What constitutes “light beating”?
Is this up to the discretion of the husband?
Does disobedience also mean that a wife can not disagree or argue with a husband and his decision?
Did the Prophet (pbuh) ever hit any of his wives?
The first thing to keep in mind is that it is not a beating of revenge or a beating of an enemy that we discuss here, it is nothing more than a corrective action. It is a beating of a well wishing head of a family. It is just like a corrective action taken by a father or a mother against his/her son. Obviously, when a father takes a corrective action against his son, he has absolutely no intentions of seriously harming him. In the same way, if a husband is forced to take such an action against his wife, it must not be a beating of a gangster. In one of the narratives ascribed to the Prophet (pbuh), in Muslim: Kitabu’l-Hajj he is reported to have used the words: “Dharban Ghaira Mubarrihin” (a beating that is not severe). However, it is not possible to state in an objectively determinable manner when does a “beating” cross the limits of being “light”.
The Arabic word “Nushooz” does not imply a simple case of disobedience, it actually implies refusal to accept and acknowledge the position of another person. Keeping this in view, obviously, a woman’s difference with her husband in a particular opinion or an argument between a husband and a wife on any issue are not cases of “Nushooz“.
I have not come across any tradition or narrative (Hadith) that narrates such an event where any of the spouses of the Prophet (pbuh) adopted an attitude of disobedience toward the Prophet (pbuh).
18th February 1998