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Q 4:24 revisited

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image of Islamic Law and Society

Q 4:24 has presented a challenge to classical exegetes and modern scholars alike. Examining Quranic evidence and the exegetical tradition, this article offers a textual analysis of this verse and suggests a new reading. I argue that the first part of Q 4:24 is an independent sentence; that an erroneous reading of it as a continuation of the previous verse led to the replacement of the original meaning of muhsināt (chaste women) with married women; and that there is a strong case for understanding the second part of the verse as addressing mut'a.

Affiliations: 1: Near Eastern Studies, Princeton University, 110 Jones Hall, Princeton, NJ, 08544


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