Quran asks men to beat their wife!!

This is a usual bash-tool used by many non-Muslims who have some idea of Quran.Interestingly, most Muslims justify/clarify the verse by arguments such as ‘beat with a toothpick’,’ don’t beat on face’ etc. But I myself cannot agree to any of these clarifications, simply because I believe that Allah is not somebody who would talk like this. Only tribal and egoistic people will try to make up problems by resorting to the technique of beating and shouting at each other….’Wife beating’ had always remained a topic of hot arguments.See below an  article talking about the right sense(according to my sense of justice and faith) ,what wife-beating in Quran is all about.

 

 

An excerpt from the article:

 

 

 Even in the best of marriages there are bound to be occasional discord or ill-will between the married couples. This can sometimes result in the wife being beaten up by the husband, but the justification for this is due to the misinterpretation of verse (4:34), which apparently seems to allow this. Let me quote the verse and then explain why this traditional translation is wrong.

·     Sûrah al Nisa 4:34 
as for those women on whose part ye fear rebellion (nushuz), admonish them and banish them to beds apart, (and last) beat (adriboo) them. Then, if they obey you, seek not a way against them.

 

 

The key to the problem is the mistranslation of the two key words ‘nushuz’ and ‘adriboo’. Some of the possible meanings for both the words, according to the lexicon are given below. Again, the appropriate meaning will depend on the context of the verse.

·     Nushuz: Animosity, hostility, rebellion, ill-treatment, discord, violation of marital duties on the part of either husband or wife.

·     Adriboo (root Daraba): to beat, to strike, to hit, to separate, to part etc.

 

 

In the context of the above verse the most appropriate meaning for nushuz is ‘marital discord’ (ill-will, animosity etc), and that for ‘adriboo’ is ‘to separate’ or ‘to part’. Otherwise it is inviting the likelihood of a divorce without any reconciliation procedure and this will contravene the Qur’anic guidance as shown in verse 4:35 below. The separation could be temporary or permanent depending on the reconciliation procedure, and this fits in very well with the divorce procedure outlined in the Qur’an (see 8.5). Therefore the more accurate translation of the above verse would be:

·     Sûrah al Nisa 4:34 
As for those women whose animosity or ill-will you have reason to fear, then leave them alone in bed, and then separate; and if thereupon they pay you heed, do not seek a way against them.

The verse following the above verse gives further weight to the above translation.

·     Sûrah al Nisa 4:35 
And if ye fear a breach between them twain (the man and the wife), appoint an arbiter from his folk and an arbiter from her folk. If they desire amendment Allah will make them of one mind. Lo! Allah is ever knower, Aware.

 

 

An added weight to the meanings outlined above is given by verse 4:128 (quoted below), where in the case of a man the same word nushuz is used, but it is translated as ‘ill-treatment’ as against ‘rebellion’ in the case of a woman in verse 4:34. Also as the ill-treatment is from the husband, a process of reconciliation is encouraged!

·     Sûrah al Nisa 4:128
If a wife fears ill-treatment (nushuz) or desertion on her husband’s part, there is no blame on them if they arrange an amicable settlement between themselves; and such settlement is best…..

 

 

This obviously is a double standard and the only way to reconcile the meanings of the two verses, in the contexts they are being used, is to accept the meaning of adriboo as: ‘to separate’ or to ‘part’. In this connection I would like to refer the reader to an excellent article from which I quote:

 

 

·        Qur’anic commentators and translators experience problems with the term Adribu in the Qur’an not just in this verse but in others, as it is used in different contexts in ways which appear ambiguous and open to widely different translations into English. ‘Daraba’ can be translated in more than a hundred different ways.

·       The translation of Adribu as ‘to strike’ in this particular verse (4:34) is founded upon nothing more than:
(i) The authority of hadiths (Abu Daud 2141 and Mishkat Al-Masabih 0276) that this is what Adribu means in this context.
(ii) The prejudices and environment of the early commentators of the Qur’an which led them to assume that ‘to strike’, given the overall context of the verse, is the most likely interpretation of the many possible interpretations of Adribu”.

http://members.aol.com/MAmalek2/qbook8.htm

 

Source:

 

http://www.crescentlife.com/thisthat/feminist20muslims/does_the_quran_sanction_the_beating_of_women.htm

 

Read more

http://www.islamawareness.net/Wife/beating1.html

 

 

 

 

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    • Milind Kher
    • August 30th, 2008

    Nimmy,

    Very often, it so happens that we try to read into the Quran interpretations that we believe in. Understandable, for that is human nature.

    However, it is important to go by tafsirs and not read our own meaning into it. Yes, one thing is very clear. Beating, (even using a toothbush (miswak) ) is clearly an absolute last resort. So clearly, Allah (SWT) is PERMITTING it and not SANCTIONING it.

    • Nimmy
    • August 30th, 2008

    @Milind true..When we have certain mindset,we tend to lean towards that side……
    I shared the article as it gave a different view..

    I wonder why there are different interpretations for a single Quran..Each person reading different translations gets different meanings..Finally it ends up in different Qurans,isn’t it?

    Salam

    • Milind Kher
    • August 31st, 2008

    @Nimmy,

    Above all, there is something which is the letter of the law and something which is the spirit of the law. If everybody truly understood the spirit of the law, then you would not have the “different Qurans” you are alluding to.

    I believe that there are so many different interpretations because we are all wired so differently, we understand things differently too.

    At the end of the day, we are ALL creations of Allah (SWT)

    Salam

    • Another Kafir
    • September 9th, 2008

    Hey, never mind my name, but why does Quran specify that, why is it asking men to separate from their wives, what sense does it make, if you sense marital discord why should you separate or part?
    The remaining verses make more sense and are more clear, why is this so unclear and arbit?

    • Another Kafir
    • September 10th, 2008

    Actually the explanation is not good, I read the translations again, and the tafsir too. It should be too farfetched to say that so many people were wrong. I can understand if there was a view of dissent among them, the only alternate explanation is in the explanation kept for marketing Quran. Why aren’t many more realising or at least acknowledging the possibility of this alternate explanation.
    And in line with my previous comment, if we were to take the meaning to separate or part, it would be a contradiction with the other two verses that you have quoted.

    • Nimmy
    • September 10th, 2008

    @Another Kafir,

    “, if you sense marital discord why should you separate or part?”..

    Sorry,I don’t really understand..As far as I understand it,Allah is providing a practical solution on how to deal with cheating wife.Rather than jumping into a haste decision od divorce,he is giving you step by step solution..

    The other verses are telling you that you can have a settlement if nothing turns fine,that there is no burden of gluing together,even if there is no harmony..

    My explanation may not be good..I agre..I am not a scholar or any knowledeable person..Just trying to say what and how I understand it..Thanks for visitng:-) I hope you vist again and in the process,both of us will learn more..Good day..

    • Another Kafir
    • September 10th, 2008

    Thanks Nimmy for the response, I do agree that the other two verses that you mentioned do give a step by step way to deal with a problem. But the (“beating”) one in question is not on the same lines. The supposedly beating one is saying that you should seek separation from the wife if there is a discord and there are no steps mentioned here. It seems to me that this is in contradiction with the other two verses that you mentioned.
    We should not need to seek scholarly help for reading Quran, it is for all of us, it is supposed to be clear to all of us. Only problem is that it is not.
    Also what you dismiss as double standards in translation seems to me that a person in arabic understands the context and has accordingly translated it so. It is not possible that almost all of the Arabic translators, muslim and non-muslim, are all in error and yourself who does not speak Arabic is not in error.
    Notwithstanding, the discord between the two other verses and this one in question is still there.

