In a recent TV sermon, Egyptian cleric Mazen Al-Sarsawi extolled the virtues of corporal punishment to keep wives in check. Using stories from the early days of Islam to support his argument, Al-Sawsawi said that when there are marital problems, "the solution is to give the man a free hand to discipline his family members and to control them. By no means can a woman be the head [of the family]."
In the sermon, aired January 7, 2010 on the Egyptian Islamic channel Al-Nas TV, Al-Sawsawi recounted the story of Said Ibn Al-Musayyib, a 7th-century Muslim scholar known for his piety, who married off his daughter to his student, Abu Wada'. Al-Musayyib imparted to his son-in-law advice on how to deal with his new wife: 'If she bothers you – if something annoys you, or if you suspect anything – beat her on the spot with the rod. Break her head."
He continued with another story – that of Asmaa, the daughter of the Caliph Abu Bakr, whose husband Zubeir would tie her to his other wife by their hair and beat them both. When Asmaa complained to her father about this unfairness, ("he beat me black and blue, even though I didn't do a thing"), Abu Bakr's response was: "Go back to Zubeir. He is a good man, and he may become your husband in Paradise."
Al-Sarsawi blamed modern media – television and the movies – for fomenting "a revolution in domestic leadership," such that today "in many homes, the woman is the man. She tells her husband what to do, and he says: 'Yes, ma'am.'" He warned that handing over the leadership to women, who "cannot drive a car, let alone head a home, or anything beyond that," is destroying Muslim homes.
Al-Sarsawi also lashed out at women's rights supporters, saying that they hate women and "bring them down to sin." He said that women who go out to work expect equality and want to discuss everything – with the result that the home is turned "into a parliament." "Women's rights supporters in Europe and America are all swindlers," he said.
Al-Sarsawi warned that "for 50-60 years they have been using movies and TV series in order to effeminate men and make them soft. The boy grows up to be a Mickey Mouse, a mommy's boy" who when still in diapers has a cellphone, and who keeps his mother up to date on his every move. "Can someone like this ever do anything with his life?" Al-Sarsawi asks incredulously. "Of course not... Today, a boy grows up to be a sissy who cannot do anything." In the days of true Arab upbringing, in contrast, "they would throw the boy into the desert and let him grow up there, and they would not hear from him for three or four years. When he would return, he would be self-sufficient," Al-Sarsawi said.
Following are excerpts from the TV program.
To view this clip on MEMRI TV, visit http://www.memri.org/legacy/clip/2422.
To view the MEMRI TV page on Women's Topics, visit http://www.memri.org/subject/en/141.htm.
Ibn Al-Musayyib Married His Daughter Off to Ibn Abi Wada'
Mazen Al-Sarsawi: "[Said Ibn Al-Musayyib] went to the home of his student, Ibn Abi Wada', who was absent from his lessons for a day or two. Ibn Al-Musayyib asked him: 'Where have you been?'
"Ibn Abi Wada' said: 'My wife died, and I buried her. I was busy with that.' Ibn Al-Musayyib asked him: 'Are you single now? Did you marry again?' Ibn Abi Wada' said: 'No, I didn't. I am broke. Who would marry me?'
"Ibn Al-Musayyib said that he would marry off his daughter to Ibn Wada'.
"Ibn Abi Wada' said: 'When I got home after the prayer someone knocked on the door. I asked who it was, and he said: "It's Said.''
"All the Saids I know came to my mind except for Said Ibn Al-Musayyib, who for 40 years did not go too far from his home or mosque. For 40 years, Ibn Al-Musayyib would walk from his home to the mosque, and back, without visiting anyone. He didn't let anyone waste his time.
"Ibn Wada' said: 'I opened the door, and saw Ibn Al-Musayyib. Behind him was his daughter, whom he had married off to me. He pushed his daughter towards me, and said: "I didn't want you to spend even one night as a single man."
"He shut the door behind him and was gone. When the girl went in, she was so embarrassed that she fainted. She wasn't used to being around men. This may have been the first time she had seen a man other than her family members. When she found herself alone with her husband, she couldn't take it, and she fainted." [...]
"Ibn Musayyib: If She Doesn't Behave, Beat Her on the Spot"
"After a while, Ibn Wada' went to Said who asked: 'How is my daughter treating you?' Ibn Wada' said: 'She treats me in a way that pleases my friends and upsets my enemies.'
"Ibn Musayyib said: 'If she bothers you in anyway use the rod on her. If she doesn't behave beat her on the spot.' He showed him the proper way to restrain her.
"Ibn Musayyib said to him: 'If she bothers you – if something annoys you, or if you suspect anything – beat her on the spot with the rod. Break her head, as they say.'"
Satan Has Nested in the Heads of Men Who Do Not Follow the Ways of Islam or of Real Men
"This should be the position of men who want to protect their daughter's homes. Today, unfortunately, bad seeds have been sown by men who were not brought up on Islamic law. They do not follow the ways of Islam or the ways of real men. They were brought up on films and TV series. Satan has nested in their heads.
