jump to last post 1-3 of 3 discussions (35 posts)

Believing in the Islamic religion

  1. Phil Perez profile image80
    Phil Perezposted 20 months ago

    I am personally a little distressed and uneasy of the quote coming in the Qur'an concerning one particular message.

    Qur'an (4:34) Men are maintainers of women because Allah has made some of them to excel others and because they spend out their property; the good women are therefore obedient, guarding the unseen as Allah has guarded; and (as to) those on whose part you fear desertion, admonish them, and leave them alone in the sleeping places and beat them; then if they obey you, do not seek a way against them; surely Allah is High and Great."

    I'll let you be the judge of this.

    1. 0
      Emile Rposted 20 months ago in reply to this

      Sounds to me as if Allah has some issues to work out.

    2. arksys profile image93
      arksysposted 20 months ago in reply to this

      Not that it will change the words of the Quran but the following tafseer (explanation) goes with this verse. The translation you posted is from the same person.

      "These are three stages suggested for correcting the behavior of one’s wife. When an earlier stage is sufficient, it is not allowed to resort to the next one. Particularly, the Holy Prophet (S.A.W) has given clear directions about the third stage, (i.e. beating) that it should be the last resort in a very extreme situation. In a number of ahadith, he has condemned the practice of beating women. He is reported to have said, “Good people among you would never beat women.” (Ruh-ul-Ma‘ani, from Baihaqi and Ibn Sa‘d) No prophet has ever beaten a woman. Even in an extreme situation where the Holy Qur’an has allowed beating, the Holy Prophet (S.A.W) has, in its explanation, prohibited slapping on the face or any act that may leave a mark on the body."

      Tafseer : Mufti Taqi Usmani

      1. 0
        Emile Rposted 20 months ago in reply to this

        Well, that makes it all so much better. Thanks for sharing that tidbit. As long as there are no marks; no harm no foul. roll

      2. Disappearinghead profile image87
        Disappearingheadposted 19 months ago in reply to this

        I find it rather interesting that Allah feels a man should be free to correct a woman's behaviour but sees no reason why a woman should correct a man's behaviour. Or was Mohammed a misogynist?

        1. arksys profile image93
          arksysposted 19 months ago in reply to this

          taking one verse without background knowledge and laying a foundation of equal rights makes it quite a weak argument. However, the following paragraphs will give you an unbiased account of women in an Islamic society during the time of Mohammad, and will also give you some background information. It clearly shows that Mohammad was not a misogynist, as well as the fact that women have not been given the privilege to exercise their rights because of male dominated traditions. Please don't argue about male dominated traditions because you can still see strong hints of male dominated tradition in the west today. I'm sure you are wise enough to know that we are not living in a perfect world and neither will it ever be perfect.
          "The role of women in Muslim society has changed significantly in the centuries since Islam began in Arabia in the early 600s. Their position has varied with shifting social, economic, and political circumstances. Although Islam regards men and women as moral equals in the sight of God, women have not had equal access to many areas of Islamic life.

          Historically, Muslim women have not been treated as men's equals. Certain rulers and administrators and most legal scholars imposed a system of inequality, which they justified by their interpretations of the Qur'an and the traditions of the Prophet. Colonial authorities challenged these views, and their Western notions of the rightful position of women in society took hold among some segments of the Muslim population. Since much of the Islamic world became independent in the mid-1900s, however, women have been caught between traditionalists and reformers as they compete for dominance in Islamic society.

          Making Some Gains.
          Before the rise of Islam in the early 600s, Arabs lived in a traditional, patriarchal (male-dominated) society. Men regarded women as their property, to be married or divorced at will. No limitations on polygyny existed. Women generally did not have a say in the choice of a husband. Once married, they lacked financial security, as the groom's dowry was paid directly to the bride's male relatives. Female infanticide (the killing of baby girls at birth) was common.

