Answering Islam - A Christian-Muslim dialog

Muhammad and Wife Beating:

Catching Muslims In Another Lie Pt. 3

Sam Shamoun

We resume our discussion.

The Polemicists to the Rescue!

Suffice it to say the hadith of Muhammad physically striking his young bride Aisha in the chest, thereby causing her pain, has troubled many a Muslim, as can be seen by some of their responses. Before quoting them, here is another version of this same narration to keep things in perspective:

“… He said: 'So you were the black shape that I saw in front of me?' I said, 'Yes.' He struck me on the chest, which caused me pain, then he said: ‘Did you think that Allah and His Messenger would deal unjustly with you?' I said: ‘Whatever the people conceal, He knows it.'… (Sahih)” (Sunan an-Nasa'i, Volume 3, Book 21, Hadith 2039; bold and italicized emphasis ours)

Now pay attention to what the following questionable internet dawagandist posted regarding his prophet violently striking and hurting his child bride:

The explanation (by Salman on Sunni forums)

Salamu Alaikum

"Struck" is a bad translation here. The word used is 'lahaza' , which could be translated as "Push" and at most "slap with an open palm" but not a hard, violent slap (and note translating it as "slap" is weaker and less probable). A correct translation would be:

- He pushed me (lahadani) in the chest (fi sadri) with a push (lahdatan)which made me sore (awja'atni).

It is very interesting to note that "pushing" of the Prophet does indeed convey meaning - usually to drive away evil influence and thought. (The Facts About Islam, “Did Prophet Muhammed Hit or Strike His Wife, Aisha?”)

This isn’t the only Muslim who argues that the Arabic word doesn’t actually mean strike or hit. In fact some of them even appeal to the Arabic lexicons to show that “struck” is not an accurate translation:

Polemics against Islam try to mislead people by citing the words "He struck me on the chest which caused me pain" as a proof for their claim that the prophet was guilty of beating his wife Aisha. However the translation of the text in question ["He struck me on the chest which caused me pain”] is not very accurate. The Arabic word used in the hadith is "lahada". The word "lahada" according to the lexicographers means, "to push" [dafa'a]. The usage of the word "struck" is not a [sic] accurate Rather, the phrase should be translated as:

"He pushed my chest with a push that made me sore." [translation by Shayk G.F. Haddad ] 35 (Kevin Abdullah Kareem, Does Islam allow Wife beating?, p. 17)

The following internet dawagandist even went as far as to cite Lane’s Lexicon to prove that striking is not one of the definitions of the Arabic word:

Now for the meaning of the word, 'lahad, let's refer to Lane's Lexicon. He writes…

He pushed, pushed away, or repelled, him: or pushed him violently upon the chest: (L:) or he pushed (Let Me Turn The Tables, “Did Prophet Muhammad beat his wife, Aisha?”)

Here is the link to the image from Lane’s Lexicon, provided by this same author.

What makes the above response particularly shameful and dishonest is that the dawagandist forgot to cite the rest of Lane’s Lexicon, since this is what it says IN CONTEXT!

“… He pushed, pushed away, or REPELLED, HIM: or pushed him VIOLENTLY UPON THE CHEST: (L :) or he pushed him, pushed him away, or repelled him, ON ACCOUNT OF HIS BASENESS, OR DESPICABLENESS: (S, L, K :) OR HE STRUCK HIM IN THE BREASTS, (L,), OR IN THE BASES OF THE BREASTS, (K,), and in the bases of the shoulder-blades: (L, K) or he pressed, or squeezed, him...” (Edward William Lane, Arabic-English Lexicon, p. 2676; bold, capital and underline emphasis ours)

Lane goes on to list “struck” as one of the meanings of this specific Arabic word! How, then, could the author have failed to include this portion of the lexicon in his “response” seeing that this is the whole point of the objection against Muhammad? And how could some of the other Muslim dawagandists claim that “struck” is not an accurate definition of the word lahada when this is precisely the meaning that is given?

In fact, notice how the following lexicon defines this term:

“… lahad, INF. lahd, oppress; jade; BEAT, push.” (Francis Joseph Steingass, Arabic-English Dictionary, p. 929; bold, capital and underline emphasis ours)

This shows that Muslims have no problem with deliberately lying and distorting the facts of a matter, so long as it helps them to justify the morally objectionable and reprehensible actions of their false prophet.

