Islamic marriage advice and family advice

Does a husband have the right to beat his wife?

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I see so many husbands beating their wives, even the in laws of the girl beat her.

I wanna know that is it allowed for a husband to beat his wife as it is so cruel. And what are the rulings of beating the wife in Islam ?

What should she do if her husband beats her constantly?

- Kanzii


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12 Responses »

  1. In a word, NO. A Muslim man is categorically NOT allowed to beat his wife.

    Some modern translators and commentators have taken Quran 4:34 to mean that a man may "beat his wife lightly" as a last resort. Their entire evidence for this rests on an interpretation of one single word in the Quran - the word "idribuhunna", which is a derivative of "daraba". They say it means "to beat", and that this beating is a symbolic act, done with a miswak.

    This is a mistaken translation/interpretation. As far as a man "beating" his wife with a miswak, that's nonsense. She would laugh at him. It's ridiculous. Even my five year old daughter would laugh at me and think it was a joke.

    To make sense of this, we need to look back and see how the classical commentators understood Quran 4:34. The word "daraba" and its derivatives are used in many other places in the Quran in ways that do not mean "beat". "Daraba" is one of those words that has many meanings in the Arabic language. It is used at times in the Quran to mean travel, or separate, or to set forth. Very few of the classical commentators understood it to mean, "beat". That is a modern phenomenon.

    It's self-serving and cynical, in my opinion, to translate the word as "beat" in this one instance, while translating it differently in all other Quranic instances.

    It is more appropriate to understand it either as, "separate from them", or, "set forth to them", meaning set forth the terms of marriage to them very clearly (and the possibility of divorce).

    And in fact this is what the Prophet (sws) did one time when his wives disturbed him greatly. He separated himself from them until they realized the seriousness of the situation.

    See this excellent analysis - "Beat Them?" - in which the author discusses Quran 4:34 at length and breaks down the meaning of the words.

    How can we know for sure what Allah means in this ayah? The first rule of tafsir is to interpret the Quran using the Quran. So all we need to do is look at other verses of the Quran, and then look at the Sunnah.

    Allah says, "Among His signs is that He created for you spouses from among yourselves, in order to have tranquillity and contentment with each other. He places in your heart love and care towards your spouses. In this, there are signs for people who think." (30:21)"

    Furthermore, Allah tells us in the Quran, "do not transgress, God does not like the aggressors” 2:190

    As for the Messenger of Allah (sws), he said, "Could any of you beat your wife as he would a slave, and then lie with her in the evening?" (Bukhari and Muslim). There are other traditions in Abu Da'ud, Nasa'i, Ibn Majah, Ahmad bin Hanbal and others, to the effect that he forbade the beating of any woman, saying: "Never beat God's handmaidens."

    So it's very clear contextually that beating women/wives is not allowed, and we must interpret Quran 4:34 appropriately.

    Here's another article that analyzes the word "daraba" in great detail and concludes that it cannot be translated in this ayah as "beat". Be warned that the article is quite long. "On the unlawfulness of wife beating in Islam."

    Wael
    IslamicAnswers.com Editor

  2. "Islam says to hit a woman lightly"

    Sister this is actually a mis translation of the word 'daraba'. Read the above post by brother Wael and read the link on that post too. So it is not true that Islam in any way condones hitting. And Muslims are supposed to show mercy and compassion to one another, especially to ones spouse. That has been clear.
    So without a doubt it is wrong. To all those men (or even women) who hit their spouse and justify themselves Islamically, ask yourselves when did the Prophet (SAW) hit anyone except possibly in retaliation. Which of his wives did he hit? None. SubhanAllah so what gives any person the right to hit their spouse or anyone except in danger.

    Our bodies are going to testify against us on Yawmul Qiyaamah. Our tongues against those we slandered, our feet against haraam places we walked to and our hands against those we unlawfully hit.

    Allah swt knows best - and I pray He (Swt) forgives us all and saves us from His punihsment,
    Ameen

    Sara
    IslamicAnswers.com Editor

    • Peace be upon you.

      In the Saheeh of al-Imam Muslim [ra], in the volume 4, chapter of suplications at graveyards, Hadeeth Number 2127:

      On the authority of the mother of believers 'Aishah. She said: When it was my turn for Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) to spend the night with me, he turned his side, put on his mantle and took off his shoes and placed them near his feet, and spread the corner of his shawl on his bed and then lay down till he thought that I had gone to sleep. He took hold of his mantle slowly and put on the shoes slowly, and opened the door and went out and then closed it lightly. I covered my head, put on my veil and tightened my waist wrapper, and then went out following his steps till he reached Baqi'. He stood there and he stood for a long time. He then lifted his hands three times, and then returned and I also returned. He hastened his steps and I also hastened my steps. He ran and I too ran. He came (to the house) and I also came (to the house). I, however, preceded him and I entered (the house), and as I lay down in the bed, he (the Holy Prophet) entered the (house), and said: Why is it, O 'A'isha, that you are out of breath? I said: There is nothing. He said: Tell me or the all Subtle and the all Aware would inform me. I said: Messenger of Allah, may my father and mother be ransom for you, and then I told him (the whole story). He said: Was it the darkness (of your shadow) that I saw in front of me? I said: Yes. He struck me on the chest which caused me pain.........Continued.

      This is the only time that the prophet[saw] struck his wife, but there are other narrations of the companions doing so.

      • About this hadith, it is widely mistranslated. The Arabic term used in the hadith is "lahada". Imam Nawawi in his Sharh states that:

        The word "lahada" according to the lexicographers means, "to push" (dafa'a).

        The usage of the word "struck" is not a correct translation. Rather, the phrase should be translated as (as Gf haddad said):

        - He pushed my chest with a push that made me sore

        Secondly, this calls to an important matter that is related to the Hand imposition of the Prophet - Allah bless him - because it is a gesture associated with driving away evil influence (waswâs) and conferring blessing as the following reports show:
        1. Ubay ibn Ka`b said: "There occurred in my mind a sort of denial which did not occur even during the Days of Ignorance. When the Messenger of Allah - Allah bless and greet him - saw how I was affected, he slapped me on the chest. I broke into a sweat and felt as if I were looking at Allâh in fear."

        (Sahih Muslim)

        Other commentators have said that it can also mean, "to poke". So it could have been that he poked her in the chest. This causes some pain but cannot be considered injurious or abusive in any way.

        As far as the Sahabah, they were not infallible or protected from sin as was the Prophet (sws).

        And Allah knows best.

        Wael
        IslamicAnswers.com Editor

  3. Astaghfirullah!!!!!!!!!!! Without becoming polemic or anyhting, but spreading lies about the holy Prophet is a sin and reporting details about his intimate life!! Has Sayeda Khadija ever done that?

    With all respect, but Rassul Allah never stroke anyone or pushed anyone.

    Sorry, but its true

    Wasalam

  4. The people who wrongly reported Sister Aisha having said the Prophet beat her who have

    somehow obviously started a false chain of hadith.

  5. Where is my last post about the gun issue? I have posted it after this here and it is still not visible

    on the main page. Don't understand that sorry.

  6. I meant my recent comments have not been posted. Not that I accuse you of deleting.

    Jannah

    • Jannah, did your comments have any links in them? If the comment has more than two links it gets diverted to the spam folder. Sometimes we spot them and save them, but sometimes they get lost in the mix.

      Wael
      IslamicAnswers.com Editor

  7. sister why would her in laws want to beat her if you don't mind me asking why do you think they beat her.

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