Surah An-Nisa : Chapter 4 (line 30-40) Women

30. Whoever does that, out of hostility and wrongdoing, We will cast him into a Fire. And that would be easy for God.

31. If you avoid the worst of what you are forbidden, We will remit your sins, and admit you by a Gate of Honor.

32. Do not covet what God has given to some of you in preference to others. For men is a share of what they have earned, and for women is a share of what they have earned. And ask God of his bounty. God has knowledge of everything.

33. To everyone We have assigned beneficiaries in what is left by parents and relatives. Those with whom you have made an agreement, give them their share. God is Witness over all things.

34. Men are the protectors and maintainers of women, as God has given some of them an advantage over others, and because they spend out of their wealth. The good women are obedient, guarding what God would have them guard. As for those from whom you fear disloyalty, admonish them, and abandon them in their beds, then strike them. But if they obey you, seek no way against them. God is Sublime, Great.

35. If you fear a breach between the two, appoint an arbiter from his family and an arbiter from her family. If they wish to reconcile, God will bring them together. God is Knowledgeable, Expert.

36. Worship God, and ascribe no partners to Him, and be good to the parents, and the relatives, and the orphans, and the poor, and the neighbor next door, and the distant neighbor, and the close associate, and the traveler, and your servants. God does not love the arrogant showoff.

37. Those who are stingy, and exhort people to stinginess, and conceal what God has given them from His bounty. We have prepared for the disbelievers a disgraceful punishment.

38. And those who spend their money to be seen by people, and believe neither in God nor in the Last Day. Whoever has Satan as a companion-what an evil companion.

39. What would they have lost, had they believed in God and the Last Day, and gave out of what God has provided for them? God knows them very well.

40. God does not commit an atom’s weight of injustice; and if there is a good deed, He doubles it, and gives from His Presence a sublime compensation.

My interpretation: 

Muhammad is explained by Gabriel that everything is equal in regards to the gender. Women and men are not regarded unequal in terms of sins committed or good deeds done. Each will have their just rewards.

Written wills need to be honored in regards to giving wealth that is just due to people regardless of gender. I imagine in the past, women were treated very unfairly and their family inheritance and dowry was confiscated just because they were women.

Men were to be protectors of women and to use the strengths given to them to provide for their women. Line 34 is a hard line to understand if you do not see the good in God. In the past, when a woman was disloyal or cheated on her husband, she was killed or beaten towards no end. Here God says, there are steps to take towards a cheating wife. First you admonish which means to scold them and tell them what they did wrong. If they repent, you stop there and live peacefully with your loving wife. If they cheat on the man again, the man is to leave her bedroom and not have sex with her until she repents and asks for forgiveness seeing the light of her wrongs. If after the third time, they are found to cheat, then strike them in a way that was permissible in their society by a means of punishment. Hopefully after this pain of punishment, these women would finally feel the regret of their actions. It is a hard lesson for some women, but notice it says “strike”, singular-not plural.

This does NOT advocate for abuse of women. It was to correct and provide the means to feel regret and guilt for the woman. In the past, worse was done to a cheating woman-far worse than a strike. If the woman is just not a good person, then she will never repent, and God will judge her. This goes for men too. Of course it is always better to solve problems without physical violence. So do not transgress, and know God is always watching and protecting the woman. Muslim men and non-muslim men who beat their wives today without following their true guidance are in grave danger in the hereafter, if they are not discovered on earth by man’s law.

Divorce is permitted once it is established in a fair way. an arbitrator from her family, and his must come together to represent each the husband and wife. There they can discuss the means of separation and fulfillment financially, to make things fair. Remember women didn’t have a lot of means to making their own money yet, so every divorced woman was due money to help her. We have these divorce laws still today to help women who depended on their men to provide for them while married.

Showing off with charity defeats the purpose of the good deed. So Muhammad is told to tell the people if you are going to give, then be humble about your giving.

Line 40 is an amazing line to me and is one of the many reasons, why I am a muslim. God is explained in a way that be understood as energy here. All thoughts, actions, and deeds are energy that can not be destroyed once put out there, all it can be is changed. God is the True Reality, so all the energy put out there in the world and universe, is accounted for and collected in the end. There is no concealing both the good and bad, that someone has done. If the good outweighs the bad, then God will reward accordingly. If the bad outweigh the good, then also will God award accordingly. The rewards will be experienced in the next life, and you have the choice of which type of reward you will receive.