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-   -   New Translation Prompts Debate on Islamic Verse (http://message.snopes.com/showthread.php?t=6128)

snopes 31 March 2007 02:20 AM

New Translation Prompts Debate on Islamic Verse
 
The hotly debated verse states that a rebellious woman should first be admonished, then abandoned in bed, and ultimately “beaten” — the most common translation for the Arabic word “daraba” — unless her behavior improves.

There are at least 20 English translations of the Koran. “Daraba” has been translated as beat, hit, strike, scourge, chastise, flog, make an example of, spank, pet, tap and even seduce.

http://www.heraldtribune.com/apps/pb...YT02/703250931

alsachti 01 April 2007 12:22 AM

My french version of the Koran use the word "corriger", which means "to punish" (to be precise, it's slightly more violent than "to punish")

Silas Sparkhammer 01 April 2007 10:32 PM

Hello to alsachti! I'm sitting here grinning at the notion of anyone even trying to punish -- Wonder Woman (as in your avatar image!)

Silas

Troodon 01 April 2007 10:54 PM

I thought Wonder Woman was into that sort of thing.

bjohn13 05 April 2007 03:38 AM

I'd always thought that the most widely accepted translation for daraba was scourge. Both of my copies of the Qaran use the word "scourge" as does http://www.skepticsannotatedbible.com/quran/4/index.htm.

"To chastise severely" is a fairly politically correct way to define the word "scourge" in this context, but given the propensity for such barbarious beliefs in ancient times in general, it wouldn't surprise me at all if what was originally intended was even more degrading.

MichiganGirl 05 April 2007 05:37 AM

Quote:

"I decided it either has to have a different meaning, or I can’t keep translating,' said Ms. Bakhtiar, an Iranian-American who adopted her father’s Islamic faith as an adult and had not dwelled on the verse before."
And magically she found a different meaning, what a coincidence. Everyone keeps trying to say it doesn't say to beat your wife. Ok, so only tap or scourge her? If you look up scourge in a dictionary, one meaning is: "to punish, chastise, or criticize severely.". Hmm why would you do that to an adult?

Quote:

"The verse 4:34, with its three-step program, is often called a reform over the violent practices of seventh century Arabia, when the Koran was revealed. The verse was not a license for battery, scholars say, with other interpretations defining the heaviest instrument a man might employ as a twig commonly used as a toothbrush."
And what about if she fears sexual impropriety on the part of the man? Are woman the only ones who do that? I think not, or else women would be doing them only with other women.

I just cannot stand the gender-bias in Islam. And that is what it is. Women are treated like children because we don't have an extra appendage. Hello, we have brains! (Which men might notice if they stopped looking at our butt or our chest).

I really, really don't want my daughter to be treated like this. I hope to DOYC (Deity of your choice) that her dad doesn't convince her to marry a Muslim.

snopes 05 April 2007 05:42 AM

Quote:

“Daraba” has been translated as beat, hit, strike, scourge, chastise, flog, make an example of, spank, pet, tap and even seduce.
I'm voting for "tickle."

- snopes

Mickey Blue 05 April 2007 08:55 AM

Just goes to show how much Muslims, Christians, and probably all other religions that deal in holy books have in common.. Something come along in your religion that you disagree with? Just keep searching and searching until you find even one possible argument that twists it to how you want it.. So even though virtually all translations of the word mean something regarding violence, there is one that says "go away" so naturally that is what the profit meant, the book is not a sexist bit of literature that calls for violence against women (of course, so does the bible).

-MB

snopes 05 April 2007 09:12 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mickey Blue (Post 124260)
Just goes to show how much Muslims, Christians, and probably all other religions that deal in holy books have in common.. Something come along in your religion that you disagree with? Just keep searching and searching until you find even one possible argument that twists it to how you want it.. So even though virtually all translations of the word mean something regarding violence, there is one that says "go away" so naturally that is what the profit meant, the book is not a sexist bit of literature that calls for violence against women (of course, so does the bible).

In other words, scripture isn't a whole lot different than the U.S. constitution.

- snopes

We'veBeenHad 05 April 2007 09:37 AM

In other words the quran advocates beating a woman. The hardest translation of all, eh? Yet it does. Haven't found a comparable constitution verse yet. Guess you have. Which is it then???

Tarquin Farquart 05 April 2007 10:24 AM

Quote:

with other interpretations defining the heaviest instrument a man might employ as a twig commonly used as a toothbrush.
Therefore it is okay to beat your wife, but you must use a toothbrush.

ETA: Quote.

King_Crimson 08 April 2007 06:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tarquin Farquart (Post 124311)
Therefore it is okay to beat your wife, but you must use a toothbrush.

ETA: Quote.

Yes Muslims always tell us that 4:34 beating must be done with a miswak (tooth stick) or something of same weight/size. However they are unable to source this claim.

