Muhammed And “Wife Beating” Claim

𝐌𝐮𝐡𝐚𝐦𝐦𝐞𝐝 𝐀𝐧𝐝 “𝐖𝐢𝐟𝐞 𝐁𝐞𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐧𝐠” 𝐂𝐥𝐚𝐢𝐦

Mohamad Mostafa Nassar


This hadith we are going explain has been dealt with, on a different point missionaries brought up before: Muhammed, Jauniyya The ‘Prepubescent Girl’?

A few missionaries have been making the claim that Prophet Muhammed raised his hand to hit a woman. The Hadith reports say the contrary:

Narrated Abu Usaid: We went out with the Prophet to a garden called Ash-Shaut till we reached two walls between which we sat down. The Prophet said, “Sit here,” and went in (the garden). THE JAUNIYYA (A LADY from Bani Jaun) had been brought and lodged in a house in a date-palm garden in the home of Umaima bint An- Nu`man bin Sharahil, and her wet nurse was with her.

When the Prophet entered upon her, he said to her, “Give me yourself (in marriage) as a gift.” She said, “can a princess give herself in marriage to an ordinary man?” The PROPHET RAISED HIS HAND TO PAT HER so that SHE MIGHT BECOME TRANQUIL. She said, “I seek refuge with Allah from you.” He said, “You have sought refuge with One Who gives refuge. Then the Prophet came out to us and said, “O Abu Usaid! GIVE HER TWO WHITE LINEN DRESSES TO WEAR and let her go back to her family.” (Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 7, Book 63, Hadith 182)

And in another version in Sahih al-Bukhari:

4956. It is related that Abu Usayd said, “We went out with the Prophet until we reached a walled garden called ash-Shawt and we went to two walls and sat down between them. The Prophet said, ‘Sit here,’ and went in. The JAWNIYYA WOMAN had been brought and lodged in a house in the date palms of Umayma bint an-Nu’man ibn Sharahil. SHE (jawniyya) HAD with her wet-nurse who was her governess. When the Messenger of Allah came to her, he said, ‘Give yourself to me.’

She replied, ‘Can a queen give herself to a peasant?’ He STRETCHED HIS HAND TO HER TO CALM HER and she said, ‘I seek refuge with Allah from you!’ He said, ‘You have sought refuge with the Refuge.’ Then he came out to us and said, ‘Abu Usayd, GIVE HER TWO LONG WHITE LINEN GARMENTS and take her back to her family.’”

4957. It is related from Sahl and Abu Usayd, “The Prophet married Umayma bint Sharahil. When she was brought to him, he stretched his hand to her and she seemed to dislike that. Therefore he commanded Abu Usayma to prepare her and GIVE HER TWO WHITE LINEN GARMENTS.” This is reported from Sahl ibn Sa’d. (Aisha Bewly, The Sahih Collection of al-Bukhari, Chapter 71. Book of Divorce)

Thus when we read the Hadith quoted by critics actually states that the Prophet Muhammed stretched his hand out to “CALM” (“tranquil”) the woman down. Not to beat her as some falsely have claimed. Furthermore, the woman’s attitude to the Prophet, he (Muhammed) returned her gesture with kindness, by giving her a fine linen of dress.

To further refute this, there is a statement from Aisha, the wife of Prophet Muhammed, saying that Muhammed never hit any woman.

It is a well-known fact that Muhammed (p) was known never to have beaten any of his wives, women or servants. This is reported in many authentic Hadith:

“The PROPHET NEVER BEAT ANY OF HIS WIVES or servants. In fact, he did not strike anything with his hand, except if he were struggling in the cause of God.” (Fath al-Bari, volume 9, page 249)

Sahih Muslim:

“A’isha reported that Allah’s MESSENGER NEVER BEAT ANYONE WITH HIS HAND, NEITHER A WOMEN, nor a servant, but only, in the case when he had been fighting in the cause of Allah and he never took revenge for anything unless the things made inviolable by Allah were made violable; he then took revenge for Allah, the Exalted and Glorious.” (Sahih Muslim Book 30, Hadith 5756)

