How do you recognize an obedient woman

Sura 4 verse 34"... and hit them!"

"Men are the providers [qawwâmûn] of women because God has distinguished some from others and because they give of their wealth. Righteous women are humble [qânitât] and watch out for what is hidden, because God looks after them And those women who you fear stubbornness reprove them, ban them to their beds, and beat them [or avoid them; adribûhunna]! And if they obey you, do not behave badly towards them. God is exalted and great. "

A majority of premodern male Quran commentators take it for granted that the Arabic word "qawwâmûn" in the first sentence of this verse generally means that men have guardianship over women.

The series "Koran explains" as a multimedia presentation

Furthermore, these commentators expect a righteous wife to be obedient to her husband. Should she nevertheless disobey her, the husband may first reprimand her. If that doesn't help, he should stop the marital dealings with her. If that doesn't help to change her behavior either, he may symbolically hit her with a tooth stick. All interpreters of the Qur'an agree on one point: a husband must not inflict any physical harm or injury on his rebellious wife.Asma Afsaruddin researches, among other things, the Koran and gender issues. (priv.)

In modern times, the traditional interpretation is being questioned and, above all, is being addressed again by feminist scholars. They typically argue that the verse refers to the functionally superior role of the husband - and only so long as he is the financial provider of his family. Should the woman take on this role, which she often does in the modern world, the care [qiwama] of the family will also be up to her. A fundamental superiority of men is not meant.

The Arabic term "qânitât" used in the verse can be translated as "obedient", "humbly devoted" women. However, this is not about obedience to other people, but to God. The grammatically masculine form of the term ("qânitûn") is used in the Koran for all creatures who sincerely worship God.

When premodern male exegetes now consciously choose to understand "qânitât" as the wife's obedience to her husband rather than to God, they project their own cultural understanding of patriarchal family structures into this verse.

The greatest excitement, however, is a verb that is derived from the Arabic root word "dâ - râ - bâ" and translated here as "to beat". In Arabic, the basic form of a word is given as a verb in the 3rd person singular male. It then consists of three letters - the so-called radicals. They are held together by vowels - in this case the "a".

Feminist exegetes among Muslims are asking today: Are you sure? An immensely just and limitlessly benevolent God should not sanction an act, even if it even suggests physical violence against women?

They draw their answer from the complex meaning of the Arabic word root "dâ - râ - bâ". In addition to "hit", it can mean "avoid" or "avoid someone". One such alternative understanding, favored by feminists, is that the verse simply calls on the husband to leave his rebellious wife alone.

This reinterpretation goes d’accord with what is known about the way the Prophet Mohammed treated his wives. As is known, he never hit her or even addressed her harshly.

The audio version had to be shortened slightly due to the airtime.