, raising awareness through outreach, and educating young women -- an effort she hopes will empower future generations to speak out against abuse.
Crisis intervention services are a critical element of Niaz's efforts. Through weekly counseling sessions, she and her team provide emotional support to the women while helping them with practical issues, such as finding homeless shelters, matrimonial lawyers, filing police reports or assisting with immigration issues.
Niaz has helped more than 200 Muslim women. While most of Turning Point's clients are immigrants, the group helps women from every background.
While Niaz has support from many people in New York's Muslim community, she acknowledges that not everyone appreciates her efforts. She keeps her office address confidential and takes precautions to ensure her safety."There have been threats ... but that comes with this work," she said. "I know that God is protecting me because I'm doing the right thing."
CNN Heroes, September 25, 2009
There are a few brave Muslim women who openly admit the truth. One of these is the Daily Beast’s Asra Q. Nomani, author of Standing Alone: An American Woman's Struggle for the Soul of Islam, who rather eloquently refers to Muslim denial of wife-beating in the Qur'an as the "4:34 dance".
Such appalling recommendations occur because we haven't yet universally drawn a line in the sand, as Muslims, and said that this verse may have been progressive for the seventh century when women were supposedly beaten indiscriminately, but it isn't compatible with the modern day, if read literally. Instead, we do something called the "4:34 dance," suggesting that the light beating be the result of everything from hitting a woman with noodles (yes, you read that right) to a traditional toothbrush, called a “miswak,” from the root of a plant.
Asra Q. Nomani, The Daily Beast, September 8, 2010
Objections Made by Muslim Apologists
Given the fact wife-beating is sanctioned in Islamic religious texts, Muslim apologists try to deny this. Here are some arguments made by Muslim apologists.
Men should remain with their women in kindness
Pamela K. Taylor is the co-founder of Muslims for progressive values, former director of the Islamic Writers Alliance and strong supporter of the women Imam movement. On Faith Panelist Blog she states:
To be sure, domestic violence is indeed against the teachings of Islam, and murder of family members is especially repugnant. The Qur'an teaches that men should remain with their wives in kindness, or separate from their wives with kindness, and specifically that they should not stay with their wives in order to do harm to them (2:229, 2:231). It offers a vision of spousal equality when it prescribes a decision making process within the family of mutual consultation (2:233), and labels both husband and wife with the term "zauj" (4:1 and others) and describes them as protecting garments for one another (2:187).
Either Taylor is ignorant of some of the teachings in the Qur'an and the Hadith, or she willfully ignores those passages and twists some of the wording to suit her own needs. It has been mentioned before in previous paragraphs, the Qur'an and the Hadiths sanction wife-beating, men are superior to women, Muhammad turned back on a ban on beating women, and instead just made belated attempts to place limits on the level of violence.
The best among you are those who don't hit their wives
These hadiths certainly exist, and are discussed earlier in our article. It seems that Muhammad made attempts to moderate the severity of the beatings (see section of that name above), but Taylor fails to mention that in the very same hadith she quotes, Muhammad at first forbids wife beating, but later changes his mind on the advice of Umar (see hadith section above). When some women complain, he merely makes a mild remark about the men who beat them. Clearly it would have been better had he not allowed wife beating again.
Daraba means to "send away"
Taylor continues to state in her article.
Daraba is used for many, many things in the Qur'an, from sexual intercourse to parting company, from metaphorically striking a parable to physically striking a person or thing. The vast majority of commentators, have understood the meaning of 4:34 to mean hitting. Modern interpreters such as Ahmed Ali and Laleh Bakhtiar, have made a case that this interpretation is wrong.Bakhtiar's argument is particularly strong.
Taylor mentions Laleh Bakhtiar, a Muslim apologist who states Islam does not preach violence against women and Daraba in Surah 4:34 means to send away. Bakhtiar has written her own version of the Qur'an with surah 4:34 stating to send her away. Her mistranslation of this verse has caused controversy among Muslim scholars and the ISNA of Canada is refusing to sell her book in their bookstore. Contrary to Taylor's claim, there is nothing "particularly strong" in her argument about Daraba, it once again relies upon the ignorance of her readers. To a native Arabic speaker, this argument holds no weight and has been refuted in our article Beat your Wives or "Separate from Them"? (Qur'an 4:34). Even if the argument had been true, it would have exposed yet another imperfection in the communication skills of a supposedly divine author.
Muhammad never hit a woman
"Then, how," she asked, "do you explain that when he had problems with his wives, he admonished them, he refrained from sleeping with them for a month, but he never went to the third step and hit them? Was he being disobedient to Allah, or have we misunderstood verse 4:34?" To which, she says, the scholars had no answer.Her answer is that we have misunderstood 4:34, and that we have to look at what the Prophet actually did after that month's separation -- which was to offer his wives the choice of divorcing him or remaining with him while resolving to avoid the behaviors he found so objectionable. While, she translates "daraba" as "to go away from them," (which is the most common usage of the term in the Qur'an), it seems that it might be better rendered as "to strike a bargain with them."
