Women in Islam and Christian Domestic Discipline

Women in Islam and Christian Domestic Discipline

Women in Islam:

Wife Discipline

Allah, the Exalted, stated in the Glorious Qur’an:

(… As to those women on whose part you see ill-conduct, admonish them (first), (next,) refuse to share their beds, (and last,) beat them (lightly, if it is useful). But if they return to obedience, seek not against them means (of annoyance). Surely, Allah is Most High, Most Great.)


Islam forbids beating women and warns strictly against it. The Prophet (Peace be upon Him) never beat any of his wives or servants, as his wife Aishah (may Allah exalt their mention) reported in an authentic tradition (Bukhari #2328). Women are, in general, weaker than men in their physique and stamina. Women are often unable to defend themselves against violence. Although beating of women is generally forbidden, Islam permits the beating of wives in a restricted and limited sense only as a final solution and acceptable valid reason when all else fails. This is analogous to spanking children when all else fails and they must learn a lesson in obedience for their own protection and success.

In the verse we quoted, Allah deals with the case of a wife who behaves immorally towards her husband’s rights. The treatment of this extremely sensitive issue comes in gradual stages, as we have noticed from the verse. Medicine, or treatment of any ailment, can be very bitter at times. But an ill person will take the remedy gladly and bear the bitterness of the medicine in order to be cured from his illness. The remedy to treat a wife blameworthy of immoral behavior, as we have noticed, comes in three gradual stages:

  1. First stage: The stage of advice, counseling and warning against Allah’s punishment. A husband must remind his wife of the importance of protecting his rights in Islam. This stage is a very kind and easy one. But, if this treatment does not work and proves to be ineffective, then the husband may resort to the next stage.
  2. Second stage: To leave the wife’s bed. Or, if one sleeps in the same bed with her, he will turn his back to her, not touch her, talk to her or have intercourse with her. This stage, as noticed, combines both strictness and kindness, although it is a very harsh practice on both. But, if this treatment does not work, then the husband may resort to the final stage of discipline explained below.
  3. Third and final stage: Beating without hurting, breaking a bone, leaving black or blue marks on the body, and avoiding hitting the face or especially sensitive places at any cost. The purpose of beating her is only to discipline and never retaliation or with desire to hurt by any means. Islam forbids severe beating as punishment.

The Prophet (Peace be upon Him) said:

“None of you should beat his wife like a slave-beating and then have intercourse with her at the end of the day”.

[Bukhari #4908]

This treatment is proved to be very effective with two types of women, as psychologists have determined:

The first type: Strong willed, demanding and commandeering women. These are the type of women who like to control, master and run the affairs of their husbands by pushing them around, commanding them and giving them orders.

The second type: Submissive or subdued women. These women may even enjoy being beaten at times as a sign of love and concern.

G. A. Holdfield, a European psychologist, in his book Psychology and Morals states the following:

“The instinct of submission strengthens at times, in the human being so much that a submissive person will enjoy seeing someone overpowering him, over-ruling him and being cruel to him. Such a submissive person bears the consequences of his submission due to the fact that he enjoys the pain. This is a wide spread instinct amongst women, even if they do not realize it. For this very reason, women are well known for bearing more pain than men. A wife, from this type of women, becomes more attracted and admiring of her husband when he beats her. Nothing, on the other hand, will sadden some women, as much as a soft, very kind and very obedient husband who is never upset regardless of being challenged!”

Beating, according to the Islamic teachings, is listed as the last and final stage of disciplining methods. Islam does not permit, allow or even condone beating unless the first two stages are proven to be ineffective. Moreover, beating must not be employed as a remedy, if a wife prefers to be divorced.

The three stages of discipline stated in the verse of the Glorious Qur’an are only meant to be a means of discipline for the protection of the family unit. One form of destruction of a family is when the wife becomes a victim of divorce. Islam aims to relieve unnecessary pains, problems and conflicts.

The practice of beating wives is in other non-Muslim societies is far more brutal and frequent. Wife beatings in theses societies are often with intent to inflict pain and harm to the wife; something strictly prohibited in Islam as mentioned previously. Recent statistics show that in Britain, the number of wives who have been brutally beaten by their husbands has risen from 6,400 in 1990 to 30,000 in 1992. This number jumped to 65,400 women in 1995. Statisticians expect this number to double 124,400 towards the end of the twentieth century! These statistics, as the report says, were based on information gathered from the police department. But, what about the unreported cases of wife beating, and the beating of women in general, which are not reported!

