A top spiritual leader in the Palestinian territory of Gaza told a television audience last week how and when men can beat their wives, advising not to hit them in a way that “makes the face ugly.”
The shocking interview with Hassan Al-Laham, who holds the title “mufti of Gaza,” came during a weekly Palestinian Authority TV program on social issues. Explaining that divorce must be a last resort in Islam, Al-Laham laid out the four steps that should come first.
"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," he said.
Al-Laham, whose title makes him the top spiritual leader appointed by the Palestinian Authority, then went into detail about how a husband should hit a wife.
"Not hitting that will bring the police, and break her hand and cause bleeding, or hitting that makes the face ugly," he said.
The hitting should "be like a joke," even reinforcing "the love and friendship" between the couple, he said.