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4:34 and other issues
« on: November 24, 2015, 02:23:22 AM »
4:34 was a big concern when I first read the common translation my Quran teacher introduced me to. However it's come to my attention that "daraba" has many translations and there are actually 3 or 4 other translations that would work in this context.

I've read Joseph Islam's article on this matter and there's another good one on quran434.com. Why did God not write this verse with clear and unambiguous wording? Naturally, the translation "beat" is totally in disagreement with other verses. God does not like the aggressors and men are supposed to treat women kindly (4:3), and even light beating can create physical injury to someone who is pregnant or already has physical problems. God could not have authorized such a thing.

I think this verse might be a test to see whether people would use it as an excuse for domestic violence or a way to show empathy. Any thoughts on this?

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Re: 4:34 and other issues
« Reply #1 on: November 24, 2015, 02:38:10 AM »
OK, revision. I meant verse 4:19, and the website is quranverse434.com.

Offline Wakas

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Re: 4:34 and other issues
« Reply #2 on: November 26, 2015, 10:08:58 PM »
Quote
Why did God not write this verse with clear and unambiguous wording?


Interestingly, the question you ask is discussed on the first link you gave:

Quote from: www.Quran434.com
Lastly, if 4:34 meant to clearly mean "beat/strike" why does The Quran use one of the most multiple meaning words in the Arabic language? Similarly, one could ask, if it was not meant to mean "beat/strike" why use a word that could have this implication? I believe the reason for this is two-fold: 1) only a careful study of The Quran leads to deciding which one is the most likely choice 2) it is one of many internal distinguishing mechanisms contained within The Quran. By the latter point, I mean many read The Quran and use it to justify their crimes, whilst others can read The Quran and use it as a force for good. Some examples:
The oft quoted "kill non-believers" verses in which the context is never considered as it always refers to self-defence and never transgressing the law of equivalence etc. Some use these verses to justify murder whilst others use it to discredit The Quran and/or islam - neither side reads the context, giving an insincere approach, bringing out their true colours.
The verse which recommends us to give the excess when we give [2:219] which to those naturally stingy/insincere will use to justify withholding and giving less and whilst others who are naturally righteous/sincere will know exactly what to give: that which is truly due in an honourable manner.
When verses discuss women's dress code, emphasising modesty, some will interpret that to the utmost extreme and ask women to fully cover up, whilst others will never request such a thing as they truly fear exceeding the just limits set out in The Quran. As such there is no consensus on women's dress code (see this link for verse references). In fact, it could be said that an internal distinguishing mechanism is purposely built into The Quran, see 3:7.

Knowing this, it could be said that The Quran used the most profound and distinguishing of word choices in 4:34 and surely God would not choose His Words in a haphazard manner. If multiple options exist, then a word meaning must be chosen that is consistent with the spirit of The Quran and certainly not one that contradicts its content [see 39:18]. We must remember that a book is sometimes only as good as its reader. Whatever disposition a person has will determine HOW they understand The Quran. Their moral convictions will determine what they will get from it and how they will interpret it, what they choose to apply. More importantly, it will determine which definitions of any given word they will gravitate to and seek to uphold. In part, this is the beauty of The Quran: it can bring out what is already within us: our true selves.

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Re: 4:34 and other issues
« Reply #3 on: November 27, 2015, 06:33:27 PM »
Oh. I probably should have read to the bottom of the page.

The paragraph you quoted explains it beautifully. I believe an internal distinguishing mechanism probably IS built into it as per 3:7:

-- He it is Who hath revealed unto thee (Muhammad) the Scripture wherein are clear revelations - they are the substance of the Book - and others (which are) allegorical. But those in whose hearts is doubt pursue, forsooth, that which is allegorical seeking (to cause) dissension by seeking to explain it. None knoweth its explanation save Allah. And those who are of sound instruction say: We believe therein; the whole is from our Lord; but only men of understanding really heed.

Yeah, that explains a lot.

The Quran is definitely confusing in some places, but if you think about the issue and read the verses in context, the verses explain themselves.

