Special features this issue
Islam stands clear on issues
of Violence against women: No beating of wives and no abuse of women
the name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
This statement is declares that domestic violence has no room in
Islam what so ever. First of all, it should be clear that the institution
of the family in Islam is based on mutual respect, affection, mercy
and love. Any form of physical or emotional abuse is prohibited.
A husband is not allowed to physically or emotionally harm his wife,
and the wife is not allowed to abuse her husband.
In the marital relationship, it is prudent for both husband and
wife to seek peaceful means of conflict resolution that does not
threaten the integrity and tranquility of the family, such as family
intervention, mediation, arbitration or a court restraining order.
If the marital home is not established on affection, love and courtesy,
it will not continue to play its role defined by Shari`ah
which seeks to maintain tranquility, affection, mercy and love within
He never hit any female, and he used to say that the best of men
are those who do not hit their wives. In one hadith he expressed
his extreme repulsion from this behavior and said, "How does
anyone of you beat his wife as he beats the stallion camel and then
embrace (sleep with) her?" (Al-Bukhari, English Translation,
vol. 8, Hadith 68, pp. 42-43)
"According to the Qur'an the relationship between the husband and
wife should be based on mutual love and kindness. Allah says: "And
among His Signs is this, that He created for you mates from among
yourselves, that ye may dwell in tranquility with them, and He has
put love and mercy between your (hearts): verily in that are Signs
for those who reflect." (Ar-Rum: 21)
The Qur'an urges husbands to treat their wives with kindness. [In
the event of a family dispute, the Qur'an exhorts the husband to
treat his wife kindly and not to overlook her positive aspects].
Allah Almighty says: "Live with them on a footing of kindness
and equity. If ye take a dislike to them it may be that ye dislike
a thing, and Allah brings about through it a great deal of good."
First of all, I would like to state that it is not allowed
for the husband to physically abuse his wife in the first place.
The verse in surat An-Nisaa' has been greatly misunderstood and
there are many authentic hadiths prohibiting physical abuse in unequivocal
terms. Therefore, beating is not an option in the first place.
Secondly, the right to defend oneself is a legitimate right
in Islam. It is to be used at any time a person knows he or she
is in danger or that his or her life is in jeopardy. Therefore,
if an abusive husband attacks his wife, first she should ask for
help from anyone she thinks can rescue her, such as neighbors or
those in authority. If that is not feasible, and she thinks her
life is in danger, then she can definitely defend herself.
Also prophet Muhammad, upon him be peace mad it very clear that
th beating of the wife is harm and prohibited.
"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."
In another hadith the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him)
said: "How does anyone of you beat his wife as he beats the stallion
camel and then he may embrace (sleep with) her?"
Having said that, I must state that Islam offers us many solutions
to resolve family conflicts so that we do not have to resort to
barbaric means that involve physical abuse. These solutions include,
but are not limited to, reconciliation and arbitration. If these
peaceful means are exhausted and there is no harmony in the family,
we must know that Islam allows divorce. This is because peaceful
separation is better in the eyes of Islam than a dysfunctional marriage.