YUSUFALI: Men are the protectors and maintainers of women,because Allah has given the one more (strength) than the other, and because they support them from their means. Therefore the righteous women are devoutly obedient, and guard in (the husband's) absence what Allah would have them guard. As to those women on whose part ye fear disloyalty and ill-conduct, admonish them (first), (Next), refuse to share their beds, (And last) beat them (lightly); but if they return to obedience, seek not against them Means (of annoyance): For Allah is Most High, great (above you all).
PICKTHAL: 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.
SHAKIR: Men are the maintainers of women because Allah has made some of them to excel others and because they spend out of their property; the good women are therefore obedient, guarding the unseen as Allah has guarded; and (as to) those on whose part you fear desertion, admonish them, and leave them alone in the sleeping-places and beat them; then if they obey you, do not seek a way against them; surely Allah is High, Great.
You would have thought a reasonably intelligent woman could easily avoid being beaten if she heeded all the prior warnings she would get from her husband before she got her beating.
An employee gets a verbal warning, a written warning and then a final warning before being sacked by his employer.
A recalcitrant wife also gets two warnings over a longish period of time before she gets beaten. How long would it take a husband to formally admonish his wife? If he takes it up to the next level ie does not have sex with her and makes her sleep in the spare room or the sofa, then clearly she has not modified her behaviour.
There should be a Matrimonial Disputes Tribunal for the admonition to be first registered, to see that both parties to the dispute are taking this matrimonial dispute seriously.
I don't see why we cannot have a Matrimonial Disputes website for these admonitions to be registered online and for the wife to have a right of reply if she does not think the husbandly admonition justified or reasonable.
If the recalcitrant wife does not mend her behaviour, he can just give her a slap on the wrist and record the fact with the Matrimonial Disputes Tribunal that he has "beaten" her.
If she still does not mend her behaviour, he can proceed to divorce her under the rules of fault-based divorce.
That would sound fair enough to me. (Contrary to rumours that I am really a white man pretending to be a female and foreigner, I am in fact female and not white. I just think, talk and write like a man because that is how I would like things to be if I were a man and felt compelled to marry and have legitimate offspring and in so doing invest in the future of his society, nation and civilisation.)