June 2000: Page 1, 2, 3, 4

Submitters Perspective

Page 2

Wife Beating

Cont’d from page 1

Despite advances in modern psychology and improved understanding of behavioral patterns of men, civilized and uncivilized, a suc-cessful solution to this aggressive behavior has not been found by man.

A solution has however been presented to the world in the Quran, the Final Testament, more than 1400 years ago, in verse 4:34.

[4:34] The men are made responsible for the women, and GOD has endowed them with certain qualities, and made them the bread earners. The righteous women will cheerfully accept this arrangement, since it is GOD’s commandment, and honor their husbands during their absence. If you experience rebellion from the women, you shall first talk to them, then (you may use negative incentives like) deserting them in bed, then you may (as a last alternative) beat them. If they obey you, you are not permitted to transgress against them. GOD is Most High, Supreme.

At first glance this verse may appear as if promoting physical abuse of women. But when reading 4:34 carefully one realizes that it actually prohibits abuse and beating of women by using the best psychological approach.

The advice to first talk and then avoid sexual contact, provides the necessary time and space for both parties to cool off, reason, examine the problem and reach a favorable agreement for both of them.

Abuse of a wife will NOT happen if the man learns to follow the clear commandments of God in this verse and in the order decreed.

Abuse will only happen when a man does NOT follow these commandments, and thus fails to cool off and reason with himself or with his wife.

Sura 4, where we read 4:34, entitled “The Women,” is one of the longest chapters in the Quran. It deals with many of the rights and responsibilities of women, rights that were first available to western women only a few decades ago, and some that still aren’t. The theme of this sura (chapter) is to defend women’s rights, and countering injustice and oppression of women. Thus, any interpretation of verses in Sura 4 must be in favor of the women, not the other way around.

Unfortunately 4:34 is extremely abused by many of the so-called “Muslim” men in the world. While disregarding their own obligations and their own righteousness, these men only focus on the third step of handling this difficult condition as described in 4:34, skip the first two necessary steps and give themselves the excuse to beat their wives. They find support for their misguided and biased views, and for treating their spouses unjustly, in the fabrications of the so-called Hadith and Sunna. They thus misrepresent the true Islam (Submission), and divert people from this perfect and just religion for all.

We have to remember that the right given to the man in 4:34, can only be claimed when you have a situation with a righteous man on one hand dealing with a situation in which his wife repeatedly commits “Neshooz” which is an unrighteous, wicked and rebellious act. Abusing this law and the attempt to apply it to regular daily marital disagreements is not warranted by the strong and selective wording of the verse. Furthermore, for a man to demand or claim this

right, he must first give that woman all the rights God has given her and follow all aspects of the commandment without skipping any part of it. God clearly says in the Quran that He has decreed for the men and the women rights and obligations equitably (2:228).

In reality, a believing husband would most probably NEVER come to the stage where he would actually lay a hand on his wife. He would be much too careful to examine his own motives first, as a God fearing man, before exercising this right. As we see in the verse immediately following 4:34, when the marriage reaches this stage it’s on its way to end, as the very next words in the Quran reads; “If a couple fears separation…”

Most women in the world today do not enjoy the protection verse 4:34 grants them. Instead they are unjustly abused, verbally and physically, by unrighteous men in unrighteous ways, and get beaten up for the most trivial of reasons, or for no reason at all. According to 4:34 even if the husband has a good reason, he is not allowed to lay a hand on his wife until he has passed all the previous steps.

The woman’s responsibility in a marriage starts the day she chooses a husband. If she wants to enjoy her God given rights, she must obey her God given commands, and choose a believing husband. Thus, she can expect him to treat her in accordance with God’s decree, and not transgress against her. She can expect from a believing husband that he will heed any reminder she gives him, if he forgets. If she chooses to disregard God’s commands, she has to know that there will be consequences.

Cont’d on page 3