Kaleef K. Karim
In this article, I am going to answer (refute) some claims that are spread around by some critics on women, in Islam.
Quran 4:34, ‘Beat Them’ (Wife Abuse)?
Critics of Islam who want to undermine the character of the Prophet Muhammed (p) have accused the Prophet of beating his wife Aisha up. The Hadith the critics cite says:
Muhammad b. Qais said (to the people): Should I not narrate to you (a hadith of the Holy Prophet) on my authority and on the authority of my mother? We thought that he meant the mother who had given him birth. He (Muhammad b. Qais) then reported that it was ‘A’isha who had narrated this: Should I not narrate to you about myself and about the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him)? We said: Yes. She said: When it was my turn for Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) to spend the night with me, he turned his side, put on his mantle and took off his shoes and placed them near his feet, and spread the corner of his shawl on his bed and then lay down till he thought that I had gone to sleep. He took hold of his mantle slowly and put on the shoes slowly, and opened the door and went out and then closed it lightly. I covered my head, put on my veil and tightened my waist wrapper, and then went out following his steps till he reached Baqi’. He stood there and he stood for a long time. He then lifted his hands three times, and then returned and I also returned. He hastened his steps and I also hastened my steps. He ran and I too ran. He came (to the house) and I also came (to the house). I, however, preceded him and I entered (the house), and as I lay down in the bed, he (the Holy Prophet) entered the (house), and said: Why is it, O ‘A’isha, that you are out of breath? I said: There is nothing. He said: Tell me or the Subtle and the Aware would inform me. I said: Messenger of Allah, may my father and mother be ransom for you, and then I told him (the whole story). He said: Was it the darkness (of your shadow) that I saw in front of me? I said: Yes. He 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? She said: Whatsoever the people conceal, Allah will know it. He said: Gabriel came to me when you saw me. He called me and he concealed it from you. I responded to his call, but I too concealed it from you (for he did not come to you), as you were not fully dressed. I thought that you had gone to sleep, and I did not like to awaken you, fearing that you may be frightened. He (Gabriel) said: Your Lord has commanded you to go to the inhabitants of Baqi’ (to those lying in the graves) and beg pardon for them. I said: Messenger of Allah, how should I pray for them (How should I beg forgiveness for them)? He said: Say, Peace be upon the inhabitants of this city (graveyard) from among the Believers and the Muslims, and may Allah have mercy on those who have gone ahead of us, and those who come later on, and we shall, God willing, join you. (Sahih Muslim, Book 004, Number 2127)
The word that is used in above Hadith as “Struck” is false; the word in Arabic that is used is “Lahada.” Edward William Lane explains that the Arabic word “Lahada” means “pushed away” as you will see below:
The hand imposition of the prophet Muhammed (pbuh) it is a gesture driving away evil influence (waswas) and conferring blessings, it’s nothing bad at all. The intent of the Prophet Muhammed (p) was to drive away ‘evil influence’ from Aisha. Proof from the following Hadiths that the prophet Muhammed (p) pushed Aisha (Ra) and never hit her:
Aisha said: “Allaah’s Messenger (pbuh) never hit anything with his hand ever, except when fighting in the path of Allaah. Nor did he ever hit a servant or a woman.” [Recorded In Ibn Majah. Al-Albani graded it Sahih.]
Aisha reports: ”Prophet Muhammed (pbuh) did not hit Anything with his hands, besides the time when he made Jihaad in the Path of Allah. He did not hit a servant nor a woman (wife, girl etc.)”. [Shamaail‐e‐Tirmidhi (331) Hadith Number 6.]
