Sharia judge: It’s OK for husbands, fathers and brothers to beat disobedient women

Men have authority over women because Allah has made the one superior to the other, and because they spend their wealth to maintain them. Good women are obedient. They guard their unseen parts because Allah has guarded them. As for those from whom you fear disobedience, admonish them and send them to beds apart and beat them.” — Qur’an 4:34

There is no ‘lightly” after “beat them” in the Arabic.

Muhammad “struck me on the chest which caused me pain, and then said: Did you think that Allah and His Apostle would deal unjustly with you?” — Aisha (Sahih Muslim 2127)

“It’s OK for husbands, fathers and brothers to beat disobedient women, says Abbas` advisor,” by Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik, Palestinian Media Watch, December 30, 2018:

Contradictory messages are an art in the Palestinian Authority. A striking example was when right in the middle of a PA campaign to stop domestic violence against Palestinian women, Abbas’ advisor and top PA religious figure explained on TV exactly when, how and why husbands, fathers and brothers are allowed to beat women!

The Palestinian campaign to stop violence against women ran during the international “16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence” campaign calling to end violence against women and girls. The campaigns began on Nov. 25 on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, and ended on Dec. 10, Human Rights Day.

While this campaign was running and teaching that it is never acceptable to hit women, Abbas’ advisor Mahmoud Al-Habbash explained on official PA TV that there are situations in which men are allowed to beat women. In fact, it is even good for the women:

“As long as Allah permitted a certain type of beating, it is for the good. It is good for society and good for the woman and the man.”

When is it permitted? Not very often explained Al-Habbash; only when women are “disobedient”:

“The one and only situation, which is very limited and very rare, in which a man is permitted to beat in a way that doesn’t harm, doesn’t injure, avoids the face, and doesn’t cause strong pain – is the situation of disobedience. Only a situation of the woman’s disobedience. The disobedient woman, the woman who is out of line, the woman who destroys the bonds of marriage, and the bonds of home and family. Aside from this, any type of beating, injuring, and cursing of the woman constitutes a forbidden act.”

While Al-Habbash defends the practice, saying it is “rare,” the categories of women who may be beaten that he himself describes are so general that he opens the door for ongoing abuse: “The disobedient woman, the woman who is out of line, the woman who destroys the bonds of marriage, and the bonds of home and family.”

Al-Habbash quotes the Quran that he must not beat her immediately but must try two earlier disciplinary measures: First “admonish them, (next), refuse to share their beds,” (i.e., the husbands) and only then if the woman is still disobedient are the men permitted to beat them….

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