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My question on what occasions can a man hit his wife & did our prophet ever do so?

Mu' meneen Brothers and Sisters,

As Salaam Aleikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.  (May Allah's Peace, Mercy and Blessings be upon all of you)

 

One of our brothers/sisters has asked this question:

please quote the holy quran & hadith when u replyto my question on what occasions can a man hit his wife & did our prophet ever do so?  

 

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Answer:

 

Hit Wife

In the name of Allah, We praise Him, seek His help and ask for His forgiveness. Whoever Allah guides none can misguide, and whoever He allows to fall astray, none can guide them aright. We bear witness that there is no one (no idol, no person, no grave, no prophet, no imam, no dai, nobody!) worthy of worship but Allah Alone, and we bear witness that Muhammad (saws) is His slave-servant and the seal of His Messengers.

 

Your Question: on what occasions can a man hit his wife

Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 4 Surah Nisaa verses 34-35:

34 Men are the protectors and maintainers of women because Allah has given the one more than the other, and because they support them from their means. Therefore the righteous women are devoutly obedient and guard in (the husband's) absence what Allah would have them guard. As to those women on whose part ye fear disloyalty and ill-conduct, admonish them (first), (next) refuse to share their beds, (and last) beat them (lightly); but if they return to obedience seek not against them means (of annoyance): for Allah is Most High Great (above you all).

35 If ye fear a breach between them twain appoint (two) arbiters, one from his family and the other from hers; if they wish for peace Allah will cause their reconciliation: for Allah hath full knowledge and is acquainted with all things.

 

The above aayah of Surah Nisa has been a mode of challenge for many of the disbelievers, who challenge the Quran and the deen of Islam. They have always used this aayah to prove to the world that Islam allows the subjugation and abuse of women. Allah is our witness, nothing could be further far from the truth, in the context of the Holy Quran and in the context of the wisdom and guidance of Islam.

 

It is obvious from the above aayah that Allah has not created man and woman as equals in Islam. This term of equality between man and woman is a unnatural philosophy propagated by the ignorant and ungodly cultures. They have propagated man and woman as equal, and in doing so, they have separated them and their sacred unity. Although there are many discrepancies in the west making man and woman as equals, they have partly succeeded in making them equal and separate.

 

The Islamic viewpoint, in light and guidance of the Holy Quran is that Allah has created man and woman as balanced, each with its own sphere of equally important responsibilities. If we follow Allah and His Messenger (saws), and the guidance of the Holy Quran, we will be able to treat man and woman as balanced and united, rather than equal and separate as propagated by the ungodly societies.

 

Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 30 Surah Rum verse 21:

21 And among His Signs is this that He created for you mates from among yourselves that ye may dwell in tranquillity with them, and He has put love and mercy between your (hearts); verily in that are Signs for those who reflect.

 

Allah created man, and from the man created his mate, to be his partner and his comfort. Allah says in the Holy Quran, that He has put love and mercy between the husband and wife in the sacred union of marriage, so that they may enjoy each others company and live a harmonious life in mutual respect and unity.

 

In the above quoted Aayah of Surah Nisaa, The Creator gives guidance about the characteristics of a virtuous and righteous woman. She is obedient to her husband (as long as the boundaries set by Allah are not violated). She guards her rights of chastity for her husband. She guards the husbands property and children and the property in his absence. And she does all these duties under the care and watch of her All-Knowing, All-Seeing Lord, Allah Subhanah.

 

But if the husband fears that the wife is transgressing the boundaries of Allah, Allah has given him 5 options to resolve the matter, four of which are mentioned in the above quoted verses 34-35 of Surah Nisaa.

 

Option 1: Admonish them.

Quran 4:34: As to those women on whose part ye fear disloyalty and ill-conduct, admonish them

Basically means guide them, talk to them, advice them, and let them know that they are transgressing the boundaries set by Allah and His Messenger (saws). The scholars are of the opinion, that it is not enough that they should be admonished once, but the husband must be merciful and give them plenty of time to realize their mistake, and come back to the guidance of Allah and His Messenger (saws).




