Beating Women in Islam
One of the controversial issues in Islam is the Quran’s authorization for husbands to beat disobedient wives. The Quran says:
Quran 4:34: Men have authority over women because Allah has made the one superior to the other, and because they spend their wealth to maintain them. Good women are obedient. They guard their unseen parts because Allah has guarded them. As for those from whom you fear disobedience, admonish them and send them to beds apart and beat them. Then if they obey you, take no further action against them. Surely God is high, supreme. (Dawood’s translation, correcting God with Allah).
To understand the Qur’an, one needs to hear it from a Muslim clerk
Further proof of how this concept of wife beating was perceived in Mohammad’s days, one needs to read a revealing authentic hadith (saying of Mohammad)
Hadith from Bukhari, vol. 7, # 715, that details Islamic wife beating:
“Narrated Ikrima: ‘Rifaa divorced his wife whereupon Abdur-Rahman married her. Aisha said that the lady came wearing a green veil and complained to her (Aisha) 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 messenger 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 Abdur-Rahman 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 messenger! She has told a lie. I am very strong and can satisfy her, but she is disobedient and wants to go back to Rifaa.” Allah’s messenger said to her, “If that is your intention, then know that it is unlawful for you to remarry Rifaa unless Abdur-Rahman has had sexual intercourse with you.” The prophet saw two boys with Abdur-Rahman and asked (him), “Are these your sons?” On that Abdur-Rahman said, “Yes.” The prophet said, “You claim what you claim (that he is impotent)? But by Allah, these boys resemble him as a crow resembles a crow.””
In this hadith, a woman was beaten by her husband because her husband said she was “disobedient” and he thought she wanted to go back to her former husband. When Aisha (Mohammad’s wife) saw her she said “I have not seen any woman suffering as much as the believing women. Look! Her skin is greener than her clothes!”. So, the woman was badly bruised. Aisha also acknowledged that the Muslim women were suffering (from being beaten) more than the non-Muslim women. Her statement was contrary to what Muslims today proclaim that Islam gave women rights. Aisha, the “mother of the believers” said otherwise! She said that the Pagan women were treated better! Finally, Muhammad did not rebuke the man for beating his wife. In fact, he reproached the women for saying Rahman was impotent. Even though she was hurt Muhammad accepted her bruises and beating because to Muhammad it was not abuse. In Muhammad’s eyes she deserved the beating.