Beating the wives
SHIZA KHAN ZAI
Islam has outstanding respect for women, yet the issue of women in Islam is highly controversial. Islam honors and respect women at all social levels; she is a mother, a sister, a wife and a daughter. The holy prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) tells us that Allah has said: “Before the creation of universe, I forbid that I would oppress and I hate when anyone oppresses”.
Let us consider a very basic understanding of the advent of Islam and the reason for it to be revealed in the time and place where it came. Islam teaches us as to how should we treat our relations, how we treat our Lord, His messenger, our family even ourselves. The ignorant and selfish mentality that prevailed in the pre-Islam Arab lands, did not allow women even the most basic rights and the treatment of women was abhorrent; women were being treated as property, even less than the status of livestock. Our holy book Quran is very clear on the issue of “beating the wives”. Almighty Allah says:
“Men’s are the protectors and maintainers of women, because Allah has given the one more strength than the other, and because they support them by their means. Therefore, a righteous woman is devoutly obedient and guard what Allah has ordained her to guard, in her husband’s absence. As to those women on whose part you fear disloyalty and misconduct, admonish them (first), (next) refuse to share their bed, (and) beat them (lightly), but if they return to obedience, seek not against them means (of annoyance) for Allah is the most high and great (above you all)” - Quran (An-Nisa 33-34) .
So it should be clear that there are cases, however, in which a wife persists in bad habit, showing contempt of her husband and if she is involved in some lewd practice. Instead of giving divorce, the husband may resort to another measure that may save the marriage in some cases, more accurately described as a gentle tap on body, but not on the face, Generally the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) used to discourage his followers from taken even this measure. He never hit any woman and used to say that the best men are those who do not hit their wives. It is also important to note that “light strick” mentioned in verse is not to be used to correct some minor problem.
In case of Nobel verse (An Nisa 33-34), where Allah seems to allow a man beat his wife after two warnings, only in case of disloyalty and lewdness from her. It is permissible to resort to only in situation of some serious moral misconduct when admonishing the wife fails, and avoiding from sleeping with her would not help. If this disciplinary action does not correct a situation to save the marriage, then one should use it confidentially. —Karachi