In the 29th Episode of his Ramadan program on Egyptian TV, the Grand Imam, “A husband’s assumption that he is free to punish his wife has nothing to do with Islam”.
The Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, Prof Ahmed Aṭ-Ṭayyeb, said that we are responsible to deliver the message of the divine Sharῑ’a, and the rulings of the Qur'an to people. He showed that some issues are unambiguously presented by Islam, but they do not gain people's due attention. For example, the nushūz (arrogance) of the husband. A man may be nāshiz (arrogant) and thus become the reason that may lead to the devastation of the family. To him, Nushūz is a disease that may inflict the husband and the wife alike. The Grand Imam warned of the husband’s unduly distancing himself from his wife. He considered such behavior a crime. He showed that the Qur’ān has warned of that erroneous conduct and urged us to obviate it with all possible solutions to avoid destroying the family.
During the 29th episode of his Ramadan program on Egyptian TV, the Imam added that some husbands consider beating to be the only treatment to deal with their wives' problems. This is not at all the case. Each time a man beats his wife, he is deemed to be dipped in the Hellfire, because this is absolutely ḥarām (unlawful). Beating or insulting one’s wife is religiously forbidden. A Muslim house is superior to the civilized house that abstains from beating merely by the law, he said
The Grand Imam explained that there are many signs for a husband's nushūz, the most notable of which are getting angry for trivial reasons, and practicing prejudice against his wife. This is particularly the case in the countryside of our states. There are many such victims of bad customs and traditions in villages and hamlets. Islam has been correcting these erroneous customs for more than fourteen centuries.
He stressed that we should treat a husband's nushūz (arrogance) in the same way we deal with a wife's nushūz. He explained that the treatment in this case is absolutely equal to that of the wife’s nushūz. The first step would be that one’s wife should first advise him. If this doesn't work, she would then have to go to the court. The judge may impose alimony on the husband and eliminate the wife’s obedience to him. In this case, if the husband needs his wife in bed, for example, she would have the right to abstain, like the situation when the husband would have the right to abandon his wife in bed. If this treatment does not work, the judge would then have the right to sentence him to beating if he believes that this person may be deterred by this sort of punishment. In the past, the judge used to have a committee for applying the punishment of beating. Now, sending a convicted person to prison is the alternative.
The Grand Imam quoted Sheikh Abu Zahrah in his talk about beating. Abu Zahrah said, “Not all women may be subjected to this matter [of beating]. Also, a wise man never allows himself to beat his wife. The prophet (p.b.u.h) would never beat or insult a woman”. All Muslims have to listen to these words attentively. Likewise, the Prophet's companions never behaved like that. Beating one's wife cannot be done by any noble man. The Imam added that no one can do that except an immoral man. Sheikh Abu Zahrah also noted that “all of this is stated in the Māliki School of jurisprudence”.
The Grand Imam concluded his talk with the commentary of Sheikh Abu Zahrah on a husband’s nushūz who said, “It is commendable that the punishment of beating men be applied these days, in order to avoid the deviation of some men”. The Grand Imam added that a husband’s assumption that he is free to punish or beat his wife is erroneous and that it has nothing to do with Islam.
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.