    • Nimmy
    • September 10th, 2008

    @AK,you are confusing me 🙂

    See,it is not beating,but to seperate

    “This obviously is a double standard and the only way to reconcile the meanings of the two verses, in the contexts they are being used, is to accept the meaning of adriboo as: ‘to separate’ or to ‘part’.”

    and yes,it is not possible to understand Quran unless you learn Arabic..For people like me who don’t know Arabic,the only resort is to look into all possible translations,and know it for yourself.Othersie,only feasible solution is to learn Arabic..

    I don’t find any discord.. **scratches head*** Isn’t the three verses telling the same thing? i.e ,reconcile if possible,else seperate..Your confusion is making me confused ..lol…

    • Another Kafir
    • September 10th, 2008

    In the first one God has jumped to separation before reconcilation. And weirdly he says that if after separation she should repent and want truce, he should let it be that way. In the second one that you put, there is a mantion of an arbitrer.
    What is the excat prescription of order of events when there is a fight in my marriage?

    • Another Kafir
    • September 10th, 2008

    Nimmy I am sorry i keep questioning all your posts on Islam, because Islam has a lot of questions to answer. You will have to tell me why the ones you say are misinterpreting and how your interpretation is the right one.
    I very much appreciate that you are willing to clear our doubts and take our sincere questions on the subject. I am sure it will be a mutually benefiting exercise in questioning and will help us reach truth.
    Wishing you a great day, and thanks once again for being so kind as to take all our questions.

    • Nimmy
    • September 10th, 2008

    🙂 hey hey..don’t say sorry..Actually the only side effect for your qstns are that i ahve to fume my head and spent lot of time on this..But its interestig as im alos learning..Im busy now,and also,i need to look into the explanations,order of revealing and like…Hope to bring u an answer soon…..Sorry for that.. Do keep asking qstns..

    • splendorworks
    • September 10th, 2008

    @ Another Kafir:

    I’m not trying to oppose Nimmy, but the “Idhribuhuna” in the verse means “beat them”. I have so much to explain in here, but I think the following link almost has it all:

    http://www.themodernreligion.com/women/dv-4-34-shafaat.html

    I hope that explains it.

    Have a nice day all!

    • Nimmy
    • September 10th, 2008

    @Splendorwrks..Thanks for visiting…

    There is no question of offending me ,as i am also trying to learn ..Yes,I agree with you..and i know that this is the view agreed upon by 99.99% of muslims..

    Could you please tell me whether the explanation of the particular word given in the article is wrong..I have provided source of the article..It would be great if you could point out what s wrong in the article..

    Again,this is not arguing,but just trying to know why this meanig of word is not acceptable…

    Thanks..Do visit and contribute again…

    • splendorworks
    • September 10th, 2008

    @ Nimmy:

    Do you mean this link:

    http://www.crescentlife.com/thisthat/feminist20muslims/does_the_quran_sanction_the_beating_of_women.htm

    ?

    I opened it twice and it didn’t work.

    • Nimmy
    • September 10th, 2008
    • splendorworks
    • September 10th, 2008

    OK, I read it. I don’t disagree with the translation of the word “Nushuz”, the link I provided sort of says the same thing. But for the word “Idhribuhunna”, I wouldn’t mind the translation “separate” if there weren’t a lot of narrations in the exegesis translating it as “beat them”.

    I am not depending on an exegete’s point of view, but I’m talking about all the narrations that they quote regarding the subject and I think I haven’t seen even a view quoted to support the “separate” meaning.

    They also claim that the time and reason of the revelation of the verse was a woman who came to the prophet and told him that her husband had hit her and the prophet told her that she should get retaliation but the verse was revealed and removed the retaliation on this part (and this reason seems awkward to me).

    • Nimmy
    • September 10th, 2008

    Translation is a complicated one..No wonder there are many sectors..This is very sad..The very same Quran,but different interpretations..grrr

    • Another Kafir
    • September 10th, 2008

    Actually your interpretation could be correct, so could be theirs and that is the problem. If Allah intended for us to follow the rules laid out by him and as he claimed these are very clear and without doubt, then why are there so many contrasting interpretations for this.
    If I intend to be a good muslim, learn arabic and read the Quran, which is made easy for me to interpret and I should not have any doubt, and I interpret that I should beat my wife, I would be following Allah’s word and doing injustice to my wife. And considering what is said in the Quran I would be doing the right thing. You can say I am wrong in my interpretation, but how can you claim that, each person is free to interpret it in his own way. Isn’t the Quran then responsible for the injustice that I do to my wife. Many people might be get mislead the same way. Isn’t expression of certainity on Quran which contains such clauses causing people to do unjust things.

    Besides if we need to understand arabic to know the Quran why is this relevant today when even among muslims only a minority knows Arabic. How then can one not be under the influence of mullahs etc.?

    • Nimmy
    • September 10th, 2008

    “How then can one not be under the influence of mullahs etc.?”..exactly..People,including me .don’t know the right message since some mullah’s spread false information..Why else do you think there are so many suicide bombers,even when Allah makes it clear that suicide is the most unforgivable sin..

    • Another Kafir
    • September 10th, 2008

    You missed my point, please read again.

    • Another Kafir
    • September 10th, 2008

    Also please respond to the first part, the arabic/mullah thing was a “besides” point.

    • Nimmy
    • September 10th, 2008

    I dind’t miss your point buddy..I gluped it.. 😉

    • Another Kafir
    • September 10th, 2008

    Suicide is not the most unforgivable sin, shirk is. What to one seems suicide is to them martyrdom in war. Its not as clear as you make it out to be.

    • Nimmy
    • September 10th, 2008

    ***Scratches head** now you are talking like a jihadist..Yeah,if everybody’s perspective is correct,who is wrong here???

    • splendorworks
    • September 10th, 2008

    @ Another Kafir:

    I think it is wrong to take a certain interpretation of a certain verse by our own when we don’t know about other possible verses which complete its meaning. That is to say, it would be fine that you interpret the verse somewhat different from other people, but you should have basis for your interpretation. If you don’t know about other verses in the Qur’an which complete the meaning of that certain verse, you might fall into error.

    I don’t think it is a big deal as to whether the verse is talking about “beating” or “separating” because anybody who misuses the verse to beat his wife is actually transgressing limits as the relationship between husband and wife should be based on compassion, love and mercy as stated in the following verse:

    030.021 And among His Signs is this, that He created for you mates from among yourselves, that ye may dwell in tranquillity with them, and He has put love and mercy between your (hearts): verily in that are Signs for those who reflect.

    Al-Qur’an, 030.021 (Ar-Room [The Romans, The Byzantines])

    If the husband and wife are supposed to live with love and mercy, how is the husband supposed to smack his wife for nothing? If you have the time, please read the link I quoted in my earlier post for a detailed explanation on this.

    Peace.

    • Nimmy
    • September 10th, 2008

    @splendorworks,thanks for completing what i could not… 🙂

  1. My general knowledge is very poor so pardon me if I am wrong – I think its misintepretation of some other quotes from Quran which led to men practising polygamy and using the holy book to justify their act? Apparently when the human cult was feared to end, some arrangement had to be brought about that led to polygamy, to retain the tribe but this was now taken up shamelessly as an example to be followed by many men. I guess it doesnt happen a lot now. Just remembered movies like Padam Onnu Oru Vilapam. Maybe it was time a complete awareness of every line was brought about so no man can escape under the covers of a holy book.

    • Another Kafir
    • September 11th, 2008

    @nimmy, lol yeah I am a suicide bomber, i will take that compliment.
    @splendor works, The Quran is supposed to be a book of guidance, and if I learn Arabic, I should be able to interpret in my own way. The verse you speak of violating is itself in conflict with
    2:36 But Satan caused them to deflect therefrom and expelled them from the (happy) state in which they were; and We said: Fall down, one of you a foe unto the other! There shall be for you on earth a habitation and provision for a time.
    Now you may say that it is for Adam and Eve, but they were in more direct instruction of God than any other couple.

    Besides my point is that the same “adibru” can be interpreted in many ways. There is no way to say that you are right or I am wrong. And as a personal book of guidance from God, I am free to live by it according to my interpretation. And if I am beating my wife when I think she is cheating on me, it would be by the sanction of Quran.

    As for your point regarding beating for no reason, that is not the case, the verse itself lays out a reason. “….if ye fear rebellion…” I do not think that is against the general love and tranquility that I would actually be living with.

    And shirk, that is to worship someone other than God and to associate partners with God is considered to be the most unpardonable sin.

    All I am saying, and I rest my case, is that the Quran is not all that clear for you to say that your interpretation i right and to say that someone else’s interpretation is wrong.

    • splendorworks
    • September 11th, 2008

    @ Another Kafir

    Dear friend, there is no wrong in interpreting the Qur’an by yourself but you better have a knowledge about all the other verses which are about that subject. That is to say, you cannot just randomly take out a verse and work by it unless you already know that there is no any other verse to add some other information to it.

    It is very dangerous to use a single verse of the Qur’an and say that you are following your interpretation because that is not the complete information but only a part of it and “little knowledge is a dangerous thing.”

    I’m not sure what you meant by quoting verse 2:36. I am assuming you meant that the verse states that Adam and Eve (men and women) are enemies to each other? That is not correct. The verse is clear in addressing (Humans vs. Satan) or (enmity between humans themselves) and you cannot say that it is (Man vs. Woman) because verse (30:21) already states that men and women (husband and wife) should live in love and tranquility.

    I don’t wish to get off-topic here or write more lengthy posts but I think there is one more issue which is the word “Nushuz”. It really isn’t that fair for some translators to translate “Nushuz” here as “rebellion” while translating the same word “Nushuz” differently in this verse:

    004.128 If a wife fears cruelty (Nushuz) or desertion on her husband’s part, there is no blame on them if they arrange an amicable settlement between themselves; and such settlement is best; even though men’s souls are swayed by greed. But if ye do good and practise self-restraint, Allah is well-acquainted with all that ye do.

    Al-Qur’an, 004.128 (An-Nisa [Women])

    As you can see, the same word “Nushuz” is used for both the man and the woman but some translators give them different meanings. I strongly recommend you reading the article about the explanation of this verse (4:34) in the link I provided in my first post. This is the link again:

    http://www.themodernreligion.com/women/dv-4-34-shafaat.html

    Peace.

    • Another Kafir
    • September 11th, 2008

    Again man, “one of you a foe unto the other”, seems to me that it is between Adam and Eve that it is being suggested.
    I would read your link, soon as I have some more time, but I would like to stick with my intelligence while reading the Quran, I do not like to get opinions on a subject before I have completed pondering over it. Once I am done, I will see it.
    Also, I completely agree that it is not correct to take only one statement and do what is necessary by it. But like I said I do not find it to be in contradiction with the other two verses. I think it gives a slightly different message and is not consistently correct but the second two verses do not rule out beating.
    I will not get further into the specifics of the meanings of these verses, all I am saying is that there are more than one meaning which are both credible with no way to conclusively decide one way or the other.

    • Nimmy
    • September 12th, 2008

    @Cris,

    Apparently when the human cult was feared to end, some arrangement had to be brought about that led to polygamy, to retain the tribe but this was now taken up shamelessly as an example to be followed by many men

    Exactly..But the rule of God remains for ever as we don’t know what is going to happen tomorrow..@ nukes by two countries is well enough to drive the world into 2000 yrs ago..What piss me off is that there are many muslim men out there who think or argue that polygamy is their bloody right and even more women are brainwashed into thinking that it is fine for their husband to bring a new wife one fine morning..What a load of crap..What we see today is not polygamy,but abuse of polygamy..

    I don’t mind what others do with their lives..But they have no right to give it an ‘islamic blanket’…Let people marry 29 or 58,,but don’t say it is islamic..

    • Nimmy
    • September 12th, 2008

    Splendorworks and another kafir…thank you so much for contributing to my blog and making it more intersting and informative..

    AK,as SW (sorry for abbr ;-)) said,you can’t take verses from air and give it your own meaning..chronology plays a crucial role in completing the rule concerned..

    SW,again I am confused over how complicated it is,when different scholars give different meanings for particular verse or hadith..What if i learned arabic and developed my own interpretation?

    I guess,in that case,intention of heart matters..Whatever be the path,ultimatrly,one is seeking blessings from God..He knows best…

    • Another Kafir
    • September 13th, 2008

    OK, the first comment was supposed to have come in that polygamy post, thanks for responding though.
    Right now we know that except in the age range of 50+, men out number the women in the entire world and in most countries. In Saudi there the men to women ration is much higher than many others (about 1.2 for below 50 range). Shouldn’t polyandry have been sanctioned by God for some cases or monogamy made the norm based on population? Especially since in all the eventualities, men are taken care of. One speaks of permission, the sort of male domination that exists, a woman could never disallow another wife for her husband. If God predestined all this, well I wonder why he was not thinking.

    • Another Kafir
    • September 13th, 2008

    And regarding interpretation of a certain verse, I think I can take it in isolation and get a meaning of it. But I can not implement it in isolation, I agree and regarding that I find no contradiction with other verses. The special case in which it has to be implemented is built into the verse. What does chronology have to do with it? If you are referring to abrogation and such then if God changed mind even during the writing of Quran, how can it stand the test of time.

    • Nimmy
    • September 13th, 2008

    AK,polyandry is practised n some parts of the world(parts in nepal for instance) where men are in lower number..

    See,it is a noraml case that when a war happens,men die out in more number than women.Rules of Islamci polygamy holds true only in such genuine cases..

    I am very much aware that today,.000000001% of men alone practise polygamy in its true sense,i.e for widow or orphan support..even in that case,i am against polygamy bcoz if he is really bothered,he should only ‘help’ and not marry..Then again,if women is interested,it is fine with me..i am only bothered when men say that polygamy is their right and i am only pissed off when women say that they can’t do anyhting if their husband knocks door one fine morning and say,”Honey,this is my new honey” damn it.

    • Nimmy
    • September 13th, 2008

    ..and about chrnology, was reffering to as in cases when alochohol was prohibiited..Islam is a realistic religion..Pagans then were drunkards and alcholo dealers..To them,when one fine morning when a verse is revelaled,Don’t drink alchochol,it would be really difficult..So Allah sent verses in three steps..That doesn’t mean Allah is chnaging his mind every now and then..It is a step by step upgradation of spirituality..Well,that is what how i understand it..

    • Another Kafir
    • September 13th, 2008

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts, it surprises me that you do not cringe with disbelief when you read that God has sanctioned it. And knowing the future he did not keep a provision for polyandry like in today’s case when men are more than women.
    Either way, I too accept your thoughts about monogamy.

    • Another Kafir
    • September 13th, 2008

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts, it surprises me that you do not cringe with disbelief when you read that God has sanctioned it. And knowing the future he did not keep a provision for polyandry like in today’s case when men are more than women.
    Either way, I too accept your thoughts about monogamy being better.

    • Milind Kher
    • September 13th, 2008

    It is worth noting that the Holy Prophet (SAWA) observed monogamy till such time as Hazrat Khadija was alive, and that Imam Ali (a.s.) did the same till Hazrat Fatima was alive.

    This is because these were their only marriages that were for conjugal bliss. All the others had to be done for various other expediencies.

    • Another Kafir
    • September 14th, 2008

    Milind, thanks, I did know that. Most of the while when with Khadija he was not the messiah. Besides it is far worse to marry young girls when you are past 50 and not allow remarriage for them after your death. Many of these people were taken from the tribes which were wiped out in surprise attacks by the prophet and he did not even wait for a few days before he slept with them there was no expediency involved. These could not even have been consensual or by choice.

    • Milind Kher
    • September 14th, 2008

    @AK,

    Correction. The Holy Prophet (SAWA) was a prophet even before Adam was created. He received REVELATION at the age of 40, but he had been designated as a messenger right since the time of the creation of Noore Muhammad.

    There are books which provide the rationale and circumstances behind each of his marriages. Go through them and make an unbiased evaluation for yourself.

    • Another Kafir
    • September 14th, 2008

    I will do just that Milind. Thanks.
    Back to the main subject, about men being allowed to beat their wives. We were concentrating on the half verse, here is the context in which it is.
    “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.”
    Is there even a debate on the misogyny of the verse. May be not beating but what about the rest, what is this verse talking about? I only agree about the last sentence, “Allah is ever High” definitely Allah was high when he said this. Exalted! Great!

    • Milind Kher
    • September 14th, 2008

    @AK,

    Given below is the complete context in which 4:34 needs to be understood.

    In verse 228 of al-Baqarah Allah says that women also have rights as men have but men are a degree above women. In this verse it is again stated that men are the guardians of women as He has made the male sex excel over the female sex. This is the will of an all-wise and almighty Lord.

    The equality before law should not be confused with the equality of the complex of subjective and original qualities. Even the messengers and prophets of Allah are not equal in status due to their innate and endowed essence. “We have made some of these messengers to excel others”, says the almighty , Allah in verse 253 of al-Baqarah.

    Qanitatun means devoted to Allah, therefore, a woman who obeys Allah must accept His command and acknowledge her duties she has to perform to please her husband who spends of his wealth to provide for her. She must also watch over his property and his interests, attend to his needs, and above all guard her chastity.

    In case a perverse woman (wife) refuses to mend her ways (very common among the low-bred and ignorant women of easy virtue) then the husband can admonish her, and even stop sleeping with her, but if the corrective measures fail to refine her, he can take harsher steps to make her qanitatun (devoted and obedient to Allah).

    To understand the true purport of this verse, it is essential to keep in mind verse 21 of al-Rum.

    “Another of His signs is that He created out of you mates of your own kind so that you may find repose in them, and has instilled (ordained) love and kindness between you. Verily there are signs in this for those who reflect.”

    In many verses it has been ordained to, treat women with kindness and to speak to them gently.

    The Holy Prophet said:

    “Never beat Allah’s handmaidens.”

    “The best of you is he who is kind to his wife.”

    There is not a single event of wife-beating or child-abuse in the lives of the Holy Prophet and his holy Ahl ul Bayt.

    Fala tabghu alayhinna is a warning to the unscrupulous husbands not to seek an excuse for resorting to the conditional provision allowed to discipline the depraved women only.

    • splendorworks
    • September 14th, 2008

    OK, just a quick explanation for the verse.

    First of all, you cannot take the “because Allah hath made the one of them to excel the other” to mean that men are superior to women because God clearly states that the best amongst people are those who are best in piety and not in power (49:13). The degree that men have above women is that they are responsible for maintaining women, protecting them, and spending for them from their own money. The woman doesn’t have to spend her inheritance money (or work money) on herself but her husband is OBLIGED to spend on her.

    The style of the verse is interesting as it changes to a Jumla Khabaryya (don’t know in English, may be “information sentence”) rather than a commanding sentence. It gives the description of pious women; those who do those things (i.e. “So good women are the obedient, guarding in secret that which Allah hath guarded.”). It is as though this is a preferred behavior for women rather than an outright obligation.

    The very end of the verse “Allah is ever High, Exalted, Great” is among the most important parts of that verse as it is a strict reminder and warning to the husbands that however strong in power they are, they should never “seek a way against” the women for no reason and remember that God is always greater than what they think and than what they are.

    • Another Kafir
    • September 14th, 2008

    “And they (women) have rights similar to those (of men) over them in kindness, and men are a degree above them. Allah is Mighty, Wise.”
    Again out of context, the equal rights is immediately followed by a rider that men have an advantage over them or men are a degree over them. I also think equality is not possible but inequality because of gender is what i am against.

    “Qanitatun means devoted to Allah, therefore, a woman who obeys Allah must accept His command and acknowledge her duties she has to perform to please her husband who spends of his wealth to provide for her. She must also watch over his property and his interests, attend to his needs, and above all guard her chastity.
    In case a perverse woman (wife) refuses to mend her ways (very common among the low-bred and ignorant women of easy virtue) then the husband can admonish her, and even stop sleeping with her, but if the corrective measures fail to refine her, he can take harsher steps to make her qanitatun (devoted and obedient to Allah).”

    So half the Islamic world is being forced to remain Islamic and obedient to other gender, so much for there not being any compulsion in religion.

    Milind it is true that Allah instilled love and kindness, but how does that get to ordained. Instilled and ordained are two words of different meanings.

    As for what splendorworks says, I am not referring to the excel over other part alone, why are men in-charge of women? These days it is best that women work and equal men to secure her rights, isn’t obligatory spending on her rather retrograde?
    Besides what you say about the reminder about Allah is not true, seek not a way against them if they obey you, this has no reference to seeking a way against them for no reason. I think Allah is great is included here and there quite randomly so that people are impressed and it seems like prayer.

    I read both your comments and I find that you are also in agreement with the misogyny, you do not appreciate that women should not be beaten what ever be the case and that women should have her financial independence and independence otherwise. Please do reflect.

    • Milind Kher
    • September 15th, 2008

    @Ak,

    Division of labor and misogyny are 2 different things. A scenario where a husband earns and a wife is a homemaker does not necessarily constitute a discrimination against her.
    Nowhere is it stated that she may not work.

    However, do appreciate that if the verses need to be understood , people need to be able to relate to them. Therefore, they need to be in consonance with the scenario at the point of time of relevation.

    However, if you are an atheist, we will reach an impasse. If I believe every word to be the revealed word of a perfect God, I will necessarily believe it all to be right. Since you do not believe in God at all, you will never accept it as coming from God.

    Yes, if you believed in God, but had doubts about the Quran coming from God, we could have had a discussion. Any feedback?

    • Another Kafir
    • September 15th, 2008

    What I speak has more importance than theism and atheism. You are willing to accept misogyny as God’s word, I think that speaks for itself. You think that its ok that a husband use ‘tactics’ for enforcing belief in God and making her obedient to him. You even think that eventually beating is an option available to men. Division of labour per se is not wrong, but lack of choice in profession is wrong. Who says that only men should earn, if division of labour should take place, why not make it by their own choice?

    “However, do appreciate that if the verses need to be understood , people need to be able to relate to them. Therefore, they need to be in consonance with the scenario at the point of time of relevation.”
    I appreciate that, however, if the scenario is gone then these verses cease to have any relevance or meaning. Why hold on to these conversations which were valid for a certain time?

    Even if there is something in me that feels there might be God, there is no debate we need to engage in. I feel women deserve more respect, you do not. Impasse reached, period.

    • Milind Kher
    • September 15th, 2008

    @Nimmy,

    Since AK and I are unable to agree on whether the said verse constitutes misogyny, I would like to have your take on the same.

    It is always good to have the views of an impartial third person.

    • Nimmy
    • September 15th, 2008

    There is lot of discussion here..Great..Pool of different thoughts..

    I wonder what is there to be introspected with hairsplit detail..

    I’ld like to draw my own conclusion that Quran elevates status of women sicne the day of Prophet(pbuh),but many many men,muslim men,out there are still in Pagan era and treat women very badly.Ak,you don’t understand it when splendorworks say

    The degree that men have above women is that they are responsible for maintaining women, protecting them, and spending for them from their own money. The woman doesn’t have to spend her inheritance money (or work money) on herself but her husband is OBLIGED to spend on her.

    Allah says that women don’t have to go out and work and earn bread of family,as like some shitty men out there is all antions hwo don;t go to work and force wives to go out and work for family..

    Having said that,Milind,it is a fact that most muslim men don’t like their wife going out and working..Also,there are many scholars out there who issues fatwa that women can’t go to work if her maharam/gaurdian don’t allow..WHY? I agree there isn’t a need for working,but what if I as a person want to work?This is not addressed well in muslim society and i think culture plays an important role in this matter.

    Like terrorists do,some men cherry pick verses and twist verses to suit their requirments..There are many many sexist rules in sharia..Why is it that men need not have first wife’s permission to marry again?Why is it that women won’t have custody of children of she initiate for divorce?What is the way out of an abusive relationship then?

    Again,these are all man made rules,no,men-made rules and continues to be part of islam..It is changing.Indonesia has issued a law that permission of first wife is reqd for second marriage..And it will continue to change..

    Prophet used to talk to women and during His time women used to pray in mosques ..Why is it that today women are not allowed to pray in masjids,atleast in places like india,pakistan and like..Who twisted the real islam?

    Ak istalking based on what he see around and Miling and splendorworks is arguing based on real islam..Both can’t and won’t correlate as somewhere alongthe way,we lost the islam,which was imparted to us by Prophet.

    Yo,i doubt i am talking like a scholar or philosopher..I am a least informed person..But from what i know,I can tell it for sure that what we see today is a perverted form of islam..

    I hate many things in Saudi,but at the same time,i envy the secuirty women there have..But on the other side,security is not being inside four walls ..and find it funny when scholars from Saudi say that women needn’t drive bcoz then they will drive away from home whenever they fight with husband..and I find it a dangerous staetment when many muslims say that non hijabis should not complain of they are raped..What holy crap? Isn’t there something called modesty? To many,non hijabi related to a whore and a slut who walks naked in streets..I belive this rigidity and extemism is what ruins islam..Allah doens’t make life hell rigid with tons of rules..But as of today i can’t turn here and there bcoz everythign is haram ….

    I need to stop..I can go on for hours..

    Ak,I suggest you to learn islam from its real source and not from its followers or from terrorist emails..Rather,read Quran..Terrorist emails won;t help you lean islam..

    Milind,it would be great if you ,splendorworks and me could impart the spirit to our fellow muslims around..so tht nobody will question Allah and Prophet..

    Good day to all

    p.S:

    I may have gone wrong in my statements..Pls feel free to correct..

    • Another Kafir
    • September 15th, 2008

    My disagreement with Milind is more than the verse now, let me break it down.
    “he can take harsher steps to make her qanitatun (devoted and obedient to Allah)”
    Thanks Nimmy for intervention. I think we are all in big trouble if you think that Milind is arguing based on the “real” Islam. If real Islam wants to force religion down your throat through your husbands, then I think you and I are in serious trouble.

    Regarding your advice to read Quran, I am doing just that, it is long and will take some time to finish but I am doing it. As for this verse, what do you have to say about men being incharge of women. What is that if it is not misogyny? You keep responding to the advantage that a male has over a woman, what about the first few words of the verse.

    Also it is possible that in its time Mo and Islam may have uplifted women, then why should we hold on to this primitive uplifting and not abandon Islam? Aren’t we talking about equality in terms better than what Quran sanctions. We can appreciate Quran for coming to rescue of women in its time and can progress further ahead.

    • Milind Kher
    • September 15th, 2008

    @Nimmy,

    Whatever I put is verbatim the commentary on the Holy Quran with respect to the relevant verse as well as the additional thoughts the commentator has on the same. That cannot be tailored to suit anybody’s taste or thought.

    There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that the benchmark of how progressive or civilized a society is, is the value that it accords to its women. This is where countries like India have taken quantum leaps toward progress, after bringing women to the forefront.

    Whether it is Naina Lall Kidwai, Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, or Chanda Kochar, or many others like them, we are all proud of them and indeed WANT women power to grow.

    • Nimmy
    • September 15th, 2008

    @Milind,I agree..I can’t and i don’t intend to make different Quran or translation..

    But sad to say, i dn’t see any men who search for toothpick when they feel like beating their wife..

    AK,it is hypocritical to have a hairsplit introspection into a word of Quranic verse..I don’t intend to have the usual blame game of looking into other’s religions or societies and point out the same flaw in them..I still stnad by what i said,it is not beating,but seperating away..

    • Milind Kher
    • September 15th, 2008

    @Nimmy,

    Cultural values evolve over a period of time. We have now evolved to a state where we do not need to AVAIL OF THIS PROVISION.

    The Quran too legislates this only over a period of time. People who cannot accept women as their complete equals do a disservice not just to women, but society as a whole.

    Isn’t a society where women are capable and confident an evolved sosiety?

    • Nimmy
    • September 15th, 2008

    Milind,
    “The Quran too legislates this only over a period of time. ”

    I am sorry but i ahrdly find people saying this..Even we say that Quran is not history book right?If laws were only for those times,why people still follow these rules even today..Don’t sharia say that women can’t be leaders?

    I understand the goodness with which you are talking..But in practise,it is the opposite in our community..

    • Milind Kher
    • September 15th, 2008

    @Nimmy,

    A person of the stature of Imam Ali (a.s.) has stated in the Nahjul Balagha that in the Quran are legislations that are meant for the moment and some meant for all time.

    I do agree that we may not have the scholastic skills to make these fine distinctions and therefore need to follow ALL verses.

    However, polygamy, divorce, wife beating (albeit with a toothpick) are all legislations sanctioned by Islam as an ALLOWANCE and not as a DUTY.

    Anybody with a serious knowledge of Islam can see that Islam does not approve any of the above.

    However, you are right. The attitude of Muslim men needs to substabtially improve if they want to uplift the Ummah.

    • Another Kafir
    • September 15th, 2008

    “Anybody with a serious knowledge of Islam can see that Islam does not approve any of the above.”
    Why put it in there? Why with a toothpick, why at all, why should beating be allowed at all? It is a testimony to the supremacy of men and that is what I oppose.

    Nimitha, to clarify, I hope your meaning is the right one. But I am sad to note that both can be as right and you can not disprove the other meaning. If you do not agree with the beating meaning, do not worry about it, because then I am addressing Milind about it.

    What I do not understand is that you guys are speaking goody goody stuff while rejecting the one statement that I pointed out from Milind’s comment. Milind you took the explanation verbatim, do you see that the explanation says the male may apply force to make her obidient to God. I have repasted that twice and you decide to over look it and dismiss it off as hair splitting. Nimitha, I have gathered so far that you are a woman, I too love a woman, please tell me that about half a billion women are not subject to this sort of twisted morality. If you do not agree with it, please point it out and condemn it before you can call my “hypocrisy”. I understand that you do not think it ok to beat a wife but then why would you decide to overlook my objection to religion being forced down your throats through your husbands or am I to gather that you too agree with it?

    • Nimmy
    • September 15th, 2008

    Ak,**scratches head**….

    Milind,is there a provision in Islam that i can beat my husband if he is wrong??Whatc corrective measures can be taken to bring him to right path?

    • Milind Kher
    • September 16th, 2008

    @Nimmy,

    Firstly, you can do your best to persuade him.

    If it does not work, refer the matter to arbitrators (ideally, elders within the family).

    Actually, I just don’t understand the controversy on the wife beating business. In this day and age, no civilized and educated person would even contemplate it.

    How can anyone do this to such a wonderful creation of God?

    • Another Kafir
    • September 16th, 2008
  2. Quran 4:34: ‘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).

    The original word used in arabic ‘waidribohunna’ and this comes from the root word ‘daraba’ you can see below

    وَاضْرِبُوهُنَّ

    Like many words in Arabic, there are many different meanings for this word. Even elsewhere in the Quran, the same word is used completely differently. Here are some examples

    Example 1

    يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ إِذَا ضَرَبْتُمْ فِي سَبِيلِ اللّهِ (Ya ayyuh allathena amano itha daratum fee sabeel Allah)

    English Translation : O you who belive When you go abroad, in the cause of Allah

    Example 2

    أَلَمْ تَرَ كَيْفَ ضَرَبَ اللّهُ مَثَلاً كَلِمَةً (Alam tara kayfa daraba Allahu mathalan kalimatan)

    English Translation: Seest thou not how Allah sets forth a parable

    You can see the word daraba does not always mean beat, it can mean beat, but it also can mean to go abroad, part, leave, separate, set and so on. This is another famous multi meaning word, If you look at any Arabic dictionary you will find a long list of meanings ascribed to this word. That list is one of the longest list in whole Arabic dictionary. The same word even has multiple meanings elsewhere in the Quran as you can see below,

    To travel, to get out: 3:156; 4:101; 38:44; 73:20; 2:273

    To strike: 2:60,73; 7:160; 8:12; 20:77; 24:31; 26:63; 37:93; 47:4

    To beat: 8:50; 47:27

    To set up: 43:58; 57:13

    To give (examples): 14:24,45; 16:75,76,112; 18:32,45; 24:35; 30:28,58; 36:78; 39:27,29; 43:17; 59:21; 66:10,11

    To take away, to ignore: 43:5

    To condemn: 2:61

    To seal, to draw over: 18:11

    To cover: 24:31

    To explain: 13:17

    Response 2

    For arguements sake i will accept that idrib does mean Beat, Technically the word means strike, this is the consensus from the Islamic scholors, its more of a symbolic gesture, it is not meant to hurt her. In Islam we are not allowed to beat our wifes & there are many hadiths from our prophet to support this

    Sunan Abu-Dawud, Book 11, Marriage, Number 213

    …Save for yourself, and clothe them (wives) by which you clothe yourself, and do not beat them, and do not revile them

    Sahih Muslim, The Book of Marriage, Book 008, Number 3468

    So act kindly towards women.

    Response 3:-

    The verse actually speaks about Arrijal (men) and Nisa (women), it does not actually specifcy wives, So this ayah might be referring to ALL women that includes Wives, Daughters. So the part of the verse that says beat them may be refering to your daughters, if they commit ill conduct, the other parts of the verse are dealing with wives. What we should remember is that this is the Last option, you have to first verbally admonish your wives. Also Striking does not mean the same thing as beating, this is more of a symbolic gesture than anything. But regardless we know from hadiths that there is no such thing as beating or hurting your wife in islam

    WIFE & MAID BEATING IN THE BIBLE

    Exodus Chapter 21, verses 20 and 21

    ”And if a man smite his servant, or his maid, with a rod, and he die under his hand; he shall be surely punished. Notwithstanding, if he continue a day or two, he shall not be punished: for he is his money”

    you will only be punished if your slaves dies after beating him/her, even then, if he survives one day after the beating you dont get punished

    its permissible to beat him as long as he does not die straight away and YOU WILL NOT BE PUNISHED IF YOUR SLAVE SURVIVES 1 DAY after the beating because he is your money

    • Another Kafir
    • September 17th, 2008

    First of all, the Quran is the authority over the Hadith. If there is something contradictory then Quran takes precedence over the Hadiths. So it is immaterial as to what the Hadith says when the Quran is clear in allowing hitting your wife.

    No, you say it is mistranslation.
    I have since read more on the subject. Please follow that last link that I give and read the historical context of revelation. A lady came to the prophet(pbuh) asking for help because she was being beaten by her husband. The prophet came along with her to make her take “revenge”. At that time the revelation came to him as this sura. And Muhammed said I will not come along, I want something and Allah wants something else. Allah knows better.

    And you mentioned all the various places where the translation for the same verb is different from hitting. Quran is not a dictionary and that is not the correct process of back calculating the meanings. If you see the dictionary you will find that it means strike and nothing else. The verb adibru means to strike, but when used in some sentences its meaning changes. For e.g. hitting the sheets in english would not mean beating the sheets but to go in between the sheets and to sleep. Hit by itself does not mean to sleep or to go in between.
    That is in fact how you notice the various references of the verb in various places where they are used for non living objects, for examples and its meaning is modified according to context.

    Later you have accepted that it means strike, and you say it is symbolic. None of the scholars have said anything of the nature. I would be glad if you gave me the link to the page of a scholar who has said that. Even if there should be a certain scholar who says that. I say why? why create a meaningless gesture to stand as a testimony to the supremacy of man. Why at all? Is that not misogyny?

    And why do you quote the bible, have you decided to be morally lower or equivalent to the bible? How does the existance of wife beating make you think is ok if it is there in Quran? This is called a tu quoque and it is a logical fallacy employed by you to disprove me. One wrong does not justify another.

    • Another Kafir
    • September 17th, 2008

    I am sorry I did not read your response 3 before starting the response of mine own. What you say that it could be in reference to a daughter also makes no sense. Why would one of the ways of dealing with it be to sleep in a separate bed, that would work for the wife. This is confirmed by the other places and all the translations that exist.
    Again the hadiths are not as genuine and important as the Quran. And moreover read the context of revelation, I have pasted the link to it in my previous to previous comment. This time please do not copy paste some pre-planned designed response.

    • Nimmy
    • September 18th, 2008

    Our discussion is going no where..
    It would be better if we some to some conclusion..bcoz there is no point in arguing over the same thign repetitively right?

    Here is my conclusion..The root word “daraba” which has been generally translated as ‘beating”, is one of commonest root-words in the Arabic language with a large number of possible meanings. That the vast majority of translators- that happen to be men- have chosen to translate this as ‘beating’ clearly indicates a bias in favour of male controlled, male oriented society. “Daraba” does not necessarily indicate force or violence. The term can be used when someone leaves or ‘strikes out’ on a journey.

    In the light of the Quranic world-view that endorses equality, justice, harmony and compassion, the meaning ‘to strike’ cannot possibly fulfill the objective of protecting the institution of marriage and securing the physical and emotional integrity of women. In marriage there should be harmony (4:128), love, and mercy (30:21), and husbands and wives should protect each other (2:187). The word ‘beat’ as it is used in this context is mistranslation of the Arabic word “daraba” which in the Quran alone is used in six different ways, Arabic being a much more faceted language that English, other verses in which this word is used are many. Further, the nature of the Arabic language must also be taken into account: each word in Arabic is designated as masculine or feminine and it does not follow that use of a male or a female noun necessarily restricts the application to the mention of gender.

    In the light of these evidences, the translation of the verse 4:34 may be read as: “Men are the protectors and maintainers [qawwmuna] of women, because Allah has given the one more (strength) [faddala] than the other, and because they support them from their means. Therefore the righteous women are devoutly obedient [qanitatun], (to God), and guard what Allah would have them guard. As to those women on whose part ye fear disloyalty and ill-conduct [nushoozahunna], admonish them (first), (Next), refuse to share their beds, (And last) separate from them [driboohunna]; but if they return to obedience, seek not against them Means (of annoyance): For Allah is Most High, great (above you all).

    And as for the linguistic part,read this..An Arabic friend of mine gave this info and i guess that explains it all

    The ayah is actually instructing and warning MEN about their duty to Allah’s special creation WOMAN, to the extent that Allah even statest ‘Hafitha Allahu’ (Allah is GUARDING & Protecting) the Rightgeous Woman.

    Takhfoona is a 2nd person MASCULINE verb form meaning “If YOU fear”. Thus the ayah is SPEAKING to the reader, the MALE reader!

    nushoozahunna = to be cruel, fear ill treatment \

    fa = conjunctive particle \

    AAithoohunna = BEING UNMANLY, mean, abusive \

    wa= and \

    ohjuroohunna = then AVOID profane, antagonistic language \

    fee = among

    al madajiAAi= is a NOUN that describes Men who are abusive to women!!!

    wa = and idriboohunna = is an IMPERFECT Verb and FEMININE…thus it means to avoid, ignore

    For the English speakers you can look up the words in ‘Dictionary of the Holy Quran” by Omar

    Again, the issue is the lack of sincerity and scholarship on the part of the translators.

    Good day to all

    • Another Kafir
    • September 18th, 2008

    But what about the context? You speak of the context being all important in all other verses why wouldn’t you read the context for this one. I have pasted that link and I am doing it again in full:
    (Men are in charge of women…) [4:34]. Said Muqatil: “This verse (Men are in charge of women…) was revealed about Sa‘d ibn al-Rabi‘, who was one of the leaders of the Helpers (nuqaba’), and his wife Habibah bint Zayd ibn Abi Zuhayr, both of whom from the Helpers. It happened Sa‘d hit his wife on the face because she rebelled against him. Then her father went with her to see the Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace. He said to him: ‘I gave him my daughter in marriage and he slapped her’. The Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, said: ‘Let her have retaliation against her husband’. As she was leaving with her father to execute retaliation, the Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, called them and said: ‘Come back; Gabriel has come to me’, and Allah, exalted is He, revealed this verse. The Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, said: ‘We wanted something while Allah wanted something else, and that which Allah wants is good’. Retaliation was then suspended”

    Besides a word changes meaning in a context, like the verb “crack” means to break, crack or cause something to crack. But cracking a joke means that you are telling a joke.
    Just because the verb crack is used in two different ways does not change the meaning of crack itself. Or as I have mentioned in the previous comment it will not change the meaning of the verb hit.
    Go see the dictionary for daraba, adibru it says strike, only, nothing else. When used to describe a journey it is understood in the context as “to set out”.

    Quranic worldview has a lot of elements which are worthy of a debate themselves. Lets not get into those. The verse itself is in question. If something else categorically contradicts it and if it is revealed later than this one then this would be a relevant point. But that is sadly not the case.

    I know we are all good people and in trying to justify the Quran for allowing wife-beating you all have shown immense respect for women and the absurdity of them being beaten. Indeed you people have so much respect that in order to defend the Quran you would come up with bizzare suggestions like it refers to a daughter, it is symbolic etc. Sadly though, I find that you all respect the Quran more than women themselves and that I find very shameful.

    • Milind Kher
    • September 18th, 2008

    @Nimmy,

    My belief is that you will not get anywhere. Quite honestly, the effort that is being undertaken by the other person is to pick holes in the Quran, and not to actually understand it.

    From the viewpoint of logic, it is impossible for the revealed word of God to be wrong. Conversely, if it is wrong, it is not the revealed word of God.

    Therefore, a person either follows the Quran completely or gives it up altogether. It’s the classical case of it being impossible to be “somewhat pregnant”.

    Ideally, drop the conversation. Else, enjoy!!

    • Nimmy
    • September 18th, 2008

    Ak,i want to hear your comment on my last comment..I spent so much time on answering you ,simply bcoz u seemed to seek an answer..So,pls give your comment on my comment,64..

    • Najeeb
    • September 18th, 2008

    Hi Nimmy, (I have been calling you Nimis until now but just noticed that when post comments, you use ur name, Nimmy – sorry),

    A lot of re-reading is necessary – it has long been a male oriented society. Are you familiar with Fathima Mernissi?

    • Nimmy
    • September 18th, 2008

    @Najeeb,err..sorry i don’t know who she is..I’ll look up in google..Sorry i am not a good reader..Im too lazy to divert my attention to a single point alone for some time at a stretch.:)

    • Another Kafir
    • September 18th, 2008

    Ok, I will respond on the points raised by you again.

    Part I. You said “Our discussion is going no where..
    It would be better if we some to some conclusion..bcoz there is no point in arguing over the same thign repetitively right?”

    Me: Nimitha, I think the discussion was actually leading somewhere. Daiz had copy pasted something that he thought was new evidence and some points which he raised were indeed not discussed before. I commented on his comment. And before that I had pasted the tafsir that I had found on the verse which no one acknowledged or replied to. I reiterated the point in response to Daiz and requested your attention on that. I was actually hopeful that this would take the discussion somewhere.

    Part II. You have said “Here is my conclusion..The root word “daraba” which has been generally translated as ‘beating”, is one of commonest root-words in the Arabic language with a large number of possible meanings. That the vast majority of translators- that happen to be men- have chosen to translate this as ‘beating’ clearly indicates a bias in favour of male controlled, male oriented society. “Daraba” does not necessarily indicate force or violence. The term can be used when someone leaves or ’strikes out’ on a journey.
    In the light of the Quranic world-view that endorses equality, justice, harmony and compassion, the meaning ‘to strike’ cannot possibly fulfill the objective of protecting the institution of marriage and securing the physical and emotional integrity of women. In marriage there should be harmony (4:128), love, and mercy (30:21), and husbands and wives should protect each other (2:187). The word ‘beat’ as it is used in this context is mistranslation of the Arabic word “daraba” which in the Quran alone is used in six different ways, Arabic being a much more faceted language that English, other verses in which this word is used are many. Further, the nature of the Arabic language must also be taken into account: each word in Arabic is designated as masculine or feminine and it does not follow that use of a male or a female noun necessarily restricts the application to the mention of gender.”

    Me: Instead of bringing out new arguments, as your opening remark suggested, you have re-raised your old arguments. And that is fair because we have not yet rejected it. First you assume that daraba has a lot of meanings and you assume that the meaning to beat is the wrong one. You go on to accuse the ones who have translated it so as having a bias in male dominated societies.
    I have looked up the arabic word in a dictionary. I have seen no other meaning except strike. Yet we will come back to this point.
    You talk about the various verses that encourage harmony between the wife and husband. I agree these are contrary to the impression one gets, that women are being subdued in Islam. But it does not actually contradict the verse in question, 4:34.
    Now coming to the word root daraba itself. I have looked it up in a dictionary and found only one meaning to it. Each word takes up a meaning as per the context. The root word means to strike and when used in the context such as to start a journey and to set out an example it takes a different meaning. I have given two examples in the above comments regarding “crack” and “hit”, do read and respond. That is the logical explanation I find when I see that the dictionary gives no other meaning to the word and when I see that no other translator has translated in the other translations.
    Yet for argument sake, since I had to struggle downloading 4 softwares to get a dictionary of arabic and still I could have gone wrong, I will agree that it could mean the other things apart from “strike”. Still it does not mean that your translation is right. When read in conjunction with the historical context, the meaning is clearer that men are allowed to strike their wives. And further clear that it is not figurative striking.

    Part III. In the light of these evidences, the translation of the verse 4:34 may be read as: “Men are the protectors and maintainers [qawwmuna] of women, because Allah has given the one more (strength) [faddala] than the other, and because they support them from their means. Therefore the righteous women are devoutly obedient [qanitatun], (to God), and guard what Allah would have them guard. As to those women on whose part ye fear disloyalty and ill-conduct [nushoozahunna], admonish them (first), (Next), refuse to share their beds, (And last) separate from them [driboohunna]; but if they return to obedience, seek not against them Means (of annoyance): For Allah is Most High, great (above you all).

    Me: I also like this translation better, but this is “out of context”. If you read the context as provided in the tafsir then you find that the verse was indeed talking about beating and not separating. Since my old comment with that link is far behind now, here it is again. http://www.altafsir.com/Tafasir.asp?tMadhNo=0&tTafsirNo=86&tSoraNo=4&tAyahNo=34&tDisplay=yes&UserProfile=0 This time please respond to this.

    Past IV. You said “And as for the linguistic part,read this..An Arabic friend of mine gave this info and i guess that explains it all
    The ayah is actually instructing and warning MEN about their duty to Allah’s special creation WOMAN, to the extent that Allah even statest ‘Hafitha Allahu’ (Allah is GUARDING & Protecting) the Rightgeous Woman.
    Takhfoona is a 2nd person MASCULINE verb form meaning “If YOU fear”. Thus the ayah is SPEAKING to the reader, the MALE reader!
    nushoozahunna = to be cruel, fear ill treatment \
    fa = conjunctive particle \
    AAithoohunna = BEING UNMANLY, mean, abusive \
    wa= and \
    ohjuroohunna = then AVOID profane, antagonistic anguage \
    fee = among
    al madajiAAi= is a NOUN that describes Men who are abusive to women!!!
    wa = and idriboohunna = is an IMPERFECT Verb and FEMININE…thus it means to avoid, ignore
    For the English speakers you can look up the words in ‘Dictionary of the Holy Quran” by Omar”

    Me: How can I understand these things that you paste. You say it is a IMPERFECT Verb and FEMININE, how does that lead you to infer avoid or ignore. And where did “avoid” and “ignore” come into picture. I thought you are trying to tell that idibruhunna means to separate. Please care to explain more and please place it is a proper format, for it is not readable and understandable. That dictionary of the Quran is available for purchase, not available for free. Please paste the relevant parts if it is necessary.

    Part V. You said “Again, the issue is the lack of sincerity and scholarship on the part of the translators.
    Good day to all”
    I think you are shooting the messenger because of the bad message. (It is a phrase which means you are showing your anger on the person who brings the bad news because of the bad news.) And Good day to you too.

    I am waiting for response on this for the last 10 comments.
    The historical context – I pasted the link to the tafseer with the historical context, I even pasted that on my previous comment. The link is in this comment. Is it not quite clear that it is striking which is being referred to here.

    Milind and Nimitha, I have nothing to do with your religion, I am not masochistic and suicidal to ask you to convert. I am responding to something you have blogged about. I have not brought it up or created the verse. Lets keep the debate to what is being discussed. You and I can come to your own conclusions later on. If you still think that I am not being civil by questioning religion then please ask me to stop.

    • Milind Kher
    • September 18th, 2008

    @AK,

    The issue is not one of civility. The issue is whether you actually want to clear doubts, or you just want to be provocative.

    If it is genuinely the former, no issue.

    Even if you want to criticize Islam out of a genuine intellectual conviction, no problem. I will be very patient in responding.

    However, if you want to do it just to needle us, then it logically does not make sense to take the conversation much further.

    • Another Kafir
    • September 18th, 2008

    Milind, thanks for addressing me directly. It would be wrong of me to say that I am trying to clear doubts because I am myself learning something just like Nimmy is. I wont go to the extent of saying I am criticising out of some intellectual conviction, I am only questioning and evaluating Islam.
    However, these are are my intentions in general, they have no relevance to the subject. I think there are some claims made about this verse in Quran. Your interpretation makes more sense than the others, and I am showing them that the interpretation they are suggesting is interpretation out of context.
    About your interpretation, I think it is the correct one. And I feel that it is a misogynistic verse, thats where I stop. I do not force you to agree with me or even insist so. If you disagree with me and try to justify that it is not misogynistic I will evaluate the justification and give my comments. Like any other debate. But I assure you that I have nothing to do with your religious decisions based on this. I am not trying to take you to the almost pregnant situation. That is not even relevant to the debate now. I do think religion is pointless but I can give my opinion without asking you to follow what I say and I can not help that it may reflect in my responses involuntarily.
    I am definitely not trying to finger you or other readers. If I am less than respectful of you or others then I am sorry and please let me know, I would like to make amends.
    I do find it irritating that people copy and paste stuff from here and there without reading what the other person has written before that. If you google these responses that come, you will find that they are rehashed from other forums. I have no problems with that, in fact I too have learnt from other people, and the other people may have some good opinions but one should read the current situation of the debate and read the previous arguments before copy-pasting some passage from somewhere.
    Anyway, I am sorry if that irritation reflects in my tone in some places, like it does in response to daiz.

    • Milind Kher
    • September 18th, 2008

    @AK,

    Thanks for your response. You surely are not compelled to believe anything about the Quran. If you believe that the verses you pointed out are misogynistic, so be it.

    The English language is so wierd, there are misogynists, no misoandrists (or what should you call people who hate men?).
    There are ruthless people, but no ruthful people. There are disgruntled employees, no gruntled employees. JUST A RANDOM DIGRESS TRIGGERED BY THE WORD MISOGYNIST !!

    To come back to the point, there is one good angle to religion. An atheist may feel very good about being logical, liberated etc. However, atheists have confided in me that when one feels very depressed or anxious, the believer has his God, but the atheist has nowhere to go! So you see, there are times when everybody feels (or almost everybody) feels they could do with a bit of God.

    • Another Kafir
    • September 18th, 2008

    Probably Milind, thanks for that bit. I will remember it.

  3. Takhfoona is a 2nd person MASCULINE verb form meaning “If YOU fear”. Thus the ayah is SPEAKING to the reader, the MALE reader!

    Speaking as a qualified linguist, the argument above is completely misguided and should be ignored. It based on a total misunderstanding of what masculine verb is.

    Masculine and feminine are grammatical categories; called grammatical because they have nothing to do with meaning. If there are different endings for “him” and “her” we call one the masculine ending, because it’s less confusing than calling it “class a” or something. Some languages even use a feminine form for the word “male”, so the reasoning above is totally wrong. just fyi.

    @ Najeeb. rereading this, I caught what you meant by Nimis. lol!

    • Nimmy
    • September 19th, 2008

    Ak,
    I appreciate you taking so much time to respond to comments..

    I am sorry,i’ll comment to your context of verse,story of women,later..i need to read on that..I am very busy today..

    Will reply to all comments later in the evening..

  4. “www.islamawareness.net/Wife/beating1.html”

    Nims stumbled on this page from somewhere

  5. Men, divorce should be considered as a last resort to fix a relationship problem. This type of procedure is very serious and it has to be a decision that is well thought out before attempting to start the process. When you are filing for divorce, you will want to notify the court that you are going to proceed with the dissolution of your marriage. You will file a summons and petition the court in your county. Before you decide to file for divorce, you will want to choose the proper state and county to file your papers. You must make sure that you are ready for the long haul in a divorce. There are going to be many different alternatives in a divorce proceeding. You will probably find it to be necessary to hire and attorney to take care of the proceedings in your divorce.

  1. March 21st, 2009

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