What mainstream media reports such as this one never acknowledge is that this advice comes directly from Qur’an 4:34:
Men are in charge of women, because Allah hath made the one of them to excel
the other, and because they spend of their property (for the support of women). So good women are the obedient, guarding in secret that which Allah hath guarded. As for those from whom ye fear rebellion, admonish them and banish them to beds apart, and scourge them. Then if they obey you, seek not a way against them. Lo! Allah is ever High, Exalted, Great.
Then again, many Muslims, including one “moderate” Muslim student at Dartmouth last week who called the mere notion that the Qur’an endorses wife-beating “incorrect and offensive,” won’t either. And you can’t reform what you won’t admit needs reforming, or what you won’t acknowledge to exist.
Move over, Dr. Phil, there’s a new relationship expert in town.
He’s Saudi author and cleric, “Dr.” Muhammad Al-‘Arifi, who in a remarkable segment broadcast on Saudi and Kuwaiti television in September, counseled young Muslim men on how to treat their wives.
“Admonish them — once, twice, three times, four times, ten times,” he advised.
“If this doesn’t help, refuse to share their beds.”
And if that doesn’t work?
“Beat them,” one of his three young advisees responded.
“That’s right,” Al-‘Arifi said.
Even his attempts at counseling restraint are bizarre and disturbing:
He goes on to calmly explain to the young men that hitting their future wives in the face is a no-no.
“Beating in the face is forbidden, even when it comes to animals,” he explained. “Even if you want your camel or donkey to start walking, you are not allowed to beat it in the face. If this is true for animals, it is all the more true when it comes to humans. So beatings should be light and not in the face.”
His final words of wisdom?
“Woman, it has gone too far. I can’t bear it anymore,” he tells the men to tell their wives. “If he beats her, the beatings must be light and must not make her face ugly.
“He must beat her where it will not leave marks. He should not beat her on the
hand… He should beat her in some places where it will not cause any damage. He should
not beat her like he would beat an animal or a child — slapping them right and left.
“Unfortunately, many husbands beat their wives only when they get mad,
and when they start beating, it as if they are punching a wall — they beat with their hands, right and left, and sometimes use their feet. Brother, it is a human being you are beating. This is forbidden. He must not do this.”