Outrage over 'how to beat your wife' book

Mar 26, 2012, 04:22 IST | Agencies

A marriage guidebook written by an Islamic scholar offers men advice on how to beat their wives by hand or stick, withhold money, pull them by their ears

A marriage guidebook written by an Islamic scholar offers men advice on how to beat their wives by hand or stick, withhold money, pull them by their ears

An Islamic marriage guide book has sparked outrage -- by advising men on the best ways to beat their wives.
A Gift For Muslim Couple tells husbands that they should beat their wives with 'hand or stick or pull her by the ears'.

Inciting violence: The book A Gift For Muslim Couple, says that the
husband should restrain his wife with strength and even threaten her
sometimes. Representation Pic

But the book has faced a backlash from moderate Muslims. The 160-page book claims to be a 'presentation for newlyweds' or couples who have been together for some years. It is written by Maulavi Ashraf Ali Thanvi, who is understood to be a prominent Islamic scholar.

What the book says
According to the book's blurb: 'The book... deals with the subject of marriage and after marriage relationship, as well as the various pitfalls of marriage, causes of breakdown and their causes.'

Within the book's opening pages it states that  'it might be necessary to restrain her with strength and even threaten her.'

It continues: 'The husband should treat the wife with kindness and love, even if she tends to be stupid and slow sometimes.'

The author then gives the 'rights of the husband'. According to the book, these include his wife's inability to leave 'his house without his permission'.

She must then 'fulfill his desires' and 'not allow herself to be untidy ... but should beautify herself for him'.
Worryingly, the book advises men that they should scold their wives.

According to the book, they may also beat by hand or stick, withhold money from her or pull (her) by the ears.
It then adds that men should refrain from beating her excessively.

The book came to light after going on sale in a Canadian book store. It is understood to have sold out there.

However, it is widely available from Islamic online book stores. Canadian political campaigner Tarek Fatah said that the book should be banned from stores. "I wouldn't say it's hate, but it is inciting men to hit women," he said. "This is new to you, but the Muslim community knows that this is widespread, that a woman can be beaten. Muslim leaders will deny this""It is not like that in our community," added Farzana Baig, a wife of a mosque imam.

"This is upsetting. A wrong thing against our community. My husband doesn't beat me. I haven't heard of this. If it happens it is rare."

"This is totally wrong," said Farzana's husband, who is a vice-president with Sunni mosque Jame Masjid Mississauga, said.

"It should not be and I don't know what to say. This doesn't represent our community and I will look into it. This isn't proper reading and it shouldn't be out there. It makes the whole community look wrong," he said.

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