Islamic marriage advice and family advice

Wife Beating

According to Islam, does a husband have the right to beat his wife?

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

Quran 4:34

"Men are in charge of women by [right of] what Allah has given one over the other and what they spend [for maintenance] from their wealth. So righteous women are devoutly obedient, guarding in [the husband's] absence what Allah would have them guard. But those [wives] from whom you fear arrogance - [first] advise them; [then if they persist], forsake them in bed; and [finally], idribuhunna. But if they obey you [once more], seek no means against them. Indeed, Allah is ever Exalted and Grand."- Quran, Surat-An-Nisaa, 4:34

Some 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" or "to strike".

This is a controversial and probably mistaken translation/interpretation.

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 58 places in the Quran, the great majority 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).

According to Shaykh Abdelmumin Aya, an appropriate translation of this ayah would be,

"But those wives from whom you fear arrogance, and nasty conduct, admonish them (first), (next) leave them alone in beds (and last), convince them of the need for change."

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.

What Else Does the Quran Say?

How can we know for sure what Allah means in this ayah? The first rule of tafsir (explanation of the Quran) is to interpret the Quran using the Quran. So let us look at other verses of the Quran.

Allah says, "Among His signs is that He created for you spouses from among yourselves, in order to have tranquility 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

 

The Next Ayah

It's also important to read the Quran in context. As one reader named Farrukh pointed out:

It is also critical to note the verse which follows this verse:

"And if you fear dissension between the two, send an arbitrator from his people and an arbitrator from her people. If they both desire reconciliation, Allah will cause it between them. Indeed, Allah is ever Knowing and Acquainted [with all things]." ( Surah Nisa- 4:35)

Would you beat your wife and then tell her parents: "I beat up your daughter. Could to ask her to reconcile with me?" Because this is the next step in the Quran.

The correct methodology while studying the Quran is not to take any verse in isolation instead one must take all the information related to that specific issue i.e., in this case 'beating of wife' altogether. The Quran is not deficient in language. Thus, those men who beat their wife(s) thinking that they can get away under the shade of this verse will be in for a surprise on the day of resurrection.

What Did the Prophet Say and Do?

The second rule of tafsir is to look at the Sunnah, that is the words, sayings and approvals of Muhammad the Messenger of Allah (sws). 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."

These statements could not be any more explicit.

The Prophet personally was known to be an extremely gentle and kind man who never struck any of his wives. And he is our example in how to live and how to conduct ourselves, as Allah Subhanahu wa Ta'ala says:

"There has certainly been for you in the Messenger of Allah an excellent pattern for anyone whose hope is in Allah and the Last Day and [who] remembers Allah often." - Quran 33:21

This was one of the very purposes of Prophethood, that the Prophet (sws) should elucidate the Quran through his personal example.

And what do we find in looking to the Sunnah? We find that the Prophet (sws) never beat his wives, and that he condemned it verbally.

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

Here is 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."

The other Editors on this website may nor may not agree with me. This is my opinion, and Allah knows best.

Wael
IslamicAnswers.com Editor

59 Responses »

  1. Wa Alaikum as Salam wa Rahmatullah,

    I thought it was justice to mention the other opinion also, when one opinion was mentioned. I would just have mentioned that the Aimmah of tafseer such at Tabri, ibn Kathir, al Qattan, ar Raazi, ash Shafai (who says it means beat, but says it is better not to beat), and even the Sahabah such as Ibn Abbas Radiyallahu Anhu understood that to mean "beat" or "strike" not to injure or even cause pain but to bring discipline.

    But I think you have done a much better job and even mentioned what I was not aware of.

    Jazak Allahu Khair.

    But, as brother Wael said, that is his opinion. And this is your opinion or my opinion for that matter, not because I am a sexist as you said (lol) but because I think this is what Rasoolullah Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam meant and the Sahabah and the Salaf understood.

    The Mu'tazilah based their understanding on their logic and they rejected the Names and Attributes of Allah to a great extent and based the understanding of deen on whether it makes sense or not. If it makes no sense, it is not a correct hadith/ruling, it is not deen: this was their principle.

    It is better that we do not debate on these matters and let them be.

    And most importantly, follow what Imam Muhammad ibn Idris ash Shafa'i Rahimahullah said: This permits striking, but it is preferable not to (as reported by Imam ar Raazi Rahimahullah in his tafseer).

    I say follow this, because many people may take this as a permission to beat their wives, causing them pain and some may beat them like cattle (may Allah Guide them). Then that is clearly wrong and against the teaching of Rasoolullah Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam. As he said in a hadith that the best of us are best to our families (wives).

    Men must fear Allah and deal with their women with love and compassion. Women must also fear Allah and obey their husbands because this is the order of Rasoolullah Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam.

    Abu Abdul Bari
    IslamicAnswers.com Editor

    • Abu Abdul Bari, As-salamu alaykum. I removed the other brother's comment because it was written in a way that implied that I am manipulating or changing the Quran. Differing opinions are welcome, but personal attacks are not. If you wish to add anything further from the opposing opinion, please do so.

      Wael
      IslamicAnswers.com Editor

      • Wa'alaykumsalam,

        Actually, I wasn't refering to you but to the person who wrote that article you posted. I apologize for offending.

        Anyways, I've edited my comments and I'll post it again insha'Allah.

  2. Wa Alaikum as Salam,

    Yes, in that case, I would add the following:
    I would like to add that according to another Aayah, Allah permitted his prophet Ayyub Alaihis Salam to strike his wife when he took an oath to do so (as in ibn Kathir). Allah Showed him how to do it. He Said:

    38:44
    وَخُذْ بِيَدِكَ ضِغْثًا فَاضْرِبْ بِهِ وَلَا تَحْنَثْ ۗ إِنَّا وَجَدْنَاهُ صَابِرًا ۚ نِعْمَ الْعَبْدُ ۖ إِنَّهُ أَوَّابٌ
    [We said], "And take in your hand a bunch [of grass] and strike with it and do not break your oath." Indeed, We found him patient, an excellent servant. Indeed, he was one repeatedly turning back [to Allah ].

