Wife Beating Fatawas!

Although, in some cases beating has been sanctioned as a last resort, nevertheless, strict conditions have been set. Of those conditions is that the beating has to be light, so much so, that it should be hit by a light thing like a pack of grass or a very small stick of wood  just to show that the man is not satisfied with certain actions and no evidence of redness or blackness is to be visible on the skin. And criteria is not that the redness/blackness remains for a duration of time but as soon as the markings are apparently clear then the person responsible for this is required to pay Blood money.

Sayed Seestani – 18/08/1999

1. QUESTION: Is it merely the redness or the blackness when beating that makes incumbent paying of Blood Money or is it necessary that these markings continue for duration of time?
ANSWER: When the redness or blackness is evident, blood money is binding, and duration of time is not a consideration.

Sayed Seestani – 11/04/2000

2. QUESTION: A woman who does not refrain from insulting her husband, nor does she refrain from harming him with her tongue and curses him with that which is not befitting, and her audacity has reached level where she does not allow him to sleep, and if he should sleep she screams in his ear, awakening in a fright from her voice, and she seeks of him that which is impossible in his present situation.
• Is she considered recalcitrant/rebellion
• Does he have a right to beat her
• Does he have the right to threaten her with that which she fear until she refrains
• What is the ruling regarding her actions and is her prayer accepted
• No, that is not considered rebellion (nushooz), even though it is not permissible and is reason to rebuke, according to Shariah Law, if such is established with the Shariah Law Judge.
• He DOES NOT HAVE THE RIGHT (to beat her), except to a degree that necessitates his DEFENDING HIMSELF.
• Yes he has a right to do that
• A great sin, and offence and perhaps Allah will not accept her deeds.

Sayed Seestani – 12/08/2000

3. QUESTION: If the wife persists in not wearing Hijab, even though her husband insists, and has employed all means from, enjoining good and forbidding evil, beating and disciplining, incarcerating, threatening with divorce, all of which have achieved no result. Therefore what is necessary for the man to do, should he divorce her or not, and if he does not divorce is he committing an offense?

It is permissible for him to divorce her and he will not be committing an offense if he does not, and BEATING HER IS NOT PERMISSIBLE TO HIM, only preventing her from going out without Hijab is, and if she violates this and exhortation does not help, or abandoning, it is permissible for him to BEAT HER TO AN EXTENT WHICH DOES NOT CAUSE REDNESS OR BLACKNESS, otherwise blood money is incumbent on him.

Sayed Seestani – 27/09/2000

4. QUESTION: Does the woman have a legal right to leave her marital home when she is being beaten, in a disciplinary manner, by her husband. And can she lay down conditions for returning to the husband’s home. This, considering that the husband fulfills all his obligatory spousal duties.

ANSWER: It is permissible for her to leave if she fears for herself, and it is NOT PERMISSIBLE for him to beat her except where she prevents him from his obligatory right (sexual intercourse), or leaves the house without permission, and exhorting her first is futile and then abandoning (the marital bed), in this case it is permissible in such a matter that does not result in redness or blackness.

Sayed Seestani – 17/10/2000

5. QUESTION: exact same question as Number 4.
ANSWER: It is not permissible for him to beat her except if she is recalcitrant (Nushooz), and exhortation and abandoning does not help. And it is imperative that the beating is not bloody or its severity causes redness or blackness to her body, and only such amount necessary to take effect, and it is not permissible to exceed above that if the satisfactory result is reach. And it is necessary that the intention be for betterment and not merely revenge or venting. And it is not permissible if her disobedience is in that which does not require her to be obedient. And obedience for her is only obligatory in matters concerned with sexual intercourse and leaving the house without permission. As beating is permissible under these circumstances, leaving the house becomes impermissible for her, so too the laying down of conditions for her return. But if the matter is not concerned with that (sexual intercourse/leaving the house), and she fears a repetition, it is permissible for her (to leave and lay conditions)
(Nushooz: applies only to those who become immorally corrupt or those who prevent their husbands from sexual intercourse).

Sayed Seestani – 09/09/2001

6. QUESTION: What are the circumstances, which give power to the Shariah Law Judge to grant a divorce?

ANSWER: The Judge has the right to grant divorce if the husband refuses to spend on her or he does not treat her with kindness, or does not fulfill her obligatory rights, or beats her, or picks quarrels with her, for if she raises the matter before the Shariah Judge, he will be ordered to spend or divorce is granted, and that he treats her with kindness or divorce is granted. If he refuses, the Shariah judge grants divorce on his behalf, also it is permissible for him to grant divorce if the husband is missing for four years with the conditions set out in ‘Minhaj as-Saliheen’.

Sayed Seestani – 17/09/2001

7. QUESTION: Is it obligatory for the Muslims to force a Muslim woman to wear Hijab, it being an avenue of enjoining good and forbidding evil?

ANSWER: If this enforcement necessitates beating or the like, as an obligatory precautionary one refrains, except if there is permission granted from the Shariah Judge.

