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The Problems of Conscience and Hermeneutics: A Few Contemporary Approaches

Issue: Vol 2 No. 2 (2006)

Journal: Comparative Islamic Studies

Subject Areas: Religious Studies Islamic Studies

DOI: 10.1558/cisv2i2.157


This paper surveys the contemporary approaches to the problems of
conscience raised by the verse, exploring modes of resolving the issues
that arise when believing Muslims approach the verse and find its
apparent meaning to violate their pre-existing notions of justice,
notions which are partly informed the by the Qur'anic text itself. It
finds that the prescription of 'hitting' one's wife, as the last of
three mitigating directives when dealing with a woman who embodies the
quality of "nushuz", creates a moment of interruption in the
relationship between the believer and text. Contemporary scholars engage
both text and historical precedent in the present context when
(re)interpreting Qur'an 4:34 and the relative weight given to text and
precedent determines the conclusions of individual arguments.

Author: Ayesha Siddiqua Chaudhry

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