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 Post subject: Re: Definition of abrogation
PostPosted: 24 Dec 2010, 23:24 
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Linguistic wrote:
I also found the section (in Dr. Mustafa Zayd's book النسخ في القرآن الكريم) about the linguistic meaning of the word naskh to be lacking,

Dr. Zayd states repeatedly in his book that إزالة ("removal") is the only meaning of the word naskh. If I were on his advisory committee when he said that, I may have run this conversation with him:

L: May I have a look at your nuskha (copy) of the thesis?
Z: Sure. Here you are. (Handing me his copy).
L: I see that you acknowledge that nuskha means copy.
Z: Of course.
L: What are the verb and noun from which nuskha is derived?
Z: Nasakha and naskh.
L: So, naskh means copying, not removal.
Z: It means both.
L: So why do you say in your conclusion section, page 327, item 1272, that removal is "the meaning" of naskh? You even say that you are "correcting the errors made by scholars of deduction and scholars of the Arabic language!"
Z: I've shown the three schools of thought about this and I believe I made the point why removal is the only relevant semantic in the Quran.
L: But you just acknowledged that copying is a valid semantic, or did you mean that your copy of the thesis abrogates and removes mine?
Z: Not at all. You will notice on the following page, 328, that I discussed how more than twenty definitions of naskh have been offered in the literature and how Ash-Shaafi`i argued that removal is the only relevant one. I concur.
L: You have not made a decisive argument. All you did was weigh one argument against another and came up with one which you deem stronger. Other folks can go through the same exercise and come up with a different result. Do you agree?
Z: Yes, but they would be on shaky ground.
L: Should the issue of abrogation, which cancels rulings of God, be done by inconclusive analysis? Can mortals use induction to overrule God?
Z: Of course not.
L: I suggest that you acknowledge that naskh has more than one meaning, but that you are satisfied that removal is the only valid meaning pertaining to your thesis.
Z: OK.

No disrespect meant at all. May God bless his soul.

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 Post subject: Re: Definition of abrogation
PostPosted: 27 Dec 2010, 21:05 
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Muhammad Nada, in his book النسخ في القرآن بين المؤيدين والمعارضين, page 18, discusses the linguistic meaning of the word naskh. He quotes Az-Zurqaani from his book مناهل العرفان في علوم القرآن, volume 2, pages 71-72, saying that the Arabs used the word to mean copying and they used it to mean removal. Some scholars have argued that it means removal, but that the copying semantic is a figure of speech. Other argued the exact opposite. Az-Zurqaani says that both those arguments lack evidence. He and Professor Abun-Noor Zuhayr concluded that the word is a heteronym (مشترك لفظي) that means both.

In arguing, Nada quoted the "honey" example used by the Arabs, which, IMHO, is a perfect example of combining copying and removal. How? Because bees place some honey from one cell into many other cells, thus the original cell still has honey left in it, but the other cells got some too. That example shows that the removal and copying semantics may not be total, but partial. In other words, we also have the semantics of dividing up and partial transfer.

Thus, partial abrogation is possible linguistically, but according to 2:106, is invalid in the signs of God.

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 Post subject: Re: Definition of abrogation
PostPosted: 08 Aug 2011, 09:42 
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Linguistic wrote:
statement A states a ruling. Statement B came later and stated information about the same ruling that statement A did not explicitly state.
The question then arises: why? The detractors will say "it implies uncovering of new information not previously thought of." That's the charge from the Jews (البداء). That, of course, is absurd.

I have no problem with abrogation between different books of revelation, as I see that as akin to "different strokes for different folks," not as a change of mind. I was curious though, if I could pin down a case of genuine abrogation between books. Not correction for something that has been distorted, but outright change in a divine rule from one revelation to the next. I have no ideological problem with that, I just wondered if I can find a case.

The most compelling case was:


Then I had doubts that this was changing a divine rule because of


Then I realized that 3:93 must be referring to pre-Judaism (before Moses) era only, because of


which leaves no doubt in my mind that 3:50 shows a change in divine ruling.

