Questions and Answers about Quranic Verse 4:34.


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Questions and Answers about Quranic verse 4:34

(He is a new convert to Islam, from the Netherlands)





“Men are the protectors and maintainers (in a proper and fair manner) of women, because Allah 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 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).” (Qu’ran 4:34)




Does the Arabic word 'daraba' necessarily mean "violent or intense or repeated striking?

No, jurists routinely use the expression "daraba al-ma' `ala wajhihi" - lit. strike water upon the face, for someone accomplishing the first rukn of wudu' (washing the face).

Also in Arabic daraba al-ard "to strike the earth" - as in verse 4:94 {When you strike the earth in the cause of Allah} - means to travel, i.e. walking with a staff.

The Prophet (pbuh) also expressed astonishment at the cruelty of certain men when he said: "Could any of you beat his wife as he would beat a slave, and then lie with her in the evening ?" (Bukhari and Muslim).

The crafty little anti-Islam page on states:

"The Qur'an states:

"Righteous women are therefore obedient, And those you fear may be rebellious (nushuz) admonish; banish them to their couches, and beat them."

"Some translators add the word lightly after 'beat them' in Q 4:34. Others like Mohammed Pickthall and Rodwell translate the word 'edrebouhon - beat them' as 'scourge them'. [...] But "a beating without causing injury" (agreed upon)

"So the man has the right to beat his rebellious wife as long as that beating is not like the whipping of the slave and will not result in injury."

Of course the above is false and tendentious but couched in the syrupy style typical of missionaries.

The hadith in Muslim states that the Prophet (pbuh) in his Farewell Pilgrimage said: "Lo! My last recommendation to you is that you should TREAT WOMEN WELL. Truly they are your helpmates, and you have no right over them beyond that - EXCEPT IF THEY COMMIT A MANIFEST INDECENCY. If they do, then refuse to share their beds and hit them WITHOUT INDECENT VIOLENCE . Then, if they obey you, do not show them hostility any longer. Lo! you have a right over your women and they have a right over you. Your right over your women is that they not allow whom you hate to enter your bed nor your house. While their right over them is that you treat them excellently in their garb and provision."


fahisha mubina (which means) :  immorality that may lead to adultery     

WITHOUT INDECENT VIOLENCE  =  fadribu hunna darban ghayra mubarrih

        Mubarrih = defined in al-Mawrid as "violent, intense, severe, acute, sharp, excruciating, tormenting, agonizing."

        Qatada said as narrated by al-Tabari in his Tafsir (5:68):  "Ghayr mubarrih means ghayr sha'in = not disgraceful/ outrageous/ obscene/ indecent [beating]."        

        Muhammad Asad translates it over-figuratively asnot causing pain

After this, whatever Muslim man derogates to the recommendation of the Prophet (pbuh) has violated his covenant with the Prophet and shall be called to account for it; and whoever of the non-Muslim men or women claims - even the Archbishop of Canterbury and his wife - that beating women is allowed in Islam, has belied the Divine witness invoked by the Prophet and shall be called to account for it in the Divine Court.    

What is the evidence for saying that this 'striking' is in fact only supposed to be carried out with something small, like a miswak?

`Ata' said: "I asked Ibn `Abbas: 'What is the hitting that is ghayr al-mubarrih?' He replied: '[With] the siwak and the like'." Narrated by al-Tabari in his Tafsir (Dar al-Fikr reprint 5:68).

Al-Razi (3:222) mentions that as a rule (a) it must be a light beating and (b) the face must be avoided. He added that certain of the Shafi`i jurists said "a coiled scarf (mindil malfuf) or his hand may be used but not a whip nor a stick."

Where is the hadith found in which the Prophet (pbuh) said to a servant-girl who had been extremely late "If I were not afraid of Allah, I would hit you with this" referring to a miswak?

