Quran 4: In the name of God, the Gracious, the Merciful.
1. O people! Fear your Lord, who created you from a single soul, and created from it its mate, and propagated from them many men and women. And revere God whom you ask about, and the parents. Surely, God is Watchful over you.
Starting a new chapter this morning. This chapter is titled "Women" or "an Nisa'".
This is from the commentary.
This chapter is named The Women because it deals chiefly with the rights of women. The connection of the last chapter with this one lies in the fact that that chapter deals with the battle of Uƒud, while this one deals with the circumstances to which the battle had given rise. For the decimation of the Muslim force had left a large number of orphans and widows to be looked after, and it is with duties towards these two classes that the chapter opens. The two chief features of the battle of Uƒud were, the death of a large number of Muslims and the desertion of hypocrites; while, following it, were circumstances which brought about a final rupture with the Jews, and it is with these three subjects that the chapter deals.
The opening section lays down injunctions relating to the duties of guardians towards their orphan wards. The second section brings woman to a status of equality with man, and lays down a new law of inheritance, for among the Arabs a woman had no right to inherit the property of a deceased relative. The third section deals with the treatment of women in general and denounces the practice of claiming women as a part of inheritance. The fourth section discusses what women may not be taken in marriage, and the fifth gives them the right of disposing of their earnings as they please; while the sixth first points out the remedy when there is a disagreement between the husband and the wife and then inculcates the principle of charity in general, introducing the subject of hypocrisy towards its close.
According to the commentary.... after that it will go into hypocrites.
After having laid stress, in the seventh and the eighth sections, upon external as well as internal purity, showing how the Jews had neglected the latter of these and how, for no other reason than envy of the Muslims, they had sided with the polytheists, and after having enjoined upon the Muslims to be strictly firm in justice, we are led on in the ninth section to the dealings of the hypocrites who had refused to accept the Prophet’s judgment in going out to meet the enemy. We are then told in the tenth section that the question of war was a question of life and death for the Muslims. The eleventh section deals with the attitude of the hypocrites, and the twelfth shows how waverers are to be dealt with. The thirteenth states when and to what extent the murderer of a Muslim is excusable, because it was very often by treachery or hypocrisy that the Muslims were killed. The fourteenth shows that those Muslims who were compelled to remain with the enemy against their own wishes were excusable. The fifteenth warns the Muslims against being surprised in battle when saying their prayers. The sixteenth and the seventeenth refer to the secret counsels of the hypocrites. The eighteenth condemns idolatry, because it is the idolatrous hypocrites that are spoken of throughout the previous sections, and the subject is thus brought to a close.
Previous to the introduction of the third chief subject of this chapter there is a reversion in the nineteenth section to equitable dealings with orphans and women, and the subject is generalized in the twentieth; while in the same section the hypocrites from among the Jews are dealt with. The next predicts their end, at the same time showing that belief in previous prophets could do them no good if they rejected the Holy Prophet. The twenty-second speaks of their transgressions and of their false allegations regarding the death of Jesus on the cross. The twenty-third section tells them that the whole of the previous prophecy pointed to the appearance of the Holy Prophet Muƒammad, while the last one, after referring briefly to the Christian error in deifying Jesus, closes with a reversion to the subject of inheritance.
Ok... that describes the chapter on women..... which after reading this commentary... only starts with women and goes on to others.... but hey.... it's titled "Women" and for that... it's cool. Now let's see if it stays cool as we get down into the verses.
Back to the commentary.
How the first man was created is not stated either in the Qur’ån or in the Ïadßth, nor is the Bible statement accepted that Eve was created from a rib of Adam. The Muslims do not accept that man was created six thousand years ago. The Imåmiyyah accept the tradition that Allåh created thirty Adams before our father Adam, and one Shß‘ah Imåm has gone so far as to say that hundreds of thousands of Adams were created before our Adam (RM). Nor do the Muslims accept that our world is the only world in this universe; one Imåm is reported as saying that in God’s universe there are twelve thousand systems each bigger than our solar system (RM). The words occurring here — Who created you from a single being and created its mate of the same — only declare the unity of the human race and the equality of the male and the female. Elsewhere we are told that for all of you wives are created from yourselves: “And Allåh has made wives for you from among yourselves”
I know.... there's only one verse here and a whole lot of discussion.
It seems to me... there are some pretty big issues brought up by the commentary concerning this chapter and this first verse. I need some time to figure this out.... so I'm taking it slow. There are ten verses in this first section, and the first verse is a mind blower..... the Muslims believe women are equal to men!