 

 

Option 2: Keep them apart from their beds.

Quran 4:34: (next) refuse to share their beds

Basically means, that after talking to them and guiding them several times, and the wife still does not listen, then as an extreme measure, and a clear sign of your disappointment with them, punish them (and himself) by not having intimate relations with them. Because sometimes, if might happen, that the wife might think that the husband is serious about their admonition and that they might back off at a later stage, and she does not comply. To let her know that the husband is extremely serious about the particular issue, the husband may take option 2, to signify his intention that he are extremely serious about it.

 

In most cases, if the woman is God Fearing, loves her husband, and wishes to save the marriage, the husband will never ever need to go beyond this option. But only in extreme cases where even after a lengthy admonition and keeping away from their beds the wife still does not amend her conduct, the husband is allowed to use the next option.

 

Option 3: Beat her.

Quran 4:34: (and last) beat them (lightly)

After going through the motions of admonishing her, and even keeping her away from your bed, she is still in defiance, then Allah has recommended as a final resort, to beat her lightly. That does not mean by any means that the husband is allowed to abuse the woman and beat her black and blue! Allah is our witness, if any husband does so, he will be brought to a severe account in the Majestic Presence of his Lord on the Day of Judgment. The beating is more of a symbolic, light beating (and never on the face), but rather on the back, as a sign of the husbands ultimate displeasure.

 

One must try to realize here, that the Lord Most Merciful is trying to save the sacred sanctity of an Islamic marriage, and has in His Mercy prescribed so many routes and options to be followed in sequence, so that the sanctity and unity of an Islamic marriage can be sustained.

 

Option 4: Arbitration.

Quran 4:35: If ye fear a breach between them twain appoint (two) arbiters, one from his family and the other from hers; if they wish for peace Allah will cause their reconciliation.

If admonition, keeping away from their beds, and even the light beating does not break the defiance of the wife, Allah Subhanah has recommended that two righteous arbitrators be appointed, one from the husbands family and one from the wifes family; and if the two parties sincerely wish for a peaceful solution to the dispute between the husband and the wife, Allah Subhanah will bring about a reconciliation and thus save the sanctity of their marriage.

 

And finally, Option 4: Divorce.

Sunan of Abu-Dawood Hadith 2173 Narrated by Abdullah ibn Umar

The Prophet (saws) said: Of all the lawful acts the most detestable to Allah is divorce.

 

Sunan of Abu-Dawood Hadith 2172 Narrated by Muharib

The Prophet (saws) said: Allah did not make anything lawful more abominable to Him than divorce.

 

A divorce in Islam is an absolutely the very last resort and option, but just look at the mercy of Allah here. The Islamic way to give divorce is after one has tried and lost hope that any of the above four options will work, one may take the final step of pronouncing a divorce. And here too, the husband is commanded to pronounce only one revocable divorce, then wait for three monthly periods. During this time, the wife still stays in the husbands house, but they cannot enjoy intimacy unless they wish to reconcile and settle their differences and live together in peace in their marriage. If they wish to reconcile, the husband and the wife can get together and the one revocable divorce that was pronounced will be annulled; thus saving the sanctity of the sacred institution of marriage. If after the three monthly periods have elapsed, and there is no sign of reconciliation and the husband and the wife wish to separate, the divorce will be established.

