Understanding the Quran

Source: Dawn

Author: Asghar Ali Engineer

HOW to understand the Quran is an important question. Generally we pick and choose a verse to prove our point. Thus, many Muslims have different positions in understanding the verses of the Quran.

There is nothing wrong with different understandings but this should not lead to anarchy. There has to be a methodology so that the Quran, despite different ways of understanding it, should be understood under certain guidelines. There should be uniformity in the principles of understanding.

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7 replies

  1. Let me quote from the author first. My comment, for whatever it is worth, will follow.
    “Another important question is of wife-beating, referring to verse 4:34, which is cited as Quranic permission to beat one’s wife.
    But all other verses about women’s rights and women’s treatment contradict this. What is needed in this case too is to read all the verses on the treatment of women, and to read all verses using the word daraba (for beating) in the Quran; and the result would be very different.

    This would show that the Quran could never allow a wife to be beaten by her husband. First of all it should be noted that all the verses on women in the Quran emphasise their rights vis-à-vis their husbands, and all verses relating to men emphasise their duties vis-à-vis their wives. If it is so then how can the Quran permit the beating of one’s wife? All verses on treatment of wife, or even after divorce, say that wives should be treated with ihsan and maruf (i.e. good and morally approved behaviour).

    Then, the Quran also says that Allah has created love and compassion (mawaddat and rahmah) between husband and wife. If then husband is allowed to beat his wife, love and compassion have no meaning left between the two whatsoever.

    One can argue that beating is allowed in case of nushuz (rebellion, uprising) but then if nushuz is rebellion how serious is that rebellion to warrant a beating? The fact is that the Quran does not use any word with nushuz to show its seriousness in the matter. One of the theologians I had a discussion with said it amounted to extramarital relations on the part of the wife. But if it is so, it warrants perhaps a more serious punishment and that punishment cannot be meted out by the husband but by a court of law or a qazi.”

    My rule of thumb is: If you are out to “defend” the Quran or to gloss over what you think are its weak points, or find meanings that are “more plausible to you”, you are lost.
    Wife-beating is allowed under certain circumstances. I have touched on it towards the end of the following write up. http://www.lohar.com/Attacks_on_Islam.pdf
    This write up also discusses, towards the end, the story of Job, for sometimes that is used as another proof that the Quran allows wife-beating. I must say that changing the translation to “avoid” attacks on the Quran may be expedient but it goes against reason, morality and faith and may not earn God’s pleasure which is what we are all supposed to seek.

  2. In Canadian society, any capable, patriot Canadian can participate in social, economic and political affairs and uplift within his or her capacity.
    In order to get a public office, someone needs to have a proper profile to win the election or competition. How can a a high school kid succeed if he or she sits in Bachelors or Masters exam. In case of campaigning for public office for Legislative Assembly, any Canadian should be allowed. A person who wants to attain a place in public office must have a full awareness of any limitation due to cultural, social, religious and physical bindings and restrictions. Any Canadian has a right to serve Canada in any capacity. He or she could be a worker in a factory or a prime Minister of Canada.

  3. Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA) of which country? Please, come out of your “Tunnel-Vision” & be universal. Muslim Times is for the WHOLE world.

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