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surah_al_nur_by_qureshi_designerzThis post may spark the question – why here, why today?

Well the Ayaat of today is Sural l-nur. 2 which as you read tells the penalty for those men and women who have committed adultery in the time of the Prophet. Pickthall reads ‘adulterer and the adulteress’ other translations word it differently, for instance Arberry has : ‘The fornicatress and the fornicator’ (Arberry seems to be closest -al-zāniyatu-The fornicatress) but the penalty is the same. It is for the good of their souls and to be witnessed by the faithful – as a deterrent?

 

Vayikra – Leviticus – Chapter 20

10And a man who commits adultery with [another] man’s wife, committing adultery with the wife of his fellow the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death. (Complete Jewish Bible with Rashi’s Commentary)1

Prior to the advent of Islam the Torah prescribed death to them both,

Rashi comments:

The adulterer and the adulteress shall be put to death: Wherever a death penalty is mentioned in the Torah without specification [as to the mode of death, it exclusively refers to strangulation. — [Torath Kohanim 20:106, Sanh. 52b]

The Ayaat of the day

Chapter (24) sūrat l-nūr (The Light)

Q24.2

Pickthall: The adulterer and the adulteress, scourge ye each one of them (with) a hundred stripes. And let not pity for the twain withhold you from obedience to Allah, if ye believe in Allah and the Last Day. And let a party of believers witness their punishment.2

St. John’s Gospel

Chapter 8 verses 3 -11

The Woman caught in adultery

3And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst,

4They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act. 5Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou? – where  there are many instances of stoning in the Old Testament but the only mention in the Torah is for sorcery. “Leviticus 20:27

6 This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him.

But Jesus stooped down, and with [his] finger wrote on the ground, [as though he heard them not ].

7So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. 8And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground.

9And they which heard [it], being convicted by [their own] conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, [even] unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.

10When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee?

11 She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.   3

The Scribes and Pharisees brought this woman to Jesus to test Him to see whether he would uphold the Law or not. Jesus says nothing here about not upholding the Law but questions the righteousness of those who would uphold their version of it.

It is curious that they managed to  catch them in the act, well I presume there were two of them, some kind of set up, perhaps and where is he. AND where did Moses say that Adulterers should be stoned. Well, according to my reference above, he didn’t.

Even though it was illegal for Jews to put anyone to death under Roman Law these were going to make a show of it, must have been hoping that they might get their way with Jesus and that he would publicly absolve her and forgive her, i.e act like God. – they hoped for something but not that he appeared willing to allow the righteous to cast the first stone.

Neither did they expect the mysterious cryptic messages written in the sand which told them so much and still leaves us perplexed. Perhaps Jesus wrote for them the correct reference to the Law they misquoted. Were they ready to strangle the woman?

AND not one of them nor us is righteousness enough to pass sentence upon another human being in such an arbitrary manner.

So they were convicted by their own consciences and left Jesus and the woman all alone together, Jesus tells her that neither does he condemn her and to go away and sin no more.

And

Matthew 5:27,28

Adultery

(Leviticus 18:1-30)

27Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: 28 But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart. 4,5

Between the Torah and the Quran there is a Gospel in which Jesus sets for us a far higher standard of Law than we can ever, have ever kept, now can keep: That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.

The Law has not been abolished but fulfilled in Jesus Christ and raised even higher so that it sits within the heart and ought to be a fair balance for the Law of Love.

Yet come the Prophet on the Arabian Peninsula, and there is neither strangulation nor higher transformation, nor the transcending of being but the struggle between Flesh, Spirit and corporal punishment and even death for sin.

Where were those who should have been in Christ Jesus?


  1. Leviticus – Chapter 20 (Parshah Kedoshim) – Tanakh Online – Torah – Bible . 2015. Leviticus – Chapter 20 (Parshah Kedoshim) – Tanakh Online – Torah – Bible . [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.chabad.org/library/bible_cdo/aid/9921#v=10. [Accessed 18 December 2015].
  2. The Quranic Arabic Corpus – Translation. 2015. The Quranic Arabic Corpus – Translation. [ONLINE] Available at: http://corpus.quran.com/translation.jsp?chapter=24&verse=2. [Accessed 18 December 2015].
  3. John 8 KJV + Strong’s. 2015. John 8 KJV + Strong’s. [ONLINE] Available at: http://biblehub.com/kjvs/john/8.htm. [Accessed 18 December 2015].
  4. Matthew 5:27 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’. 2015. Matthew 5:27 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’. [ONLINE] Available at: http://biblehub.com/matthew/5-27.htm. [Accessed 18 December 2015].
  5. Matthew 5:28 But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.. 2015. Matthew 5:28 But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.. [ONLINE] Available at: http://biblehub.com/matthew/5-28.htm. [Accessed 18 December 2015].
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