October 19th, 2010
12:18 PM ET

Court in UAE says wife, child beating OK if no marks are left

A court in the United Arab Emirates says a man is permitted under Islamic law to physically discipline his wife and children as long as he leaves no marks and has tried other methods of punishment, the country's top court ruled.

The ruling came in the case of a man who slapped his wife and slapped and kicked his 23-year-old daughter, the document said.

The daughter had bruises on her right hand and right knee and the wife had injuries to her lower lip and teeth, the ruling said.

The court ruled that a man has the right to punish his wife and children.

That includes beating them after he has carried out other options, such as admonition and then abstaining from sleeping with his wife.

However, the court ruled that in this case the man exceeded his authority under sharia, or Islamic law. His wife was beaten too severely and his daughter was ruled to be too old to be disciplined, the ruling said.

"Although the [law] permits the husband to use his right [to discipline], he has to abide by the limits of this right," wrote Chief Justice Falah al Hajeri in a ruling issued this month and released in a court document recently.

That was reported in an account in the English language publication The National.

"If the husband abuses this right to discipline, he cannot be exempted from punishment," according to the ruling.

- CNN's Jen Deaton contributed to this repor

- Newsdesk editor, The CNN Wire

Filed under: Belief • Courts • Islam • Quran

soundoff (55 Responses)
  1. Muneef

    En-force control 
    To str-aighten your home family specially sons that are diso-bedient to their parents ??
    a wife if she gos-sips so much getting man in tro-uble with neighbors and can not seem to listen and stop this habit ?
    a wife that sees what neighbors buys and keep on nag-ging you to buy her as neighbors buy for their homes or wives?
    a wife that is not str-aight and like a play-girl that you love and want to keep but want to put things in con-trol straight.
    There are many reasons that could lead man in-sane but if became a habit or continue then it is clear that there is a problem could lead to un-wanted events such as com-mitting vio-lent be-ating,ki-lling or sui-cide. To avoid all a separ-ation or divorce has to be for-ced made through court either by the wife supported by the wife's family.

    October 25, 2010 at 7:27 pm |
    • Muneef

      Do not accept be-ating and find it ext-reme either ins-anity or a home loser.?
      Have personally found it was sufficient for me to make warnings showing anger with making angry face and eyes and loudening an angry voice these have keepet things tidy at home 20 years and staff at business 35 years and never laid a hand on any except my children a very rare smac-king when I was young and they were younger.  But when the achieve or behave or excel i would make happy cheerful friendly face and eyes with a tender voice and reward them with gifts or bounces.
      This is being shepherd and responsible have to allow others to be shepherd as we all are shepherds and responsible towards family,business and God religion. Guess it is all that it is in life be a good example and produce good examples of generations that stand up on righteous side with the truth and rights.

      October 25, 2010 at 7:29 pm |
    • Muneef

      Many said that Messengers of God having been Shepherds having as farm animals sheep and goats or cattle and horses and had learnt through them the bases of understanding of each other and become skilled shepherds that understands animal husbandry politics, this knowledge has latter became to be learnt and practiced in the name of politics with human beings and became leaders in history and became to be called "the s-tick and the carrots" and as we say " a free man understands when you point it out to him while the slave understands only if b-anged with a cane stick" ? We are all Shepherds and we are all responsible and each is a shepherd and  is responsible towards his animals or subjects. 
        Under the UN and tr-eaties countries became as husband and wives to the strongest country of the union and those not listening or obeying the appointed shepherd the reactions would be an emb-argo followed by air str-ikes and w-ars examples of which still existing and widening every day?

      October 25, 2010 at 7:31 pm |
    • Muneef

      What makes a man go insane other than becoming slave to debths and that is the root of all evils.

      October 25, 2010 at 8:45 pm |
    • Muneef

      There is a saying that says " Women are like a curved rib that if you try to straighten it harder it may break up in your hands". So you see how fragile women are which are for straightening need to be handled with care delicately and smoothly. Therefore violence is not one of those ways of straightening but it is more about breaking...

      October 26, 2010 at 1:23 pm |
  2. Jay Green

    You mean he 'took the opposite TACK'. It's a term derived from sailing. TACT is not the word that fits here. grammar is dead and professionalism in journalism is dead. You're showing us the true depth of your skills. Or perhaps you'd prefer I say "Your showing us the true depth of your skills." Is that better?