Sunan Ibn Majah:

“It was narrated that ‘Aishah said: The MESSENGER OF ALLAH NEVER BEAT any of his servants, or WIVES, and his hand never hit anything.” (Sunan Ibn Majah volume 3, Book 9, Hadith 1984 Sahih (Darussalam))

Sunan Abi Dawud:

“A’isha said: the MESSENGER OF ALLAH NEVER STRUCK a servant or a WOMAN.” (Sunan Abi Dawud Book 42, Hadith 4768, (Sahih Albani))

Riyad as-Salihin

“Aishah (May Allah be pleased with her) reported: MESSENGER OF ALLAH NEVER HIT ANYTHING with his hand neither a servant nor a WOMAN but of course, he did fight in the Cause of Allah. He never took revenge upon anyone for the wrong done to him, but of course, he exacted retribution for the sake of Allah in case the Injunctions of Allah about unlawful acts were violated.” (Riyad as-Salihin Book 1, Hadith 644)

So in conclusion, the claim that Muhammed (p) “tried” to or “hit” her is incorrect. Not only does the context of the reports refute this, but Aisha, Muhammed’s wife debunks this false claim as well.


The Bible on beating women. If a female slave gets beaten black and blue, crippled where she can’t walk, if she doesn’t die, no punishment is to be meted on the owner. Basically, the master can beat the woman, as long as she survives:

“20″If a man STRIKES his male or FEMALE SLAVE WITH A ROD and he dies at his hand, he shall be punished. 21″If, however, he SURVIVES A DAY OR TWO, NO VENGEANCE SHALL BE TAKEN; FOR HE IS HIS PROPERTY.…” – Exodus 21:20-21

Exegesis for the above verses:

Adam Clarke Commentary

Verse 21
If the slave who had been beaten by his master died under his hand, the master was punished with death – see Genesis 9:5, Genesis 9:6. But if he survived the beating a day or two the MASTER WAS NOT PUNISHED, because it might be presumed that the man died through some other cause. And all penal laws should be construed as FAVOURABLY as possible TO THE ACCUSED.” (Adam Clarke Commentary – Exodus 21:21-22 – online source)

Coffman’s Commentaries on the Bible:

“… Also, there was a protective right established here for the slave-owner who was not to be charged with murder in case a slave died under the lash, but he was to be punished. IF THE SLAVE, SUFFERING SUCH A PUNISHMENT, SURVIVED, EVEN A FEW DAYS AND THEN DIED, THE MASTER WAS HELD FREE OF THE PENALTY of punishment, the loss of his slave being accounted a sufficient penalty.” (Coffman’s Commentaries on the Bible – Exodus 21:20:21 – online source)

Compare the above to the merciful character of Prophet Muhammed (p), where he commanded that anyone who touched a slave, they must set them free:

Hilal b. Yasaf reported that a person got angry and slapped his slave-girl. Thereupon Suwaid b. Muqarrin said to him: You could find no other part (to slap) but the prominent part of her face. See I was one of the seven sons of Muqarrin, and we had but only one slave-girl. The youngest of us slapped her, and ALLAH’S MESSENGER COMMANDED US TO SET HER FREE. (Sahih Muslim Book 15, Hadith 4082)

Narrated Suwaid bin Muqarrin Al-Muzani: “We were seven brothers without a servant except one, and ONE OF US SLAPPED her, so THE PROPHET ORDERED US TO FREE HER.” (Jami` at-Tirmidhi volume 3, Book 18, Hadith 1542)

𝐂𝐡𝐢𝐥𝐝 𝐀𝐛𝐮𝐬𝐞 𝐢𝐧 𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐁𝐢𝐛𝐥𝐞

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Related Articles:

Muhammed, Jauniyya The “Prepubescent Girl”?

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Muhammed (p) “Never Hit Any Of His Wives”

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