What is the position of women in Islam? How should a husband care and treat his wife? What does the greatest and the last prophet Mohammed advice and prescribe as an ideal treatment of women? Esther, evaluates the Muslim and Islamic position on women and the role of a caring husband.
THE QURAN COMMANDS HUSBANDS TO BEAT THEIR WIFE OR WIFES.
TEXT FROM THE QURAN, 4:34
DAWOOD : "Men have authority over women because God has made the one superior to the other, and because they spend their wealth to maintain them. Good women are obedient. They guard their unseen parts because God has guarded them. As for those from whom you fear disobedience, admonish them and send them to beds apart and beat them. Then if they obey you, take no further action against them. Surely God is high, supreme."
PICKTHALL : "Men are in charge of women, because Allah has 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 has guarded. As for those from whom you 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."
ARBERRY : "Men are the managers of the affairs of women for that God has preferred in bounty one of them over another, and for that they have expended of their property. Righteous women are therefore obedient, guarding the secret for God's guarding. And those you fear may be rebellious admonish; banish them to their couches, and beat them. If they then obey you, look not for any way against them; God is All high, All great."
SHAKIR : 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 their sleeping places and beat them; then if they obey you, do not seek a way against them; surely Allah is High, Great.
RODWELL : "Men are superior to women on account of the qualities with which God has gifted the one above the other, and on account of the outlay they make from their substance for them. Virtuous women are obedient, careful, during the husband's absence, because God has of them been careful. But chide those for whose refractoriness you have cause to fear; remove them into beds apart, and scourge them: but if they are obedient to you, then seek not occasion against them: verily, God is High, Great!"
['Refractoriness' means hard or impossible to manage, stubbornly disobedient'].
ALI : "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 whom part you 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).
Note: Ali adds nine words which one will never find in the Quran this he does to soften the wife beating however Ali agrees with the command that one should beat the wife.
HISTORICAL BACKGROUND OF 4:34
Background Reference for the Quranic verse 4:34.
Razi's "At-Tafsir al-Kabir" on 4:34 ( This is what Razi’s affirms and comments on 4:34; Quoted in “Beyond the Veil . Razi is one of the greatest Muslim scholars.
"A women complained to Muhammad that her husband slapped her on the face, (which was still marked by the slap). At first the prophet said to her: "Get even with him", but then added: "Wait until I think about it". Later on, Allah supposedly revealed 4:34 to Muhammad, after which the prophet said: "We wanted one thing but Allah wanted another, and what Allah wanted is best". [To beat your wife is best.]
Hadith from Bukhari , vol. 7, # 715,
"Narrated Ikrima: 'Rifaa divorced his wife whereupon Abdur-Rahman married her. Aisha said that the lady came wearing a green veil and complained to her (Aisha) and showed her a green spot on her skin caused by beating. It was the habit of ladies to support each other, so when Allah's messenger came, Aisha said, "I have not seen any woman suffering as much as the believing women. Look! Her skin is greener than her clothes! When Abdur-Rahman heard that his wife had gone to the prophet, he came with his two sons from another wife. She said, "By Allah! I have done no wrong to him, but he is impotent and is as useless to me as this," holding and showing the fringe of her garment. Abdur-Rahman said, "By Allah, O Allah's messenger! She has told a lie. I am very strong and can satisfy her, but she is disobedient and wants to go back to Rifaa." Allah's messenger said to her, "If that is your intention, then know that it is unlawful for you to remarry Rifaa unless Abdur-Rahman has had sexual intercourse with you." The prophet saw two boys with Abd
ur-Rahman and asked (him), "Are these your sons?" On that Abdur-Rahman said, "Yes." The prophet said, "You claim what you claim (that he is impotent)? But by Allah, these boys resemble him as a crow resembles a crow.""
Don’t you think the Quran and the Hadith supports wife beating? I think it does, one must beat his wife at least mildly according to Ali’s translation.