    October 20, 2010 at 4:20 pm |
  3. Megatron

    Reality, your conclusion is moronic based on the evidence you provide. Where is your control group for comparison?

    October 20, 2010 at 1:28 pm |
    • Reality


      You might want to peruse the on-line studies published by the Guttmacher Insti-tute.

      October 20, 2010 at 3:22 pm |
  4. sagewy

    What happens if the wife beats the husband back? Sounds like some of them need a good butt kicken" by their wives!

    October 19, 2010 at 7:07 pm |
  5. Amalia

    Stay classy, UAE. Way to make Islam look good.

    October 19, 2010 at 6:25 pm |
    • Frank


      I love how he's only being punished for beating his wife 'too hard' and because he's daughter was 'too old'. Maybe he should just tase them next time?

      October 20, 2010 at 1:02 am |
    • Frank


      October 20, 2010 at 1:03 am |
  6. Mama Bear

    Girls . . . get the tasers. That'll jolt their consciousness!!!!!

    October 19, 2010 at 4:33 pm |
  7. RZ

    Why would he even hit is wife when it is never reported that Muhammad (pbuh) never beat any of his wives EVER. And I challenge anyone to bring a tradition in which it is said that he beat ANY of his wives EVER. Muslims by unanimous agreement believe that Muhammad (pbuh) is the best example to follow. Just take a look at some of the traditions below:

    Aisha, his youngest wife, said: God's Messenger never beat anyone with his hand, neither a woman nor a servant (Muslim Book 30 Hadith 5756)

    Muhammad pbuh said, "(How is it that) some of you beat your wives as if they were slaves, and then lie with them at the end of they day?!" (Muslim Book 40 Hadith 6837)

    A woman once asked about a man who had proposed to her for marriage and Muhammad (pbuh) said no because: That man is very harsh with women (Muslim Book 9 Hadith 3527).

    October 19, 2010 at 4:28 pm |
    • Peace2All


      Well.... I guess it really doesn't matter as to this issue whether Muhammad, actually beat or tortured anybody, including his wives and children or not.

      Apparently, a whole hell of a lot of 'torture' is going on by people that believe it is 'Islamic Law.' Heck, you don't have to look to far to in history, and even in current events of people (christians) interpreting the bible in their own twisted way to commit atrocities.

      While I understand, you have 'deflected' what is actually happening in predominantly Muslim countries and tried to re-direct the argument as to this is 'not' the way or teachings of Muhammad..... It really is moot....isn't it...?

      Horrors are happening all over the world such as this, and something needs to be done to make sure this kind of barbaric behavior is *not* some kind of law, and these atrocities are stopped.

      October 19, 2010 at 4:44 pm |
    • Megatron

      Yes, Muhammad is an excellent example.

      – Marry and have intercourse with a 9 year old girl.
      – Keep slaves.
      – etc.

      Yes, let's all follow his stellar example. What a moral and decent person he was!

      October 19, 2010 at 4:44 pm |
    • Frogist

      @RZ: I am glad you pulled out some quotes from Islam that do not condone violence against women. Unfortunately, I don't think it's a matter of what any religion actually says, but how it is interpreted, and used to the detriment of people. I have no issue when religion (muslim, christian, jewish or otherwise) is used as a means of comforting people and giving them hope for the better. But I take issue when it is applied as a means of subjugating minorities and condoning violence like it was in this ruling. I wish people were more enlightened to lift up the parts of their holy philosophies that show respect for human rights like you did. It is sadly lacking in society today.

      October 19, 2010 at 5:12 pm |
    • Peace2All


      Hello 'clone' er... SM/Clark Kent...!

      So, I am looking at your post, and looking at mine..... and back and forth. Seems they are again... very similar....yes...?

      However, I think I am giving you the 'thumbs up' to yours. You 'fleshed' it out a bit better.


      October 19, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
    • Frogist

      @Peace2all: Sorry bout that. Didn't mean to steal your thunder. I just wanted to let RZ know that I liked his use of the scripture to support human rights instead of detract from them. It was just nice to see someone use religion for the purpose I think it needs to have now.