The Quran does not say "use a miswak" or "beat lightly" it simply says "if you FEAR dischord.....beat them" (4:34) Therefore, Muslims would have to provide a hadith (narration) where Muhammad tells them "use a miswak" or "beat your women lightly" or something like that to soften it.

I debate with Muslims every single day and I research Islam as much as I can. I have never come across this miswak (toothstick) information regarding beating of women and no Muslims has ever provided it in defence of 4:34.

Why not? If its such common knowledge among Muslims (nearly all tell me this) why can't they show me where Muhammad/Allah said it?


Second off, note in 4:34 it says if you FEAR dischord/disobedience/disloyalty etc... (depends on translation. The original arabic says dischord though). If you THINK your wife/slave/concubine is going to do something, then beat her!

Nice, huh?

lastly but not leastly, most Muslims will point you to the Yusuf Ali translation of the Quran that adds parentheticals to the text of the Quran so 4:34 has added (first) and (next) and (as a last resort) and (lightly) added to the verse.

Anything in parentheticals is not written/inferred in the Quran and was added by the translator.

My apologies if anyone is offended with any of my post; as I have said, I debate Muslims every day, and I study Islam as much as I can; I am offering my knowledge.

Thanks :)

-KC

HollowMan 08 April 2007 07:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by We'veBeenHad (Post 124294)
In other words the quran advocates beating a woman. The hardest translation of all, eh? Yet it does. Haven't found a comparable constitution verse yet. Guess you have. Which is it then???

Certainly no part of the constitution say 'hey fellas, beat your wives,' however, I offer the debate over the Second Amendment, the facilities at Gitmo, the wiretapping controversy, and (especially) the revival of the ERA as examples of pieces of the constitution that can be interpreted in the least favorable light.

snopes 08 April 2007 08:03 PM

Quote:

In other words the quran advocates beating a woman. The hardest translation of all, eh? Yet it does. Haven't found a comparable constitution verse yet. Guess you have. Which is it then?
Guess you haven't yet developed an understanding of the concept of "generalization."

- snopes

andak01 08 June 2007 04:03 PM

I just got through a 400 post long thread on this subject at IsraelForum. Daraba, like most Arabic words doesn't have a single translation to English.

The rest of the same verse is some indicator. "Men are the protectors and maintainers of women" (Yusef Ali) Whatever daraba refers to would have to be consistent with that. Daraba can't be something that is physically harmful or abusive, and the man is required to jump through some obstacles (admonish them, refuse to share their bed) and the woman is required to continue acting disloyally or otherwise before daraba can be performed.

Fiqh goes further to specify that a man cannot slap a woman or hit her with his fist or make any kind of a mark on her body or strike her anywhere on the head. The only item that may be used to touch her with is a toothstick about half the size of a toothbrush.

Wife beating, in any sense that word is used in legal cases or women's shelters etc. is not possible under such restrictions, and a man wishing to beat his wife would certainly not heed the advice of the Quran to do so. For starters, it would be impossible to protect his wife while hitting her.

King_Crimson 08 June 2007 07:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by andak01 (Post 203603)
I just got through a 400 post long thread on this subject at IsraelForum. Daraba, like most Arabic words doesn't have a single translation to English.

This is true. However this is true for many languages; one word can have multiple meanings. Its context that decides the meaning. ie Live or Desert etcc..

The Quran for the most part, lacks context so sometimes the meaning is hard to ascertain. However in the case of 4:34, context is given; it is talking about punishment for a disobedient wife. Thus the meaning of the word darb is perfectly clear; beat them

Quote:

Originally Posted by andak01 (Post 203603)
The rest of the same verse is some indicator. "Men are the protectors and maintainers of women" (Yusef Ali) Whatever daraba refers to would have to be consistent with that. Daraba can't be something that is physically harmful or abusive

Says who? Muhammad said "No man will be asked why he beat his wife", to those who complained that their husbands were beating them, he said "Those are not the best among you." (the women). Muhammad hit Aisha (his child bride), other people hit Aisha in his presence and he did nothing. Men beat their wives, their female slaves in front of him and he said nothing.

Muhammad gave permission for men to beat their wives when they became "emboldened" towards him! For you to make such a silly claim means you do not know much about Islam, Muhammad or the Quran!

Please let me know if you'd like the ahadith for all of the above examples; I will be more than happy to provide them for you.


Quote:

Originally Posted by andak01 (Post 203603)
, and the man is required to jump through some obstacles (admonish them, refuse to share their bed) and the woman is required to continue acting disloyally or otherwise before daraba can be performed.

This is untrue. The Yusuf Ali translation is the ONLY one that has the (step) approach. If something is in (brackets) it was added by the translator. Yusuf Ali's translation is notoriously an "apologetic one". The moment you can bring forth an arabic speaker who will show us where the (bracketed statements) are in the actual arabic, or even IMPLIED by them, then I will believe you.