          With Islam, the status of women improved considerably. The Qur'an and the sunnah emphasized the spiritual equality of all Muslims. Islamic law recognized a woman's right to choose her own marriage partner, and it set limits on the practice of polygyny. A man could have as many as four wives, if he could provide for and treat them equally. Islamic regulations also defined marriage as a contract between a man and a woman or a man and a woman's legal guardian (wali). They also required the groom to pay the dowry directly to the bride. In addition, the Qur'an and sunnah specified that women are entitled to inherit wealth and that married women should be able to control their own money and property. These sources further stated that husbands must support their wives financially during marriage and for a certain period after a divorce.

          Although Islamic law extended some rights to women and limited the privileges of men, it did not change the dominant position of men in Muslim society. For example, the Qur'an requires women to be obedient to their husbands, and it describes men as a degree higher than women in rights and responsibilities. The scriptures also permit men to divorce their wives without cause and deny women custody rights over children who have reached a certain age.

          Experiencing Some Losses.
          Historical evidence indicates that women contributed significantly to the early development of the Muslim community. Women were the first to learn of Muhammad's initial revelation. They later played an important role in the process of collecting all the revelations from both written and oral sources into a single, authoritative text. Women were entrusted with vital secrets, including the location of Muhammad's hiding place when he was being persecuted and his plans to attack Mecca. The Prophet often consulted women and considered their opinions seriously. His first wife, Khadija, was his chief adviser as well as his first and foremost supporter. His third and youngest wife, A'ishah, was a well-known authority in medicine, history, and rhetoric. At Muhammad's death, the distinguished women of the community were consulted about the choice of his successor. Caliph Umar ibn al-Khattab (ruled 634 – 644 ) appointed women to serve as officials in the market of Medina.

          Islam spread well beyond the Arabian Peninsula in the years after the Prophet's death. In the 600s, Arab-Muslim armies captured territory that had been part of the Byzantine and Persian Empires. The Muslim community gradually incorporated the values and customs of the conquered peoples, including the practice of veiling and secluding women. Veiling referred to the use of garments to cover the head, face, and body. Seclusion involved limiting women to the company of other women and close male relatives in their home or confining them in separate female living quarters. Although Islamic sources do not specifically require veiling and seclusion, some Muslims have used passages from the Qur'an and sunnah to justify these practices.

          Men and women had distinct, complementary roles in Muslim societies. The husband's primary responsibility was to support and protect the family. The wife cared for and disciplined the children and maintained the home. Although Islamic law taught that the husband and wife were equal before God, women were subordinate to men. Nonetheless, women exercised considerable influence in family and social life."

          For the full version - http://www.oxfordislamicstudies.com/art … /t243/e370

          1. Disappearinghead profile image87
            Disappearingheadposted 19 months ago in reply to this

            "For example, the Qur'an requires women to be obedient to their husbands, and it describes men as a degree higher than women in rights and responsibilities."

            And therein is the fundamental problem. For all the history and cultural references you give, ultimately equality was not granted to women. Yes their lot might have improved under the new religion, but leaving the little inequalities in place allows for personal interpretations to justify all sorts of cultural negative conditions towards women. A man who beats his wife or a government that refuses a woman's right to go about without a male escort just needs to point out the phrase you provided.

            I have the same problem with the idea that god gave Moses the law to Israel. If man and woman were created equal in all things as I'm sure you would agree, then why did he not give Moses a set of laws that enforced equality without quibbles, arguments, weasel words or room for the religious leaders to suggest otherwise? Why didn't god say,"hey Moses I'm fed up with all this women being property of men nonsense, I'm going to give you a radical set of laws that liberate women to such a degree that these laws will not be equalled until the advent of 20th century western democracy. Now don't give me any of that 'but this is our culture' crap either".

            And so it is with Mohammed too, the laws weren't radical enough, they were watered down by the cultural attitudes of the time. It's like god wasn't bold or brave enough to make a real difference to society. Either that or he never spoke to these two prophets in the first place.

