“ Work force, their rights and nil more ; adult females, their rights and nil less. ” Susan B. Anthony

“ A adult male who desires to acquire married should cognize either everything or nil. ” Oscar Wilde

“ Question with daring even the being of a God ; because, if there be one, he must more O.K. of the court of ground, than that of blind-folded fright. ” Thomas Jefferson


Wife banging is a serious societal job found in every portion of the universe. The effects of force against adult females are far making, in add-on to the physical injury to the adult female herself, frequently there is durable psychological injury to the kids who witness this maltreatment.

Increasingly, spiritual work forces who commit these atrociousnesss against their adult females are warranting their behavior by citing Bible. In this essay I will look in bend at the position of adult females and how they ought to be treated, as described by the Bibles of the three Abrahamic religions and discourse whether there is any biblical countenance for the ill-treatment of adult females.


Religion and Bible are of import personal and institutional worlds in the lives of the followings of the great Abrahamic religions, Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Through their assorted texts, instructions and philosophy, these faiths shape the values and behavior of their members. In add-on, when faced with life ‘s jobs, members frequently turn to their spiritual leaders for support and guidance. While spiritual texts are critical resources to help with life ‘s challenges, they can besides be misused to pardon or excuse opprobrious behavior. In the context of force against adult females, spiritual philosophy and Bible continue to play an active function – they will ne’er be impersonal.

It is of import here to acknowledge that there is a enormous diverseness even within these three religions ; in Judaism there is the Orthodox and broad tradition, in Christianity there exist the Catholics, Protestants and a battalion of denominations in between ; Islam has the five chief schools of idea. Added to this is the tremendous sway of civilization and tradition, and it becomes hard to pick out the changing strands of influence that consequence in force against adult females. The episodes of force against adult females in the chief Bibles will supply a utile start.


The household and place are cardinal to Jewish spiritual and cultural life. Yet, the construct of the holiness of the harmonious place has been misused by some who place on adult females the exclusive duty to keep peace in the place and has even been used to coerce adult females to stay in or return to places in which they have been victims of maltreatment.

The Torah itself is full with cases of canonic force against adult females. Examples are:

The colza of Dinah, girl of Jacob, by a powerful prince, but her male parent ( a Prophet! ) does non protest and even call on the carpet his boies for taking retaliation. ( Genesis 34 )

The colza of Tamar, girl of David ( a Prophet ) by her brother Amnon – David, though enraged, does nil and Tamar is comforted by her full brother Absalom, and dies a “ bare adult female. ” ( 2 Samuel ) .

In order to protect his ain life, a Levite offers his courtesan to be physically abused by the wicked work forces of Gibeah. He subsequently cuts her organic structure up into 12 pieces. ( Judges 19 )

Jephthah the Gileadite burns his lone girl to decease to carry through a vow he made to God ( Judges 11 )


Christianity similarly teaches about the holiness of adult male and adult female and the matrimonial bond ; nevertheless, many Biblical narrations and directives provide small comfort for adult females. Furthermore, Biblical bookmans have historically relegated the adult female to the place of an animate being or worse. For case, in his “ Rules of Marriage ” , Friar Cherubino of the fifteenth Century advised, “ Reprimand your married woman, and if this still does n’t work… take up a stick and crush her soundly… for it is better to penalize the organic structure and rectify the psyche than to damage the psyche and protect the organic structure. ”

The Bible contains many transitions depicting and excusing force against adult females, for illustration:

A priest ‘s girl, if found to hold lost her virginity without matrimony, can have the decease punishment, but in the signifier of incineration. ( Leviticus 21:9 )

“ Let the adult females learn in silence with all subjugation. But I suffer non a adult female to learn, nor to usurp authorization over the adult male, but to be in silence. For Adam was foremost formed, so Eve. And Adam was non deceived, but the adult female being deceived was in the evildoing. ” ( 1Ti/1Ti002.html # 11 ” I Timothy 2:11-14 )

“ Of the adult female came the beginning of wickedness, and through her we all die. ” ( Eccles. 25:22 )


The poetry singled out for scathing unfavorable judgment by the oppositions of Islam and the advocates of adult females ‘s rights is the poetry mentioned 4/34, which prescribes the stairss to cover with the ill-conduct or “ high-handedness ” ( nushuz ) of one ‘s married woman.


And ( as for ) those [ adult females ] on whose portion you fear ill-conduct, warn them, and [ if that does non do any difference, so ] leave them entirely in the sleeping-places and [ if that does non do any difference, so ] strike them ( 4:34 )


In position of the fact that suggestions that adult females are inferior to work forces are found in the Bible and traditions of all three Abrahamic religions, it is apprehensible that work forces of spiritual strong belief would utilize these suggestions to take the affair to the following measure, force. Contempt of course leads to violent behavior and work forces of speedy pique and violent temperaments would state themselves that their actions were justified by God Himself.

