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 Post subject: Origins of the abrogation doctrine
PostPosted: 05 Jan 2010, 04:26 
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This topic is to discuss why scholars have taken the position that abrogation has occurred in the Quran. It is not for discussing the individual cases where abrogation is claimed to have happened. Please discuss each of such cases in its own topic.

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 Post subject: Re: Origins of the abrogation doctrine
PostPosted: 05 Jan 2010, 04:46 
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As far as I know, the following two verses are the basis for the deposition that abrogation in the Quran did occur,


And


If you know more, please reply.

I notice right away a peculiar grammatical issue in 2:106 which convinces me that it does not mean what most people thought it meant and that is that the verb ننسخ is in jussive mood (مجزوم). Such conjugation means the sentence is a conjunctive sentence, i.e., it does not state that abrogation occurred but rather that it can.

As for 16:101, the verse is also conjunctive but it uses the conjunctive article إذا which means "when." That suggests that abrogation has occurred. However, the verse is quite general in what was abrogated. It says that what was abrogated was آية which means "sign," the same word used by 2:106. That sign can be a verse from the Quran, or from the Torah. It can also be some celestial being, except that God's using the verb "sent down" to describe how the replacement was done. This lends credence to the conclusion that scripture verses are the subject of this particular verse. It can also be argued that all signs from God are sent down, e.g,. iron, rain, etc.

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 Post subject: Re: Origins of the abrogation doctrine
PostPosted: 07 Jan 2010, 04:28 
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This is the conclusion part of a writeup about abrogation that I found on the Internet. The writeup sounded objective and conservative, and since it was mostly "pro-abrogation", I thought that this conclusion is worth including here since it raises interesting discussion points.

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The Qur'an, in 2:106, refers to the concept of naskh. However, there is a difference of opinion about the extent to which al-nasikh wa-al mansukh does in fact occur in the text of the Qur'an. 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. Many of the examples which the scholars have drawn upon to illustrate this question are based on one witness only. 'A'isha alone reported that 10 or 5 sucklings had been part of the Qur'anic recitation, and only 'Umar reported that the 'verse of stoning' had been included in the Qur'anic text. These legal rulings are not included in the Qur'an precisely because they were not considered reliable, being based on one witness only. Similarly, other examples about naskh, based on the words of Ibn 'Abbas or Mujahid alone, are to be judged by the same measure.

However, as mentioned there remain a small number of verses which, as far as can be ascertained from the internal evidence of the Qur'an, have been superseded by other verses in the Qur'an.

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 Post subject: Re: Origins of the abrogation doctrine
PostPosted: 07 Jan 2010, 07:14 
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In this context, the point must be emphasized that there is no authentic evidence that the prophet, peace be upon him, said at all that any verse of the Quran has abrogated another. A corollary of this is to ask why didn't he? Did he not know? Did he decide to leave it up to his followers? Was he afraid to say lest there should be divisions among Muslims (Fitna)?

The answer to the first question is: If he didn't know, how can it be expected of his followers to know? They did not have the privilege of revelation.

The answer to the second question is: Is abrogation a part of religion that it cannot be complete without it? If so, as all abrogationists state, then it follows that the prophet (pbuh) did not fully convey the message and fulfill the trust. But we know he did from the Quran (5:3) and from the last sermon.

The answer to the last question is that God has ordered him in the Quran to convey what has been revealed to him, even when it was a personal matter. Consider,

Commenting on which, `Aa'isha, may God have been pleased with her, said that if he was going to hide any verse he would have hidden verse 33:47 which was about his upcoming marriage to Zaynab bint Jahsh after her husband Zayd ibn Haaritha was divorcing her.

I am, therefore, of the strong opinion that no abrogated verses remain in the Quran at all, contrary to the conviction of most scholars many of whom are Sahaaba. It is my humble opinion that the doctrine that asserts that there are abrogated verses still in the Quran is, I am sorry to say, the biggest fitna in Islamic history because it has lasted the whole time.

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 Post subject: Re: Origins of the abrogation doctrine
PostPosted: 10 Jan 2010, 04:18 
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Linguistic wrote:
the following two verses are the basis for the deposition that abrogation in the Quran did occur

I would like to comment on a fundamental difference between the two verses;

the abrogation verse:


and the substitution verse:

In 16:101, God talks about replacing one verse by putting another in its place, which means that the original verse is gone from the Quranic text. Only in 2:106, where God talks about abrogating one verse by another, is there a possibility that the original verse is not actually gone, but remains in the Quranic text albeit abrogated.