Ibn Sa`d in al-Tabaqat al-Kubra, Al-Tabarani in al-Mu`jam al-Kabir, Abu Ya`la in his Musnad, Abu Nu`aym in Hilyat al-Awliya' and al-Hakim in al-Mustadrak narrated from Umm Salama: "The Prophet (pbuh)was in my house and there was a siwak in his hand. He called for Wasifa [the servant-girl] to come to him or to her [i.e. to serve Umm Salama] but she tarried until anger was visible on his face. So Umm Salama went out to her and found her playing with an animal. She said to her: "You are playing while the Messenger of Allah is calling you?" She replied: "No, by the one who sent you with truth! I did not hear you." Whereupon the Prophet (pbuh) said: "Were it not for fear of exaction (qawad) on the Day of Resurrection, I should surely make you sore (la'awja`tuki) with this toothpick."

Al-Munawi in Fayd al-Qadir mentioned that al-Mundhiri and al-Haythami declared its chain of transmission good. Al-Suyuti graded the hadith "fair" (hasan) in al-Jami` al-Saghir. Al-Muttaqi cited it in Kanz al-`Ummal (#39820, 39821, 39829).

What is the exact meaning of 'nushuz'? It is translated as disobedience, but there seem to be others who think it means something more like 'ill-will' or 'hostility' or 'ill-treatment'.

It depends on context and how these terms are themselves understood by those who use them. Ill-treatment on the part of a wife to her husband, for example, is a bit different from ill-treatment on the part of a grocer to his customer.

Nushuz is translated "Recalcitrance, disobedience, violation of marital duties on the part of the wife" in al-Mawrid Ar-Eng Dictionary.  Nushuz or "recalcitrance” is here an euphemism for adultery. The wife's primary marital duty is spelled out in the mass-transmitted hadith of the Farewell Pilgrimage (in Sahih Muslim) as "not allowing whom you hate to enter your bed nor your house." Al-Maziri also said that another interpretation of the words in that hadith said it referred to a woman sitting in seclusion with a stranger inside her husband's house. (In al-Nawawi, Sharh Sahih Muslim.)  


5. Is it not true that slapping someone on the face is not allowed in Islam? Is there a consensus on this point?

It is a transgression requiring exaction (qawad) which can be changed into monetary compensation (diyya) in the Four Schools, Allah knows best.


(a) the famous hadith from Mu`awiya ibn al-Hakam in Sahih Muslim of the black woman slave whom her owner slaps and is then obligated to manumit as her compensation.

(b) Also in Sahih Muslim, the example of Suwayd ibn Muqarrin who saw a man slap his female slave and told him: "Do you not know that the face is taboo? (al-sura muharrama) I, whom you see in front of you, the seventh of my brothers, was with the Messenger of Allah and we only had one servant; one of us slapped him, so the Messenger of Allah commanded us to free him."

(c) "Whoever strikes his slave in the face or beats him unjustly, his expiation is to manumit him." Narrated from Ibn `Umar by Muslim in his Sahih.

(d) "If you fight your brother, avoid striking the face, for Allah created Adam in his image." Narrated from Abu Hurayra by Muslim and al-Bukhari, the latter without the words "your brother." If this is forbidden while fighting or when interacting with a slave, then a fortiori it is forbidden outside fighting and with one's wife.

Do not be misled by the Satanic whispers of which states:

"The occasion in which Q 4:34 was revealed sheds more light on the meaning of that verse. Most commentators mention that the above verse was revealed in connection with a woman who complained to Mohammad 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 the above verse was revealed, after which the Prophet said: 'We wanted one thing but Allah wanted another, and what Allah wanted is best.' [Razi, At-tafsir al-Kabir, on Q. 4:34.]"

Crafty, crafty, and all for what? lies. Ars longa, vita brevis!

The commentators also mention that this report is narrated only from al-Hasan al-Basri who is NOT a Companion. The most that can be said of it here is that it is a weak, isolated, mursal Tabi`i report that does not have probative force.

