Domestic violence is any violent or aggressive behavior by one person against another within the home, typically involving the violent abuse of a spouse or partner. These behaviors, used by one person in a relationship to control the other, occur in many forms; physical violence, verbal violence, sexual violence, psychological violence, and emotional abuse.
All these acts and behaviors are rationally condemned, but, how does Islam react to this phenomenon and what solutions does it propose?
According to the Islamic teachings, any harm to oneself is either totally forbidden (Haram), or should be avoided and is detestable (Makruh); so is any harm to others .
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) said that whoever hurts others, God will hurt him; and, whoever inflicts pain on others, God will give him pain . That is also true about any kind of domestic violence. Since it causes pain and harm to the victim, domestic violence is also condemned in Islam.
It is narrated that Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) assisted the funeral of Sa'd ibn Ma'ad [i]. He (PBUH) did things during that funeral and respected him so much, that he (PBUH&HP) had never done in any funeral before. He (PBUH&HP) ordered to bath the corpse, and he (PBUH&HP) did the funeral prayer himself. But at the end of the event, he (PBUH&HP) declared that Sa’d is suffering from the pressure in the grave.
People were surprised that how come that someone who has been such dignified by the prophet (PBUH&HP) is suffering from the grave pressure. Prophet (PBUH&HP) explained that Sa’d was bad-tempered towards his family .
In another narration, it is said that the worst of people is the one who is rough to his family ; i.e., whose wife gets frightened and children hide when he arrives home, and they feel relieved when he leaves . On the contrary, as Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) said, the closest to the position of the prophet (PBUH&HP) before God is who behaves very well with his family and is the most beneficent to them” .
These examples show that every harsh treatment with the family will be counted and will be paid afterlife. Then, it is clear that any violence, either verbal or physical, is forbidden in Islam and will be punished severely.
Imam Ali (AS) has advised that: “the wife is really like a flower (it is fragile), put up with her in any case and accompany her nicely to have a pleasant life” . It means that contrary to the rumors that Islam has permitted the husband to hit his wife, Islam has ordered to honor her and to treat her kindly; even if he no longer loves her (4:19).
Islamic teachings have always emphasized on the importance of the family and Muslims are advised to toleration in order to maintain the foundation of the family. Hence, in the case of a dispute between a couple, Islam invites to patience: “Whoever remains patient despite the misbehavior of his wife, God will reward him as great as Ayub's [ii] for his affliction.
Likewise, if a woman keeps patience despite the misbehavior of her husband, God will reward her as great as Asiya bint Muzahim (the Pharaoh's wife) [iii] .” .
When it comes to children, special attention is paid to their education. To raise well-behaved children with a good character, Islam forbids any humiliation and violence against them. Imam Ali an-Naqi (AS) said that: “Do not beat the child; just sulk with him, but not for a long time.” .
Although parents might blame their children under some conditions and in certain circumstances, they are warned against too much reproach. Imam Ali (AS) said that: “Excessive blame on anybody will increase the obstinacy.” .
It is notable that a true Muslim should also be tolerant and considerate towards other people as much as he/she is towards his family and relatives. This will be discussed further in another article.
[i] One of the prominent companions of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP).
[ii] Prophet Ayub (PBUH) was afflicted by suffering for a lengthy period, but he never lost faith in God and forever called to God in prayer. He (PBUH) is known as the symbol of patience in Islam.
[iii] In the Quran, Asiya is described as the wife of Pharaoh who reigned during the time of Prophet Moses (PBUH). Unlike her husband, she was humble and accepted the faith that prophet Moses (PBUH) preached. She died while being tortured by her husband. In Islam, she is known as one of the greatest women of all time.
- S. A. al-Muttaqi, “Kanz al-Ummal”, T. 9498.
- S. A. al-Muttaqi, “Kanz al-Ummal”, T. 9518.
- Ibn Babawayh, “Ilal Al-Shara'I”, p. 310.
- Al Suyuti, “Jami al-saghir”, vol. 2, p. 77.
