MAIN BOARD (You must register to post) > Quran Morality and Moral Code, Laws & QA


(1/2) > >>


We all have heard about the Quranic surah 4 :34, there are 2 interpretations: One is beating is allowed only if its done lightly (sometimes with a toothpick, ibn abbas), the other is that beating is forbidden all together. the scholars of the latter part have backed up there claim by saying that "beat" in the verse actually means "leave", they also use the hadiths such as:
Narrated Mu'awiyah al-Qushayri: "I went to the Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) and asked him: What do you say (command) about our wives? He replied: Give them food what you have for yourself, and clothe them by which you clothe yourself, and do not beat them, and do not revile them.  (Sunan Abu-Dawud, Book 11, Marriage (Kitab Al-Nikah), Number 2139)"

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)"

It was narrated that Iyas bin 'Abdullah bin Abu Dhubab said:
"The Prophet said: 'Do not beat the female slaves of Allah.' Then 'Umar came to the Prophet and said: 'O Messenger of Allah, the woman have become hostile/bold/harmful towards their husbands? So order the beating of them,' and they were beaten. Then many women went around to the family of Muhammad,. The next day he said: 'Last night seventy women came to the family of Muhammad, each woman complaining about her husband. You will not find that those are the best of you.' " (ibn Majah Chapter on Marriage)
However, in the hadiths they also use the same word for "beat" as the same word for "beat" in the quran (Idribuhunna); so by there logic, it could also mean leave.
My question is, how can we be sure that in means "leave" in the quranic verse but mean beat in the hadiths?

Well in the Quran the first two punishments (admonish and seperate bed) are more psychological punishments than physical so that is a way you could say that the world beat also means leave. Is it one of those words with two meanings? Also the hadiths seem to concern physical problems such as clothing them etc (apart from the do not revile her instruction) so thats one way you could interpret the hadith word as the physical beating.

This is just my understanding from reading the sources you have given. I could be wrong.

Great observation bro
thank u

:) No problem

Man and woman are the two halves of the institution of the
family. However the control of this institution is vested in the hands of
man. It is his responsibility to see to it that the institution is not laid to
waste. To this end, the Qur'an has exhorted man to exert to the utmost
of his ability. Observe the verse that explains the course of action that
is to be taken for this purpose: “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).”(4:34)
Breach of discipline has been mentioned in the verse only after
it has explained the nature of the good woman. In the vision that emanates
from the Qur'an, the good woman is the one who “are devoutly
obedient, and guard in (the husband’s) absence what God would have
them guard.” For the preservation of the family and the moral fabric
of society, such a nature is indispensable in women. Alongside this she
must also be one who guards, in secret, that which Allah would have
her guard.
How many men can tolerate life with a spouse who always
quarrels with her husband and is bent upon disobeying all that he asks
her to do? What will be the condition of the children who grow up in a
family atmosphere that is rife with mutual distrust and quarrels? The
Qur'an commands against such a state of affairs. There is much that
is due from a wife that is the right of the husband alone. It is not the
characteristic of a good woman that she gives them to him in his presence
and to others in his absence. She can, in no wise, give anything -
whether it be a gaze or a word uttered - that is due to the husband
alone to any other person. When that happens it becomes the reason
for the disruption of the family. Such disruptions can never be allowed
to happen. The Qur'anic prescriptions on the matter proceed in the
context of this all-important objective.
The Qur'anic recommendation is that all indiscipline that leads
to the disruption of the family must be taken out by the root itself. To
wait till such tendencies develop and blossom into full-fledged arrogance
is to actually create the very cause of disruption of the family
unit. At that advanced stage, there will not be much use in treating the
problem. For all such treatment will prove ineffective. The condition
of the children living in a family that, devoid of all peace and tranquility,
is heading towards utter chaos is, indeed, quite pitiable. It becomes
imperative, therefore, that, if such tendencies for indiscipline become
apparent at a distance, certain remedial action, albeit in a step by step
manner, needs to be taken to save the family from disruption. It is in
such circumstances that, in order to ward off indiscipline, the Qur’an
has permitted the man to take recourse to certain measures. These
measures are, however, not in the least meant to harm, avenge or
punish. On the contrary, they are meant to correct and unify through
the elimination of any tendency for exhibiting indiscipline.
The measures recommended by the Qur’an are as follows:
“As to those women on whose part ye fear disloyalty and illconduct,
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
An ill-disciplined woman must first be advised. She should be
made aware of the consequences of her actions in this world and the
next. Sound advice will, indeed, suffice as an effective remedy if the
lapses have occurred owing to the natural dispositions of the woman.
There might be cases where stern instructions and advice do
not work. In many such cases the main reason behind the failure of
the husband’s loving pleas and emotional advices will turn out to be
arrogance, pure and simple. Arrogance is usually born out of beauty
consciousness, of being wealthy and of the high status of the woman’s
family. It is here that the second measure must come into play. She
must be separated from one’s bed. The bedroom is the place in which
attraction and temptation reign supreme. Therein lies the very power
base of the arrogant woman. That she is separated from there would
mean that her arrogance has been looked down upon with contempt.
It is, indeed, a stern measure against the sharpest weapon in the armoury
of the ill-disciplined woman. It goes without saying, however,
that the man who rises to employ this measure must of necessity be
equipped with the greatest self-control and determination. Those will,
indeed, be nights which will cause even the most arrogant of women
to think deeply. The knowledge that her mate is in no need of that
because of which she tended to become arrogant will definitely serve
to change the mind of the woman.
The Qur’an instructs that even in cases where separation from
one’s bed fails, the family must not be allowed to disintegrate. Cases
where, after verbal appeals prove ineffective, separation from one’s
bed also fails to deliver are rare indeed. When such situations do arise,
the level of indiscipline will have reached its highest extent. There can
then be no other solutions.
It is only as the next step that the Qur’an prescribes ‘beating’
as a possible solution. It is only after all other peaceful means have
been exhausted that the Qur’an recommends beating her as a preventive
measure. At other times, however, Prophet Muhammad has
been one person who spoke out vehemently against the beating of
women. “Those who beat their wives are devoid of all decency.” (Abu
Dawood, Ibn Majah): this was his own opinion. Indeed, he had asked
on one occasion: “Have you no sense of shame? To beat one’s own
wife even as one would his slave; and then to have intercourse with
her!” (Muslim, Ahmed). It is certain, therefore, that the Qur’an, which
was revealed through the Prophet who said that “the best of you is the
one who is kindest to his wife.” (Tirmidhi) would never, without sufficient
reason, command that the woman be beaten. It is only as a
means to check a bigger evil – as a last resort when all other options
fail - that the Qur’an has recommended beating. And that, too, the
Prophet had particularly exhorted that she must not be beaten in such
manner as to lessen her self-respect as is the case when she is struck
on the face or likewise. She is never meant to be harmed or humiliated.
On the contrary, it is only to correct her that the Qur’an recommended
beating as a last resort. Indeed, much like the father who
beats his child; like the teacher who beats the student, it is very much
a stern instruction emanating from the emotional depths of a caring
instructor. The highest objective of this instruction being the safe recovery
of the institution of the family from certain collapse.


[0] Message Index

[#] Next page

Go to full version