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Issue 3/Volume 1

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Apparent Contradictions
In the Holy Qur'an.
(Part Two.)

Q. ·Why does the Quran mention two kinds of punishment for married women for having an adultery. At one point, it says if a married woman commits an adultery, she must me stoned to death (24:2), and at another verse, it says that the woman must be confined to a house the rest of her life (4:15)

A-
Verse 2 of surah 24 does not mention stoning. In fact there is no verse in the Holy Quran that sanctions it. This verse refers to fornication without specifying if the participants are married or not. It is also saying that this is the punishment for men and women. In 4:15 the crime is lewd behaviour by a woman and the verse concludes with, "Or Allah doth ordain some (other) way." So the implementation of flogging would release them from confinement. So one verse qualifies the other and there is no way to read them as contradictory. Some translators add things that are not there in the Arabic text of the Quran. To insert adultery into the specific meaning of 24:2 there would have to be an indication of the fornicator or fornicatrix being married and there is non. The Fuquha have however said, logically, that for a married person to commit adultery they must commit fornication. Thus single persons are subject to flogging while married persons face a death penalty. In a case in Iran, which caused some protest from groups opposed to death sentences, a female adulteress who had murdered her husband with the lovers help was stoned to death. The man in the case was flogged for fornication and then hanged, presumably for the murder.
Q. ·Verse 21:30 says that heaven and earth were originally one piece then they were ripped apart. But 41:11 says they were originally two and were called to come together.

A-
The confusion here is caused by the addition of the word originally to both verses.  In 21:30 the creation of the components of the universe is discussed.  Allah (swt) makes different forms of matter from one primal source.  A concept that is in accord with particle physics.  In 41:11 Allah (swt) describes how He (swt) made these different parts of creation work together, whether in apparent conflict or co-operation, to form the material universe that we see around us.  A system of attractions and repulsions explained by Newtonian physics.  Thus the two verses describe two stages of creation one the creation of divers matter and the second the creation of the laws governing the behaviour of these created things in all situations and levels of creation.

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