Islam did not command detaining a sinful wife in a separate room
Fatwa No: 210097

Question

Salam alaikum, I have read following hadith: Ibn Ishaq/Hisham 969 - Requires that a married woman be "put in a separate room and beaten lightly" if she "act in a sexual manner toward others." According to the Hadith, this can be for an offense as petty as merely being alone with a man to whom she is not related. Kash-shaf of al-Zamkhshari (Vol. 1, p. 525) - [Muhammad said] "Hang up your scourge where your wife can see it" Are those hadith sahih?

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah, and that Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, is His Slave and Messenger.

 

The wording of the first Hadeeth that we have read in Seerat Ibn Hishaam does not include detaining the woman in the house and its wording is as follows: “...and they should not commit a clear immorality. But if they do that, then Allaah has given you permission to forsake them in bed and to hit them but not severely...” This Hadeeth was originally reported in Saheeh Muslim on the authority of Jaabir  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him in the Farewell Khutbah (Sermon) and it is a sound Hadeeth.

Forsaking means turning one’s back to his wife in bed while hitting refers to light beating. That is not meant to inflict physical pain on her (the recalcitrant wife), but rather to discipline her in a psychological manner. Islam actually calls for treating women kindly, prohibits oppressing them or causing harm and assaulting them. Also, if you go back to that Hadeeth, you will find that before the words you have stated the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said: “Fear Allaah concerning women” and after that he said, “Thus, treat women kindly.

There is absolutely no doubt that no religion has given women the great status that Islam has given them. We have pointed that out in the Fatwa 81237, so please refer to it.

As for the second Hadeeth which is the saying of the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam: “Hang your whip where the members of your household can see it.” [At-Tabaraani in Al-Mu‘jam], some scholars deemed it weak while some others deemed it Hasan [good]. It means that this will motivate them (members of the household) to behave properly. Therefore, another narration of this Hadeeth reads: “Hang your whip where the members of your household can see it, for that will discipline them.

It was stated in Faydh Al-Qadeer: “It means that this will motivate them to act properly and be good-mannered, and thus refrain from indulging in vice... Ibn Al-Anbaari  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said: “There is nothing to suggest that it should be used for beating, because he, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, did not command anyone to do that. What he, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, meant was: do not stop disciplining them.

Allaah Knows best.

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