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In the Name of God بسم الله

The wife beating verse is giving me doubts if Islam is true

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Salaam alaikum sister.

Firstly, remind yourself of the fundamental and core beliefs of Islam, ie the Oneness of Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) and the Prophethood of Muhammad ((صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم)) 

One can have doubts or misunderstandings about certain details, but to equate this to the rejection of Islam altogether is to forget why one is a Muslim in the first place.

This topic has been discussed already and I imagine will be discussed again in this thread, but I just wanted to point out that not understanding one verse should not usually result in a person rejecting Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) and His prophet. I emphasize this because I sometimes see people rejecting Islam altogether because of a ruling or a detail that they didn't understand or had trouble accepting and I think it's unfortunate that a Muslim would go as far as to reject Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) over something which could have been clarified. 

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Sister, like the dear brother mentioned solidifying your belief in the oneness of Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) is imperative, because through it you adhere to the divine justice of Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) meaning that you are certain whatever Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) decrees therein lies justice for all mankind.

As for your inquiry Surah 4:34 does not necessarily to beat, and the Miswak opinion is one that not all scholars hold, Inshallah you will find solace in this explanation.

Quote

"In Arabic, like any other language, you have modern, and classical. The Qur'an is written in classical Arabic, so some words may not mean the same things as they do today. Most Qur'an translators translate the Qur'an using their knowledge of Modern Arabic, not the classical one. The word "Dharaba" in today's Arabic, Modern Arabic has many translations, mainly translated to "To strike/hit", but has many other translations too, back in Classical Arabic it meant to Move Away, or travel. And since the Qur'an was revealed in Classical Arabic, it would be wrong to use Modern Arabic to translate it, therefore, when the Qur'an says in Surah Nisa Ayat 34 Wadhraboohun, It meant to move away, not to strike, because hitting your wife is the most cowardly act you can do."

 

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5 hours ago, Mohammad313Ali said:

"In Arabic, like any other language, you have modern, and classical. The Qur'an is written in classical Arabic, so some words may not mean the same things as they do today. Most Qur'an translators translate the Qur'an using their knowledge of Modern Arabic, not the classical one. The word "Dharaba" in today's Arabic, Modern Arabic has many translations, mainly translated to "To strike/hit", but has many other translations too, back in Classical Arabic it meant to Move Away, or travel. And since the Qur'an was revealed in Classical Arabic, it would be wrong to use Modern Arabic to translate it, therefore, when the Qur'an says in Surah Nisa Ayat 34 Wadhraboohun, It meant to move away, not to strike, because hitting your wife is the most cowardly act you can do."

I agree with this interpretation. All you have to do sister is match it with facts. Did the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) or the Ahlulbayt (عليه السلام) ever beat their wives? No. Even the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) had to put up with Aisha and never resulted to such a conduct.

Don’t let interpretations of Islamic scripture turn you away from Islam itself. Sometimes people put their own bias within Islam, this is another topic.

Sayed Ammar Nakshawani explains this interpretation more in this video:

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Could someone explain this to me:

Prophet Ayyub ((عليه السلام).) and his oath of beating his wife a hundred strokes

In a situation where, one has taken an oath in utmost seriousness to inflict punishment, and one does not wish to go against it, it is better to carry out the oath in a manner that a token punishment is given and the oath is also not violated. For example, Prophet Ayyub ((عليه السلام).) saw his wife doing something against his will. He took a vow to hit her a hundred strokes after he recovered from the illness. When he recovered, Allah ((سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى).) ordered him,

“And take in your hand a green branch (with a hundred twigs) and beat her (your wife) with it (once) and do not break your oath.” (Surah Sād 38:44)

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Here is an answer to the question: What is the correct meaning of the verse in the Qur'an where Allah seems to allow men to beat their wives in case they do not obey their husbands?

Beating any one is not allowed in Islam and there is a criminal penalty ( Diyyah) on the person who commits it which depends on the effect on the body of the victim.

