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About the Author

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Andrea Useem, creator and publisher of, is a freelance journalist and editor based in Northern Virginia who specializes in writing about religion. Andrea holds a Masters of Theological Studies from Harvard Divinity School, as well as a Bachelors degree in religion from Dartmouth College. Previously, Andrea worked as a freelance journalist in Eastern Africa for four years; she has also lived in Muscat, Oman. She is married and has three sons.

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Quran Translation: American Muslim Woman Presents New Translation of “Beat Them (Lightly)” Verse

This article is reprinted from Publishers Weekly Religion BookLine, April 18, 2007

“Laleh Bakhtiar: An American Woman Translates the Quran”

By Andrea Useem

What does it mean to beat someone “lightly?” Muslims have debated this question over the centuries while interpreting a verse in the Qur’an where God instructs Muslim men, if they fear “disobedience” from their wives, to take several steps: admonish them, sleep separately from them, and then-here’s the point of controversy. Until now most Muslims have understood the final command, idribuhun, to mean “beat them lightly.” Scholars have given this phrase a range of meanings, some as innocuous as tapping a wife with a wet noodle, others as ominous as hitting them without leaving a mark.

But to Laleh Bakhtiar, an Iranian-American Muslim author and translator, this interpretation seemed both illogical and immoral. “As Muslims we are supposed to follow the Prophet Muhammad’s example, and we know that the Prophet never hit anybody,” so how could the Qur’an be saying it is okay? Bakhtiar told RBL, noting that when the Prophet Muhammad was upset with any of his multiple wives, he withdrew from them for some weeks rather than beat them.When Bakhtiar, in the midst of what became a seven-year project to translate the Qur’an into English, came across an alternative translation for the word in question that meant “to go away from,” instead of “to beat lightly,” it made perfect sense to her, she said.

Her new translation of the holy text, The Sublime Quran, is out this month from the Chicago-based Kazi Publications and is the first by an American Muslim woman; U.K.-based Madinah Press published the 1999 Noble Qur’an, which was translated by Englishwoman Aisha Bewley and her husband.

But with the “beat them lightly” interpretation so ingrained in Muslim thought and legal structures, will her translation really effect change? “It’s a start,” she said. “The very fact that Kazi Publications, the oldest Muslim publisher in America, is willing to publish it is in itself a sign things are changing.” 


So far her translation has stirred mostly controversy, with Arabic grammarians challenging her translation of the verse and rank-and-file Muslims in the blogosphere criticizing the fact that Bakhtiar doesn’t speak modern Arabic.

Bakhtiar said she hopes her translation will elevate the image of the Prophet Muhammad around the world. “Why can the Danish feel they can make fun of him? Because we’re allowing behavior that is immoral and then expecting everyone to respect our Prophet. It doesn’t work that way. It has to start with us: we have to morally heal ourselves first.”

Previous articles in Religion BookLine on Laleh Bakhtiar:

“New Qur’an Translation by American Woman Will Be a First,” by Marcia Z. Nelson, Religion BookLine, June 21, 2006

“A Bridge Between Two Cultures,” Religion BookLine, May, 1996

Other Coverage of Laleh Bakhtiar’s new translation:

“Translating Quran for today,” (op-ed) by Laleh Bakhtiar, The Chicago Tribune, April 15, 2007

“A new look at a holy text,” by Noreen Ahmed-Ullah, The Chicago Tribune, April 10, 2007

“Verse in Koran on beating wife gets a new translation,” by Neil MacFarquhar, International Herald Tribune, March 25, 2007

“Saved by Bakhtiar,” (blog posting: critique of Neil MacFarquhar article) by Muslim blogger Sunni Sister, March 25, 2007

“When Every Word Counts,” (commentary) by Hesham Hassaballa,, undated

There Are 28 Responses So Far. »

  1. What kind of religion/ideology is it that subjects women to veils, “beating lightly,” sexual banishment, genital mutilation (95% of Egyptian women are-NYT), etc. Why can’t husband and wife discuss their differences instead of being banished from the harem, or emotionally violated! Why must women be physically and emotionally tormented and subjected to rape or murder via stoning for their conduct or expressing their free will to marry a person of their choice viz. Jordan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and even Turkey.

