A video of a Muslim cleric describing detailed instructions for wife-beating has emerged providing a window into the treatment of women under Shariah law.

In a one-minute clip recorded in 2005 and translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), Abdullah Aal Mahmud warns husbands that failure to adhere to certain rules for wife-beating constitutes violating “the rules of Allah.”

Muslim apologists often dispute that the Islamic religion allows wife-beating and some non-Muslims believe that it is a thing of the past, but it is still practiced with approval. In 2010, a court in the United Arab Emirates ruled that, although a man has the right to discipline his wife and children, it must be in keeping with the rules set out in the Quran. Those rules form the basis of Aal Mahmud’s video instructions.

Aal Mahmud’s video is based on the assumption is that wife-beating is acceptable, but states, ironically,  that it cannot “hurt” her. He also advises that the beatings not be done in front of the children.

In what is probably considered a note of mercy and consideration, Aal Mahmud lays out limits for beatings, including avoiding the face and “other sensitive parts of her body.” Breaking bones, as well as causing bleeding and bruising are also prohibited.

It would seem that the advice is designed to allow a husband to beat his wife in ways that will not be visible, such as a bruised and battered face or a obviously broken bone, or leave evidence.

Aal Mahmud is clear that beatings should be “a private affair,” and in a surprising acknowledgement of the post-7th century world, the Islamic cleric states that a husband cannot do whatever he wants to a woman because she is not “merchandise.”

The rules in the Aal Mahmud video, are based on the Quranic verse Sura 4:34 translated as, ‘Admonish them, leave them alone in their beds and beat them.”

As long as you don’t leave a bruise on her face or a trail of blood and do it in private.

 

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