            1. arksys profile image93
              arksysposted 19 months ago in reply to this

              Yes i have agreed the point you have made before. i'll reiterate the main points for you.

              1. Both men and women are equal in the eyes of Allah.
              2. Both men and women will get equal rewards in the hereafter.
              3. Men have a lower degree than women in spirituality.
              4. Women have a lower degree in this world, as compared to men.
              5. They both have rights over each other, when under a marriage contract.
              6. Men can only marry a second woman if he has the permission of his first wife. If he does not permission, the marriage does not count and it is considered to be adultery. (the control is given to the woman in this matter).
              7. A woman can ask for a divorce if she is not happy. (the control here is given to the man. The man "gives" a divorce).
              8. In terms of work in outside the house, women can go as high in worldly affairs as being the chief adviser of an empire.
              9. The woman has a right to the money of her husband while married. The husband however has no right over the money the woman earns. If she chooses not to contribute in the family then it is her choice.

              These are things which i could think of right now... i'm sure there are many more which i've missed, but these cover some of the restrictions you talk about.

              God knows that men and women are not equal... a man cannot bear a child for instance. a woman has a softer heart in general, and are more understanding than men. There are many different characteristics of men and women and those are understood better by the creator than ourselves. Women are more emotional as compared to men. Sure there will be examples of Iron ladies, but that's not the average woman.

              It may sound like a fundamental problem to you, but to me its fine ... and please don't get me wrong ... i am also concerned about women having a decent place in this world just as much as you are, but if you zoom out a little and see the bigger picture you may understand that there is a balance to it.

              I have spoken to women in Islam and asked them how they feel about their rights as a muslim, compared to a man. the educated in Islam say they feel stronger or no less than a man and the lesser educated in Islam say they feel weaker than a man. The only problem i see here is the lack of proper Islamic education of the women. They don't know their rights.

              For example the woman who drove in saudi. She was an amazing woman who stood up for her rights because she knew her rights. She knew that this is not Islam and it was not even in the laws of saudi. Education is the key.

  2. Phil Perez profile image80
    Phil Perezposted 20 months ago

    Why would any religion EVER preach or allow hitting? How in the hell does that teach others how to be peaceful, arksys?

    I'm not trying to offend your beliefs but such contradiction irritates me.

    1. arksys profile image93
      arksysposted 20 months ago in reply to this

      you are right, i was thinking the same thing ... this is what i could find... most say translation errors, others go a step further and say translations errors because "translations have been the exclusive domain of Muslim men" who could use the text as an excuse for domestic violence.

      Here is one which gives details of when it was revealed...

      "The late Ayatollah Sayyid Muhammad Hussein Tabataba'i provides the following exegesis on 4:34 from both Sunni and Shi'ite sources in his Mizan:

      Ibn Abi Hatim has narrated through Ash’ath ibn ‘Abdil-Malik from al-Hasan that he said: “A woman came to the Prophet complaining against her husband that he had slapped her. The Messenger of Allah said: “Retribution”. Then Allah revealed the verse, “Men are maintainers of women… (4:34); so the woman returned without retribution [ad-Durr 'l-munthur, as-Suyuti]. [as-Suyuti] has narrated it from the Prophet through other chains too. Some of them say that the Messenger of Allah said: “I wanted one thing (retribution), but Allah decided otherwise"...there were some instances where Allah had amended some prophetic orders by adding to or deleting from it, but it was only in his administrative order, not in matters of the law ordained by him for his people, otherwise it would have been an invalid nullification...the Messenger of Allah used to wonder aloud: "How can you embrace the woman with a hand you had hit her with?". It is narrated also in al-Kafi through his chain from Abu Maryam from Abu Ja’far (Imam Muhammad al-Baqir) that he said: “The Messenger of Allah said: “What! Does one of you hit his wife, and then attempt to embrace her?". Countless such statements are found in the traditions; and one may understand from them the Islamic views on this subject.[38] "

      As far as translation error is concerned ...

