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Domestic Violence Series

The End to Hitting Women: Islamic Perspective on Domestic Violence | Imam Abdullah Hasan


The correct interpretation:

Looking at the verse in a more holistic fashion, however, I would like to assert the following points.

1. The apparent text of the verse suggests that husbands need not wait for nushūz to actually occur, but only need fear its occurrence before they can take such action. The fear this verse alludes to seems to imply a fear which is similar to that in the next verse where God says: “If you [believers] fear that a couple may break up (shiqāq), appoint one arbiter from his family and one from hers. Then, if the couple want to put things right, God will bring about reconciliation between them: He is all knowing, all aware.”[45] Recall that the breach has not yet occurred, but God is providing potential solutions for the couple anyway. Likewise, God has provided solutions for a situation where nushūz has not yet occurred. If the imperative waḍhribuhunna is meant to give license to men to hit women in the literal sense then the inevitable question to pose would be: for what reason should the wife be ‘hit’? Should she be ‘hit’ for the nushūz (ill-conduct) that has not been displayed?![46]

2. Scholars have provided plethora of definitions of nushūẓ on the part of the wife in books of jurisprudence. Definitions[47] range from the woman leaving the house without the husbands’ permission to committing adultery. For example:

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The Ḥanafīs[48]define her nushūẓ as, “her leaving the house of her husband without his permission and keeping her husband from her without due right.” [49]

The Malikīs say: “It is her departing from the obligatory obedience to her husband, preventing him from her sexually, leaving the house without his permission to a place that she knows he would not permit her to go to, leaving the rights of God upon her, such as performing the complete washing after sexual intercourse or fasting the month of Ramadan, and her locking the door on her husband, keeping him out.”[50]

The Shafi’ī’s say: “It is the wife’s disobeying the husband and elevating herself above what God has obliged upon her and her raising herself above fulfilling her obligatory duties.”[51]

The Hanbalīs define it as: “It is the wife’s disobedience of her husband concerning those acts of obedience that are obligatory upon her from the rights of marriage.” [52]

Many contemporary writers and scholar shave defined nushūẓ to mean adultery by amalgamating various verses in the Qur’ān and in particular the statement of the Prophet in his final sermon. The traditional definitions of nushūẓ which I have presented are difficult to practically implement in all situations—particularly in a modern context.  

Defining nushūẓ as adultery (including even the actions that lead to adultery) may appear to be the more credible reading, especially given the statement[53] of the Prophet in his farewell sermon. However, it is well known that the legally acceptable punishment for proven adultery is a capital punishment. None of the scholars ruled that adultery should be punished by ḍarb.

Interestingly, al-Rāzī argues that if a wife was in the habit of welcoming her husband (by standing up) when he entered the room, hastening to fulfil his ‘commands’, rushing to his bed, and being happy when he touched her and then suddenly she stops all that good behaviour and practices, she has committed nushūẓ.[54]The inevitable questions to pose would be: what if the wife is tired? What if she is unhappy with her husband because he is behaving inappropriately towards her? What if she is attending to other matters while he enters the house? What if the husband is not touching her the right way for her to be pleased?! These questions are left unanswered when appropriating these definitions for nushūẓ. For me it paints a one sided perspective of marriage – that it is the sole duty of the wife to please her husband. Marriage in the Qur’ān is based on mutual and reciprocal love, compassion, respect and honour. Not that one is superior to the other as the master is to the slave!

In my reading of the various definitions of nushūẓ provided by some of the jurists there seems to be a clear unjust or imbalanced rhetoric between the nushūẓ (ill-conduct) of the wife and the husband. The nushūẓ of the wife is taken more seriously and hence require severe chastisements. Whereas the nushūẓ of the husband is mostly regarded or interpreted as a result of a flaw or shortcoming on part of the wife. However, I would argue, nushūẓ from the husband may be more harmful and dangerous than caused by the wife because he has been appointed by God to shepherd his family (with mutual consultation of his wife) and due to the fact that he has been afforded more responsibilities – or burdened with more duties to take care of the family.[55]

In light of the various definitions that the fuqāha (jurists) have propounded, nushūẓ, in my view, can simply be defined as: anything that a spouse performs which clearly violates the explicit commands of God.  

