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Domestic Violence Series

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


Alternative Translation:

“Husbands should take good care of their wives; with [the bounties] God has given to some more than others and with what they spend out of their own money. Righteous wives are devout and guard what God would have them guard in their husbands’ absence. If you fear nushūz (ill-conduct) from your wives, remind them [of the teachings of God], then ignore them when you go to bed, waḍribūhunna (then show some definitive ‘anger’ over their actions). If they obey you, you have no right to act against them: God is most high and great.”


Domestic abuse is a problem in too many societies. Under no circumstances is such abuse against women, in its various manifestations, encouraged or allowed in Islam. There are many instances in the Qur’ān and the ḥadīth where the relationship between a husband and wife is described as one of mercy and kindness. The Qur’ān and ḥadīth specifically enjoin kindness towards women.

I have tried to demonstrate that much of the understanding of the word ḍarb as hitting comes from a cultural context that accepts a husband’s use of hitting as a corrective measure in response to a wife’s nushūz, and not as the divine intent (maqṣad) of the verse.

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The jurists always understood the Qur’ānic license for ḍarb to be within specific stringent bounds. An analysis of such conditions suggests their understanding of chastisement in this verse should be expanded to mean an expression of anger than physical violence. Thus, even the traditional opinions of the scholars recognise that the preferred response to a wife’s nushūz is, as ‘Aṭā’ Ibn Abī Rabāḥ argued, a display of anger and displeasure, and not physical violence.[81]

End notes:

[1]Shamsuddin Ibn al-Qayyim, I˒lam Al-Muwaqi’n, ed. Taha Abdul Rauf Saad (Beirut: Dar Al-Jeel, 1973) vol.3, p. 333.

[2] Qur’ān, 30:21

[3] According to Abdel Haleem, the correct rendition of wa‘ẓis “reminding” as opposed to “admonishing”. Understanding the Qur’an, pp, 49-50.

[4] In one interpretation.

[5]Al-Qur’ān: a contemporary translation by Ahmed Ali, Princeton University Press, 1988; pp78-79.

[6] Abu Sulayman, Marital Discord: Recapturing Human Dignity Through the higher Objectives of Islamic Law, IIIT 2008, Second edition, pp., 20-21.

[7]‘Aṭā b. Abī Rabāḥ was a prominent Tabi‘ī (successor), Mufassir (Qur’ānic exegete), Muḥaddith (transmitter of ḥadīth), faqīh (jurist) and Mufti (Judge) of Makka. He was born in Yemen to Nubian parents and raised in Makka as a client of the Abī Khudhaym family. He was a student of Ibn Abbās (The great companion of the Prophet and interpreter of the Qur’ān) and `Abd Allāh b. `Umar and was often quoted by his 8th century student, the Islamic scholar Ibn Jurayj.

[8] Ahādīth (sing. ḥadīth) or Traditions of the Prophet will not be the primary focus of this paper. This will be addressed in the detailed booklet “Spousal Reprimand in Islam” by the author.

[9] There are around 11 different interpretations of wahjurūhunna. Common interpretation is to refrain from sexual intimacy. One interpretation suggests the husband to tie the wife (who persists in nushūẓ) in the house or the bed. Another suggests (al-san’āni) that husband should ‘call her to bed’! It is noteworthy to ask why the scholars subjected their legal creative attention to interpret this imperative in so many different ways and only apply one interpretation for the ḍarb imperative (though with stringent conditions). I would argue it is due to their contextual and extreme patriarchal readings of this verse. 

[11]Though domestic violence is a broader term that covers a wide range of abuse in a domestic setting, IPV is more specific. In the literature, IPV specifically refers to the domestic abuse of an intimate partner against another. Intimate partner in the Muslim societies can only be married partners, given the Islamic prohibition of marital relationships outside of marriage.

[14] Ibid, accessed 24 Nov 2013.

[15]Qur’ān, 2:187

[16]Qur’ān 4:1-176)

[17]Recorded in Tirmidhī

[18]Recorded in Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim (the second most authentic book of Prophetic traditions)


[20]Recorded in Abū Dawūd

[21]Recorded in Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim (the second most authentic book of Prophetic traditions)



[24] Recorded in Ṣaḥīḥ Bukhārī in Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim (the two most authentic collections of Prophetic traditions)

[25] Qur’ān, 49: 11-12

[26] Recorded in Sahih Bukhārī (the first most authentic book of Prophetic traditions)

[27] Ibid

[28] Recorded in Abū Dawūd

[29] Recorded in al-Ḥakim’s al-Mustadrak, and Al-Nawawī’s forty ḥadīths collection.

[30] Qur’ān, 4:34

[31] There are plethora of texts in Islam that show abhorrence and disdain for all forms of domestic abuse which are too many to include in this brief study.  

