Habiba (Radhi Allahu Taala Anha) was married to Saad bin Rabee (Radhi Allahu taala Anhu). Once they got into a fight and Rabee (R.A) slapped Habiba (R.A). She straight went to her father and complained him; her father got angry instantly and accompanied her to Prophet to complain to him about Rabee (R.A). Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) listened to Habiba’s father and said, “Habiba has right to slap Rabee as hard as Rabee has slapped her.”
They were both on their way back home when Gabriel (A.S) came to reveal these words of Allah to Prophet (P.B.U.H):
Men are in charge of women by [right of] what Allah has bestowed 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 to 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. (Verse: 34, Chapter: 04 – Al-Nisa)
Prophet hurriedly requested someone to call them and asked Habiba not to take revenge from her husband. As Habiba was a righteous woman, she obeyed Prophet Muhammad and did not slap her husband back.
Later, husbands became cruel and started beating their wives more often and more harshly. Then, all the women took complain of their husbands to Prophet (P.B.U.H). To hear such a thing, Prophet got angry and said, “Listen! The voice of women has reached me! Remember that those men who beat women are not good ones.”
In the succeeding time, Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H) told the nature of women and asked men to be kind and humble with them for a successful and beloved relationship. He also advised men not to hate their wives because of any unpleasant habit of theirs but rather be pleased by acknowledging the other good habits they possess. While delivering the last sermon Prophet (P.B.U.H) ordered men again to treat their women kindly. Furthermore, he told men that they have rights over women and women too have rights over them.
If we go through history and learn about the marital lifestyle of Muhammad (P.B.U.H) we realize that he was always kind with his wives. How could he hit his wives when he never once raised his voice against them? Factly, no messenger of God ever hit any woman.
We witness quite a polarity in between Qur’an, the words of God, and Hadith, the words of Prophet taught to him by God. This difference is confusing in the beginning but beautiful when we start understanding the essence of both. Qur’an is like a fire burning and Hadith is like the rain lashing out on that fire.
We will find a lawful strictness with the hint of idealized kindness in the tune of Qur’an because those are the words of the King of all the worlds. On the other side Hadith has moderated all the punishments and facilitated all the orders of God while maintaining a certain limit according to the needs of human beings so that they neither forsake God due to his fear nor take Him too easy.
Our duty is to understand what God wants from us regarding this issue; he doesn’t want us to consider the marriage life as a game. We need to understand the fragility of this relation and do whatever we can to protect it like a mother protects her baby because the roots of a strong nation are based on the strength of this very bond.
Yes! Men have been permitted to beat their women in specific circumstances, where women cross all their limits and become a lot errant, but that doesn’t mean that they will beat women. It’s is just an option when everything stops working because the objective is nothing else but to save the relation which is too sacred to be broken on any condition and this is also the very answer of the question that why are not women allowed to do the same. Understand that this is not about rights! This is about saving families. The answer to the other famous yet stupid question – i.e. why, if the aim is saving this relation only, rather than men, are not women allowed to beat their men? – is that women have the ability to endure the dominance of men while men cannot tolerate this. This is not an injustice. This is the natural difference in natures of men and women…
… Now it all depends upon the way we think and the choices we make because the discussion on this topic can never end.