3. If the context (siyāq) of Q. 4:34 and the context of the proceeding verse (Q. 4:35) is analysed, it becomes clear that the husband should take a decisive stance on his wife’s nushūz. This is the intended meaning of ḍarb at this instance. After the husband has attempted the other two reconciliatory measures, he may resort to a third step. But while the permission to resort to a decisive third step is clear, the license to inflict physical or even psychological pain upon one’s wife is not. There are, on the other hand, clear reports from the Prophet that forbid husbands from hitting their wives “Do not hit the maidservants of Allah!” (lā taḍribū imā’ Allāh).[56]

4. The correct expression of the Qur’ānic conception of ḍarb in Q. 4:34 is expressed by ‘Aṭā’ Ibn Abī Rabāḥ (d. 114 AH) who said: “A man must not hit his wife – if he instructs her and she does not comply; he ought instead [of hitting her] show her his anger (yaghḍab ‘alayhā).”[57][58] About this commentary, Ibn al-‘Arabi remarks, “This is from the juristic insight of ‘Aṭā’, his understanding of the Sharī‘ah, and his ability of deduction and inference.”[59]

Ibn ‘Āshūr explains further: “I [Ibn ‘Āshūr] see ‘Atā’s insight as even more far-reaching than Ibn al-‘Arabi, since he placed these things as needed due to their substantiating evidences, a large group of scholars agreeing with this understanding.’’[60] ‘Atā’ Ibn Abī Rabāḥ’s (d. 114 AH) understanding is in congruence with the Qur’ānic concept of ḍarb (in Q. 4:34).

The ḍarb ‘Atā’ was referring to its prohibition is the customary ḍarb which is known to people in societies not the Qur’ānic conception of it. In ‘Aṭā’s reading, therefore, the corrective measure which the husband ought to take is not to hit one’s wife, but to display anger. In other words, ‘Aṭā is reading the word ḍarb as a metonymic stand-in (kināyah) for “showing one’s anger”. This is similar to the way some scholars understand ḍarb to be a figurative stand in for taking a journey or presenting an example elsewhere in the Qur’ān.[61]

It must be remembered that this is permitted anger—when a person gets angry about something that is legitimate, and still persists in their patience. God praises those who restrain their anger and pardon others. He says: “Be quick in the race for forgiveness from your Lord, and for a Garden whose width is that (of the whole) of the heavens and of the earth, prepared for the righteous,- those who spend (freely), whether in prosperity, or in adversity; who restrain anger, and pardon (all) people – and God loves those who do good.’’[62] Restraining anger implies that the person does not do anything that will violate the commands of God, despite feeling displeasure due to God’s laws being contravened. In the final stage of spousal reprimand, after pleading kindly for the wife to stop her mistreatment of the husband, the most a husband is afforded to show is (definitive) ‘anger’.  

5. The subsequent verse, Q. 4:35, supports the view that the ḍarb ought to be understood as a metonymic stand in for anger. If Q. 4:34 is licensing physical (or any form of) violence then surely this will cause more than a simple discord between spouses. It will cause fear, misery, and oppression. But God is all-knowing, and thus, I argue, violence is not what God has allowed in the prior verse. Otherwise, the mediation and reconciliation which this verse intends to provide steps to, would be impossible to achieve.[63]

6. There may be, in the minds of some, the question: If what is being suggested is true why did the Qur’ān employ the phrase waḍribūhunna instead of ‘you should take a decisive position against your wife’ or ‘you should show some displeasure and anger’ due to her actions?[64] To appreciate the reason, an understanding of the Qur’ānic style (uslūb al-Qur’ān) must be clarified and emphasised. In the Qur’ān God employs powerful and strong words to give life to the emphatic meaning present in a word without necessarily intending the literal meaning of the word. Such implications make up entire chapters in books on the Qur’ānic sciences.[65]

For example: In Q. 80:17 God reminds: “Woe to man! How ungrateful he is’’! The Arabic used for woe is qutila (May he be killed). Such a word is used here to symbolise and signify the intense divine curse upon those ungrateful.