In the remainder of the essay I will see merely the illustration of Islam, and in peculiar, verse 4/34, because Muslim work forces who have resorted to physical force against their married womans have felt vindicated by the phrasing of the poetry.

The treatment by both Muslim vindicators and oppositions likewise flexible joints on the significance of the word “ yadribuhunna ” ( strike them ) in the poetry. The root word daraba, has a wealth of derived significances, all incorporating the thought of a kind of farewell and separation. The undermentioned significances can all be considered:

“ To strike ” : Most Qur’anic bookmans have favoured this proficient significance of daraba, and so proceeded to offer a assortment of accounts, normally defensive.

“ To turn away from ” or “ to distribute with ” : Therefore when mentioning to the address of person who is talking nonsensical, or to a piece of baseless authorship, one might state, “ fadribuhu ‘ala’l jidar ” ( throw it at the wall ) , which is an fable for, “ do non pay attending to it ” .

“ Separating ” or “ separation ” : This significance for daraba can besides be applied to the poetry under consideration, because it has been mentioned that the term daraba has been used here because it denotes a sudden farewell as opposed to a gradual one.

“ Indifference ” or “ disregard ” : This significance appears more consistent with the subject of the poetry, which describes the phases of the hubby ‘s response to the nushuz displayed by his married woman.


The Qur’an ‘s basic stance is that Muslim adult females are first and first Muslims, the spiritual peers of work forces.

The legion possible readings of Q. 4:34 service to foreground the function of human ( and hence fallible ) mind in groking Bible. The fact that so many different positions exist as to what any peculiar word – such as daraba – shows that any effort to repair the significance of this ( or any ) poetry one time and for all is doomed to failure.

There is a crisp divide between traditional readings of this poetry, which stress female obeisance and male authorization, and modern-day readings, which emphasize the fiscal constituent of work forces ‘s matrimonial responsibilities and the bounds on a hubby ‘s power over his married woman. Many Moslems have gravitated toward the latter positions, as they are more in maintaining non merely with modern esthesias in general, but besides the Qur’anic portraiture of adult females in other poetries as full human existences and spouses in the relationship of matrimony. Yet, nevertheless converting one finds the progressive statements that a adult male ‘s striking his married woman is non permitted by Q. 4:34, it is impossible to take all difference or hierarchy from this poetry without making force to the Qur’anic text itself.

This is non a job unique to marriage or to dealingss between work forces and adult females: the tenseness between equality in religious affairs and hierarchy in secular affairs applies to many societal state of affairss addressed by the Qur’an ( such as wealth / poorness or freedom / bondage ) . Nor is it alone to the Qur’an or Islam ; such tensenesss exist in other Bibles and in other faiths. The books of law province that the slightest physical force towards one ‘s married woman, if it bruises her tegument, carries a punishment ( diya ) ; such an act of castigation is non permitted for the adult male for any ground. On the other manus, it is dubious whether a igniter or soft blow may hold any consequence in castigating a rebellious married woman and doing her to change her behavior ; in fact it is extremely improbable that such an act would decide anything.

In warning the married woman, twelfth-century legal expert Ibn ‘Arabi provinces that she is to be reminded of her “ responsibilities of obeisance to her hubby ” and “ of the grade that he has over her. ” His modern-day Ibn ‘Atiya provinces that “ The significance of ‘admonish them ‘ is: remind them of the bid of God, and name them to their duties from the book of God and the Sunnah ( tradition ) of God ‘s Prophet. ” The 2nd step, forsaking ( hijr ) of the matrimonial bed, is given a assortment of readings. It may affect turning one ‘s dorsum to one ‘s married woman while in the same bed ; non talking to her, though intercourse may happen ; avoiding intercourse ; or speech production and holding intercourse, but “ with harsh and forceful words. ” The most common reading is by and large that the married woman is to be left to kip entirely for a period of clip. If either of these steps plants, and causes the married woman to give up her nushuz and return to obeisance, so the hubby may non, these governments affirm, “ prosecute a scheme against her. ”

Striking is merely allowable, harmonizing to traditional governments, in instances where the hubby has already admonished the married woman and abandoned her in bed without any alteration in the married woman ‘s behavior. Under these fortunes, he may strike her. There are restrictions placed on how he may make so, including that he must hit her in a manner that is “ non-violent ” ( “ ghayr mubarrih ” ) and must non interrupt castanetss, leave contusions, or do blood to flux. Additionally, based on the Prophet ‘s ( S ) order in another context that one should ne’er hit another Muslim ‘s face, he must non strike her face. A minority topographic point extra bounds, such as that the contact must be done with a miswak ( a branchlet used for a toothbrush ) a folded fabric, or a blade of grass, but these are utmost readings.