Sayed Seestani – 03/11/2001

8. QUESTION: A brother asks whether it is possible to force his wife to have sexual intercourse, if she uses physical illness as her excuse, or the like, when he is compelled to use violence? And does the ruling differ if it is physical or mental? This considering that it is not part of her habit to prevent her husband from herself, but sometimes does so with the stated excuses scornfully.

ANSWER: It is not permissible for her to prevent him from herself even if she is not desirous. Although if this causes harm to her, or unbearable intense embarrassment, then it is legal excuse, and he cannot force her. But if she refuses herself without a legitimate excuse and exhortation and abandonment it is permissible to force her with a light beating, and he limits it to minimum amount possible needed to be effective, and if that does not benefit he is allowed to exceed, with the condition that it is not bloody or severe, causing blackness or redness, that is only if he thinks it will benefit in having her become obedient again, and it is imperative that the intent be for betterment and not revenge. And if he commits an offense, he is required to by blood money, and he does not have a right to force her violently.

Sayed Seestani – 17/11/2001

9. QUESTION: Is it permissible for the husband to take his wife’s wealth forcefully, knowing well that she is not approving and sometimes even beats her to take it.

ANSWER: It is not permissible and he should fear Allah.

Sayed Seestani – 04/02/2002

10. QUESTION: Is it permissible to beat the wife with non-violent blows because of her stubbornness or ill manners with the husband, and what is your advice for this type of wife.

ANSWER: It is not permissible and our advice is that both the spouses strive to show respect the other and show kindness.

Sayed Seestani – 14/07/1999

11. QUESTION: My wife continually provokes me and the circumstances call for to beat her, and the reasons are extreme, like continually disobeying me even in the most menial matter. And I am justified in my actions. Therefore, what is needed of me to clear my conscience?

ANSWER: It is not permissible for her to obey you except in matters related to sexual intercourse or leaving the house without permission and you do not have the right to beat her except where those matters are concerned and only after exhortation and abandonment have failed. And if you beat her to an extent to which blood money becomes a requisite on you, then this blood money is obligatory on you regardless of whether the beating was permissible or not.


1) The Prophet said, "The best of men from my nation (Ummah) are those that are not aggressive towards their wives, are compassionate towards them and do not oppress them.” He then read, 'Men are the protectors and maintainers of women, because God has given the one more (strength) than the other, and because they support them from their means. Therefore the righteous women are devoutly obedient, and guard in (the husband's) absence, what God would have them guard…"[an-Nisa' 4:34]

2) The Prophet said, "I am amazed at the one who beats his wife, when in reality he is the one more worthy of being beaten. Do not beat your wives with a stick, for there is punishment (for the one who does it) (Safinatu alBihar V2 P586).

3) Imam Ali said to his son Mohammad bin al-Hanafia, "Son! If you grow strong then grow strong in the obedience of Allah. And if you grow weak, then grow weak in the disobedience of Allah. And if its possible for you not to assign to a woman anything par which concerns herself then do so, for that is better for her beauty, and more relaxing for her mind, and more beneficial for her being (condition). The woman is a sweet smelling flower and not a workhorse, so please her and treat her with kindness, then your life will be more comfortable". (Makarim alakhlaq P218)

4) Prophet Mohammad (sawa): The man pronouncing to the woman “I love you”, forever does not leave her heart. (Mizan al-Hikma 1185)

5) Imam as-Sadiq said: Whomever is benevolent to his wife, Allah increases his life-span (ibid – 1186)

6) Prophet Mohammad (sawa) said: A man sitting down with his family is more loved by Allah than seclusion of one’s self in my Mosque here. (ibid – 1186)

7) Verily! A man will be rewarded for raising a morsel (of food) to his wife’s mouth (ibid – 1186)

8) Prophet Mohammad (sawa): Verily! Allah and His Messenger are free (baree’e) of he whom harms his wife causing her to separate from him.
1. QUESTION: A man commands his not leave the house, preventing in that, connection with close kin (silat-raham). Is his order invalid in light of the fact that there is no obedience for the created in disobedience of the creator? ANSWER: Yes his orders are invalid, insomuch as ties with close of kin is concerned.

2. QUESTION: My wife provokes me and beats the children and every time I attempt to exhort her, she is heedless. Therefore, is it permissible for me to beat her in order to discipline her?

ANSWER: NO, rather attempt to discipline her with that which is better.
3. QUESTION: My wife leaves the house without my permission, and of the rights of the husband over the wife is that she not leave the house except with his permission, therefore, what is the ruling regarding my wife’s leaving the house?
ANSWER: If her leaving the house is only insomuch as friendly/gracious associations, then there is no harm.
1. QUESTION: What is the limit of obedience of the wife to her husband, after she has fulfilled totally her (sexual) marital duties. For example, if he says to her: I do not approve of you leaving to so and so’s place, this considering that it in no way has an effect on his sexual right…is it obligatory upon her to obey him?
ANSWER: What is obligatory on her is only that which is concerned with (sexual intercourse). She does not leave if it conflicts with his sexual desire. Otherwise, leaving the house, when there is no conflict, is with obligatory precaution.