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Dec 30, 2004
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A Discussion on Wife Beating in Islam

#455 | 03:09
Source: MBC TV (Saudi Arabia)

The following is a discussion on wife-beating in Islam:

Host: I want to ask Dr. Yusri something. You are among those who defend wife beating. You yourself beat your wife and you defend your beliefs. Why do you beat your wife? How many times…

Dr. Yusri: We are getting sidetracked. The honorable sheikh is talking about violence. First of all, let's clarify the meaning of the word "violence". Violence is forbidden from the social, religious, and traditional perspectives.

Host: Beatings are also forbidden.

Dr. Yusri: No, no. One moment. When we define the meaning of the word "violence"… In the language, "violence" is when I do something or when I act in a harsh and brutal manner, when the same could have been done in a less harsh manner. The Prophet Muhammad said: "Allah rewards gentleness than He rewards violence." For instance, if there is a door that I can open with one finger, but I hit it hard or punch it, them I'm violent.

Host: Do you give your wife "light" beatings? I wish you would answer.

Dr. Yusri: I just told you - the term "violence" does not apply to beatings.

Host: It doesn't?!

Dr. Yusri: No. It doesn't. The term "violence" does not apply to beatings.

Host: So what would you call beatings then?

Dr. Yusri: Beatings are in some cases called "violence," and in other cases they are not. In those cases, they are termed "treatment", or "remedy".

Host: Yusri, you are beating around the bush. She asked you a question: Why do you beat your wife? Why do you beat your wife?!

Dr. Yusri: If there are cases in which (beating) is required by logic, by reason, or by religion… Allah said, regarding women: "Admonish those of them on whose part you fear disobedience and leave them alone in their beds and beat them." What should we do with the words "beat them"? I have an interpretation of the word "beat". What is the meaning of the word "beatings"?

Al-Jundi: The problem here is even more serious. The problem is that this is a justification for aggression against others based on a Koranic verse.

Dr. Yusri: This isn't aggression.

Al-Jundi: Beatings are aggression. Beatings are aggression, since they inflict bodily pain. It is inflicting bodily pain on another. Whatever term is used, this is the meaning. The word "beating" means inflicting pain.

Dr. Yusri: So what should we do with this verse – "and beat them"?

Al-Jundi: Are there any prophetic traditions saying that the Prophet punched 'Aisha, or punched Hadija, or poked Hafza's eye or… Such things never happened, and we will not allow this offense against Islam. The problem is more severe than the beating of a wife. The problem is that Islam is being beaten up from all directions. It is Islam that is being beaten up. Why? It is because of this savage behavior that we call "wife beating". Savage behavior in which people treat their wives like slaves at the slave-market, and beat them. The Prophet forbade this. He said, "Don't beat your wives as you would a slave."

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