Mia


Offline Sardar Miyan

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Is this in order to give Jumah Khutba quoting the Ahadidith instead of Quran?
« Reply #4 on: November 27, 2015, 10:16:11 PM »
When Quran gives guidance  for all matters why do the Imams extensively quote Ahadith? Is it not belittilling Quran? They quote same matter of Quran as Hadis? I hate to hear that stuff. How to creat atmosphere in Muslim Ummah to hear only Quran?
May entire creation be filled with Peace & Joy & Love & Light

Offline Wakas

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Re: 4:34 and other issues
« Reply #5 on: November 28, 2015, 01:16:20 AM »
peace mia666,

Assuming you read them all to the end. Out of the three articles you mentioned on 4:34, which did you determine was the best fit (i.e. most likely to be correct) in your view?

And if you have time, a reason for your choice. Thanks.

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Re: 4:34 and other issues
« Reply #6 on: December 02, 2015, 12:17:03 AM »
Salam, I would use the version "leave them" because "indicating" them does not specify who you''re supposed to indicate them to. However, if you understand the context of the verse then both meanings are applicable. :)

Offline Wakas

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Re: 4:34 and other issues
« Reply #7 on: December 09, 2015, 02:36:04 AM »
peace,

Thanks for the reply.

I used to think "leave them" was the most apt, but after my studies it became quite obvious that it wasn't. The main problems are listed on that site:

"It has been argued that idriboohunna in 4:34 means "separate (from) them" ('Quran: a Reformist Translation') or "go away from them" ('The Sublime Quran' by Laleh Bakhtiar), which interestingly has some support in the traditional commentaries and fits better than "strike/beat". However, I feel this translation is possible only as long as it does not imply divorce/talaq, as The Quran always uses the word talaq to mean divorce AND since the contract-breaking party compensates the other, it would be unfair for the husband to initiate divorce when he has done nothing wrong in this case. There are other problems with this understanding:
1) it is not quite a conflict-resolution step and if not meant to imply divorce/talaq then it seemingly penalises the husband implying he should move out.
2) any degree of leaving/separating/shunning may fall afoul of doing iAAradan (alienation / turning away) in 4:128, thus such a step may give the wife a legitimate reason for ending the marriage, thus unless clarified/limited this meaning does not fit well.
3) results in incoherence when DRB is used with a human as the direct object (see 43:57 and 2:73)
4) requires the insertion of "from" making this the only DRB example of this kind in The Quran, even though the preposition "AAn /from" is used with DRB in 43:5 in a very similar usage as being suggested here for 4:34.
5) provides no explanation as to how the authority find out about the issue in the marriage by 4:35
6) makes little sense when in the reversed role 4:128-129, discussed later.
7) seeming contradiction when in 4:34 the husband is ordered to "separate/leave" yet in 4:35 favours reconciliation
8) has no supporting example in Quran, see below."

#####

Salam, I would use the version "leave them" because "indicating" them does not specify who you''re supposed to indicate them to. However, if you understand the context of the verse then both meanings are applicable. :)

You are not the first to give that reason why "cite them" doesn't seem quite right, i.e. whom to cite them to. I find this objection very odd, considering:

1) there is only person/entity that one would cite them to, and that would be the authority dealing with such issues. It's not like you are going to cite them to your local baker for example.

2) the following verse 4:35 begins with a joining "wa" (and), linking 4:34 and 4:35 together and makes it crystal clear the authority is now involved and appointing arbiters! How does one think they were notified? Did Quran just miss out a step? etc

3) and lastly, Quran contains a perfect complimentary example 58:1-4, as discussed in the article, leaving no doubt whom the citation is done to.

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Re: 4:34 and other issues
« Reply #8 on: December 29, 2015, 02:23:11 AM »
Salam Wakas,

I'm going to have to concede on this one. When you look at the issue carefully, "cite" actually does make more sense.

And it fits with calling in arbitrators perfectly.

Don't know why I didn't see this before. We all learn :)

Mia