Qur’an 4:34 Commentary

Posted Nov 1, 2006      •Permalink      • Printer-Friendly Version Bookmark and Share

    “Men are the protectors and maintainers of women, because Allah has made one of them to excel the other, and because they spend (to support them) from their means. Therefore the righteous women are devoutly obedient (to Allah), and guard in the husband’s absence what Allah orders them to guard (e.g. their chastity, their husband’s property, etc.). Regarding the woman who is guilty of lewd, or indecent behavior, admonish her (if she continues in this indecency then), stop sharing her bed (if she still continues doing this lewd behavior, then), [set forth for her the clear meaning of either straighten up or else we are finished and when she returns to proper behavior take up sharing the bed with her again], but if she returns in obedience (to proper behavior and conduct) then seek not against them means (of annoyance). Surely, Allah is Ever Most High, Most Great

    Here again I will quote the good Sheikh Yusuf Estes who gives an excellent elucidation of this verse, he says :

  “The operative word in this verse in Arabic is “daraba.” While there are literally hundreds of uses for this word varying from “tap” to “walk in stride” to “strike at something” to “set a clear example”, the only meaning that can be assigned to something in the Quran must be according to the rules of Quran. And Allah has used the same word a number of times with a consistent meaning. Let us examine them.

  Here is what we find from the scholars of the Arabic language:

  Daraba (to have intercourse, not to beat)

Raghib points out that daraba metaphorically means to have intercourse, and quotes the _expression darab al-fahl an-naqah, ‘the stud camel covered the she-camel,’ which is also quoted by Lisan al-‘Arab. It cannot be taken here to mean ‘to strike them (women).’ This view is strengthened by the Prophet’s authentic hadith found in a number of authorities, including Bukhari and Muslim: “Could any of you beat your wife as he would a slave, and then lie with her in the evening?” There are other traditions in Abu Da’ud, Nasa’i, Ibn Majah, Ahmad bin Hanbal and others, to the effect that he forbade the beating of any woman, saying: “Never beat God’s handmaidens.”

  Source: al-Qur’an: a contemporary translation by Ahmed Ali, Princeton University Press, 1988; pp78-79

  Daraba (to set forth, to make a clear statement or proclamation)

  One of the key rules of understanding words of the Quran is to go to other places in the Quran to investigate the usage in other places. This word is used by Allah in other places in the Quran to mean “set forth” or “sets up for you” or “makes known to you” - as is demonstrated in the following verses:

  Surah Ar-Ra’d (13:17) yadribu Allahu al-amthala “Thus Allah sets forth a parable”

[here the word “yadirbu” is from the exact same root da-ra-ba]

  Surah Ibrahim (14:24): Alam tara kayfa daraba Allahu mathalan .. “Don’t you see how Allah sets forth a parable?..”

  And again in the next verse: Surah Ibrahim (14:25) wa yadribu Allahu al-amthala li-naasi

“..and Allah sets forth parables for mankind..”

[again the word yadirbu is from da-ra-ba]

  Surah An-Nur (24:35) wa yadribu Allahu al0amthala lin-naasi

“And Allah sets forth parables for mankind..”

  Surah Ar-Rum (30:28) Daraba lakum mathalan min anfusikum

“He sets forth for you a parable from yourselves..”

  Surah At-Tahreem (66:10) Daraba Allahu mathalan lillatheena kafaroo..

“Allah sets forth an example for those disbelievers..”

  In fact, the word daraba has not been translated to mean (beat) or (hit) or (strike) in any other verse of the Quran except this one.

  The words for (beat) as in [to hit] found in Surah Baqarah 2:275 ... kama yaqoomu allathee yatakhabbatuhu ash-shaytanu mina almassi..

“..like the standing of someone beaten by the devil (Satan) leading him to insanity.”

  And in Surah Ta Ha 20:18 Allah Says, “Qala hiya Aasaya atawakkao Aalayha waahushshu biha Aala ghanamee waliya feeha maaribu okhra.”

“This is my stick, whereon I lean, and wherewith I beat down branches for my sheep and wherein I find other uses.”

As you can see, these are not even related to the word (daraba).”

from http://www.paktribune.com/news/print.php?id=147414