Documentation from Muslim scholars who specifically mention the toothbrush (miswak) as the wife beating stick.

The Koran instructs men to beat their wives in Qur'an 4:34
But you must beat her with a "miswak" (a small natural toothbrush)

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Documentation from Muslim scholars who specifically mention the toothbrush (miswak) as the wife beating stick.

Click to View"As defined by hadith, it is not permissible to strike anyone's face, cause any bodily harm or even be harsh. What the hadith qualified as dharban ghayra mubarrih, or light striking, was interpreted by early jurists as a (symbolic) use of miswak (a small natural toothbrush)!" (Basic Principles, Jamal Badawi, Ph.D., Muslim)

Click to View"When the above Quran verse authorizing the beating of a refractory wife was revealed, the is reported to have said: "I wanted one thing, but God has willed another thing - and what God has willed must be best (see Manar V, 74). With all this, he stipulated in his sermon on the occasion of the Farewell Pilgrimage, shortly before his death, that the beating should be resorted to only if the wife "has become guilty, in an obvious manner, of immoral conduct", and that it should be done "in such a way as not to cause pain (ghayr mubarrih)"; authentic Traditions to this effect are found in Muslim, Tirmidhi, Abu Daud, Nasai and Ibn Majah. On the basis of these Traditions, all the authorities stress that this beating, if resorted to at all, should be more or less symbolic - "with a toothbrush, or some such thing" (Tabari, quoting the views of scholars of the earliest times), or even "with a folded handkerchief" (Razi); and some of the greatest Muslim scholars (e.g. Ash-Shafii) are of the opinion that it is just barely permissible, and should preferable be avoided: and they justify this opinion by the prophet's personal feelings with regard to this problem." (Muhammad Asad, "The Message of the Quran", Dar al-Andalus, Gilbralter, 1980, footnote in his translation of the Koran)

Click to ViewCommenting on wife beating Mostafa wrote it is "acceptable so long as the blow, delivered by a thin rod, was not struck in extreme anger. Sensitive parts of the body such as the face, breasts, and stomach should be avoided." ... "don't leave cuts or bruises" (Women in Islam, Mohamed Kamal Mostafa, imam in Fuengirola, 2000 AD)

Click to ViewWhat the hadith qualified as dharban ghayra mubarrih, or light striking, was interpreted by early jurists as a (symbolic) use of miswak (a small natural toothbrush)! (Is wife beating allowed in Islam? by Dr. Jamal Badawi)

 Click to View"A women complained to Muhammad that her husband slapped her on the face, (which was still marked by the slap). At first the prophet said to her: "Get even with him", but then added: "Wait until I think about it". Later on, Allah supposedly revealed 4:34 to Muhammad, after which the prophet said: "We wanted one thing but Allah wanted another, and what Allah wanted is best". [To beat your wife is best.] ("At-Tafsir al-Kabir" on 4:34, Razi (Quoted in "Beyond the Veil, Razi is one of the greatest Muslim scholars)

Click to View "Because Allah has made one of them excel the other and because they spend from their means." Ash-Sha'bi stated that this excellence refers to the bridal money; for if the husband reprimands her, he shall not be punished and if she reprimands him, she will be lashed. "Therefore the righteous among women, are devoutly obedient" to their husbands." ... "Therefore, if a husband feels the signs of her disobedience, he should give her advice, threaten her with Allah's Punishment for her disobedience to her husband." ... "Refuse to share their beds." Ibn Abbas said: "A man should advise her if she accepts. Otherwise, he should refuse to share their bed." Quoting Ibn Abbas, "Sharing the bed means: a man should not have sexual intercourse with his wife, and should turn his back on her in bed." ... "And beat them." If they do not abstain from their disobedience through both advice and desertion. However, the beating should be dharbun ghayru nubrah, i.e. light, according to the Hadith narrated in Sahih Muslim, on the authority of Jabir, who had quoted the Prophet as saying in his farewell pilgrimage: "And fear Allah in women, for they are your aides, and their duties towards you is that your beds should not be shared with someone you dislike. Therefore, if they disobey you, beat them lightly, and your duty towards them is that you should maintain and buy them clothes in a reasonable manner." ... "Scholars said: dharbun ghayru nubrah means: The husband should beat his wife lightly, in a way which does not result in breaking one of her limbs or affecting her badly." (Ibn Kathir, commentary (tafseer) on Koran 4:34, p 50-53,highly respected Islamic scholar by Sunni Muslims)

Click to View "When a husband notices signs of rebelliousness in his wife (nushuz), whether in words, as when she answers him coldly when she used to do so politely, or he asks her to come to bed and she refuses, contrary to her usual habit; or whether in acts, as when he finds her averse to him when she was previously kind and cheerful), he warns her in words (without keeping from her or hitting her, for it may be that she has an excuse. The warning could be to tell her, "fear Allah concerning the rights you owe to me," or it could be to explain that rebelliousness nullifies his obligation to support her and give her a turn amongst other wives, or it could be to inform her, "Your obeying me is religiously obligatory"). If she commits rebelliousness, he keeps from sleeping (and having sex) with her without words, and may hit her, but not in a way that injures her, meaning he may not (bruise her), break bones, wound her, or cause blood to flow. (It is unlawful to strike another's face.) He may hit her whether she is rebellious only once or whether more than once, though a weaker opinion holds that he may not hit her unless there is repeated rebelliousness." (Classic Manual of Islamic Sacred Law, Al-Nawawi, section m10.12, "Dealing with a Rebellious Wife", page 540, great Islamic jurisprudence Shafi'i scholar, 13th century)

Written by Brother Andrew


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