    This is what is meant when all the mufassireen said that the word "fadriboohunna" means "darban khafiyyan ghaira mudaarr" meaning: a light beating which is not harmful.

    From this, we take the knowledge that the verse, "beat your wives" in the Quran refers to strikes with something relatively soft such as a bundle of thin grass or at worst a thin, flimsy stick. The beating is not to be done with severity.

    Also, there is a hadith in Tirmidhi which brother Ali had mentioned:

    Sulaimân bin `Amr bin Al-Ahwas said: ``My father narrated to me that he witnessed the farewell Hajj with the Messenger of Allâh ﺻﻠﻰ اﻟﻠﻪ ﻋﻠﻴﻪ ﻭﺳﻠﻢ So he thanked and praised Allâh and he reminded and gave an admonition. He mentioned a story in his narration and he (the Prophet ﺻﻠﻰ اﻟﻠﻪ ﻋﻠﻴﻪ ﻭﺳﻠﻢ said: ``And indeed I order you to be good to the women, for they are but captives with you over whom you have no power other than that, except if they come with manifest Fâhishah (evil behaviour). If they do that, then abandon their beds and beat them with a beating that is not harmful. And if they obey you then you have no cause against them. Indeed you have rights over your women, and your women have rights over you. As for your rights over your women, then they must not allow anyone whom you dislike to tread on your bedding (furniture),(1) nor to admit anyone in your home that you dislike. And their rights over you are that you treat them well in clothing and feeding them.'' ( Sahih)

    Another hadith of similar wording says that the beating should not be painful:

    .... I order you to treat women well, for they are but like captives with you, you have no sovereignty beyond this over them, unless they manifest open lewdness. If they do that, then abandon their beds, and beat them with a beating that is not painful. Then if they obey you, then there is no cause for you against them beyond that. Behold! There are rights for you upon your women, and rights for your women upon you..... (Sahih)

    The word daraba may have many meanings in itself, but when used in Aayah 34 of Surah an Nisa, it means "strike" and this has been the understanding from the time of Rasoolullah Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam, as the nusoos prove, and as the Sahaabah explained and as the salaf understood. I don't know of any scholar among the Ahlus Sunnah who says that it means the otherwise. Allah Knows Best if there is any.

    The Ahaadeeth that say "do not beat your wives" mean that one should not beat them severely, which agrees with: "darban khafiyyan ghaira mudaarr"

    Having said this, as Imam ash Shafa'i says, it is preferred not to beat them, as I mentioned above.

    Wallahu Ta'aala A'lam

    Abu Abdul Bari
    IslamicAnswers.com Editor

  3. Assalam'alaykum,

    The prophet of Islam and the sahabas as well as the great scholars of Islam are perfectly clear regarding this issue of 'beating ones wife' (I'm talking about beating lightly like tapping or hitting with tooth brush (which can hurt sometimes) and not severe like punches or kicks etc) and all agreed that it is 'permissible' as ofcourse stated in Quran. Allah's words are the truth and we should not make it pleasing to human eyes just because it sounds strange. This verse has its meaning of 'beat them' since our prophet time. This verse doesn't promote domestic violence nor does it condone it instead it gives us guidance on how to handle delicate family situation with care and wisdom. The word "beating" is used in the verse, but it does not mean "physical abuse". The Prophet (peace and blessings beupon him) explained it"dharban ghayra mubarrih" which means "a light tap that leaves no mark".

    'Idrib' or 'daraba' can mean 'beat' or 'smite' or 'strike' or 'scourge' which basically mean hitting the wife BUT not severely like an animal instead it should be done lightly as is stated in hadith and tafsir.

    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 (a small tooth-cleaning stick).
    This is a mistaken translation/interpretation.

    Interesting. Actually, I couldn't find any other words used other than these,

    Yusuf Ali Translation used- 'Beat'
    Sahih International Translation- 'strike'
    Muhsin Khan- 'beat'
    Pitckhall- 'scourge'
    Shakir- 'beat'
    Dr. Ghali- 'beat'

    and all agreed that beating should be done lightly which should not cause injury or leave marks as is stated in hadith.

    Therefore, its NOT a mistranslation.

    Furthermore, I wouldn't despise the use of miswaak because our prophet said those words when he said to 'strike' disobidient wives without causing her pain/injury, a sahaba asked how is that done, and he replied by hitting with miswaak and its likes. The use of miswaak here can be literal or metaphorical which implies that we should hit her extremely lightly which can further signify that 'divorce' is approaching or etc.
    Similarly, we can find another incident which suggest the softness of hitting ones wife when Allah ordered Job AS to hit his wife using bunch of grass.
    And take in your hand a bunch of thin grass and strike therewith (your wife),...(Quran 38:44)

    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, orseparate, or to set forth.
    It's self-serving and cynical, in my opinion, totranslate 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).

    'Beat', 'strike' etc is a suitable word. In my place, whenever we use the arabic word 'Idrub' or 'Darab' we mean ' To beat ' like physical beat, sometimes ' To press ' like remote button. We never use it to mean 'seperate' etc. You must know more.

    You find it more appropriate to use ' seperate from them ' or 'set forth from them' and the article stated this

    In fact, the word daraba has not been translated to mean ( beat ) or (hit) or (strike) in any other verse of the Quran except this one."

    , from here I see that the article has flaws as these verses used these words 'strike', 'stamp' which has more 'physical contact' meaning and deriving from 'daraba', therefore it is infact the appropriate one.

    ".when the angels take the souls of the Unbelievers (at death), (How) they strike their faces and their backs,.. (Quran 8:50)

    "And let them not stamp their feet so as to reveal what they hide of their adornment."(Quran 24:31)

    Then We told Moses by inspiration:"Strike the sea with thy rod."(Quran 26:63)

    therefore whatever our great scholars taught us we take it as it is because basically, In some cases the solution to marital problems may require some harshness and toughness.

    • What Did the Prophet Say and Do?