      The word iḍribūhunna comes from the root ḍaraba (Arabic: ضرب). The word has been used many times in the Quran to mean: to hit, to travel the earth, to set up, to condemn and to give examples. Thus scholars interpret iḍribūhunna differently. Whereas many interpret it to mean "to strike", others hold that the term means "to separate".[44] Such an action is to be administered only if neither the husband nor the wife are willing to divorce.[49] In the context of this verse, iḍribūhunna has also been interpreted to mean "go to bed with them",[50] the Arabic root word "daraba" being taken from the prosaic example "the stud-camel covered the she-camel".[51]

      Daraba is translated by Yusuf Ali as "beat," but the Arabic word is used elsewhere in the Qur'an to convey different meanings. The phrase, "Daraba Allah mathalan" translates to, "Allah gives or sets an example." [52] The use of this word might be compared to the way "to strike" is used in English, which can mean, "to strike a pose," or "to strike a bargain," not just referring to the physical act of hitting something. [53] The use of daraba is also intentional, because a different Arabic word exists, "darraba" which is translated to, "to strike repeatedly or intensely." [54]

      Muslim scholars who permit hitting, emphasize that it must not be harsh,[49][55][56] but rather light.[57][58][59][60] Muslim men are never to hit their spouse's face, nor to hit them in such a way as would leave marks on their body. Scholars suggest that the response administered should be in proportion to the fault committed.[61] Traditionally the idea of beating was "with a toothbrush"[62][63][64] or "with a folded handkerchief."[65]

      Another detailed explanation here ...

      My thoughts:

      A companion of the prophet described the tool used to hit his wife ... therefore it is possible that the meaning of the word does translate to hit/beat/strike (but why would a companion do this if the prophet did not approve?) Even If it has been made permissible it is good to know that it is not the kind of intense beating that initially comes to mind. Striking with a toothbrush or a folded handkerchief cannot cause any major harm to a person (physically or mentally).

      After going through all the info, i am inclined to follow the "to separate" meaning of the word, because the prophet always spoke against hitting women, and the passage does refer to the institution of marriage (separation being the last resort if they don't want to divorce).

      Allah knows best.

      1. Phil Perez profile image80
        Phil Perezposted 20 months ago in reply to this

        Although I admire you taking the time to explain, I am confused at the contradiction of a Prophet "knowing more" than a God. How does the Prophet understand it is not practical or "good" to strike whereas Allah "doesn't mind" for lack of a better term...

        If Allah knows best we'd all be happy by now. For those who understood the Qur'an when it was made, why didn't the people who understood the language follow this way of being and not share it with the world...unless the Qur'an is faulty or flawed. If that is the case, how can Allah know best? Except in the case that the Prophet interpreted is possibly incorrect as well ?

        Harm is harm. No matter how much you sugar coat it there is still an unethical means of teaching peace.

        You might be right, there is probably mistranslations being preached. But if that's the case, should the religion be discontinued ? If many people are having difficulties following Allah's will because of their naivety to the rules of the Islamic religion then how is it possible to teach "good" if you are unsure of it yourself ?

        I am learning a lot, arksys. I appreciate all that you are providing by the way.

        1. arksys profile image93
          arksysposted 20 months ago in reply to this

          I am also in the never-ending learning process and the questions you bring forward help me understand my religion better. So i guess i have to thank you for that...

          that's the thing ... he stopped things like racism and the burial of live new born daughters within the Muslim community through the Quran then something like this shows inconsistency on the humanitarian side of things. The words in the Quran have a higher value than that of the prophet and the life of the prophet is an example of the Quran ... the prophet had to go through various scenarios in his life which are normally not faced by a single person. The example of troubles with his wife is also present where there was an opportunity to beat. He stayed away from the bed for 29 days instead. being the example of the Quran as stated by his wife Aisha, it becomes clearer that beating is not the way and may have been translated incorrectly.

