How Qur’an Interprets the Term Darbi and Qawamun (ضرب /قوامون)

There are various connotations in the uses of the word (darb and its derivatives) that clarify several meanings in each case. These ranges of meanings that complement one another lead one to pose questions such as: How come the commentators and jurists failed to attempt to take the verse as a reference by reconsidering the interpretation of the word (and beat them)? Their reconsideration would have indicated the right direction. They could have understood the suitable meaning that leads them to achieve reconciliation between the spouses and does not complicate matters between them that may or may not concern marital life. If the husband uses the meaning of (physical and severe beating) by any means, the consequence would be a violent reaction demonstrated by the wife to defend herself. Then, the matter may develop into the use of sharp tools between them and may justify one of them to have an unpleasant consequence. That may alter the conflict to a further exacerbation, possibly resulting in a deadly and deadlock situation. 

In the Noble Qur’an’s divine legislation, Allah, the Almighty, particularly opened for the husband the use of multiple means of seeking solutions such as resorting to tolerance, mercy, forgiveness, and persistence patience by saying: (And that you be patient is good for you, and Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful) (An-Nisa (The Women): 25). For further encouragement, Allah, the Almighty, says: “So whoever forgives and reconciles, his reward is with Allah, for He does not love the wrongdoers” (Qur’an: Al-Shura: 40). Emphasizing the meaning and the objective of the above verse, Allah commands the husbands to choose following the divine legislation to adopt the best and most appropriate means of treating their wives. That way must be based on a decent manner full of pardon, clemency, compassion, heart with feeling, and progressively reforming the relationship between them from time to time. 

In these activities, husbands must use modern strategies of fashionable behaviors and suitable treatments to maintain the continuity of the reciprocal relationship between them and their spouses. Such an action must be attempted to improve and strengthen general family protection, observe the household’s unity, prevent any means of disintegration, and pay consistent efforts to raise good and talented children. At the same time, Allah’s justice and law require the equality of the spouses in dealing with either of them. For instance, if a wife fears facing disobedience from her husband’s side or eventually suspects his loyalty, Allah commanded the two parties to follow the reconciliation path, regardless of who may initiate it. The same applies to the husband as he feels disloyalty appearing from his wife’s behavior. The objective of the reconciliation must be based on preventing any betrayal action that may hinder the betterment of their family’s interests. In the reconciliation process, there must be no partiality and leaks of particular advantage for either of them over the other.

Explicitly, what is meant by the word (and beat them), as the refusal to engage in the marital relationship psychologically impacts the wife? She may reconsider her position on the husband by feeling that not obtaining proper reconciliation to restore harmony between her and her husband. This lures her to remain reluctant to preserve the continuity of the family, to take care of the children in order to achieve stability for them, and lofty the most appropriate goal of protecting the house chores and all other sects of house-making and family services. 

Besides the above-noted disturbances, all the above-cited interpretations set by the jurists take the path of cruelty by encouraging ill interactions with the man’s arrogance. Such arrogance may escalate the situation by creating more misunderstanding in the interpretation concerning the meaning of the word (men are the guardians of women). The ancient commentators, wholly preoccupied with the ancient patriarchic culture, thought that Allah distinguished the man from the woman by giving him extra authority over his wife. The above reading indicates that they did not understand the purposes of the noble verse as Allah, the Almighty, says: (Men are the guardians of women). They were supposed to deliberate on the purposes of this noble verse to fathom that it is to let us know that every husband should bear the responsibility of his family’s stewardship by taking care of his wife’s family. To succeed in that responsibility, the husband should provide adequate housing, feeding, childcare, child training, security, and protection. 

In reality, in the husband’s treatment, maintaining all these daily needed materials do not necessitate or justify the husband’s authoritarian rule. Thus, he should not act as an absolute dictator in his responsibility towards managing and taking care of his own household. 

The central point of the theme in the Qur’anic verse is that Allah Has given job descriptions to each of the two parties. The husbands are responsible for what they are good at, and wives are due for what Allah Has favored over their husbands. On the other hand, husbands are due to what Allah granted more than their wives, such as to be their families’ breadwinners and to feel affection for spending their money.

Therefore, what the noble verse mentioned does not mean leadership, sovereignty, or being the sole ruler in his family. Instead, it is a responsibility toward his family. That is an assignment given to him by Allah, and it consists of providing protection, personal caregiving, and securitizing the household’s needs. 