      "Should they be guilty of flagrant misbehaviour, you may remove them from your beds, and beat them but do not inflict upon them any severe punishment. Then if they obey you, do not have recourse to anything else against them.(Tirmidhi)

      "Fear Allah regarding women, for they are your assistants. You have the right on them that they do not allow any person whom you dislike to step on your mat. However, if they do that, you are allowed to discipline them lightly. They have a right on you that you provide them with their provision and clothes, in a reasonable manner.(muslim)

      The words used above is 'idrib' derived from 'daraba' just like in the Quran.

      Basically I'm not a sexist, just speaking what the majority of scholars preached and what the sahaba of ahl sunnah wal jamaah understood.

      To conclude, there are many things a man has to do before attempting to 'beat' his wife according to the Quran. And 'beating' here is not done according to his wish and as the first measure but its done only and only if his wife is rebelious or disobidient.

      1. Advising The Wife
      2. Refuse to share their beds.
      3. Beat them.

      Ibn Abbas a companion of our prophet said that 'beat' does not mean severe but only like mere push or tap.

      Imam Shaf`i said: "wa al-darbu mubah, wa al-tarku afdal - and hitting is permitted, but not hitting is preferable."

      Imam Nawawi said, "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.”

      Ibn Khatir, Imam Abu Hanifa etc etc all have the same view of hitting wife lightly for desicpline.

      Finally, in that link you posted "beat them?", it refers to two scholars (Raghib and Zamakhshari) who think that its 'mistranslation/mistaken' and they belong to a sect called " Mutazila "... No wonder.

  4. To the best of my judgement, my personal analysis suggests that ' The word beat ' does exist in this verse. However, it is based on the disciplinary issues and beating is more intended to 'Psychologically' hurt her than to hammer her physically.

    I must also strongly appreciate the endeavor by Wael to clear the cloud of misunderstanding as this is a vital verse which deserves explanation. It is not only misunderstood by myriad Muslims, but has also been castigated by ' Apostates and disbelievers'.

    It is also critical to note the verse which follows this verse:

    And if you fear dissension between the two, send an arbitrator from his people and an arbitrator from her people. If they both desire reconciliation, Allah will cause it between them. Indeed, Allah is ever Knowing and Acquainted [with all things] ( Surah Nisa- 4:35)

    Would you beat your wife and then head to tell her parents: ' I beat up your daughter. Could to ask her to reconcile with me'. Because this is the next step in the Quran.

    The correct methodology while studying the Quran is not to take any verse in isolation instead one must take all the information related to that specific issue i.e., in this case 'beating of wife' altogether. Quran is not deficient in language. Thus, those men who beat their wife(s) thinking that they can get away under the shade of this verse will be in for a surprize on the day of resurrection.

  5. Assalam alaikum,

    I appreciate both the information on this page and the very long comments. On the other page, where I initially made the comment about the word "dharaba" was because there seemed to be a very short "permission" to hit/strike one's wife. I think that looking at all the details on this page, if one was to in fact research if a person could actually hit his wife, perhaps by that time, you might not feel the need to do so! My point was exactly that it couldn't be something you could easily discuss and it be over--that short piece of information could be damaging for couples out there. My initial feeling to "beating your wife" is allowed in Islam is very sickening to be frank and honest. I think there are much better ways of dealing with controversial matters in a marriage. And when there are no cases in which the Prophet pbuh ever did strike his wife, I think that is very clear from his life example of how to resolve matters in a marriage. Again the word, strike can be taken different ways by some men and they can think they didn't hit their wife hard, when in fact they did. After childbirth, times close to her menstrual cycle, a woman's body is so sensitive, that even slight touches can be painful.

    I also want to once more point out that translations lose meaning all the time. In one post, a brother wrote that there may be misunderstanding between husband and wife because of cultural differences, so we should mediate matters in such and such a way. And here, when we are talking about men and women following the Quran from all over the world and their first language IS NOT ARABIC, we have to be extra extra careful in how we present information. Some people will take an open license to "lightly" hit their wife in goodness knows what instances. And if you hit in anger, you may not realize how hard you are hitting and if you aren't angry, I would imagine you could come up with another solution altogether.

    In the Quran, Allah refers to Himself as "Nahnoo" which is plural, but Allah is one and only one. So someone who doesn't understand this, could argue (Asthagh - fir Allah) that Allah is not one (Asthaghfir -Allah). I need not repeat what Brother Farrukh and Brothe Wael have already said. I would like to add though, to save a family, I can't believe that striking your wife would do that--I think that a pious, Allah-fearing, intelligent man could come up with a much better way to save his family by other means rather than striking his wife, who could be our sister, our daughter, our mother.

    JazakAllah.

    • A "beating" from a western perspective is irrelevant. There are hadith which I need not repeat that say you should not beat your wives. And that it is preferred not to beat them. I take offence when you mention western perspective--Islam is for every human. Allah knew there would be the west and east of this world. First and foremost, I am MUSLIM before I am anything and anything else is completely and utterly irrelevant. And speaking to my "non-western" sisters, they also feel the same way I do.

      Brother Wael gave his view on this matter with additional information and you disagreed with that opinion and you have your own. I do believe that matters can be solved without hitting--counselling, an elder in the family, a talk, something. I do not disagree with the process, but I posed a question about the meaning of the word dharaba. Again, there is no point to re-write what is written. But please, do not put words in my mouth to say I believe something other than the word of Allah.

      I appreciate the different views and especially the length of the comments, because I think if a person was going to use either measure, they should have thoughtfully read through this, before making any such decision to hit their wife or before a wife accepts hitting, not knowing it may be abuse. JazakAllah to all comments and information.

      • We have plenty of examples from the life of our beloved Prophet (pbuh) and how he treated his wives. Simply look at those to know how to treat a wife. SubhanAllah, he had more than 4 and knew how to deal in an utmost loving, respectful, understanding and amazing manner beyond words-so to merely deal with one wife, there is his whole life to explore and as the article already stated, he would separate himself from his wife in order to make clear the seriousness of the matter. And that is the point, to make clear the seriousness of the matter to a wife.

