Archive

Posts Tagged ‘Ijtihad’

Prostrations Before Adam

October 7, 2017 Leave a comment

Worshiping anyone but God is clearly forbidden in both the Bible and the Koran. However, there is a curious account in the Koran about angels being told by God to prostrate themselves before Adam. This may initially appear to some as being a divinely granted license to practice idolatry, but I do not believe that that is the case. Actually, I think that this story, which occurs more than once in the Koran, is a theological statement.

First, let us look at a few passages in the Bible. In the Decalogue, it says:

I am the Lord thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt have no other gods before Me. (Exodus 20:2,3, KJV)

Having any other god in addition to God is clearly forbidden. There is only one God.

Yet for us there is one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we for Him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, through whom are all things, and through whom we live. (I Corinthians 8:6, NKJV)

St. John the Theologian was Jesus’ beloved disciple and the author of the Fourth Gospel. He said:

Little children, keep yourselves from idols. (I John 5:21, NKJV)

The holy angels who serve God refuse to be worshiped. In the Book of Judges, the angel told Manoah:

And if thou wilt offer a burnt offering, thou must offer it unto the Lord. (Judges 13:16, KJV)

In the Book of Revelation, an angel  twice forbids St. John to worship him.

Then he said to me, “Write: ‘Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!’” And he said to me, “These are the true sayings of God.” And I fell at his feet to worship him. But he said to me, “See that you do not do that! I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren who have the testimony of Jesus. Worship God! For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” (Revelation 19:9,10, NKJV)

Now I, John, saw and heard these things. And when I heard and saw, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel who showed me these things. Then he said to me, “See that you do not do that. For I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren the prophets, and of those who keep the words of this book. Worship God.” (Revelation 20:8,9, NKJV)

In the Gospels, Jesus refuses to worship Satan, who is a fallen angel.

And he said to Him, “All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me.” Then Jesus said to him, “Away with you, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve.’” (Matthew 4:9,10, NKJV. See also Luke 4:7,8.)

However, in the Koran, it says in seven places that God told the angels to prostrate themselves before Adam.

And when We [Father, Son, and Holy Spirit] said unto the angels: Prostrate yourselves before Adam, they fell prostrate, all save Iblis. He demurred through pride, and so became a disbeliever. (Koran 2:34, Pickthall)

And We [Father, Son, and Holy Spirit] created you, then fashioned you, then told the angels: Fall ye prostrate before Adam! And they fell prostrate, all save Iblis, who was not of those who make prostration. (Koran 7:11, Pickthall)

When I [God the Father] have shaped him, and breathed My spirit in him, fall you down, bowing before him! (Koran 15:29, Arberry)

And when We [Father, Son, and Holy Spirit] said unto the angels: Fall down prostrate before Adam and they fell prostrate all save Iblis, he said: Shall I fall prostrate before that which Thou hast created of clay? (Koran 17:61, Pickthall)

And (remember) when We [Father, Son, and Holy Spirit] said unto the angels: Fall prostrate before Adam, and they fell prostrate, all save Iblis. He was of the jinn, so he rebelled against his Lord’s command. Will ye choose him and his seed for your protecting friends instead of Me, when they are an enemy unto you? Calamitous is the exchange for evil-doers. (Koran 18:51, Pickthall)

And when We [Father, Son, and Holy Spirit] said unto the angels: Fall prostrate before Adam, they fell prostrate (all) save Iblis; he refused. (Koran 20:116, Pickthall)

Behold, thy Lord said to the angels: “I [God the Father] am about to create man from clay: when I have fashioned him (in due proportion) and breathed into him of My spirit, fall ye down in obeisance unto him.” So the angels prostrated themselves, all of them together: not so Iblis: he was haughty, and became one of those who reject Faith. (Koran 38:71-74, Yusuf Ali)

Elsewhere in the Koran it says that the angels prostrate themselves before Allah and are not proud.

And unto Allah maketh prostration whatsoever is in the heavens and whatsoever is in the earth of living creatures, and the angels (also) and they are not proud. (Koran 16:49, Pickthall)

It also says in the Koran:

Lo! whoso ascribeth partners unto Allah, for him Allah hath forbidden paradise. (Koran 5:72, Pickthall)

Was God ascribing Adam as a partner unto Himself? Of course not. He was making a theological statement.

In the Koran it says:

The Messiah, Jesus son of Mary, was only a messenger of Allah, and His Word which He conveyed [literally, cast] unto Mary, and a spirit from Him. (Koran 4:171, Pickthall)

These words from the Koran say two things about Jesus. They say that He is human. He “was only a messenger of Allah.” They also say that He is divine. He is His Word, that is, the Word of Allah.

In the Koran, it says that Muhammad accepted the Scriptures of the Jews and the Orthodox Christians.

O ye who believe! Believe in Allah and His messenger and the Scripture which He hath revealed unto His messenger [the Koran], and the Scripture which He revealed aforetime [the Bible]. Whoso disbelieveth in Allah and His angels and His Scriptures and His messengers and the Last Day, he verily hath wandered far astray. (Koran 4:136, Pickthall)

And argue not with the People of the Scripture unless it be in (a way) that is better, save with such of them as do wrong; and say: We believe in that which hath been revealed unto us [the Koran] and revealed unto you [the Bible]; our God and your God is One, and unto Him we surrender. (Koran 29:46, Pickthall)

Therefore call thou, and go straight as thou hast been commanded; do not follow their caprices. And say: ‘I believe in whatever Book God has sent down; I have been commanded to be just between you. God is our Lord and your Lord. We have our deeds, and you have your deeds; there is no argument between us and you; God shall bring us together, and unto Him is the homecoming.’ (Koran 42:15, Arberry)

Therefore, these words from St. John’s Gospel were accepted by Muhammad.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was madeAnd the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. (John 1:1-3,14, NKJV)

In St. Paul’s Epistle to the Hebrews, it says:

Even Levi, who receives tithes, paid tithes through Abraham, so to speak, for he was still in the loins of his father when Melchizedek met him. (Hebrews 7:9,10, NKJV)

Levi was Abraham’s grandson. God commanded through Moses that the Israelites should pay tithes to the Levites — the men who were descendants of Levi. (Numbers 18:21-24) Abraham paid tithes to Melchizedek. (Genesis 14:18-20) So, since Levi was in the loins of Abraham when Abraham paid tithes to Melchizedek, Levi paid tithes to Melchizedek.

