Getting All Religious Up In Here

A fabulous Canadian convert living in Abu Dhabi, Aalia, just posted about a few random things and whether men are allowed to beat their wives in Islam.

People like to say that “in the west people don’t know about Islam” and “non-Muslims are so ignorant about Islam.” Yea, thats true. But I gotta tell ya there’s a whole helluva (pun intended ya’ll) lot of MUSLIMS from MUSLIM COUNTRIES who are ignorant about their religion.

I have blogged countless times about separating culture from religion because what I see being practised a lot of times is cultural teachings that have no ground in the truth of Islam.

Wife beating is one of them.

Can you find Muslim men who beat their wives? Oh yeah.

Can you find Christian men who beat their wives? Absolutely.

Can you find men from every country on earth who beat their wives? In droves, people, huge droves.

I’ll lay it down for those of you who don’t know:

Islam does not condone wife-beating

(any of you who know me personal -hint: family- should know that I would never have joined a religion that condoned it nor would I stick around for it.)

My homegirl Aalia laid it out in a way that I couldn’t have said better so I will cut & paste (with her permission):

It is not generally permitted to hit one’s wife, and the overwhelming instances of hitting that take place in marriages are not only HARAAM (sinful) but entails abuse, wrongdoing (dhulm), and going away from the example of the Messenger of Allah [Prophet Mohamed] (sallalahu `alayhi wa salaama), who often instructed his companions (may Allah be pleased with them all) not to hit their wives, and who said, when he heard about men who hit their wives, “The best of you are the best to your spouses, and I am the best of you to their spouse.” The wives of the Prophet, including A’isha (Allah be pleased with her), relate that he never hit any of his wives.

Narrated Mu’awiyah al-Qushayri: “I went to the Apostle of Allah [Prophet Mohamed](sallalahu `alayhi wa salaama) and asked him: What do you say (command) about our wives? He replied: Give them food what you have for yourself, and clothe them by which you clothe yourself, and do not beat them, and do not revile them. (Sunan Abu-Dawud, Book 11, Marriage (Kitab Al-Nikah), Number 2139)”

Another example of what the Messenger of Allah [Prophet Mohamed] (sallalahu `alayhi wa salaama) said, “Could any of you beat his wife as he would beat a slave, and then lie with her in the evening?”

So, there. If a Christian guy beats his wife in America, is it because he’s Christian? Or because he’s a wife-beating asshole?

If a guy who claims to be Muslim beats his wife, is it because he’s Muslim? Or a wife-beating asshole?

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19 responses to “Getting All Religious Up In Here

  1. Actually, If you study the Qu’ran you’ll find that Islam does in fact condone “wife beating” – if one chooses to define any form of corporal punishment as such.

    Review Sura al Nisa (The Women) – specifically verse 34:

    Men are (meant to be righteous and kind) guardians of women because God has favored some more than others and because they (i.e. men) spend out of their wealth. (In their turn) righteous women are (meant to be) devoted and to guard what God has (willed to be) guarded even though out of sight (of the husband). As for those (women) on whose part you fear ill-will and nasty conduct, admonish them (first), (next) leave them alone in beds (and last) beat or separate them (from you). But if they obey you, then seek nothing against them. Behold, God is most high and great. (4:34)

    It’s not quite the nastiness that some – both Muslim and Infidel – portray it as, but it is still an admonition for Muslim men to use physical means – as a later or last resort – to discipline their wives.

  2. Again from the fabulous miss Aalia:

    “Anyways… another quick point I wanna say is that the Quran was written in the most classical form of Arabic. English translations do no justice to the majestic wording of an Arabic Quran, and even the ettiquettes of handling an English copy and Arabic one are different. That being said, the word used to imply “beat” is from the root word “daraba” and is not the same as the English definition.”

    the word daraba in Arabic translates to pages upon pages of different meanings based on the connotation.

    In the Qur’an, depending on the context, one can ascribe different
    meanings to the conjugations of daraba, i.e:

    To travel to get out: 3:156; 4:101; 38:44; 73:20; 1:273

    To strike: 2:60; 7:160; 8:12; 20:77; 24:31; 26:63; 37:93; 47:04

    To beat: 8:50; 47:27

    To set up: 43:58; 57:13

    To give (examples): 14:24-45; 16:75,76,112; 18:32,45; 24:35; 30:2858; 36:78; 39:27,29;43:17; 59:21; 66:10-11

    To take away, to ignore: 43:5

    To condemn: 2:61

    To seal, to draw over: 18:11

    To cover: 24:31

    To explain: 13:17

    In addition, this spirit can be used in viewing the Hadith and classical commentaries by
    Muslim jurists on the strike or daraba.! Ahadith on striking in such a way as not to cause
    pain (ghayr mubarrih) are reported by Muslim, Tirmidhi, Abu Daud, Nasa’ie and Ibn
    Majah.! The authorities stress that if a strike is resorted to, it should be merely symbolic
    such as a strike with a toothbrush or folded handkerchief (Tabari and Razi).! Imam
    Shaf’ie is of the opinion that striking should preferably be avoided completely.

