“I wanted one thing and God wanted another . . . ”: The dilemma of the prophetic example and the qur'anic injunction on wife-beating [Book Review]
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Journal of Religious Ethics 39 (3):416-439 (2011)
Chapter 4, verse 34 of the Qur'an permits husbands to physically discipline recalcitrant wives. Modern Muslims who find this husbandly privilege discomfiting often rely on Muhammad's prophetic practice to mitigate the meaning of this verse. In light of Muhammad's example of never hitting his own wives, as found in one prophetic report, they reinterpret the verse as restricting and/or voiding a husband's right to physically discipline his wife. This essay provides a critical and expository survey of prophetic reports related to the husbandly privilege to physically discipline wives. The essay argues that the modernists are correct in positing that Muhammad's prophetic practice was to morally censure husbands who hit their wives. However, taken as a whole, it is impossible to ignore that Muhammad's example also unilaterally upheld physical discipline as a husband's marital right.
|Keywords||Islam wife‐beating Prophet Muhammad prophetic practice Sunnah Qur'anic exegesis Islamic law|
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References found in this work BETA
Mohamed Mahmoud (2006). To Beat or Not to Beat: On the Exegetical Dilemmas Over Qur'ān, 4:34. Journal of the American Oriental Society 126 (4):537-550.
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