What is more, al-Hasan himself flatly contradicts the above as he reportedly explained
{wadribu hunna} to mean: "hitting that is not obscene; hitting that does not leave a trace (darban ghayra mubarrih ghayra mu'aththir). Narrated by al-Tabari in his Tafsir (Dar al-Fikr reprint 5:68).

6 Has the phrase 'wadribuhunna' in 4:34 normally been interpreted as a command or has it been interpreted as more of a recommendation?

It is not generally permitted to hit one's wife, and the overwhelming instances of hitting that take place in marriages are not only haram but also entail abuse, wrongdoing (dhulm), and a turning away from the example of the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him), who often instructed his companions not to hit their wives, and who said, when he heard about men who hit their wives, "The best of you are the best to your spouses, and I am the best of you to their spouse." The wives of the Prophet, including A'isha (Allah be pleased with her), relate that he never hit any of his wives.

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)"

But what about the Qur'anic Verse?

Yes, the Qur'anic verse [4.34] does give permission to hit. But, as Imam Tahawi mentions in Mushkil al-Athar [3.341-345], this is understood--when considered with the texts interdicting and discouraging hitting--to refer to hitting that is within limits, when the situation calls for it (in the case of nushuz mentioned by the prophet  in his last speech).

Sultan al-Ulama Izz Ibn Abd al-Salam is quoted by a number of authorities, including Ibn Allan al-Bakri in his Sharh Riyad al-Salihin, as mentioning that the "hitting" that is conditionally permitted is only permitted when one is reasonably sure that there will be general benefit in it (and this benefit is greater than the associated harms).

Given the changes in societies, cultures, and human dynamics, as well as most people acting with ignorance and emotion rather than doing so according to the dictates of Revelation and reason, this would entail that the general ruling is impermissibility, except when it is in fact: (a) within limits; (b) done when the benefit is greater than the harm--for in such cases it will be an acceptance of lesser harm to avoid greater harm.

At the level of healthy marital relations, the Qur'an commanded us to live together with excellence, to be good to each other, to communicate and consult in positive ways, and for the underlying impetus in marital dealings to be love and mercy. The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) gave us a living commentary on how to do this, in his beautiful and exemplary marriage life.



Question 1,2,3,4,5 are answered by Sheikh G.F. Haddad

Question 6 is answered by Sheikh Faraz Rabbani

May Allah swt bless and reward our beloved sheikhs !


Refuting the false deceiving claims made by christian missionaries about this issue

Answering false claim nr.1:

‘An answer to the false claim made by anti islamic people that the prophet (peace be upon him)  commented on the complaining women and not the husbands in the hadith below’

Sunan Abu Dawud, Book 11, Number 2141:

Narrated Abdullah ibn AbuDhubab:

Iyas ibn Abdullah ibn AbuDhubab reported the Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) as saying: Do not beat Allah's handmaidens, but when Umar came to the Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) 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 (peace_be_upon_him) complaining against their husbands. So the Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) said: Many women have gone round Muhammad's family complaining against their husbands. They are not the best among you.

The christian missionary Silas claimed: 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.


The above statement is such a big and cheap lie, the prophet was clearly condemning those husbands and not the women !

( see for the proof:  Riyad as Saliheen chapter 34, nr 279 at ) .

The prophet (peace be upon him) told the believers that ‘those husbands are not the best among you’ , the prophet (peace be upon him) also revoked the dispensation. Further this hadith proves that wife beating wat not permitted at all, since Umar came to ask permission for the prophet (peace be upon him), if hitting ones wife was normal and allowed in any case or in many cases, then umar wouldn’t asked the prophet (peace be upon him) permission for it, therefore:


(Narrated from Iyas ibn `Abd Allah ibn Abi Dhubab by al-Shafi`i in his Musnad, Abu Dawud, al-Nasa'i, Ibn Majah, al-Tabarani in al-Kabir, and al-Hakim. Al-Nawawi and al-Suyuti graded it a sound (sahih) narration in Riyad al-Salihin and al-Jami` al-Saghir respectively).

