I wish i could understand the Quran better. I take some time to read it, mostly when the night is quiet. I've flipped through it countless times, sometimes for a few minutes, sometimes for an hour or two. I like to randomly turn to a page, read the Arabic text, then pick up the translation to understand the meaning. 3 years of advanced Arabic in IIUM should have given me the skills to do without the translation, but a language unused, is a language forgetten.
As far as the actions of humans are concerned, the Quran seems to split them into three categories:
a. The Good (actions that are not only good, but are encouraged and/or compulsory e.g. marriage, prayer, fasting, etc.)
b. The Bad (actions that are not permitted)
c. The Ugly (actions that are permitted, but not encouraged and/or frowned upon e.g. divorce)
Thinking about these differences, i was wondering whether the Quran would ever ask or permit Muslims to do things that the average person could not perform. Are there actions that the Quran reserves for "exceptional" people and "exceptional" people only?
Or to ask the question in another way, does the Quran allow Muslims to do something a great majority of us can't do?
If most of us can't do it, why not just make ban its practice? Most of us can't drink alcohol without getting drunk, so the Quran (after a series of abrogations), bans its consumption altogether.
Polygamy, the practice of a single man having several wives on the other hand, is particularly interesting in this regard, because it allows Muslims a particularly controversial practice that is frowned upon by large segments of society.
"Marry women of your choice, two or three or four; but if you fear that you shall not be able to deal justly with them, then only one or one that your right hands possess. That will be more suitable, to prevent you from doing injustice." (Quran 4:3)