In Islam, a man beats his wife to honor her

Don’t look at me like that. I’m just repeating the words of the honored Egyptian cleric, Sa’d Arafat. Beatings were instituted by Allah to honor wives:

And I just love the look on the interviewer’s face, as if he’s hearing this marvelous revelation: “Oh, I get it! It’s okay for me to beat her if she denies me sex! It’s all so clear now!”

From the transcript:

Sa’d Arafat: Allah honored wives by instating the punishment of beatings.

Interviewer: Honored them with beatings? How is this possible?!

Sa’d Arafat: The prophet Muhammad said: “Don’t beat her in the face, and do not make her ugly.” See how she is honored. If the husband beats his wife, he must not beat her in the face. Even when he beats her, he must not curse her. This is incredible! He beats her in order to discipline her.

In addition, there must not be more than ten beatings, and he must not break her bones, injure her, break her teeth, or poke her in the eye. There is a beating etiquette. If he beats to discipline her, he must not raise his hand high. He must beat her from chest level. All these things honor the woman.

Understand, guys? There are rules to wife-beating. We must observe the proprieties. And just so we’re clear about the “when” part:

Sa’d Arafat: The honoring of the wife in Islam is also evident in the fact that the punishment of beating is permissible in one case only: when she refuses to sleep with him.

Interviewer: When she refuses to sleep with him?

Sa’d Arafat: Yes, because where else could the husband go? He wants her, but she refuses. He should begin with admonishment and threats…

Interviewer: Allow me to repeat this. A man cannot beat his wife…

Interviewer: …over food or drink. Beatings are permitted only in this case, which the husband cannot do without.

Note the logic here: a man must have sex, he cannot go without it. The woman, by refusing him, is denying her husband something he must have and is therefore in need of discipline – a beating. This illustrates something Ayaan Hirsi Ali has repeatedly pointed out in her books: that Islam makes the woman responsible for the sexual behavior of the man. He can’t control himself, so why is she hurting him by withholding something he needs? The same perverse reasoning is used to justify the whole structure of the oppression of women in Islam, from restrictive, dehumanizing dress codes to the punishment of rape victims.

Somehow, I think this is the kind of “honor” women would rather do without.

UPDATE: Thanks for the links, Lori!

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)

Sa’d Arafat: Allah honored wives by instating the punishment of beatings.

Interviewer: Honored them with beatings? How is this possible?!

Sa’d Arafat: The prophet Muhammad said: “Don’t beat her in the face, and do not make her ugly.” See how she is honored. If the husband beats his wife, he must not beat her in the face. Even when he beats her, he must not curse her. This is incredible! He beats her in order to discipline her.

In addition, there must not be more than ten beatings, and he must not break her bones, injure her, break her teeth, or poke her in the eye. There is a beating etiquette. If he beats to discipline her, he must not raise his hand high. He must beat her from chest level. All these things honor the woman.

She is in need of discipline. How should the husband discipline her? Through admonishment. If she is not deterred, he should refuse to share the bed with her. If she is not repentant, he should beat her, but there are rules to the beating. It is forbidden to beat her in the face or make her ugly. When you beat her, you must not curse her. Islam forbids this.

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17 Responses to In Islam, a man beats his wife to honor her

  1. [...] an Islamic man actually beat his wife to honor her? Public Secrets provides the [...]

  2. [...] If a beating is an honor, what is a stoning? Yesterday I wrote about an Egyptian Muslim cleric who told us that the beating of women was instituted by Allah to honor women. [...]

  3. David says:

    I told my wife that I was going to use the Islamic reasoning. She beat me up like usual.

    Seriously, why don’t the women in these societies stand up. If they would ban together, like in the US, they could reverse this form of reasoning. It seems to me that the women are in a way as much to blame for allowing things to happen to them. Of course one big obstical is the interaction of religion with the state and when the state weilds its power, then groups can not have any effect. That is why I am very concerned over the infusion of religion into our national arguments. The state should be strictly amoral. That is coming from someone that is far right.