Mrs. Annie Besant compared Islamic Laws and Western legislation on women’s rights and said:

“Islamic Laws are among the best laws known to the world, insofar as woman is concerned. It is the most fair and just legislation. It exceeds the Western legislation concerning real estate, inheritance and divorce laws. It acts as a guardian for women’s rights. Phrases such as One Wife is Sufficient for a man, and Polygamy, mystified people and turned them away from the real misery which Western women suffer from and live through. Many husbands left their wives after they got what they wanted from them. In fact such men show no care, concern or mercy for their wives.”



Misconception About Women


Islam’s view on physically abusing women

“The best among you are those who treat their wives best. I am indeed the best of you in the way I treat my wives.” – Prophet Muhammed (Peace be upon him)

If the Quran doesn’t specify exactly how hard the beating should be, the teachings of the Prophet are an explanation of the Quran, and they are a primary source of Law in Islam. Muslims should strive to follow the Prophetic example, but unfortunately if men in some Muslim countries maltreat their wives, then that cannot be said to be the true representative of Islamic views. If  Muslims do not practice what they should properly, it is an indictment on their selves, not on Islam.

The basic rule of beating ones wife is strict prohibition, followed by dispensation as proven from hadith in Ibn Majah, Abu Dawud and Nisa’i. But it have been said that beating women is a last resort only when the wife is being rebellious and not obeying. The verse uses the word “nushuz” which is “disobedience” and more appropriately, based on context, “adultery” as sited by Imam Nawawi in his commentary.

Further, the “beating” is to be “light” as explicitly narrated in the hadith of the Prophet and the various commentaries on the issue suc as Tabari’s, who states from Sayyidina Ibn Abbas – the Prophet’s cousin and chief Qur’anic interpreter – “with a Miswak and the like”.  The only forgiven from  husband to the wife is one that leaves no mark, does not hit the face, and is light beating for example “with a miswak or the like”. Note that the Miswak is a small wooden toothbrush.

Any other physical striking is sinful – and this is in extreme situations. Hitting the face is categorically prohibited.  Similarly, “leaving a mark” is also most probably a cause for legal retaliation.

Base from The Guiding Helper states:

 The female servants of Allah that we are prohibited from battering are our womenfolk.

[DR: volume 1: page 189: footnote(s) 281: {explanation of hadith #281 of Riyadh al-Salihin}]


 The Prophet (May Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Do not beat the female servants of Allah [i.e. your wives].”

[DR: volume 1: page 189: hadith 281: {Abu Dawud, marriage, beating women, hadith #1834}]

The Companions asked the Prophet what the right of their wives was and he answered, “That you feed her when you feed yourself, that you clothe her when you clothe yourself, that you not hit her face, that you not revile [verbally abuse] her, and that you do not leave her stranded except within the house (i.e. within the same bed to discipline her.)

[DR: volume 1: page 188: hadith 279: {Abu Dawud, marriage, the right of the wife on her husband,
hadith #1830}]


 The Prophet (May Allah bless him and give him peace) described a two-way relationship between the husband and wife. If the husband does not carry out his rights towards the woman (which includes not striking her with strikes that cause pain, cut, bruise, break bones, or leave marks and also includes not verbally abusing her), she has no responsibility to carry her rights out towards him. Thus,she may leave the place of residence without his permission and refuse to come back in such a case.
However, no where in the verse does it say to just give her light spankings. It just says “beat her” . It doesn’t say to give her a few good spankings, nor does it discourage a husband taking a big wooden club and crippling her wife.
So how is the verse not flawed and where does it say to beat them lightly, or just a few spankings, nor does it say that you shouldn’t beat your wife with a big wooden club probably breaking their legs. This can easily lead to abuse. Though beating or spanking women is  not wrong, but the man should not be allowed to cripple the woman. Maybe saying it says no where to cripple your wife, but without the extra words of “don’t beat your wife too hard”, anyone can see it in the way it is written. Where does it say to not beat them too hard?
If that is the case,are there any alternatives for punishing wives? Would restraints or confines be acceptable in Islam? Spanking a rebellious wife is not that bad, but if it is not regulated and specified how hard you should beat her, some husbands will go too far and may accidentally kill their wives.

