Beat­ing the wives


Pakistan Observer - - OPINION -

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

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