Husband must follow steps to discipline wife in order
Fatwa No: 357901

  • Fatwa Date:3-1-2018 - Rabee' Al-Aakhir 16, 1439
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Salam. There are three steps in dealing with a disobedient wife. Is it obligatory to follow the steps in order, or can one resort to the second step directly if the situation calls for it?


All perfect praise be to Allah, the Lord of the worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah and that Muhammad, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, is His slave and Messenger.

Scholars stated the obligation of taking the gradual approach mentioned in the noble verse in disciplining the disobedient wife; Ar-Raazi  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him commented on the verse in reference, saying, "The verse indicates that the first measure is to admonish, and then to forsake in bed (i.e. refrain from intimacy with her), and then the last resort is to beat her. This is almost an explicit statement that as long as the purpose is achieved by the lighter measure, then it is sufficient and it is not permissible for him to take the tougher measure."

The Hanafi scholar Al-Kaasaani  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him wrote, "If the wife is disobedient, he has the right to discipline her, but in the order mentioned in the verse. First, he gives her advice kindly and gently to obey him and avoid the mistakes that she is making. If giving advice proves to be ineffective, then he may abandon her in bed. If she persists in her disobedience, then he may beat her."

An-Nawawi  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said, "He does not opt for the next (harsher) disciplinary measure until he believes that the former one is ineffective."

It should be noted that the beating mentioned in the verse means beating that is not severe. ʻAtaa'  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said, "I asked Ibn ʻAbbaas what is meant by beating that is not severe?' He replied, 'Beating with the Siwaak (tooth stick) or the like.'"

An-Nawawi  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said, "It is impermissible (for the husband) to beat his wife severely even if he knows that it is the only effective means to make her give up her disobedience."

For more benefit, please refer to fatwa 85402.

Allah knows best.

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