This is true but one must know that perhaps  this is the English translation of the meanings of the Holy Qur’an and not the Holy Qur’an itself. The verse in Arabic is:

Ar-Rijālu Qawwāmūna `Alá An-Nisā’ Bimā Fađđala Allāhu Ba`đahum `Alá Ba`đin Wa Bimā ‘Anfaqū Min ‘Amwālihim Fālşşāliĥātu Qānitātun Ĥāfižātun Lilghaybi Bimā Ĥafiža Allāhu Wa Al-Lātī Takhāfūna Nushūzahunna Fa`ižūhunna Wa Ahjurūhunna Fī Al-Mađāji`i Wa Ađribūhunna Fa’in ‘Aţa`nakum Falā Tabghū `Alayhinna Sabīlāan ‘Inna Allāha Kāna `Alīyāan Kabīrāan (An-Nisā': 34).

Adribuhunna has many meanings in the Arabic language firstly not just “beat” or “strike” but this is beyond the point. The point is that the Qur’an is not interpreted by random people like us who read the English translation of words or even Arabs who read the Qur’an. The Qur’an is to be interpreted by the Mufassirun or exegetes through the tradition of Sunni scholarship which connects in a link back to the Prophet Muhammad (SWA)

Some of the other sources of Islamic law, the sayings of the Prophet Muhammad (also known as Hadith), the actions of the people of Madina (also called ‘aml Madina), and the consensus of the Islamic nation are necessary to interpreting Islamic law. Just because it doesn’t look like it says so in the verse of the Qur’an through the English translation is not grounds to say that the verse has a different meaning. This verse does not say it is allowed to batter one’s wife with an iron rod for example and any Muslim who says that it says this should be asked to give his proofs in the tradition of Islamic scholarship.

Beating or spanking women is not wrong, but the man should not be allowed to cripple the woman.
A man is not allowed to cripple the woman.
 In maybe saying it says no where to cripple your wife, but without the extra words of “don’t beat your wife too hard”, anyone can see it in the way it is written. Where does it say to not beat them too hard?

The sayings of the Prophet Muhammad (SWA) is where it says not to beat them too hard. The Qur’an again is not the only source of Islamic law. As well as the consensus of the nation (also called ijma’). The Prophet Muhammad (SWA) said that his nation would never agree on an error. Therefore if the traditional schoalrs of the entire nation of Islam agree on something in a specific time period it cannot be changed what so ever.

Concerning are there any alternatives for punishing wives? Would restraints or confines be acceptable in Islam?

You could instead try as hard as you could to negotiate and then get a divorce in such a situation. Or you could do as the verse says:

“…And as for those women whose ill-will you have reason to fear, admonish them [first]; then leave them alone in bed; then beat them; and if thereupon they pay you heed, do not seek to harm them. Behold, God is indeed most high, great! ” – 4:34 Muhammad Asad translation

So there are two options before the word beat even appears.

Muhammad Asad’s translation of the Qur’an states:

 It is evident from many authentic Traditions that the Prophet himself intensely detested the idea of beating one’s wife, and said on more than one occasion,“Could any of you beat his wife as he would beat a slave, and then lie with her in the evening?” (Bukhari and Muslim). According to another Tradition, he forbade the beating of any woman with the words, “Never beat God’s handmaidens” (Abu Da’ud, Nasa’i, Ibn Majah, Ahmad ibn Hanbal, Ibn Hibban and Hakim, on the authority of Iyas ibn ‘Abd Allah; Ibn Hibban, on the authority of ‘Abd Allah ibn ‘Abbas; and Bayhaqi, on the authority of Umm Kulthum). When the above Qur’an-verse authorizing the beating of a refractory wife was revealed, the Prophet is reported to have said: “I wanted one thing, but God has willed another thing – and what God has willed must be best” (see Manar V, 74). With all this, he stipulated in his sermon on the occasion of the Farewell Pilgrimage, shortly before his death, that beating should  be resorted to only if the wife “has become guilty, in an obvious manner, of immoral conduct”, and that it should be done “in such a way as not to cause pain (ghayr mubarrih)”; authentic Traditions to this effect are found in Muslim, Tirmidhi, Abu Da’ud, Nasa’i and Ibn Majah. On the basis of these Traditions, all the authorities stress that this “beating”, if resorted to at all, should be more or less symbolic – “with a toothbrush, or some such thing” (Tabari, quoting the views of scholars of the earliest times), or even “with a folded handkerchief” (Razi); and some of the greatest Muslim scholars (e.g., Ash-Shafi’i) are of the opinion that it is just barely permissible, and should preferably be avoided: and they justify this opinion by the Prophet’s personal feelings with regard to this problem. 


Character isn’t inherited. One builds it daily by the way one thinks and acts, thought by thought, action by action. If one lets fear or hate or anger take possession of the mind, they become self-forged chains.