      October 20, 2010 at 8:37 am |
    • Peace2All


      No... you did not steal 'my thunder'..... I think between both of our posts, we added 'to' the discussion by bringing in differing points from similar perspectives.

      Just marveling at how closely we seem to be in alignment in our posts, as we have discussed before.

      Hope that you are well Frogist....


      October 20, 2010 at 11:53 am |
    • Frogist

      @Peace2all: Yes! However, we are not the same person... at all... *ahem* They'll never suspect... anything...
      (You think that's convincing enough? ;))
      Hope you are well too, my friend.

      October 20, 2010 at 4:17 pm |
    • Peace2All


      Oh yeah.. *ahem*... forgot. Er.. yes, Clark, my apologies,,.

      October 20, 2010 at 9:43 pm |
  8. Peace2All

    This is barbaric... I am disgusted with the horrific 'laws' that some people in this world have to live by, and therefore terrorized by.

    I am so vehemently against any kind of so-called 'religious' laws, being in place in our great country, the United States of America.

    October 19, 2010 at 4:10 pm |
    • Raison


      Well said.
      A number of possibilities come to mind as to where this could lead, in terms of world events....but that would be telling.... 😛

      October 20, 2010 at 2:24 am |
  9. Muneef Please Comment


    I think that many of us would like to hear your opinion of this ruling.

    October 19, 2010 at 4:07 pm |
    • Raison

      I think Muneef is wisely avoiding this topic, as beating one's wife is ridiculous. Much like CatholicMom avoiding the pedo-priest topics.
      I thank them for choosing discretion over valor, as it were.... maybe you should go look at the larger article where CNN picked it up....

      October 20, 2010 at 1:40 am |
    • Muneef

      Sorry that I have not been here before nor seen that I had an inquiry.
      Not sure exactly you wanted to know but just as a rough idea can start with:
      This man beating his wife like that is a crime and it is not right so he should pay for his crime and undertake not to lay a hand on her again but if case persists he would be forced to divorce her and she is to take her doughter in to her custody.

      Beating as court stated if necessary to straighten things in house is a simple beating that comes out of love and caring at certain points to gain control of things only. But beating out of carelessness and hate is different and intend to distort the person if became as bruises or blood or bone breaking? So you see the difference but this is a normal thing in Islam and the only ones dear to do so are either one with Alcohol drinking problem or some problems pressurizing him or Nomuds in remote areas. Have been married for 20 years now and never ever had landed a hand on my wife nor my father did nor any of those I lived or worked with but heard and see few cases of such with the poorest of civilians and peasants that financial crises might drive them nuts when can not supply to their homes the needs and their manhood figure is insulted by words from his wife. But same is not a common thing that you hear of or maybe heard of when it reaches the courts since normally families of both sides work it out for them either to live peacefully or get divorced although Islam considers divorce as a hated thing and to be the last cure.
      Understood that when laws imposed that a father is not allowed to threaten his wife or growing children that they would be beaten if go or do wrong, it was noticed that respect was lost and became not able to control his family who became to challenge him threatening him of police or court and as it seems that the court has realized that and that is why they given him now some right to gain control of family within limits.
      As to marriage of 9 years old this as well happening in villages between villagers of uneducated girls that their families might not be able to support and had to get them married early but this is not much happening in cities or modern families but as
      known that girls start getting the period at the age of 9 years which makes them as women and such thing is only if the girl at 9 years old is healthy and seems to be older than 9years but not those girls of 9 years but smal and skinny looking as smaller than 9 years old.
      Hope have explained the needed but can say that such things are only caused by being poor or financial crises is the drive of most evil beside that our third world countries does not give to it citizens and monthly support as your countries does give to the jobless...

      October 25, 2010 at 4:14 pm |
  10. JohnQuest

    If it okay for a man to beat his wife then it must be okay for the wife to wait patiently for the bast ard to go to sleep, then to make sure that he never puts his hands on anyone else.

    Just thinking out loud.