It gets a lot worse for these dawagandists since even if we go with the meaning proposed by the likes of Haddad, this still wouldn’t help their case in the least. We will simply go with Haddad's preferred way of translating the hadith in order to see what happens:

… He hastened his steps and I also hastened my steps. He ran and I too ran. He came (to the house) and I also came (to the house). I, however, preceded him and I entered (the house), and as I lay down in the bed, he (the Holy Prophet) entered the (house), and said: Why is it, O 'A'isha, that you are out of breath? I said: There is nothing. He said: Tell me or the Subtle and the Aware would inform me. I said: Messenger of Allah, may my father and mother be ransom for you, and then I told him (the whole story). He said: Was it the darkness (of your shadow) that I saw in front of me? I said: Yes. He pushed me with a push that made me sore, and then said: Did you think that Allah and His Apostle would deal unjustly with you?…

And now compare this with the way some of the other versions of this narration have been translated:

36 The Book of the Kind Treatment of Women

(4) Chapter: Jealousy

“… Then he left and I left, he hurried and I hurried, he ran and I ran, and I got there before him and entered (the house). I had only just laid down when he came in and said: 'O 'Aishah, why are you out of breath?' (one of the reporters) Sulaiman said: I thought he (Ibn Wahb) said: 'short of breath.' He said: 'Either you tell me or the All-Aware, All-Knowing will tell me.' I said: 'O Messenger of Allah, may my father and mother be sacrificed for you;' and I told him the story. He said: 'You were the black shape I saw in front of me?' I said: 'Yes.' She said: ‘He gave me A SHOVE in the chest that HURT ME and said: 'You thought that Allah and His Messenger would be unfair to you.' She said: 'Whatever people conceal, Allah, the Mighty and Sublime, knows it.' He said: 'Yes.'…”

Grade: Sahih (Darussalam)

Reference: Sunan an-Nasa'i 3963

In-book reference: Book 36, Hadith 25

English translation: Vol. 4, Book 36, Hadith 3415 (; capital and underline emphasis ours)


36 The Book of the Kind Treatment of Women

(4) Chapter: Jealousy

“… He said: 'You were the black shape I saw in front of me?’ I said: ‘Yes.’ She said: ‘He gave me A SHOVE in the chest that HURT ME and said: “You thought that Allah and His Messenger would be unfair to you.”’ She said: 'Whatever people conceal, Allah knows it.' He said: 'Yes.'…”

Grade: Sahih (Darussalam)

Reference: Sunan an-Nasa'i 3964

In-book reference: Book 36, Hadith 26

English translation: Vol. 4, Book 36, Hadith 3416 (; capital and underline emphasis ours)

To now show just how laughable and desperate the response of these polemicists happens to be, all we need to do is ask a series of questions.

What was the context of Muhammad pushing/shoving Aisha so hard that it hurt her and caused her to get sore? Why did Muhammad do that?

Because Aisha had secretly left the house in order to follow Muhammad and then ran back in order to hide this from her husband.

Was Muhammad angry because of what she did?

You bet.

Is this why he "pushed/shoved" her so violently?

Yes, he was so angry that he decided to "discipline" her for lying and for secretly following him in order to check up on him.

Therefore, unless we assume that Muhammad intended to play patty-cake with Aisha it is obvious that the push was intended as a strike in order to hurt and punish his child bride. As such, the particular English version of Sahih Muslim which we quoted is absolutely correct in its rendering of the Arabic, since it best captures the intention behind the “push,” e.g., to punish Aisha for angering Muhammad by lying to him and secretly spying on him.

Suffice it to say that this act of Muhammad hitting and hurting Aisha so greatly troubled one particular Muslim polemicist, that he sought the help of his fellow dawagandists on a particular forum to help him come up with a way of understanding and explaining it away:

08-21-2007, 04:45 PM

Bassam Zawadi

Assalamu Alaykum

Look at the following narration...

Can someone explain this to me please?

08-21-2007, 10:16 PM

Ayman bin khaled


… I, always, advise myself and others to de-attach ourselves from understanding contexts of hadith from western angle [sic] so that we can have a correct and proper understanding of hadiths.
An obvious example is this Hadith , which you quoted, where that part of hitting was understood as hurting from a western perspective [sic]. As you know from a western perspective hitting women is not an acceptable act since (hurting) always relates to images of women being bashed or damaged physically by men!!! That is why you find them sometimes argue about the verse in the Quran where it says hit if women are disobedient. wallahu Al-Musta'an!!! Their understanding to such terms are wrong since they judge things according to their own understanding.

