In the 22nd episode of his Ramadan program on Egyptian television, the Grand Imam: "Disagreement between the spouses is not the same as nushūz (arrogance). The Qur᾿ān commands us to handle woman’s nushūz before it occurs in order to preserve the family".
His Eminence the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, Prof Ahmed Aṭ-Ṭayyeb, said that the Holy Qur᾿ān has stated the principle of husband’s guardianship to his wife in the Qur’ānic verse on qiwāmah (Qurān, 4:34). Then women are classified into two categories. The first one is “a good woman”, who preserves her chastity and her husband's rights concerning his household, money and honor. She is also a woman who never reveals the secrets of her husband or her household. She shares him in bearing the responsibility of the household. She, therefore, acts as the assistant manager of their household.
The second category is nāshiz (an arrogant) woman who takes the family away from its proper course and ultimately leads to its destruction.
HE the Grand Imam added that the treatment of the wife’s nushūz (arrogance), as shown in the Qur’an, is handled in three ways: the first is through advice. If advice is useless, then a harder treatment is applied, which is to abandon her bed. If this treatment does not work, then comes the third one that is likely to save the family from being drowned or destructed; it’s the treatment by beating, which is misunderstood by many people, despite the strict regulations set by the Islamic law. Islam has put restrictions and limits so as not to cause physical or moral harm as the purpose of the slight punishment is to discipline the wife, never to abuse her.
The Grand Imam stressed that the Qur’ānic verse on qiwāmah and the subsequent verses set gradual solutions to the problems of the family. It confirms that the Islamic rulings of Sharia have been established to preserve the family's entity and to raise the children naturally by securing their rights of education and a stable life. He explained that the concept of nushūz lexically means rising above the ground. It is as if one walks on a flat ground only to suddenly be surprised by a hill or a height which is higher than the ground, preventing one from going forward. The woman’s nushūz here is equal to arrogance in dealing with the husband, showing hatred towards him, and arguing concerning all his opinions. So nushūz becomes an obstacle to the continuity of the family onto its right path.
The Grand Imam of Al-Azhar said that disagreement between the spouses is not the same as nushūz. Nushūz has been defined by jurists as dominance and arrogance of the wife in treating her husband. In that case, the husband feels as if he were worthless to his wife. This is the case which the husband must immediately start to handle before the matter escalates. I think the most serious thing that may threaten the family is to accelerate the family break.
The Qur᾿ān warns us against that: “Those [wives] from whom you fear arrogance, [first] advise them”. The mere fear of arrogance requires immediate treatment of this sudden symptom. He stressed that Islam sanctifies the family in an unprecedented manner. Islam does not wait for the problem of nushūz to happen. It has warned us against it as soon as there is fear that starts to take place. He pointed out that the Qur'ān respects the woman and honors her, even in the case of arrogance. Allah says, “Those [wives] from whom you fear arrogance …” This is a sign that it is not the nature of women to be arrogant. It is like an accidental disease that affects the family and puts obstacles in its path. It is wise to handle this ailment with the right treatment, and not to let the tumor swell in the body of the family, or it will ultimately destroy it.
The Grand Imam's program is broadcast at 6:15 p.m. daily, throughout the Holy Month of Ramadan. It discusses a number of Muslim family issues, the rights established in Islam for the husband and the wife, and how to preserve the family as a basis for a solid human community.