In Q. 34:14 God states: ‘’Then, when we decreed Solomon’s death, nothing showed the jinn[66]he was dead, but a creature of the earth eating at his stick: when he fell down they realized – if they had known what was hidden they would not have continued their demeaning labour’’.

Exegetes explain that the Arabic word for torture, “adhāb”, is used here to illustrate the extent of the fatigue which overwhelmed the Jinn.

In Q. 2:236 God explains: “You will not be blamed if you divorce women when you have not yet consummated the marriage or fixed a bride-gift for them, but make fair provision for them, the rich according to his means and the poor according to his – this is a duty for those who do good.”In this verse, the Qur’ān employs the word lams (touch) to denote sexual intercourse. Ibn ‘Abbās said: “al-lams is sexual intercourse, God uses metonymic language however He desires and with whatever He desires….’’.[67]

The Qur’ān is replete with similar styles of metonymy.[68]

7. Many jurists who understood this verse to imply ḍārb literally nonetheless express a leaning towards the metonymic conception of it for all the reasons I have mentioned prior, even though they may not explicitly state it.[69]

The jurists place stringent conditions[70] on ‘hitting’[71] the wife in case of nushūz (ill-conduct) in a way that essentially undermines the literal concept and promotes the metonymic interpretation (ta’wīl) I have presented.[72] Some such conditions include: a) that the tool used to hit cannot be one that can potentially cause injury. Ibn ‘Abbās was of the view that a siwak[73] [small tooth-stick], or shirāk [shoelace] be used, others say a coiled scarf [mindil malfuf] will suffice), [74]b) that the face must be avoided, and c) that the hitting cannot leave any physical traces (ḍarb ghayr mubarriḥ).[75][76]

8. Furthermore, on balance and comparing the Qur’ānic notion of ḍarb (if taken literally) seems to suggest one thing and all other sources such as the traditions of the Prophet, early commentators of the Qur’ān, the Arabic language, and the Jurists (albeit with various modes of expression) – and with all their stringent conditions thus restricting the ‘waḍribūhunna’ (‘hitting’) from its customary conception – suggest a completely contrasting and contradictory view. Many have restricted the ḍarb in the Qur’ān to the extent that the apparent and literal concept is taken out. According to the rules of interpretation, as expounded in uṣūl al-fiqh, once a decisive (qat’i) ruling of a text has been specified in some respect, the part which remains unspecified becomes speculative (zanni), and as such, is open to further interpretation and specification (takhsis). In my estimation the only plausible and conceivable interpretation of the imperative is the understanding I have presented in this study i.e. that is a metonymic (symbolic) stand in for showing displeasure at the wife’s ill-conduct and nothing more. The Qur’ān, Sunnah and the legal texts overwhelmingly point to this.

9. It is important to stress and highlight that even though the Qur’ānic injunction to ‘hit’ was revealed the Prophet continuously reprimanded those who raise their hand against their wives as cited above and in certain traditions categorically prohibiting ‘wife-beating’ by stating “Do not hit the maidservants of Allah!” (lā taḍribū imā’ Allāh). This imperative from the Prophet seems to contradict the Qur’ānic imperative! Moreover, scholars such as Muhammad ‘Abduh (d. 1323 AH) argued that the tradition (and similar traditions) in which the Prophet said “the best of you would not beat their wives” amounts to a virtual prohibition[77] (while others, even traditional scholars, stating that ‘hitting’ was makrūh – strongly disliked) because of the vehement disdain the Prophet displayed about violence against women. This is clearly illustrated in many authentic traditions.