- Al-Haythami, “Majma al-Zawa'id”, vol. 8, p. 25.
- Ibn Babawayh, “Uyun akhbar al-Rida”, vol. 2, p. 38.
- S. H. al-Amili, “Wasail al-Shia”, vol. 37, p. 115.
- Ibn Babawayh, "Man la yahduruhu al-Faqih", vol. 4, p. 392.
- violence in Family
- Ghurar al-Hikam wa Durar al-Kalim, T. 4507.
The women's rights in Islam include their right as wives in the marital relationship as well. In Islam, marriage is not confined to satisfying physical and emotional needs. There are many verses, stories, and narrations speaking about different aspects of marriage, including the mutual rights that the couple has over one another.
In this article, the rights of the wife over her husband have been summarized into the following two categories of financial and non-financial. It is noteworthy that this classification is embedded neither in the Quran nor the narrations and therefore, other classifications from other perspectives are also possible.
It is obligatory for a man to pay marriage portion (Sedaq) to his spouse as one of the most significant women's rights in Islam. The marriage portion is, by definition, a property which a husband gives his spouse upon marriage. This mandatory payment whether in the form of money or possession is upon husband until the time he fulfills it.
In due course, his wife has the right to either ask for or forgo it. In the case of forgoing, the husband is no longer required to fulfill this duty. Interestingly, in contrast with the idea which regards marriage portion as a price for a woman, a marriage without a fixed marriage portion is also correct .
But, how much should the marriage portion be? Islam has not specified the exact amount of the marriage portion. However, the amount of five hundred silver coins (Derham), which is equal to today’s $724.5 [i], fixed by the Prophet (PBUH&HP) for his wives and daughters is an encouraged model for Muslims. On account of this, it has been recommended that the marriage portion doesn’t exceed this fixed amount. Nevertheless, any amount of marriage portion that both parties agree upon is allowed by Islam .
Furthermore, a man is financially obligated to pay for the living expenses of his spouse (Nafaqah) including food, clothes, shelter, living necessities and the things that a wife usually needs in her life . It makes no differences in this duty of the husband, whether his spouse earns money out of work or not, since she is not required to provide for the family .
As for the woman’s property, her husband also doesn’t have the right to take the outcome of her efforts into his possession . Even if the wife asks wages for her works inside the house, the husband is supposed to pay, due to the Islamic laws . God has underscored this supportive role of the men in the Quran as follows: “Men are the protectors and maintainers of women… (4:34)”
However, the man is responsible for arranging the comfort of his spouse as long as she does not disobey his legal demands . Moreover, it makes no sense whatsoever to take the duty of providing the sustenance of the family as the sign of superiority of the man over his spouse .
When the husband dies his spouse inherits from him as well. According to the Islamic rules of inheritance, the woman is entitled to one-fourth of her spouse’s property in the case that he leaves no child as heir. But, if her spouse has any children, she is just entitled to one-eighth of her spouse’s property . However, this topic in different cases includes some details which have been elaborated in the judicial sources.
The second type of women's rights in Islam concerns the moral rights of the wife. Our infallible Imams (A.S) reportedly advised their followers to be kind and respectful toward their wives and treat them gently. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP) says: “The best of you are the ones who treat their family the best, and I am the best of you towards my family.” 
He, also, on various occasions recommended his companions to help their wives in the household chores and outlined many rewards for them regarding this act . When some people inquired from him about the rights of a wife over her husband, he answered: “He should overlook her minor faults, and if she commits a major mistake then he should forgive her.” 
Imam Sajjad (A.S) has beautifully described women's rights in Islam and men’s moral duties toward their wives by demonstrating the blessings which God grants them through marriage: “The right of your wife is that you know that God has made her a repose and comfort for you; you should know that she is God’s favor towards you, so you should honor her and treat her gently.”
[i] This amount has been calculated based on the price of silver on 11th of November 2016. It may need further modification in future.
- Islamic View on Human Rights: Viewpoints of Iranian Scholar.
