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Rebuttal to Silas' Article "A Rebuttal of Jamal Badawi's "Wife Beating"

Bassam Zawadi





The whole issue regarding women beating in the Quran is constantly used by critics to denounce Islam. 

Here is the verse...

Surah 4:34

Men are the protectors and maintainers of women, because God has given the one more (strength) 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 God 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 God is Most High, great (above you all).

Notice the pattern, first admonish then leave them in bed then the beating. These all signify emotional punishments. Secondly, Islamic critics might be stubborn and want to take the literal word daraba as in beating physically. But lets not forget why God has sent Prophet Muhammad (Surah 16, verse 44) and Prophet Muhammad has made it clear what is meant by the word daraba in the verse. The Prophet said that it is darban ghayru mubarrih a hitting that leaves no injury. 

The [wife-]beating must never be in exaggerated, blind anger, in order to avoid serious harm [to the woman]." He adds, "It is forbidden to beat her on the sensitive parts of her body, such as the face, breast, abdomen, and head

The aim of the beating is to cause the woman to feel some emotional pain, without humiliating her or harming her physically. According to him, wife-beating must be the last resort to which the husband turns in punishing his wife, and is, according to the Qur'an, Chapter 4, Verse 34, the husband's third step when the wife is rebellious: First, he must reprimand her, without anger. Next, he must distance her from the conjugal bed. Only if these two methods fail should the husband turn to beating. 

The man should only resort to the emotional beating if he believes that it will help resolve the situation and not just out of revenge.

I couldn’t say it better myself. Unlike the bible, the Quran gives solutions on how to stop divorce. Unlike the high divorce rates in amongst Christians http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F40E16FA3C5B0C778DDDA80994DC404482 that don’t have solutions on how not to reach to divorce, us Muslims  (Isaiah 56:5: Muslim is the future believers' name.  Sons and daughters titles will be "no more") have solutions.

A Muslim woman has the right to divorce her husband if he beats her (see this and this)

This whole issue of women beating has already been discussed...

Look at 








I just want to address a few arguments by Silas that have gone unanswered...

The article can be located here http://www../Silas/beating_badawi.htm 


Silas said:

"A women complained to Muhammad that her husband slapped her on the face, (which was still marked by the slap).  At first the prophet said to her:  "Get even with him", but then added:  "Wait until I think about it".  Later on, Allah supposedly revealed 4:34 to Muhammad, after which the prophet said:  "We wanted one thing but Allah wanted another, and what Allah wanted is best".

My Response:

What is the source of this hadith? There are too many authentic hadith that forbid the hitting of the woman on the face...

Narrated Salim: "....Umar said: 'The Prophet forbade beating on the face.(Translation of Sahih Bukhari, Hunting, Slaughtering, Volume 7, Book 67, Number 449)"

Narrated AbuHurayrah: "The Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) said: When one of you inflicts a beating, he should avoid striking the face.   (Sunan Abu-Dawud, Book 38, Prescribed Punishments (Kitab Al-Hudud), Number 4478)

Narrated Mu'awiyah ibn Haydah: "I said: Apostle of Allah, how should we approach our wives and how should we leave them? He replied: Approach your tilth when or how you will, give her (your wife) food when you take food, clothe when you clothe yourself, do not revile her face, and do not beat her.  (Sunan Abu-Dawud, Book 11, Marriage (Kitab Al-Nikah), Number 2138)"

All four commentaries of Ibn Kathir, Suyuti, Tabari and Qurtubi all said that injurious hitting is not permissible. That the beating should leave no mark. So what is the source Razi is referring to? 

Silas said:


Volumn 007, Book 072, Hadith Number 715.
Narated By 'Ikrima : Rifa'a divorced his wife whereupon 'AbdurRahman bin Az-Zubair Al-Qurazi married her. 'Aisha said that the lady (came), wearing a green veil (and complained to her ('Aisha) of her husband and showed her a green spot on her skin caused by beating). It was the habit of ladies to support each other, so when Allah's Apostle came, 'Aisha said, "I have not seen any woman suffering as much as the believing women. Look! Her skin is greener than her clothes!" When 'AbdurRahman heard that his wife had gone to the Prophet, he came with his two sons from another wife. She said, "By Allah! I have done no wrong to him but he is impotent and is as useless to me as this," holding and showing the fringe of her garment, 'Abdur-Rahman said, "By Allah, O Allah's Apostle! She has told a lie! I am very strong and can satisfy her but she is disobedient and wants to go back to Rifa'a." Allah's Apostle said, to her, "If that is your intention, then know that it is unlawful for you to remarry Rifa'a unless Abdur-Rahman has had sexual intercourse with you." Then the Prophet saw two boys with 'Abdur-Rahman and asked (him), "Are these your sons?" On that 'AbdurRahman said, "Yes." The Prophet said, "You claim what you claim (i.e. that he is impotent)? But by Allah, these boys resemble him as a crow resembles a crow."

