Tuesday, February 10, 2015

What does it mean when the Quran says "men are a degree above women"? An analysis of Quran verse 2:228

This post will be pretty similar to my last one. We need to make connections in Islam. If we can determine verse 4:34 refers to pregnant women, we need to use the same mindset and apply here as well. It may be more helpful if you read my last article first, as it might give a better understanding: http://mymuslimthoughts.blogspot.ca/2015/02/what-does-it-mean-when-quran-says-men.html

Just like my last article, I'll be only focusing on the part where I want to draw attention. The first half of the verse isn't really relevant, so I wont post it. And just like last time I'll post 6 different translations (from Quran.com/2/228). Also note this verse speaks about gender equality as well (I mentioned this in my last article) IF interpreted correctly.

Aright so here we go:

Sahih International:

"And due to the wives is similar to what is expected of them, according to what is reasonable. But the men have a degree over them [in responsibility and authority]. And Allah is Exalted in Might and Wise."

Muhsin Khan:

"And they (women) have rights (over their husbands as regards living expenses, etc.) similar (to those of their husbands) over them (as regards obedience and respect, etc.) to what is reasonable, but men have a degree (of responsibility) over them. And Allah is All-Mighty, All-Wise."


"And they (women) have rights similar to those (of men) over them in kindness, and men are a degree above them. Allah is Mighty, Wise."

Yusuf Ali:

"And women shall have rights similar to the rights against them, according to what is equitable; but men have a degree (of advantage) over them. And Allah is Exalted in Power, Wise."


"and they have rights similar to those against them in a just manner, and the men are a degree above them, and Allah is Mighty, Wise."

Dr. Ghali:

"And they (the women) have (rights) like (the obligations) they are under with beneficence; and men have a degree above them; and Allah is Ever-Mighty, Ever-Wise."

What we can conclude is that the translators have a consensus that there are things which are "similar". If we continue with the idea of pregnancy, then it'll fit in perfectly here. When a woman becomes pregnant, she is both physically and psychologically hindered. Men are not affected by this. Therefore they have an advantage over women in this, and must use this advantage to continue working when women take leaves from their jobs. Think about it, does it make sense for God to say its okay for men to stay at home and do nothing, event though there's NOTHING hindering them? NO. It's only logical this way; it makes sense. We have concluded there are pro-women and pro-gender equal verses in the Quran, and we know there are pro-women and pro-gender equal hadiths. We also know gender roles do not appear for women (and only indirectly appear for men). USING the same context, we can determine there is no superiority of men, EXPCET in cases like this. We know women don't differ in IQ, so men are not psychologically superior. All the translators are adding in their own emphasis, and attempting to explain the Quran according to THEIR societal and cultural standards. So don't be shocked by Muhsin Khan (he also thinks its necessary for women to cover their faces).

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