 

All these options are given, so that the sanctity, sacredness, and unity of the marriage between two believing slaves of Allah is maintained. The believers who are blessed to live a married life will at time experience a situation where an issue becomes, for any reason whatsoever, deadlocked. Almost all times the issue is solved if both the partners fear Allah, and sincerely desire a solution and seek a compromise in the admonition stage. If the issue ever does go beyond the stage of admonition to the separation of the beds, more often than not, a compromise is reached and the issue gets solved. The next option of beating the wife lightly is absolutely optional, and should only be applied if the husband sincerely thinks that it might help in saving the marriage. If the husband beats his wife only to vent his anger or to bolster his ego, and he himself does not wish to seek a solution to the dispute to save the marriage, he is the one who will be the wrong-doer and oppressor in the Sight of the All-Mighty Lord. One who sincerely wishes to save his marriage may very well go to the next option of arbitration, and if even that does not solve the issue, then and only then should one even think of the eventuality of separation by pronouncing the divorce!

 

But in the unfortunate times we live in today, divorce is pronounced on the most frivolous of issues, without giving the marriage even a chance to survive; and the disastrous results of divorce and broken families are bare for all to see! But Allah Subhanah in His Sublime and Infinite Mercy towards the believers and their families, has guided the believers to be extremely careful and try absolutely everything in their power and ability to save the sanctity of the sacred union they once mutually agreed and promised to honor.

 

Of all the lawful acts, nothing is more detestable to Allah Subhanah than a divorce between two people who had once agreed and promised to honor, cherish, live their whole lives together in peace and harmony.

 

Your Question: did our prophet ever do so? 

Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 21 Surah Anbiyaa verse 107:

107 We sent thee (O Mohamed (saws)) but as a Mercy for the Whole Universe.

 

Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 68 Surah Qalam verses 1-4:

1 Nun. By the Pen and by the (Record) which (men) write

2 Thou (O Mohamed (saws)) art not by the grace of thy Lord mad or possessed.

3 Nay verily for thee (O Mohamed (saws)) is a Reward Unfailing:

4 And thou (O Prophet (saws)) standest) on an Exalted Standard of Character.

 

Holy Quran Chapter 33 Surah Ahzab verse 21:

There is indeed the best example for you to follow, in the Messenger of Allah, for every such person looks forward to Allah and the Last Day, and remembers Allah much.

 

Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 7 Surah Aaraat verse 157:

(So, now mercy has been assigned to those) who follow this Messenger, the Gentile Prophet (Mohamed (saws)), whose mention they shall find in the Torah and the Gospel with them. He enjoins them to do good and forbids them from evil; he makes pure things lawful for them and impure things unlawful; he relieves them of their burdens and frees them from the shackles (of rites and rituals) that bound them. For this reason, those alone who believe in him, support him, succour him, and follow the Light that has been sent down with him shall attain true success.

 

Dear and Beloved Sister, Allah sent the Prophet Mohamed (saws) but as a Mercy to the Whole Universe; The All-Knowing Lord Himself Declares and Certifies in Truth that the Prophet Mohamed (saws) stands on the most Exalted Standard of Character; the All-Wise Lord Himself Declares and Certifies that there is no better example for the believers to follow in the annuls of creation !!!

 

Allah is our witness Sister, far from any of his noble and chaste wives ever claiming that the Prophet (saws) ever beat them, each and every one of them swore to his sublime and supreme character, devotion, love and mercy!

 

Whenever a dispute arose on anything, as is natural in any married life, the Prophet (saws) would in mercy and patience admonish his wives, and on one occasion he even stayed away from their beds for a whole month.but never never ever did he (saws) ever lay his hand upon his wives in anger!

 

Sahih Muslim Hadith 1623 Narrated by Sa'd ibn Hisham ibn Amir

A time after the death of the Prophet (saws), I asked Aisha (r.a.) : O Mother of the Faithful, tell me about the character of the Messenger of Allah (saws). She said: The character of the Messenger of Allah (saws) was the Qur'an!

 

Al-Tirmidhi Hadith 628 Narrated by Abu Hurayrah

The Prophet (saws) said: Among the Muslims the most perfect, as regards his faith, is the one whose character is excellent, and the best among you are those who treat their wives well.

 

Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allahs Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me alone. Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.

Your brother and well wisher in Islam,

 

Burhan

 


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