[32]Ibn ‘Āshūr, al-Tanwīr wa al-Taḥrīr, under Qur’ān 4:34.

[33] Bukhari: (2336), Ṣaḥīḥ IbnHibbān: (4147), Musnad al Bazzār: (206), Consideration on the Nasikh and the Mansukh from the traditions by al-Ḥazimī, pp., 139-140, Dār al Kutub al-‘Ilmiyya, Beirut, first edition 1996.

[34]Ibn ‘Ashur, al-Tanwīr wa l-Tahrir, under Qur’ān 4:34.


[36]Muhammad Abdel Haleem is the King Fahd Professor of Islamic Studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies in the University of London. His new English translation of the Qur’ān, with parallel Arabic text, was published in 2010.

[37]Muhammad Abdel Haleem, Understanding the Qur’ān, pp, 49-50.

[38]Ibid. p, 49.

[39]KASSIS. H E, A Concordance of the Qur’ān, University of California Press: Berkeley-Los Angeles-London, Page 410

[40] Here is a good website that discusses all these variations:

Although I do not agree with all the conclusions nevertheless it is a good study, accessed 24 Nov 2013

[42]Al-Rāzī said in his Tafsir on 4:34: “Al-Shafi’ī said: “hitting is permitted, but not hitting is preferable (wa al-darb mubāḥ, wa al-tark afḍal).”


It is interesting to note and ascertain the hidden intent of Al-Shafi’ī’s (and others who say it is better – ajmal – not to hit) position. If it is better not to ‘hit’, what are the other corrective measures, except for admonishing and abandoning the beds, in cases where the wife is persistently committing nushuz?


[43] Abdul Hamid A. Abū Sulayman is the President of The International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIT) USA; President of the Child Development Foundation, USA; and former Rector of the International University, Malaysia. He is also the author of numerous articles and books on reforming the Ummah, including: The Islamic Theory of International Relations: New Directions for Islamic Methodology and Thought, Crisis in the Muslim Mind, and The Islamic Theory of Economics: Philosophy and Contemporary Means.

[44]Marital Discord: Recapturing Human Dignity Through the higher Objectives of Islamic Law, IIIT 2008, Second edition, pp., 20-21.

[45]Qur’ān, 4:35

[46] Many scholars interpreted ‘takhāfuna’ to mean to have certain knowledge. In other words if the husband knows that the wife is committing nushūẓ then he is to proceed to the corrective measures. This was the view of Ibn Abbas and al-Shaf’i’. (al-Qurtubī, Jāmi’ ahkām al-Qur’ān: 5/170)

[47] I have mentioned the wifely nushūẓ in the main article. However, it is also worthwhile to quickly cite some definitions of the nushūẓ on the part of the husband. For example: The Ḥanafīs defined it as, ‘’It is where the husband hates his wife and brings about harm to her’’. (Ibn Nujaym, al-Bahr al-raqiq, vol. 4, p.76.). The Mālikīs defined it as, ‘’The husband transgresses against his wife and harms her by boycotting her, hitting her in ways not called for by the law, irritating her, abusing her, reviling her, such as cursing her, and so forth’’. (Jawar al-Iklīl, vol. 1, p.328). The Shafi’ī’s, ‘’For the husband to transgress her by hitting her, harming her or having very bad behaviour towards her’’. (Al-Wajīz, vol. 2, p. 40). And the Hanbalīs defined it as, ‘’It is for him to harm her by beating her or making life difficult for her or to keep her from getting her rights fulfilled, such as proper division [among co-wives], maintenance and so forth.’’ (Kishāf al-Qinā’, vol. 5, p. 213).


From some of these (and other) definitions it seems that the scholars seem to contradict themselves. For example: by stating that the husbands should refrain from sexual intimacy with the wives who commit nushūẓ and then paradoxically define the nushūẓ on the part of the husband when he avoids sexual intimacy. This leaves the wife in a tricky situation, to say the least.


Furthermore, scholars also included the reasons why a husband might commit nushūẓ They cited that if he wants a younger wife, or more beautiful wife, or simply he hates his wife, even her old age, her ‘ugliness’, him becoming bored of her etc are reasons for him to commit nushūẓ (ill-conduct). If this is to be accepted the question to pose would be: what wrong did the old wife commit? What mistake did the no longer ‘unattractive’ wife make? Accepting these definitions and limits will be to accept an oppressive and immoral reading of the texts. 


[48]The Ḥanafīs, Mālikīs, Shafi’is, and Hanbalis constitute the four traditional schools of jurisprudence.