    • Reem says:

      hi David .. i’m a woman from the Middle east … a muslim who also wears her veil … i feel so surprised that u have such an idea abt Muslim women .. u think we get beaten up n we r so opressed … just wanna tell u that pls don’t take superficial explanations n take them as rules … it’s a very deep topic .. women in Islam r sooooooo respected n sometimes spoiled .. i can explain why to u if u r interested !!! but pls don’t believe who ever posts something silly abt us !!!! n hey .. don’t do that to ur wife again … to avoid u be beaten up .. ha ha ha

  4. Sissy Willis says:

    One can only surmise they fear their undersizement.

    “The American was primitive in his art as well. ‘Jazz is his preferred music, and it is created by Negroes to satisfy their love of noise and to whet their sexual desires,’ he concluded.”

    “The woman made me do it, Lord”

    http://sisu.typepad.com/sisu/2004/01/the_woman_made_.html

  5. [...] honored wives by instating the punishment of beatings.” So said Cleric Sa’d Arafat earlier this year. Last month, a Wellesley, Massachusetts public school took a trip to a mosque, where the school [...]

  6. [...] honored wives by instating the punishment of beatings.” So said Cleric Sa’d Arafat earlier this year. Last month, a Wellesley, Massachusetts public school took a trip to a mosque, where the school [...]

  7. [...] honored wives by instating the punishment of beatings.” So said Cleric Sa’d Arafat earlier this year. Last month, a Wellesley, Massachusetts public school took a trip to a mosque, where the school [...]

  8. Rachel Ann says:

    Um, pardon me but before getting the right to beat his wife wasn’t he suppose to refuse to sleep with her? So he refuses to share his bed because she refused to share her bed and then he gets to beat her because she refused him….
    Not only disgusting but logically inconsistent.

    • Reem says:

      yep rachel .. it doen’t make sense … can’t agree more… i’m a muslim … i know the rules … it’s nt like wt they seem 2 say here …. islam is nt like this … things r deeper than this … it says a woman shouldn’t refuse to sleep with her husband ..otherwise she’ll drive him to adultery … this is the reason … but beating is nt like u got it here .. actually it’s a bit complicated … but anyway .. u should know other sides of the matter too ..women r so dignified in Islam !!! so much … hope u know this already !!!

  9. [...] honored wives by instating the punishment of beatings.” So said Cleric Sa’d Arafat earlier this year. Last month, a Wellesley, Massachusetts public school took a trip to a mosque, where the school [...]

  10. [...] A few weeks ago, I presented a video clip featuring a distinguished Egyptian cleric who told a rapt interviewer that Allah had created the punishment of beating a wife for refusing her husband sex and that this was a way of honoring her. [...]

  11. [...] honored wives by instating the punishment of beatings.” So said Cleric Sa’d Arafat earlier this year. Last month, a Wellesley, Massachusetts public school took a trip to a mosque, where the school [...]

  12. [...] Are an Honor Tweet “Allah honored wives by instating the punishment of beatings.” So said Cleric Sa’d Arafat earlier this year. Last month, a Wellesley, Massachusetts public school took a trip to a mosque, where the school [...]

  13. [...] honored wives by instating the punishment of beatings.” So said Cleric Sa’d Arafat earlier this year. Last month, a Wellesley, Massachusetts public school took a trip to a mosque, where the school [...]

  14. [...] PS: The interview was conducted on the BBC’s Arabic channel, and I was glad to see the interviewer challenge this schmuck on his medieval misogyny, unlike the Egyptian interviewer who looked like he was excited to hear the good news that he could honor his wife by beating her. [...]

  15. Reem says:

    hello everybody … this comes from a Muslim woman who lives in the Middle east … pls don’t take things as they seem …women r so dignified in Isalm by family n husbands .. we r free women who have careers, education .. status in society …i don’t know why ur media focuses on controversial stuff leaving important things behind ???? islam is nt as they try to make it look .. women r even spoiled in Islam … so thanks to all those who got worried abt us .. this is just a msg to tell u all that we r ok .. islam respects us n dignifies us more than u can imagine !!!

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