    October 19, 2010 at 3:37 pm |
    • Raison



      October 19, 2010 at 11:33 pm |
  11. TheRationale

    Islam is not a problem only found in terrorist sects. It is countries like the UAE, Iran, and Saudi Arabia, filled with millions of people, that enforce this disgusting, immoral law. You say Islam isn't bad? Look what happens when these countries live by it. They beat their children, keep their women inside with no rights at all, find men guilty of "sorcery" and "witchcraft" – does it end? It is absolutely pitiful how violent and ignorant this doctrine is.

    October 19, 2010 at 3:18 pm |
  12. Tacoma

    Well, I disagree with this ruling and hope the rest of world responds in such a way that tells the United Arab Emerites that it's not okay to treach women and children (even adult women children) in such a way.

    October 19, 2010 at 3:06 pm |
    • Megatron

      Seriously, you hope the world sends a "Strongly worded letter of disapproval?" ROFL.

      October 19, 2010 at 5:34 pm |
    • Tacoma

      Seriously, I hope the world slaps them upside the head but I didn't think that would be politically correct enough for this blog. I was going with reality over truth.

      October 20, 2010 at 12:29 pm |
  13. ohyeah

    It's Logical to Be 'Islamophobic'

    American Thinker 18 October 2010
    By R.C. Marsh

    From a utilitarian perspective, it's simple. The average person faces greater danger from radicalized Muslims than from other dangers that we also fear, such as sharks or lightning.

    * According to the ISAF, in 2009, there were 61 unprovoked shark attacks worldwide, resulting in five deaths and 56 injured.

    * Lightning is more dangerous than sharks. According to NOAA, in 2009, 34 Americans died from lightning strikes. Worldwide, the estimate is about a thousand deaths and five thousand injuries annually.

    * But radical Islamic terrorism is even more dangerous. According to the U.S. State Department report on terrorist attacks in 2009, "about one half" of the 10,999 identified terrorist attacks worldwide were associated with Sunni Islamists. That's the high end of the scale. By contrast, another list showing only attacks involving Islamic radicals indicates that they were only responsible for about 1,900 world-wide attacks in 2009. Still, those resulted in more than nine thousand deaths and 18,500 injuries.

    The average person is thirty times more likely to be attacked by a Muslim than a shark, and hundreds of times more likely to be killed by one. But it's not wrong to be "Sharkophobic," even though the risk is infinitely small. There are good reasons to fear sharks.


    If one fears sharks, then the natural thing to do is not go into the sea. By extention, we should not have Muslims in any significant numbers in our societies. If we do, then we will be attacked, and when a certain level of attacks has been reached, the humans/natives will simply rise up and remove the sharks, irrespective that a majority have not yet attacked us.

    Therefore, for the good of all, separation from Islam and Muslims must be undertaken or the consequence will be a civil war that makes Bosnia look like a garden party.
    [from Jihad Watch comments]

    October 19, 2010 at 1:24 pm |
    • Megatron

      What is the total population of Muslims vs. the total population of sharks? You have left that consideration out. 😛

      October 19, 2010 at 5:32 pm |
    • Raison

      LOL XD

      October 19, 2010 at 11:32 pm |
  14. Raison

    Physical violence almost always has an element of psychological trauma. And if someone has to resort to violence, they have not only left the path of reason, they have admitted they were too dumb to figure their way out of a paper bag.

    Misogynistic religious beliefs that encourage using violence as a way of "instructing" someone lose all basis as something from which one can seek wisdom. Delusions like religions should not be used as the basis for law. Common sense would have given this misogynist other options, but he chose violence instead.

    No mention of what the wife and child were accused of doing to "warrant" this violence upon them?
    Bah, that doesn't matter. The man has no self-control.
    His fine was Dh500.
    Pay enough money and you can do whatever you like, as we all know...

    October 19, 2010 at 1:03 pm |
  15. Frogist

    Well thanks UAE for showing us that religion and government should not mix. Because when they do, human rights for all regardless of religious persuasion, goes down the toilet. Why is it that women are always the ones who bear the brunt of this insanity?

    October 19, 2010 at 12:45 pm |
  16. Megatron

    And again we see the destructive, idiotic effect of religion on a society. While other religions may not be as obvious, they still work to put forth their ill informed, baseless assertations. Some of these include:

    – Condoms are wrong
    – Stem cell research is immoral
    – Abortions kill babies
    – etc.

    When will we cast off nonsense for reason?

