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 Post subject: Re: Why keep abrogated verses?
PostPosted: 30 Jan 2010, 21:48 
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Linguistic wrote:
2. Abrogated verses that remained remind Muslims of how harder the command of God was before He eased it, thus Muslims will appreciate God's mercy on them.
The second point is a good one.

It is so good that we actually used it ourselves :), with a different conclusion, though.

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 Post subject: Re: Origins of the abrogation doctrine
PostPosted: 31 Jan 2010, 19:03 
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Pragmatic wrote:
I would like to comment on a fundamental difference between the two verses; the abrogation verse, 2:106, and the substitution verse, 16:101.

We discussed Sayyed Qotb's interpretation of the abrogation verse in the 2:106 thread. In his interpretation of the substitution verse 16:101 (on page 2194 in volume 4 of his exegesis), he makes explicit that during the life of the Prophet (PBUH) the purpose of a verse could have been accomplished and its lifespan could end. The verse then is replaced by another verse that fits the permanent role of the Quran. It seems that this view which is supported by the wording of 16:101 constitutes his view of the abrogation doctrine, given that he also made similar comments in his interpretation in 2:106. In other words, it seems that he believes that any abrogated verses were gone from the text of the Quran and replaced by other verses that remained in the text.

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 Post subject: Re: Origins of the abrogation doctrine
PostPosted: 31 Jan 2010, 20:41 
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Pragmatic wrote:
The story of هلكت وأهلكت

The story involving this Arabic sentence (which means "you are doomed and you doomed others")

Dr. Tantaawi comments on this story so often repeated for support of abrogation. He writes,

وإذا كان علي بن أبي طالب يعرف الناسخ والمنسوخ في القرآن فأين هو؟ ولماذا لم يبينه علي أو عمر أو أبو بكر أو غيرهم؟ وقل لي في أي كتاب يمكنني أن أجد تفسير الناسخ والمنسوخ لعلي بن أبي طالب؟ وإن كان علي بن أبي طالب قد عرف الناسخ من المنسوخ فلماذا لم تذكر في ردك اسم الكتاب الذي اعتمدت عليه ومن مؤلفه واسم الكتاب أو الفصل الذي جاء فيه؟

A simple question that nobody tried to answer: If Ali, may God have been pleased with him, indeed knew what was abrogated and by what, then how come he did not share that knowledge? Is there any literature where Ali's knowledge of abrogation has been documented? Since he didn't, we have to ask why not? Did he fear causing fitna? How can that be if he had the definitive answers? Fitna would and has been caused because opinions were abound.

Did Ali not know either? Then if the cousin and son-in-law of the Prophet (PBUH), the one who grew up with him in the same house, a recognized scholar to whom Umar, may God have been pleased with him, always deferred, if such esteemed scholar did not know, how can ordinary scholars know?

How can this story be explained then? Most likely it didn't happen.

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 Post subject: Re: Origins of the abrogation doctrine
PostPosted: 31 Jan 2010, 20:59 
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Pragmatic wrote:
In other words, it seems that he (Sayyid Qutb) believes that any abrogated verses were gone from the text of the Quran and replaced by other verses that remained in the text.

Dr. Tantaawi, a professor at Al-Azhar University, agrees with Qutb's conclusion. He replied to an interview question about abrogation saying,

والمنسوخ قد رفعه الله من القرآن قبل وفاة الرسول صلي الله عليه وسلم، وهناك أحكام نسخها الله في حياة الرسول ومحرمات نسخها الله أيضا في حياة الرسول، وكلها قد رفعها الله ومحاها وأنساها للرسول، وأحكم آياته التي هي بين دفتي المصحف الآن. فكل الآيات التي في المصحف بلا استثناء ليس فيها آية واحدة منسوخة لا في أحكام الأوامر أو النواهي أو التحليل أو التحريم

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 Post subject: Re: Origins of the abrogation doctrine
PostPosted: 01 Feb 2010, 07:12 
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The information concerning al-nasikh wa-al mansukh must be treated with great caution as, for all reports concerning the text of the Qur'an, two independent witnesses are required.

Indeed. And if we apply this standard rule then we'd like to see authentic evidence that any abrogation claim was witnessed by two practicing Muslims known to be truthful and coherent, who said, "I heard the Messenger of God say that this verse abrogated that other verse, but continue to recite that other verse and write it down."

That never happened.

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 Post subject: Re: Origins of the abrogation doctrine
PostPosted: 02 Feb 2010, 19:01 
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Linguistic wrote:
we'd like to see authentic evidence that any abrogation claim was witnessed by two practicing Muslims known to be truthful and coherent, who said, "I heard the Messenger of God say that this verse abrogated that other verse, but continue to recite that other verse and write it down."

