Reverberating sounds of slaps, punches and screaming echoes through the corridors into the room. A chaos of sounds made on and from the body. My younger sibling crawls up to me and seeks protection in my arms while I try to control my anger and the hot tears in my eyes. I am hearing my mother getting beaten and I’m powerless to prevent it .
Quran 4:34 has given me the worst experiences and memories ever. The strings of incidents that still follows and that prevents me from being honest about who I am. I have no patience for apologists and Muslims who try and excuse this verse. I have seen it first hand many times. It is sanctioned in Islam. That is a fact.
Yes, my dad is a wife beater. I don’t know why I am sharing this story here. But I want to speak about it, and how it was, is and will be always justified with a Quranic verse. I know the fact the Qu’ran justifies it will be hard to accept but the truth always is.
The verse didn’t make him beat his wife. I am aware of that, but it helps him to justify his action as it is permissible to “strike ones wife if you fear arrogance from her”. But still I couldn’t always accept that as an excuse for the violence in the place I call my home. He didn’t fear Allah, didn’t think he was committing any sin by beating her.
Going between them never helps, because what happens between a man and his wife can not be questioned either. (Sunan Abu Dawood: 2142) Our most beloved prophet allowed a man to beat his wife. And apologists say he was a feminist and Islam honours women when you see so many verses that are obviously making women inferior to men.
Wife beating and all the Quranic verses and Hadiths that justifies such violence were one of the reason why I left Islam. I couldn’t stay in a religion that allows violence or inhuman activities.
It didn’t matter what she would have done or where and how light he beat her. The only thing that mattered was Islam allowed wife beating to keep your wife in check, and make her submit to you and your needs.
Muhammad said do not strike on the face. It’s the principle that mattered. However lightly, it’s still domestic abuse.
The Quranic verses that talks about wife beating:
- …But those [wives] from whom you fear arrogance – [first] advise them; [then if they persist], forsake them in bed; and [finally], strike them. But if they obey you [once more], seek no means against them… (4:34)
I know that the last Ayah talks about not breaking an oaths. But if you read the story behind it you will understand that the beating there wasn’t necessary. But to God breaking ones oath is worse than beating his wife. He didn’t care about the women’s sufferings that were about to arise from that verse.
Muhammad himself hit his favourite wife Aisha in the chest(Sahih Muslim, Book 004, Number 2127)
Bukhari (72:715), Muslim (4:2127), Muslim (9:3506), Abu Dawud (2141) are some among the authentic justifications about wife beating in Islam. The point is it’s not a unislamic issue , in fact it’s VERY Islamic.
This is the matter in many Muslim households all around the world. My story is neither the worst, nor uncommon. Reading them are not going to stop it but it will at least encourage us to learn about the original ideology.