[49]Al-Kasāni, Badā’i‘ al-Ṣanā’i‘, vol. 4 p.22

[50]Jawāhir al-Iklīl, vol. 1, p.328

[51]Al-Majmū‘ Sharḥ al-Muhadhab, vol. 16, p. 445

[52]Al-Kāfī fī al-Fiqh al-Imām Aḥmad Ibn Hanbal,vol. 3, p. 137

[53] When examining the actual wording an inevitable question arises. The Prophet said, ‘’…Whom you dislike….’’. Does that imply that a wife could bring into her ‘bed’ a man who is liked? That is why classical scholars interpreted the word ‘bed’ in the tradition to mean the house.

[54]Tafsīr al-Rāzi under Q. 4:34

[55] It should be noted that these definitions are ijtihadi which means the matter is not definitive hence the wide ranging definitions provided by the various scholars.

[56]Recorded in Abū Dawūd

[57] Al-Qāḍī Abū Bakr b. al ‘Arabī, Ahkām al Qur’ān: 1/469, pub, Dār al Ma‘ārif, Egypt, Taḥqīq (verified)by ‘Alī Muḥammad al-Bijāwī.

[58]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.” [Sūrat Āl-Imrān: 133-134]. 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’.

[59] Ibn ‘Āshūr, al-Tanwīr wa al-Tahrīr, under Qur’ān 4:34

[60] Ibid

[61]Al-Qāḍī Abū Bakr Ibn al ‘Arabi, Ahkām al Qur’ān: 1/469, pub, Dar al Ma’ārif, Egypt, Tahqīq by Ali Muḥammad al-Bijāwī.

[62] Qur’ān, 3: 133-134  

[63] Readers are directed to this very good study on the ‘hitting’ verse by al-Hibri:, accessed 24 Nov 2013

[64]Conversely, one could ask, if it did not mean “beat” or “hit” in the customary sense (which almost all scholars agree it does not) why use a word that could have this implication especially in an environment wherein men did physically beat their wives?

[65] It is important to understand that the Qur’ān was revealed in the rich and complex Arabic language. In order to understand the real purport and objectives of the Qur’ān, recourse to the correct conception of the Arabic language and linguistics is essential. One of the most important branches of Usūl al Fiqh (Principles of Jurisprudence), Tafsīr (Qur’ānic exegesis) and other sciences make use of the study of language. Linguistics includes principles relating to the way in which words convey their meanings, and to the clarity and ambiguity of words and their interpretation. The knowledge of these principles is essential to the proper understanding of the sources of the Sharī‘ah—the Qur’ān, and the authentic Aḥādīth of the Prophet—from which laws and rulings are deduced.

[66]The jinn are spiritual creatures mentioned in the Qur’an and other Islamic texts that inhabit an unseen world in dimensions beyond the visible universe of humans.

[67] Ibn Kathīr said that Ibn AbīHātim recorded that Ibn ‘Abbas said that Allah’s statement: “lamastumal-nisā’” refers to sexual intercourse. It was reported that ‘Alī, Ubay bin Ka`b, Mujāhid, awūs, al-Ḥasan, ‘Ubayd bin ‘Umayr, Sa`id bin Jubayr, al-Sha‘bī, Qatāda and Muqātil b. Ḥayyān said similarly. See also al-Ṭabarī, Jami‘ al-Bayān fī Tafsīr al Qur’ān under 2:236.

[68] The verb ḍaraba (lit., “he struck”), as clarified above, is very often used in a figurative or metonymic (kināya) sense, as, for instance, in the expression ḍaraba fī al-’arḍ (he journeyed on earth), or ḍaraba shay’ bi-shay’ (“he mixed one thing with another thing”), or ḍaraba mathal (he coined a similitude or propounded a parable or “gave an illustration”), or `ala ḍarb wāḥid (similarly applied or in the same manner), or duribat `alayhim al-dhilla (humiliation was imposed or applied unto them) and so forth. (Muhammad Asad)

[69] I must confess that in trying to present my overall thesis in regards to the views and indications of the jurists that many understood the ḍarb in a metonymic manner nevertheless, there has been great number of scholars who did understand and advocate the imperative in a literal sense. For example, some Ḥanafī jurists like al-Jassas et al argued that a husband was not liable for any penalty, if he were to discipline his wife physically and cause some harm, as long this did not result in her death. (Ahkām al-Qur’ān, 2:188)


Although there were scholars who maintained this position the Sharī’ah and its objectives (maqāsid) reject these, in my view, readings of such texts. This reading, I would argue, is centred on their contextual and cultural paradigm and ‘extreme’ patriarchal worldview. The Qur’ān is an eternal guide for all times and contexts that enshrines, establishes and confers justice fairness, dignity and honour to both the husbands and wives. The aforementioned readings and subsequent manifestations, in my view, is not the intended eternal message of the Qur’ān.


