Wife beating is allowed in The Quran
topic is one of the most controversial regarding The Quran. The
mainstream teaching is that it allows a husband to hit his wife as a
last resort in specific circumstances. Some have argued that this means
it sanctions domestic violence against women. Whilst this is the
prevalent view, even amongst Muslims, it is mired in many flaws, which
will be discussed below.
The first and
perhaps most important point to mention is that this view is based only
upon the use of one word in chapter 4, verse 34 of The Quran shown
The men are supporters/maintainers of the women
with what God preferred/bestowed on some of them over others and with
what they spent of their money, so the righteous women are
dutiful/obedient; guardians/protectors to the unseen with what God
guarded/protected. And as for those women you fear their
uprising/disloyalty, then you shall advise them, and (then) abandon them in the bed,
them. If they obeyed you, then seek not against them a way; Truly, God
is High, Great. [4:34] And if
you (authority)feared a
rift between them two, then appoint a judge from his family and a judge
from hers. If they both want to reconcile, then God will bring
agreement between them. God is Knowledgeable, Expert.[4:35]
The Arabic word idriboo
is commonly translated as hit/beat/strike, however the flaws with this
understanding are as follows:
derivative idriboo is formed
from one of the most multiple meaning and diversely used words (DaRaBa)
in the Arabic language, and is used in several ways in The Quran itself.
There is not
one clear occurrence of this word meaning "beat" anywhere else in The
Quran, and in almost all cases, this meaning is problematic or would
not make sense.
Arabic (the language The Quran is written in) dictionary gives the
meaning of "beat" in a comparable example and none reference 4:34 at
Quran uses this word to mean a literal/physical strike/hit, the
preposition "bi" (with/by) is always used, but there is no such use in
understanding causes internal contradictions within The Quran, and this
is also probably why no commentator, past or present, uses The Quran
itself to justify this view.
There is no
consensus amongst traditional commentators on the origin and
interpretation of this verse, except on perhaps the basic points.
"beat/strike" is chosen, it would cause inconsistencies amongst
Traditional Hadith (narrations) and Classical Arabic dictionaries,
which show a variance in view.
contradicts the alleged reaction of prophet Muhammad to wife beating,
in which he is reportedly to have found it unjust and said woman have
the right to retaliate. The traditional story goes that he was over
ruled by 4:34, apparently.
The evidence from The Quran suggests the correct meaning of the word in
this case would be "cite" or "indicate" them to the authority,
hence authority involvement in 4:35. This also fits in with its usage
elsewhere with direct objects.
It is strongly recommended to weigh and consider the following study
which presents a
very detailed and comprehensive analysis of the claim of wife beating
and domestic violence in Islam (www.Quran434.com).
notes that the vast majority take it to mean hit/strike/beat with
varying degrees of application.