Khalid Zaheer
“I am convinced about the veracity of my opinions, but I do consider it likely that they may turn out to be incorrect. Likewise, I am convinced about the incorrectness of the views different from mine, but I do concede the possibility that they may turn out to be correct.” — Imam Shafa’i

Does Qur'an Allow Husbands to Beat Up Wives? (5)

Question:
I lived all my life in Pakistan and I belong to a middle class family, so I can easily say that I belong to the masses. According to my experience, women who tolerate husband's bossy attitude not because of any religious obligation but due to the fact that they are financially dependent on their husbands. The only reason why divorce rate is getting higher in Pakistan is that women are now becoming financially independent. I saw 60% women in a prestigious engineering university of Pakistan, and this percentage is increasing. I am seeing many couples where wife is earning higher than the man. Ironically, in our society young men want pretty women for marriage with a professional degree and a good job. Do you think in this era, the provision of wife beating is becoming irrelevant? Women gave birth to their kids, do job inside and outside, so that the man can lead a smooth life and then he can say that I AM YOUR BOSS & I CAN BEAT YOU. He will never say that. I saw many men who urge their wives to do job during and after pregnancy, even if the wife is not willing to do that. If the wife refuses, do you think it is a revolt against the husband and the husband can separate bed and then beat his wife?

And why divorce is an evil? Look at Saudi Arabia where the divorce rate is higher than any Muslim country. Do you think their family structure is broken. No, not at all. And the reason behind is their wealth and the prosperity they are enjoying from oil industry.

What I understand that every Islamic law is based on wealth distribution and financial dependency of a person on another. If this dependency shifted, then the law is also shifted.

Like, for example, I have a female cousin who is single and living in Canada and has a great career. When her parents died, her brother (who lives in Pakistan), distributed their parents wealth equally among them (not according to Islamic teaching that give more share to brother) and he said " My sister is not dependent on me and this makes unfair of me if I took more share from my parents wealth".

Response:
Wife beating is not a rule; it's a possibility which will arise only in the presence of certain conditions. Revolt against the husband is one of them. The very premise of the Qur'anic verdict of a man becoming the head of a family is based on his natural abilities and his ability to earn for the family. When one of them drops, so does his possibility of exercising control over her.

In case of an earning lady possibilities of husbands beating them up are remote even otherwise.

Divorce is bad for the children and in many cases for the otherwise sincere and sensitive spouses too. Some people can use divorce to experience many spouses. We can't talk about the question whether divorce is good or not on the basis of experiences and tastes of such people. What is happening in Saudi Arabia is not necessarily an ideal for Muslims to follow.

A wife can always ask and even bind her husband to not use the third option (of beating her up) ever and divorce her before that stage reaches.

The distribution of wealth done by the brother was in complete defiance of the law of inheritance. There is no mention in the Qur'an that the laws of Shari'ah are based on "wealth distribution and financial dependency of a person on another". In fact, God Almighty has stated the rationale of the inheritance law thus: "You don't know who is closer to you in benefit". In other words, it is only Allah who knows the relative who is closer in benefit to the dying individual.

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