“Indeed, the hitting should ‘be like a joke,’ even reinforcing ‘the love and friendship’ between the couple: ‘This hitting is a kind of reminder that the love and friendship that Allah commanded, is still found between us (i.e., the couple).'” Who is Hassan Al-Laham trying to kid?
Spousal abuse is universal across all cultures, but only in Islam is it given divine sanction, both in the Qur’an and in Muhammad’s example:
“Men have authority over women because Allah has made the one superior to the other, and because they spend their wealth to maintain them. Good women are obedient. They guard their unseen parts because Allah has guarded them. As for those from whom you fear disobedience, admonish them and send them to beds apart and beat them.” — Qur’an 4:34
Muhammad “struck me on the chest which caused me pain, and then said: Did you think that Allah and His Apostle would deal unjustly with you?” — Aisha (Sahih Muslim 2127)
“How to properly beat your wife, according to the PA Mufti in Gaza,” by Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik, Palestinian Media Watch, February 15, 2016:
During a weekly Palestinian Authority TV program on social issues, the Mufti of Gaza Hassan Al-Laham discussed divorce in Islam. He explained that Allah directed men to take four steps to resolve conflicts with one’s wife before resorting to divorce:“Allah said: Warn them [the wives], and separate from them, and hit them, and bring an arbitrator from his family and an arbitrator from her family.”[Official PA TV, Feb. 8, 2016]His essential message is that while “she became your wife, and she is under your command,” nonetheless, hitting is to be used only after warning her and separating from her “in the bedroom” has failed to achieve the desired result. And then, when hitting is being used at the proper time, it should not be a severe beating:“Not hitting that will bring the police, and break her hand and cause bleeding, or hitting that makes the face ugly.”Indeed, the hitting should “be like a joke,” even reinforcing “the love and friendship” between the couple:“This hitting is a kind of reminder that the love and friendship that Allah commanded, is still found between us (i.e., the couple).”Other broadcasts on PA TV relating to women’s rights and position in Palestinian society documented by Palestinian Media Watch:“This woman may not and has no rights to deny him this right [to sex]… a woman must [only] leave home at the discretion of her husband… The woman should obey her husband and please him.”[PA TV, Aug. 2 and 12, 2012]