‘Aisha (May Allah be pleased with her) reported: Messenger of Allah (pbuh) never hit anything with his hand neither a servant nor a woman but of course, he did fight in the Cause of Allah. He never took revenge upon anyone for the wrong done to him, but of course, he exacted retribution for the sake of Allah in case the Injunctions of Allah about unlawful acts were violated. [Muslim Arabic/English book reference : Book 1, Hadith 644]
As you have read from the above Hadith reported in three different Hadith Books , the prophet never hit any woman nor a servant, these statement(s) that the Prophet never hit any woman are from Aisha own mouth. So, the correct translation is that the Prophet pushed Aisha, to drive away evil influence, as Aisha makes it evidently clear that he NEVER hit any woman or servant. That statement from Aisha alone shows that Prophet Muhammed (p) was never abusive in any shape or form, to any of his wives. This proves that the translation for the Hadith that says Muhammed ‘struck’ Aisha is false.
Furthermore John Louis Esposito who is a professor of International Affairs and Islamic Studies at Georgetown University. Professor John L. Esposito is a Catholic Christian also cites the above hadith mentioned and makes it clear that nowhere in the Hadith or Quran is there any record of Muhammed (p) ever mistreating any of his wives, it does not exist. He writes:
“….the hadith (Prophetic traditions) note Muhammad’s respect for and protection of women. Muhammad said, ‘The best of you is he who is best to his wife.’ Muhammad’s wife Aisha narrated that Muhammad never hit any servant or woman and never physically struck anyone with his own hand. Neither the Quran nor the hadith record Muhammad as ever mistreating or losing temper with any of his wives, even when he was unhappy or dissatisfied.”
One last thing that needs to be clarified is the Arabic word “jihad”. jihad Means striving in the way of God. To forbid evil and do good. So if someone comes and attacks you, coming on your land and trying to kill you, you can defend yourself. Jihaad means striving to live a moral and virtuous life, spreading and defending Islam as well as fighting injustice and oppression.
Another Hadith which is frequently quoted by Critics that Prophet Muhammed (p) approved of wife abuse is:
Narrated Umar ibn al-Khattab: The Prophet said: A man will not be asked as to why he beat his wife.(Abu Dawud, Book 11, Number 2142)
This Hadith is narrated by Umar bin al khattab and it was mentioned in the following Hadiths books:
Abu Dawood number 2147, Al-Nasai 5/372, Ibn Majah num/1987 And Ahmed Ibn Hanbal in his Musnad (1/275) and all these books that is mentioned have the same chain of narrations. This chain which is narrated from Abu Dawud Bin Abdullah Aloudi from Abdurahman Al-Measly from Al-Ashath Ben qays from Umar Ibn Al-khattab.
This Hadith quoted is considered by majority of Scholars to be a ‘weak Hadith’:
Ibn hajar in his Book Tahtheeb Al Tahtheeb (6/394) narrating from Abi Al-fatah Al Azdi have counted this as one of the very weak Hadith and he says about it that it needs to be overlooked and checked. Most Hadith scholars judged this Hadith to be weak and to be returned and not be taken from it anything. Ibn Qatan in his book Bayan Al-Waham and Ibham (5/524) And also Imam Al Zahabi (Dhahabi) he said in his book that Abdurahman Al Measly is not known, so it is a weak Hadith, in his book Mezan Al Eatidal (2/602) and also Scholar Ahmed Shaker said the same, this chain is weak also Scholar Al Albani said the same thing, that this Hadith is weak in his book Erwaa Al Galiel (7/98) 
Scholar Hafiz Salahuddun Yusuf states that the is not only deemed “weak”, the text itself is rejected since it goes Islam core teachings in the Quran and Sunnah which emphasize kindness and being lenient:
