THE VERSE AND THE PROBLEM The Qur'an contains many verses that may be described as "problematic." Such verses pose problems because of several factors, including what they mean or whether their meaning should be taken literally or figuratively. Sometimes the problem of consistency arises when one verse contradicts another. (1) However, the focus of this paper will be a problem of a different nature, namely that raised by Qur'an 4:34 concerning disciplining a wife who commits nushuz (disobedience) by beating her. I will argue that though the dominant expressions of Islam in the past and in the present have had no problem with the patriarchal premises and prescriptions of 4:34 (and, for that matter, with other Qur'anic verses of a patriarchal nature), the beating measure has been met with moral unease and resistance by many authorities both past and present. I further argue that the logical corollary of this resistance is what may be described as a "virtual abrogation" or an "abrogative suspension" of the beating measure. This is one of those rare instances when a believer feels that he/she stands on a different and higher moral plane than that which the sacred scripture prescribes.