Now, apply this principle to those passages in the Koran which speak about God commanding the angels to prostrate themselves before Adam. Jesus’ humanity was already in the loins of Adam from the day that he was created.

Jesus is Allah’s Word which He cast to Mary. (Koran 4:171) The Word of Allah cannot be a partner with Allah, because Allah has no partners. Therefore, the Word of Allah is Allah. (John 1:1-3)

The incarnation of Allah the Word is prophesied in the Old Testament.

This is our God, and there shall none other be accounted of in comparison of Him. He hath found out all the way of knowledge, and hath given it unto Jacob His servant, and to Israel His beloved. Afterward did He shew Himself upon earth, and conversed with men. (Baruch 3:35-37, KJV)

The incarnation took place when Allah cast His Word to Mary. When the angels prostrated themselves to Adam, they were making a theological statement. They were indicating that God the Word will assume His humanity from one of Adam’s descendants.

It says in the Book of Deuteronomy in the Septuagint version of the Old Testament:

And let all the angels of God worship Him. (Deuteronomy 32:43, LXX)

These words were quoted by St. Paul in Hebrews 1:6.

But when He again brings the firstborn into the world, He says: “Let all the angels of God worship Him.” And of the angels He says: “Who makes His angels spirits and His ministers a flame of fire.” But to the Son He says: “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever; a scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your kingdom. (Hebrews 1:6-8, NKJV)

Notice in the above cited passage that God calls the Son God. Since each Person of the Trinity is God in His entirety, it is appropriate for one Person of the Trinity to call another Person God.

If one were to divide the divine essence (that is, the substance of which God consists) into infinitesimally small particles, each particle would belong to all three Persons of the Trinity. One essence, one God. The same essence, the same God.

The incarnate God, according to His assumed humanity, is a descendant of Adam and in the loins of Adam. Therefore, the angels, according to those seven passages in the Koran, prostrated themselves before Adam. The divine nature of the incarnate God came from God the Father. Jesus said that He proceeded forth and came from God. (John 8:42) The procession of the Son from the Father is called “being begotten.” This is theological language. It should not be interpreted literally. God never had sex with anyone. Jesus’ divine nature had an origin, but no beginning. His human nature has both an origin and a beginning. The two natures were joined together inseparably without division, mixture, or change into one Person. Therefore, Jesus could say to the Jews:

“Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad.” Then the Jews said to Him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have You seen Abraham?” Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.” (John 8:56-58, NKJV)

The Koran truly confirms whatever Scripture was before it. (Koran 5:48) The angels prostrating themselves before Adam is a theological statement that God would one day assume a human nature from one of Adam’s descendants. This already happened nine months before the birth of Jesus in about 5 B.C. (His birth was in 4 B.C.)

 

 

 

Advertisements
Categories: Islam Tags: , , , , , ,

He Hit the Nail Flat Square on the Head

May 14, 2017 Leave a comment

I discovered this video on Youtube. It was posted a couple of years ago. In it the Islamic scholar, Shabir Ally, tells about the source of Islamic extremism. I want to share the video here. I think that he “hit the nail flat square on the head.” This is the problem and the reason why so many professing Muslims resort to barbaric extremism.

I have been reading and studying the Koran. It is really quite benign. Of course, there are some passages which could be interpreted as encouraging war, but only if one cherry picks verses out of the context of the passage and does not look at what is being said in its historical context. Actually, the Koran encourages people to live in peace with each other. There is no commandment in the Koran to force people to accept Islam. There is no commandment in the Koran to mutilate a young girl’s genitals. There is no commandment in the Koran to kill someone in order to preserve one’s family’s honor. There is no commandment in the Koran to stone anyone to death for committing adultery or fornication. There is really no commandment in the Koran to kill an apostate, but some people cherry pick a verse or two from the Koran to support the practice. Looking at those verses in the context of the passages in which they occur and looking at what the rest of the Koran says, no one should be put to death for apostatizing from Islam.

I have already written some blogs on many of these subjects.

The problem is those hearsay hadiths written down over 200 years after Muhammad died. People have been using that massive collection of hearsay to formulate Sharia law and interpret the Koran. The classical tafsirs (Koranic commentators) have relied on those hearsay hadiths. Shabir said that in the videos.

Many of those hadiths (short stories about Muhammad and quotes of sayings allegedly attributed to him) contradict the teachings of the Koran and the Bible.

Scrap the hearsay and you have a much more pleasant version of the religion.

Leaving the Straight Path

March 3, 2017 Leave a comment

One of the petitions in the Fatihah — a prayer prayed frequently by Muslims — is “Guide us to the straight path.” (Koran 1:5) Unfortunately, many Muslims have disobeyed the teachings of the Koran and have left the straight path — the path to salvation, the path to immortality, the path to Paradise.

I have quoted this verse often in my blogs. I will quote it again here.

O ye who believe! Believe in Allah and His messenger and the Scripture which He hath revealed unto His messenger, and the Scripture which He revealed aforetime. Whoso disbelieveth in Allah and His angels and His Scriptures and His messengers and the Last Day, he verily hath wandered far astray. (Koran 4:136, Pickthall)

The Scripture which God has “revealed aforetime” is the Bible. Muslims ignore the Bible and do not take the time to read it. Many of their religious leaders have told them that the Bible has been corrupted. They have convinced them that the Koran replaces a corrupted Bible when the Koran teaches exactly the opposite. How can someone believe in the Scripture which God has “revealed aforetime” if he never reads it and studies it? Would not God protect this Scripture from corruption if He wanted people to believe it? Koran 4:136 says to believe the Koran and believe the Bible. It does not say believe the Koran only and reject the Bible.

Here is another verse from the Koran which says to believe God’s messengers.