        Again, the reason why I asked the meaning of the word was because I understood there to be more than one outlook on this matter--which I found in reading the information here and in the article--I have a better and clearer understanding from Br. Wael's post--there isn't a need to convince the other of the opposing view.

        We should exercise caution and be careful when giving advice about saying it is ok for a man to beat his wife in a few sentences, without knowing the situation and because we can't deny that there are some men who take advantage of this iyat and justify their abuse and it becomes a part of their REGULAR dealings in their marriage.

        As for western and eastern thinking, I believe it is irrelevant because many of the things that opening occur in the west, simply happen behind closed doors in the east - and this isn't the matter at hand anyways. Allah revealed the Quran to all of humanity and He knew best what would be our thinking and what not. The Quran is no more for the East and no less for the West - it is the best guidance for ALL of humanity equally.

        As for a further argument and discussion, I find it futile. Both sides have presented their views, so Alhumdulillah, hopefully both sides have learnt a lot from this sensitive topic.

    • I like how considerate you are, Saba. It is degrading and humiliating to be hit all in all, now my question for all Muslim men out there, can a woman go through the same procedure as is written in the Quran with her husband if he is the one that is misbehaving? Perhaps men might laugh at such a question because they're masculine and can easily stop a woman from laying a hand on them, if so then they know that it's wrong all in all to be hit because they do not allow the same treatment to be reversed on them, isn't that right?

      • Well said sis !!

        • Yup, women should be strong to stand up for their rights, if we depend on men alone, expecting them to give us our rights then we'll only be disappointing ourselves; I know that there are some nice men out there that would treat their wives right but that would not count under the Islamic sharia law but a good consciouns, we the women though still should not risk ourselves in any persons hand but build ourselves to stand firm and strong independently.

      • Dear Sr. Maryam,

        Thank you for your words, May Allah make me as considerate & more as you believe me to be, Ameen.

  6. Salaam brothers and sister,

    My husband beat me and verbally abused me constantly. (rest of the comment had been deleted)

    • Wa Alaikum as Salam sister,

      Please login and submit your question as a separate post. In sha Allah, we will publish it in turn and answer your question.

      Abu Abdul Bari
      IslamicAnswers.com Editor

    • Your husband beats you because he is insecure and proves to himself he is strong by beating a helpless wife.

  7. I wish my dad reads this and realizes how wrong and sinful he is because of beating our mother and us sisters 🙁

  8. Salaams,

    I just couldn't resist giving my own opinion, since a lot of the discussion seemed to point at the issue of the degree of the wife's rebellion in determining whether beating meant a light form of agression or anything else.

    As someone with a psychological background, I can say this: If a woman is in such a state of rebellion and disobedience that the "last course of action", in this case a 'beating' (however it may be defined) is merited, I can tell you that it's more than likely that the wife will take any perceived act of aggression or subduing toward her as a threat and it will probably only add more fuel to her fire. Essentially, you're creating more of whatever her problem is than solving it.

    If the woman is truly that far gone, then administering a tap (which I imagine is what most of you would describe as a light beating per the references) is hardly going to change her course.

    If, however, a woman isn't that disobedient or out of pocket, then I can't imagine where this form of discipline or guidance would be needed. I don't know of any woman who gets a "tap", whether she truly merited it or not, would feel it was threatening enough to change what she was doing.

    On the other hand, if a man does go farther than a tap, he is more than likely going to hurt her and there is no way to easily repair the damage done from that.

    From what I've seen, men who want to find non-violent ways of dealing with even the worst spouses (and children) will do so. And on the flip side, men who are hell-bent on using any type of aggression to solve problems, will find any little thing to justify them...even if it's merely their own logic.

    Wise men divorce wives who are bringing their family down, and can't be changed by reasoning. Wise women divorce men who misuse their authority, and won't be changed by reasoning.

    Simple as that.

    -Amy
    IslamicAnswers.com Editor

    • Wa alaikum assalam Amy,

      I could not agree more!

    • "Wise men divorce wives who are bringing their family down, and can't be changed by reasoning. Wise women divorce men who misuse their authority, and won't be changed by reasoning."

      Brilliant. Thank you.

      Wael
      IslamicAnswers.com Editor

    • Amazing answer! I couldn't agree more!

    • I completed agree with you too. Beating a wife lightly or hurshly will not solve marital problems. A wife is an adult not a child! You can't discipline adults like this. Beating a wife will surely escalate the problems and cause the divorce instead of avoiding it.

      I know in my grandparents era men always hit women black and blue. The women were afraid of their husbands and could not leave them due to poverty as they will have no means to feed or cloth themselves and children. Therefore women had no choice but to stay with a violent husband just to live.

      If a man beats a women now she will run to cops or apply for khula. Cause no women would accept this behavour.

      • Whether women are able to escape from poverty or not definitely makes a difference, but there are women who live in first-world countries and are educated and still live and stay in abusive relationships because they are scared, do not know better because they think abuse is normal and so on. Typically women go back to an abusive husband because of the cycle of abuse. After being beaten, if her abuser apologizes and shows her love, she may believe it is a new beginning and the cycle repeats. Women can be so strange, but the beauty of what some men don't understand is that women respond better to kindness and love--so even after being beaten, she returns to her husband! I don't know of many men who would be beaten by a male friend and then return to that friendship (I wouldn't say wife as I do not think a large number of women beat their husbands or men who would tolerate that) over and over again! So if women are built to react positively to love and kindness, especially by a powerful man who COULD hurt her physically, this would be best.

