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Islamic law recognizes circumstances where men may be violent with women. This includes husbands controlling their wives, but also extends to warfare, where collateral damage (though not deliberate targeting) of women was reportedly excused by the prophet. Before being abrogated with a regime of equal punishments for men and women, a pair of Quran verses specified special punishments for transgressions of female sexual norms compared to when the same offence was committed by men.
Beating your Wives is Allowed
Men are the maintainers of women because Allah has made some of them to excel others and because they spend out of their property; the good women are therefore obedient, guarding the unseen as Allah has guarded; and (as to) those on whose part you fear desertion, admonish them, and leave them alone in the sleeping-places and beat them
; then if they obey you, do not seek a way against them; surely Allah is High, Great.
A hadith graded hasan (the 2nd highest level of authenticity according to traditional scholars of hadith, below sahih) quotes Muhammad saying that a man should not be asked why he beats his wife:
It was narrated that Ash'ath bin Qais said:
"I was a guest (at the home) of 'Umar one night, and in the middle of the night he went and hit his wife, and I separated them. When he went to bed he said to me: 'O Ash'ath, learn from me something that I heard from the Messenger of Allah" A man should not be asked why he beats his wife
, and do not go to sleep until you have prayed the Witr."' And I forgot the third thing."
Discipline. The husband has the right to discipline his wife if she disobeys him in something good, not if she disobeys him in something sinful, because Allaah has enjoined disciplining women by forsaking them in bed and by hitting them, when they do not obey.
The Hanafis mentioned four situations in which a husband is permitted to discipline his wife by hitting her. These are: not adorning herself when he wants her to; not responding when he calls her to bed and she is taahirah (pure, i.e., not menstruating); not praying; and going out of the house without his permission.
Killing Women and Children is Allowed as "Collateral Damage"
Hadiths record that Muhammad disapproved of the killing of women and children during expeditions (also Sahih Muslim 19:4319).
During some of the Ghazawat of the Prophet (ﷺ) a woman was found killed. Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) disapproved the killing of women and children.
Although when asked, he excused the probable exposure of women and children to danger during an attack.
Narrated As-Sab bin Jaththama: The Prophet passed by me at a place called Al-Abwa or Waddan, and was asked whether it was permissible to attack the pagan warriors at night with the probability of exposing their women and children to danger. The Prophet replied, "They (i.e. women and children) are from them (i.e. pagans)."
I also heard the Prophet saying, "The institution of Hima is invalid except for Allah and His Apostle."
It is narrated by Sa'b b. Jaththama that he said (to the Holy Prophet): Messenger of Allah, we kill the children of the polytheists during the night raids. He said: They are from them.
Sa'b b. Jaththama has narrated that the Prophet (may peace be upon him) asked: What about the children of polytheists killed by the cavalry during the night raid? He said: They are from them.
A more specific hadith quotes the same narrator stating that this involved women and children who were trampled over with horses during the attack:
Narrated Ibn 'Abbas:
"I was informed by As-Sa'b bin Jaththamah who said: " I said: "O Messenger of Allah our horses trampled over women and children of the idolaters." He said: "They are from their fathers.'"
[Abu 'Eisa said:] This Hadith is Hasan Sahih.
...[O]ne must go on jihad (i.e. razzias or raids) at least once a year ... one may use a catapult against them when they are in a fortress, even if among them are women and children
. One may set fire to them and/or drown them. ... If a person of the ahl al-kitab
[i.e. People of the Book] is enslaved, his marriage is revoked. ... One may cut down their trees. ... One must destroy their useless books. Jihadists may take as booty whatever they decide ... they may steal as much food as they need...
Al-Ghazali, Kitab al-Wagiz fi fiqh madhab al-imam al-Safi'i
Punishment for fornication and adultery
If any of your women are guilty of lewdness, Take the evidence of four (Reliable) witnesses from amongst you against them; and if they testify, confine them to houses until death do claim them, or Allah ordain for them some (other) way.
Compare this to the punishment for men.
If two men among you are guilty of lewdness, punish them both. If they repent and amend, Leave them alone; for Allah is Oft-returning, Most Merciful.
Both 4:15 and 4:16 were considered to have been later abrogated by a regime of equal punishments for both male and female fornicators, namely flogging if one who is unmarried, or stoning for one who is married.
The adulterer and the adulteress, scourge ye each one of them (with) a hundred stripes. And let not pity for the twain withhold you from obedience to Allah, if ye believe in Allah and the Last Day. And let a party of believers witness their punishment.
Narrated Abu Huraira and Zaid bin Khalid: Two men had a dispute in the presence of Allah's Apostle. One of them said, "O Allah's Apostle! Judge between us according to Allah's Laws." The other who was wiser, said, "Yes, O Allah's Apostle! Judge between us according to Allah's Laws and allow me to speak. The Prophet said, "Speak." He said, "My son was a laborer serving this (person) and he committed illegal sexual intercourse with his wife, The people said that my son is to be stoned to death, but I ransomed him with one-hundred sheep and a slave girl. Then I asked the learned people, who informed me that my son should receive one hundred lashes and will be exiled for one year, and stoning will be the lot for the man's wife." Allah's Apostle said, "Indeed, by Him in Whose Hand my soul is, I will judge between you according to Allah's Laws: As for your sheep and slave girl, they are to be returned to you." Then he scourged his son one hundred lashes and exiled him for one year. Then Unais Al-Aslami was ordered to go to the wife of the second man, and if she confessed (the crime), then stone her to death. She did confess, so he stoned her to death.
Narrated Abu Huraira and Said bin Khalid: The verdict of Allah's Apostle was sought about an unmarried slave girl guilty of illegal intercourse. He replied, "If she commits illegal sexual intercourse, then flog her (fifty stripes), and if she commits illegal sexual intercourse (after that for the second time), then flog her (fifty stripes), and if she commits illegal sexual intercourse (for the third time), then flog her (fifty stripes) and sell her for even a hair rope." Ibn Shihab said, "I am not sure whether the Prophet ordered that she be sold after the third or fourth time of committing illegal intercourse."