          When we cannot get to the actual truth of a certain matter we use the term "Allah knows best", meaning only Allah knows the truth of the matter.

          It took 23 years for the Quran to be completely revealed through the prophet. when it came to some serious matters a verse from above would come instantly and that would be the final word. The people of the time who understood the language were learning as they went along and even they did not know when the Quran would be complete.

          Why did they follow it with the world and not just keep it to themselves?
          It is estimated that there were approximately 124,000 messengers that came to various tribes in the world from Allah. They were all messengers of the people in a specific region. Muhammad is also known as the seal of the prophets and he was believed to be the messenger of mankind as a whole, which is why they did not keep it just to themselves.

          I personally don't think it should be discontinued. The translations give the average man like myself  an insight to the meaning of the Quran and a meaning to the words we use in our prayers. It is also a motivation to go a step further and learn to understand Quranic Arabic so you can forget about translations and concentrate on the text itself.

          I agree there is uncertainty in some parts but we have enough to know the difference between good and bad ... yes there are some grey areas and for that purpose, the start of every prayer we recite and ask Allah to “Ihdina's-sirat al-mustaqim” (guide us on the straight path) ... this is every individuals path and includes both the spiritual path as well as the worldly path. Things come to a person automatically if they are sincere with their religion.

          When we are stuck in situations we conduct something called an "Istekhara", in which we ask the advice of Allah and if asked sincerely enough you do get an answer (answer is in the form of a continuous dream or a strong feeling toward one direction as opposed to the other). The tradition or Islamic culture thinks that only the pious can get an answer, therefore in a household level the mother is usually the first to be asked to carry out the Istekhara for anyone in the family (this is a glimpse of what and how we think of our mothers/women). I personally believe that anyone can have an equally strong connection and perform the istekhara, you just need a good heart.

          this was a little explanation which should make it clear that we accept the fact that we are unsure of things but there are ways of dealing with the uncertainty as well. We have not just been left stranded on this earth with the Quran ... we get the guidance we need in difficult situations which may not be clear to us even though we have read the translations of the Quran many times.

          After going through the articles on this topic ... you might ask what advice i would give to a friend if he walks up to me and says he has hit his wife AND then justifies it by saying that he knows that beating the wife is allowed in the Quran (quite an impossible event in my eyes but assuming it happened). I'll ask him if he talked to her about it and if she did not listen then did you stay away from the bed for upto 29 nights, and did you strike her with a miswak or a folded hankerchief? the most probable answer would be no for one of these conditions. I would then make him realize he only followed the beating part but not the pre-requisites and he is wrong therefore must make amends with his wife and with Allah because he has wronged them both.

          1. Phil Perez profile image80
            Phil Perezposted 20 months ago in reply to this

            Again, thank you for the insight and taking the time to explain to me how much confusion and misunderstanding there can be in the Qur'an. I don't doubt that there is good coming from the Qur'an, however, just the fact that the deeper message of having rules made by God is to follow them. Never to understand really why. I dislike that form of teaching... but logically, I agree why question Allah if he knows best? I get that, but the Prophet whose followed and obeyed Allah must've lived in harmony, right? But you're saying that the Prophet basically had a difficult time deciphering what Allah was saying? How long has the Qur'an been around? I've heard it was been around approximately 1500 years.

            I just cannot believe that it has taken faithful believers so long and still haven't properly translated the Qur'an...That's my personal reason for discontinuing the religion.

            I still don't understand the whole religion and the entire principle, but that's ok. Once someone, anyone, understands the religion based on what it says in the Qur'an, and is deemed completely translatable, then will I choose to be a follower of Allah. But in the meantime, I prefer believing in a path I feel is best for me.

            Thanks again!

