Guidelines for hitting one's wife in Islam

From islamqa.com:

Question:
Husband and wife were quarreling because of the second wife. in anger during the fight he held her head and hit it on the wall. she went into coma and never recovered until she died. Is he doomed, or will he be saved by intention.

Answer:
What the husband did, holding his wife’s head and hitting it against the wall, is an evil act and is not permissible, because Allaah has not permitted striking the wife in this manner. Rather there is a concession allowing hitting her to discipline her, after exhorting her and forsaking her in bed, on the basis that it should not be a painful blow, and should not leave a mark or break a bone, and it should not be done with motives of revenge or to express one’s anger. [...]

Comments

gsk said…
"Rather there is a concession allowing hitting her to discipline her, after exhorting her and forsaking her in bed, on the basis that it should not be a painful blow, and should not leave a mark or break a bone, and it should not be done with motives of revenge or to express one’s anger."

But then, it seems from current trends, that another hadith must take over when she makes certain mistakes (i.e. talking to a strange man without a chaperone) and we go beyond discipline into the realm of honour killing, no?

Thus, if she acts unpleasantly over the husband's infidelity (taking another wife) then she should be beaten, but if she acts in anyway that displeases him and affronts his sense of honour, she can legitimately be killed. Have I misunderstood?
Abu Daoud said…
Hi GSK,

Good question. We certainly do see a growing trend of honor killings in the West, including the US and UK.

To dishonor the Prophet is a capital crime in Islam, and virtually anything can be construed as dishonoring the Prophet or Islam. So a woman speaking to the wrong man or being alone with someone is not permitted could lead to execution.

But technically speaking honor killings are not explicitly outlined in the shari'a to my knowledge.

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