        I also read that:

        "7.A holistic reading of the Qur’an, Sunnah and Hadiths, taking into account the socio-historical context of the revelation of the Qur’an and of the Prophetic guidance preserved in authentic hadiths, shows clearly that God and Muhammad wished to ban wife-beating and domestic violence completely. As a temporary measure, and as a step on the way, an extremely limited, reluctant concession was given that only allowed minimal violence as a symbolic gesture of displeasure on a husband’s part. This was in a strongly patriarchal society that used to bury baby girls alive because of their gender and where sons would inherit their fathers’ wives. Such practices were outlawed by Islam, which also granted rights to women in 7th-century Arabia that were only achieved by European women in the 19th century, such as the independent right to own their property upon marriage."taken from:
        http://unity1.wordpress.com/2011/01/03/have-you-stopped-beating-your-wife-the-quran-hadith-and-domestic-violence/

        The Quran was revealed over 23 years during which time Prophet Muhammad pbuh was our beloved messenger. Nothing happened over night for which reasons we have an Iyat in the Quran that states:
        4:43 "O you who believe! Approach not As-Salat (the prayer) when you are in a drunken state until you know (the meaning) of what you utter, nor when you are in a state of Janaba, (i.e. in a state of sexual impurity and have not yet taken a bath) except when travelling on the road (without enough water, or just passing through a mosque), till you wash your whole body."

        We, as Muslims, are not allowed to drink and yet, you find evidence stating do not pray while in a drunken state. It really seems like a contradiction at first glance. But in fact, it is really logical and understandable because prior to this time, drinking was common and acceptable. In the same way, just because some people take the word Dharaba to mean beat, there is Hadith that clearly state: "Do not beat the handmaidens of Allah" or “Those who do so (beat their wives) are not the best among you” (Abu Dawood)
        To confirm the above concept, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) is reported to have said, “How does anyone of you beat his wife as he beats the stallion camel and then embrace (sleep with) her?” ( Reported by Al-Bukhari) In another hadith, he is also reported to have said, “Do not beat the female servants of Allah.”

        It can be understood that just like abolishing consumption of alcohol (or gambling or slavery), so is the case with abolishing beating your wives. We have to look beyond just this iyah and understand the whole picture of the place and time when the Quran was revealed. Exactly what type of society the Prophet pbuh had to deal with and how he had to spread the word of Islam. The Quran wasn't revealed in one day, it was over a long period of time. Which tells us that humans had time to refind and improve themselves rather expected to be perfect in one moment.

        I would say when advising someone to beat or not beat their wife, it would be better to give a clear and long lecture on this because advising someone to beat their wife (which may be misinterpreted) can result in a lot more damage than NOT advising someone to beat. And honestly, if you have to substitute another word for beat, or explain what beat means and the style of, just goes to show you it is not an easy matter and should not be taken lightly.

        Furthermore, in a world where there are billions of Muslims, from all nations, there are people whose first language is not Arabic. This is certainly why some of us have witnessed or had fathers or grandfathers openly beating their wives because they heard the Imam stating this was in the Quran. This is an iyat that gets abused whether we want to admit it or not.

        Even though, one might wonder about this iyah and what it could mean, the beauty about it is that we search and read more about the Quran leading us to learn more; it brings us closer to Islam and our purpose, Alhumdulillah. May Allah help us to be humble and seek only His pleasure. Ameen.

        • You sound like a person who can't wait to get married to beat your wife.

          It is called a difference in opinion and it isn't only me that has this opinion--you are free to call EACH and EVERYONE else on here wrong as well--and if I recall, you already had a deletion of a comment on this page for personal attacks which you usually like to do and enjoy as well.

          Thanks for your attention.

          • Furthermore, just because I support Allah's verse on "beating", it doesn't mean that I will beat my wife. I also support stoning of adultery, you think I will throw stones on humans?

    • Wise men divorce wives who are bringing their family down, and can't be changed by reasoning. Wise women divorce men who misuse their authority, and won't be changed by reasoning.

      If women are not allowed to have good education and a job, making them totally dependent on their husbands they will hard time leaving an abusive husband. I don't think in most cases wifes are allowed to reason with their husbands.

    • As the topic as come up on another post, and I didn't want to post this there, I wanted to share the following:

      http://www.al-islam.org/hidden-truths-gods-word-sayyid-mujtaba-musawi-lari/look-meaning-“daraba”-quran

      Part of the article states:

      "1. The books of jurisprudence state that the slightest physical violence towards one’s wife, if it bruises her skin, carries a penalty (diya) and such an act of chastisement is not permitted for the man for any reason. On the other hand, it is doubtful whether a lighter or soft blow may have any effect in chastising a rebellious wife and causing her to alter her behaviour; in fact it is highly unlikely that such an act would resolve anything.

      In cases of nushuz, the jurists are more concerned with (legislating for) the action of the man with regards to stopping the maintenance of his wife and not the matter of beating or physical chastisement. As a rule, jurists have not made a thorough examination of the issue of beating, rather they have focused on its secondary details; such as the number and frequency of blows, the circumstances under which the perpetrator is excused from having to pay the penalty or blood-money (diya), or if the woman displays her fractious behaviour continually and every day, how many times may the man resort to hitting her, and for how long such violence is permitted, etc. These questions need to be discussed in detail but even a lengthy examination may not be able address all the issues that arise in this regard.

      2. Usually physical discipline will only push a woman into a position of bitterness and animosity, especially when she realizes that the husband has used his last resort and can do no more to stop her; at this time she may feel there is nothing more he can direct at her."

      &

      "7. Finally, if it is insisted that the meaning of daraba in this verse is indeed chastisement through physical means, as the apparent reading suggests, it must be stated that this is not an obligatory command, so that this step becomes incumbent on a husband whose wife exhibits nushuz or rebelliousness, and that he has no choice but to resort to physical chastisement. In fact, there are indications that suggest the use of other means, such as curtailing living expenses, by which he can deal with nushuz, and compel his wife to reform. Thus, the step suggested by the verse is instructive in that it mentions one way of rectifying the wife’s behaviour and recalling her to her responsibility."

