Discover Islam has a poster that says that Muhammad never hit a woman or child. This is untrue. In the Sunnah, Muslim, Book 4, Hadith No. 2127 it records that Muhammad hit his favourite wife in the chest, causing her pain, because she followed him. It was her turn with her husband (for intercourse) and he slipped out when he thought she was asleep. When he found out, Muhammad hit her because she thought that “Allah’s apostle would deal unjustly with her.”
So Muhammad hit his wife and verbally abused her because she (being a young girl) thought her husband might go to one of his other wives.
Sura 4:34 – Men are in charge of women, because Allah hath made the one of them to excel the other, and because they spend of their property (for the support of women). So good women are the obedient, guarding in secret that which Allah hath guarded. As for those from whom ye fear rebellion, admonish them and banish them to beds apart, and scourge them. Then if they obey you, seek not a way against them. Lo! Allah is ever High, Exalted, Great. [Pickthall's translation]
Many claim that this is a mistranslation, and will proffer other translations that (in brackets) add lightly, or last resort (these aren’t in the original text). But there are many translators who have shown this to be false: the key word here is, ???????????????, waidriboohunna.
Pickthall: “and scourge them”
Yusuf Ali: “(And last) beat them (lightly)”
Al-Hilali/Khan: “(and last) beat them (lightly, if it is useful)”
Shakir: “and beat them”
Sher Ali: “and chastise them”
Khalifa: “then you may (as a last alternative) beat them”
Arberry: “and beat them”
Rodwell: “and scourge them”
Sale: “and chastise them”
Asad: “then beat them”
And more importantly, we can look at how the extremely devout Muslims, the scholars of Islam treat their wives, along with the history of Islam and practice of Muhammad. It is not only permissible, it is commanded that one should beat his wife. Muhammad’s own practice, as the perfect example for all Muslims, shows that hitting your wife is perfectly acceptable, without denying them their beds or admonishing them.