Marrying A Muslim Man and Some Concerns


I am a 38 year old woman who was raised a Christian my whole life. I recently met someone that has made me very curious about the Islam religion. I started reading the English translation of the Quran and I am very thankful that you put this email address in here for questions. I have a question, or, I would like the verse above to be better explained to me.

It says: Men are the protectors and maintainers of women, because Allah has given the one more strength than the other and because they support them from their means. Therefore the righteous women are devoutly obedient and gaurd in the husbands absence what Allah would have them gaurd. As to those women on whose part you fear disloyalty and ill conduct, caution andwarn them against the specific faults, at first, refuse to share their beds next, beat them lightly at the very last. But if they return to obedience, seek not against them means of angering them. Truly, Allah is most High, most Great.

I have 2 concerns here. The first being who decides if the wife is being disloyal or is having ill conduct?? Secondly, is it really saying to beat their wives??

I was taught and do believe with all of my heart, as it states in our marriage ceromony, “to love, honor and obey our husband. I will always do that for fear of Allah. If you could add anything to this verse to help me better understand it, I would appreciate it very much.

The reason, as you probably have guessed. I have met a Muslim man whom I intend to marry. He is unlike any other man I have known. I look forward to hearing from you.

Thank you,

Answer: Hi,

I hope you are doing well. Yes, you raised some very important questions, that deserves some reasonable answers. There are two things that we have to deal with. First, is the correct understanding of this verse of the Quran and second, and equally important is, to ask your future husband what is his feelings of this verse. If his understanding is different from what I will be presenting you with, then your marriage consideration should be based on his understanding of this verse. However, you are not just thinking of marriage, you are also considering to embrace Islam, so yes, if it is important for you to get a clear understanding of this verse of the Quran.

Also, let me from the very start mention, if a man beats his wife, its not because of this verse, rather like many unfortunate men who batter thier wives,so to some Muslim men may hit and abuse thier wives…but then someone may confuse this verse with that , and think that is sanctioned by Islam. This is not true.

Literally, the verse is saying the following if a wife shows ill conduct (that is only one thing, cheating on her husband). If a man not suspects, but knows that his wife is not being loyal to him. Also, if he also does not want to make a it a law and order situation, nor does he want the issue to become public, but settle the matter in the house. Then he has to take three steps (showig the it can not be demostic voilence because the persons anger has been put to control by the steps), first to communicate with her, second show some distance to her and third to use force to stop her from leaving the house to go to some other man. At this level of interpretation we say, it is better to save the family and to stop her from leaving, and then follow it up with the following verse

“And if you fear a breach between the two, then appoint judge from his people and a judge from her people; if they both desire agreement, Allah will effect harmony between them, surely Allah is Knowing, Aware. ”

meaning now that he stopped her from leaving, even though he may not want to make the issue public, but what the Quran suggests is to bring in her family and his family to resolve the issue between them. At the literal level we say, it is better to stop her from leaving even if it requires force as an attempt to save the marriage, by using interventioin methods by the family. So, this is the literal understanding of the verse. Of course she may decide at anytime to have a divorce, this is a situation, where she is not seeking a divorce for some reason, and yet would like to be with someone else. She at anytime can go to a judge or Imam and seek a diovrce. So, the Quran is saying “men are caretakers of women”, and if she does something to hurt the marriage, the man has a right to take steps to save the marriage.

That was a literal interpretation, at a deeper level this the beating in this verse was explained by the Prophet, and used he a gesture to show, that the pupose of the verse was to tap her lightly. So, one may ask, why tap her, what will that do?

  /pərˈkʌs/ Show Spelled Pronunciation [per-kuhs] Show IPA
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–verb (used with object)
1. Medicine/Medical. to strike or tap for diagnostic or therapeutic purposes.
2. to strike (something) so as to shake or cause a shock to.
–verb (used without object)
3. Medicine/Medical. to strike the surface of a part of the body for diagnostic purposes.

If the wife is not behaving like her normal sense. The Quran suggests to percuss in the medical sense to see why she is not her normal self; therefore the verse in this sense can be applied to men and women.. Here is a link to see percuss being used in therapy.

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