      I am posting this under Sr. Amy's wise comments above. Also, I wanted to post this so that we do not make one-liner comments about the word "daraba" in ayah 4:34 as scholars have written essays and sometimes books about the tafseer of this translation. Not only is it difficult for Muslims to understand this easily but also non-Muslims. Muslims have a responsibility to their own community, as well as the community at large, to be careful to take the time to explain the ways of Islam. If we do not appreciate others taking out of context what is written in the Quran, than certainly, we have to do our best to make it difficult for others to misinterpret the Quran. Also, we can't deny that many Muslim men take the translation of this ayah to a whole new level and use it to justify beating their wives. Unfortunately, growing up, I heard things my father said to my mother to justify his actions and he had no guilt for this. I know of other sisters who went through the same either witnessing it happen to their mothers or having it happen to them. This is no light matter. For some Muslim men, this isn't a last resort, but the first method they employ in resolving any and every marital disagreement. This is why we can understand why anyone would feel strongly about this matter to make a "fuss" over it.

      Finally, even if we believe that the word daraba means beating or slight beating or light beating or what have you, still I recall years and years ago, while growing up, an Islamic scholar who explained the process of how this would be done. He said, that if a man, had to be so careful as to get up, get some grass, then, beat his wife, with such care as to leave no mark and inflict no pain and avoid her face and go through all the thought processes of making no error as he would be accountable if he did hurt or mark her, then perhaps that entire process would make him rethink carefully what he was doing and maybe his anger would dissipate and he would come up with a solution by the time all was said and done--maybe this was the wisdom--that none of of this could in fact could be carried out by a man who was in anger.

      I don't wish to debate this matter or stir up controversy, but in fact, my intention lies in hoping that we take the time to reflect, think, and re-evaluate our conversations about something that affects many of either directly or indirectly. And Allah Knows Best.

      May Allah guide me first and May Allah guide us all, Ameen.

  9. Surah Nisa, Ayah 34: "Men are the protectors and maintainers of women, because Allah has made one of them to excel the other, and because they spend (to support them) from their means. Therefore the righteous women are devoutly obedient (to Allah and to their husbands), and guard in the husband's absence what Allah orders them to guard (e.g. their chastity, their husband's property, etc.). As to those women on whose part you see ill-conduct, admonish them (first), (next), refuse to share their beds, (and last) beat them (lightly, if it is useful), but if they return to obedience, seek not against them means (of annoyance). Surely, Allah is Ever Most High, Most Great."

    One of the most highly misunderstood ayahs in the Qu'ran. I do not believe for one moment that Allah(swt) has permitted a husband to beat his wife.

    It is important to note that when mentioning 'men', at the start of this ayah, Allah(swt) is referring to all 'men', not to just husbands. Men, in all roles, be they husbands, fathers, sons, brothers, uncles etc - they all have a responsibility towards protecting and maintaining women. That is a gift from Allah to all women. But some men and women do not understand this. Some men do not understand that by 'protecting and maintaining' they are supposed to be looking out for us women, by being kind, gentle, caring, providing etc. Some men seek to control instead, they have misinterpreted the meaning and thereby polluted something beautiful into something demeaning to women. And this is what has been spread in the anti-Islamic media.

    Furthermore, this ayah does not refer to dealing with a wife who has added too much salt in the dinner or something else minor. It refers to a woman who has done something major, major enough to cause a breakdown of the marriage. And this is advice given to a husband who is 'good'; not to a husband who is unreasonable. 'Admonishing' his wife - does not mean the husband should shout and be rude. He should advise her gently - over a period of time and keep trying. If this doesn't work, it has been suggested that he does not have physical relations over a period of time. And the husband can try other things too. If none of this works, and it seems that the marriage will break, the word "idribuhunna" has been used - the closest translation in English is 'to strike'. This does not mean the husband should beat his wife, or cause any pain whatsoever. It does not even necessarily mean 'to strike' physically. There are many meanings of this word, and one may mean to apply force, which can be in 'tone of voice' or to just use the hand to hold his wife firmly or to e.g: strike/push her chest - just to give a wake up call. The husband in this situation is desperate to save his marriage and this is almost a final resort after along time of trying to resolve the issue and wants to his wife to wake up and realize that the sins she is committing will lead to divorce. And divorce is a major thing in Islam - divorce can lead to many social ills, especially if there are children involved. If this still doesn't work, then involve an arbitrator from both families who can mediate and help. If none of this resolves the issues, then divorce maybe the most disliked of halaal things, but it is permissible.

    This is my simple understanding as explained by Shaykh Marwan - and it make sense to me. There are also ayahs about how good wives should deal with 'husband's' who are of 'ill conduct'. Allah is Just.

    SisterZ
    IslamicAnswers.com Editor

    • as a woman I can tell you we respond better to kindness,love, respect doing this even if it is not "deserved" or earned will normally lead us to eventually doing the right thing. I think it is better to ignore a woman who is sinning than to hit her.. this is more hurtful to her and if you hit her she will either fear you or hate you either way it wont bring you to a happy marriage. If you want a happy marriage then this means making sacrifices and loving her even if she isnt doing what she should do. Showing her kindness and love If she truly is good will bring her to her senses. If she never comes to her senses divorce her but hold no anger or grudge allow Allah to deal with her.

    • SisterZ, you wrote,

      "If none of this works, and it seems that the marriage will break, the word "idribuhunna" has been used - the closest translation in English is 'to strike'."

      The whole point of my article is that "to strike" is NOT the closest translation of idribuhunna in the Quran, as the same word is used in the Quran numerous times in contexts that mean, "to travel" or "to separate".

      I see no valid reason to translate it as "to strike", except to meet cultural demands that men be allowed to hit women.

      Wael
      IslamicAnswers.com Editor

  10. Thank you Br. Abu Abdul Bari,

    As we always say, the mistakes are from us. I am sure I have made mistakes just as others have too. I am not an angel and nor is anyone else an angel either here.

    It is very offending when individuals accuse others of having intentions to decieve--as I have been accused--I take this accusation very seriously. Mistakes are made by all of us as we are humans--but I do beleive we have to be very careful about accusing others and claiming to know their intentions.

    Living in a home where abuse was prevalent, this is a painful topic for me and I am sure for others. It would be nice if there was a level of respect by Bro. Ali could adhere to in his future comments, inshaAllah.