Allah made a covenant of old with the Children of Israel and We raised among them twelve chieftains, and Allah said: Lo! I am with you. If ye establish worship and pay the poor-due, and believe in My messengers and support them, and lend unto Allah a kindly loan, surely I shall remit your sins, and surely I shall bring you into Gardens underneath which rivers flow. Whoso among you disbelieveth after this will go astray from a plain road. (Koran 5:12, Pickthall)

The Children of Israel were required to believe God’s messengers. Whoever disbelieved them went “astray from a plain road.” In the Koran, it says that the Torah — the first five books of the Bible — is “a light and guidance for mankind.”

And they measure not the power of Allah its true measure when they say: Allah hath naught revealed unto a human being. Say (unto the Jews who speak thus): Who revealed the Book which Moses brought, a light and guidance for mankind, which ye have put on parchments which ye show, but ye hide much (thereof), and (by which) ye were taught that which ye knew not yourselves nor (did) your fathers (know it)? Say: Allah. Then leave them to their play of cavilling. (Koran 6:92, Pickthall)

Since every Muslim is a member of mankind, the Torah is, therefore, a light and guidance for him, too. When he rejects the Torah, he rejects God’s revelation. The Koran says:

And they who disbelieve and deny Our revelations, such are rightful owners of hell. (Koran 5:10, Pickthall)

The Koran says that the Torah and the Gospel are “a guidance to mankind.”

He hath revealed unto thee (Muhammad) the Scripture with truth, confirming that which was (revealed) before it, even as He revealed the Torah and the Gospel aforetime, for a guidance to mankind; and hath revealed the Criterion (of right and wrong). Lo! those who disbelieve the revelations of Allah, theirs will be a heavy doom. Allah is Mighty, Able to Requite (the wrong). (Koran 3:3,4, Pickthall)

It  says that in the Gospel there is “guidance and a light.”

And We caused Jesus, son of Mary, to follow in their footsteps, confirming that which was (revealed) before Him in the Torah, and We bestowed on Him the Gospel wherein is guidance and a light, confirming that which was (revealed) before it in the Torah – a guidance and an admonition unto those who ward off (evil). (Koran 5:46, Pickthall)

The Koran cautions people about disbelieving Jesus’ disciples.

(They said:) We wish to eat thereof, that we may satisfy our hearts and know that thou hast spoken truth to us, and that thereof we may be witnesses. Jesus, son of Mary, said: O Allah, Lord of us! Send down for us a table spread with food from heaven, that it may be a feast for us, for the first of us and for the last of us, and a sign from Thee. Give us sustenance, for Thou art the Best of Sustainers. Allah said: Lo! I send it down for you. And whoso disbelieveth of you afterward, him surely will I punish with a punishment wherewith I have not punished any of (My) creatures. (Koran 5:113-115, Pickthall)

Jesus had two groups of disciples, the Twelve and the Seventy. (Matthew 10:2-4; Luke 10:1) Much of the New Testament was written by some of these disciples. The writings of St. Paul were accepted by St. Peter as Scripture.

And consider that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation — as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, has written to you, as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which untaught and unstable people twist to their own destruction, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures. (II Peter 3:15,16, NKJV)

St. Peter was one of the Twelve. (Matthew 10:2)

Jesus said to the Twelve:

He who receives you receives Me, and he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me. (Matthew 10:40, NKJV; see also John 13:20.)

When someone receives the writings of the Twelve, he receives Allah. Jesus told the Seventy:

He who hears you hears Me, he who rejects you rejects Me, and he who rejects Me rejects Him who sent Me. (Luke 10:16, NKJV)

When someone rejects the writings of one of the Seventy, he rejects Allah. St. James, the brother of Jesus, wrote the Epistle of James in the New Testament. He was one of the Seventy.

It is important that one believe all of the messengers of Allah. The Koran says:

Say: Shall We inform you who will be the greatest losers by their works? Those whose effort goeth astray in the life of the world, and yet they reckon that they do good work. Those are they who disbelieve in the revelations of their Lord and in the meeting with Him. Therefor their works are vain, and on the Day of Resurrection We assign no weight to them. That is their reward: hell, because they disbelieved, and made a jest of Our revelations and Our messengers. (Koran 18:104-107, Pickthall)

Those other messengers are those who wrote the books of the Bible. The Koran teaches that people who refuse to believe the Bible will be rewarded with hell.

What has happened is people have misinterpreted verses in the Koran and then looked at the Bible and have seen that the Bible does not teach their interpretation of the Koran. So, they say the Bible has been corrupted.

Here is an example of what I am saying. In the Koran, it says:

And because of their saying: We slew the Messiah, Jesus son of Mary, Allah’s messenger — they slew Him not nor crucified Him, but it appeared so unto them; and lo! those who disagree concerning it are in doubt thereof; they have no knowledge thereof save pursuit of a conjecture; they slew Him not for certain. (Koran 4:157, Pickthall)

The Jews did not slay Jesus. That is true. The Roman soldiers nailed Him to a cross. Jesus said:

Therefore My Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again. No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This command I have received from My Father. (John 10:17,18, NKJV)

No one killed Jesus. He voluntarily laid down His life.

This verse in the Koran appears to contradict what the Bible says, but that is not true. Muslims are supposed to ask an Orthodox Christian when they have doubts about the meaning of a verse in the Koran. (Koran 10:94) Jesus has both a divine nature (John 1:1-4; Koran 4:171) and a human nature (Luke 2:40, 52; Koran 5:75). The two natures are joined together inseparably without division, change, or mixture. He is one Person, not two Persons in one body. His soul and His body are human. The divine essence that permeates His soul and body are divine. Every infinitesimal particle of His divine essence belongs to the Father and the Holy Spirit as well as to Himself. All Three Persons share the same essence, but are distinct Persons. Each Person is God in His entirety, but there is only one God. When Jesus died, His soul left His body, but because of the inseparable union of His humanity with His divinity, He could not stay dead. His soul and body were still joined together outside of space and time. So, He appeared to be dead, but was in fact not dead because of the union of the divine and human natures. The Arabic words translated “but it appeared so to them” could also be translated “but He appeared to them repeatedly.” Those words of the Koran could be talking about His resurrection. After He arose from the dead (in space and time), He appeared to His disciples on many occasions over a forty day period of time. (Acts 1:1-3; I Corinthians 15:3-8)

The Koran confirms the Bible.