However, since they are not, you cannot.

Quote:

Originally Posted by andak01 (Post 203603)
Fiqh goes further to specify that a man cannot slap a woman or hit her with his fist or make any kind of a mark on her body or strike her anywhere on the head.

No, a man may not hit his wife in the face. But if he does, so what? Women have to cover up! He may make a mark on her body but should not hit her in the face or break bones. This is fiqh. Please present evidence showing where Muhammad said not to bruise women; and I can also show evidence where men were bruising their women up and Muhammad did not care.


Quote:

Originally Posted by andak01 (Post 203603)
The only item that may be used to touch her with is a toothstick about half the size of a toothbrush.

This is untrue. No Muslim has EVER been able to source this claim. Even if it were true, do you know how big a Miswak is? True, a Miswak is a "toothstick" but they can be any size; even up to two metres long! Imagine being beaten with a (miswak) that was two metres long and switch-like!

But this is a moot point; no one has been able to source this claim (that Muhammad allegedly said this), so it either does not exist, or is in a hadith collection that they do not accept.

Quote:

Originally Posted by andak01 (Post 203603)
Wife beating, in any sense that word is used in legal cases or women's shelters etc. is not possible under such restrictions, and a man wishing to beat his wife would certainly not heed the advice of the Quran to do so. For starters, it would be impossible to protect his wife while hitting her.

Men are the "protectors" and "maintainers" of women because women are (according to Muhammad) "like domesticated animals" who "own nothing themselves" to "protect and maintain them". This refers to the fact that women are considered to be deficient in Intelligence and relgiion (according to Muhammad). "protection" simply means to protect them by giving them clothing, food and shelter.

Thus your analysis is incorrect.

For an exhaustive analysis of Daraba and 4:34, please see this article by native arabic speakers:

http://www.faithfreedom.org/Articles...stian30907.htm


I can also give you links to videos where Muslims on their own TV (in Muslim countries) leave no doubt as to the meaning of "beat them" in accordance with 4:34.


=====================

Note: I know I always say this, but I debate with Muslims every single day; I study the Quran and ahadith, Sira and Tafseer & schools of Fiqh , daily; this is where I garner my knowledge about Islam.

Thank you

-KC

Silas Sparkhammer 08 June 2007 07:48 PM

Actually, I see it as a good sign that moderate Muslims are trying to interpret scripture in a way that is less violent and more tolerant. It means that the very basic concept of women's rights is being acknowledged.

I don't really care if it requires a revisionist interpretation of the Koran; I'm just happy if more and more Muslims stop tolerating violence against women.

snopes has a point when it comes to the U.S. Constitution: sometimes, the only way we have to obtain our freedom is from "loose construction." The process is, obviously, dangerous, but without it, there wouldn't be a "right to privacy" or "separation of church and state" or even the "presumption of innocence."

Silas

Zakor 08 June 2007 08:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by alsachti (Post 118724)
My french version of the Koran use the word "corriger", which means "to punish" (to be precise, it's slightly more violent than "to punish")

But approximately 2000 years ago, "corrigere" (From correctum) was merely "to make right" not "to punish for making wrong" Now the Koran is newer than that, but it's interesting how the semantics have shifted.

King_Crimson 08 June 2007 08:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Silas Sparkhammer (Post 203990)
Actually, I see it as a good sign that moderate Muslims are trying to interpret scripture in a way that is less violent and more tolerant. It means that the very basic concept of women's rights is being acknowledged.

I don't really care if it requires a revisionist interpretation of the Koran; I'm just happy if more and more Muslims stop tolerating violence against women.


Silas

I agree with you completely. Sometimes I wonder who will win? Those who hold fast to the (actual) Quran, or those who are trying to revise it. their Prophet Muhammad said that anyone who "innovated" any part of Islam or the Quran would end up in 'hellfire'; this is why you see so many Muslims wholeheartedly adversed to any "change" made to Islam or the Quran.

Plus there's no arguing witht he arabic text; and Muslims (and the Quran) claim it is uncorrupted (heh) since its revelation to Muhammad. I guess the ones who do not want the changes see it as a 'slap in the face' to their Deity and Prophet.

Thanks

-KC

EricB 08 June 2007 08:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MichiganGirl (Post 124165)
I just cannot stand the gender-bias in Islam. And that is what it is. Women are treated like children because we don't have an extra appendage. Hello, we have brains! (Which men might notice if they stopped looking at our butt or our chest).

Not necessarily directed at you, but keep in mind that the Old Testament of the Bible is littered with similar sentiments. And the New Testament is severly gender-biased as well, just not as violently (didn't Paul mention women keeping silent and covering their heads in church?). Aren't most major religions relatively mysoginistic (mostly as a reflection of the systems of authority they were coded in)?


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