    October 19, 2010 at 12:27 pm |
    • Mike

      Who states condoms are wrong?

      October 19, 2010 at 12:35 pm |
    • AJ

      @Mike: The Catholic Church

      October 19, 2010 at 1:06 pm |
    • Peter F

      Abortions do kill babies... they may be unborn, but that doesn't disqualify them from being babies.

      October 19, 2010 at 1:30 pm |
    • Tacoma

      Um, I'm thinking your comment on abortions is misguided. Science has made it so that we can see the baby forming and developing earlier than people used to think. A fetus is a baby and more more people are realizing that.

      October 19, 2010 at 3:03 pm |
    • Megatron

      A fetus is not a baby. Perhaps you should educate yourself on the matter. But for a simple enough explanation, why do we use different words for fetus and baby?

      October 19, 2010 at 4:42 pm |
    • Alex

      A fetus is certainly not a baby, ask any physician and they will confirm that. But beyond that point, most abortions in the US are not fetus abortions but embryo abortions. An embryo turns into a fetus around week 8-9, which gives the mother about a month before abortion is unlawful. Most of the time, abortions occur before the 8th week, therefore it is an embryo being aborted. Please do not try to make the argument that an embryo is a baby. If you do, I suggest you should try to freeze your new born for a few months and see what happens (Embryos are typically frozen before being implanted via invitro-fertilization).

      October 19, 2010 at 7:15 pm |
    • Peace2All


      Well said...

      October 19, 2010 at 9:56 pm |
    • Frank

      Megatron, you should study more before you begin ranting. The issue of a man beating his family is a cultural one, not a religious one. Most of what people in the West are wary about when it comes to Islam actually come from Middle Eastern and North African culture which was around long before Islam. Islam, in that region, simply absorbed pre-existing cultural practices into itself.
      As for the issues you named: Believing that those things are immoral, unethical, unprincipled or otherwise objectionable does not make you 'destructive' or 'idiotic'.

      October 19, 2010 at 11:43 pm |
    • Raison


      You skipped right over the "ill-informed, baseless" part of Megatron's post.
      And if believing that those things listed are immoral, unethical, unprincipled or otherwise objectionable MIGHT NOT make you 'destructive' or 'idiotic', and yet that is what frequently happens when believers try to apply their beliefs on everybody else without using their critical faculties to evaluate the presuppositions beforehand.
      I would have said "delusional", as this is not so likely to offend.... 😛

      October 19, 2010 at 11:51 pm |
    • Raison

      okay, went a bit too fast with that last post....but I hope you get the gist of it. 😛

      October 19, 2010 at 11:56 pm |
    • Reality

      It is obvious that inte-rcourse and other se-xual activities are out of control with over one million abortions and 19 million cases of S-TDs per year in the USA alone.

      from the CDC-2006

      "Se-xually transmitted diseases (S-TDs) remain a major public health challenge in the United States. While substantial progress has been made in preventing, diagnosing, and treating certain S-TDs in recent years, CDC estimates that approximately 19 million new infections occur each year, almost half of them among young people ages 15 to 24.1 In addition to the physical and psychological consequences of S-TDs, these diseases also exact a tremendous economic toll. Direct medical costs as-sociated with S-TDs in the United States are estimated at up to $14.7 billion annually in 2006 dollars."

      How in the world do we get this situation under control? A pill to temporarily eliminate the s-ex drive would be a good start. (Andy Rooney of 60 Minutes, 4/18/2010 described them as anti-desire pills). And teenagers and young adults must be constantly reminded of the dangers of se-xual activity and that oral s-ex, birth control pills, co-ndoms and chast-ity belts are no protection against S-TDs. Might a list of those having a S-TD posted on the Internet help?-Said names would remain until the S-TD has been eliminated with verification by a doctor. Lists of s-exual predators are on-line. Is there a difference between these individuals and those having a ST-D having s-exual relations while infected???

      And then there is this:

      Hmmm, so a GROWING baby is considered by some to be nothing more than an infection? Talk about having no respect for human life!!!!!

      And Nature or Nature's God is the #1 taker of everyone's life. That gives some rationale for killing the unborn or those suffering from de-mentia, mental disease or Alzheimer's or anyone who might inconvenience your life???