    JazakAllah Khair.

    • @ Sis Saba,

      " You sound like a person who will get beaten by their husband "

      Does this sound good ? Ofcourse not. Similarly, "you sound like a person who can't wait to get married to beat your wife" also doesn't sound good to me. Lets avoid it.

      Secondly, since we are humans, we are bound to make mistakes I agree, we are also bound to get angry and emotional on different levels don't we ? I for one, would get angry and emotional when I see Quran or hadeeth being taken out of context.

      Anyways next time we will re-check our comments before posting.

  11. I think Allah has given us the Quran for guidance and also to obey the fard actions but we have also been gifted with we brain. We must use our common sense to determine what is the best course of action in each situation in our life. If a child slightly misbehaves we will tell them off but if he severely misbehaves then just telling of will not suffice. I do not think a husband hitting the wife will help anyone in any way instead the wife will lose respect and love affection for the husband and this will bring about divorce. I myself will not tolerate if my husband laid a finger on me it would devestate me! It's ok when my parent hit me when I was a child but being an adult and getting hit is a totally different spectrum!

    But on an exceptional occasion I did support an incident when my cousin brothers wife was extremely anger and abusive towards her inlaws. Even I felt like giving her a punch because she was so rude and abusive to everyone. On this particular day she was cussing my aunts and started throwing things so my cousin brother gave her a big slap on her cheek and restrained her because he was scared that she would physically hurt her mother! Everyone supported him even though she complained to her parents that my cousin bro beat her. But this was an exceptional situation where he had to to defend the elders. I do not dispute my cousin bro's action cause she was completely out of control!

    But when I had heated arguments with my husband about him paying the bills I do not expect him to start hitting me out of anger because I am telling him to do what he should be doing. If we can't sort it out we will have to go to elders to reconcile. My husband cheated on me so many times I warned him so many times but he wouldn't listen. He is disobedient to Allahs law I fell like beating him but I can't his an adult this wont achieve anything!

    And I do not understand what the reasoning is behind hitting the wife with grass what could the husband intend from this? The husband may hope that by beating the wife and inflicting pain on her she will fear him and obey him out of fear. But what does the husband hope to achieve by hitting with grass with no pain? Doesn't make sense to me sorry.

    • "On this particular day she was cussing my aunts and started throwing things so my cousin brother gave her a big slap on her cheek and restrained her because he was scared that she would physically hurt her mother!"

      Although this behavior is un-Islamic, in that hitting the face is prohibited and beating in order to injure is not advised (against lightly striking with a miswak or a bunch of grass); I believe the point about "permissibility" is clear now. It is in order to bring discipline. So that a man does not become violent and torture his wife physically, Islam already made clear what the limit is.

      Jazakillah sister Sumaira for bringing this experience. 🙂

      Abu Abdul Bari
      IslamicAnswers.com Editor

  12. What do you do to the husband when he misbehaves?

  13. I am not sure of the interpretations, but categorically I would never strike my wife under any circumstances other than in self-defence for fear of my life...

  14. The question has not been answered: What should a wife do if her husband misbehaves? If a husband is cussing his or her mother, screaming and threatening her? Would it help if she tapped him lightly or hit him with a toothbrush? Why would a misbehaving wife repent if her husband beat her with a toothbrush, but not a misbehaving husband if his wife hit him with some grass? It is obviously not a question of physical strength, since a light tap with a toothbrush requires no strength at all. So honestly, I am asking: why should not a wife hit her misbehaving, cussing or cheating husband with a toothbrush to give him pause or make him repent?

  15. No muslim has the right to harm another physically, mentally, verbally or emotionally. As far as men are concerned husbands to be more precise; how will their wife love them, would want to care for them if their men abuse them physically and verbally. The only wives who stay obedient are the ones who have no way out, neither do they have enough courage to harm their husbands back. People have made this beautiful relationship soo full of disgust, anger and other stuff.. When u get married its supposed to be like where u walk he walks, where u look he looks, true love and soul mates. U should know one other to such an extent how one feels and thinks should be something u are already aware of without being told. sometimes when I look at my parents, I feel like I don't want to ever marry. SO many tears, heartbreaks, sad days, depression .... I salute my mom!

  16. not sure if this is the right place for this , but what does islam say about child beating? I read somewhere that when hazrat imam hussain and hussan were childern they would jump on the back of the prophet while he was praying and making sajda, and the prophet would remain in sajda as long as they were on his back so that they dont fall off and hurt themselves. This is how much he loved them but if this was to happen to any parent in the present world they might end up hitting the child. I know many childern of have been beaten very badly by both their mothers and fathers. I remember still being hit up to the age of 13.

  17. Thanks for a comprehensive debate which clarifies many questions that I had in my mind. I tend to agree more with brother Wael and sisters Saba, SisterZ and others who gave a similar point of view.

    In my humble view, we must always keep the SPIRIT / PURPOSE of a certain action in mind. Keeping discussion on the correct meanings of word " idribuhunna" aside for a while, I can clearly see that the spirit of the verse 4:34 leads towards reconciliation / resolving the issue and NOT towards further aggravating the whole thing where both sides reach point of no return emotionally.

    Now, beating is an act of violence which is quite definable. No person, man of woman, would take beating lightly and would surely feel insulted, ridiculed and offended. I wonder how a person (a woman in this case) would move towards reconciliation / resolution of the issue if she feels ridiculed / insulted.

    Conversely, intensity of the strike (supposed to be light in this case) is a matter of opinion and one cant really quantify that beating was light, intense, painful or what. It would differ from person to person and would be difficult to prove however one thing is certain that an act of violence has been committed which can be proved also if there is a witness available. To me.... the whole thing doesn't look very convincing and I am certain of one thing, wherever I have gone in detail and researched a subject properly, I have found that the concept given in Quran is most comprehensive and futuristic and wherever I found a difference / problem, it was due to my lack of knowledge / incorrect interpretation.