The part which you underlined in the Hadith is a form of teaching yet this is not a hitting that causes any physical harm or damage since the reason behind it is not to harm but to teach. Needless to say, this act is only done in rare situations and only when it is needed, depending on the case.

Now, let me reform the concept of hitting in Islam from another western angle:

If you have a child who is acting rudely all the time, do not his parents hit him on the hand to teach him or maybe spank him? This light hit will cause the child bit of pain but this never harm the child at all. Besides the fact, no one ever says this is bashing or unaccepted act…

08-22-2007, 05:23 AM

Ayman bin khaled


The arabic word, which has been used in the hadith is “لهدني”. this is a word which means pushing with a full hand.

keep in mind, this is a type of teaching not harming so it is not considered as hitting as it is perceived in accordance with nowadays people understanding…

08-22-2007, 06:36 AM

Bassam Zawadi

But yakhi, Aisha said that it caused her pain. I think the Prophet might have ACCIDENTLY hurt her. So 'lahadneey' does not mean to just give advice.

Brother Bassam,

I acknowledged the fact THAT SUCH HIT CAUSE PAIN but it is a bit of pain (sic) and it is not type of pain that harms. I have advised previously that this is a light hit to teach not to harm that is why it was called a hit from first place. Furthermore, I have given the example of hitting a child lightly to teach him to show the difference… (Did the Prophet peace be upon him hurt Aisha?; bold, capital and underline emphasis ours)

There you have it folks. Here are Muslims who are clearly troubled by the fact that their prophet “pushed” the chest of his child bride, causing her pain. And yet the explanations, which they come up with to explain this away, are not only laughable, but also truly disheartening to say the least. Trying to justify what Muhammad did by likening Aisha to a child whose parents may feel the need to hit in order to correct and discipline, gives us an idea of how Muslims view women, especially their wives.

Before concluding we would like to address this one final objection to Muhammad physically hurting his young bride:

Moreover Aisha herself tells us in an authentic hadith that the Prophet] never beated [sic] any of his wives:

Abdur Razzaq has narrated to us from Ma'mar who narrates from Az-Zuhri who narrates from Urwah who narrates this saying of Ayesha: "The Messenger never hit any of his servants with his hands, nor did he ever hit any of his wives, nor did he hit anything

If Aisha herself viewed the incident [narrated by herself in sahih muslim] as an act of wifebeating, she would have never said that the prophet did never hit any of his wives. The above hadith therefor confirms that Aisha herself did not view the push of the prophet [with his fingers] on her chest as a form of beating or anything violent, contrary she clearly tells us by her own self that the prophet did never hit any of his wives. The prophet only used to beat others during war [jihad], i.e. when he was fighting Allah’s enemies at the battlefield. P. 19

Let’s quote the full narration to see what the Muslim conveniently ignored and/or omitted:

‘A’isha said, “I never saw the Messenger of Allah ever take revenge for an injustice done to him as long as it was not regarding the orders of Allah which must be respected. He never struck anyone with his hand at all except when doing jihad in the way of Allah. He never hit a servant or a woman.” (Qadi Iyad, Kitab Ash-shifa bi ta'rif huquq al-Mustafa (Healing by the recognition of the Rights of the Chosen One), translated by Aisha Abdarrahman Bewley [Madinah Press, Inverness, Scotland, U.K., third reprint 1991, paperback], Chapter Two: Allah’s perfecting his good qualities of character and constitution, and giving him all the virtues of the Deen and this world, Section 12. His forbearance, long-suffering and pardon, p. 56; bold, italicized and underline emphasis ours)

The above narration can be understood to mean that Muhammad wasn’t being unjust in hitting Aisha, since it was Allah himself who gave men the right to beat and discipline their wives if they suspected rebellion on their part. However, see our discussion of this point in part 2 of our analysis.

More importantly, as we already discussed in the second part of our discussion, it is Aisha herself that contradicts her own claim of Muhammad never hitting a woman by plainly acknowledging that her much older husband physically struck her in the chest. In fact, she claims that he hit her so hard that he actually hurt her and caused her pain.

Therefore, the only thing that this narration establishes is that the Islamic sources are filled with irreconcilable contradictions, proving that Allah is not God and Muhammad was not a prophet of the true God.

Time to proceed to our postscript.