OTHER HADITH ON WIFE BEATING
MOHAMMED ACCEPTS ABU JAHM, A WELL KNOW WIFE BEATER AND REWARDS HIM
Fatima bint Qais reported that Abu 'Amr b. Hafs divorced her absolutely when he was away from home, and he sent his agent to her with some barley. She was displeased with him and when he said: I swear by Allah that you have no claim on us. she went to Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) and mentioned that to him. He said: There is no maintenance due to you from him, and he commanded her to spend the 'Idda in the house of Umm Sharik, but then said: That is a woman whom my companions visit. So better spend this period in the house of Ibn Umm Maktum, for he is a blind man and yon can put off your garments. And when the 'Idda is over, inform me. She said: When my period of 'Idda was over, I mentioned to him that Mu'awiya b. Abu Sufyan and Jahm had sent proposal of marriage to me, whereupon Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) said: As for Abu Jahm, he does not put down his staff from his shoulder, and as for Mu'awiya, he is a poor man having no property; marry Usama b. Zaid. I objected to him, but he again said: Marry Usama; so I married him. Allah blessed there in and I was envied (by others). SAHIH MUSLIM . Book 009, Number 3512:
The below Hadith because of the length I have quoted according to the relevance
…So I informed him [Muhammad]. (By that time) Mu'awiya, Abu Jahm and Usama b. Zaid had given her the proposal of marriage. Allah's Messenger said: So far as Mu'awiya is concerned, he is a poor man without any property. So far as Abu Jahm is concerned, he is a great beater of women, but Usama b. Zaid… She pointed with her hand (that she did not approve of the idea of marrying) Usama. But Allah's Messenger said: Obedience to Allah and obedience to His Messenger is better for thee. She said: So I married him, and I became an object of envy. SAHIH MUSLIM Book 009, Number 3526:
…She said: Mu'awiya and Abu'l-Jahm were among those who had given me the proposal of marriage. Thereupon Allah's Apostle said: Mu'awiya is destitute and in poor condition and Abu'l-Jahm is very harsh with women (or he beats women, or like that), you should take Usama b. Zaid (as your husband). SAHIH MUSLIM Book 009, Number 3527:
NOTE: The above Hadith confirms the fact, Muslim husbands could legally beat their wives without any retaliatory consequences. Since, Abu Jahm was known to beat his and Muhammad never cared for it. We can conclude, it certainly was and is allowed within the Islamic community and by Mohammed.
HADITH OF THE SUNAN OF ABU DAWUD
Wife beating is given great important in an Islamic marriage. Hence, collection of Abu Dawud’s Hadith contains a small chapter dedicated to wife beating.
Iyas Dhubab reported the apostle of Allah as saying:
Book 11, Number 2141:
Narrated Abdullah ibn AbuDhubab:
Iyas ibn Abdullah ibn AbuDhubab reported the Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) as saying: Do not beat Allah's handmaidens, but when Umar came to the Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) and said: Women have become emboldened towards their husbands, he (the Prophet) gave permission to beat them. Then many women came round the family of the Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) complaining against their husbands. So the Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) said: Many women have gone round Muhammad's family complaining against their husbands. They are not the best among you.
Book 11, Number 2142:
Narrated Umar ibn al-Khattab: The Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) said: A man will not be asked as to why he beat his wife.
If this does not convince you about the Islamic position of women and wife beating. Then please read the following references.
SAHIH MUSLIM Book 004, #2127:
SAHIH MUSLIM Book 009, #3506:
SAHIH BUKHARI VOL. 8 #82
SAHIH BUKHARI Vol. 7, #132
THE BIOGRAPHICAL MATERIAL (SIRA) ON WIFE BEATING
MUHAMMAD'S FAREWELL ADDRESS
"You have rights over your wives, and they have rights over you. You have the right that they should not defile your bed and that they should not behave with open unseemliness. If they do, God allows you to put them in separate rooms and to beat them, but not with severity. If they refrain from these things and obey you, they have right to their food and clothing with kindness. Lay injunctions on women kindly, for they are your wards having no control of their persons." Ibn Ishaq's "Sirat Rasulallah", Guillaume's translation , page 651:
Note here that
1) The Islamic definition of "ward" means a person who has been legally placed under the care of a guardian or court, or a person who is under the protection and control of another. In other w
ords, Muslim wives are placed under their husband.
2) Women are to be cared for just like a man cares for a prized horse.
3) The Muslim writer/scholar Ali Dashti, in his book, "23 Years, a Study of the Prophetic Career of Muhammad" , translates the fourth sentence from the above passage as "Look after women kindly! They are prisoners, not having control of themselves at all". The passage's word in Arabic "awan" translated as "ward" or "prisoners" implies that women are in-between slave and free. In other words, because women are unable control their emotions, men are given authority over them.