“Commentary: This Hadith is also reported by Ibn Majah and Ahmad. Sheikh Al-Albani has classified THIS HADITH AS ‘WEAK‘ since its narration is not authenticated, therefore its CONTENTS ARE ALSO NOT VALID. Islam has NOT given the husbands absolute right over their wives and that they will not be questioned in the Hereafter or that they should not be questioned for their action and misbehaviour with the wives. On the contrary, ISLAM HAS STRESSED UPON THEM TO BE LENIENT AND TENDER IN RELATION WITH WIVES; AND THIS MEANS THAT THEY WILL BE TAKEN TO TASK FOR ANY WRONG AND INJUSTICE DONE BY THEM TO THEIR WIVES.” (Riyad-Us-Saliheen – Compiled by Al-Imam Abu Zakariya Yahya Bin Sharaf An-Nawawi Ad-Dimashqi [Darussalam – Commentary by Hafiz Salahuddun Yusuf], volume 2, page 28, online source http://kalamullah.com/Books/Riyad-us-Saliheen.pdf )
Islamic scholar, Shaykh Muhammed Nasir-ud-Din Al-Albani (1914 – 1999) comments on this weak report, he also rejects this story:
“… I said: THIS IS A WEAK CHAIN OF NARRATORS because among the narrators is Al-Musliyy (i.e. Abdurrahmaan Al-Musliyy who narrated this Hadeeth from Al-Asha’th ibn Qays on the authority of ‘Umar ibn Al-Khattaab from the Prophet (p).” Ath-Thahabi said: “He is not known except by this Hadeeth, and the only one who narrated from him was Daawood ibn ‘Abdullah Al-Awdi. The Haafidh [i.e. Ibn Hajar] said: “He is acceptable.” Note: Ath-Thahabi did not comment on this Hadeeth in his Mukhtasar, so Shaykh Ahmad Shaakir commented on this in his Commentary, and he said after attributing it to Musnad Ahmad, “ITS CHAIN OF NARRATORS IS WEAK, as the narration by Daawood ibn ‘Abdullah Al-Awdi is WEAK, so the fact that Al-Munthiri kept quiet about it (without criticizing it) is negligence on his part.” (Irwaa’ al-Ghaleel fi Takhreej Ahadeeth Manaar as-Sabeel, by Shaykh Muhammed Nasir-ud-Din Al-Albani, volume 7, page 99)
A Hadith being ‘weak’ means that the Prophet could not have made the statement, in other words, the Hadith may have been fabricated at a latter date. Them words are not from the Prophet Muhammed (p). It is typical of Christian missionaries to paste Hadiths in their websites, even when a Hadith is said to be weak and not from the Prophet, they still paste it to lie and deceive masses that ‘this is what Islam teaches’, when that is not true in reality. As shown the supposed Hadith is graded as ‘weak’ by majority of scholars, furthermore you can go to this website below as well, page 98 and 99 where the Scholars speak about this Hadith in great detail showing it’s a weak hadith:
Third Hadith which is quoted by Critics
Narrated Aisha: Abu Bakr came to towards me and struck me violently with his fist and said, “You have detained the people because of your necklace.” But I remained motionless as if I was dead lest I should awake Allah’s Apostle although that hit was very painful. Volume 8, Book 82, Number 828: Sahih Bukhari 1:7:330, and Sahih Bukhari 6:60:132
Whoever translated the Hadiths above has translated it wrong. The word above is entailing that the Abu Bakr STRUCK Aisha. The word in Arabic that is used is “Lakazani”. I will now show what the correct translation is:
So as you see Abu bakr poked Aisha hard. She was never hit with his fist, let me explain:
If Abu Bakr, the father of Aisha really hit her, wouldn’t she at least fall on the floor from such a blow or even stumble? It doesn’t make any sense. A woman getting struck by a fully grown man (his father) and yet she still stands there? The fact that Aisha still stood there, not falling down from the assumed blow, proves that Aisha was not hit by her father’s fist, but poked hard by her father.Correct translation would be that Abu Bakr poked her hard.