    I find all religion unnecessary superstition, especially what we now know about evolutionary biology, that we are just one species among others: that we share 95% of our the DNA with rats, 98% with chimps, etc. Do rats or chimps have a Christ or God or a prophet who leads them to heaven. We need to ask a very substantial question: Do we really need a Messiah, or a prophet to guide us toward a moral existence? Recent studies done on other animals suggest that they already possess certain moral and altruistic tendencies, which guide their daily lives and social intercourse.

    So, I say shed this remaining vestige of illiberalism and unnecessary baggage called religion, come out in the open, and Live!

  2. Dear Whoelarth,

    Thanks for your comments. I know many people share your sentiment that religion is unnecessary and can be counter-productive. That said, many others feel that religion is extremely important to their lives and would never abandon it. Ms. Baktiar’s translation of the verse previously interpreted as endorsing some form of physical reprimand may be important to those who strive to live according to their scripture of choice.


    Andrea Useem

  3. Ms. Baktiar is not the first Muslim thinker to reinterpret the verse in question as meaning “to temporarily leave” or “go away from.” Kuwaiti Islamic scholar, Tariq Suwaidan, declared this reinterpretation to be in the true spirit of the Quran and Prophet 3 years ago at an Islamic conference in Toronto (Reviving The Islamic Spirit) to an audience of 15,000 and in the presence of esteemed scholars from around the world. It caused little controversy at the time and provoked if anything a serious re-analysis of Quranic exegesis. Unlike Ms. Bakhtiar, critics cannot accuse Mr. Suwaidan of failing to comprehend the Arabic lexicon.

    I think Ms. Bakhtiar’s publication should be taken seriously.

  4. Hi.

    This idea that “dharaba” means “to strike out” (as if on a journey) has been around for ages — including before our respected Tariq Suweidan mentioned it in Canada. But Bakhtiar’s translation, as it has been reported on, has two major problems that people are unwilling to address:

    (1) She is not proficient in Arabic, period. Yusuf Ali and Muhammad Pickthall were. Bakhtiar has claimed in the media that we (Mozlems) accept Ali and Pickthall because they were men. Nonsense. It’s because they knew Arabic. In addition, most people I know have not taken issue with Aisha Bewley’s (Ustadha Aisha being a well known and well respected translator of classical texts for the last 30 years) nor with an earlier translation by an Egyptian woman simply because of their gender. For her to play this ridiculous gender card against Muslims who object to her — and that group includes *many* women — is harmful and insulting (meaning, it’s bad enough non-Muslims play this game with us; do we really need it from another Muslim, when our truth and our reality is much more complex and subtle than “She’s a woman. Woman bad. Ooga.”).

    (2) There is a difference between translation and tafsir and I think what she’s done is tafsir (not just here but in other verses, although we’re all focusing on this one so heavily). She is not qualified, by a long shot, to do tafsir. And Yusuf ‘Ali has received the **same** criticism over the decades for doing the *same* thing.

  5. PS: I’m sorry I took up so much space.

  6. Dear Umm Zaid,

    Thanks for the comment congrats on your successful blog,

    You might be interested in reading a three-way interview I did with Laleh Bakhtiar, Hadia Mubarak and Bonita McGee for Beliefnet. (The interview should be posted in June — I’ll forward you the link.)

    Some Muslims see a value in Bakhtiar’s translation in helping Muslim women out of the “crisis of faith” they sometimes experience when they are victims of domestic violence.

    I’ll look forward to your feedback on that conversation.


  7. A more important word to interpret in this verse is “nushuz”, which has been incompletely translated as disobedience. When this word is examined in the totality of Quran, it can be seen that nushuz, here, refers to acts of sexual unfaithfulness . If the husband “fears” nushuz, which implies that he does not have any proof of adultery (whose punishment is 100 stripes), a three-staged approach is suggested to deal with this disturbing situation. If one can understand 100 stripes as a punishment of adultery, I do not understand why one would have a problem with beating in this verse. If the wife fears nushuz, the appropriate action to take is explained in 4:128. Bottomline: there is no need to take an apologetic stance in this verse if you interpret nushuz correctly.

  8. [...] was curious to see if Shakir would mention a recent translation of that verse by an American Muslim woman, which rendered the word formerly translated as to “beat them” to read “go away [...]