Another authentic version in Sahih Ibn Hibban (9:491) adds that the Prophet then revoked the dispensation. His statement that “the best of you are the best in their behavior towards their wives, and I am the best of you in my behavior towards my wives” shows that

(1) wife-beaters are the worst men and
(2) no Muslim wife-beater can possibly claim to imitate the Prophet , although Allah Most High said to imitate him : {Verily in the messenger of Allah ye have a good example for him who looketh unto Allah and the last Day, and remembereth Allah much} (33:21).

(fatwa by sheikh G.F. Haddad, see also sheikh G.F. haddad’s answer given to question 1 in this article, where the prophet’s clearly explained in which conditions/situation hitting’s ones wife lighty and not in the face was allowed )


Answering false claim nr.2:

‘An answer to the false claim made by anti islamic people that the prophet one time beat aicha’

(misunderstood hadith) Sahih Muslim, Book 004, Number 2127:

Muhammad b. Qais said (to the people): Should I not narrate to you (a hadith of the Holy Prophet) on my authority and on the authority of my mother? We thought that he meant the mother who had given him birth. He (Muhammad b. Qais) then reported that it was 'A'isha who had narrated this: Should I not narrate to you about myself and about the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him)? We said: Yes. She said: When it was my turn for Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) to spend the night with me, he turned his side, put on his mantle and took off his shoes and placed them near his feet, and spread the corner of his shawl on his bed and then lay down till he thought that I had gone to sleep. He took hold of his mantle slowly and put on the shoes slowly, and opened the door and went out and then closed it lightly. I covered my head, put on my veil and tightened my waist wrapper, and then went out following his steps till he reached Baqi'. He stood there and he stood for a long time. He then lifted his hands three times, and then returned and I also returned. He hastened his steps and I also hastened my steps. He ran and I too ran. He came (to the house) and I also came (to the house). I, however, preceded him and I entered (the house), and as I lay down in the bed, he (the Holy Prophet) entered the (house), and said: Why is it, O 'A'isha, that you are out of breath? I said: There is nothing. He said: Tell me or the Subtle and the Aware would inform me. I said: Messenger of Allah, may my father and mother be ransom for you, and then I told him (the whole story). He said: Was it the darkness (of your shadow) that I saw in front of me? I said: Yes. He struck me on the chest which caused me pain, and then said: Did you think that Allah and His Apostle would deal unjustly with you? She said: Whatsoever the people conceal, Allah will know it. He said: Gabriel came to me when you saw me. He called me and he concealed it from you. I responded to his call, but I too concealed it from you (for he did not come to you), as you were not fully dressed. I thought that you had gone to sleep, and I did not like to awaken you, fearing that you may be frightened. He (Gabriel) said: Your Lord has commanded you to go to the inhabitants of Baqi' (to those lying in the graves) and beg pardon for them. I said: Messenger of Allah, how should I pray for them (How should I beg forgiveness for them)? He said: Say, Peace be upon the inhabitants of this city (graveyard) from among the Believers and the Muslims  (Isaiah 56:5: Muslim is the future believers' name.  Sons and daughters titles will be "no more"), and may Allah have mercy on those who have gone ahead of us, and those who come later on, and we shall, God willing, join you.


Answer to the mistranslation:


The term used in the hadith is:

mistranslations_of_hadiths_1.jpg (1768 bytes)

Imam Nawawi in his Sharh states that:

image004_11.jpg (3784 bytes)

The word "lahada" according to the lexicographers means, "to push" (dafa'a).

