February 2001: Page 1, 2, 3

Submitters Perspective

Page 2

Protection of Women

Cont’d from Page 1

He must first talk with his wife and see if she changes her behavior or not. This will take some time, and his anger will diminish over this time. If the rebellious woman does not honor her husband and doesn’t correct the way she behaves, the husband may desert her in bed, before using another negative incentive.

Now let’s examine this situation. When these things happen, usually the family and friends will know about it, and they will try to reconcile the couple (4:35). Hopefully, this will further defuse the situa-tion.

As you can see, if a man who is an obedient believer goes through all these steps, he will never beat his wife, simply because his anger has diminished over time.

God is the One who has created us, and God knows the best way to help a man to get ride of his anger, and He knows best how to protect the women too. He knows that the passage of time helps us the most when we are trying to suppress our anger. Note: one of the traits of the believers is that they suppress their anger (3:134).

Once again we must understand that God did not mean to punish the women by this verse. All He is doing is protecting the women in a manner that gives the best possible result. And any abuse of this verse incurs severe retribution.

God could overlook the matter and not even mention it, or He could say in a straightforward manner that wife-beating is prohibited. Why doesn’t He? The answer is God has created us, and He knows better “WHAT” He created. He knew that if He just prohibited it in a straightforward manner, people


would simply not obey the prohibition at all and the problem would continue to exist in the society. God didn’t want that. God wanted an applicable law, with the best possible result that could come out to protect the women, because God meant to protect the women.

A valuable law must have applicability, and bring you closer to the goal. A law that is not capable of being applied does not have value. There would be no good in a law that can’t be applied. The best example I can give is that of the communist system. Communism did not look bad in theory, but it was not applicable. Therefore, the system failed after a short while. And as a result, not only the people did not get what they wanted, but their situation worsened.

Another example is when men issued laws to give liberty to the slaves. It was sudden, and caused a lot of mental and economic problems. But when God wanted to give liberty to the slaves, He did it with great wisdom and foresight. He decreed a suitable law that would give the best result. God decreed, out of His wisdom, that the atonement for certain sins shall be to free a slave. Thus, slaves were freed gradually. They had a chance to learn a way to earn their living, without being homeless or hungry. Thus, they could mingle in society without having a serious problem or causing a serious problem.

Let’s go back to the subject again. We all know that beating is bad behavior, and the Quran says “All bad behavior is condemned by your Lord.” (17:38)

Considering this, how could God possibly give permission to a husband beat his wife? How about the following verse:

They commit a gross sin, then say, “We found our parents doing this, and GOD has commanded us to do it.” Say, “GOD never advocates sin. Are you saying about GOD what you do not know?” (7:28)

God explains in the Quran that it is the devil that advocates evil, vice and unrighteousness. The devil does not want us to treat each other amicably.

O you who believe, do not follow the steps of Satan. Anyone who follows the steps of Satan should know that he advocates evil and vice…. (24:21)

Tell My servants to treat each other in the best possible manner, for the devil will always try to drive a wedge among them. Surely, the devil is man’s most ardent enemy. (17:53)

God gives men many different alternatives in verse 4:34 to prevent this bad behavior. As Dr. Rashad Khalifa has explained in his footnote for this verse in his translation of the Quran:

God prohibits wife-beating by using the best psychological approach. If I don’t want you to shop at Market X, I will ask you to shop at Market Y, then at Market Z, then, as a last resort, at Market X. This will effectively stop you from shopping at Market X, without insulting you. Similarly, God provides alternatives to wife-beating; reasoning with her first, then employing certain negative incentives. Remember that the theme of this sura is defending the women’s rights and countering the prevalent oppression of women. Any interpretation of the verses of this sura must be in favor of the women. This sura’s theme is “protection of women.”

May God bless us to understand the true meaning of His revelations, always.