It is a well known principle in the study of the origins of jurisprudence (Uṣūl al-Fiqh) that the Prophet is the explainer and interpreter of the Qur’ān. Among the jurists, some argue that the Sunnah (Prophetic example) takes precedence over the seemingly direct or exact understanding. This view purports that the Qur’ān is always in need of the Sunnah to be applied correctly, and the Sunnah can be applied without recourse to the Qur’ān. Awzā’ī (d. 157 AH) was reported to have commented: “The Book [Qur’ān] is in more need of the Sunnah than the Sunnah is in need of the Book.”[78] Yahya b. Kathīr (d. 723 AH) was also reported to have stated: “The Sunnah judges the Qur’ān but the Qur’ān does not judge the Sunnah.’’[79] In other words, the Sunnah shows how the Qur’ān is to be applied. If the Sunnah shows a certain verse does not apply to a particular issue, even though the verse’s apparent meaning implies that it does, the ruling of the Sunnah takes precedence over the apparent meaning of the verse.

10. When the husband shows some anger and displeasure at the actions of his wife in a decisive manner after trying to be more gentle in the earlier two steps, she will be alerted in a major way to the fact that she has committed some sort of nushūz. In this situation, if she is not willing to rectify her conduct then the couple must resort to the final step the Qur’ān offers for reconciliation. The Qur’ān instructs, “If you [believers] fear that a couple may break up, appoint one arbiter from his family and one from hers. Then, if the couple want to put things right, God will bring about reconciliation between them: He is all knowing, all aware.”[80]

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Sh. Abdullah Hasan holds an Imam Diploma, BA, and Ijaza Aliyah in Islamic Studies from a European seminary. Disciplines include fiqh, usul al-fiqh, Ifta, and other traditional subjects. He also has a diploma in Arabic from Zarqa Private University and studied at the college of fiqh wa usuluhu at the same university, receiving private training from renowned Scholars in Jordan and the Middle East. With a background in counselling and psychology, he has provided therapy for individuals, couples, and families for over a decade. He holds certificates and diplomas in person-centred psychotherapy, marriage and youth counselling, and SFBT psychotherapy. Sh. A. Hasan is currently pursuing a doctorate in applied psychology after completing a Master's degree in the same field, and also Masters Programme in Medical Psychology. His expertise also extends to Zakat and Islamic philanthropic studies. Having served as an Imam in various UK Muslim communities, Sh. A. Hasan is deeply committed to community and people development. He brings over 10 years of experience in management, leadership, and training within the third sector. Currently, he serves as a teacher of Islamic psychology and counselling, a Consultant Counselling Psychologist at Gift Foundation. Additionally, he provides Chaplaincy counselling from multiple mosques in London, UK. Sh. A. Hasan is the founder of significant initiatives such as Imams Against Domestic Abuse (IADA), the British Imams, Scholars Contributions and Achievements (BISCA Awards), and the British Institutes, Mosques, and Associations (BIMA Awards). He is a member of The Association of Islamic Mental-Health Specialists (AIMS) and actively contributes to numerous other community organisations and projects, nationally and globally.



  1. Fritz

    December 22, 2013 at 7:28 AM

    Sad to say, psychological abuse is probably more common that physical abuse (and both are deplorable)

    Unfortunately, the former is very often perpetrated by woman (sometimes unknowingly) and can be just as toxic. It would be great to see an article also deal with this element to provide a comprehensive warning.

  2. Shazan

    December 22, 2013 at 10:01 AM

    Assalam o Alekum!
    Jazakillah khair Brother! This is a burning issue and require considerable attention.

  3. Mahmud

    December 22, 2013 at 11:26 AM

    Assalamualaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh

    What makes me uneasy is that it seems to be clear that the word means “hit” literally as the hadith on the matter are pretty clear….the ayah was revealed and then the women complained an so on……..

    • Mahmud

      December 28, 2013 at 1:48 AM

      Assalamualaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh

      Can I at least get a reason as to why my comment was edited? I merely started it with expressing gratitude to the Imam for defending the apostasy law in Islam(where the murtad is killed) and then said I felt a bit uneasy about the conclusions here……

      What is wrong with that? May I get a reason?

