Thursday, October 13, 2016

Blogging the Qur’an: Suras 58, “The Pleading Woman,” and 59, “Exile”

To read Islamic expert Robert Spencer`s serious commentary on this chapter of the Koran, kindly click on the link below:

A Quote:

At the beginning of the Medinan sura 58, Allah tells Muhammad that he has heard the pleas of the woman whose husband attempted to divorce by telling her, “You are to me as my mother’s back.” A woman thus divorced could not remarry, and indeed had to remain in her ex-husband’s household as, effectively, a domestic servant (see Asad’s explanation in his commentary on Qur’an 33:4 here). Allah directs that such a divorce is not final, but can be reversed if the husband frees a slave (v. 3), fasts for two months, or feeds sixty poor people (v. 4).
According to Islamic tradition, the woman mentioned here was named Khawlah bint Tha”labah, and her husband Aws bin As-Samit, and Gabriel gave this Qur’anic passage to Muhammad after Khawlah complained to the Islamic prophet about her plight. Here again, then, the reader of the Qur’an faces two choices: either Muhammad was fabricating revelations from the supreme God in order to solve problems and settle issues he encountered in the course of his daily life, such that what claims to be an eternal book is actually filled with incidental minutiae from Muhammad’s life, or every detail of his life was mapped out for all eternity by the deity in order to teach some eternal truths, and he was therefore the most important person who ever existed. There doesn’t seem to be any other alternative.
Later come more indications of the incidental and ad hoc nature of the Qur’an (or, alternatively, the minute divine planning of every detail of Muhammad’s life). According to Qatadahv. 11 “was revealed about gatherings in places where Allah is being remembered. When someone would come to join in assemblies with the Messenger, they would hesitate to offer them space so that they would not lose their places. Allah the Exalted commanded them to spread out and make room for each other.” And then Allah tells believers to make contributions before private meetings with Muhammad (vv. 12-13).
This sura also includes familiar Qur’anic themes, including the bellicose promise that “those who resist Allah and His Messenger will be humbled to dust” (v. 5). Allah sees and knows all things, including the secret meetings of the unbelievers, and will punish them on the Day of Judgment (vv. 7-10). Those who befriend those who are accursed by Allah are the party of Satan (v. 19) and will suffer in hell (v. 17). (And of course, those accursed by Allah include Jews and Christians, as per9:30). No one who loves those who resist Allah and Muhammad will enter Paradise (v. 22).