Let's note several items from this Hadith.


1)         A woman was beaten by her husband because of marriage discord.


2)         The Muslim women were suffering more than the non-Muslim women (via Aisha's comment), note it is said in the plural.  This tells you just how good Muslim women back then really had it. Things were so bad for them, that they had to "support" each other because they were being abused in one way or another.


3)         The woman was badly bruised.


4)            Muhammad did not re-prove the man for beating his wife.  In fact, he reproached the woman for saying Rahman was impotent. Even though she was bruised, Muhammad accepted it and did not reprove Rahman. Clearly, this beating was acceptable to Muhammad.


My Response:

Just because the hadith does not say that the Prophet reproved the man that does not mean that he didn't. We have already clearly established with evidence that injurious wife beating is forbidden. The point of this hadith was not to emphasize wife beating but the law regarding a woman having to have sex with another man for her to return to the husband she divorced twice from. The narrator felt like that it was the important part to narrate. Maybe the Prophet reproved him in private. Silas proved absolutely nothing from this hadith. If the hadith showed that the Prophet supported the beating then that would be another story.

Silas said:

Badawi wrote:

<<<In several ahadith, Prophet Muhammad discouraged this measure.  Among his sayings are the following: "Do not beat the female servants of Allah;" "Some (women) visited my family complaining about their husbands (beating them).  These (husbands) are not the best of you;">>>


            Badawi has misquoted the Hadith.  It is given in the Sunan of Abu Dawud.  Here is the actual quote. 


#2141 -            Iyas Dhubab reported the apostle of Allah as saying:


            "Do not beat Allah's handmaidens", but when Umar came to the apostle of Allah and said:  "Women have become emboldened towards their husbands", he (the prophet), gave permission to beat them.  Then many women came round the family of the apostle of Allah complaining against their husbands.  So the apostle of Allah said, "Many women have gone round Muhammad's family complaining against their husbands.  They are not the best among you".


            Note here that Muhammad commented on the women who were complaining to his wives:  "they are not the best among you".  Muhammad was not commenting on the husbands who beat their wives.  Muhammad had permitted husbands to beat the wives because the women became "emboldened" toward their husbands.  Muhammad censured the wives for complaining about their husbands.


            Abu Dawud's notes on 2141 are:  "This shows that wives should obey their husbands...".   On 2142:  "This means that a man tries his best to correct his wife, but he fails to do so, he is allowed to beat her as a last resort.  This tradition never means that a husband should beat his wife without any valid reason".

My Response:

The commentary of this hadith says that Prophet Muhammad was commenting on the husbands who beat their wives.

Silas said:

    Here is another Hadith on wife beating from Abu Dawud:


#2142 -            Umar reported the prophet as saying:  "A man will not be asked as to why he beat his wife".


            Does this sound like Umar is addressing a woman who was "tapped" by her husband?  Of course not.  Is Baidawi accusing Umar of not following the Sunnah?  And if wife beating were not according to the Sunnah, why does Allah command wife beating in the Quran?  Why did Muhammad permit wife beating in his farewell address?  Clearly, wife beating is allowed, even commanded in Islam. 

My Response:

A man "not being asked" means that he would not be punished or get sins for beating his wife. However, the beating is only if it is according to the limitations set in Islam. (no injury, bruises, physical pain etc.) Source

Silas said:

A comment on the Hadith of Sahih Bukhari, Vol. 7, #132


            "Narrated Zam'a, "The prophet said, "None of you should flog his wife as he flogs a slave and then have sexual intercourse with her in the last part of the day."""


            Note that Muhammad did not forbid beating the wife, he only didn't want her beaten as severely as a Muslim's slaves could be beaten.

My Response:

First of all the severe beating of slaves in Islam is forbidden. Please read https://www.answering-christianity.com/slaves_treatment.htm

Secondly, the Prophet was just using the beating of a slave as a figure of speech for the Muslims  (Isaiah 56:5: Muslim is the future believers' name.  Sons and daughters titles will be "no more") to learn from. Because it used to be common back then for people to harmfully beat their slaves up. However, Islam came and stopped this. So the Prophet was only emphasizing that the beating for the woman should not be harmful and physically injurious.



The rest of the trash Silas said is useless and baseless. He has proved nothing. This issue has already been dealt with by many other Islamic sites. I just did not want Silas to have the pleasure that he thinks he actually refuted anybody.





Back to My Rebuttals, and exposing the lies of the Answering Islam team section.

Rebuttals to Silas' articles section.

Rebuttals by Bassam Zawadi.

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