When it comes to the meaning of (Qawamun), the verse confirmed that the word is a mandate given to the husband, not an honor. Thus, the term does not authorize the husband to have the power to transcend over his wife. Unfortunately, some husbands may treat their wives like enslaved people or use them as instruments for pleasure. This aggression is a direct violation of basic human rights as it diverts women’s fundamental rights and dignity, which Allah Has honored to both genders, as mentioned in dozens of the Qur’an’s verses. In the form of special favorable treatment, the divine legislation confirms and depicts how to preserve women’s rights.

As a result of the explicit biases toward men strengthened with the wrong interpretations made by male commentators, that are in favor of the male gender serve their selfishness and tyranny. Thus, the level of bias reveals souls sick with obsession and use mental power to ensure dominating female gender. The objective of interpreting the verses of the Noble Qur’an must be based on achieving a balance between the spouses and equality of rights for the continuation of an excellent reciprocal relationship between them. Hence, it completes the marital life process that brings positive results for building righteous individuals who contribute to the development of the homeland and maintain security and safety in their societies.

Consequently, it facilitates common ethical problems that may affect children’s behaviors by turning them into an abnormality leading to engaging in antisocial performances. Otherwise, children may deviate to the path of misguidance in the case of disagreements leading to family divisions and poor social interactions. The primary contributing factor is the daily strife that such children have gone through. They live with their parents, who frequently argue, and they witness their fathers beating up their mothers, even for the slightest reason. Therefore, all they know are malicious activities of family dispute, domestic conflict, broken homes, recurrent self-defense, and that men exercise their authority and masculinity over their wives by taking advantage of their physical weakness. 

That wrecked mentality that its origin goes back to the outdated pre-Islamic concepts, which are referred to as the patriarchic era. Any form of wife battering and wife abuse leaves a negative impact on the children’s minds. Therefore, let such fathers know that they are training, teaching, and upbringing their children to accept and consider culturally or religiously required husbands’ responsibility. 

Nevertheless, the original practical goals and objectives of the Message of Islam are the opposite of that inhumane behavior and culture. The Message of Islam targets the targeted elements, which are to achieve happiness for people and kill the personal ego, lest it brings enmity and cruelty to an end. Such a target eliminates corruption and oppression while improving and maintaining affection and mercy. Allah, the Almighty, Has set a legislative rule that achieves happiness in societies starting from the spouses to spread the culture of integration between families and communities on a scale that does not override somebody’s right over the other. His Majesty, Allah, Glory be to Him, addressing both spouses in the following verse: And one of His signs is that He created for you spouses from among yourselves so that you may find comfort in them. And He has placed between you compassion and mercy. Surely in this are signs for people who reflect” (Qur’an: Ar Rum (The Roman): 21).

 The divine objective of this heavenly guidance given to each married couple means to guide each of the two parts so that Allah’s commandment is directed to him and her. That is the opposite of the wrong concept that has been incorrectly adopted for the last fourteen centuries, in which people thought that Allah created the wife to be a maidservant, an object of man’s enjoyment, a house-maker, and a baby-maker. This understanding contradicts absolute divine justice, which means the purpose of the holy verse so that each of them is a resting abode and affirmation of tranquility for the other. Allah says: “And surely We will recompense them with their reward for the best of what they used to do” (Qur’an: An-Nahl (The Bee): 97).

    When looking at the concept of the privileged male from the perspectives of the laws and customs of Judaism and Christianity, this position is totally inconsistent with Allah’s Law. It seems customary laws have already overruled each of the two Books that preceded the Qur’an. The latter establishes a balanced gender based on reciprocal relationships built with equity and equality. It regulates impartial collaboration between the married couple while determining the responsibility of each husband and wife. 

By having equal rights, the couple builds a solid family for the continuation of a good life between them based on the Divine Law. The components of the Divine law are to strive to increase the level of affection, mercy, and good treatment among the family members. Allah, the Almighty, determined the responsibility of the husband to take care of the family consisting of his wife and children and to secure their basic needs. He is also required to provide proper feeding, clothing, sheltering, education, healing, entertainment, and, in general, a suitable lifestyle. 

On the other hand, responsibilities assigned to the wife include caring for the house, providing personal care for the babies, nourishing children, raising children, ensuring children’s comfort, and caring for the husband. Each wife and husband is required to perform his or her duty with honesty, affection, and mercy. These qualities can make them recognized and respected by each other and strengthen their reciprocal marital relationship by guaranteeing its lifelong extent that the family cannot achieve its stability and maintenance without regulating a means of fortification and safeguarding. 