The Hadeeths explain the meaning of the Quranic verse as beating with Miswak ( tooth stick) which is physical beating but an act of warning or showing unhappiness when a wife insists on harming her husband or children. 

Hadeeths blame those men who beat their wives and mention that many of them are more entitled to be beaten rather than to beat their wives.

The Prophet ( SAWA) said : Best of you are the best to their wives, and I am the best to my wives.

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I don't think a man would hit his wife for fun other than if he's an insane man.

If a man hits his wife, he probably had some reason for it. No sane man likes to hit their wife. Because there is actually shame in hitting your wife.

This is my personal view. Many would disagree with this.

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6 hours ago, Guest Sukaina said:

Even if it’s beating with miswak or light beating as a last resort it is still giving me dounts

what to do?

It is misinterpreted. The reason of it are as follows: 

1. Word "Zarabo" means divide into two besides striking. So, it means separation and break the unity made through marriage. 

2. If it means to beat wife, did Prophet beat any of his wife? Since Qur'an's interpretation is proved through hadith. Since, prophet never beat his any wife but believed in divorce. So, it's meaning is divorce not beating.

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13 hours ago, Guest Sukaina said:

Even if it’s beating with miswak or light beating as a last resort it is still giving me dounts

what to do?

fdd1e319824513f1ca364265265b44f5.jpg61IhT0Jb9AL._SY741_.jpg

I don't hear of it happening a lot. But always take the advice of Imam Ali (عليه السلام)

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Caution: I am not well studied in Quran nor the "miswak verse" Most of my responses are personal views regarding this matter. So for those reading this, take it with a grain of salt.

For all the people quoting how awful it's to hit your wife. Yes it's awful and shameful, but surely there must be a reason for it? Maybe that's why there is that interpretation of a miswak. Maybe the interpretation of the miswak is for those cases were the husband is so angry at his wife for whatever reason were the miswak is a last resort and he must not go over the limits.

For those saying then divorce. A man doesn't marry a woman just to divorce her unless it's something very serious. Surely a "miswak" is better than divorce if that will do.

@Abu Hadi Interested to hear your reply.

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Posted (edited)
5 minutes ago, AkhiraisReal said:

Surely a "miswak" is better than divorce if that will do.

A miswak is just a symbolic gesture it won’t do anything. You should watch what brother @THREE1THREE posted. It answers your point with context of why the “beating” interpretation even came about.

6 hours ago, THREE1THREE said:
14 hours ago, Guest Sukaina said:

Even if it’s beating with miswak or light beating as a last resort it is still giving me dounts

what to do?

The word “daraba” has many meanings in the Quran. 
 

Here’s the answer to your question.

 

Edited by Mariam17
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Posted (edited)
On 8/7/2020 at 4:21 PM, AkhiraisReal said:

Caution: I am not well studied in Quran nor the "miswak verse" Most of my responses are personal views regarding this matter. So for those reading this, take it with a grain of salt.

For all the people quoting how awful it's to hit your wife. Yes it's awful and shameful, but surely there must be a reason for it? Maybe that's why there is that interpretation of a miswak. Maybe the interpretation of the miswak is for those cases were the husband is so angry at his wife for whatever reason were the miswak is a last resort and he must not go over the limits.

For those saying then divorce. A man doesn't marry a woman just to divorce her unless it's something very serious. Surely a "miswak" is better than divorce if that will do.

@Abu Hadi Interested to hear your reply.

 

Like others were saying, the verse refers to a symbolic 'beating', not an actual beating. Rasoulallah(p.b.u.h) as well as other Imams((عليه السلام)) had wives who were extremely disobedient. There is not one recorded case, recorded even by their enemies of them even touching their wives in an aggressive manner. They knew the Quran better than anyone else. If the ayat in question gave permission to beat your wife, even with a miswak, they surely would have done it. The one case where I can think of that surely they would have done it, if it were permissible, was when one of the wives of Iman Hassan((عليه السلام)) who was secretly a supporter of the Khawarij. She expressed joy on the assasination of the father of Imam Hassan((عليه السلام)), Imam Ali((عليه السلام)). In this case, Imam Hassan((عليه السلام)) divorced her, but he did not beat her. Again, if beating were permissible under any circumstances, it would have been in this case. 