    (source: http://new.vawnet.org/Assoc_Files_VAWnet/VerseofAbuseorAbusedVerse.pdf)

    Shaf’ie is one of the four schools of thought, so an entire section of Muslims who adhere to the Shafi’e school should then avoid ever giving a symbolic strike.

    It should also be noted that the Prophet Mohamed- upon whose actions all Muslims are commanded to base their actions- never struck his wives in any way.

    This verse in the Quran is mis-used, not only by non-Muslims, but by ignorant Muslims as well.

    Thanks for bringing it up.

  3. Another fab reason to keep struggling in Arabic fussha alhumdullah 😉

    I agree with your explanation – beating is a whole different story from what is intended in that verse (Allahu alim)…

    It is similar with children, if we can look at it that way, for example, there are times when they might need a physical reprimand but that does not mean they should be beaten so that even a mark is showing! People are extremely ignorant if they are looking at that verse in such a context. And a good Muslim, heck – a good human being would never beat someone else to that point either.

  4. Well said Molly, Domestic violence happens everywhere unfortunately.

  5. Personal take on Sura 4:34 is that it called for light and non-damaging corporal punishment for gross misbehavior (seems to indicate immoral behavior) on the part of the wife as a last resort before divorce.

    1) fa’izu – to talk to them so persuasively as to melt their hearts. (You’ve got to love Raghib’s poetic voice)

    2)wahjaru (fi’l-madage) – Do not share their bed or have sex with them

    Then, only if the first two things fail:

    3) Daraba – for lack of a better translation, spank them.

    If even that fails, divorce them.

  6. I’m sorry, I just have a big problem with people saying “it’s not beating, it’s just spanking them as you do a child” kind of thing. WOMEN ARE NOT CHILDREN! We are adults.

  7. Anisah, that’s separate but related issue with Islam – or the way Islam is practiced throughout the world.

    Somewhere along the way its adherents placed women in a subservient role instead of a exalted and protected role.

  8. Exaulted and protected? Sorry, that is still treating women like children. I don’t need to be protected. I am not a child. I am an adult.

    Anisah

  9. Regardless of whether the Quran condones, condemns or stays silent on it… the common sense would be to not beat your wife.

    A man who beats his wife and then uses the Scriptures to justify it is not a man.

  10. exactly Mezba.

  11. Anisah, I am with you on that. I do not need to be taught lessons like a young child. If I am acting badly then I have made the conscious decision to do something.

    And men also use it as a “I told her never to wear any clothes with decorations on them when she goes outside, she did, so I need to punish her.”

    They decide to punish on anything they want to punish on.

    Scripture or no scripture, abusive men will always justify their actions. In any religion.

  12. Asalaamu `alaikum Molly!

    Jazaki Allah khair for spreading the true message of Islam 😀 BTW your Blog is awesome masha’Allah, another to add to my daily check-ups!

    Barak Allah feeki!

  13. Islam still places a “degree” of responsibility for men over women. In life we all have roles, and someone to lead. In war, there is a leader. In work, there is a boss. In a country there is the President. Whatever, it is part of life.. and in the home there has to be a leader as well. It is really not that difficult to understand in my opinion. And Islam isnt the first religion to state this. It is there in most religions and most cultures. The only thing that seems to have changed the overall way of thinking in the modern world (like say last 50 years) is the feminist movement in the 1950 s or whatever. When really, when you think about it, the women in Islam did have more rights than those supposed more advanced societies 1,400 years ago. Sheesh. Why people get their knickers in a knot over this is beyond me. Just use your mind and think – logically and historically as well.

  14. Assalamu alaykum,

    Very good post, lots of info. Well said.

  15. there is an ayah that says man and woman are equal. and when a man prays, a woman prays, when he fasts, she fasts..these simple things show us that we are equal in our expectations and value.

    and plus, great post..

  16. Nice post sister, I am really impressed at your explanation mashaa Allaah. May Allaah reward you with good, ameen.

  17. “So, there. If a Christian guy beats his wife in America, is it because he’s Christian? Or because he’s a wife-beating asshole?

    If a guy who claims to be Muslim beats his wife, is it because he’s Muslim? Or a wife-beating asshole?”

    I had to laugh when I read this. So true.

  18. The feminist movement started way before 1950. It started in the 19th century. Women had to fight to be able to vote.

    Yes, but it’s not 1,400 years ago anymore! You can’t be stuck in the 7th century forever. Marriage is supposed to be a partnership. There’s no president in a marriage. Not in any I would get into anyway. Islam treats women like children, but they are not. They are smart. Saying a marriage has to have a leader like a country is just an excuse for men to lord over women. Great life, for the man anyway!

    My 2 cents.

    Anisah

  19. I agree with you Anisah.

    Unfortunately its a fine line between trying to stay within the teachings of a religion and wanting to “update” it.

    I want to write a post about how women are raised over here.

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