Turning Point is a community based, non-profit organization addressing the needs of Muslim women and children through crisis intervention, individual and group counseling, advocacy, outreach, education and training.
Laleh Bakhtiar, first American women to translate Quran;
This first ever English translation of the Quran by an American woman is unique in many ways. First of all, it is formatted as the Quran (meaning “Recitation”) was received in oral transmission and not as it is read in book format. Secondly, the translator uses formal equivalency for the first time in a translation of the Quran. She uses a scientific method in translation, the same method used for the most part in the translation of the King James Version (KJV) of the Bible. Her approach to translation is logical and uniquely different from the other translators because she uses reason. The existing translations of verse 4:34 extremely disturbed her. Where, according to conventional translations, “husbands who fear adversity on the part of their wives, first admonish them, then leave their bed,” and, finally, as a last resort, ”beat them.” The translator uses three arguments for why the interpretation of this word must revert to the Sunnah of the Prophet, peace and the mercy of God be upon him. 1. He never beat women even though the verb is a verb of a command. 2. The Arabic word has more than 25 meanings so why chose a meaning that is not in accord with the Sunnah of the Prophet. One of its meanings is “to go away” and this is exactly what the Prophet did when he faced difficulties with his wives in submission to God, as if to say: “God, you know I have tried everything and nothing has worked. I leave it up to Thee.” 3. The strongest argument that proves the word has been misunderstood is based on the following reasoning: Islam promotes marriage. The Prophet said: Marriage is half of faith. While divorce is allowed, it is considered to be deploarable. Every effort is to be made to hold a marriage together. The translator read verse 2:231. The Quran says that if a woman wants a divorce, her husband must not harm (injure, hurt, or use force) her. He must set her free in an honorable way. Using the reasoning of this verse, if a woman wants a divorce, her husband cannot do anything physical to prevent her from getting a divorce. Yet if she wants to stay married, he can beat her according to the interpretation of 4:34. This is clear, logical evidence that the word “to beat” has been misinterpreted. What woman would chose the option to stay married and be beaten rather than ask for a divorce and not be harmed. For further information see www.sublimequran.org While this translation was done by an American woman, it is not to create a gender divide, but to bring husbands and wives together in a better understanding of their relationship as complements to one another.