Shiite Imam Bassem Al-Sheraa said in a class he taught at the Az-Zahraa Islamic Center in Detroit, Michigan that when the Quran refers to beating one’s wife, it is referring to a beating that does not cause pain and that should be done using a sewak dental twig. He explained that the purpose of the “beating” is to clarify and remind the wife that she has misbehaved, and that it is only to be done when verbal admonishment and forsaking her in bed have been ineffective in getting her to change her ways.
Imam Al-Sheraa compared the “beating” to slapping the hand of one’s child when he reaches to touch an electrical socket or eat something dangerous. The video was uploaded to the Az-Zahraa Islamic Center’s YouTube channel on May 27, 2019. For more from Imam Bassem Al-Sheraa, see MEMRI TV Clip No. 7002.