Surah IV is an explanation and list of women’s rights pertaining to laws, inheritance and marriage and also touches on families in general. Vss. 19-39 is an important passage because it is the groundwork for marriage and women’s rights in the marriage. There are very specific instructions on how to punish a woman who has acted indecent, when a woman should and should not get her inheritance, whom a man can marry and how a man should treat his wives.
Verse 19 starts the discussion on inheritance and says that if any woman has any act of lewdness, her inheritance must be cut off. There must be four witnesses to testify against her acts of indecency and if there are, the woman must be kept in their house until she dies. It goes onto to say that if both partners act indecent then both parties must be punished. However, if they repent then God will forgive them because he is all-compassionate. God turns to people who do evil deeds out of ignorance and then repent right after. People that continuously do evil deeds and never repent will sufferer a “painful chastiment” that God has prepared for them.
In verses 23-36, there are instructions on how to exchange wives. If a man wants to leave a woman when she has not done anything wrong then she is entitled to the inheritance. She is to be treated honorably because God created good in her and just because a man doesn’t want to be with her anymore does not mean that good is gone. Instructions are again given to give her the entire inheritance, stressing that this is an important instruction from God.
Verses 26-32 are a list of people that a man cannot marry. He is not allowed to marry family members, or women who are already married. However, if a woman is married and is a slave that has been obtained in war, then she is suitable to marry. In order to marry any free women, the fee must be paid and if a man cannot make this payment for a free Muslim woman, he is encouraged to marry a Muslim slave. If the slave woman commits an act of indecency then she should receive half the punishment that a free woman would have received. Lastly, men should wait until they are married to have sexual intercourse. God will steer a man in the “right” direction and if a man gives into lust, it will put him on the “wrong” path.
The Surah continues on with more instructions on how to act. A person shall not be greedy or kill another human being. If a person does that, they will go to Hell and for God that is an easy decision. Simply enough, if no heinous sins are committed, and then a person will be admitted into heaven. A person is not allowed to be jealous or want what others have. God does not favor any person. Everything anyone has, they have earned and God knows who earned what they have and who has not. A person is also required to take care of parents and those very...