There, everybody will be able to adopt and practice the sense of being a good citizen as peace prevails in their day-to-day activities. This effort forms a culture of peace and stability as the whole society remains peaceful and tranquil because if the individual is in peace, the community is in peace and will remain to enjoy all kinds of good and satisfaction. By exercising the right to freedom by applying the Qur’an’s instruction, let Muslims follow what the Noble Qur’an explains. Allah explains the theme with His attributions, such as that He is the Most Compassionate, the Most Merciful, the Most Merciful, and the All-Knowing. Hence, let Muslims distinguish and demarcate between the hallucinations and the Clear Qur’an’s guidance. Allah says: 

“So seek your Lord’s forgiveness and turn to Him in repentance. Surely my Lord is Most Merciful, All-Loving” (Qur’an: Hud: 90). 

“For indeed the soul is ever inclined to evil, except those shown mercy by my Lord. Surely my Lord is All-Forgiving, Most Merciful” (Qur’an: Yusuf (Joseph): 53).

Allah, Glory be to Him, reiterates His call in the Qur’an for people to elevate their behavior to the highest level of the believers, as Allah mentioned in the Wise Qur’an. He clarified the divine method of dealing with family, relatives, and all people with kindness and affection. There, one develops practical social enhancement based on forgiveness. When grieved or affronted, they respond in the best way. Allah praised those who suppress anger with kind words, mercy, justice, and fairness. They initiate positive cooperation based on charity while preventing any form of cooperation from leading to sin, crime, and transgression. All these are some of the characteristics of the Messenger (peace be upon him).

Allah, Has ordained us to take the trustee Messenger as a role model, mentor, follower, and lifestyle guide. That is necessary because his behavior and culture that he taught people are the components of mercy, love, proper dealing with people, choosing the best words to say, and welcoming everybody are copied and practiced by action. Allah says: “Indeed, in the Messenger of Allah you have an excellent example for whoever has hope in Allah and the Last Day, and remembers Allah often” (Qur’an: Al Ahzab (The Enemy Alliance): 21). 

That is why Allah Has commanded people to keep mimicking the Messenger’s manner, which is based on the Qur’anic verses. Allah is pleased with and endorses the mimickers’ values. Allah commands Muslims to make the Messenger an absolute role model by mimicking his behavior and moral-based ethics, such as his free mercy to all people, which commences from his excellent wording. That behavior would be implemented as Allah guided when saying: “Say, ˹O Prophet,˺ “If you ˹sincerely˺ love Allah, then follow me; Allah will love you and forgive your sins. For Allah is All-Forgiving, Most Merciful” (Qur’an: Ali-Imran (The Family of Imran): 31).

In this way, a person becomes a true Muslim who clings to Allah’s Book and applies its law and method in the life of this world so that on Resurrection Day, he will receive his reward in the gardens of bliss. If a person follows and imitates the moral qualities, mercy, justice, and benevolence in the Noble Qur’an, he will definitely remain successful. Such a person needs to persist in following the characteristics of the believers that the faithful Messenger applied in his life until it became his Sunnah. Any husband who takes such a good sunnah teaches and promotes the best way of life in dealings with his wife and children. The reliable light guides him to the path of happiness and peace that fulfills the Qur’an’s mercy and contemplation in the relationship. 

Knowing the purposes of the verses and Allah’s will for people leads people to achieve a good life for themselves and a decent life in the shade of security and tranquility and teaches the exact aim of the spouses. By saying: “Tell My ˹believing˺ servants to say only what is best. Satan certainly seeks to sow discord among them. Satan is indeed a sworn enemy to humankind” (Qur’an: Al Isra (The Night Journey): 53). This verse makes it clear to the people that good treatment is between them. Intimacy and affection continue to carry out their sacred duty towards raising their children in a virtuous level of life, training, upbringing, educating, and guiding them to the right path. Allah invites all people to follow His method stated in His Book, which sets forth mercy before retribution, forgiveness before judgment, goodness before evil, and a good word before a lousy word. What Allah requires is a life that is not subject to being disturbed by strife, envy, malice, or hatred but instead by affection, harmony, cooperation, and peacemaking as the marital instrument for an ongoing mutual relationship. These qualities continue fulfilling everybody’s duty towards the society in which he lives and his homeland at large. Everybody will be able to love and sincerely serve their family. That means everybody is productive, provides the essentials of good citizenship, and contributes to the nation’s progress and development by advancing a decent life for all their members. The Divine curriculum, legislation, and noble moral values ​​aim to formulate the human personality with Qura’nic ethics. They remodel the attributes of believers and divine legislation to build a good citizen as they are concrete building blocks for a civilized human society that contributes to achieving a decent life for all members of society with tact.

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