Before organizations that defend human rights in the world condemn domestic violence, Islam had preceded in condemning domestic violence, promising to the one who commits it punishment in the worldly life and the Hereafter. Furthermore, the prohibition of that crime is not limited in physical violence only, but also involves verbal violence. The Prophet (Peace be upon him) said:
“The Muslim is the one from whose tongue and hand the people are safe, and the believer is the one from whom the people's lives and wealth are safe.” (Reported by An-Nasa’i)
The Prophet (Peace be upon him) also said:
“The true believer is not a sycophant, nor one who curses others, nor an immoral, nor one who speaks shameful words.” (Al-Haithami)
One may ask, ‘how does Islam condemn violence when it permits man, even as the final solution, to beat his wife if he sees that she is immoral?’
In order to answer to that question we should firstly explain the difference between the meaning of the word ‘beating’ in our everyday life and the meaning of the word ‘beating’ in Islam. For example, today when one hears that a man has beaten his wife, then an awful picture about this unjust violent man that beats his wife comes directly to his mind the same picture depicts him beating his wife like a tornado with punches and kicks. Except for that picture, there is an extra one coming to his mind related to the poor wronged woman, whose body is full of wounds, bruises and multiple fractures. This is the meaning of the word ‘beating’ nowadays, which we acquired through our daily experience and the many examples of barbaric men who beat their wives. But if I told you that ‘I beat the eggs’, or ‘I beat a drum’, would you understand that I beat the eggs with punches and kicks? Or would you understand that I beat a drum with punches and kicks? As a result, the meaning of the word ‘beating’ changes entirely depending on its linguistic usage and according to the purpose the one who said it has in mind, his character, his morals, all these draw in our mind what he means when uttering the word ‘beating’. That’s why the meaning of the word ‘beating’ in Islam is entirely different from the meaning of the word as we perceive it today, since the meaning of the word, as it is used today, is very prohibited in Islam. Thus, there is absolutely no chance that these two meanings come together, since each one of them contradicts the other, and if we want to be unbiased we should say that there is no beating for women in Islam, and Islam has not even allowed anything as such.
On the contrary, Islam has forbidden it, as it has forbidden a man to dishonour or offend his wife, or even to speak to her with shameful words. Verily, the meaning of the word ‘beating’ in Islam means pinches, which aim at turning a woman’s attention towards her husband and making her understand that she errs towards the right of her husband, and that her husband has the right to correct her behaviour. Islam has also set certain stages which precede the final stage of beating, so as for the husband to solve the problem of his wife if he sees immoral conduct from her, and has made the stage of beating the last solution for the wife when the previous stages had no result on her. Islam has surrounded man with many limitations which if he violates he becomes a sinner who has transgressed the limits set by Allah, and he deserves punishment in the worldly life and the Hereafter. And these limitations are the following:
1. To try to solve the problem gradually:
The man should strive to solve the problem at the stage of admonition, and if that was fruitless, then he should resort to the second stage of turning his back, and if that was fruitless too, then he can resort to the last stage of the imperceptible beating.
2. The beating should be with Siwak and be imperceptible:
This Siwak is in the size of a pencil as you can see in the picture above.
3. He should never touch the face and the sensitive parts of her body:
If the husband does not find any other solution, except for resorting to beating his wife, then he should be careful not to transgress Allah’s limits. Allah has prohibited beating someone’s face in any case. Furthermore, it is prohibited to beat the sensitive parts of the body, and whoever does it is a sinner. A man being permitted to beat his wife with As-Siwak means that the beating does not take place with the aim of causing pain or harm, so even with the Siwak it is prohibited to beat the face and the rest sensitive parts.
4. He should neither offend, nor dishonour his wife:
The Prophet (Peace be upon him) said:
And as we have said many times, the aim of the three stages that we have mentioned before is to correct the behavior of the wife and not to offend her. And offending never had a correcting function; on the contrary, it may increase the problem instead of solving it.
5. It should not be performed in any case before the children or other people:
It is not allowed for the man to beat his wife or offend her before anyone else, especially before the children, as a subject as such concerns only the two spouses and not anyone else. If this takes place before the children it will firstly offend the wife and secondly harm the children’s education. What kind of education does a man give his children while he beats their mother before them?
6. Not leaving marks on her body:
The husband is considered to have sinned if he violates Allah’s limits and beats his wife leaving marks on her body, or making her bleed, or breaking one of her bones. And whoever does that is the above mentioned barbaric, violent man, who does not want to correct his wife’s problem but he only wants to take revenge leaving marks on her body. Such a man should be convicted and legally punished for his crime.
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