During a TV debate on wife beating, Egyptian TV host Said Hassassin quoted a statistic that said that Egypt is number one worldwide in wives beating their husbands. Egyptian researcher Huwayda Abdul Khaleq said that according to shari'a law, a man may beat his wife after he has admonished her verbally and left the conjugal bed. She also said that the purpose of the beating is to humiliate the wife. Egyptian lawyer Ayman Mahfouz claimed that it is his Quranic right to beat his wife, and that it is the woman's job to defuse her husband's anger. He said that the woman is partly responsible because her actions lead to the beatings. The debate aired on Al-Rafideen + TV (Egypt) on October 29, 2018.
Following are excerpts:
Said Hassassin: We all know that martial life has its ups and downs. There is happiness, sadness, love, quarrels, problems, heartaches, and satisfaction. That's very natural between any two spouses, and as time goes by, life becomes ordinary and many problems are solved. What is not natural at all is when these problems turn into mutual humiliation and physical assault. According to statistics by the National Center for Social Research, Egypt is number one worldwide in wives beating their husbands. It's not only husbands who beat their wives. It's also the other way around, thank God…
Women are meant to be gentle-hearted, whereas men are meant to be real men, who can take care of the household. A man should not use his strength to beat his wife. This is unmanly. A woman also must not raise her voice at her husband in order to feel like a woman, or in order to be heard at home. At the end of the day… When they get engaged, they call each other "baby" all the time. She calls him "my life," and he tells her that he can't sleep without hearing her voice. This is when they are engaged. But it all goes downhill once they get married, and every day is worse than the day before. Why? For the life of me, I have no idea.
Is it normal for a man to beat his wife?
Huwayda Abdul Khaled: If we look at it from the standpoint of the shari'a – it does not say that he should beat her. It says that there are several steps he must take before he can beat her. What did [the shari'a] say?
Said Hassassin: Leave the conjugal bed…
Huwayda Abdul Khaled: First, it says: "Admonish them."
Said Hassassin: That's right…
Huwayda Abdul Khaled: If my wife behaves in a manner that does not please me, I should tell her: "That's wrong, that upsets me, don't do it." If it works then that's the end of it. But what if it doesn't? The shari'a says: "Leave the conjugal bed." You should leave [her bed] so that she knows that she has upset you. You should leave her bed and go sleep in another room. What if this doesn't work either? In this case, the shari'a says: "Beat them," but only after the previous two steps.
Abeer Hosny: Beat them with what?
Huwayda Abdul Khaled: I'm getting there. The shari'a says: "Beat them," but there is no religious text or prophetic hadith that specifies how it should be done. However, the Islamic scholars said that the beating must not be hard. He should not hit her face.
Abeer Hosny: They said that he should use a siwak.
Huwayda Abdul Khaled: Hold on, I'm reviewing the opinions of many scholars, not just one. Some of them said that the beating should not be hard, and that the face should not be hit.
Said Hassassin: Abeer is trying to tease you…
Abeer Hosny: That's right…
Huwayda Abdul Khaled: The purpose of the beating is not to inflict pain, but to humiliate the wife.
Said Hassassin: To draw her attention to…
Huwayda Abdul Khaled: No, to humiliate!
Ayman Mahfouz: You must admit that beating [my wife] is my Quranic right. But misusing this right…
Dr. Du'aa Layla: You will never get me to admit that beating is…
Ayman Mahfouz: Do you want to change the Quran?
Dr. Du'aa Layla: No, I do not…
Ayman Mahfouz: Doesn't it give me the right to beat [my wife]?
Are you willing to destroy a home just because you were beaten? You share the responsibility. You drove him to beat you.
Abeer Hosny: He was impossible to live with.
Ayman Mahfouz: You are ready to destroy a home and a family just because you were beaten?
Dr. Du'aa Layla: You don't realize the psychological effects of this beating…
Ayman Mahfouz: But why were you beaten in the first place? What did you do to make him beat you? Why did you make him assert his right?
Did I say that I want to beat her?
Abeer Hosny: No, but…
Ayman Mahfouz: Am I happy to do it? No, but it is my right. And you should know that I will use it.
Abeer Hosny: There are many ways to avoid beating [your wife]. You can shut yourself in your room.
Ayman Mahfouz: That's just great.
Abeer Hosny: You can get away from her. Why wouldn't you do that?
Ayman Mahfouz: When I come back tired from work, I should just leave her alone and get out?
Abeer Hosny: Yes. Why not?
Ayman Mahfouz: I work all day long…
Abeer Hosny: So get in your room and close the door.
Ayman Mahfouz: That's just great.
Abeer Hosny: What, it's better to come home from work and beat your wife?
Ayman Mahfouz: Do I come back home with the intention of beating her?
Dr. Du'aa Layla: What I am trying to say is…
Ayman Mahfouz: You are the one making me beat you. Even if I beat you… You should defuse the man's anger.