            1. arksys profile image93
              arksysposted 20 months ago in reply to this

              That i can understand. if you knew the reasoning you would follow. I have raised many similar questions, to which i could not find answers and those questions take me slightly away from religion for a while. Just as you said, I don't doubt there is good coming from the Quran. I know there is good in it but sometimes i too stumble upon things which i don't understand and cannot find answers to, but i realized there are things in which you have to keep "pondering" ... sometimes it has taken me 10 years to figure something out because i did not have the experience to understand it before. A level of blind faith or trust is definitely required.

              If you are really after knowing something then keep the question in the back of your mind and when you read the Quran you will notice some verses hit you and give you the answers to your questions. Some things you can ask Allah directly in your prayers but just need patience for a response. It can be in the form of a dream or even in a simple conversation with anyone... when the time is right for you the answer will pop out and that will be your Eureka moment.

              harmony comes within yourself first. once you are filled with harmony you start to spread it which is what the prophet tried to do... so yes he did live in harmony himself but had difficulty spreading it.

              Maybe i didn't explain it properly, the prophet never had difficulty deciphering because that was his native language/dialect. He was illiterate and in the start he did have difficulty in remembering what was revealed to him so Allah made it in such a way that he could remember without fault. The people of the time never had difficulty deciphering it because it was their language/dialect.

              The interpreters and translators had difficulty translating because such a word in English does not exist. In other instances the same word can have two or more meanings here it depends on the translator, which word he finds suitable. in other instances the word has a greater depth in meaning yet the translator has to limit his words at one stage or another, therefore not giving the whole picture.

              As an example : i was discussing a passage of the Quran with a Moroccan friend who knew understood the Quranic Arabic. I had the translation of Mufti Taqi Usmani with me (it is the easiest version to read/understand)... it was a passage talking about the sun and its movement ... the translation written was "the sun is travelling" .. my friend elaborated and said the word doesn't only mean travelling, it means "the sun is coming back to us" ... to me this gave an entirely different meaning to the whole situation and the translation of 1 word did this.

              The Quran has been around for 1436 years now.

              The choice you make to follow the teachings of Allah or not, is a personal issue between you and Allah. We all have our ups and downs.

              The choice you made in believing that God is one and Muhammad is the messenger of God makes you my brother, and if there is anything i can do to help, then my doors will always be open for you.

              If you're looking for someone with in depth understanding i would advise you to listen to lectures by Nauman Ali Khan. He has a series called cover to cover which will give you what you are looking for. the videos are in English and until now i have never seen anyone explain the verses of the Quran better than this man. He tells you the whole situation in the chapter, he tells you what happened (case studies), he tells you what you need to take away from this to implement in your life. I wish we had more people like him all around us, it just can't get better than this smile

              here is one example : https://vimeo.com/120773453

              here is his site : http://www.bayyinah.tv/sp/9942-bayyinah-tv

              On his site if you choose "courses" in the main menu and try out the cover to cover series (4 sample videos-45 mins each) to see if this is the kind of thing you are looking for.

              1. BuddiNsense profile image59
                BuddiNsenseposted 20 months ago in reply to this

                How did you arrive at that figure? According to tradition it was only from the time of Uthman (656) or Muawiya (602 –680).

                1. arksys profile image93
                  arksysposted 20 months ago in reply to this

                  That is when it was revealed to the prophet.

                  1. BuddiNsense profile image59
                    BuddiNsenseposted 20 months ago in reply to this

                    How do you know, You have no idea when the prophet was born?
                    Most  of it is christian polemic like that of Jesus and it predated Muhammad.
                    And god only knows what all were destroyed and added by Uthman.

            2. arksys profile image93
              arksysposted 20 months ago in reply to this

              another little video about things lost in translation. this guy explains it better... hope you have the time to watch it (7 mins).


  3. Fiaz Sufi profile image81
    Fiaz Sufiposted 19 months ago

    I would encourage you to read more about Islam, if you want to set your mind on something. But if its just a question for the sake of question, then u will not find any real answer to this. Its better you meet any Muslim woman around and ask her if she feels that way.