[70] These conditions circumscribe ḍarb to the Qur’ānic conception of it and thus, I see no reason to list these conditions when discussing and interpreting this particular verse. These are ijtihādāt (efforts) from the jurists which neither God nor His Prophet prescribed in the texts. This is so because the current study has demonstrated that ‘hitting’ is not to be understood in its literal framework.


If it is surveyed from a practical angle, the verse suggests: when the wife commits nushūẓ: 1) the husband admonishes/reminds the wife: according some scholars first he ought to admonish her in a gentle manner, and if she still is persistent he should becomes very harsh. Couple of scholars even argued to use very harsh and disturbing words. 2) If that fails he should abandon bedding her (this is one of 11 interpretations for the – wahjurūhunna – imperative). If nushūẓ is interpreted as sexual lewdness, would not the wife be relieved? Sexual lewdness meaning she refuses to have sex (and of course the reasons need to be determined). 3) If that does not change her he is permitted (commanded) to ‘hit’. If a wife is rising up and becomes arrogant (nushūz). Wouldn’t hitting aggravate the situation to a more hostile environment? And after all the harsh words and depriving her the bed (sexual intercourse). What use is it for the husband to come with a ‘coiled scarf’ (mindil malfuf)?! Or even a miswak or ‘shirak’ (shoelace)’? It would be ineffective!


And then God mentions Q.4:35, if there is a breach (shiqaq) appoints an arbiter to mediate. Is hitting not the greatest and severest forms of breaches in a marriage?


Following the literal perspective or thinking paints that patriarchal bias that wives are always submissive and subordinates (like the mawla – master – to the slave). And he has to use even physical force to correct her and keep her in line!


[71] The jurists state that if the ‘hitting’ does not prevent the nushūz (ill-conduct) of the wife then ‘hitting’ becomes impermissible. Ḥaṭṭābī al-Malikī commented: “If there is preponderant belief on his part that ‘hitting’ will not benefit the wife (for her to be rectified) then it is not permissible!’’. (Mawāhib al-Jalīl: 4/15-16). This further indicates that the scholars continuously limited and restricted the ‘hitting’ in the literal sense. I mean, is there a sort of physical hitting that does not cause harm nor humiliate the person hit?!

[72] Scholars and Qur’ānic exegetes were always cautious (and fearful) of changing words in the Qur’ān. This fear for this particular matter, in my estimation, seems to be out of place.

[73] According to number of scholars the report from Ibn ‘Abbās has a typographical error. The actual report has ‘shirāk’ or ‘shoelace’. This is mentioned by Abdullah Adhami in a lecture entitled ‘Gender & Sexuality in Islam’:, accessed 24 Nov 2013

[74]Tafsīr al-Razī, under 3:34

[75]`Ata’ said: “I asked Ibn `Abbās: ‘What is the hitting that is ghayr mubarriḥ?’ He replied: ‘[With] siwāk and the like.’ Narrated by al-Ṭabarī in his Tafsīr (Dār al-Fikr reprint under the chapter on 5:68).

[76] Tafsīir Ibn Kathir, under 4:34, Tafsīr al-Qurṭubī, under 4:34

[77] al-Ṭālibī, Ummat Al-Wasat: al-Islām Wa al-Tahaddiyat Al-Mu’asira, 129;

[78] Recorded by b. ‘Abdul Barr in Jāmi’ Bayan al-Ilm. According to Abū al-Ashbāl al-Zuhayrī, it is authentic. See Abu al-Ashbal al-Zuhairi, footnotes to Yusuf Ibn Abdul Barr, Jāmi’ Bayān al-‘Ilm wa Faḍlihi. (Al-Damman, Saudi Arabia: Dar Ibn al-Jawzī 1996), vol 2, pp. 1193-1194). Cited by Zarabozo in The Authority and Importance of the Sunnah, p. 164. The Authority and Importance of the Sunnah, p. 164.

[79]Ibn Abdul Barr, Jāmi’, vol. 2, p.1194. The Authority and Importance of the Sunnah, p. 164.

[80]Qur’ān, 4:35

[81] The conclusions in this article may not appeal to everyone. However, it must be (at the least) acknowledged that this issue is not as clear cut as people think it is; much of it is speculative. Even if people do not accept the conclusion the very least that must be accepted, in my view, is the fact that the literal hitting is not what is intended. What use or benefit will there be (apart from being symbolic) when a man approaches his wife with the handkerchief to reprimand her, especially when she is supposed to be challenging the husbands authority (in one interpretation)!?

Please visit the Imams against Domestic Abuse website and Facebook page.

For a pdf version of this article click The End to Hitting Women

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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

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  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.

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  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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