And unto thee have We revealed the Scripture with the truth, confirming whatever Scripture was before it, and a watcher over it. (Koran 5:48, Pickthall)

It does not contradict it. Any interpretation of the Koran that contradicts the Bible is a misinterpretation.

It is because of these misinterpretations of the Koran that many Muslim religious leaders have formed the opinion that the Bible has been corrupted. There are variant readings among the manuscripts of the Bible. There are manuscripts of the Bible which predate the birth of Muhammad by two hundred or three hundred years. Those manuscripts say that Jesus died on a cross and arose from the dead on the third day. They do not teach the things those who misinterpret Koran 4:157 say. There are variant readings among the manuscripts of the Koran, too. There are at least 26 different Arabic versions of the Koran. We Christians do not let the textual variants affect our faith. We accept them and try to reach the true meaning of a Biblical text by comparing them and studying them. No major doctrine of Orthodox Christianity has been undermined by the textual variants in the Bible.

Muslims need to obey the Koran and believe the Bible. Those who reject the Bible have “wandered far astray” and will be rewarded by Allah with hell. That is what the Koran teaches. By rejecting the Bible and disbelieving those other messengers of Allah, Muslims reject the straight path for which they pray in the Fatihah.

I have watched videos on Youtube where Muslim sheiks and imams talk about various religious topics. They say, “The prophet (peace be upon him) said…” They never say what the other prophets said. What about Micah, Amos, Isaiah, Samuel, David, Solomon? Why do they never quote them? If you reject those other prophets, you are not on the straight path. The Koran is like the final summary paragraph of an essay. By accepting only the Koran, you have omitted the body of the essay. The Bible provides more detail than the Koran does. The Koran speaks about the creation of man, but the Bible gives more detail which is important to know.

So, stay on the straight path and do not be a Muslim without a Bible. Islam without the Bible is not genuine Islam.

Interpreting the Koran

February 19, 2017 Leave a comment

In this blog post, I want to provide some principles of interpretation for interpreting the Koran. I have already been interpreting the Koran in many of my blogs. Now, I want to provide my readers with those basic principles that I use to understand the Holy Book of Islam.

The Koran was originally written in Arabic script without any vowels. The vowels were added later. I think that it is important, therefore, to examine the Arabic text and see how certain Arabic words in the Koran are used in other passages. I use corpus.quran.com to examine and analyze the Arabic text. There are, however, at least 26 different Arabic versions of the Koran. So, I am only able to examine the text used on that website and not any of the other 25 versions. There is another site on the internet that helps one to learn Arabic for free: arabic.speak7.com.

The Koran itself provides some principles of interpretation. It says that it is “fully explained.”

Shall I seek other than Allah for judge, when He it is Who hath revealed unto you (this) Scripture, fully explained? Those unto whom We gave the Scripture (aforetime) know that it is revealed from thy Lord in truth. So be not thou (O Muhammad) of the waverers. (Koran 6:114, Pickthall)

It also says that there are some passages which are figurative or allegorical.

He it is Who hath revealed unto thee (Muhammad) the Scripture wherein are clear revelations – they are the substance of the Book – and others (which are) allegorical. But those in whose hearts is doubt pursue, forsooth, that which is allegorical seeking (to cause) dissension by seeking to explain it. None knoweth its explanation save Allah. And those who are of sound instruction say: We believe therein; the whole is from our Lord; but only men of understanding really heed. (Koran 3:7, Pickthall)

So, one needs to discern the figurative passages from the clear ones.

The Koran teaches us to believe the Bible. The Koran tells us that the Torah is “a light and guidance for mankind.”

And they measure not the power of Allah its true measure when they say: Allah hath naught revealed unto a human being. Say (unto the Jews who speak thus): Who revealed the Book which Moses brought, a light and guidance for mankind, which ye have put on parchments which ye show, but ye hide much (thereof), and (by which) ye were taught that which ye knew not yourselves nor (did) your fathers (know it)? Say: Allah. Then leave them to their play of cavilling. (Koran 6:92, Pickthall)

It says that in the Gospel is “guidance and light.”

And We sent, following in their footsteps, Jesus, the son of Mary, confirming that which came before him in the Torah; and We gave him the Gospel, in which was guidance and light and confirming that which preceded it of the Torah as guidance and instruction for the righteous. (Koran 5:46, Sahih International)

It says that both the Torah and the Gospel are “a guidance for mankind.”

He hath revealed unto thee (Muhammad) the Scripture with truth, confirming that which was (revealed) before it, even as He revealed the Torah and the Gospel aforetime, for a guidance to mankind; and hath revealed the Criterion (of right and wrong). Lo! those who disbelieve the revelations of Allah, theirs will be a heavy doom. Allah is mighty, able to requite (the wrong). (Koran 3:3,4, Pickthall)

It says that people who reject the Bible have wandered far astray and are disbelievers in truth.

O ye who believe! Believe in Allah and His messenger and the Scripture which He hath revealed unto His messenger, and the Scripture which He revealed aforetime. Whoso disbelieveth in Allah and His angels and His Scriptures and His messengers and the Last Day, he verily hath wandered far astray. (Koran 4:136, Pickthall)

Lo! those who disbelieve in Allah and His messengers, and seek to make distinction between Allah and His messengers, and say: We believe in some and disbelieve in others, and seek to choose a way in between; such are disbelievers in truth; and for disbelievers We prepare a shameful doom. But those who believe in Allah and His messengers and make no distinction between any of them, unto them Allah will give their wages; and Allah was ever Forgiving, Merciful.(Koran 4:150-152, Pickthall)

It says that the People of the Scripture (the Jews and Christians) should observe the Torah, the Gospel, and the rest of the Bible.

Say O People of the Scripture! Ye have naught (of guidance) till ye observe the Torah and the Gospel and that which was revealed unto you from your Lord. That which is revealed unto thee (Muhammad) from thy Lord is certain to increase the contumacy and disbelief of many of them. But grieve not for the disbelieving folk. (Koran 5:68, Pickthall)

The Koran says that those who disbelieve Jesus’ disciples will be severely punished in the afterlife.