      • Aly Balagamwala | DiscoMaulvi

        December 29, 2013 at 1:20 AM

        Your wording was unclear and we couldn’t understand what you were trying to convey in the beginning of the comment.

        • Mahmud

          December 29, 2013 at 11:46 AM

          Best to assume well then…..

          In any case, while I find this article to be pretty strange, I say, Imam Abdullah Hasan has been helpful to me, I loved his website(when it was up!) as he had a very nice article on Ibn Ashur and other stuff we might not easily find easily elsewhere which is always something to appreciate.

          In addition, I can’t thank him enough for his explanation of certain hudud laws, the difference of opinion among Ulema concerning it, and he finally made the apostasy law make sense as I didn’t fully understand it before(although every law in Sharia must be accepted even if we do not understand it.)

          Here is the wonderful blog he used to use, it has very nice explanations of certain Hudud laws, and the beautiful explanation of the apostasy bit is on the bottom:

          Good to see an Imam with a strong foundation in Arabic and Fiqh. Islam QA is nice because they should daleel in English translation and everything, but Imam Abdullah Hasan explained it in a very easy to understand manner.

          Fiqh is usually something not easy on the layman so I naturally appreciate it when someone is willing to go into the time and detail necessary to explain a certain issue, especially controversial modern ones and not be apologetic.

          • Aly Balagamwala | DiscoMaulvi

            December 30, 2013 at 12:20 AM

            I understood that clearly worded comment Alhamdulillah. :)

            *Comment above is posted in a personal capacity and may not reflect the official views of MuslimMatters or its staff*

  4. GregAbdul

    December 22, 2013 at 4:27 PM

    don’t want to diss or sidestep this, but the real issue is Muslim teens. I just got battered by my son. He refuses to study. The go into a funk at about 13 and fight to not come out of it. At the time they should be launching themselves into the world, they sulk and underperform and expect parents to take care of them forever. I am pretty sure this is more wide spread than the battering. I know not to hit my wife. My kid doesn’t know he’s not supposed to hit me. So who’s out here to stop me from ending up in an emergency room? I’ve talked with the police. It’s like, since I’m a guy…so what?


      December 24, 2013 at 5:56 PM

      Salaam Brother,

      I pray things get better between you and your son. Do you know if anything is bothering him at school or if he’s having trouble understanding certain subjects? Sometimes kids act out of tremendous stress and anxiety over school. Hopefully things will get better for your son soon In sha Allah.

  5. Motie Omari

    December 22, 2013 at 6:43 PM

    Asalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahe wa barakatuh

    Jazaka Allahu khairan Imam Abdullah for writing this exceptional essay on 4:34 and to MM for publishing the above article.

    ISNA Horizons magazine several years ago dedicated a whole issue on Domestic Violence and included was the essay you quoted for Dr. Abdulhamid Abu Sulayman; highly recommended along with your essay


    Also, a Qur’an student in the UK has published a website and 88 page book solely dedicated to ayah 4:34 that can be read for free at his site or bought from Amazon. *


    Also; here’s a helpful essay by Yusuf Estes to help couples maintain the love and respect in their marriages and hopefully will never ever face discord or any type of abuse:

    28 Tips To Be A Successful (Muslim) Spouse!
    – Yusuf Estes

    [] *

    May we all be blessed and guided to better understand the teachings of the Qur’an and Sunnah in sha Allah.

    Thank you, your brother,

    Motie Omari مطيع العمري

    P.S. In regards to the respectable brother who stated that his son was hitting him; very sorry to read that, many kids get influenced from the violence in video games, abusive friends, or even abusive siblings/parents; not necessarily physically, rather emotionally or verbally

    We make dua’ that perhaps a local Imam/Scholar or family therapists trained in family counseling can assist your family and son to find out why he hit his own father, wa nauthu billah.


    * NOTE from Yusuf Estes: Marriage is considered “Half the Deen” (very important part of Islam).

