ABU DHABI (UAE): A man can beat his wife and young children, as long as he leaves no marks on the body, UAE's highest court has ruled. Ruling in a case where a man beat up his wife and adult daughter, the court took exception to the cuts and bruises he caused.
The decision by the Federal Supreme Court shows the strong influence of Islamic law in the Emirates, which, in fact, is less conservative than some Gulf countries such as Saudi Arabia, where women are forbidden from driving and travelling without male company.
It said the man was guilty of harming the women but noted that Islamic codes allow for ``discipline'' if no marks are left. It added that children who have reached ``adulthood'' -- approximately puberty -- cannot be struck.
``Although the (law) permits the husband to use his right (to discipline), he has to abide by the limits of this right," an Abu Dhabi daily quoted chief justice Falah al-Hajeri as saying in the ruling released on Sunday. The man's daughter was 23, hence too old to be disciplined in this fashion, it noted.