(They said:) We wish to eat thereof, that we may satisfy our hearts and know that Thou hast spoken truth to us, and that thereof we may be witnesses. Jesus, son of Mary, said: O Allah, Lord of us! Send down for us a table spread with food from heaven, that it may be a feast for us, for the first of us and for the last of us, and a sign from Thee. Give us sustenance, for Thou art the Best of Sustainers. Allah said: Lo! I send it down for you. And whoso disbelieveth of you afterward, him surely will I punish with a punishment wherewith I have not punished any of (My) creatures. (Koran 5:113-115, Pickthall)

The writings of Jesus’ disciples are in the New Testament.

The Koran says that Muhammad and his followers accepted the Bible.

Say (O Muhammad): We believe in Allah and that which is revealed unto us and that which was revealed unto Abraham and Ishmael and Isaac and Jacob and the tribes, and that which was vouchsafed unto Moses and Jesus and the prophets from their Lord. We make no distinction between any of them, and unto Him we have surrendered. (Koran 3:84, Pickthall)

Say: O People of the Scripture! Do ye blame us for aught else than that we believe in Allah and that which is revealed unto us and that which was revealed aforetime, and because most of you are evil-livers? (Koran 5:59, Pickthall)

And argue not with the People of the Scripture unless it be in (a way) that is better, save with such of them as do wrong; and say: We believe in that which hath been revealed unto us and revealed unto you; our Allah and your Allah is One, and unto Him we surrender. (Koran 29:46, Pickthall)

Therefore call thou, and go straight as thou hast been commanded; do not follow their caprices. And say: “I believe in whatever Book God has sent down; I have been commanded to be just between you. God is our Lord and your Lord. We have our deeds, and you have your deeds; there is no argument between us and you; God shall bring us together, and unto Him is the homecoming.” (Koran 42:15, Arberry)

There are those who say that the Bible has been corrupted and cannot be trusted. The Koran, however, says:

The word of thy Lord doth find its fulfilment in truth and in justice: none can change His words: for He is the one who heareth and knoweth all. (Koran 6:115, Yusuf Ali)

For them are glad tidings, in the life of the present and in the Hereafter; no change can there be in the words of Allah. This is indeed the supreme felicity. (Koran 10:64, Yusuf Ali)

And recite (and teach) what has been revealed to thee of the Book of thy Lord: none can change His Words, and none wilt thou find as a refuge other than Him. (Koran 18:27, Yusuf Ali)

Even the Bible itself it says:

But the word of the Lord endureth forever. (I Peter 1: 25, KJV; see also Isaiah 40:8.)

The Koran confirms the Bible. It does not contradict it.

He hath revealed unto thee (Muhammad) the Scripture with truth, confirming that which was (revealed) before it. (Koran 3:3, Pickthall)

And unto thee have We revealed the Scripture with the truth, confirming whatever Scripture was before it, and a watcher over it. (Koran 5:48, Pickthall)

Muhammad did not receive any new doctrines in his revelations.

Nothing is said to thee that was not said to the messengers before thee: that thy lord has at his Command (all) forgiveness as well as a most Grievous Penalty. (Koran 41:43, Yusuf Ali)

Say: “I am not an innovation among the Messengers, and I know not what shall be done with me or with you. I only follow what is revealed to me; I am only a clear warner.” (Koran 46:9, Arberry)

So, the Koran essentially contains the same message as that of the Bible. Any interpretation of the Koran that contradicts the teachings of the Bible is a false interpretation. So, those who interpret the Koran to mean that Jesus did not die on a cross and arise from the dead on the third day are misinterpreting it. The Koran teaches us to believe the Gospel and not to reject it.

The Koran does not contain contradictions.

Then do they not reflect upon the Qur’an? If it had been from [any] other than Allah , they would have found within it much contradiction. (Koran 4:82, Sahih International)

Therefore, passages that appear to contradict each other must be examined in the light of other passages in the Koran and the Bible in order to better understand them. The so-called contradictions need to be “reconciled.” We Christians do this sort of thing with the Bible quite frequently. For example, compare Romans 3:28 with James 2:24. The two verses appear to contradict each other but we “reconcile”the “contradiction” by saying that genuine faith is manifested by a life of good works.

Whenever the Koran talks about Christian beliefs, it does not restrict itself to only Orthodox Christian doctrines. It frequently condemns various heretical beliefs, such as, Tritheism, Bitheism, Adoptionism, Sabellianism, and the Maryamite heresy. Orthodox Christians are called believers in the Koran. (Koran 30:2-5; 85:7) The Koran recognizes the existence of the different sects among Christians.

The sects among them differ: but woe unto the disbelievers from the meeting of an awful Day. (Koran 19:37, Pickthall)

But sects from among themselves fell into disagreement: then woe to the wrong-doers, from the Penalty of a Grievous Day! (Koran 43:65, Yusuf Ali)

Verses of  the Koran need to be interpreted in their historical context and in the context of the passage in which they occur. For example, in Koran 5:33 it says:

The only reward of those who make war upon Allah and His messenger and strive after corruption in the land will be that they will be killed or crucified, or have their hands and feet on alternate sides cut off, or will be expelled out of the land. Such will be their degradation in the world, and in the Hereafter theirs will be an awful doom. (Koran 5:33, Pickthall)

This verse is talking about what will happen to the polytheists who wage war against the Muslims in the seventh century. It is not talking about the types of punishments to be inflicted upon criminals. People fought with swords in ancient times. So, some of the polytheists who attacked the Muslims would lose their hands and feet in battle. Another example is the infamous “Sword Verse.”

Then, when the sacred months have passed, slay the idolaters wherever ye find them, and take them (captive), and besiege them, and prepare for them each ambush. But if they repent and establish worship and pay the poor-due, then leave their way free. Lo! Allah is Forgiving, Merciful. (Koran 9:5, Pickthall)

In the verse which comes immediately after this one, we can see that the purpose of the war was not to force Islamic monotheism on the idolaters.

And if anyone of the idolaters seeketh thy protection (O Muhammad), then protect him so that he may hear the Word of Allah, and afterward convey him to his place of safety. That is because they are a folk who know not. (Koran 9:6, Pickthall)

All that an idolater seeking the protection of the Muslims was required to do was to hear the Word of Allah. He was not required to accept it.