  9. There’s an interesting point here that perhaps has to be acknowledged. In some critiques of Bakhtiar’s analysis, there is a question about her credentials. This critique is applied in many cases across the spectrum of Islamic topics. While credentials matter, however, we would do well to explore exactly what credentials warrant authoritative perspectives. Is it Arabic proficiency that grants her authority? If that’s the case, then we might say that her book presents a challenge to the seemingly ignored alternative views of Ali and Pickthall’s translation. Is it not a valid question to examine why or how it is that alternative readings of this verse were ignored? I find that, far too often, Islamic reactionaries hide behind the mystique of credentials in order to protect old views and preserve the status quo. In a sense, then, what Baktiar’s book may be doing is raising a question about the position of scholars and how they generate particular forms of knowledge that ought be questioned. In addition, there is a valid tradition of knowledge that Bakhtiar’s critique draws on, namely feminist standpoint epistemology. This isn’t limited to feminist studies, of course, but has at its source the legitimate, philosophical question of who produces knowledge and from what position. “Men” are not simply a biological phenomenon. We are a grounded, situated political and social category who write and interpret from that precise location. Bakhtiar’s book is raising a question about Ali and Pickthall’s location as men of their time. That, to me, is a valid critique.

  10. [...] aspects of Muslim practice I found noxious, particularly the treatment of women. There’s an ayat [verse] that seems to allow men to beat their wives. And then there is the verse about killing enemies wherever you find them. But when I looked at [...]

  11. I’m sorry if my comment may sound extreme, but this is a clear lack of understanding of the nature of Islam and the Quran.

    The Quran, unlike the Bible and other books, was explained by Prophet Muhammad himself, and this explanation has been preserved in the Books of Sunnah, which have been preserved the same way as the Quran. Thus, no one has the right to come and interpret the Quran as they like, moreover change the meaning of texts according to what they see as morally correct or incorrect. If this were the case, the Quran and Islam would be left to be changed and altered according to time, culture and commentator.

    The Quran is interpreted according to how the Prophet interpreted it, and to say that a word has more than one meaning, and to assert any one of those meanings without any evidence is clear falsehood. In any language, a word has more than one meaning. The meaning you give to a word depends on many factors, some of them being context, and also usage. We don’t take a meaning that is rarely used and attribute that meaning to it unless there be a reason to do so. Again, in Islam, the meanings we assign to words are directly taken from Prophet Muhammad. If there are certain things about which cleat meanings have not been explicitly mentioned by the Prophet or his disciples, then the meaning which is assigned to the word is the most common and understood meaning, and not something vague and rare pulled up from the pages of literature. For example, the phrase “hit them” should not be understood to mean “meet with them” (

    Lelah has only changed the meaning according to what she has a problem with in Islam, going against clear statements of the Prophet and his disciples about the matter. Instead of trying to change something she does not like in Islam, why not just leave the faith?

  12. Firstly it is a misconception that the Prophet Muhammad was sent to interpret the Quran. He is sent to deliver it and of course he would have been the best person to understand the Quran in that era. However the Quran clearly states that it is God that teaches it to mankind and therefore we should trust in God and not be shackled by interpretations made centuries ago. The Quran is a book applicable to all times and places and therefore it would not be logical to have fixed interpretations when society changes and evolves.

    As for the interpretation of this verse:
    [4.34] Men are the maintainers of women because Allah has made some of them to excel others and because they spend out of 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, Great.

    It is clear that is verse talks about men being a degree above women in terms of their “financial responsibility”. Therefore it would make logical sense that if the marriage was not working (due to problems caused by the woman) the man has a right to warn, then refuse to share intimacy and finally it makes logical sense to withdraw one’s financial support. Does the word in arabic not translate as beat/separate/strike/withdraw?
    It is logical not to assume the word should be translated as beat because the Quran does not support abuse in any form.
    To assume that the word supports the fact that it is a punishment for fear of adultery against the woman. It is not logical to make this judgement as there is already a criteria for witnessing and punishing in the Quran. It would be illogical for a man to have permission to beat his wife in this instance as a man could wrongly accuse his wife and hence use this to abuse an innocent person.
    The Quran is just and not full of contradictions. Therefore if justifications contradict the essence of the Quran one should reject them.

  13. Noor Karim

    Learn your religion before you comment.

  14. [...] when considering the way certain verses lend themselves to unpleasant interpretation (such as the verse that’s been used to justify husbands hitting their wives.)  Couldn’t God in his omniscience come up with a way of communicating that was less open to [...]

  15. This verse is incorrectly translated - more on this (below) and other aspects of women’s rights in marriage have been written on by David Liepert, MD, Founding Director of Faith of Life Network in Toronto, in the magazine’s April 2008 issue available at: Pages 10-13.