    After considering all these factors, if there is a slightest doubt in the meanings of word " idribuhunna" than than it needs detailed explanation by language experts. Mind you many a men are using this for beating their wives and at they end they just say that Islam permits me to do so.

    Jazak Allah al Khair

  18. yes how correct. Are prophet never hurt anyone physically so how can one beat his wife! This the work of Devil ....Think about how can we beat are wives when at onetime we were excited to meet and be married ......someobe else daughter or your daughter and knowing that the husband is hitting her? The devil strikes again and again but the man is getting satisfaction and he thinks hes right because he saw his father do it ?

  19. assalamualaikum!

    My husband has lots of affairs he has sex also with other ladies he is not scared of Allah . When i will ask him about all this he will make me scared that he will take my son away from me and also beat me very hard till blood comes. till now i have not told anyone about this . Yesterday he beat me like a animal . but only because of my son i have kept quite and said sorry to him even it was not my mistake . he is not an human he is a animal . my son is 18 months old . I pray to Allah that he will get punished by Allah the way he is beating me . I really don't want to continue with this person he is lunatic mind person .

    I need some advice from someone who will change my life . Im to upset but cant do anything only because of my son.

    Please help me

    • As-salamu alaykum sister. Take your son and leave. If you can return to your parents, do so. If you have a sibling or an aunt or even a cousin or friend who can take you in, then do so. I do not know what country you are in, but in most countries the court will award custody of the child to the mother in a situation like yours.

      No one deserves to be treated in this way. Make a plan, wait until your husband is away, and leave.

      Wael
      IslamicAnswers.com Editor

    • Salam Alaikum sister I'm sooo sorry to hear what you going through..My advice I'm going to give you is the same advice I'm going to take..beater men don't ever change..I am married to one sister wallahy..Our marriage right now is pathetic..We have been married for 6 years with 2 kids..As of today our marriage just (co- exist) because we have a two year old and a newborn....Something mentally is wrong with these men..They are insecure and wired messed up in the head..These men don't have NO fear of Allah..these men are like dogs they cheat, they lie, they steal and they beat women..Eventually they beat the children..these men have terrible lives, Allah doesn't love these people..With all these ad traits they are probably cursed from Allah...Your situation can eventually happen in many different scenarios..

      1) he eventually kills you or your child by accident
      2) you eventually kill him or your child by accident
      3) You guys get divorced, broken home fighting for custody of the kids...but guess what no beatings no
      more..and your children will no longer see you get beat..
      4) The cops will be called and Allah will take him away by prison..or sister you can wind up in prison too..
      5) Finally if Allah opens this mans heart and make him a changed man..the man has to want to change

      In my situation after 6 years..I finally fight back..so every two to three weeks or whenever we get into fights How sad...It usually starts by him messaging around on social media with females.. Allah puts it right in my face, I confront him he gets mad starts hitting me then guess what I start hitting him back..now I noticed he thinks twice unless he wants to have matching scratches and black eyes..I hope Allah eases our problems and bless us with blessings..inshallah..

  20. Thank you for such a lovely article you have written .
    The prophet never beat his wives as he was a kind man . Did the prophet beat any Muslim brothers in his life time ?

  21. hi,
    i have written some comments but i can not see anything about it?

  22. Assalaamu alaikum Brothers and Sisters,

    I myself come from a home where my dad used to beat my mother. He used to beat her in front of us. I am an adult now and I can't get rid of the images in my head till today. This has really scarred me and my siblings to such an extent that it affects our personality and the way we relate to other people.

    A woman should never stay in a relationship where she is constantly being physically beaten. It not only affects her, it affects the children for the rest of their lives. And instead of the children praying for the well-being of their father, they end up cursing him. Please ladies, don't accept such abuse you're worth more than that. Atleast do it for your children.

    To those men who beat their wives to such an extent where their wife/wives are bleeding or they become unconscious, remember that Allah is watching and He is Just. Your turn of misery will come if you do not repent and better your self.

    May Allah guide us all. Aameen

  23. Assalamuaikum,

    Thank you for covering this topic. Even though there is so much hue and cry over this topic the fact remains that Prophet Muhammad PUBH did not raise his hand even once in his life against his wives. This itself is an evidence how Islam respects Women. Please see another approach of explanation of Quran 4:34 in this article.

    https://solution-for-peace.com/2016/08/09/explanation-of-quran-4-34-wife-beating-in-islam/

  24. Why should i man beat his wife, men and women are both equal, they are human beings.
    e live in a modern wold

  25. when gods love enters a heart it softens not harden . men and women in Islam are equal but not identical. men are protectors of the women . and they have extra degree of responsibility in the family. that doesn't mean they have right to beat their wives it means they should show more compassion , tolerance , patience and care. i don't believe god would ever allow a race or gender rule on the other gender or race . that is humiliating insult both to islam and god.

    god has exalted women. for example a women shouldn't work to provide for family. she can work but only for herself . and if she wants to help her husband than she can with her own will share her revenue with her family.

    and come one when does wife beating resolved any problem in history of mankind . our prophet peace upon him was the living proof of Quran. did he beat his wives ever instead he says : THE BEST OF YOU IS THE ONE WHO IS BEST TO THEIR FAMILIES .

    to understand Islam and gods word us should use your brain and your rightly guided heart.
    god says: only people of understanding recognize his signs

    god is just. god is above all . he knows everything and he sees everything.

  26. Assalam Alaikum. Some Muslim men are Satan not human. Dead evil.

    • Shena, some human beings - men and women, Muslim and not - are evil. That includes some Muslims, yes.

      Wael
      IslamicAnswers.com Editor

    • As Salaamu Alaikum

      I dont know if you can call them Satans and no - Humans,because to call one as a Satan(Shaytan)is the same as if you call him kafir.(If one dont pray,he will be a kafir if he stop with all prayers,but if he prays still only one Salat(Salah) he is still a muslim but he is a Fasiq.)So be careful with such words,and i never have listen this you go out of Islam if you beat your Wife.
      Yes it is wrong and he will be punish Insha Allah,but the Wife too can be wrong,than what you will call her??

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