In verses 12and 13 of this surah, it says:

And if they break their pledges after their treaty (hath been made with you) and assail your religion, then fight the heads of disbelief – Lo! they have no binding oaths – in order that they may desist. Will ye not fight people who violated their oaths, plotted to expel the Messenger, and took the aggressive by being the first (to assault) you? Do ye fear them? Nay, it is Allah Whom ye should more justly fear, if ye believe! (Koran 9:12,13, Pickthall)

The war that was being waged against the idolaters was a defensive one. So, the “Sword Verse” (Koran 9:5) is not a commandment to engage in offensive military jihad. The war the Muslims was fighting was started by the idolaters who broke their treaties and attacked the Muslims first.

Another principle for interpreting the Koran is found in the Tenth Surah.

And if thou (Muhammad) art in doubt concerning that which We reveal unto thee, then question those who read the Scripture (that was) before thee. Verily the Truth from thy Lord hath come unto thee. So be not thou of the waverers. (Koran 10:94, Pickthall)

I think the best way to apply this principle is to study the writings of the Church Fathers and Ecumenical Church Councils. There are many passages in the Koran which are very similar to those in the Bible. Look at how the Church Fathers and Ecumenical Church Councils interpreted such passages.

Then, there is the principle of abrogation. This principle is found in the Second Surah.

None of Our revelations do We abrogate or cause to be forgotten, but We substitute something better or similar: Knowest thou not that Allah Hath power over all things? (Koran 2:106, Yusuf Ali)

An abrogating revelation is either better than or similar to the abrogated one. So, for example, this verse in the Fifth Surah cannot be possibly interpreted literally.

As for the thief, both male and female, cut off their hands. It is the reward of their own deeds, an exemplary punishment from Allah. Allah is Mighty, Wise. (Koran 5:38, Pickthall)

It is not similar to any revelation found in the Bible regarding punishing thieves. The Bible says that thieves must pay back what they have stolen plus restitution. (Exodus 22:1-15; Leviticus 6:2-7) It is not better than any revelation found in the Bible either, because it creates a class of handicapped individuals who need others to help  take care of them. Furthermore, a person’s hand is worth far more than anything he could have stolen. So, a literal interpretation of this verse must be a false one. The verse must be interpreted figuratively. In another place in the Koran the verb translated “cut off” in this verse is translated “obstruct.”

Indeed, you approach men and obstruct the road and commit in your meetings [every] evil.” And the answer of his people was not but they said, “Bring us the punishment of Allah , if you should be of the truthful.” (Koran 29:29, Sahih International)

So, the verse should be translated:

As for the thief, both male and female, obstruct their hands. It is the reward of their own deeds, an exemplary punishment from Allah. Allah is Mighty, Wise.

This can be done by some form of detention or imprisonment. Since the Koran teaches the same message as the Bible, the thief should still be required to pay back what he stole plus restitution.

I used three principles of interpretation in determining the correct meaning of this verse.

The Koran is a very good book. It contains a lot of truths. It needs to be rightly understood and interpreted by those who read it. All of the misinterpretations of this book have produced Pseudo-Islamic extremism and violence in the name of Islam. I also think that it is unfortunate that so many critics of the book have never attempted to really understand it and interpret it the way I have. They quote verses from the Koran out of context, like the “Sword Verse,” for example. They quote the book’s denunciation of Christian heresies as if Muhammad were attacking some of the most basic doctrines of traditional Christianity when in fact he was calling Orthodox Christians believers. (Koran 30:2-5; 85:7) It was the teachings of the heretical Arians, Paulinianists, Nestorians, Tritheists, Maryamites, and Sabellians that he rejected. He rejected the idea that Jesus is another God in addition to the true God. He rejected the idea that all three hypostases of the Deity are Jesus. He did not reject the Orthodox Christian doctrine of the Trinity. The Word of Allah is a different hypostasis of God from the Father and the Holy Spirit, but not a different God. All Three are one and the same God. Jesus is the Word of Allah incarnate. (Koran 4:171) The Word of Allah is Allah. (John 1:1-4) The Koran tells us to believe the words of Jesus’ disciple, St. John the Theologian. (Koran 5:113-115) So, the Koran does not teach some doctrines which are contrary to those of Orthodox Christianity.

I hope that these principles of interpretation help someone to better understand the Koran.

An Exegesis of Those Three Koran Verses Every Woman Should Know

October 28, 2016 Leave a comment

There is another video that David Wood has produced. It is about the Koran’s teaching regarding women. I do not know what percentage of Muslims in the world interpret the verses in his video the way he does, but I am going to provide here my interpretation. The verses from the Koran which I wish to discuss are: 2:223, 2:282, and 4:34.

I think that one of the problems with Islam, generally speaking, is the interpretation of the Koran and not the Koran itself. Muslims have allowed the Koran to replace the Bible. The Koran claims to confirm the Bible, not to replace it. (Koran 3:3,4; 5:48; 10:38; 41:43) Those Muslims who have discarded the Bible have disobeyed the teachings of the Koran regarding the Bible. Unlike the first generation Muslims who “believed all the Scripture” (Koran 3:119) and received the Scriptures of the Jews and Christians (Koran 29:46; 42:15), they have rejected the Bible, thus becoming “disbelievers in truth” and have “wandered far astray.” (Koran 4:136,150,151) They believe what their religious leaders tell them without ever doing any research to verify if what they are being told is indeed true in contradiction of what the Koran clearly teaches them not to do.

And pursue not that of which thou hast no knowledge; for every act of hearing, or of seeing or of (feeling in) the heart will be enquired into (on the Day of Reckoning). (Koran 17:36, Yusuf Ali)

The sheikhs and imams tell them that the Bible has been corrupted and can no longer be trusted, but the Koran says that the Bible manuscripts which existed in the seventh century were believed and received by Muhammad and the Muslim community. It tells Christians to “judge by the Gospel.” (Koran 5:47) There are manuscripts of the New Testament which date back to the fourth century. There are fragments of New Testament manuscripts which date back to the second century. The Christians of Muhammad’s day used the Greek Septuagint. There are fourth century manuscripts of this Greek translation of the Old Testament in existence today. There are textual variants among the ancient manuscripts of the Bible. I do not deny that. As for textual variants in the Koran, there are at least 26 different Arabic versions of the Koran. See my blog, Shame on the Imams and Islamic Scholars!

