Tuesday, December 12, 2017

What Does Islam Teach About.. Wife-Beating - TheReligionofPeace.com

Does Islam allow a man to hit his wife? 

Yes, but only if she doesn't do as he asks.
The beating must stop if the woman complies
with her husband's demands.
Behind verbal abuse and abandonment,
beating is intended as last resort solution
to coerce submission.

According her testimony in the Hadith, 
Muhammad physically struck his favorite wife 
for leaving the house without his permission. 
It is not known how he treated 
his less-favored wives.


Quran (4:34) - "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."  
Contemporary translations 
sometimes water down 
the word 'beat', 
but it is the same one 
used in verse 8:12 and 
clearly means 'to strike'.
Quran (38:44) - "And take in
your hand a green branch 
and beat her with it, 
and do not break your oath..."  
Allah telling Job to beat his wife (Tafsir).

Hadith and Sira

Bukhari (72:715) -
A woman came to Muhammad
and begged her to stop her husband
from beating her.
Her skin was bruised so badly
that it is described as being "greener"
than the green veil she was wearing.
Muhammad did not admonish her husband,
but instead ordered her to return to him
and submit to his sexual desires.

Bukhari (72:715) - "Aisha said, '
I have not seen any woman suffering
as much as the believing women'"

Muhammad's own wife complained
of the abuse that the women of her religion
suffered relative to other women.

Muslim (4:2127) - Muhammad struck
his favorite wife, Aisha,
in the chest one evening
when she left the house
without his permission.
Aisha narrates,
"He struck me on the chest which caused me pain."

Muslim (9:3506) - Muhammad's fathers-in-law
(Abu Bakr and Umar) amused him by
slapping his wives (Aisha and Hafsa)
for annoying him.
According to the Hadith,
the prophet of Islam laughed
upon hearing this.

Abu Dawud (2141) - "Iyas bin ‘Abd Allah bin Abi Dhubab
reported the Apostle of Allah
(may peace be upon him)
as saying:
Do not beat Allah’s handmaidens,
but when ‘Umar came to the Apostle of Allah
(may peace be upon him) and said:
Women have become emboldened
towards their husbands,
he (the Prophet) gave permission
to beat them.
 At first, Muhammad forbade men
from beating their wives,
but he rescinded this
once it was reported that women
were becoming emboldened
toward their husbands.
Beatings in a Muslim marriage
are sometimes necessary
to keep women in their place.

Abu Dawud (2142) -
"The Prophet (peace be upon him) said:
A man will not be asked
as to why he beat his wife."

Abu Dawud (2126) -
"A man from the Ansar called Basrah said:
'I married a virgin woman in her veil.
When I entered upon her, I found her pregnant.
(I mentioned this to the Prophet).'
The Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) said:
'She will get the dower,
for you made her vagina lawful for you.
The child will be your slave.
When she has begotten (a child), flog her'" 
A Muslim thinks he is getting a virgin,
then finds out that she is pregnant.
Muhammad tells him to treat the
woman as a sex slave
and then flog her after she delivers the child.

Ibn Ishaq/Hisham 969 -
Requires that a married woman
be "put in a separate room
and beaten lightly"

if she "act in a sexual manner toward others.
 According to the Hadith,
this can be for an offense as petty
as merely being alone
with a man to whom she is not related.

Kash-shaf (the revealer)
of al-Zamkhshari (Vol. 1, p. 525)

- [Muhammad said]
"Hang up your scourge
where your wife can see it"


Some contemporary Muslim apologists
often squirm over this
relatively straightforward verse
from the Quran (4:34) -
which gives men the right
to beat their wives if they even
have a "fear" of disloyalty or disobedience. 
Their rhetorical aerobics inspired us
to write a separate article:

Wife Beating- Good Enough for Muhammad,
Good Enough for You

Others are not nearly as squeamish. 
Sheikh Yousef al-Qaradhawi,
one of the most respected Muslim clerics in the world,
once made the famous
(and somewhat ridiculous statement) that
"It is forbidden to beat the woman, unless it is necessary." 
He went on to say that
"one may beat only to safeguard Islamic behavior," leaving no doubt that wife-beating
is a matter of religious sanction.  (source)