A figure of modern-day writers composing from moderate places, such as Jamal Badawi, have stressed these restrictions, reasoning that the contact referred to in the Qur’an is a “ more of a symbolic gesture than a punitory 1. ” These observers frequently note that of the Muslim work forces who strike their married womans, few do so after warning and a period of kiping apart, nor do they follow the bounds that exegetes have imposed, such as non striking the married woman ‘s face. Therefore, such writers argue, one can non fault the being of “ true force ” among Muslims on Q. 4:34.

In instances of nushuz, the legal experts are more concerned with ( passing for ) the action of the adult male with respects to halting the care of his married woman and non the affair of crushing or physical castigation. As a regulation, legal experts have non made a thorough scrutiny of the issue of crushing, instead they have focused on its secondary inside informations ; such as the figure and frequence of blows, the fortunes under which the culprit is excused from holding to pay the punishment or blood-money ( diya ) , or if the adult female displays her refractory behavior continually and every twenty-four hours, how many times may the adult male resort to hitting her, and for how long such force is permitted, etc. These inquiries need to be discussed in item but even a drawn-out scrutiny may non be able reference all the issues that arise in this respect.

Yet for others, this account is deficient. Rendering the hubby ‘s right to strike his married woman simply symbolic foliages open the inquiry of why it is permitted at all. If verbal entreaties and a chilling off period of sexual separation both fail, it seems unreasonable to anticipate that “ a soft pat ” “ may salvage the matrimony, ” as Badawi besides states. Thus, some have argued that we must understand the poetry otherwise.

Others have suggested that instead than permission for hubbies to strike their married womans, the poetry refers to punishment that can be imposed by the public governments for certain evildoings. However, if we take daraba here to intend “ striking ” , and we assume that the Qur’an requires that in such fortunes, the adult male should oblige his married woman to restart her responsibilities and duties by raising his manus to her, so that she comes back to her senses, so moving on this reading will likely hold an inauspicious consequence for the grounds discussed below:

Normally physical subject will merely force a adult female into a place of resentment and animus, particularly when she realizes that the hubby has used his last resort and can make no more to halt her ; at this clip she may experience there is nil more he can direct at her.

Any physical action will normally ensue in an inauspicious reaction, and may drive the adult female to go even more entrenched and resolute in her misbehavior. This is particularly the instance particularly for adult females who have a quarrelsome nature and who are more prone to antagonism so adult females of a calmer and healthy disposition.

Therefore the usage of penalty and force on this type of adult females will merely indurate their stubbornness, sometimes taking to a loss of control on both sides with unpredictable consequences. Whenever one embarks on a method of castigation to convey about conformity and finally reconstruct an affectionate relationship between the partners, there is ever the possibility that the result may non be positive, or that the rift between them becomes even deeper or the opportunity of any common understanding in the hereafter is weakened.

To oblige the adult female to compliance through physical force is non an agreeable procedure psychologically for both partners and will non supply interior contentment to either 1. In clip it will gnaw their love for one another and finally may take to the dislocation of the matrimony. On the other manus, it seems that the antecedently described measure of entire disassociation from the married woman, while she still lives within the family, may be the stimulation that causes her to reexamine affairs and believe about the hereafter and carry her to reform her behavior. Furthermore, such a rejection by her hubby is unpleasant for the married woman and she would non be able to bear or digest it for long.

No 1 can deny that the concluding measure in this series of actions, which seemingly seems irrevokable, where the married woman has resolutely rejected all the attempts of her hubby to reconstruct harmonious dealingss, is divorce. Divorce is the last resort when every other class of action fails.

Therefore when all three stairss fail to accomplish the conformity of the married woman, and no sum of logical thinking can alter her inappropriate behavior, the hubby embarks on a class of lasting separation and disintegration of the matrimony by raising divorce. When the hubby is convinced that nil will interrupt the deadlock and that the matrimonial bond has broken down wholly, he brings approximately alleviation from the stormy relationship through the bureau of divorce, without the demand for any physical castigation or action.

In an interesting comment, the Prophet ( S ) has stated: I am amazed at the 1 who strikes his married woman, while he is more worth to be struck himself ; make non strike your married womans with canes, because there is a legislative revenge ( qisas ) for that. Rather, castigate them with a curtailment in their care ; therefore, you shall derive felicitousness in this universe and the following.

