Friday, 6 May 2016

Reading the Koran - Sura 2 Verses 232-235

Todays reading of the Koran teaches us how to deal with divorced and widowed wives. I will admit there is a lot of stuff to respect in the reading today, however as with a lot of Koran verses it really comes down to the person and as such the good should be treated loosely. In fact todays reading goes a long way in proving that morality is subjective and not objective! This is remarkable when one considers that the Koran is trying to push objective morality onto its followers.

The first verse we consider deals with others hindering divorced couples getting remarried, with Allah basically commanding that if a previously divorce couple wants to remarry then you are under no circumstances to stand in there way. If a family member, or any other person, stands in the way of this marriage then they will be punished in the after life.
"When you divorce women and they complete their term, do not thwart them lest they should [re]marry their husbands, when they honourably reach mutual consent. Herewith are advised those of you who believe in Allah and the Last Day. That will be more decent and purer for you, and Allah knows and you do not know."
Generally I do not have a problem with this, as I think people should not interfere in others affairs. However, in cases of domestic abuse and specifically battered person syndrome, surely this is the worst advice to be giving. Would it not be better in a case like this for the family to interfere and try their best to thwart a remarriage?

So, breast feeding? Yes, there is a section covering this in the Koran so lets not complain about thoroughness, although I am sure they will skip important facts like quantum mechanics and gravity.
"Mothers shall suckle their children for two full years, —that for such as desire to complete the suckling— and on the father shall be their maintenance and clothing, in accordance with honourable norms. No soul is to be tasked except according to its capacity: neither the mother shall be made to suffer harm on her child’s account, nor the father on account of his child, and on the [father’s] heir devolve [duties and rights] similar to that. And if the couple desire to wean, with mutual consent and consultation, there will be no sin upon them."
So breast feeding by divorced mothers is recommended for two years, however there are a large number of reasons why it can be disregarded, such as 1) mutual consent, 2) desire of the father, or 3) desire of the guardian of the dead father. So basically the law as required by the Koran is to be interpreted as you wish, or simply put objective laws as required by Allah are not objective. Surely, this simple contradiction here shows that the Koran should be dismissed as a message from the one true God as it cannot even get the basics of objective morality right. The other option is that morality is really subjective, and in that case the need for an objective God ceases to exist. However, if God then is subjective, what is the point of God?





Lastly, in this verse there is mention that a guardian should take care of a widowed wife. This is a noble gesture and one I respect in general. However, when it says the fathers heir has rights and duties similar to that of the father, then I start to get suspect. With any stone age belief set, that usually translates into the women having to take this guardian as a husband in all ways except name. However, I will say here though that Islamic apologists say this does not happen in their religion, then again it no longer happens in Christianity either.


Verse 234 is a verse that shows men that they have to worry about their wives even after they are dead, in fact they are responsible for everything a wife does after their death for four months and ten days.
"As for those of you who die leaving wives, they shall wait by themselves four months and ten days, and when they complete their term, there will be no sin upon you in respect of what they may do with themselves in accordance with honourable norms. And Allah is well aware of what you do."
No, I have no idea what this means. Its just random gibberish if you ask me. If I had to waiver a guess, I would say the writer was getting paid by word count and needed to but another cup of coffee at Starbucks.

The last verse (235) deals with those men that have an eye on a recently widowed women. Basically, they are meant to wait the allocated  mourning period before letting their feelings known. Although, you don't have to wait the allocated time if you are prepared to go public with the expression of desire. However, even if you express this desire you have to wait the prescribed mourning period before getting married.
"There is no sin upon you in what you may hint in proposing to [recently widowed] women, or what you may secretly cherish within your hearts. Allah knows that you will be thinking of them, but do not make troth with them secretly, unless you say honourable words, and do not resolve on a marriage tie until the prescribed term is complete."
Now, if this above verse sounds contradictory.....it is.

See you next time when we will finally finish up with divorce issues.

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The version of the Koran I am reading is the John Meadows Rodwell translation. An online version can be found at the al-quran.info website
Additionally, for commentary I am utilizing the commentary of Maulana Muhammad Ali which is available at muslim.org/english-quran/quran.htm