The punishment for 'domestic violence' in Islam
Fatwa No: 277036

  • Fatwa Date:14-12-2014 - Safar 22, 1436
  • Rating:


Aslamu Alaikum, thank you for looking at my question. Does the Sharia stipulate a punishment for domestic violence? E.g. if a husband reguarly hits his wife, does the sharia punish him in anyway, or is it that separation/divorce occurs, so that this would protect the woman from him? Jazakallah.


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 wise Sharee‘ah has appointed the husband as the protector and the person in charge of his wife; Allaah says (what means): {Men are in charge of women by [right of] what Allaah has given one over the other and what they spend [for maintenance] from their wealth.} [Quran 4:34] This entails the responsibility of administering affairs and regulating matters, not the responsibility of humiliating and dominating.

The religion advises men to be kind and good to the wife. Allaah says (what means): {And live with them in kindness. For if you dislike them – perhaps you dislike a thing and Allaah makes therein much good.} [Quran 4:19] It is confirmed that the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said: “Be kind to your wives.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

The religion has also prohibited beating the wife and emphasized the prohibition of this matter, and it did not allow it except in some very restricted cases according to very stringent conditions as in the case of disciplining a recalcitrant wife. For more benefit on how to address a recalcitrant wife, please refer to Fatwa 85402.

What is called today “domestic violence”, which is what exceeds what is permissible, is rejected in Islam. The Sharee‘ah does not specify a punishment for it as is the case in the Hadd (i.e. the punishments determined by the Islamic Law), but this does not mean that the husband who commits such a heinous act is not disciplined. Indeed, the ruler (Imaam or judge) has the right to discipline him by Ta‘zeer (a discretionary punishment that would deter him from returning to such an act). Ta‘zeer is up to the discretion of the Imaam in determining the appropriate extent of punishment.

In addition to this, the Sharee‘ah has made a way out for the wife when the good marital relations become impossible between the spouses and when the wife is harmed by staying with her husband; she has the right to seek for divorce. For more benefit, please refer to Fataawa 241252 and 165041.

Allaah Knows best.

Related Fatwa