I would like to comment on this. A strong impression I got as I read the endless analysis and elaborate opinions in this book is that abrogation was a "soft" notion at the time of the originalists. The term was used to describe one of the tools of reconciling two verses, like many other similar tools used in interpreting the Quran. The "hard" nature of it as it declares a Quranic verse invalid, such that the verse would not be taken into consideration at all in the reconciliation effort, may have come later. The originalists may not have seen the potential harm in accepting the principle of abrogation at the time, as it didn't have notable consequences when they used it the way they did. Later on, people abused the principle and started abrogating verses wholesale like what was done using the sword verse, with serious consequences that the originalists may not have anticipated.

The point I am making is that scholars may not have been particularly careful or adamant about the notion as it was restricted to verses like 73:1-4 that have little actionable consequence. We should weigh their acceptance of the abrogation doctrine by the limited scope of consequences they saw in it at the time.

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 Post subject: Re: Origins of the abrogation doctrine
PostPosted: 06 Feb 2010, 21:46 
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Linguistic wrote:
only God and His messenger, with direct inspiration from God, can replace verses of the Quran. Then how can ordinary men claim that they know what was replaced or that any part of the Quran was replaced if neither God nor His messenger have pointed them out?

You raise this point here and in other spots. You are in good company in rejecting abrogation claims that are based on arguments by scholars rather than direct evidence in the Quran and Sunna. In volume 1 of this book by Dr. Mostafa Zeid, the following points are made.

Item 256 on page 168: The author asserts that abrogation could only happen during the life of the Prophet (PBUH), and every abrogation claim that came later without reference to specific evidence from that time should be rejected. Nothing that the Prophet left in place can be abrogated later on.

Item 257 on page 169: The author says that an instance of abrogation cannot be recognized without instruction from God. He further specifies that the evidence should go back to the life of the Prophet (PBUH) directly through him or through the Sahaba on condition that the source of abrogation be identified (my understanding of his phrase بشرط تعيين الناسخ ).

Item 257 on page 170: The author quotes Imam Abu-Muhammad Aly Ibn-Hazm as saying: "No Muslim who believes in God and the Hereafter is allowed to say about something in the Quran or in the Sunna 'this is abrogated' without certainty." He goes on to give evidence from the Quran to support his view, and discusses the ramifications of not sticking to this rule (predicting what has largely taken place in the abrogation doctrine).

Item 272 on pages 181-182: The author concludes that "what abrogates has to be a text, therefore abrogation cannot go beyond the time of the Prophet because that's when Quranic revelation was made and Sunna was formed, and these are the only texts sanctioned by God. Accordingly, the authority of abrogation cannot be given to any human being, regardless of how knowledgeable, except for the one human being who received the Quran and conveyed it to us."

Item 298 on page 199: The author concludes that "The only one who can abrogate is God. That is His right, and no one else shares that right. He abrogates by stating so. The statement could be in the Quran and could be in the Sunna."

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 Post subject: Re: Origins of the abrogation doctrine
PostPosted: 06 Feb 2010, 22:10 
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Pragmatic wrote:
Item 272 on pages 181-182: The author concludes
...
Accordingly, the authority of abrogation cannot be given to any human being, regardless of how knowledgeable, except for the one human being who received the Quran and conveyed it to us."

Yet, he goes on to declare six verses abrogated in his opinion. I wish he had stopped at the above statement and finished with something like, "Thus, neither I nor any other scholar past, present or future can declare any verse of the Quran abrogated. If there are any, we don't know them and we can never know them."

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 Post subject: Re: Origins of the abrogation doctrine
PostPosted: 06 Feb 2010, 23:13 
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Pragmatic wrote:
4. Showing evidence that the Quranic text cannot logically have abrogated verses.
The last post addresses the 4th component, where a verse in the Quran would indicate that there are no abrogated verses in the text. Three other verses that come to mind

Dr. Zaid provides support for this component of the anti-abrogation argument (notwithstanding that he is pro-abrogation) in volume 1 of his book:

Item 309 on page 209: The author lists some verses of the Quran and considers them "decisive witnesses that it is not possible at all that God has left us in blindness and loss where we cannot tell 'is this ruling abrogated or not abrogated?' This is a situation that we have been secured from its occurrence, since it would have implied the annulment of much of the religion and would have left us in continuous doubt"

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 Post subject: Re: Origins of the abrogation doctrine
PostPosted: 07 Feb 2010, 02:23 
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Pragmatic wrote:
Item 309 on page 209: The author lists some verses of the Quran and considers them "decisive witnesses that it is not possible at all that God has left us in blindness and loss where we cannot tell 'is this ruling abrogated or not abrogated?' This is a situation that we have been secured from its occurrence, since it would have implied the annulment of much of the religion and would have left us in continuous doubt"

Question is: How are we supposed to find the abrogated verses? Other than a direct statement to that effect from God or His messenger, what method can we use to find out? The only method left is the mind. Now, what happened when we used that particular tool? Hundreds of conflicting opinions. So, are we in blindness and loss or are we on المحجة البيضاء ليلها كنهارها لايزيغ عنها إلا هالك (the white avenue, whose night is like its day, drifting from which is none but the doomed), as the religion the Prophet (PBUH) left us is often called?

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