Do Not Beat Your Wife*
[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.
*4:34 God prohibits wife-beating by using the best psychological approach. For example, if I don’t want you to shop at Market X, I will ask you to shop at Market Y, then at Market Z, then, as a last resort, at Market X. This will effectively stop you from shopping at Market X, without insulting you. Similarly, God provides alternatives to wife-beating; reasoning with her first, then employing certain negative incentives. Remember that the theme of this sura is defending the women’s rights and countering the prevalent oppression of women. Any interpretation of the verses of this sura must be in favor of the women. This sura’s theme is “protection of women.”
**4:34 This expression simply means that God is appointing the husband as “captain of the ship.” Marriage is like a ship, and the captain runs it after due consultation with his officers. A believing wife readily accepts God’s appointment, without mutiny.
God prohibits violence and abuse:
Rules of War
[2:190] You may fight in the cause of GOD against those who attack you, but do not aggress. GOD does not love the aggressors.
[2:191] You may kill those who wage war against you, and you may evict them whence they evicted you. Oppression is worse than murder. Do not fight them at the Sacred Masjid, unless they attack you therein. If they attack you, you may kill them. This is the just retribution for those disbelievers.
[2:192] If they refrain, then GOD is Forgiver, Most Merciful.
[2:193] You may also fight them to eliminate oppression, and to worship GOD freely. If they refrain, you shall not aggress; aggression is permitted only against the aggressors.
Violence & Belligerence: Signs of Disbelief
[22:72] When our revelations are recited to them, clearly, you recognize wickedness on the faces of those who disbelieve. They almost attack those who recite our revelations to them. Say, “Shall I inform you of something much worse? Hell is promised by GOD for those who disbelieve; what a miserable destiny.”
[16:126] And if you punish, you shall inflict an equivalent punishment. But if you resort to patience (instead of revenge), it would be better for the patient ones.
[16:127] You shall resort to patience – and your patience is attainable only with GOD’s help. Do not grieve over them, and do not be annoyed by their schemes.
[64:14] O you who believe, your spouses and your children can be your enemies; beware. If you pardon, forget, and forgive, then GOD is Forgiver, Most Merciful.
[64:15] Your money and children are a test, and GOD possesses a great recompense.
If someone wants to disbelieve they will isolate this verse from all the verses in the Quran to make their case. If only they read a few verses ahead they will read:
[4:44] Have you noted those who received a portion of the scripture, and how they choose to stray, and wish that you stray from the path?
It is worth mentioning the names that God choses to describe himself to mankind in the Quran is Most Gracious Most Merciful, and this is repeated throughout the entire Quran at the beginning of 113 chapters. Additionally this chapter is written for the defense of the women and any interpretation must be made under this context.
Spousal abuse is a major problem in the world and was even worse throughout history. It is estimated today that one in four women will be involved in domestic violence. It is a blessing that most of us currently live in societies that a husband beating their wife is completely frowned upon, but this was not always the case, but it still is a common occurrence.
Not too long ago in England and the US it was common practice for husband to openly beat their wives. The practice was so common the it is believed that the origin of the phrase “rule of thumb” originated from a law that allowed husbands to beat their wives as long as the object the used for the act was no wider than their thumbs…
The Quran was written in the Dark Ages of Saudi Arabia and needs to apply to all people from then to the Day of Judgement. That even though in most the world we realize that spousal abuse is considered dishonorable in some parts of the world it still is common practice.
God is the Best Psychologist and knows how to get us to bring out the best of ourselves if we choose to follow His commandments.
When someone has a belief and is faced with an opposing view most people’s brains will release norepinephrine that will actually strengthen their existing belief and make them less likely to change
By reasoning with them and giving them a plan of action that does not insult them it is opening the possibility of breaking them of this terrible practice. By sympathizing God creates a chance for the person to change their ways.
When we come to Submission we come with a lot of baggage. Bad habits that we have built up from years of being misguided. We may have problems with using bad language. We may have problems with anger. And we may have problems with violence. In this example God is providing steps for someone who is misguided to not resort to violence
1) God is first encouraging “talking”. The importance of talking and communicating in a relationship cannot be emphasized enough. So much of the disputes and frustrations in a relationship occur from miscommunication
2) Then after talking God encourages using negative incentives like deserting them in bed. Most domestic violence happens in the moment. The fact that God is using an example like deserting someone in bed, means that they have a night to think about their response and to cool off and this keeps the women safe from any spouts of violence. By having the husband sleep on it, it reduces the probability of an altercation turning violent.
Additionally scientifically proven that men sleep worse in a bed alone as oppose to sleeping with their spouse, while women are neutral or even sleep better
So while this may seem like a negative incentive for the women it is actually a negative incentive for the man who would not prefer to sleep alone
There is no way someone who is attempting to uphold the Quran who knows that they are (1) suppose to suppress their anger (2) not to be intoxicated as much of domestic violence happens under intoxication (3) is not to be an aggressor or oppressor will ever get to Market Z
Therapist talks about Domestic Violence