Men are in charge of women, because Allah hath made the one of them to excel the other, and because they spend of their property (for the support of women). So good women are the obedient, guarding in secret that which Allah hath guarded. As for those from whom ye fear rebellion, admonish them and banish them to beds apart, and scourge them. Then if they obey you, seek not a way against them. Lo! Allah is ever High, Exalted, Great. (Qur'an 4:34)
If anyone has doubts about the meaning of this passage, I invite you to read Osama Abdallah's elegant description of situations where a Muslim man should not only beat his wife, but "beat the daylights out of her." Note that, according to Osama, a man should beat the daylights out of his wife for not taking care of her children properly.
What is the result of the Islamic position on wife-beating? Muslim women usually remain quiet about such beatings, since they're raised to believe that it's acceptable to beat women. But sometimes women die from the beatings.
Notice from the following case that the husband was beating his wife for refusing to breastfeed her child on command. Thus, he was completely within his Muslim rights to (as Osama likes to say) "beat the daylights out of her." Unfortunately, the beating killed her.
A woman was beaten by her husband after she refused to resume breastfeeding her baby, Dubai Criminal Court heard yesterday.
The defendant, MN, a 26-year-old Pakistani tailor, again ordered the woman, AF, to feed her baby, but she refused once more, put the baby on the bed and went onto the roof of their house.
There, she removed her headscarf, which annoyed her conservative Muslim husband. He then allegedlly slapped her and brought her back to her room.
When she left the room again and went back up to the roof, he allegedly hit her several times with a plastic pipe, and she fell to the ground. He lifted his wife up and lay her on the bed, but when her condition deteriorated, he took her to hospital. She passed away after a few days due to complications from an injury to her head. Read More.
For more on wife-beating in Islam, click here.