"One of these men, when his daughter comes to him full of anger, says to her: 'I will bring your husband over here on all fours. What, he thinks he can lord it over you?!' He gets his daughter even more worked up against her husband. The result is that her husband divorces her, and she ends up with her father. In other words, he ruins her life with this false bravado, which proves nothing but the mental feebleness of these people. Real men, however, act like Said." [...]
When Zubeir Got Mad At His Two Wives, He Would Tie Them Together by the Hair and Beat Them
"The same thing happened with Zubeir. He had two wives, and whenever he would get mad at them, he would tie them together by the hair and would give them a harsh beating, in order to straighten them out.
"The wife who shared Zubeir with Asmaa [the daughter of the Caliph Abu Bakr] was savvy, and during the beating, she would move right and left, so all the blows would rain down on Asmaa.
"Asmaa would turn to her father, all upset. Abu Bakr would say to her: 'Go back to your husband.' She would say: 'But he beat me black and blue, even though I didn't do a thing. He had no reason, I didn't say a word. It was the other wife. You know me - I didn't do a thing, but I was the one who got all the beatings.' But Abu Bakr would say to her: 'Go back to Zubeir. He is a good man, and he may become your husband in Paradise.'
"When there are problems, the solution is to give the man a free hand to discipline his family members and to control them. By no means can a woman be the head [of the family]. [...]
"The Modern Media Destroys the Homes of the Muslims... [and] "Hands the Leadership Over to Women"
"For a century or so, the media, the TV, and the movies, and all that crap have been trying to carry out a revolution in domestic leadership - from the man to the woman. They have succeeded."
"In many homes, the woman is the man. She tells her husband what to do, and he says: 'Yes, ma'am.'
"This is the influence of modern media, which destroys the homes of the Muslims. They want to turn things upside down, and hand the leadership over to women. A woman cannot drive a car, let alone head a home, or anything beyond that.
"Those supporters of women's rights, who lead people astray, hate women. They bring them down to sin. They have taken the woman from her home, severed her from her children, and incited her husband against her. Today, the woman works, and when she comes home, she says to her husband: 'We are equal. I bring in the money like you. I don't want to hear another word from you. We will open up a parliament here. From now on, you must ask for my opinion on everything. We will have a discussion on whether to cough or not.'
"There's nothing wrong with a consultation, but the home should not be turned into a parliament."[...]
Boys Now Grow Up to Be "A Mickey Mouse, a Mommy's Boy"; In the Days of True Arab Upbringing, Boys Would Be Thrown in the Desert to Become Self-Sufficient
"As I said, for 50-60 years they have been using movies and TV series, in order to effeminate men and make them soft. The boy grows up to be a Mickey Mouse, a mommy's boy.
"As soon as he is born, his father buys him a cell phone. He is still in diapers, and when he wants to cry, he cries into the cell phone, and his mother comes to nurse him. Then he goes to kindergarten or to school. As soon as he steps out of his room and into the living room, he calls his mother: 'I am in the living room, mommy.' When he reaches the elevator, he says: 'I've got to the elevator, mommy.' 'I'm on the bus, mommy.' 'I'm off the bus, mommy.' 'I'm in the classroom.' 'I've eaten my sandwiches.'
"What is this?! His mother sits all day by the cell phone, to hear what's going on with her sweetie. This way, her sweetie grows up to be a mommy's boy – completely helpless. If anyone so much as scratches his head, he calls his mother. You tell me, can someone like this ever do anything with his life? Of course not. He is under his mother's wing.
"The Bedouins would let their boys grow up far away from home. The wet nurse would take the boys and bring them up away from their parents, so that they would grow up to be men, and not women.
"Today, a boy grows up to be a sissy who cannot do anything. Back in the day, when there was true Arab upbringing, they would throw the boy into the desert and let him grow up there, and they would not hear from him for three or four years. When he would return, he would be self-sufficient.
"Not all homes are built on love and romance, like in those movies. True, there are homes where there is love, and Islam decrees this, but it doesn't have to be love like in the movies. They teach people that love means listening to music and gazing at the stars. If you gaze at the stars these days, you will get run over by a car. [...]
"Women's Rights Supporters in Europe and America Are All Swindlers"
"The women's rights supporters in Europe and America are all swindlers. They don't do any of the things they talk about. Their women are like merchandise. They talk about women's rights and say that they are granting women their liberties, but they take them from their homes, and turn them into merchandise in the hands of lowlifes. They use women for ads. They use them as prostitutes.
"Their women are in the gutter. They are exposed for anyone to see. Their women have become merchandise. When they make an ad for men's shaving cream, they put a naked woman next to it. What's a woman got to do with something like that? In an ad for a coffee table or a car, they place a naked woman next to it."