Of course this is "academic" since it has no bearing on the abrogation doctrine (abrogation within the Quran itself), but I think it is worth noting.

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 Post subject: Re: Definition of abrogation
PostPosted: 11 Aug 2011, 03:47 
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Pragmatic wrote:
6:146 leaves no doubt in my mind that 3:50 shows a change in divine ruling.

But the change is contingent. The first ruling was a punishment from God, evidenced by the fact that some of the prohibitions on the Children of Israel were lifted by Jesus (PBUH). God would not lift intrinsic prohibitions, but may lift punitive ones. Think of it as a term in jail ;) The prisoner may be paroled early for good behavior. That would not be an abrogation of the judge's sentence.

The contingency for lifting the prohibitions was that they accept Jesus and the Gospel. By doing so, they would undo all the alterations of the Torah that the Jews made. That is naskh, i.e., restoration, but it is not abrogation, because the contingency for the prohibitions would be no more.

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 Post subject: Avoiding using the word Naskh
PostPosted: 08 Oct 2011, 14:22 
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Linguistic wrote:
  • Al-Asfahaai's primary refutation of the abrogation doctrine is verse 41:42.

My question to the pro-abrogation scholars is this: How can any evidence you use stand against this verse?! The word الباطل used in this verse means falsehood and also means invalidity. It is the opposite of the word الحق which means the truth or what is firmly established, what has stood the test of time. The abrogation doctrine necessarily means that a command from God in the Quran could not last. That means it was باطل, God forbid!

In his book, الناسخ والمنسوخ في القرآن الكريم, page 38, Dr. Husayn Nassaar mentions Az-Zurqaani's criticism of Al-Asfahaani in four points:

  1. That if what is meant by الباطل in 41:42 is leaving the ruling while keeping the verse, then Al-Asfahaani's point only proves the invalidity of only one type of abrogation: abrogation of ruling but not of text.

    Huh? Who said that was what the word means? The word means falsehood. Period.

  2. What the word الباطل means is the opposite of the truth. Thus, the Quran contains "logical, wise, factual and fixed" words. Az-Zurqaani then proceeded to conclude that this leads to abrogation! Because, he said, abrogation is a wise, Divine decision called for by what is best for people.

    Need I comment?

  3. Al-Asfahaani was impolite with God, because he refrained from using the word Naskh, which God used.

    My reply to Az-Zurqaani is this: God uses the word Naskh correctly, while man has abused the word. That is why Al-Asfahaani did not want to use it!! The word Naskh is a heteronym, but people confined it to mean only one thing, and built the misguiding abrogation doctrine on that basis.

  4. That Naskh is different from specificity. Yes, and that's why Al-Asfahaani tried to show that many of the claims of abrogation are nothing more than instances of specificity.

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 Post subject: Re: Avoiding using the word Naskh
PostPosted: 08 Oct 2011, 17:15 
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Linguistic wrote:
In his book, الناسخ والمنسوخ في القرآن الكريم, page 38, Dr. Husayn Nassaar mentions Az-Zurqaani's criticism of Al-Asfahaani in four points

This really takes the cake. In addition to your commentary, let me add my own.

  1. That if what is meant by الباطل in 41:42 is leaving the ruling while keeping the verse, then Al-Asfahaani's point only proves the invalidity of only one type of abrogation: abrogation of ruling but not of text.

    Pragmatic: Thank you. You have just supported our thesis that the abrogation doctrine (abrogation of ruling but not of text) is false.

  2. What the word الباطل means is the opposite of the truth. Thus, the Quran contains "logical, wise, factual and fixed" words. Az-Zurqaani then proceeded to conclude that this leads to abrogation! Because, he said, abrogation is a wise, Divine decision called for by what is best for people.

    Pragmatic: Reminds me of the 'logic' of mideast dictators: Say whetever since you are not going to get challenged.

  3. Al-Asfahaani was impolite with God, because he refrained from using the word Naskh, which God used.

    Pragmatic: If you can't refute the argument, attack the person. Mideast dictators: It's foreign intervention.

