My interpretation of that wife-beating verse 4:34

YUSUFALI: Men are the protectors and maintainers of women, because Allah has given the one more (strength) than the other, and because they support them from their means. Therefore the righteous women are devoutly obedient, and guard in (the husband's) absence what Allah would have them guard. As to those women on whose part ye fear disloyalty and ill-conduct, admonish them (first), (Next), refuse to share their beds, (And last) beat them (lightly); but if they return to obedience, seek not against them Means (of annoyance): For Allah is Most High, great (above you all).

PICKTHAL: Men are in charge of women, because Allah hath made the one of them to excel the other, and because they spend of their property (for the support of women). So good women are the obedient, guarding in secret that which Allah hath guarded. As for those from whom ye fear rebellion, admonish them and banish them to beds apart, and scourge them. Then if they obey you, seek not a way against them. Lo! Allah is ever High, Exalted, Great.

SHAKIR: Men are the maintainers of women because Allah has made some of them to excel others and because they spend out of their property; the good women are therefore obedient, guarding the unseen as Allah has guarded; and (as to) those on whose part you fear desertion, admonish them, and leave them alone in the sleeping-places and beat them; then if they obey you, do not seek a way against them; surely Allah is High, Great.

This is always problematical when people who have read the Koran bring it up.

If your wife is doing something really bad and annoying, eg permanently intoxicated, going out clubbing every night, obviously having an affair etc, you can deal with this by:

1. scolding her first.

If that doesn't work

2. making her sleep in the spare bedroom or sofa

If that doesn't work

3. you send out invitations to friends and family to witness a wife-beating in the matrimonial home. Ask them to come so that they can see to it that you don't beat her too hard, hurt her and get done for ABH or GBH.

How should the Speaker John Bercow chastise his wife?

Sample wording to the invitation:


It is with regret that I, Husband, am inviting you as a member of Wife's Family/Friends to witness a Wife-Beating. 

She has been told not to do X which is unIslamic  and unreasonable but she has not heeded my admonitions. 

I then banished her from the matrimonial bed but that has not worked either.  The next step is a beating according to 4:34, but I would not wish to inflict such a thing on Wife without witnesses for fear of getting carried away and committing  ABH, GBH or even homicide.  

May I therefore remind you of your Islamic duty to see to it that Wife comes to no harm and I do not end up in the dock. 

No doubt she will want to give her side of things too before commencement of the beating, so it promises to be interesting!  Do come. 

Refreshments provided.

If that doesn't her make her fall in with your wishes you can proceed straight to divorce (but skipping the procedure of beating).  

I suppose you could give her a slap on the wrist in front of the assembled guests, for form's sake. 


In defence of that wife-beating verse in the Koran


Posie Parker said…
Another misogynist rambling. What about husband beating? If you're going to return to savage days why are you only persecuting women?

Were you raised in China?
Claire Khaw said…
I am not persecuting women, Posie, but interpreting the Koran.

I was not raised in China.
Posie Parker said…
So this is an interpretation you think we should follow? Or do you accept the Koran is just a re hashed and rather poorly written version of another little book?

Written in a time misogyny was acceptable and people were rather weak.
Claire Khaw said…
I can't see anything at all misogynistic in saying that it is only fair that you should defer to the person who pays and provides for you.
Posie Parker said…
Not person, man always man.
Claire Khaw said…
Posie, "Not person, man always man," does not quite make sense as a comment. Perhaps you would like to explain when you have a moment.
Tilo Reber said…
Clair: "I can't see anything at all misogynistic in saying that it is only fair that you should defer to the person who pays and provides for you."

There are two problems with it Clair. The first is that the wife and provider role is not one that the woman has a choice about in Islam. She cannot say, "hey I can choose to take care of myself or I can take my chance on getting beat up and have someone else take care of me". And she can't say, I'll get a job, pay half the bills, and then demand an equal role with no beatings.

Second, the assumption that a man will behave with restraint and fairness in giving beatings cannot be counted on at all. Once you give the green light with a verse like 4.34, everything goes out the window and millions of women are going to get the crap beat out of them by husbands that will feel no moral problem at all with doing it. The history of Islamic societies proves this to be true.
Claire Khaw said…
Nonsense, Tilo. Are you saying at present, *only* Muslim women get beaten? Some women will put up with it, and others not. There is no telling the future and any law is only as good as it is intepreted and enforced.

Anyway, I suspect the people most likely to suffer domestic violence are gay men.

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