Quranic verses and Hadith, the sayings of the Prophet Muhammed (p) on women
1. Narrated Abu Hurairah (r.a): Allah’s Messenger (pbuh) said: “The believers who show the most perfect Faith are those who have the best behaviour, and the best of you are those who are the best to their wives in behaviour” (Tirmidhi, The Book of Suckling, Chapter: The right of a woman over her husband)
2. “…Do not retain them (i.e., your wives) to harm them…(Quran, 2:231)”
3. “If a wife fears cruelty or desertion on her husband’s part, there is no blame on them if they arrange an amicable settlement between themselves; and such settlement is best; even though men’s souls are swayed by greed. But if ye do good and practise self-restraint, God is well-acquainted with all that ye do.(Quran, 4:128)
4. Narrated Mu’awiyah al-Qushayri: “I went to the Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) and asked him: What do you say (command) about our wives? He replied: Give them food what you have for yourself, and clothe them by which you clothe yourself, and do not beat them, and do not revile them. (Abu-Dawud, Book 11, Marriage (Kitab Al-Nikah), Number 2139 recorded in Ibn Majah as well, and others. Verified to be Authentic by Al- Albani, As sahihah Number. 687).
5. Narrated Mu’awiyah ibn Haydah: “I said: Apostle of Allah, how should we approach our wives and how should we leave them? He replied: Approach your tilth when or how you will, give her (your wife) food when you take food, clothe when you clothe yourself, do not revile her face, and do not beat her. (Sunan Abu-Dawud, Book 11, Marriage (Kitab Al-Nikah), Number 2138)”
6. Abu Huraira (Allah be pleased with him) reported Allah’s Apostle (may peace be upon him) as saying: “He who believes in Allah and the Hereafter, if he witnesses any matter he should talk in good terms about it or keep quiet. Act kindly towards woman, for woman is created from a rib, and the most crooked part of the rib is its top. If you attempt to straighten it, you will break it, and if you leave it, its crookedness will remain there. So act kindly towards women. (Muslim, The Book of Marriage (Kitab Al-Nikah), Book 8, Number 3468)”
7. Quran 4:19 “O ye who believe! Ye are forbidden to inherit women against their will. Nor should ye treat them with harshness, that ye may take away part of the dower [money given by the husband to the wife for the marriage contract] ye have given them, except where they have been guilty of open lewdness; on the contrary live with them on a footing of kindness and equity. If ye take a dislike to them it may be that ye dislike a thing, and God brings about through it a great deal of good.”
8. Quran 30:21 “And among God’s signs is this: He created for you mates from amongst yourselves (males as mates for females and vice versa) that you might find tranquillity and peace in them. And he has put love and kindness among you. Herein surely are signs for those who reflect.”
Commentary for the above passage by Tanwîr al-Miqbâs min Tafsîr Ibn ‘Abbâs:
(And of His signs) of the signs of His divine Oneness and power (is this: He created for you spouses) human beings like yourselves (from yourselves that ye might find rest in them) so that the husband may find rest in his wife, (and He ordained between you) husband and wife (love) love of the wife for her husband (and mercy) of the husband towards his wife; it is also said that this means: love of the young ones of the old ones and mercy from the older ones towards the young ones. (Lo, herein) in that which I have mentioned (indeed are portents) signs and lessons (for folk who reflect) upon what Allah created.
9. Quran 24:26 “Women impure for men impure. And women of purity for men of purity. These are not affected by what people say. For them is forgiveness and an honorable provision.”
10. Narrated Abu Huraira: “Allah’s Apostle said, ‘The strong is not the one who overcomes the people by his strength, but the strong is the one who controls himself while in anger.” (Bukhari, Good Manners, Volume 8, Book 73, Number 135)
11. Narrated Abu Huraira: “A man said to the Prophet , ‘Advise me! ‘The Prophet said, ‘Do not become angry and furious.’ The man asked (the same) again and again, and the Prophet said in each case, ‘Do not become angry and furious.” (Bukhari, Good Manners, Volume 8, Book 73, Number 137)
12. Abu Huraira reported: “I heard Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: One is not strong because of one’s wrestling skillfully. They said: Allah’s Messenger, then who is strong? He said: He who controls his anger when he is in a fit of rage.” (Muslim, The Book of Virtue, Good Manners and Joining of the Ties of Relationship (Kitab Al-Birr was-Salat-I-wa’l-Adab Book 32, Number 6314)
13. The Prophet Muhammed (Pbuh) said during the farewell sermon: “O people, your wives have a certain right over you and you have certain rights over them. Treat them well and be kind to them for they are your partners and committed helpers”. (Tirmidhi)
14. Tafsir Ibn Kathir, chapter 68:
Imam Ahmad recorded that `A’ishah said, “The Messenger of Allah never struck a servant of his with his hand, nor did he ever hit a woman. He never hit anything with his hand, except for when he was fighting Jihad in the cause of Allah. And he was never given the option between two things except that the most beloved of the two to him was the easiest of them, as long as it did not involve sin. If it did involve sin, then he stayed farther away from sin than any of the people. He would not avenge himself concerning anything that was done to him, except if the limits of Allah were transgressed. Then, in that case he would avenge for the sake of Allah.”