 The 'Islam allows wife beating' is an old trope used by the enemies of Islam to spread misinformation about the religion. 

Edited by Abu Hadi
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12 hours ago, AkhiraisReal said:

Could someone explain this to me:

Prophet Ayyub ((عليه السلام).) and his oath of beating his wife a hundred strokes

In a situation where, one has taken an oath in utmost seriousness to inflict punishment, and one does not wish to go against it, it is better to carry out the oath in a manner that a token punishment is given and the oath is also not violated. For example, Prophet Ayyub ((عليه السلام).) saw his wife doing something against his will. He took a vow to hit her a hundred strokes after he recovered from the illness. When he recovered, Allah ((سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى).) ordered him,

“And take in your hand a green branch (with a hundred twigs) and beat her (your wife) with it (once) and do not break your oath.” (Surah Sād 38:44)

Thank you very much for sharing this beautiful verse and raising this essential question brother.

This is strictly my own opinion raised from my limited understanding, I believe that Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) sought to teach us a beautiful lesson in maintaining one’s oaths, and if they are too extreme to seek avenues in fulfilling them fundamentally so as to remain true to our words, because Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) loves those who are truthful.

As for Prophet Ayuub ((عليه السلام)) one would rightfully be perplexed as to how a Prophet of Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) would promise his wife who is caring for him that he would beat her, surely we wouldn’t expect this from an ordinary believer. 

I believe there is need for more context and we can inshallah give the benefit of doubt to our dear Prophet Ayuub, and consider that the state he was in was extremely severe, perhaps the context of the manner was that his wife intended good, but it was in contradiction to the Shariah. Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) knows best. 

Alhamdulilah for this valuable Quranic lesson. 

 

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Posted (edited)

Considering that the early Arabic alphabet didnt have dots, is it possible that the word was actually اصربوهن not اضربوهن?

I checked the meaning of "saraba" صَرَبَ in wiktionary and one of the meanings was "to cut off" (to prevent someone from going somewhere).

However (and after checking Arabic dictionaries) I am not sure if the word really means to cut off.

@Ibn Al-Ja'abi

Edited by shadow_of_light
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As salaamun aleikum,

To the OP, please take the time to watch this entire video. It explains the mans responsibility to the woman of the nafakeh and the different interpretations of the verse that youre having doubts about. It makes alot of sense, just please be patient. In sha Allah this will help restore your peace of mind.

W/s

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Ejaz said:

@Abu Hadi

Salaam brother, do you know if the refusal of conjugal relations from the woman is include as per the definition of “Nushuz”.

Yes, it is. If she has no legitimate excuse. Legitimate excuses have been detailed in other (many other) threads. 

Edited by Abu Hadi
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I've found reading this thread really interesting and watching the video about 'travelling away' helpful.  I wonder if a different perspective would be to look at how a husband should treat his wife in order to prevent these kinds of situations happening?

If there is a loving respectful relationship where the husband honours his wife the kinds of situation that caused this verse in the Qur'an to be written may not happen.

I recognise that the Christian tradition has many problems in this area but there are some passages in the New Testament which help us in our marital relationships.

1Peter chapter 3 talks about wives ( https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1+peter+3&version=NIV )

Wives, in the same way submit yourselves to your own husbands .....  it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.

And Husbands have a challenge too

Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.

In the letter to the Ephesians Chapter 5 Paul uses Jesus the Messiah (Christ) as an example for our marital relationships. ( https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ephesians+5&version=NIV )

21 Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.

22 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.

