Ar-rejalu qawwa muna 'alan-nisa'a bima
fadhdhallahu ba'dhahum 'ala bi'dhi wa bima anfaqu min amwalihim.
Fas-saliHatu qaintat HafaTHatul-lilghaybi bimaa HafiTHal-lahu,
wal-lati takhaafuna nushuza hunna fa'iTHuu hunnaa wa hjuruu
hunna fiil-lmadhaa ji'i wadhribu hunna.
Faa'in aTa'nakum flaa tabghuu 'alayhinna sabiilan. Innal-laha
kaana 'aliyaan kabiira(n).
(tafsir) of Sura 4:34
“Men are the support of women as God gives some more means
than others, and because they spend of their wealth (to provide
for them). So women who are virtuous are obedient to God and
guard the hidden as God has guarded it. As for women you feel
are averse, talk to them suasively; then leave them alone in
bed (without molesting them) and go to bed with them (when they
are willing). If they open out to you, do not seek an excuse
for blaming them. Surely God is sublime and great.”
of the Words
For the three words fa'izu,
wahjaru, and wadribu in the
original, translated here 'talk to them suasively,' 'leave them
alone (in bed - fi'l-madage'),' and 'have intercourse', respectively,
see Raghib Lisan al-'Arab and Zamakhsari. Raghib in his Al-Mufridat
fi Gharib al-Qur'an gives the meanings of these words with special
reference to this verse. Fa-'izu, he says, means to 'to talk
to them so persuasively as to melt their hearts.' (See also
v.63 of this Surah where it has been used in a similar sense.)
- Wahjaru (do not touch or moleste them)
Hajara, he says, means to separate body from body, and points
out that the expression wahjaru hunna metaphorically means to
refrain from touching or molesting them. Zamakhshari is more
explicit in his Kshshaf when he says, 'do not get inside their
(to have intercourse, not to beat)
Raghib points out that daraba metaphorically
means to have intercourse, and quotes the expression: "Darab
al-fahl an-naqah" - 'the stud camel covered the she-camel,'
which is also quoted by Lisan al-'Arab.
It cannot be taken here to mean 'to strike, hit or beat them
(women).' This view is strengthened by the Prophet's authentic
hadith found in a number of authorities, including Bukhari and
"Could any of you beat your wife
as he would a slave, and then lie with her in the evening?"
There are other traditions in Abu Da'ud, Nasa'i, Ibn Majah,
Ahmad bin Hanbal and others, to the effect that he forbade the
beating of any woman, saying: "Never beat God's handmaidens."
Al-Qur'an: a contemporary translation by Ahmed Ali, Princeton
University Press, 1988; pp78-79
the past, some translators of this verse have mistakeningly
used the word "beat" to
represent the word "dhaaraba" in
Arabic. This is not the opinion of all scholars especially Raghib
and Zamakhshari as mentioned above and those who are well grounded
in both Islam understanding and the English language.
(Surah An-Nisaa' [The Women] 4:34)
Men are the protectors and maintainers
of women, because Allah has made one of them to excel the other,
and because they spend (to support them) from their means. Therefore
the righteous women are devoutly obedient (to Allah and to their
husbands), and guard in the husband's absence what Allah orders
them to guard (e.g. their chastity, their husband's property,
etc.). As to those women on whose part you see illconduct,
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 Ever Most High, Most Great.
understand from this some of the translations are not properly
representing the spirit of the meaning. Therefore, they cannot
be considered to be the representation of what has been intended
by Almighty God.
we can properly understand that Almighty God has commanded the
men to provide for the women and allow them to keep all of their
wealth, inheritance and income without demanding anything from
them for support and maintenance. Additionally, if she should
be guilty of lewd or indecent conduct, the husband is told to
first, admonish her and then she should cease this lewdness.
However, if she should continue in this indecency, then he should
no longer share the bed with her, and this would continue for
a period of time. Finally, if she would repent then he would
take up sharing the bed with her again.
Jamal Badawi (St. Mary's University, Nova Scotia) is of the
opinion these (three stages) are necessary steps prior to divorce.
Instead of a man saying, "I divorce you" three times
in a row, he should follow this procedure before acting hastily
and thereby doing something unwise and displeasing to Allah.
The first step would be as mentioned above, to give her a "good
talking to" and then if she continued in such unpleasing
behavior, to leave the bed (not have intercourse with her) for
a period of time and then finally, the last straw would be to
"tap" her on the arm with a "tooth stick"
or something of this size and nature to signify to her this
is the final straw and then if she still persisted in her bad
way, he could divorce her.
of the various positions and opinions, there is no permission
establish through the teachings of the Quran or the Sunnah (way)
of Muhammad, peace be upon him, wherein one person could "beat"
Allah is All Knowing of the meanings.