Domestic Violence Against Women in Islam

Main Articles: Wife Beating in Islam and Qur’an, Hadith and Scholars:Wife Beating

Wife-beating in the Muslim world comes from the teachings of Islamic religious texts such as the Quran and the Hadiths. It has been an accepted part of Islam since its inception. Muhammad himself made attempts to limit the degree of violence, yet nevertheless declared “A man should not be asked why he beats his wife.”

According to Aisha, “I have not seen any woman suffering as much as the believing women. Look! Her skin is greener than her clothes!” Because of this, domestic violence has been used as a tool to maintain control and dominance over Muslim women, this has created an intensely patriarchal society where men rule women and women must submit to men.

In this article we will explore how wife-beating is promoted in the Qur’an and Hadiths along with commentary from Muslim scholars, statistics on wife beating in the Muslim world and common apologetic arguments made by Muslims and responses to them.

In-Depth Analysis of an Apologetic Claim

Main Article: Beat your Wives or “Separate from Them”?

This article was written by non-Muslim Arabs in response to the mysterious translation of the verb darb

(meaning “hit” “beat” or “strike”) that has been presented on a few sites which claim to have “modern” translations of the Qur’an. These Islamic sites are directed at non-Arabic speakers, as anyone who has an adequate command of the Arabic language will find the claim being presented to be ridiculous.

They claim that the following verse (4:34) does not mean “to beat them,” but rather to “separate from them” or to “strike them out.”

“Men are overseers over women, by reason of that wherewith Allah hath made one of them excel over another, and by reason of that which they expend of their substance. Wherefore righteous women are obedient, and are watchers in husbands absence by the aid and protection of Allah. And those wives whose refractoriness ye fear, exhort them, and avoid them in beds, and beat them; but if they obey you, seek not a way against them; verily Allah is ever Lofty, Grand.” [5]

Quran 4:34

Beat them and leave/separate/abandon them are different phrases in Arabic. The arabic word idribohunna derived from the root word Darab does not have any other meaning than Beat when it comes to mean “Yadreb Ahadan” = Hit someone. Idriboohunna(أضربوهن) means beat them (for female plural). Adriboo Anhunna (اضربوا عنهن) is the one that means abandon or leave them. According to the Arabic lexicon.[6]:

ArabicTransliterationMeaningضربZarbBeatأضربوهن (used in 4:34)IdriboohunnaBeat themاضربوا عنهنAdriboo Anhunnaabandon them, leave them

Quran 4:34 says Idriboohunna أضربوهن, not Adribu Anhunna اضربوا عنهن. These two phrases have different meanings. All the verses that contain darb against a human are understood to mean “beat” or “strike” that human, by their context, and this is agreed upon by these obscure Islamic pseudo-scholars. Why then do they consider verse 4:34 to be a special case and translate “darb” to mean “separate from them”

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