These conversations between Laleh Bakhtiar and "many, many scholars" most likely had never occurred, since Bakhtiar's approach to surah 4:34 fails once you realize Muhammad did violently push his wife Aisha, and allowed the companions to hit his wives, and reiterated the wife-beating command in his farewell sermon. Furthermore, her claims about the common usage of the relevant verb in the Qur'an are false. It is much more commonly used to mean to strike violently. Her claim also fails on grammatical grounds, as explained in other articles. Unfortunately for women, any Muslim scholar worth his salt would be aware of this and would have little difficulty in dismantling her weak arguments.
Beat them only lightly, with a miswak
This argument is discussed earlier in this article at the end of the section on Muhammad's attempts to moderate the severity of the beatings.
Muhammad's farewell sermon
Ignoring Muhammad's comparison of women to domestic animals, some may point to the authentic farewell sermon and his instructions to “beat them, but not severely,”. See the discussion on Muhammad's attempts to moderate the severity of the beatings above. However, what one considers to be a severe beating is subjective, in contrast to an outright ban, and within the context of Islam the definition of a “severe beating” is wholly dependent on what Muhammad or his followers saw as severe. A beating "without severity" leaves far too much room for domestic violence against women, and later scholars had to add more stringent limitations to further mitigate Muhammad's words.
Wife-beating is divinely sanctioned in the Qur'an and Hadiths, and intended as a method for husbands to keep their wives under control. Despite some of the statements made by Muslim apologists, wife-beating is institutionalized in Islam. Muhammad was persuaded by Umar to allow his followers to beat their wives. He seems to have been concerned at the consequences of his instructions and attempted to mitigate them, and the Qur'an first mentions two other measures that husbands must try before beating their wives. However, Muhammad failed to commit to an outright ban. In the Qur'an, and reiterated in his farewell sermon, wife-beating is not merely permitted, but is part of a command. Muhammad showed indifference to at least one heavily beaten woman, gave the mildest of remarks about other men when their wives complained, on one occasion painfully pushed 'A'isha, and allowed Abu Bakr and Umar to slap his wives and hit other women.
The article also shows the deceptive means Muslim apologists use to cover up the fact the Qur'an and Hadith sanction wife-beating by using other verses of the Qur'an in an attempt to support their view that Islam promotes equality between men and women, that wife-beating is forbidden, and that surah 4:34 has been misinterpreted. The problem with their argument is it only reveals the inconsistencies of the Qur'an, and their arguments have been easily refuted, by Islamic scholars and the Hadiths. This is an unfortunate situation for women in the Islamic world, who could have been better protected had Muhammad and the Qur'an clearly prohibited domestic violence.
- Wife Beating - A hub page that leads to other articles related to Wife Beating
- International inventory of domestic violence services - Global list of abuse hotlines, shelters, refuges, crisis centres and women's organizations, plus domestic violence information in over 80 languages
- Wife Beating in Islam - by Silas
- Domestic violence in Islam: The Quran on wife-beating - by James Arlandson
- Wife-beating, sharia, and Western law - Asia Times
- Video: Woman Hit For Not Wearing Burka (warning, contains scenes of woman being slapped a number of times; may be disturbing to some viewers)
- imam who lectures on non-violence in Germany is arrested for beating up his wife - Sheikh Abu Adam shouted Qur'an verse 4:34 at his wife as he beat her. She suffered a broken nose and shoulder and numerous cuts and bruises
- Saudi Judge Says it's Ok for Men to Beat Their Wives
- Algeria: Prison for Violent Husbands is Against Koran, Mufti
- Wife-beating allowed under sharia law, UAE court rules
- 'Pull her by the ear, beat her by hand or stick': How the Islamic guide to a happy marriage advises husbands to treat their wives - Daily Mail, UK, March 2012
- daraba - Lane's lexicon Book I page 1777
- dad-ghayn-tha Lane's Lexicon Book I page 1793
- lahada Lane's Lexicon page 2676
- Lane's Lexicon Book I page 182
- al-tafsir.com Tabari's tafsir for 4:34
- Atia Abawi - Afghan women hiding for their lives - CNN, September 24, 2009
- Maryam Nayeb-Yazdi - The violence that may never end - Iranian.com, February 15, 2006
- Afif Sarhan - Iraq’s Domestic Violence Plight - Islam Online, May 31, 2009
- All together now: YES for wife beatings! - 360 East, May 7, 2006
- Natasha Tynes - Disturbing report on wife beating in Jordan - Mental Mayhem, April 10, 2005
- PAKISTAN: Domestic violence endemic, but awareness slowly rising - The Advocates, March 11, 2008
- Violence against women rises by 13% Violence against women rises by 13% - The Express Tribune, June 29, 2010.
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- Qatar: divorce peak caused by women, survey - ANSAmed, February 23, 2012
- Murder a fact of life for women in Turkey - Hurriyet Daily News, February 20, 2011
- Yonca Poyraz Doğan - Women's groups outraged by Cabinet's drastic changes to violence bill draft - Today's Zaman, March 1, 2012
- Mediterranean: EU Study, Domestic Violence Between 40%, 75% - ANSAmed, May 9, 2011