    Yet we are seeing failures in marriages all around us. Family fights are on the rise, women and children are being abused and many families are falling apart. More and more marriages are ending up in divorce even amongst the most religious of families, and the Muslims are no exception.

    So many marriages are failing these days, even amongst the most religious of families, and Muslims are no exception.

    This greatly saddens me and I hope by publishing this article here on our website, we might come to a better understanding and better relationship with our spouses, in sha’ Allah.

  6. mustafa

    December 22, 2013 at 6:58 PM

  7. mustafa

    December 22, 2013 at 7:02 PM

  8. mustafa

    December 22, 2013 at 7:06 PM

    sheikh abdullah adhami’s interesting video on wife beating

  9. 25 years In Islam

    December 23, 2013 at 4:11 PM

    Verbal Abuse can be worse than Physical Abuse especially if your spouse is manipulative. People often assume you did something to deserve the abuse, so you get no support or sympathy. May Allah protect us from all forms of violence.

    • SisterX

      December 30, 2013 at 11:25 PM

      I appreciate this topic being presented. It would be nice if more articles on MM could also address issues of domestic violence, as well as emotional and verbal abuse.

      In my personal experience, I think both the abuser and the abused are well aware that these behaviors are not encouraged by Islam. Unfortunately Islamic rulings are often wrongly used to justify and allow the abuse to continue to take place because there is such an emphasis on obeying the husband. The wife, meanwhile often has no support in the community because there is a feeling that it is a private manner, she should not expose his mistakes, and that perhaps some may feel that she somehow deserves the abuse.

      On the other hand, Islamic rulings can be a source of empowerment to Muslim women. Understanding your rights in Islam can help you identify when your rights are being violated.

  10. cedar

    December 24, 2013 at 1:27 AM

    While I myself am not knowledgeable in this area. I still find it odd to break from the overwhelming majority opinion on this topic. There are also multiple sources from the sunnah (more explicit, less ambiguous) that bolster the majority view. I can see the need to advise people, but to sidestep this and portray this view as mistaken is very hard for me to accept :)


    December 24, 2013 at 6:02 PM

    Jazakillah ul khair for this informative article. I’ll be sure to finish reading it soon and pass it on to others who may benefit from it. I was recently speaking to someone about the issue of domestic violence in Muslim communities and, while conceding that it is a major problem, he also said that other sorts of abuses take place in Muslim communities too, such as parental abuse. I stated that while it’s true about other forms of abuse being prevalent right now unfortunately (whether it was parental, child, and/or sexual abuse) I couldn’t think of any other abuse where Islam was used to “justify” said abuse like spousal abuse. That particular ayat has been misinterpreted all too often by people who fail to take into context and apply it properly to the real world.

  12. Hina Ansari

    December 24, 2013 at 10:12 PM

    Asalamu-alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh,

    JazakAllah Khayr for this highly essential, revealing and explanatory article, and for the links posted in the replies/comments above.

    I will inshaAllah pass this on.


  13. Riz Khan

    December 25, 2013 at 2:23 AM

    Mashallah! great effort and we as one Ummah require such efforts on large scale. I was looking at the list of countries given in the article “The Best and Worst Places for Women” link below
    All the best countries for women are non muslim countries while the worst lies down the list are mostly muslim countries.

    Some shocking facts- the worst country according the list is Chad (165), Aghanistan, Yemen, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mali, Solomon Islands, Niger, Pakistan, Ethiopia, Sudan, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, Guinea-Bissau, Benin, Côte d’Ivoire, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Saudi Arabia (147).

    The best countries according to the list are Iceland (1), Sweden, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Switzerland, Norway, United States of America, Australia, Netherlands, New Zealand, France, Luxembourg, Portugal, Republic of Macedonia, Republic of Moldova, Philippines, Belgium, United Kingdom Romania (20).