Dr. Muzammil Saddiqi,
the former president of ISNA
(the Islamic Society of North America),
a mainstream Muslim organization,
says it is important that a wife
"recognizes the authority of her husband in the house"
and that he may use physical force
if he is "sure it would improve the situation."  (source)

Sheikh Dr. Ahmad Muhammad Ahmad Al-Tayyeb,
the head of Al-Azhar,
Sunni Islam's most prestigious institution
says that "light beatings"
and "punching" are part of a program to
"reform the wife" (source).

Dr. Jamal Badawi endorses corporal punishment
as "another measure that may save the marriage"
(source).   He isn't clear on how striking a woman
will make her more inclined toward staying
with her assailant,
unless the implication is fear
of more serious consequences if she leaves.

Egyptian cleric, Abd al-Rahman Mansour,
said in a 2012 televised broadcast that,
in addition to discouraging the wife
from filing divorce,
beatings would inspire the wife to
"treat him with kindness and respect,
and know that her husband
has a higher status than her."

During Ramadan of 2010, another cleric
named Sa'd Arafat actually said the woman is
"honored" by the beating (source). 
No one else seemed terribly surprised
or upset by this.

An undercover report from progressive Sweden
in 2012 found that 60% of mosques there
actually advised beaten women
not to report the abuse to the police. 
These women were also told that they
must submit to non-consensual 'sex'
with their husbands.  (source)

In the birthplace of Islam,
about half of Saudi women are beaten at home. 
"Hands and sticks were found to be used mostly
in beating women, following by men’s head cover
and to a lesser extent, sharp objects."

According to Islamic law,
a husband may strike his wife
for any one of the following four reasons:
- She does not attempt 
to make herself beautiful for him 
(ie. "let's herself go")
- She refuses to meet his sexual demands
- She leaves the house without his 
permission or for a "legitimate reason"
- She neglects her religious duties
Any of these are also sufficient grounds for divorce.

Respected Quran scholars in the past
interpreted verse 4:34 with impressive candor.
Tabari said that it means to
"admonish them, but if they refused to repent,
then tie them up in their homes
and beat them until they obey Allah’s commands
toward you.
"  Qurtubi told wife-beaters
to avoid breaking bones, if possible,
but added that "it is not a crime if it leads to death." (source)

Muslim apologists sometimes say
that Muhammad ordered
that women not be harmed,
but they are actually basing this on
what he said before or during a battle,
such as in Bukhari (59:447),
when Muhammad issued a command
for all the men of Quraiza be killed
and the women and children taken as slaves. 
(Having your husband murdered
and being forced into sexual slavery
apparently doesn't qualify as "harm"
under the Islamic model).

But, in fact, there are a number of cases
in which Muhammad did have women killed
in the most brutal fashion. 
One was Asma bint Marwan, a mother or five,
who wrote a poem criticizing the Medinans
for accepting Muhammad after he had ordered
the murder of an elderly man. 
In this case, the prophet's assassins
literally pulled a sleeping infant from her breast
and stabbed her to death.

After taking Mecca in 630, Muhammad
also ordered the murder of a slave girl
who had merely made up songs mocking him. 
The Hadith are rife with accounts of women
planted in the ground on Muhammad's
command and pelted to death with stones
for sexual immorality -
yet the prophet of Islam
actually encouraged his own men
to rape women captured in battle
(Abu Dawood 2150, Muslim 3433)
and did not punish them
for killing non-Muslim women
(as Khalid ibn Walid did on several occasions
- see Ibn Ishaq 838 and 856).

In summary, according to the Qur'an,
Hadith and Islamic law,
a woman may indeed have physical
harm done to her
if the circumstances warrant,
with one such allowance being
in the case of disobedience. 
This certainly does not mean
that all Muslim men
beat their wives, only that Islam
permits them to do so.