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During a weekly Palestinian Authority TV program on social issues, the Mufti of Gaza Hassan Al-Laham discussed divorce in Islam. He explained that Allah directed men to take four steps to resolve conflicts with one’s wife before resorting to divorce: “Allah said: Warn them [the wives], and separate from them, and hit them, and bring an arbitrator from his family and an arbitrator from her family.”[Official PA TV, Feb. 8, 2016]
His essential message is that while “she became your wife, and she is under your command,” nonetheless, hitting is to be used only after warning her and separating from her “in the bedroom” has failed to achieve the desired result. And then, when hitting is being used at the proper time, it should not be a severe beating:
“Not hitting that will bring the police, and break her hand and cause bleeding, or hitting that makes the face ugly.”
Indeed, the hitting should “be like a joke,” even reinforcing “the love and friendship” between the couple:
“This hitting is a kind of reminder that the love and friendship that Allah commanded, is still found between us (i.e., the couple).”