    I was shocked to find Saudi Arabia and Pakistan amongst the worst 18 countries for women. Let us suppose for a moment that this list is not correct; still we all know the women position in muslim countries is not exemplary. We all know Islam gave unprecedented rights to women but why this is not reflected by the society. Is there anything wrong? was/is our scholars and prominent leaders somewhat lax in this respect? There is a need of such initiative taken by all the muslim scholars. Those who lead prayers should emphasise to treat women gently, respectfully and with love. Each and every forum should be use to advocate for the rights of wormen. It is disgusting to find muslim countries with high domestic violence.

  14. Riz Khan

    December 25, 2013 at 9:29 AM

    A good idea for muslim women seems to be having martial arts training before marriage.. at least a black belt. Also giving permission to husbands to have 4 wives may prove beneficial as four wives are more likely to beat a single husband than the other wary around.

  15. Mahmud

    December 26, 2013 at 5:01 PM

    Assalamualaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh

    Advertising is allowed but my comments aren’t? The most I said was I felt uneasy with the conclusion……….

    • Aly Balagamwala | DiscoMaulvi

      December 27, 2013 at 8:54 AM

      WaAlaikum Assalam Wa Rehmatullahi Wa Barakatuhu:

      You are on moderation, the spammer is now on the spam list. All comments are subject to our comments policy. Please don’t go down the why path again. Any moderated comments will take time to approve or may not be approved.

      Best Regards

  16. Pingback: "স্বামী কি স্ত্রীকে মারতে পারবে?" - আল-কুরআনের প্রাচীন অনুবাদ বনাম আধুনিক অনুবাদ | Blog | Yousuf Sultan

  17. Mahnoor Khalid

    January 2, 2014 at 4:09 AM

    Women’s rights have got a great importance in Islam. Islam does not allow to beat women.
    In a Hadith the Prophet (p.b.u.h.) is reported to have said: “How does anyone of you beat his wife as he beats the stallion camel and then he may embrace (sleep with) her?”
    Quran is the central religious text of Islam,According to Quran the relationship between the husband and wife should be based on mutual love and kindness. Allah says: “And among His Signs is this, that He created for you mates from among yourselves, that ye may dwell in tranquility with them, and He has put love and mercy between your (hearts): verily in that are Signs for those who reflect.” (Quran: Ar-Rum 21)

  18. Parvez

    January 14, 2014 at 3:31 PM

    I have a question as to how is the word daraba in the Quran [4:34] meptaphoric and not literal?

    regarding the verse [Surah nisa verse 34];

    Ibn `Abbas (ra) and several others said that the Ayah refers to a beating that is not violent. Al-Hasan Al-Basri said that it means, a beating that is not severe. [Tafsir Ibn kathir]

    The most prominent sahaba in regards to tafsir of the Quran ; Abdullah Ibn Abbas (ra) surely has more authority then Ata ibn Rabah.

    All the 4 Madhabs understood the particual part of the verse as literal and also all the verses of the Quran related to social, marital, fiqh matters are to be taken as what the verse apparently states thus literally.

    The Quran is the clear book of guidance and not a book of secret codes.

    If the particular daraba in verse [4:34] is metaphoric and means anger and not literal, then why did most of the classical scholars understood it as literal?

    why is there not an arabic word clearly stating anger in that verse?

    This clearly proves that verses related to fiqh and social matters are to be taken as literal.

    lets not change the interpretation of the Quran in order to please the athiest and agnostics.
    Our purpose of following the Quran is only to please Allah (swt).

    hence the verse means lightly hitting the wife as last resort if she is rebellious.

    even the human history of ten of thousands of years followed this way as lightly hitting the rebellious wife as last resort.

    the fiqh laws of the quran is practical and does not go against the human nature.

    just because the non muslims have changed their moral values and social values does not mean we should follow them. in fact the kaafir’s radical change clearly proves they were wrong in many social and moral matters therefore there is no evidence to suggest that some how after 10,000yrs that all of a sudden they know what is right now with no authority from Allah.