15. Ghazzali’s Ihya Ulum-Id-Din:
“The most perfect of believers in faith are those who are the finest in manners and most gentle toward their wives.”
16. May Allah grant wisdom, patience and temperament to all husbands and wives to honour this beautiful relationship. (Hadith Number 2140, Book of Marriage, Abu Dawud, Volume 2).
I believe I have shown ample of evidences that the Prophet Muhammad (p) never hit any of his wives. The Hadith that somehow assumed that the Prophet (p) hit Aisha, was debunked by Aisha’s own statement(s) that, Muhammed (p) ‘never hit any woman nor servant’.  
 Edward William Lane’s Arabic-English Lexicon, Volume 7 page 204
 What Everyone Needs to Know about Islam: Second Edition [Copyright 2011] By John L. Esposito page 114 – 116
 William Lane’s Arabic-English Lexicon Volume 7. Page 199
 Ghazzali’s Ihya Ulum-Id-Din, Marriage section http://www.ghazali.org/works/marriage.htm
 Scholar Shaykh Muhammad Saalih al-Munajjid:
“The words of ‘Aa’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her), “he gave me a painful shove in the chest” indicate that what the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) did WAS MERELY A SHOVE, i.e., he PUSHED HER OR POKED HER IN THE CHEST; THIS DOES NOT REACH THE LEVEL OF REAL HITTING THAT IS INTENDED TO CAUSE PAIN and to humiliate. In fact it is stated in LISAAN AL-‘ARAB (3/393) THAT ONE OF THE MEANINGS OF THE WORD LAHD (TRANSLATED HERE AS SHOVE) IS POKE. In TAAJ AL-‘AROOS (9/145) IT SAYS THAT ONE OF THE MEANINGS OF THE WORD LAHD IS TO APPLY PRESSURE. All of these meanings INDICATE THAT THE PROPHET (BLESSINGS AND PEACE OF ALLAH BE UPON HIM) DID NOT HIT HER in the sense meant by those who want to cast aspersions upon him; rather HE POKED HER OR PUSHED HER IN THE CHEST IN SUCH A WAY THAT SHE FELT PAIN, BUT IT WAS MILD AND UNINTENDED PAIN; rather the purpose behind it was to point out something and teach.” (Did the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) ever hit his wife ‘Aa’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her)? by Shaykh Muhammad Saalih al-Munajjid, online source https://islamqa.info/en/164216)
This Hadith where the Prophet (p) poked Aisha is deemed by classical scholar An-Nawawi (1233 – 1277) as being “weak”:
“…considered to have a weak chain of transmission, was nonetheless recorded by Muslim.” (This narration was considered weak al-Nawawi, al-Nawawi, Sharh Sahih Muslim [Damascus – Dar al-Khayr, 1998] volume 7, page 36-37) (“I Wanted One Thing And God Wanted Another…”: The Dilemma of the Prophetic Example and the Qur’anic Injunction on Wife-Beating [The Journal of Religious Ethics – Blackwell Publishing Ltd on behalf of Journal of Religious Ethics, Inc – No. 3 (September 2011)] by Ayesha S. Chaudhry, volume 39, page 421)