This week, BTJ missionaries in an undisclosed nation in the Middle East were shocked to learn that Muslim men are permitted to beat their wives. They were aware that domestic violence was common in the Middle East before they left their homes in China, but they were not aware that men beating their wives is both legal and enshrined in the Koran.
In many Muslim countries, including Iran, Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Yemen, and Egypt, it is not illegal for men to beat their wives, as long as it is done in “good faith.”
For many Muslim nations that live under Sharia law, it is simply understood that women are like children and from time to time they need to be treated like children and punished if they disobey.
Islam teaches that women should submit to physical abuse from their husbands as a form of correction.
It is written in the Koran, “Men are in charge of women by [right of] what Allah has given one over the other and what they spend [for maintenance] from their wealth. So righteous women are devoutly obedient, guarding in [the husband’s] absence what Allah would have them guard. But those [wives] from whom you fear arrogance – [first] advise them; [then if they persist], forsake them in bed; and [finally], strike them. But if they obey you [once more], seek no means against them. Indeed, Allah is ever Exalted and Grand.” (Sura 4:34 Sahih International Translation)
Furthermore, in one of the teachings of Islam – known as the Sahih Bukhari (72:715) – one of Muhammad’s wives had a friend who told her about the beating she received from her husband. Muhammad’s wife was concerned because the woman had serious injuries from the beating and the wounds had turned green in color (usually not a good sign). Muhammad did not correct the husband at all, but instead told the wife to return to him and serve his sexual desires as a good, obedient wife should.
This is not just how Islam is understood and practiced in Muslim nations, but it is also being embraced more and more by Muslims in western nations as well.
On www.islamdebate.com, a question and answer forum about Islam, a young European woman wrote the following question about being spanked on the buttocks by her husband as a form of acceptable punishment:
I am a young European woman happily married to a wonderful Muslim man and we live in his homeland. Before we married, he honestly explained every detail of a Muslim marriage. I liked the idea that he would be the provider and guardian while I would only have limited responsibilities and have accepted the idea that in return he would be dominant and I the obedient one. He also openly explained the benefits of spanking the wife in Islam and asked that I accept it as part of our marriage. He told me, and I researched it, that Islam only permits mild spanking that does not leave any marks and is applied only to body parts where there can be no injury. I also learned that such spanking is more a reconciliation than a punishment and prevents bigger marital problems. So I agreed. I have been a good and obedient wife and my husband is great provider and loving partner. During the past 19 months, he spanked me only 7 times, with his hand on my bare buttocks.
I am wondering though if this is an approved method.
The website is in English and this question had been viewed almost 600,000 times. Shockingly, most of the responses were not focused on telling her to seek help or how to escape an abusive situation. Instead, the responses were focused on the most acceptable manner for husbands to beat their wives according to the Koran!
One person responded with the following:
One should have an open mind about wife-spanking. In the West and in Muslim countries, domestic violence can be brutal and dangerous to women. Even when there is no violence, there are frequent marital conflicts that are stressful on both partners and often lead to divorce. If wife-spanking is done in accordance with the Koran, it prevents lots of problems and can preserve a happy marriage.
A good Muslim husband is a good provider and protector of his wife and in return for that responsibility is granted a dominant role, which includes the right to use corporal punishment on his wife, but only if she deserves it and if the punishment does not injure her or leave permanent marks.
Spanking the wife and her bare buttocks won’t injure her and it will remind her that she has to be obedient to her husband. Such spanking also symoolizes a reconciliation and an end to the wife’s rebellion.
Another person added:
According to the Koran, the wife can be beaten only on body parts where the strokes won’t cause permanent injury. Obviously the buttocks meets that requirement. They also are not supposed to leave any marks and that is unrealistic. If the spanking is supposed to persuade the wife not to misbehave, it must hurt, at least moderately. If it hurts, it will turn the buttocks red for a few hours, and may leave bruises for a few days.
I think that is a reasonable and acceptable punishment.
The BTJ missionaries are not alone in their ignorance regarding the Koran’s teaching on how a man should properly beat his wife. Most of the Christian world does not know.
It is important for Christians to understand the many ways that the enemy maintains a stronghold on societies. It is not enough to merely listen to the same tired moral equivalency arguments between the Koran and the Old Testament, spouted endlessly on CNN or BBC. Christians must know the Truth and understand why the Gospel sets us all free and how valuable the freedom of the Gospel truly is.
God made both man and woman and they are of equal in value in His eyes. The Gospel message must be preached in all the world to set the captives free. Some of those captives are women who are being forced into belief systems under the threat of violence, but the love of Jesus Christ cannot be stopped. Abuse of women cannot be forcefully legislated out. It must be a change of heart for the nation and that change can only come through revival.
This is why BTJ sends missionaries into the darkest nations on earth!