It is worth noting how several translators render the key word in the Qur’an’s notorious verse sanctioning the beating of disobedient women (4:34), وَاضْرِبُوهُنَّ, waidriboohunna.
Pickthall: “and scourge them”
Yusuf Ali: “(And last) beat them (lightly)”
Al-Hilali/Khan: “(and last) beat them (lightly, if it is useful)”
Shakir: “and beat them”
Sher Ali: “and chastise them”
Khalifa: “then you may (as a last alternative) beat them”
Arberry: “and beat them”
Rodwell: “and scourge them”
Sale: “and chastise them”
Asad: “then beat them”
Dawood: “and beat them.”
Laleh Bakhtiar, in a new translation that has received wide publicity, translates it as “go away from them.” However, in light of this unanimity among the translators, both Muslim and non-Muslim, this seems difficult to sustain – all of these authorities got the passage wrong until Bakhtiar? But her impulse is understandable, as many Muslims today regard this verse with acute embarrassment. Muhammad Asad adduces numerous traditions in which Muhammad “forbade the beating of any woman,” concluding that wife-beating is “barely permissible, and should preferably be avoided.”
Unfortunately, however, this is not a unanimous view. Sheikh Syed Mahmud Allusi in his Qur’an commentary Ruhul Ma’ani gives four reasons that a man may beat his wife: “if she refuses to beautify herself for him,” if she refuses sex when he asks for it, if she refuses to pray or perform ritual ablutions, and “if she goes out of the house without a valid excuse.” Also, Muhammad’s example is normative for Muslims, since he is an “excellent example of conduct” (Qur’an 33:21) – and Aisha reports that Muhammad struck her. Once he went out at night after he thought she was asleep, and she followed him surreptitiously. Muhammad saw her, and, as Aisha recounts: “He struck me on the chest which caused me pain, and then said: Did you think that Allah and His Apostle would deal unjustly with you?”
And now a questioner at Yahoo Answers asks a question that most don’t know to ask and that few among those who do know dare to ask:
Why do non Arabic speaking Muslims try to delude themselves & others that 4:34 means ‘leave” not beat?
Quran 4:34 has historically been translated as hit, strike or beat, until modernity when Muslims became ashamed of Allah’s perfect marital problem solving principles, so Yusuf Ali first added “lightly” after beat, then others went further & started claiming that it means “leave”.
As the majority of Muslims globally are non Arabic speakers, and as most converts to Islam are keen to swallow all lies to save their faith, they managed to fool quite a few.
Here are examples of the word:
Verse: 8.50 Object: Human Faces
If thou couldst see, when the angels take the souls of the Unbelievers (at death), (How) they smite their faces and their backs, (saying): “Taste the penalty of the blazing Fire-
Transliteration: Walaw tara ith yatawaffa allatheena kafaroo almala-ikatu yadriboona wujoohahum waadbarahum wathooqoo AAathaba alhareeqi
yadriboona wujoohahum literally meaning “hit their faces,” which is translated by Muslims as “beat their faces.”
Verse: 47.27 Object: Human Faces
But how (will it be) when the angels take their souls at death, and smite their faces and their backs? Fakayfa itha tawaffat-humu almala-ikatu yadriboona wujoohahum waadbarahum
yadriboona wujoohahum literally meaning “hit their faces.” Also translated correctly by Muslims
Comparing the two terms
Beat them and leave them are different phrases in Arabic. The arabic word idribohunna driven from the root word Darab does not have any other meaning than Beat when it comes to mean “Yadreb Ahadan” = Hit someone. Idriboohunna (Ø£Ø¶Ø±Ø¨ÙˆÙ‡Ù†) means beat them (for female plural). Adriboo Anhunna (Ø§Ø¶Ø±Ø¨ÙˆØ§ Ø¹Ù†Ù‡Ù†) is the one that means abandon or leave them. According to the Arabic lexicon
Arabic Transliteration Meaning
Ø¶Ø±Ø¨ Zarb Beat
Ø£Ø¶Ø±Ø¨ÙˆÙ‡Ù† (used in 4:34) Idriboohunna Beat them
Ø§Ø¶Ø±Ø¨ÙˆØ§ Ø¹Ù†Ù‡Ù† Adriboo Anhunna abandon them, leave them
Quran 4:34 says Idriboohunna Ø£Ø¶Ø±Ø¨ÙˆÙ‡Ù†, not Adribu Anhunna Ø§Ø¶Ø±Ø¨ÙˆØ§ Ø¹Ù†Ù‡Ù†. These two phrases have different meanings.
The vast majority of Muslims in the world don’t speak Arabic, many converts to Islam don’t learn sufficient Arabic first.
Why try to fool themselves that a circle is a square because this verse jeopardizes their faith?
Why not examine this verse & other unpleasant verses & then decide to take a courageous step of quitting?