There has been a lot of argumentation about secondary cases between scholars whose basic question is, "Did the Messenger of Allah utter this hadith or not?" You may remark, "Deep knowledge of the technical terms becomes the basis for acceptance or rejection of various transmissions." We reply: "That is right — and that is all we mean by its application!" We cling to what our first Imams laid down for us and do not even think about separating ourselves from it. We are simply drawing attention to the fact that aberration and faults in the texts of the hadiths concern the fuqaha as well as those who memorise those hadiths. The fuqaha had a role to play with respect to them in the past and the gravity of the current situation demands further investigation and study.

I know that this statement provokes fear in some people, but my experiences in the field of dawa leads me to deal with the matter in greater detail. In this time when Islam has suffered a series of defeats and its enemies attribute every manner of defect to it, I heard an orator relate this hadith: "Do not ask a man why he beats his wife." I told him, "Our deen is accused of being opposed to the rights of the human being and particularly respect for women. Why do you present a hadith which might be interpreted to mean that a man can beat his wife however he likes and not be asked about what he does? You know that this idea is rejected in both the Book and Sunna."

He replied doggedly, "I related a sound hadith." I asked him, "Do you not know this other hadith which Muslim reports in his Sahih collection? 'There will be restitution of rights on the Day of Rising until even the hornless sheep takes its right from the horned sheep.' Is a beaten wife less in the sight of Allah than a sheep unjustly gored?" He said, "From the time of Eve until today women are in need of admonition and discipline. It is said in a hadith, 'If it had not been for Eve, no woman would ever have betrayed her husband.'"

I said to him, "Eve did not betray Adam or tempt him to eat from the tree. This is one of the lies in the Torah! The Quran clearly states that Adam is the one who disobeyed his Lord but you fail to quote the Noble Quran and instead transmit transmissions which inhibit the spread of Islam. Why should a man not be asked, 'Why did you beat your wife?' Do you raise your daughters to go to a husband who will slap her or injure her without being questioned in this world or the Next? One of the rights of a woman in this world is to complain to her family about what happens to her, to the judge who represents her, or the Qadi who must question her husband. After that, she may request a khul dissolution of marriage or demand an enforced divorce because of harm. Yet you, in the name of Islam, tempt people away from Islam by these hadiths.

Compiled From:
"The Sunna of the Prophet" - Muhammad al-Ghazali