25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church

Within the context of the husband's self giving love the wife is free and safe to submit.  She knows that the husband will never do anything to her to harm her or to endanger her.  But notice the husband is called to submit too (Verse 21).  There is a mutual love, respect, submission and seeking to understand.

There is also a very famous chapter in 1 Corinthians 13 where the role of love in relationships is described - do we live up to it?

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1+cor+13&version=NIV

 

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Posted (edited)

Reductio ad absurdum

How can tapping with a miswak be considered escalation?

If the verse is supposed to present actions that escalate in effectiveness or even severity, then it cannot be tapping with a miswak. Admonishment and separation of sleeping places are higher in that regards. A symbolic tapping cannot be considered more effective or severe than the first two.

Think about the mentality of the people from the age of jahiliyyah. They probably already beat their wives (lightly or otherwise) prior to Islam. To many of them it was probably a normal thing. For that type of person (husband or wife) tapping with a miswak is almost no punishment at all. For those of you that grew up in countries where corporal punishment occurs in schools, can you really imagine a rowdy student being tamed with tapping after being admonished and told to leave the class? How will it make a difference?

Thus the verse must be talking about something else. Hard beating is not acceptable as we have seen in ahadith, thus another interpretation could be the likely conclusion.

 

 

Sayyid Mujtaba Lari's opinion is worth reading: https://www.al-islam.org/hidden-truths-gods-word-sayyid-mujtaba-musawi-lari/look-meaning-daraba-quran

Edited by Muhammed Ali
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On 8/8/2020 at 12:41 AM, Abu Hadi said:

Like others were saying, the verse refers to a symbolic 'beating', not an actual beating. Rasoulallah(p.b.u.h) as well as other Imams((عليه السلام)) had wives who were extremely disobedient. There is not one recorded case, recorded even by their enemies of them even touching their wives in an aggressive manner. They knew the Quran better than anyone else. If the ayat in question gave permission to beat your wife, even with a miswak, they surely would have done it. The one case where I can think of that surely they would have done it, if it were permissible, was when one of the wives of Iman Hassan((عليه السلام)) who was secretly a supporter of the Khawarij. She expressed joy on the assasination of the father of Imam Hassan((عليه السلام)), Imam Ali((عليه السلام)). In this case, Imam Hassan((عليه السلام)) divorced her, but he did not beat her. Again, if beating were permissible under any circumstances, it would have been in this case. 

 The 'Islam allows wife beating' is an old trope used by the enemies of Islam to spread misinformation about the religion. 

Using the same argument you could ask if there is any evidence that miswak tapping was ever performed by the prophet or the imams. We know that the Prophet {s} was troubled by some of his wives, and we have evidence of how he reacted in those cases. Leaving them for a while and separating from them is actually one of the things that he did.

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The wife beating verse has a particular context.

1. The entire Surah talks about exceptional, controversial and morally degenerative sexual and social activities. If I’m not mistaken, the surah addresses people who have engaged in insect and adultery/cheating on one’s spouse and boasts about it to other people. 
 

2. The wife beating verse addresses women who engage shamelessly in extra-marital affairs and are arrogant about it. They boast about their affairs to their spouse to ridicule, abuse, and hurt their partner. This isn’t a verse about women being disobedient to her husband and that men are allowed to abuse their wives—this verse addresses predators, women who abuse their husbands, and are in essence, narcissistic people who relish in hurting others. This isn’t the same as good but otherwise sinful people. These narcissistic people addressed in the surah are a parasite to society. 
 

3. It talks about how men should deal with an arrogant adulterous wife who refuses to stop cheating. First, she can no longer sleep in the same bed, then he needs to withhold sex, but if she continues to cheating and brag/abuse her spouse, then a warning in the form of a handkerchief or any other light item on her hand is what “beating” means. Like a slap on the wrist, but without the slapping: It only serves as a warning, and you are not allowed to use your fists, or any object to actually beat your wife. 

