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Islam stands clear on issues of Violence against women: No beating of wives and no abuse of women



In the name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful


This statement is declares that domestic violence has no room in Islam what so ever. First of all, it should be clear that the institution of the family in Islam is based on mutual respect, affection, mercy and love. Any form of physical or emotional abuse is prohibited. A husband is not allowed to physically or emotionally harm his wife, and the wife is not allowed to abuse her husband.

In the marital relationship, it is prudent for both husband and wife to seek peaceful means of conflict resolution that does not threaten the integrity and tranquility of the family, such as family intervention, mediation, arbitration or a court restraining order.

If the marital home is not established on affection, love and courtesy, it will not continue to play its role defined by Shari`ah which seeks to maintain tranquility, affection, mercy and love within the family.

He never hit any female, and he used to say that the best of men are those who do not hit their wives. In one hadith he expressed his extreme repulsion from this behavior and said, "How does anyone of you beat his wife as he beats the stallion camel and then embrace (sleep with) her?" (Al-Bukhari, English Translation, vol. 8, Hadith 68, pp. 42-43)

"According to the Qur'an the relationship between the husband and wife should be based on mutual love and kindness. Allah says: "And among His Signs is this, that He created for you mates from among yourselves, that ye may dwell in tranquility with them, and He has put love and mercy between your (hearts): verily in that are Signs for those who reflect." (Ar-Rum: 21)

The Qur'an urges husbands to treat their wives with kindness. [In the event of a family dispute, the Qur'an exhorts the husband to treat his wife kindly and not to overlook her positive aspects]. Allah Almighty says: "Live with them on a footing of kindness and equity. If ye take a dislike to them it may be that ye dislike a thing, and Allah brings about through it a great deal of good." (An-Nisa': 19)

First of all, I would like to state that it is not allowed for the husband to physically abuse his wife in the first place. The verse in surat An-Nisaa' has been greatly misunderstood and there are many authentic hadiths prohibiting physical abuse in unequivocal terms. Therefore, beating is not an option in the first place.

Secondly, the right to defend oneself is a legitimate right in Islam. It is to be used at any time a person knows he or she is in danger or that his or her life is in jeopardy. Therefore, if an abusive husband attacks his wife, first she should ask for help from anyone she thinks can rescue her, such as neighbors or those in authority. If that is not feasible, and she thinks her life is in danger, then she can definitely defend herself.

Also prophet Muhammad, upon him be peace mad it very clear that th beating of the wife is harm and prohibited.

"Do not beat the female servants of Allah";

"Some (women) visited my family complaining about their husbands (beating them). These (husbands) are not the best of you."

In another hadith the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said: "How does anyone of you beat his wife as he beats the stallion camel and then he may embrace (sleep with) her?"

Having said that, I must state that Islam offers us many solutions to resolve family conflicts so that we do not have to resort to barbaric means that involve physical abuse. These solutions include, but are not limited to, reconciliation and arbitration. If these peaceful means are exhausted and there is no harmony in the family, we must know that Islam allows divorce. This is because peaceful separation is better in the eyes of Islam than a dysfunctional marriage.


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