In Quran’s Surah An-Nisa (The Women), there is a verse which says that if a woman is not obedient enough, then men can “strike them”. The modern commentators interpret this verse to put in the qualifier “strike lightly”. Who decides what is “lightly” however, is left unsaid.
4:34 – Men are in charge of women by [right of] what Allah has given one over the other and what they spend [for maintenance] from their wealth. So righteous women are devoutly obedient, guarding in [the husband’s] absence what Allah would have them guard. But those [wives] from whom you fear arrogance – [first] advise them; [then if they persist], forsake them in bed; and [finally], strike them. But if they obey you [once more], seek no means against them. Indeed, Allah is ever Exalted and Grand.
الرِّجَالُ قَوَّامُونَ عَلَى النِّسَاءِ بِمَا فَضَّلَ اللَّهُ بَعْضَهُمْ عَلَىٰ بَعْضٍ وَبِمَا أَنفَقُوا مِنْ أَمْوَالِهِمْ ۚ فَالصَّالِحَاتُ قَانِتَاتٌ حَافِظَاتٌ لِّلْغَيْبِ بِمَا حَفِظَ اللَّهُ ۚ وَاللَّاتِي تَخَافُونَ نُشُوزَهُنَّ فَعِظُوهُنَّ وَاهْجُرُوهُنَّ فِي الْمَضَاجِعِ وَاضْرِبُوهُنَّ ۖ فَإِنْ أَطَعْنَكُمْ فَلَا تَبْغُوا عَلَيْهِنَّ سَبِيلًا ۗ إِنَّ اللَّهَ كَانَ عَلِيًّا كَبِيرًا
Now, in the women protection bill, the Pakistani Islamic Council has included the clause that husbands can “lightly beat” their wives as a form of discipline. The Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) justified it based on Quran.
Pakistan’s CII (not to confused with India’s “CII” which is a progressive industry body!) is a 20 member constitutional body which tries to align the nation’s laws with Sharia.
CII drafted its bill after rejecting Punjab province’s Protection of Women against Violence Act (PPWA) 2015 on the grounds that it was “un-Islamic”.
The council has proposed that a husband should be allowed to ‘lightly’ beat his wife if she defies his commands and refuses to dress up as per his desires; turns down demand of intercourse without any religious excuse or does not take bath after intercourse or menstrual periods.
It has suggested that a beating is also permissible if a woman does not observe Hijab; interacts with strangers; speaks loud enough that she can easily be heard by strangers; and provides monetary support to people without taking consent of her spouse.
A Pakistan Photographer Fahhad Rajper, has started a unique campaign to protest against the draft bill by Pakistan’s CII – #TryBeatingMeLightly. This is what he says about his campaign.
#TryBeatingMeLightly – A Portrait series of Pakistani Women reacting to Women Protection Bill presented by #CII [Council of Islamic Ideology]. Where they proposed quite a number of bogus points regarding women and the most imbecile one being; husbands should be allowed to ‘lightly beat’ their defying wives.
#TryBeatingMeLightly – I’m the sun. Touch me and I will burn you like hell fire. I am light, you will try, but you can never stop me. You can never contain me.
I am the kind of woman they name hurricanes after. I dare you, #TryBeatingMeLightly – Rabya Ahmed, Photo-Blogger.
#TryBeatingMeLightly, and be ready to face the consequences. Erum Khan, Blogger.
#TryBeatingMeLightly – Beat me with your intelligence, if you may. Beat me with your wit. Beat me with your smile. Beat me with your kindness. But if you dare to beat me even with a feather, I’d really beat the shit out of you. With love. 🙂 Sadiya Azhar, Digital Marketer/ Blogger.