    David writes on the following verse: “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 (to Allah) 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 DZARABA (”waidriboohunna”), but if they return to obedience, seek not against them means (of annoyance): For Allah is Most High, Great above you all.” (Yusuf Ali Translation)

    He says:
    Arabic is a profoundly complex language. It would be pretentious to assume that some of its most complicated words can be accurately translated by one or two English ones. ‘Dzaraba” is a good example; it means ‘Beat’, ‘Strike’, ‘Smite’, ‘Heal’, ‘Take a new path’ and ‘Explore a new Direction’. Beyond the confining, conventional translation of ’strike’, “Dzaraba” is a complex verb that is used to describe purposeful action. Therefore, actions impelled by the verb ‘Dzaraba’ must fulfill the condition, “Do what you do for the sake of a greater purpose than the action itself.”

    When you “Dzaraba” a piece of metal, you might make a coin. When you “Dzaraba” the land, you may cut a new path across it. When a Muslim man chooses to “Dzaraba” his wife for the sake of his marriage, it’s an eternal reminder that Allah expects him to do it in the service of Allah and his marriage, not to alleviate his own anger and pain, or to validate his ego. ‘Dzaraba’ in this context may mean to beat, or it may mean to find another path. It may mean strike a faithless wife out of your life, or it may mean heal the relationship in some other way. There are some early scholars who have likened interpretation of ’striking’ to that with a Miswak (an early toothbrush) which in essence would be painless and probably more humiliating for the husband than the wife, thereby encouraging him to find acceptable resolution elsewhere. The Sunnah (Prophetic tradition) however is clear: Muhammad (Peace be upon him) never beat his wives.

    Whatever ‘Dzaraba’ means, Muslim men and women know that God is watching and He is All-Knowing and All-Seeing.

  16. This idea was not from Laleh Bakhtiar and is a total plagiarism. This new translation was originally presented by Ayatullah Musavi Lari, a renown scholar living in Iran. So before anything else, Laleh Bakhtiar is committing an immoral act herself and presenting someone else’s idea as her own!!!!!!

  17. I just hope that she is just not following her Nafs (desire). I am a woman, I would rather not get bit lightly, but if Allah says do it, then hey, who am I to say no. So, we would need a lot a proof to know if she is just following her desire to translate the Qu’ran the wrong way, or if she is right. I am just going to say, ALLAHUALUM. (ALLAH KNOWS BEST. Just be careful with what we do sometimes. It might lead us to the Hell fire.

  18. I welcome your translation. I appreciate you further introducing the very varied meaning of Arabic words like cut off vs cut vs mark the hand of theives. Too many Muslim women, in particular, but not exclusively, are so unable to think for themselves that they fear women who do what Allah commands them to do..think, use your reason… apply common sense. It is an uphill battle to confront the ignorance that weighs down the Muslim populations. The curse of sexism seems to still haunt Muslims and this has nothing to do with feminism it has to do with human rights , justice and respect of women. If this is not addressed, today Muslims will never rise to the level need to carry the banner of Islam forward. And Allah has said that another people will be created to carry Islam forward so it is we who need to change…Allah purified DEEN is infinite.

    I would be so honored to share my poem entitled ‘ayats of a genderless soul’ in order to solicit your feedback.

    The fact that souls to be judged by Allah have no gender is a point so often missed by humans.
    Dr. Sapphire Mann Ahmed

  19. [...] Quran Translation American Muslim Woman Presents New Translation Posted by root 21 hours ago ( So i say shed this remaining vestige of illiberalism and unnecessary baggage called i 39 m sorry if my comment may sound extreme but this is a clear lack of understanding of american civil religion american idol amish andrew newberg all rights reserved po Discuss  |  Bury |  News | quran translation american muslim woman presents new translation [...]

  20. It seems as if lalah Bakhtiar commited yet another immoral act of passing work as her own. She has recently made changes in her translation. I discovered this on wikipedia under yahya bin zachariah the islamic view.?!