  4. That Naskh is different from specificity.

    Pragmatic: Yes, and the sun also rises from the east. Your point is?

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 Post subject: Re: Definition of abrogation
PostPosted: 16 Oct 2011, 04:27 
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Dr. Muhammad Saalih Ali Mustafa, in his book النسخ في القرآن الكريم، مفهومه وتاريخه ودعاواه emphasizes the difference between the ancient scholars and the modern ones in defining the word Naskh.

On page 13, he states that "abrogation cannot be without definite proof and certitude." He also says that Naskh, by the definition of the modern generation "Cannot be proven."

He laments that narrations that reached us about Naskh were by people who used the word in its larger capacity, but we understood those narrations in the light of our narrow definition of Naskh.

But on page 12, he quotes Waliullah Dehlvi pointing out how the old scholars differed too. The Sahaaba used the word as what it linguistically means, a heteronym, while the "foundationists" (الأصوليون) restricted the meaning to abrogation. So, the matter has been in contention ever since the second Century A.H.

And on page 19, in the footnotes, he gives examples of how God applied Naskh to some creatures: Mammoth became elephant and dinosaurs went extinct. Good examples, but they confirm the limited meaning of Naskh as abrogation, with or without replacement. So, it appears that he himself is among the modern scholars he laments about!

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 Post subject: Re: Definition of abrogation
PostPosted: 16 Oct 2011, 19:31 
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Dr. Muhammad Saalih Ali Mustafa, in his book النسخ في القرآن الكريم، مفهومه وتاريخه ودعاواه laments that scholars did not follow the lead of Ash-Shaafi`i who formulated conditions for determination of abrogated rulings.

Then he says that what gives him pause is that the modern definition of Naskh eliminates the mind completely and relies entirely on authentic narrations. For backup, he quotes Waliullah Dehlvi saying, in his book الفوز الكبير في أصول التفسير, page 84, that applying the mind to the abrogation issue vastly expanded the number of abrogated verses to five hundred.

I'd refer him to his own words on page 13, where he said that abrogation cannot be decided except by definitive evidence and certitude. How can such evidence be found outside authentic narrations?

There simply is not a single verse in the Quran, nor a single authentic hadeeth of the Prophet (PBUH) which names any verse abrogated. How can the feeble minds of mortals say otherwise?

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 Post subject: Re: Definition of abrogation
PostPosted: 17 Oct 2011, 05:13 
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Linguistic wrote:
on page 12, he quotes Waliullah Dehlvi pointing out how the old scholars differed too. The Sahaaba used the word as what it linguistically means, a heteronym, while the "foundationists" (الأصوليون) restricted the meaning to abrogation. So, the matter has been in contention ever since the second Century A.H.

Linguistic wrote:
he quotes Waliullah Dehlvi saying, in his book الفوز الكبير في أصول التفسير, page 84, that applying the mind to the abrogation issue vastly expanded the number of abrogated verses to five hundred.

We have to get this book.

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 Post subject: Re: Definition of abrogation
PostPosted: 24 Jul 2013, 14:26 
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Dr. Husayn Nassaar, in his book الناسخ والمنسوخ في القرآن الكريم, pages 26-29, as he propounds the scholars definition of naskh, mentions something rather strange. He says that Mujaahid ibn Jabr and `Ataa' ibn Aslam, who have read the word ننسها in 2:106 as ننسؤها, have concluded that some of what God has kept in the Preserved Tablet was never revealed to the Prophet (PBUH).

At-Tabari accepted that and concluded that the other action of the verse, naskh, means copying. But Al-Qaasim ibn Salaam rejected that and insisted that naskh means abrogation.

If that is true, then every time At-Tabari's name is mentioned agreeing with an abrogation claim may actually mean that he thought the two verses of the claim confirm each other! But that contradicts the other reports which state that At-Tabari was the first exegete to approve the definition of naskh as abrogation of ruling but not of recitation offered by the fellows of Ibn Mas`ood.

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