IN Islam, it is absolutely unlawful for a man to harm his wife.
The Prophet prohibited harming others in general, and intensified that prohibition for harming other believers.
The Prophet said: A Muslim is the one who avoids harming Muslims with his tongue and hands, and an emigrant is the one who gives up all what God has forbidden”.
If one is taught to hold ordinary people – with whom one shares no special relationship – in such sanctity, then what of the person one is linked to in the weighty serious bond of marriage and who is considered in the Holy Quran to be the garment of the husband and who lives under his care and shepherdship.
Allah has described marriage as a relationship of kindness, mercy and love and commands men to deal with their wives in an honourable way.
This makes rape, abuse, ill treatment and inflicting harm – be it physical, verbal or psychological – completely unacceptable in such a relationship.
It is true that in Islam, a marriage contract grants a husband the right to intimacy with his wife and vice versa, however, this does not imply that one can seek to obtain this right violently or forcefully.
Just as in any situation in which one has been deprived of one’s due rights, one must go through the proper channels to resolve the matter in a just and honourable way.
At no time does it become permissible for someone to take it upon themselves to harm the other party in a misguided attempt to take their right.
The holy Quran advises following a set of resolutions to resolve marital disharmonies including involving family members, wise men and even religious scholars and Judges.
Dr. Issam Ghannam, MD
Solihull Imam and Chairman of Solihull Islamic Education Academy