  21. I would first like to thank the writer, Mrs. Useem, for her good unbiased writing. I would also like to express my disappointmen with “modern Muslims” as well as great apprehension for the future of Islam in the West or the new world.
    I have several points that should be taken into consideration regarding the practices of those “modern” Muslims, mostly living in the West,
    1. some don’t seem to care about some obvious teachings of Islam.
    2. some feel ashamed of being Muslims
    3. some are influenced by false ideologies that don’t contradict the teaching of Islam.
    4. Bakhtiar herself is not a good Muslim [this is from what I saw in interview with her]. I don’t know about her inner self but I sure know about her appearance. She is not covering her head, which is clearly commanded in the Quran. I know some may think this is not important and that only beliefs what count. This is ridculous; we don’t have such a thing in Islam. Islam is a complete way of life. You can’t choose what you like and disregard what you don’t like. Faith is both by heart and by action. If a “Muslim” is committing a minor sin, and insisting on doing so, then it becomes a major sin and if he/she doesn’t repent before dying, then Allah will not forgive him/her. Period. Allah is most Merciful, true, but He is, too, “ShadeedulEqab”, punishes severely.
    5. It always amazes that those who claim to be Muslims, but not practicing seriously, are defending Islam. They are Muslims for sure, but Islam is not only about words. Period.
    6. most of those “modern” Muslims are difficult to identify as Muslims, simply because they don’t preserve their Muslim identity, which they feel ashamed to show, to the extent that some have tatoos in them, which is a clear violation of the teachings of Islam.
    To list but a few… to sum it up, it’s a distorted image of Islam created by no other than Muslims themselves!
    Muslims as well as non Muslims should not give their opinions on certain things in Islam that do not afford opinion because they are basics/pillars/etc… they just do not afford interpretations. On the other hand, other issues that afford interpretations are not open to everyone to give their opinions. Scholars are to be consulted in such matters.
    Those of you who called Tariq Swuaidan as a scholar of Islam, well he is not, besides he himself can’t claim this.
    - Why do we have to prove ourselves to others? Islam is Islam. You like it, good for you; you don’t, never embrace it and keep away from it.
    - one of the silly examples of Muslims in the West is a conversion/reversion incident of a Christian woman to Islam. The lady was being taught “Shahadah”, declaration of faith, by a Muslim Imam. After she did, he hugged her; he hugged her! If this is the Imam, how would the others be?
    At the end, don’t get me wrong. I’m not denying that wrong practices do exist in the East, as well but most of the wrongdoers are aware that what they do is haram/prohibited in Islam. Wrongdoers in the West, on the other hand, think there nothing wrong with it!

  22. I hate to be a boring old philologist but
    a) ?araba is best translated as “to strike” not “beat.” This is a problem of English. “Beat” suggests a repeating drubbing. ?araba can mean beat, but in isolation “beat” is a better translation. ?araba is frequently used as an example in grammatical discussions, and there is a difference between “?arabtuhu” and “?arabtuhu ?arban”. So the Qur??nic verse would seem to allow the husband to strike his wife, not to beat her.

    b) but it has to be said, “beat lightly” and “depart” and whatever else might be suggested as alternate translations are proposed from a desire to make the Qur??n say what we seem to think it ought to say. This is a well-meaning but unconvincing, and ultimately unsuccessful because dishonest enterprise.

    Muslims, like everyone else, need to be able to “forget” verses (as they already do with the many verses referring to slavery-and rightly so) and just say, “that was the 7th century. This is not.” “Beating” whether lightly or not is hardly an essential feature of the Qur??n—why not just do what many have done and say that parts of the Qur??n are linked to the time and place of their revelation-and move on!

  23. It seems that this website cannot handle standard unicode. Correct unicode transliterations of Arabic words got munged. Sorry. Bad!

  24. and it is “strike” that is a better translation, not “beat”. Thought there would be a chance to review and edit.

  25. Over the centuries, religions become changed by people who add things on here and there and interpret things differently to the way that they were meant originally. I’m a Muslim woman. I dress modestly but I don’t wear the scarf but I respect women who choose to do so. I follow the five pillars of Islam. I read the English translation of the Quran and I have a little book of hadith which I read- Forty Hadeeth on the Islamic personality. I’m an honest person and I try to treat others as I would like to be treated but I don’t get caught up in obsessing about rituals and cultural laws which have been innovated and added to religion over the centuries. My faith has helped me to survive terrible times and given me great strength. I used to have terrible nightmares ( for 10 years) and once I started praying five times daily, the nightmares went away. Faith can help in everyday life so long as you don’t get bogged down with cultural things that people have added to the religion over the centuries!

  26. Response to Whole-earth. There is a book calle Evolution Deceit by Harun Yahya in which he uses scientific research and proof to debunk Darwinism. You can google it on the internet. It’s a really interesting read.