In order to properly understand the Koran, therefore, one must also read and study the Bible.

It is not (possible) for any human being unto whom Allah had given the Scripture and wisdom and the prophethood that he should afterwards have said unto mankind: Be slaves of me instead of Allah; but (what he said was): Be ye faithful servants of the Lord by virtue of your constant teaching of the Scripture and of your constant study thereof. (Koran 3:79, Pickthall)

Before I begin the exegesis of these three verses from the Koran, watch David Wood’s video.

The first verse he comments on in the video is Koran 2:282, but I will start by discussing Koran 2:223 first.

Your women are a tilth for you (to cultivate) so go to your tilth as ye will, and send (good deeds) before you for your souls, and fear Allah, and know that ye will (one day) meet Him. Give glad tidings to believers, (O Muhammad). (Koran 2:223, Pickthall)

The way David Wood interprets this verse it would seem that Muhammad wanted men to treat their wives like sex toys that they can pick up, play with, and put down whenever they please. He quotes hadiths written down over 200 years after Muhammad died. Muhammad died in 632. Maybe Muhammad did say those things, but I still question the authenticity of all of those hadiths. I have been told by my grandparents and parents about some things that my great-grandparents have said and done, but I cannot produce an entire encyclopedia of their deeds and actions based on what little I have been told about them. The compilers of those hadiths have allegedly done that 200 to 300 years after Muhammad died. Among the Sunni Muslims, the most important collections of hadiths are the compilations by Bukhari (810-870) and Muslim (815-875). Realistically speaking, these compilations of hadiths are really a massive collection of hearsay. So, I do not give much credence to them. I do not think that David Wood should give much credence to them either.

To me, it does not matter much which sexual position a man assumes with his wife. I think that anal sex and oral sex are disgusting, but whether it is sex from behind, in front, or the woman lying on her back is a matter for them decide between themselves.

Since Muslims are supposed to accept the Bible as well as the Koran, this passage from St. Paul’s First Epistle to the Corinthians is relevant here.

1 Now concerning the things of which you wrote to me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman. 2 Nevertheless, because of sexual immorality, let each man have his own wife, and let each woman have her own husband. 3 Let the husband render to his wife the affection due her, and likewise also the wife to her husband. 4 The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. And likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. 5 Do not deprive one another except with consent for a time, that you may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again so that Satan does not tempt you because of your lack of self-control. (I Corinthians 7:1-5, NKJV)

A man has authority of his wife’s body and a woman has authority over her husband’s body. A woman, therefore, has just as much right to request sex from her husband as a man has to request sex from his wife. I think that the Koran is saying essentially the same thing in this verse.

O mankind! Be careful of your duty to your Lord Who created you from a single soul and from it created its mate and from them twain hath spread abroad a multitude of men and women. Be careful of your duty toward Allah in Whom ye claim (your rights) of one another, and toward the wombs (that bare you). Lo! Allah hath been a watcher over you. (Koran 4:1, Pickthall)

“Be careful of your duty toward Allah in Whom ye claim (your rights) of one another.” A man claims his sexual rights from his wife in God. A woman, likewise, claims her sexual rights from her husband in God. The Koran teaches that men and women have similar rights, but a man is a degree above his wife.

Women who are divorced shall wait, keeping themselves apart, three (monthly) courses. And it is not lawful for them that they should conceal that which Allah hath created in their wombs if they are believers in Allah and the Last Day. And their husbands would do better to take them back in that case if they desire a reconciliation. 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. (Koran 2:228, Pickthall)

The Bible teaches equality of the sexes, too.

26 For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. 27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise. (Galatians 3:26-29, NKJV)

Both men and women who believe in Jesus Christ and have been baptized are “one in Christ Jesus,” “Abraham’s seed,” and “heirs according to the promise.”

God in the Bible states that both believing men and believing women are “heirs of the kingdom” in the afterlife in Galatians 3:29 and in this verse from St. Peter’s First Epistle.

Husbands, likewise, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered. (I Peter 3:7, NKJV)

In the Koran, it says that believing women will be rewarded in the afterlife, just as believing men will be rewarded.

And do not covet that by which Allah has made some of you excel others; men shall have the benefit of what they earn and women shall have the benefit of what they earn; and ask Allah of His grace; surely Allah knows all things. (Koran 4:32, Shakir)

Both men and women will have what their “souls desire” and what their “eyes find sweet.”

Enter the Garden, ye and your wives, to be made glad. Therein are brought round for them trays of gold and goblets, and therein is all that souls desire and eyes find sweet. And ye are immortal therein. (Koran 43:70,71, Pickthall)

The Bible also teaches that the man is “a degree above” his wife.

But I want you to know that the head of every man is Christ, the head of woman is man, and the head of Christ is God. (I Corinthians 11:3, NKJV)

So, I disagree with David Wood regarding his interpretation of Koran 2:223. The Koran says that women have similar rights to those of men, but a woman’s husband is a degree above her. A woman has just as much right to her husband’s body as her husband has a right to hers according to both the Koran and the Bible. As for “rough sex,” the Koran tells men to live with their wives in kindness. (Koran 4:19) That means that a man should not abuse his wife sexually or in any other way.

The first verse he comments on is the next one I will discuss. It is also from the Second Surah, Koran 2:282.

O ye who believe! When ye contract a debt for a fixed term, record it in writing. Let a scribe record it in writing between you in (terms of) equity. No scribe should refuse to write as Allah hath taught him, so let him write, and let him who incurreth the debt dictate, and let him observe his duty to Allah his Lord, and diminish naught thereof. But if he who oweth the debt is of low understanding, or weak, or unable himself to dictate, then let the guardian of his interests dictate in (terms of) equity. And call to witness, from among your men, two witnesses. And if two men be not (at hand) then a man and two women, of such as ye approve as witnesses, so that if the one erreth (through forgetfulness) the other will remember. And the witnesses must not refuse when they are summoned. Be not averse to writing down (the contract) whether it be small or great, with (record of) the term thereof. That is more equitable in the sight of Allah and more sure for testimony, and the best way of avoiding doubt between you; save only in the case when it is actual merchandise which ye transfer among yourselves from hand to hand. In that case it is no sin for you if ye write it not. And have witnesses when ye sell one to another, and let no harm be done to scribe or witness. If ye do (harm to them) lo! it is a sin in you. Observe your duty to Allah. Allah is teaching you. And Allah is knower of all things. (Koran 2:282, Pickthall)

Here, in this passage, it takes two women to equal the witness of one man. One must remember that this was written in the seventh century. Arab women in the seventh century were not well-educated and were treated very poorly by men. Islam was bringing to the Arab world a higher standard for the treatment of women. So, due to the lack of education that women had then, it would have been wise to require two witnesses in lieu of every man’s witness in a business transaction.

