Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates – The Federal Supreme Court of the United Arab Emirates has upheld the right of a man to beat his wife and children for the purpose of “disciplining” them, but only if he leaves no marks and after he has exhausted two other options: admonition and abstaining from sleeping with his wife.

The beating can never be too severe. If marks or bruises are found, the man has overstepped his bounds and may held accountable under sharia law, the court ruled.A court of first instance upheld the man’s right to beat and slap his wife and young daughter but went on to state that these must not be severe. Since bruises were found on the man’s wife and daughter, the father had abused his legal right even though he meant no harm and is thus subject to fine.

The decision was upheld in the Sharjah court of appeals and sustained by the federal supreme court in Abu Dhabi.

Speaking through Chief Justice al-Hajeri, the federal supreme court ruled that a man who “slapped and kicked his daughter and slapped his wife” violated his “right” under sharia, or Islamic law, to discipline his wife and children, as he beat his wife too severely and his daughter, aged 23, was too old for such discipline.

The case is likely to attract attention as there are a large number of foreign expatriates living in the UAE, where there are occasional prosecutions of Westerners as well as nationals for breaching public morality. Non-Muslims, however, cannot appear before a sharia court.

I personally feel like this law has to be rexamined as there is no right that grants the man the right to beat his wife and daughter as long as he does not leave bruce marks. I can understand if the daughter does something really bad then you can deal with that just like you would deal with your son if he had done something similar.

It is sad though to see UAE out of all the arab countries to be coming out with such a ruling as they have always shown to be more open and westernized than other arab countries.

One Response to UAE High Court: Beat Your Wife, Just Don’t Bruise Her


  1. Muna
    Oct 25, 2010

    It is very sad that the most liberal Arab country have a court system like this. SAD world we live in!

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