Prophet Muhammad certainly did NOT beat his wives.
Some unscholarly and unsavoury individuals are trying to convince us that the Prophet Muhammad hit his wife Aisha (Aysha).
This is a bizarre claim indeed, especially considering that all the evidence (ie hadith literature) and Islamic scholars show that Muhammad never hit his wives.
Indeed Muhammad taught that the best of you are those who do not hit their wives and Muhammad was the best of them, thus we realise Muhammad indirectly told us he never hit his wives. However it is wise and thorough to analyze the critic's claim further (this is done by my colleague, Gabriel Keresztes AKA Jibreelk):
Did prophet Muhammad ever hit Aisha?
People have been trying to cast shadows of doubt on the character of prophet Muhammad pbuh since the beginning of his prophetic career and they are certainly making their marks today.
Such an incident is when Aisha followed prophet Muhammad one night after being with him, while he did not want to awake her after being instructed by angel Gabriel to go to the grave yard and pray for his companions. What an innocent and pure event, what an amazing characteristic of our beloved prophet, at a time when most of us are in dream land, prayer being the last thing in our dreams, the prophet used to pray. The prophet used to leave his warm bed and go out in the cold or stay for long periods of times (1000 some years before central heating) and pray.
Any way the allegation of the crtics is that prophet Muhammad hit Aysha. We will analyze the allegation (God Willing). Firstly, let us mention it was reported that the prophet never hit any woman or slave, he only hit the enemies of Allah in fights. He never hit a child, he never back bit, he never spoke ill.
The hadith in question goes as such :
Sahih Muslim, Book 004, Number 2127:
Muhammad b. Qais said (to the people): Should I not narrate to you (a hadith of the Holy Prophet) on my authority and on the authority of my mother? We thought that he meant the mother who had given him birth. He (Muhammad b. Qais) then reported that it was ''A''isha who had narrated this: Should I not narrate to you about myself and about the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him)? We said: Yes. She said: When it was my turn for Allah''s Messenger (may peace be upon him) to spend the night with me, he turned his side, put on his mantle and took off his shoes and placed them near his feet, and spread the corner of his shawl on his bed and then lay down till he thought that I had gone to sleep. He took hold of his mantle slowly and put on the shoes slowly, and opened the door and went out and then closed it lightly. I covered my head, put on my veil and tightened my waist wrapper, and then went out following his steps till he reached Baqi''. He stood there and he stood for a long time. He then lifted his hands three times, and then returned and I also returned. 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 struck me on the chest which caused me pain, and then said: Did you think that Allah and His Apostle would deal unjustly with you? She said: Whatsoever the people conceal, Allah will know it. He said: Gabriel came to me when you saw me. He called me and he concealed it from you. I responded to his call, but I too concealed it from you (for he did not come to you), as you were not fully dressed. I thought that you had gone to sleep, and I did not like to awaken you, fearing that you may be frightened. He (Gabriel) said: Your Lord has commanded you to go to the inhabitants of Baqi'' (to those lying in the graves) and beg pardon for them. I said: Messenger of Allah, how should I pray for them (How should I beg forgiveness for them)? He said: Say, Peace be upon the inhabitants of this city (graveyard) from among the Believers and the Muslims, and may Allah have mercy on those who have gone ahead of us, and those who come later on, and we shall, God willing, join you.
The explanation (by Salman on Sunni forums)
"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.
- Amir ibn Raba and Sahl ibn Hunayf went out to bathe. Amir took off his woolen robe. He [Sahl] narrates: "I looked at him and I cast the evil eye on him. He went down into the water then I heard a noise coming from him. I called out to him three times but there was no answer. I went to call the Messenger of Allah who came on foot and waded his way in the water. Then he slapped/pushed his chest with his hand, saying: "O Allah! drive away from him its heat and its coolness and its harm." Then he rose up and said: "If one of you sees something that pleases him in his brother - whether in his person or property - let him invoke blessing for him, for the evil eye is a reality."
(Tafsir ibn Kathir)
Similarly, in a narration it states:
- Ubbay said: There occurred in my mind a sort of denial which did not occur even during the Days of Ignorance. When the Messenger of Allah saw how I was affected, he slapped/pushed me on the chest. I broke into a sweat and felt as if I were looking at Allah in fear.
There is another incident when a man of Quraish was trying to kill the prophet while he was making tawaf around the kaba. He kept getting closer and closer to him, and the prophet was receiving revelation of his intentions. The prophet kept asking him about his intention while this person was denying it but persisted in his goal and would try again. When he got really close to him, the prophet hit him on his chest and all the doubts and disbelief left his heart and he became a believer.
The above examples and poofs go to show that the prophet did not hit Aysha as abuse or as wife beating as the Orientalists claim, he pushed her as to remove any ill doubts or suspicion out of her heart of HIM NOT BEING FAIR TO HER (which is proven by the question he asks her in the hadith). He did the same to some companions and to many others he would put his hand on their heart, and pray for them, push their chest, and other proximity methods in order to remove the doubts or ill thoughts from their heart.
Only ill minded people and people who go to distort the image of our prophets character can see that as abuse, while they themselves are the worst of abusers, seeking to find any kind of ambiguity in Islam so they can attack it and never ever to withdraw their claims even when proven wrong such as now. Instead of admitting that they were wrong, they move on to someone else who they can confuse with the same shady argument.
But Allah is aware of all that they do
Note: Some slight modifications were made to JibreelK's article. His article in its unadulterated form is here:
Video presentation on this subject by Yahya Snow: