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The Qur'an does NOT advise husbands to beat their wives.


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Author Topic: The Qur'an does NOT advise husbands to beat their wives.  (Read 1129 times)
AceOfHearts
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« on: October 27, 2007, 09:51:23 pm »

Most of us have a Pikthall or Yusuf Ali translation of the Quran at home.

The translation they give for the verse 4:34, uses the word 'beat/scourge' for an arabic word suggesting the Quran advocates wife beating i.e.

"Men are the protectors and maintainers of women, because God 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 God 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 God is Most High, great (above you all)." - Yusuf Ali Translation

"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." - Marmaduke Pikthall Translation

A study of the arabic word used, the whole Verse, as well the Qur'an as a whole reveals a very different picture. More specifically, the arabic word used has some of the most varied meanings out of all the arabic words. Many translators took note of this erroneous traditional translation of Verse 4:34. We have many alternative translations of the Quran which does not propogate the unnatural and violant orthodox 'beat/scourge/hit etc.' interpretation. Before we continue, we should bear in mind the following advise of the Qur'an:

"The ones who listen to what is being said, and then follow the BEST of it. These are the ones whom God has guided, and these are the ones who possess intelligence." [Qur'an39:18]


- Dr Kamal Omar



 

- Ahmed Ali




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- Dr Shabbir Ahmed & Liaquat Ali (QXP)




- Muhamed Ahmed with his daughter Samira
Muhamed Ahmed with his daughter Samira: Koran translation



- Laleh Bakhtiar
The Sublime Quran » In the Name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate



- (Late) AbdurRasheed Kamptee, Dr. Abdulazeez Abdulraheem, Shaikh AbdulGhafoor Parekh
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Zeynab
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« Reply #1 on: October 28, 2007, 02:13:59 am »

 BismEm


I thank you for writing on this much needed topic.  Your research is extensive and I can imagine how much time you must have devoted to it.  May Allah (The Highest) reward you, InshAllah.  I particularly like the translations of Muhamed Ahmed & daughter Samira and Laleh Bakhtiar.

Some time ago I had written a post here on the same topic titled 'Much ado about nothing.'  I had expressed a very similar opinion, that is, the term "scourge" which carries one of the dicitonary meanings of 'affliction' refers to affliction or scourge of separation, desertion or divorce.  But as is the habit of many readers of the Quraan, even those with sufficient knowledge of Arabic, they take all such matters literally without any reflections on the highest moral standards of the Glorious Quraan. 

Thank you again, dear brother.  This is truly excellent work.  Ayah 4:34 has been attacked so often by non-Muslims and Western feminist groups who of course read Islam only according to the fatwas.  Your article with such careful analysis of the original Arabic words of the Quraan provides a very competent and truthful rebuttal to the critics. 

I'll link this to my previous article ..
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« Reply #2 on: October 28, 2007, 03:57:58 am »

awesome post brother!  keep up the good work. 
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« Reply #3 on: October 28, 2007, 07:23:13 pm »

"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). .. - Marmaduke Pikthall Translation


Just to add .. many of our fatwa embracing brothers and sisters should also know that the expression " ... Allah hath made one of them to excel the other .."  and a few more very similar expressions in the Quraan has nothing to do with gender superiority.  When the Quraan says that one of them excel the other or men are a degree above women, it refers to men being a degree above women in shouldering financial responsibilities
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AceOfHearts
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« Reply #4 on: October 28, 2007, 09:02:57 pm »

peace persian_thinker,

Really nice to see you, its very quiet here. Apart from my self and Sr. Zaynab, there isnt anyone else posting it seems like.

Peace Sr Zeynab,

Thank you for your kind comments.

It appears to me that you place a lot of faith in Pikthalls translation. I say this because you accepted the 'scourge' translation though you did interpret 'scourge' differently (I dont believe Pikthall intended to mean anything other than the physical scourge). In the above post, the Pikthall's transation is VERY off from 4:34 arabic:

"men in charge of women" is completely off "arrijaalu qawwamuna 'alannisaa"
'one of them excell the other' is completely off "bimaa faddhallahu badukum 'alaa ba'din"
and ofcourse "scourge them" I do not agree should be a translation of "adriboo" by the least

I personally find Pikthall's translation very misleading and biased in 4:34.

I was a bit taken aback that you quoted Pikthal's translation in the post just above as though this is what the Qur'an says. When this translatoin is I would say, way off the real meanings in arabic.

I do not intend to offend you by what I am saying. Smiley I hope you understand that.

peace. 
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AceOfHearts
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« Reply #5 on: October 29, 2007, 03:28:39 pm »



oops, just realised I spelt your name wrong above Sr. Zeynab (now corrected), may have been getting it wrong before too.

My appologies. 
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« Reply #6 on: October 29, 2007, 04:36:28 pm »

Smiley ..  brother AOH, no you didn't offend me at all.  We all have the right to our own opinion.  what's important is to be tolerant of each other.  Like I always maintain, disagreement is just fine as long as we're respectful and I always find you very respectful.  I hope you think the same about me .. though you seem to be suppressing your hype a bit over my pick of a certain word in translation. 

Actually it's hard to say what a translator might have had in mind while translating passages from one language to another, particularly languages that are so different like Arabic and English. And considering the fact that Pickthall hasn't given any detailed elucidation of verse 4:34 separately, I wouldn't presume much on that front.  However, to me what's important is not what Pickthall meant or any other translator meant.  While I love to read their translations as well as their explanations wherever available for the sake of knowing different opinions, at the end of the day I have my own independent perception based on the overall contents of the Quraan and my common sense.  Alhamdulilah.  The reason why I concluded "scourge" meant the scourge of separation or divorce (in other words the punishment of separation/divorce) has been explained in my post I have linked to my previous response in this thread.  Briefly, rather than trusting any translator, it's best to trust Allah who will never pass any unjust order or clause.  Different people have come up with different interpretations.  The common traditional one is a symbolic or token wack with a toothbrush and more similar ones.  However, from the beginning it was clear to me that this does not even mean a symbolic little strike with a toothbrush or feather.  It simply represents the unfortunate step of splitting a marriage which itself is undoubtedly the 'scourge' or affliction of that marriage.  This concept of splitting or the possibility of it, is further substantiated in the verse following 4:34. 

As for the term one excelling the other .. is not just found in Verse 4:34, it's found in various other passages of the Quraan as well and is agreed upon by all rational thinkers, and even some traditionalists, that it is a direct reference to the task of carrying financial responsibilities.  This too is substantiated by any number of verses in the Quraan where Allah has made it ample clear that men need to spend a lot more on women than vice-versa, even if the woman posesses sufficient finances of her own.  If a wife is rich and husband is poor, and wife decides to spend on her husband of her own will, that's fine.  But it's not mandatory for her, and neither can he claim anything from her assests against her wishes.  However, if it's the other way round - i.e. husband is rich and wife has lesser money, she is fully entitled to claim from him as a wife.  The wife's assets (big or small) cannot be cited as an obstacle by the husband for not providing to her from his income.  This is the concept the Quraan portrays when it says one excel the other or men are a degree above women.

Moreover, I try not to pry on my brethrens as to which translator they might like to read in order to agree or disagree with them.  Rather our acceptance or rejection of the opinion of others ought to be based on what each one of us perceive and conclude from the translations we read and study.  That's most important which reflects the depth or shallowness of a person's understanding of the Noble Quraan.

If my next response, if required, comes slow .. please bear with me as I have a very hectic schedule coming up for the next fortnight.  Many thanks for all your dedicated contribution, brother AOH.  Hope to keep reading your great posts!  InshAllah ..

Allah bless
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« Reply #7 on: September 01, 2017, 04:56:08 am »

Salams dear all.  A very enlightened discourse by Dr. Laleh Bakhtiar that further clarifies Verse 4:34.

THE MISINTERPRETATION OF “IDRIBU” IN 4:34 OF THE QUR’AN

"In the Name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate.

I have often been asked if the translation in the Sublime Qur’an is a feminist translation. My response: My Muslim sisters and I are forever grateful to the men in our lives: fathers, brothers, sons and grandsons. There are many men who agree that 4:34 has to revert back to the way the Prophet understood it and, I might add, there are many women, particularly in the Islamic world today, who believe that wives should be beaten by their husbands! Therefore this is not a feminist issue.  It is a human rights issue.