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Posted (edited)
On 8/8/2020 at 6:27 AM, shadow_of_light said:

Considering that the early Arabic alphabet didnt have dots, is it possible that the word was actually اصربوهن not اضربوهن?

I checked the meaning of "saraba" صَرَبَ in wiktionary and one of the meanings was "to cut off" (to prevent someone from going somewhere).

However (and after checking Arabic dictionaries) I am not sure if the word really means to cut off.

@Ibn Al-Ja'abi

The the statement that dots originated during the time of Imam Ali or even later for the first time, and until then the Arabic script was completely undotted, seems to be more myth than history. We can find dotted letters in texts prior to the caliphate of Imam Ali. Consider, for example, this Greek-Arabic papyrus from the reign of Umar b. al-Khattab which clearly has dots over a number of letters:

https://www.islamic-awareness.org/history/islam/papyri/perf558

You may additionally see it here from the same period:

https://www.islamic-awareness.org/history/islam/papyri/pberol

And here from the reign of Uthman:

https://www.islamic-awareness.org/history/islam/papyri/perinv94.html

You may wish to consult specialized works on Arabic paleography but these are often a bit too esoteric and/or behind paywalls -- though I will recommend Ahmad Al-Jallad and Marijn van Putten whose work is largely on academia.edu to read for free, these are two leading paleographers and epigraphists. However, I will recommend this paper, which is available to read on the same open access website as before, by the eminent philologist, Alan Jones, whose books are indispensable for the student of Classical Arabic:

https://www.islamic-awareness.org/history/islam/papyri/jones

Dotting may be further observed in a number of the earliest Quranic manuscripts, such as the Sanaa palimpsest, the Birmingham manuscript, and Codex B. L. Or. 2165 among many others. It may also be seen in inscriptions, though only the Yazid-w Malik inscription comes to mind which is likely from the reign of Yazid b. Mu'awiya so after the period we're interested in (the beginning of Imam Ali's reign). I looked at the manuscripts available on corpuscoranicum's manuscript browser and I did find some from the early Kufic ones that dotted the word wadhribuhunna in specific, but that period of manuscripts is too late for what I was looking for. Nevertheless, this is the way everyone has read this word, not as the above suggestion seems to indicate. In Mu'jam al-Qira'at al-Qur'aniyya there were no variant readings recorded for this word, all the Qurraa and various people with their own huruf seem to have read this as wadhriubuhunna. Additionally, saraba doesn't seem to be a Quranic word. I checked a Quranic concordance (al-Mu'jam al-Mufhars li-Kalimat al-Quran al-Karim) and The Dictionary of Quranic Usage and didn't find this word listed, and based off the entry in Lane's Lexicon this seems to be a rather rare word whose meaning is more in the sense of physically severing something rather than physically separating from something. The Imams, or at least ahadith attributed to them, also explained the verse with the reading of the verb as dharaba, as opposed to saraba, in the ahadith offering tafsir which also stands against this reading. For those reasons I remain rather unconvinced that it might be read as واصربوهن instead of واضربوهن.

Reading dharaba as "to separate" here also seems to be problematic grammatically since the meaning of to separate or travel arises with the aid of a preposition (harf al-jarr), there is no preposition in this verse. Rather you have a pronomial suffix as a direct object of this imperative verb, the clearest reading is "to strike" or "hit". While it is admittedly is a reading which poses a problem for many people today, I think it's most productive to conclude based on the grammar, paleography and manuscripts, and data available in the Qira'at and early Tafasir that it is meant to be read as dharaba and that likely means to hit or strike, and then work on our understanding of it from there.

Edited by Ibn Al-Ja'abi
Added final paragraph.
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On 8/7/2020 at 1:14 AM, Guest Sukaina said:

Even if it’s beating with miswak or light beating as a last resort it is still giving me dounts

what to do?

When you don't understand the concept of a mathematics rule, you go and ask a mathematics professor. Follow same approach in religion. The more knowledgable the professor, the better answer you get.

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