Don’t  let your temper to be stronger than your judgement. Hitting is unforgettable. Learn to control your emotion and discuss for clarification and resolve issues jointly.


Christian Domestic Discipline Promotes Spanking Wives To Maintain Biblical Marriage

Posted: Updated:
When a follower of the Christian Domestic Discipline movement decides what to hit his God-fearing wife with, research is important. A hairbrush, for example, is “excellent for achieving the desired sting” but can break easily. Alternatively, a ping pong paddle is quiet and sturdy but may not sting as much as is required to get the message across.

These bits of information are among the tips and tricks detailed in the Beginning Domestic Discipline’s “Beginner’s Packet,” a 54-page document that lays out the basic principles and practices of CDD.

The packet’s writers describe the movement as follows:

Domestic discipline is the practice between two consenting life partners in which the head of the household (HoH) takes he necessary measures to achieve a healthy relationship dynamic; the necessary measure to create a healthy home environmental and the necessary measures to protect all members of the family from dangerous or detrimental outcomes by punishing the contributing, and thus unwanted, behaviors for the greater good of the family.


CDD is a lifestyle in which spanking and other punishments (loss of privileges, time outs, etc.) are used to maintain an orderly, Christian household, according tochristiandomesticdiscipline.com. The man is dominant, and the wife is submissive, as detailed in the Bible, the site explains.

These explanations are at odds with what some outsiders might dismiss as an offshoot of the BDSM community, in which spanking and other punishments are used erotically as a way to achieve sexual satisfaction. But as the private Yahoo! group Christian Domestic Discipline notes, “This is not a typical “spank” site. We are NOT a dating service, a list for personal ads, bratting, erotic stories, or alternate lifestyles.”

While CDD community forums and sites have existed for years, the community was recently thrust into the spotlight following a piece in the Daily Beast. The article, which estimates there are several thousand CDD adherents, includes interviews with Chelsea and Clint, the authors of the Beginning Domestic Discipline “Beginner’s Packet.”

Clint and Chelsea (as well as the testimonies of other couples found on CDD forums) appear to portray CDD as a positive lifestyle choice made between consenting adults. XOJane blogger Laura Rubino, too, notes that during her own investigation of the community, most posts from the women are positive.

“Many of them report feeling extremely calm and relaxed after being disciplined, and believe it is an expression of their husband caring about them and their marriage, enough to help them modify their behaviour,” Rubino writes. “After the spanking, they are granted a clean slate. They don’t need to endure the days of tension and shittiness that can follow an argument unresolved through discipline.”

However, Rubino is not without grave reservations (as is Jezebel’s Callie Beusman), and the Daily Beast uncovered evidence that some women feel trapped and even frightened by what their home life has become.

“No fool in his right mind would buy this as a legitimate way to have a relationship,” Jim Alsdurf, a forensic psychologist who is an expert on Christian domestic abuse, told the Daily Beast. “A relationship that infantilizes a woman is one that clearly draws a more pathological group of people.”

The community’s stated basis in Christianity is also murky, according to some.

Bryan Fischer, a controversial conservative Christian radio host, has claimed in the past that the Bible teaches Christians that men are the breadwinners and heads of the household, but when reached by The Huffington Post, Fischer dismissed any connection between the Bible and the basic principles of CDD.

“This is a horrifying trend — bizarre, twisted, unbiblical and un-Christian,” Fischer, a former pastor, said in an email. “Christian husbands are taught to lay down their lives for their wives (Ephesians 5:25) and to treat them with honor as fellow-heirs of the gift of eternal life (1 Peter 3:7).”

“God in the New Testament clearly asks wives to arrange themselves under the leadership of their husbands (in Greek, the word “submit” means “to arrange under”),” Fischer continued. “But there is no place where husbands are instructed to make their wives do it or punish them if they don’t.”

In 2009, Jennifer Macon-Steele wrote a column for Yahoo! Voices that suggested CDD was a growing trend among some conservative Christians in the United States. Acknowledging the questions and criticisms leveled at the lifestyle, she said CDD practitioners she had spoken with looked at it as an extension of their spirituality.

“They argue that they deserve to practice their religion in any way they see fit and to interpret the Bible in their own way. They also make it clear that women in these relationships have accepted and consented to the discipline,” Macon-Steele wrote, concluding, however, that “the answers to the questions surrounding this lifestyle remain unclear… the effects of this remain to be seen.”


Discipline: In CDD, husbands spank their submissive wives in order to correct misbehavior

Discipline: In CDD, husbands spank their submissive wives in order to correct misbehavior


What are your thoughts?