Now we come to the point from which the translation became controversial. Yet you will notice that it is the use of intellectual endeavor that is relevant, not my gender. If a Muslim jurist had come up with the same arguments and logical reasoning, the 1400+ year mistake would be more readily admitted and changed. Not only is the language of the Sublime Qur’an translation inclusive rather than exclusive, this translation also reverts the translation of 4:34 back to the way the Prophet understood it as shown to us through his behavior.

The part of Chapter 4, Verse 34 in question is more or less read in all present English translations: “Those husbands who fear disobedience on the part of their wives, first admonish them, then abandon their sleeping places, then beat them.” My position is that the understanding of this verse must revert back to the interpretation given it by the Prophet Muhammad, peace and the mercy of God be upon him, through his actions. He never beat anyone much less any of his wives. When there was any marital discord, he went away.

Anyone who claims to follow the Sunnah of the Prophet must do the same thing because the Sunnah of the Prophet is not to beat, hit, hurt, spank, or chastise any woman. The word idribu is a command, an imperative form of the verb, yet a command the Prophet did not carry out if it means “beat” but he did carry it out when it means “go away.” Therefore the Sunnah of the Prophet is “not to beat.”

The word daraba or its imperative form in verb form I, idribu, has 25 meanings. Why take a meaning that goes against the legal and moral principles of the Qur’an that harms someone when the Prophet did not do it? The most conclusive arguments in Islamic tradition to prove or disprove something is using the Qur’an to prove another point in the Qur’an. The present erroneous interpretation of idribu creates a contradiction not in the Qur’an itself.

There are two premises here: First of all, marriage is encouraged in Islam as a moral act. The blessed Prophet said, “Marriage is half of faith.” Secondly, divorce is discouraged as an immoral act but if necessary, allowed. The blessed Prophet said, “Divorce is deplorable.”

Now we get to the heart of the main reason why the word “beat” is a misinterpretation. We read in Chapter 2, Verse 231: “When you divorce wives, and they are about to reach their term, then hold them back honorably or set them free honorably; but hold them not back by injuring them so that you commit aggression.” In other words, the Quran is telling husbands not to harm their wives who want to be set free, not to hold them back by injuring them. The word “injuring” (dirar) also means hurt, harm, use force or commit aggression.

Let’s take an example. A Muslim wife, after many attempts to help her husband’s manage his inappropriate anger, anger that most often is taken out against her, tells her husband that she wants a divorce. He, in his anger, does not at that moment remember that according to 2:231 he is not to hold back by injuring a wife who wants to be set free, and instead, being both judge and jury, beats her as allowed in 4:34. The battered wife, becoming the victim of his anger, is then afraid to speak out again as this last instance has caused her to seek refuge in a shelter for battered women.

Therefore, we see a disconnect between 4:34 and 2:231. Jurists have created a contradiction that is not in the Qur’an by encouraging divorce and discouraging marriage so that we can conclude, a Muslim woman who wants a divorce must be set free without injuring, hurting, or using force against her, but a Muslim woman who wants to remain married does so under the threat of being beaten!

If Muslim wives knew their rights, which one would want to stay married under such circumstances? 4:34 as presently interpreted contradicts 2:231. How can we eliminate this contradiction? There is a very simple solution: Revert the interpretation back to how the blessed Prophet understood it through his behavior."


Also check QuranAloneIslam.net
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« Reply #8 on: September 01, 2017, 05:07:55 am »

Wa'salaam and many, many thanks Sister Heba.  This is a marvelous lecture from Dr. Laleh Bakhtiar, precisely sensibly and a spot on analysis in accordance with Quranic logic and logic of one's common sense.  Not surprising, in many sites I've been seeing both hadithists and Islamophobes cringing and frowning with insults as usual, addressing her clarification as "ignorance" .. their standard rebuke.

Thanks also for the link on Quran Alone Islam.  I read it bits and parts at the moment but will InshAllah return for a systematic reading.  It also seems a very informative and rational source that depends on using their God given perception rather than blind adherence to unauthentic man-written traditions.
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« Reply #9 on: September 01, 2017, 05:19:47 am »

Welcomed ..... exactly Sister Zeynab.  That's what impressed me about these discussions, their rational perception based on given Quranic values which is what The Almighty wants from us.
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