This distinction is important because the most fundamental question in the issue of abrogation is whether any verse in the text of the Quran (at the time of the death of the Prophet PBUH) is an abrogated verse. The verses that had been revealed, and were later replaced during the life of the Prophet by other verses (with the original verse gone from the text), can be covered by 16:101. However, if a verse survived in the completed text of the Quran, then it was not substituted by another (per 16:101) since the substituting verse would have taken its place.

Therefore, 16:101 is not relevant to the question of whether any verse in the text of the Quran is an abrogated verse. Only 2:106 may be relevant to this question. On the other hand, the larger question of whether any verse that had ever been revealed was later abrogated may relate to both 16:101 or 2:106.

If we only address the question of whether any verse in the text of the Quran is an abrogated verse, then we only need to address 2:106, not 16:101.

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 Post subject: Re: Origins of the abrogation doctrine
PostPosted: 12 Jan 2010, 16:50 
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I downloaded Ibn Al-Jawzi's book, "Nawaasikh Al- Qur'aan" and started reading it. Here is what he says about scholars assertion that abrogation in the Quran has occurred:


الباب الثاني: باب إثبات أن في القرآن منسوخا. انعقد إجماع العلماء على هذا إلا أنه قد شذ من لا يلتفت إليه، فحكى أبو جعفر النحاس أن قوما قالوا ليس في القرآن ناسخ ولا منسوخ، وهؤلاء قوم لا يقرون لأنهم خالفوا نص الكتاب وإجماع الأمة. قال الله عز وجل "ما ننسخ من آية أو ننسها"، وأخبرنا المبارك بن علي قال أخبرنا أحمد بن قريش قال أخبرنا إبراهيم بن عمر البرمكي قال أخبرنا أبو بكر محمد بن إسماعيل بن العباس الوراق قال بنا عبد الله بن داود وقال حدثنا محمد بن عامر بن إبراهيم عن أبيه عن نشهل بن سعيد عن الضحاك عن ابن عباس رضي الله عنهما في قوله تعالى "يمحو الله ما يشاء ويثبت" قال في الناسخ والمنسوخ. قال ابن داود وحدثنا يعقوب بن سفيان قال حدثنا أبو صالح قال حدثني معاوية بن صالح عن علي بن أبي طلحة عن ابن عباس رضي الله عنهما "يمحو الله ما يشاء ويثبت" ويقول يبدل الله ما يشاء من القرآن فينسخه ويثبت ما يشاء فلا يبدله وما يبدل وما يثبت وكل ذلك في كتاب. قال ابن أبي داود وحدثنا يونس بن حبيب قال حدثنا أبي داود وقال حدثنا همام عن قتادة عن عكرمة في قوله "يمحو الله ما يشاء ويثبت" قال ينسخ الآية بالآية فترفع وعنده أم الكتاب أصل الكتاب. قال وحدثنا علي بن حرب ومصعب بن محمد ويعقوب بن سفيان قالوا حدثنا عبيد الله بن موسى عن موسى بن عبيدة عن محمد بن كعب في قوله عز وجل "يمحو الله ما يشاء ويثبت" قال نزلت في الناسخ والمنسوخ. قال وحدثنا محمد بن الحسن قال حدثنا كثير بن يحيى قال حدثنا أبي قال بنا يونس بن عبيد وهشام ابن حسان جميعا عن محمد بن سيرين "يمحو الله ما يشاء" يرفعه ويثبت ما يشاء فيدعه مقرا له. قال وحدثنا موسى بن هرون قال حدثنا الحسين قال ثنا شيبان عن قتادة "منه آيات محكمات" قال المحكمات الناسخ الذي يعمل به. قال وحدثنا محمد بن معمر قال ثنا روح قال حدثنا الحسن بن علي بن عفان عن عامر ابن الفرات عن أسباط عن السدي "يمحو الله ما يشاء ويثبت" ما يشاء من المنسوخ ويثبت من الناسخ. قال وحدثنا "منه آيات محكمات" قال لم تنسخ، ورواه سفيان عن سلمة عن الضحاك قال المحكمات الناسخ. أخبرنا إسماعيل بن أحمد قال أخبرنا إسحاق بن أحمد الكاذي قال حدثنا عبد الله ابن أحمد بن حنبل رضي الله عنه قال حدثني أبي قال حدثنا وكيع عن سلمة بن نبيط عن الصحابة قال المتشابه ما قد نسخ والمحكمات ما لم ينسخ. وقال عمر بن الخطاب رضي الله عنه أبي أعلمنا بالمنسوخ