    You’re probably right. Ignorant people have probably added superstitious beliefs to religion but I believe that there is some truth in it. I don’t want to throw out the baby with the bathwater. Prayer has helped me to survive awful experiences and cured me of terrifying nightmares. It’s not all superstition otherwise, I would not be alive today.

  27. Salam- I don’t see why people should leave the faith if they don’t agree it every aspect of it. People should be allowed to use their intelligence to analyse and draw their own conclusions. If there are different interpretations of words and men have interpreted some words to mean something, women have a right to think for themselves and have a debate. I can’t understand how as a Muslim, you could tell someone to leave the faith just for daring to ask questions. Husbands and wives should treat each other fairly, honestly and with respect. Two wrongs don’t make a right. Violence is not a civilised way of dealing with problems. The prophet is said to have said, “The best man among you is the one who is best to his wife.” How does violence fit into this? Surely, it is much better to separate from someone if they betray your trust. We should all be honest, pure and trustworthy because the prophet set an example by being honest. Men and women should be faithful and chaste. Infidelity is not acceptabl. However, I don’t agree with the male interpretation of Islam which suggests that women should obey men in everything and treat men as though they are infallible. Men and women are fallible and make mistakes. To treat a man as though he is infallible is treating him like God and this is idolatry. No one but God is perfect. No man can claim to be like God and therefore, men can make mistakes. If this is the case, a woman has the right to think for herself if the man is in the wrong. Women are human beings with intelligence. They are PARTNERS to men, not dogs submitting to their masters! Until all Muslim men can get this through their heads, Islam will always be perceived as a backward religion.

  28. Assalamaolekum!…I don’t know why such a fuss about the meaning of one word…there are so many hadiths advicing the men to treat their wives fairly and with love…Any practicing Muslim, Man or woman, would never disobey the prophet and his teachings. The practicing Muslim man would never ever think of treating his wife unfairly let alone beat the wife, and if he does it he is not a good Muslim, . Also, no practicing Muslim wife will think of adultery or anything that her husband does not like (except if he is on the wrong path or disobeying the commands of Allah and His prophet).

    The Verse under discussion is in reference to a particular and extreme situation and teaches men how to deal with it. Why would Allah and his prophet allow men to beat/ strike his wife in normal circumstances? when on various other places, which unfortunately we do not discuss in detail, advice man to treat women as their other half?, why would Quran or the prophet tell to beat wife , just because she cooked a bad dinner? gives an opinion? expresses to do something meaningful in her life(within her veil)?….Allah is not unjust,He is Wise and provides guidance on various situations both regular and extreme ones.

    The Verse under discussion is an advising on an extreme situation. Allah never encourages violences unless it is to counter one when all other means fail. He reveled an entire Chapter on the subject of Marriage and husband wife relationship, The prophet was an exemplary husband; a role model, this Ayath was a equally a commandment for him as it is to any other Muslim man, but did we have single instance of him beating his wife?…No. Even when the incident of Ayesha R.A happened (infidels accused her of adultery) he did not beat her, he simply stopped talking to her because he was angry and did not know the truth and later the matter cleared out. Any man who will hear such a thing is bound to get angry ( nothing more can upset a husband other than the knowledge of his wife being unfaithful or he is a sadist looking for excuses to beat his wife, and needs treatment) but through Prophets example we learned that one should hold the anger and as adviced by Allah look for facts(refer to Chapter Al-Nur of Quran). Isn’t this an example for Muslim men? unfortunately many Muslim Man do not follow. So the problem is not the interpretation but lack of knowledge and failure to understand the message as a whole. and What if the verse really means ‘to beat’…so what? would we stop believing?

    Allah is not ashamed to give examples even of a mosquito or bee then why do we get embarassed? specially when the verse is just advising on a particular situation?

    The problem is not the interpretation but the practice…First, if we accept Quran as it is, and do not be influenced by the crticism of the unbelievers who just just for the sake of criticism pick up Ayaths randomly and just go for their literal meaning without the context and understanding this issue will not arise at all…The verses of Quran can not be interpretated in isolation, we have to look at the various other verses, the life and sayings of the Prophet and form an opinion on the matter as a whole.

    Now ask yourself does Allah and Prophet will allow the beating of a wife randomly?…Oh today i am in the mood of beating my wife so lets do it and yeah i have a verse of a Quran to support me, i will just get away by saying my wife was disobedient!…Is Allah so unjust???

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