A soldier killing an enemy is not violence because it's done as a part of the war (Yuddha Dharma), or police killing criminals is not violence to reduce the burden on society.

Similarly, in what situations, a husband is allowed to raise a hand on his wife?

This is not about marital domestic violence. Rather it's similar to parents punishing (e.g. slap, spank, light beating) their kids to maintain discipline.

For example, Islam allows a certain extent of wife beating when the wife is out of bound. In modern-day progressive Islam, it's allowed to hit with a cloth towel.

  • Why not? Uncles she ask him. If woman attacking or threaten husband, he can use self defense. What if she try to discipline her husband from bad habits? in that case he shouldn't. So it's personal opinion.
    – CR241
    Commented Feb 26, 2018 at 5:59
  • 3
    How about: Don't slap your kids. In fact, don't slap / hit / beat anyone, including your wife, kids, neighbours, yourself.
    – user13567
    Commented Feb 26, 2018 at 9:19
  • 2
    Except for Islam question, Christianity question is closed as off-topic and Judaism one is received badly. Commented Feb 26, 2018 at 10:34
  • 2
    @Sarvabhouma, yes that's visible to all. It doesn't prove anything. The Christianity Qn was closed after 1.5 years of its existence by [IMO a naive] Moderator, who is no longer a Mod now. A couple of flags from their active users is enough to open that post. The Qn is well received. The badly received Qn of Judaism, is not because of the topic, but because of the OP's presumption about "wife abuse". See the comment below. This Qn doesn't ask for opinion or advise & hence it will be improper to close this Qn as "opinion based", when this is a social topic.
    – iammilind
    Commented Feb 26, 2018 at 14:56
  • 1
    I’m voting to close this question because hinduism.stackexchange.com/questions/44325/…
    – TheLittleNaruto
    Commented Jan 20, 2021 at 7:04

3 Answers 3


As Medhātithi explains, it's only allowed under exceptional conditions.

What is enjoined here is the method of keeping the persons on the right path, and not actual beating; so that chastisement may be administered verbally; and in cases where the fault is serious, there may also be beating.


‘Split bamboo’ — the bark of the bamboo. This has been mentioned only as illustrative of the lotus-fibre and other such objects which cause only slight pain. — (299)

Also, Manu 8.300 says:

But only on the back part of the body, and never on the upper part; he who strikes otherwise than this incurs the guilt of a thief. — (300)

So slapping one's wife or kid on their face (as they portray in some Indian movies) is not allowed. A husband/father/teacher who violates this maybe reported to the authorities.

Yama (Vivādaratnākara, p. 2.). — 'Wife, son, slave, slave-girl and pupil, — when these commit a fault, they should be chastised with a rope or with split bamboo; but in the lower, never in the higher, parts of the body :— if one strikes them otherwise, he should be punished.'

Nārada (Do.). — 'If the pupil docs not obey the teacher, he should be chastised, without hurting him, either with a thin rope or with split bamboo; the teacher shall not beat him much, nor in the head or on the chest. Behaving otherwise than this, the teacher should be punished by the King.'

  • I can understand discipline in this regard, but under what circumstances?
    – Haridasa
    Commented Feb 11 at 13:11

Nothing specific, but Manu Smriti says this:

8.299. A wife, a son, a slave, a pupil, and a (younger) brother of the full blood, who have committed faults, may be beaten with a rope or a split bamboo,

But, in another chapter, it also says this:

4.164. Let him, when angry, not raise a stick against another man, nor strike (anybody) except a son or a pupil; those two he may beat in order to correct them.

But anyway, one who beats a woman (wife or otherwise) quite frequently, is considered as a minor sinner. Such sinners are to be avoided at ancestral ceremonies.

One, who injures a friend; one, who is deceitful; one, who daily beats women; one, who renounces his parents and preceptor; as well as one, who renounces his wife; (32)

Usana Smriti verse

In KulArnava Tantram (which is a ShAkta Tantram) 11.65, however, Lord Shiva says that women should not be beaten under any circumstances:

Striyam shatAparAdhAnchet pushpenAni na tArayet |
Doshanna ganayet strinAt gunAneva prakAshayet ||

One should not hit a woman even with a flower no matter how many faults she might have committed. One must not count their faults/shortcomings; on the other hand, their qualities must be revealed.

  • What does parashar say? Commented Feb 26, 2018 at 15:16
  • @AnubhavJha Parashara Smriti does not say anything on this issue.
    – Rickross
    Commented Feb 26, 2018 at 15:25
  • "But anyway, one who beats a woman (wife or otherwise) quite frequently, is considered as a minor sinner. Such sinners are to be avoided at ancestral ceremonies." Minor, who said?
    – user6981
    Commented Mar 13, 2018 at 16:37
  • The scriptures said.. minor in the sense that it's not among the most major sins like killing Brahmins and few others..@KrishnaShweta But still it is a sin.. where women are treated badly Gods don't stay at those places(from Manu)
    – Rickross
    Commented Mar 14, 2018 at 5:12
  • Can you please give the online source for this:- One, who injures a friend; one, who is deceitful; one, who daily beats women; one, who renounces his parents and preceptor; as well as one, who renounces his wife; (32) Commented Feb 27, 2022 at 9:02

There is an opinion in Hindu scripture that women cannot ever be punished since women can commit no fault.

The husband, because he supports the wife, is called Bhartri, and, because he protects her, he is on that account called Pati. When these two functions disappear from him, he ceases to be be the Bhartri and Pati. Then again woman can commit no fault. It is man only that commits faults. By perpetrating an act of adultery, the man only becomes stained with guilt. It has been said that the husband is the highest object with the wife and the highest deity with her. My mother gave up her sacred person to one that came to her in the form and guise of her husband. Women can commit no fault. It is man who becomes stained with fault. Indeed, in consequence of the natural weakness of the sex as displayed in every act, and their liability to solicitation, women cannot be regarded as offenders.

Mahabharata Santi Parva Section CCLXVI

  • Though it says that women commit no fault, it doesn't say that women cannot be punished. Now we may easily relate both in a way that, since women can't commit fault, she need not be punished. I think that the above passage is said in a different context, may be more on a poetic way. It will be helpful, if you put a web link to that section.
    – iammilind
    Commented Feb 27, 2018 at 12:20
  • 1
    Yes, if a woman cannot commit any fault then obviously she cannot be punished. The character who spoke this was asked by a rishi to kill the rishi's wife. Commented Feb 27, 2018 at 12:23

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