He brings up two more verses that have been argued as proof of abrogation,


And


He says many scholars interpreted 13:39 to mean that God has abrogated verses and left others in place while He maintains the original in the Preserved Tablet. By definition of the word يمحو (He removes), that applies to verses that have been removed from recitation and never included in the written text. That's not the concern of this project. The concern of this project is to examine the verses, if any, that are in the text of the Quran and claimed to have been abrogated.

He also says that scholars have interpreted 3:7 to mean that some verses in the Quran are not abrogated but others are. I find that a lacking interpretation because متشابهات means "carry multiple meanings" or "look alike." It can never mean "abrogated" or "no longer valid."

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 Post subject: Re: Origins of the abrogation doctrine
PostPosted: 12 Jan 2010, 19:55 
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Linguistic wrote:
By definition of the word يمحو (He removes), that applies to verses that have been removed from recitation and never included in the written text.

This is the point. If the question is whether any verse in the text of the Quran is an abrogated verse, then 13:39 has no bearing on this question.

Quote:
He also says that scholars have interpreted 3:7 to mean that some verses in the Quran are not abrogated but others are. I find that a lacking interpretation because متشابهات means "carry multiple meanings" or "look alike." It can never mean "abrogated" or "no longer valid."

Hear, hear.

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 Post subject: Re: Origins of the abrogation doctrine
PostPosted: 17 Jan 2010, 20:04 
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Another verse which argues against abrogation is 10:15,

The verse says that 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? There are hadeeths that state that some verses which used to be recited, were not included in the assembled Book (Mus-haf) which the Prophet left with his wife Hafsa and his daughter Fatima, may God have been pleased with them. Therefore, if we regard these hadeeths as authentic, they cover verses that are not in the Quran, defined as the bound Book that existed since shortly before the Prophet died and remained unchanged ever since.

The fact that scholars have differed on what was abrogated and on whether any verses were abrogated is proof that they don't know for sure. Of course they don't know. It's all opinion and therefore can be wrong. Something as serious as abrogation of part of the Quran cannot be left to opinion. It must be stated by God and His Messenger in no uncertain terms.

Even if we concede that 2:106 proves that abrogation did occur, and we think we showed why that understanding is linguistically wrong, then who can tell where abrogation occurred? Since the prophet (pbuh) said nothing, then no one else should have said anything either.

Another important question to ponder is: Why would God leave an abrogated verse in the text till the Day of Judgment? What purpose does it serve if it's been declared invalid?

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 Post subject: Re: Origins of the abrogation doctrine
PostPosted: 18 Jan 2010, 01:55 
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It seems that the argument against abrogated verses has four components.

1. Explaining why 2:106 and other verses that are used to substantiate the doctrine of abrogation can be reasonably interpreted otherwise.

2. Refuting, claim by claim, that a particular verse was abrogated because of a perceived contradiction.

3. Showing the detailed opinions of credible scholars who believe that no abrogation took place, and countering the opinions of the credible scholars who believe that it did take place.

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 which also indicate that are:



since, if there were invalid verses that were not identified by the Prophet PBUH (as he never identified any specific verse as abrogated), that would reasonably shed doubt on different verses in the Quranic text (as evidenced by the disagreements among scholars about which verses are abrogated).

Also,



since " الباطل " (usually translated as falsehood) in 41:42 can literally mean 'something that is no longer valid', and this verse refers to the 'book' in 41:41 which means the Quranic text.

Finally,



This verse challenges the main premise that people used in order to decide that a verse was abrogated, namely believing that a contradiction between two verses exists that cannot be resolved if both verses are valid.

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 Post subject: Re: Origins of the abrogation doctrine
PostPosted: 18 Jan 2010, 07:31 
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Excellent points indeed and spot on quotes.

Per your point #2, I'd like to develop a discipline, perhaps in the form of a checklist, that we systemically apply to each claim. Only cases that pass through the entire checklist can be verified as credible. I suspect none will.

Admin note: This part of the discussion continues in another topic, "Validation process".

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