Here the Prophet ( S ) reminds work forces that it is more good to them to derive the attending of adult females by penalizing them by restricting their allowances instead than by physically striking them. This is because, on the one manus, it will deter them from rebellious and improper behavior, and on the other, you will non be answerable in forepart of God and, in the afterlife, you will hold a defense mechanism for your actions

Finally, by comparing the state of affairs with the figure of married womans, we may state that the Qur’an allows four married womans as a decrease from the battalion of married womans that people had ; likewise, the contact of the married woman was mentioned as the really last resort, because often Arabs at the clip would hit their adult females at the least excuse..

AN UNUSUAL Defense mechanism!

The Grand Ayatollah Nasir Makarem Shirazi, after showing the usual exegesis of the poetry, makes an unusual observation:

“ Third, modern psychologists are in understanding that some adult females have a status called masochism ( azaartalabi ) and when this status is exacerbated in them the lone manner to give them alleviation is by a limited sum of physical penalty… this supplying a step of mental release. ”

Possibly it is fortunate that this exegesis has non yet been translated into English ; therefore far it appears to hold escaped the regard of Persian women’s rightists!


Critical Rationalism is a method of increasing cognition, non by verifying theories, but by distorting them. Basically, the methodological analysis provinces that while no figure of favorable observations can turn out a cosmopolitan statement true, a individual unfavorable observation is sufficient to rebut it. In his book, The Myth of the Framework, Popper states, “ I hold that orthodoxy is the decease of cognition, since the growing of cognition depends wholly on the being of dissension. ” In short, everything should be unfastened to critical analysis. Nothing is sacred in that respect.

Initially, we may get down by acknowledging that we can non verify the high quality or absence of it of adult male over the adult females from the Qur’an. However, by utilizing Popper ‘s methodological analysis, we can work in contrary. We can govern out the fact that the potency of a adult female is less than that of a adult male by mentioning several poetries, for illustration:


And whoever does good workss whether male or female and he ( or she ) is a truster — these shall come in the garden, and they shall non be dealt with a jot unjustly. ( 4:124 )


Whoever does good whether male or female and he is a truster, We will most surely make him populate a happy life, and We will most surely give them their wages for the best of what they did. ( 16:97 )


O you work forces! certainly We have created you of a male and a female, and made you folks and households that you may cognize each other ; certainly the most honorable of you with Allah is the 1 among you most careful ( of his responsibility ) ; certainly Allah is Knowing, Aware. ( 49:13 )

Next we can utilize ration to ground that crushing person ne’er increased their love – despite the remark of Grand Ayatollah Nasir Makarem. One presumes that the Qur’anic prescription is meant to promote rapprochement. Therefore, it seems that here the Qur’an advises the hubby who has unsuccessfully tried to reprimand his rebellious married woman by two milder agencies, to eventually either separate from her or work stoppage her, depending on what we take as the significance of daraba.

Finally, by comparing the state of affairs with the figure of married womans, we may state that the Qur’an allows four married womans as a decrease from the battalion of married womans that people had ; likewise, the contact of the married woman could be a mentioned as the really last resort, but surely non the first response.


From the foregoing, it appears that in the Qur’an at least, the opportunity of geting God ‘s grace and accomplishing redemption is every bit unfastened to work forces and adult females. By looking at the Qur’anic worldview, it appears highly improbable that the Qur’an is directing towards, or approving matrimonial physical force.

Analysis by the application of critical logical thinking makes the intent of the poetry 4:34 clearer and less controversial.

We can state that, in the face of intransigency of the married woman, the hubby is recommended to rectify affairs in the prescribed phases action. Each clip, he should avoid any harshness towards her and patiently wait to see if his action has had an consequence.

Initially, the adult male must gently advocate his married woman, and remind her of her duties, and promote her to reconsider her actions which have resulted in the sadness in the life they portion together. However, if the attempts of the hubby are to no help, and the married woman persists in her improper behavior, he must respond cautiously by merely go forthing the matrimonial bed but remain in the house and do no open alteration to the normal modus operandi of the family. This is because the poetry of the Qur’an stipulates merely the act of go forthing the bed at this phase and no more.

If this action besides does non convey about a alteration in the married woman ‘s behavior, and the hubby ‘s attempts are all in vain, so a sterner step is required in an effort to interrupt the deadlock. This measure requires the hubby to cut off all contact with his married woman within the house and take a wholly separate life. It is as if he has removed the married woman from her topographic point of focal point in the family, with the purpose that she herself changes her head to forestall a farther impairment in the state of affairs.

Failing this, the concluding measure is to divide from her, non strike her.