4:34 To Hit or not to Hit, that is the question
OP - July 04, 2014, 10:08 AM
ٱلرِّجَالُ قَوَّٰمُونَ عَلَى ٱلنِّسَآءِ بِمَا فَضَّلَ ٱللَّهُ بَعْضَهُمْ عَلَىٰ بَعْضٍ وَبِمَآ أَنْفَقُواْ مِنْ أَمْوَٰلِهِمْ فَٱلصَّٰلِحَٰتُ قَٰنِتَٰتٌ حَٰفِظَٰتٌ لِّلْغَيْبِ بِمَا حَفِظَ ٱللَّهُ وَٱلَّٰتِي تَخَافُونَ نُشُوزَهُنَّ فَعِظُوهُنَّ وَٱهْجُرُوهُنَّ فِي ٱلْمَضَاجِعِ وَٱضْرِبُوهُنَّ فَإِنْ أَطَعْنَكُمْ فَلاَ تَبْغُواْ عَلَيْهِنَّ سَبِيلاً إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ كَانَ عَلِيّاً كَبِيراً
Yusuf Ali: 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, 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) beat them (lightly); but if they return to obedience, seek not against them Means (of annoyance): For Allah is Most High, great (above you all).
Shakir: 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.
M. Pickthall: Men are in charge of women, because Allah hath made the one of them to excel the other, and because they spend of their property (for the support of women). So good women are the obedient, guarding in secret that which Allah hath guarded. As for those from whom ye fear rebellion, admonish them and banish them to beds apart, and scourge them. Then if they obey you, seek not a way against them. Lo! Allah is ever High, Exalted, Great.
The verb daraba ضرب means "To Hit" but can also have non-literal meanings, just like the word "Hit" in English can have non-literal meanings, (I hit upon an idea, Hit the road, Hit the sack, Hit it off, etc...)
There are examples in the Qur'an of daraba used in a non-literal/metaphorical sense such as to "Strike a similitude/parable", "To keep away from", "To go forth" etc... but in each case it is always made clear when it is used in a non-literal/metaphorical sense because of the use of qualifying particles such a preposition or explicitly stating it is a مثل = similitude/parable.
In the case of 4:34 there is no such qualifying particle or mention that it is a parable/similitude and so it can only means "Hit" and simply cannot have a figurative meaning like "Avoid them" "Set forth for them a parable" etc...
Here are some verses from the Qur'an where the verb daraba means "Hit". I want you to notice how the verb takes its object directly and is not qualified by any preposition or word like parable/similitude etc... In each case it means "Hit"
اضْرِبُوهُنَّ "Hit them" (4.34)
يَضْرِبُونَ وُجُوهَهُمْ وَأَدْبَارَهُمْ "They hit their faces and their backs" (8.50)
ضَرْبَ الرِّقَابِ "Hit the necks" (i.e. chop their heads off) (47.4)
اضْرِبُوهُ "Hit it" (2.73)
Now in the following verses the verb daraba doesn't mean Hit - at least not in a literal sense - but notice that it - and/or it's object - are qualified by a preposition and/or a word like مثل similitude/parable or في in the Earth/Land...
ضَرَبَ اللَّهُ مَثَلًا Allah strikes a parable (14:24)
ضَرْبًا فِي الْأَرْضِ "Going forth in the land" (2:273)
أَفَنَضْرِبُ عَنْكُمُ الذِّكْرَ صَفْحًا "Should we turn away the reminder from you?" (43.5)
ما ضربوه لك إلا جدلا "They do not set it forth for you save by way of disputation" (43:58)
1. If 4:34 meant "Leave them alone/Go away from them" it would have to have a preposition like عن (From/Away). So it would be واضربوا عنهن
2. If 4:34 meant "Strike up a similitude for them" it would have to have a preposition like ل (to/for) and a qualifying word like "Parable" مثلا. So it would be: واضربوا لهن مثلا
3. If 4:34 meant "and go forth in the land" it would have to have a preposition like في and a qualifying word like "Earth" الارض. So it would be: واضربوا في الارض
4. If 4:34 meant "set forth for them by way of dispute" it would have to have a preposition like ل (to/for) and a qualifying word like "disputation" جدلا. So it would be: واضربوا لهن جدلا
There is one example of the verb daraba used in a non-literal sense without any preposition:
يضرب الله الحق والباطل " Thus doth Allah show forth Truth and Vanity..." (43:5)
But it is still explicitly shown that it is non-literal. Firstly Truth and Falsehood are abstract nouns so one can't literally "hit" them and secondly the verse goes on to say: كذلك يضرب الله الأمثال "Likewise does God set forth parables." Can't really get clearer than that.
Hell is an absurd & wicked fiction. You're not a bad person for rejecting something that's cruel, irrational, unjust & lacks evidence. You have nothing to fear. Nothing to feel ashamed about. Enjoy your life. Do the best you can. Make yourself & others happy.