The usage of the word "struck" is not a correct translation. Rather, the phrase should be translated as (as sheikh Gf haddad said):

- He pushed my chest with a push that made me sore

Secondly, this calls to an important matter that is related to the Hand imposition of the Prophet - Allah bless him - because it is a gesture associated with driving away evil influence (wasw‚s) and conferring blessing as the following reports show:



1.  Ubay ibn Ka`b said:


"There occurred in my mind a sort of denial which did not occur even during the Days of Ignorance. When the Messenger of Allah - Allah bless and greet him - saw how I was affected, he slapped me on the chest. I broke into a sweat and felt as if I were looking at All‚h in fear."   (Sahih Muslim)

2.  Jarir ibn Abdullah Al BajalÓ was sent by the Prophet - Allah bless him - on a mission to destroy Dhu Al Kahalasa, the idol-house of Khatham, nicknamed the Yemenite Kaba. Jarr narrates:


"I went along with a hundred and fifty horsemen but I could not sit steadily on horse. I mentioned it to the Messenger of Allah - Allah bless and greet  him - who then struck his hand on my chest so hard that I could see the trace of his fingers on it, saying: 'O Allah! Grant him steadfastness and make him a guide of righteousness and a rightly-guided one!'   (Bukhari and Muslim)  



More proof that the correct translation is   He pushed my chest with a push that made me sore’

Aaishah (Radhiallahu 'Anha) said: "Allaah's Messenger (Sallallahu 'Alaihi Wa Sallam) never hit anything with his hand ever, except when fighting in the path of Allaah. Nor did he ever hit a servant or a woman."  [Recorded by Ibn Maajah. Al-Albaanee graded it Saheeh.]


Wife-beating can’t be considered "in the Cause of Allaah" - the reference in the Hadeeth is a reference to Jihaad on the battlefield. "When the prohibitions of Allaah were violated" is a reference to someone committing a crime, and their being tried and then punished by flogging. This is not a reference to the way a husband should treat his wife. So here we clearly see in a sahih (authentic) hadith that Aisha clearly told that the prophet ‘never hit a servent or a women’.

So this is also a clear proof that the usage of the word "struck" is not a correct translation. Rather, the phrase should be translated as (as Gf haddad said):

- He pushed my chest with a push that made me sore


Audio: Is it permitted to ‘beat’ women? 

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Listen to the audio dars on: "Fulfilling the rights of women with excellence" by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Listen to the audio at:   (click at the link, to listen to this audio, it’s a MUST hear)

Taken from:

Clear Paths to the Gardens of the Righteous Imam Nawawi's Riyad al-Salihin Explained, using classical sources Selected hadiths from Imam Nawawi’s Riyad al-Salihin (‘Gardens of the Righteous’) are explained using Imam Ibn `Allan al-Bakri’s commentary, Dalil al-Falihin (‘Guide for the Successful’), and other hadith commentaries and classic scholarly references. The commentary shows us how to soundly understand and live the guidance of the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace), and brings out the deep meanings of the words of the Beloved Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace), whom Allah gave, “The most encompassing speech,” [as related in a hadith in Bukhari and Muslim] for his guidance is brief in words yet oceanic in depth




Since christian missionaries like sham shamoun have so much problems, with the (even discouraged) light hitting by a miswak (or something like it) , not in the face, and only allowed in the case of whem a husband fears nushuz (=adultery) by immorality (or immoral behaviour) of his wife that may lead to adultery, then he surely must have major big problems with his own bible, who COMMANDS the ripping open of innocent pregnant women and killing of them in war:


Hosea 13:16 (New Living Translation) - The people of Samaria must bear the consequences of their guilt because they rebelled against their God. They will be killed by an invading army, their little ones dashed to death against the ground, their pregnant women ripped open by swords."


Hosea 13:16 (King James) Samaria will bear her guilt because she has rebelled against her God.
They will fall by the sword; their little ones will be dashed to pieces,  and their pregnant women ripped open. 


1 Samuel 15:2-4
2 Thus saith the LORD of hosts, I remember that which Amalek did to Israel, how he laid wait for him in the way, when he came up from Egypt.
3 Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass.


2 Chronicles 15:13 All who would not seek the LORD, the God of Israel, were to be put to death, whether small or great, man or woman.

Read my article about the killing of innocent women in the bible at:






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