Hit Her...Go to Prison

From the beginning of time and through history, most religious writers are men, and they unconsciously promote male’s interest at the expense of female’s right. Their biased opinions are ubiquitous and shared, especially in the Middle East, where a husband can obtain a court order to force his wife to submit to his wishes. The Holy Quran promoted love and negotiation between a husband and his wife; otherwise, they can part. And Sura 4 Verse 35 prescribed the process of reconciliation between male and female as a married couple via the selection of their representatives for compromising and settling a dispute. However, some naive Muslims believe that a man has an absolute right to punish his wife.

Did Prophet Mohamed (PBUH) ever hit any of his wives? The answer categorically is no! Even at the time of spreading a false rumor (Sura 24, verse 11) accusing his wife (Aisha, may Allah reward her) of infidelity, the Prophet (PBUH) did not hit her (Hussein, 1982). He (PBUH) sustained the natural, unalienable rights of respect to his wife and suffered an enormous amount of pain. When the emotional pain reached its peak point, the Prophet asked his wife to go to her parental home. Should you as a Muslim follow his heritage and refrain from hitting your wife? A less educated Muslim may claim that the Holy Quran takes precedence, and the Holy Quran stated that a man could beat his wife! That semi-illiterate Muslim usually refer to Sura 4, verse 34 as a justification for the right of a husband to beat his wife. The basic problem with that ignorant Muslim is that he does not understand the meaning of the word واضربوهن .  The verb of that word is  ضَرَبَ  and its root is ض ب ر. A scientific researcher could find that word is included with different meanings and shades in the Holy Quran without explicitly or implicitly of ‘hit’ action. That researcher would share the following examples for the word ضَرَبَ  and none of all these examples are related to hitting another person.

Example Sura, Verse Meaning
1 S 14, V 24  

أَلَمْ تَرَ كَيْفَ ضَرَبَ  The English translation is: Do you understand the examples that Allah illustrated?

For this example, Allah Almighty included that word  ضَرَبَ  for an illustration, and it did neither mean ‘hit’ nor ‘beat.’

2 S 16, V 75  

ضَرَبَ اللّهُ مَثَلاً  Allah sets forth the Parable (of two men: one) a slave under the dominion of another.

For this example, Allah Almighty included that word ضَرَبَ for an illustration, and it did neither mean ‘hit’ nor ‘beat.’

3 S 30, V 28  

ضَرَبَ لَكُم مَّثَلًا  Allah sets forth for you a parable from your selves.

For this example, Allah Almighty included that word ضَرَبَ for an illustration, and it did neither mean ‘hit’ nor ‘beat.’

4 S 39, V 29  

ضَرَبَ اللَّهُ مَثَلً  Allah puts forth a Parable for a man belonging to many partners.

For this example, Allah Almighty included that word ضَرَبَ for an illustration, and it did neither mean ‘hit’ nor ‘beat.’

5 S 43, V 17  

وَإِذَا بُشِّرَ أَحَدُهُم بِمَا ضَرَبَ لِلرَّحْمَنِ  And if one of them is informed of the news of (the birth of) that which he set forth as a parable to the Most Beneficent (Allah).

For this example, the word ضَرَبَ means sharing news, and it did neither mean ‘hit’ nor ‘beat.’

There are 58 verses in the Holy Quran that used the word ضَرَبَ , and none of them means either ‘hit” or ‘beat.’ Though some people could focus only on Sura 4, verse 34 for falsely granting a man the right to beat his wife, yet scientific researchers would synthesize all 58 verses to reach an accurate conclusion.

A wise husband would advise his spouse gently. If his advice failed, then he can sleep on a sofa, and if that did not alter her behavior, then the husband could leave his home. This process is logical! The husband is trying to make his wife see his point, and alter her behavior, thus beating her will not produce the expected outcome.

One final point is that what a wife would do if the husband is causing all family troubles? Even the Holy Quran revealed the above list of verses, and the man presumably the patient person, yet the wife may be a more tolerant person, and the man is not logical. I witnessed a man divorce his wife because he was jealous that she earned more than him. Let Muslim men be reasonable and believe that wives are equal partners with different needs. Is there a better way than your wife carried your baby nine months for saying she loves you? Men do not get pregnant and carry babies for nine months as women do. Not only Prophet Mohamed (PBUH) during his last sermon uttered his living trust to men and stated that men must be aware of Allah regarding their responsibility towards women (Sermon, 2019). But Also, Allah Almighty inserted love and mercy among your hearts (Sura 30, verse 21). One last question, how would you feel if your father hits your mother on her face in front of you?


Hussein, T. (1982). Ali Ben Talib and his sons, Al Fitna Al Kubra (The Great Upheaval) (11th ed.): Cairo, Egypt: Dar Almaaraf (House of knowledge)

Sermon, T. l. (2019).   Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Farewell_Sermon

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