As for the valuation of women in respect to men, look at this passage from the Old Testament Septuagint.

1 And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 2 Speak to the children of Israel, and thou shalt say to them, Whosoever shall vow a vow as the valuation of his soul for the Lord, 3 the valuation of a male from twenty years old to sixty years old shall be — his valuation shall be fifty didrachms of silver by the standard of the sanctuary. 4 And the valuation of a female shall be thirty didrachms. 5 And if it be from five years old to twenty, the valuation of a male shall be twenty didrachms, and of a female ten didrachms. 6 And from a month old to five years old, the valuation of a male shall be five didrachms, and of a female, three didrachms of silver. 7 And if from sixty year old and upward, if it be a male, his valuation shall be fifteen didrachms of silver, and if a female, ten didrachms. (Leviticus 27:1-7, LXX)

A woman, according to this text, is valued at three-fifths the value of a man if she is between twenty and sixty years of age (vs. 3,4), at half the value of a man if she is between five and twenty years of age (v. 5), at three-fifths the value of a man if she is between a month old and five years old (v. 6), and at two-thirds the value of a man if she is sixty years old or older (v.7).

This Old Testament law was abrogated by the coming of Christ. So, we no longer observe it. It applied to the children of Israel and not to the descendants of Esau or any others who may have been worshipers of the one true God at that time. (Job was a descendant of Esau.) The law was temporary. The commandment in Koran 2:282, likewise, applies to seventh century Arab women, but not to twenty-first century educated women. That is my opinion. (I do not care what the hadiths say. They are largely just a collection of hearsay.)

The last verse he comments on is Koran 4:34.

Men are in charge of women, because Allah hath made the one of them to excel the other, and because they spend of their property (for the support of women). So good women are the obedient, guarding in secret that which Allah hath guarded. As for those from whom ye fear rebellion, admonish them and banish them to beds apart, and scourge them. Then if they obey you, seek not a way against them. Lo! Allah is ever High, Exalted, Great. (Koran 4:34, Pickthall)

Here it says that “men are in charge of women.”  Muhammad Sarwar translates the Arabic here: “Men are the protectors of women.” That is probably a better translation. However, the concept of a man being in charge of his wife is also taught in the Bible.

But I want you to know that the head of every man is Christ, the head of woman is man, and the head of Christ is God. (I Corinthians 11:3, NKJV)

“Good women are the obedient.”  The Bible teaches the same thing.

22 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the Church; and He is the Savior of the body. 24 Therefore, just as the Church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything. (Ephesians 5:22-24, NKJV)

1 Wives, likewise, be submissive to your own husbands, that even if some do not obey the Word, they, without a word, may be won by the conduct of their wives, 2 when they observe your chaste conduct accompanied by fear. 3 Do not let your adornment be merely outward — arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel —  4 rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God. 5 For in this manner, in former times, the holy women who trusted in God also adorned themselves, being submissive to their own husbands, 6 as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord, whose daughters you are if you do good and are not afraid with any terror. (I Peter 3:1-6, NKJV)

The Koran teaches that men should live with their wives in kindness (Koran 4:19) and are over their wives in kindness (Koran 2:228). It also says:

And of His signs is this: He created for you helpmeets from yourselves that ye might find rest in them, and He ordained between you love and mercy. Lo! herein indeed are portents for folk who reflect. (Koran 30:21, Pickthall)

The Koran says that God ordained between a man and his wife “love and mercy.” The Bible teaches the same thing.

25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the Church and gave Himself for her, 26 that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, 27 that He might present her to Himself a glorious Church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. 28 So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the Church. 30 For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones. 31 “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” 32 This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the Church. 33 Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband. (Ephesians 5:25-33, NKJV)

3 the older women likewise, that they be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things —  4 that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, 5 to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed. (Titus 2:3-5, NKJV)

34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. 35 By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another. (John 13:34,35, NKJV)

Therefore be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful. (Luke 6:36, NKJV)

The part of this verse that David Wood focuses on is the latter part of the verse.

As for those from whom ye fear rebellion, admonish them and banish them to beds apart, and scourge them. Then if they obey you, seek not a way against them. Lo! Allah is ever High, Exalted, Great. (Koran 4:34, Pickthall)

The Koran says that a man should admonish his wife if he thinks that she will be rebellious and “banish them to beds apart.” In other words, stop sleeping with a rebellious wife. It also says to “scourge them.” The word translated “scourge” is the Arabic word, iḍ’ribū. It is translated “strike” as when Moses struck the rock in the wilderness and water gushed out and in other places in the Koran it is translated “set forth.” It most probably means in this verse to strike the rebellious wife, but not repeatedly as in a fist-fight. In order to accurately understand what this verse is teaching, one must keep in mind all of the other teachings in the Bible and in the Koran regarding how a man should live with his wife. He must strike her lovingly, mercifully, and in kindness. That is to say, one should tap her gently thus expressing non-verbally his displeasure with her behavior. Mohsin Khan and Yusuf Ali translated this word “beat” and add in parentheses “lightly.” I think that based upon all of the other teachings in the Bible and the Koran, this verse is telling a man to “tap his wife lightly” if she is rebellious, but not to beat her to a pulp. “Men are the protectors of women.” They are not supposed to be abusers of women.

Anyway, it is as I have said many times before, the problem is the interpretation of the sacred texts and not the texts themselves. If there are Muslims who are interpreting the Koran the way David Wood does, they are in just as much error as he is in interpreting it.