      We constantly battle the forces of nature. We do not succ-umb to these forces by eliminating defenseless children!!!!!

      October 20, 2010 at 12:29 am |
    • Frank

      I see what you mean but that's really advice that everyone can follow when forming a comprehensive worldview. There's people of all sorts of opinions and stances who can't effectually argue the underlying reasons why they believe the things they do.
      I blame the failed educational system and our ridiculous and combative socio-political environment where whomever shouts the loudest wins.
      Yes, I understood you. 😛

      October 20, 2010 at 12:39 am |
    • Reality

      "Facts on Contraceptive Use

      January 2008


      • 62 million U.S. women (and men?) are in their childbearing years (15–44).[1]

      • 43 million women (and men) of reproductive age, or 7 in 10, are se-xually active and do not want to become pregnant, but could become pregnant if they or their partners fail to use a contraceptive method.[2]

      • The typical U.S. woman (man?) wants only 2 children. To achieve this goal, she (he?) must use contraceptives for roughly 3 decades.[3]


      • Virtually all women (98%) aged 15–44 who have ever had inter-course have used at least one contraceptive method.[2](and men?)

      • Overall, 62% of the 62 million women aged 15–44 are currently using one.[2] (and men)

      • 31% of the 62 million women (and men?) do not need a method because they are infertile; are pregnant, postpartum or trying to become pregnant; have never had inter-course; or are not se-xually active.[2]

      • Thus, only 7% of women aged 15–44 are at risk of unwanted pregnancy but are not using contraceptives.[2] (and men?)

      • Among the 42 million fertile, se-xually active women who do not want to become pregnant, 89% are practicing contraception.[2] (and men?)


      • 64% of reproductive-age women who practice contraception use reversible methods, such as oral contraceptives or condoms. The remaining women rely on female or male sterilization.[2]


      Percentage of women (men?) experiencing an unintended pregnancy (a few examples)

      Typical %
      Pill (combined) 8.7
      Tubal sterilization 0.7
      Male condom 17.4
      Vasectomy 0.2

      Periodic abstinence 25.3
      Calendar 9.0
      Ovulation Method 3.0
      Sympto-thermal 2.0
      Post-ovulation 1.0

      No method 85.0"

      (Abstinence) 0

      (Masturbation) 0

      More facts about contraceptives from



      Contraceptive method use among U.S. women who practice contraception, 2002

      Method No. of users (in 000s) % of users
      Pill 11,661 30.6
      Male condom 6,841 18.0 "

      The pill fails to protect women 8.7% during the first year of use (from the same reference previously shown).

      i.e. 0.087 (failure rate)
      x 62 million (# child bearing women)
      x 0.62 ( % of these women using contraception )
      x 0.306 ( % of these using the pill) =

      1,020,000 unwanted pregnancies
      during the first year of pill use.

      For male condoms (failure rate of 17.4 and 18% use level)

      1,200,000 unwanted pregnancies during the first year of male condom use.

      The Guttmacher Inst-itute (same reference) notes also that the perfect use of the pill should result in a 0.3% failure rate
      (35,000 unwanted pregnancies) and for the male condom, a 2% failure rate (138,000 unwanted pregnancies)

      Conclusion: The failures of the widely used birth "control" methods i.e. the pill and male condom have led to the large rate of abortions and STDs in the USA. Men and women must either recognize their responsibilities by using the pill or condoms properly and/or use other methods in order to reduce the epidemics of abortion and STDs.

      October 20, 2010 at 12:44 am |
    • Frank

      And what exactly is your point in hurling all of those statistics at us?

      No, wait! Don't answer that! *runs away from the coming copy and paste bomb*

      October 20, 2010 at 12:48 am |
    • Reality

      Frank et al,

      Conclusion: The failures of the widely used birth "control" methods i.e. the pill and male condom have led to the large rate of abortions and STDs in the USA. Men and women must either recognize their responsibilities by using the pill or condoms properly and/or use other methods in order to reduce the epidemics of abortion and STDs.

      October 20, 2010 at 8:22 am |
    • Frank

      Abstinence and celibacy are healthy choices but that's tantamount to heresy in our overs#xed culture.

      October 20, 2010 at 9:22 pm |
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