    • MuFu

      September 23, 2015 at 4:04 PM

      While I agree with you that womans can make use of heavy mental violence in a partnership and that this is not seen as harmful as physical violence I must remind here, if you want to have the right to hit your woman you are doing good doing this in a country where it isnt forbidden. Like it or not, find it reasonable or not, but in a western society we have to bow to western laws and therfore we dont hit anyone, be it woman or man. Hitting was never a good solution in a conflict, it is shutting down the expression of dissatisfaction of the other at that moment _but_ it doesnt solve the true problem!

      • Parvez

        November 5, 2015 at 10:26 PM

        Yes I agree that if the law states no hitting unconditionally than its ok to follow such law.

        However the writer of the article seems to suggest that the religion itself implies such law, which i respectfully disagree due to few reasons.

        please note Islam does not support abuse and the beating of women, words whose meanings are reflected from experiences of violence against women in the west. People have to be careful with their words. The fact that Prophet Muhammad never hit one of his wives does not mean it is not allowed for a husband to do so when the Qur’an has permitted it. This is a logical fallacy and it does not take someone a great distance to discover that there are many narrations where Prophet Muhammad upheld the permission of correcting one’s wife using a physical reprimand

        1. There is no authentic chain of narrators back to ‘Ata regarding the writer’s argument. This is important, especially if someone wants to use it to change the meanings of all other evidence on the issue.

        2. It is only a statement of ‘Ata and cannot stand against hadith. The author’s idea cannot explain the ‘chastise them in a way that leaves no mark’ (dharb ghayr mubarrih) phrase in the hadith of the Farewell Pilgrimage when the Messenger of Allah said:

        “Fear Allah concerning women! Verily you have taken them on the security of Allah, and intercourse with them has been made lawful unto you by words of Allah. You too have rights over them, that they should not allow anyone to sit on your bed whom you do not like. But if they do that, (in that case) chastise them in a way that leaves no mark (i.e. not severe). Their rights upon you are that you should provide them with food and clothing in a befitting manner.” [Muslim – hadith 2950]

        It is important here to make the point that this statement is reported by Muslim and it refers to the last pilgrimage of Prophet Muhammad, just three months before his death, which refutes the idea that there was a transition in culture from Mecca to Madinah.

        3. ‘Ata hismelf narrated, I asked Ibn ‘Abbas: What is the beating that leaves no marks? He said, ‘With a tooth stick and the like.” [Al-Tabari, Ibn Jarir, Jami‘ al-Bayan fi Ta’wil al-Qur’an]

        4. Prophet Muhammad sallallahu alaihi wasallam did not allow abuse of women but he allowed husbands to physically reprimand their wives.

        Iyas ibn Abdullah ibn Abu Dhubab reported the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) as saying: Do not beat Allah’s handmaidens, but when Umar came to the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) and said: Women have become emboldened towards their husbands, he (the Prophet) gave permission to beat them. [Al-Sajistani, Abu Dawud, as-Sunan, Trans. Yasir Qadhi. (Riyadh: Maktaba Dar-us-Salam, 2008) Hadith 2146; classified as sahih by Al-Albani]

        The Prophet was educating his companions to be the best to their wives even if they were sometimes disobedient. However, he did not forbid them to reprimand them physically. As he was the best amongst them and the best to his wives, he did not hit them when they complained and were out of line.

  19. Pingback: Domestic Violence | Living Islam for Today's Women -

  20. Abu ali

    July 18, 2015 at 12:38 AM

    Hmmm. Seriously reading about domestic abuse — physical and emotional on Islamic websites one would come to the conclusion that good Muslim women never abuse their husbands, that it’s ALWAYS the husband doing it.


    I wish the likes of Shk Mohammed Sharif et al would start taking the issue of abuse against husbands seriously rather than treating it as a joke a chuckling about wives verbally and emotionally abusing their husbands and almost excusing this unacceptable behaviour with references to bent ribs etc.

    Until we can accept that this is a problem the lives of thousands of Muslim men will continue to be ruined by something for which there appears to be no recourse!

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