- wifes right
- Ali Ibn Hussein Zaynul Abidin, A commentary on Imam Sajjad’s “The Treaties of Rights,” translated by Ali Peiravi, Ansariyan Publication.
- Islamic View on Human Rights: Viewpoints of Iranian Scholar; this book is available at https://www.al-islam.org/.
- Makarem Shirazi, Naser, 180 Questions Enquiries about Islam, translated by Shahnawaz Mahdavi, vol. 1.
- Khorasani, Hussein Vahid, Islamic Laws, Create Space Independent Publishing, 2014, p. 393.
- Hussein, Jamila, Islam, Federation Press, 2011, p. 109.
- Kamrava, Mehran, The New Voice of Islam: Rethinking Politic and Modernity: a Reader, University of California, 2006, p. 163.
- Shabir Khan, Muhammad, Status of Women in Islam, APH Publishing, 1996, p. 50.
- Ali Ibn Hussein Zaynul Abidin, A commentary on Imam Sajjad’s “The Treaties of Rights”, translated by Ali Peiravi, Ansariyan Publication.
- Javadi Amoli, Abdollah, Mafatih al-Hayat, Asra, 2012, p. 257.
- Rizvi, Athar Hussein, Islamic Marriage, World Islamic Network.
- Ali Ibn Hussein Zaynul Abidin, As-Sahifa Al-Kamilah Al-Sajjadiyya, Muhammadi Trust of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
As a precursor to any explanation on this issue, we must first have a very clear understanding of the concept of marriage in Islam and most people in the world and find out why this question has arisen.
According to the Quran: "It is He [God] who created you from a single soul, and made from it its mate, that he might find comfort with her" (7:189)
Obviously, there are other requirements for a person to fulfill when they decide to get married but Quran names comfort before anything else; that is most probably because the fulfillment of all the other needs also leads to the ease of mind and inner peace.
More interestingly, however, it is not only the holy Quran that says getting married is for the purpose of comfort; having a quick search on the internet makes you realize how all people around the world marry mostly for this emotional purpose, as well:
“…there is an important but neglected positive aspect that explains why people voluntarily enter into commitments like marriage: it is a way of expressing your love and devotion to another person. Not the only way, of course, but a well-established and particularly declarative way…” .
To fulfill this emotional need of a person, the only acceptable form of marriage which is agreed upon by almost all psychologists, and is also recommended by Islam is monogamy. It is within the monogamous type of marriage that all the equal rights of men and women are preserved.
The feelings of love, commitment, loyalty, security, trust, honor, and respect as well as many other benefits  can be fully achieved when one has only one spouse.
The reason has been explained in a comprehensive article. Based on what is discussed there, nowhere in the Quran, you can find a verse that suggests or encourages polygamy among men to attain more pleasure or to satisfy their carnal desires; there are no positive or negative comments on this regular unlimited tradition of the Arab culture.
Instead, the holy Quran imposes restrictions upon it and introduces it as a remedy to a social problem, i.e., the excess number of women in need of marriage over marriageable men, like at the time of war, etc.
Having discussed the concept of marriage in Islam and the limited law of polygamy which is introduced as an exception in case of special social needs, and nothing against the equality of men and women, do you still find the above question unanswered?
If yes, here are some reasons why polyandry is forbidden for women:
It destroys the family which is the foundation of a healthy society. It is usually NOT easy for a woman to perform her duties as a wife and a mother despite having several husbands.
It is against the nature of women and also inconsistent with men's innate desire for exclusivity and love for his wife and children .
It adversely affects women’s health, since women with multiple husbands are more prone to STDs.
It increases sterility among women which will result in population problems.
It may cause identification problems for the conceived child.
It may cause identification problems for the conceived child, which will ultimately lead to legal troubles.
These reasons may clearly show why polyandry is uncommon and frowned upon among Muslims and most people in the world. The Islamic point of view on this issue, however, can be summarized as: “Allah desires ease for you, and He does not desire hardship for you” (2:185), and Allah knows best what is good for you.