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 Post subject: Definition of abrogation
PostPosted: 05 Jan 2010, 13:29 
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For the purpose of this research, we define abrogation as an annulment of one ruling and replacing it with another. A ruling is abrogated if it was initially required but not anymore, prohibited but not anymore or whose scope was narrowed. A ruling that was specific and is now general is not abrogated because it is still valid. Only when a ruling is no longer valid can the case be made for abrogation.

Furthermore, a verse is not abrogated if it contains no ruling as there is nothing in it to abrogate.

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 Post subject: Re: Definition of abrogation
PostPosted: 06 Jan 2010, 06:02 
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Something further that has some bearing on the question. There would be no disagreement if all the abrogated verses (as well as the forgotten ones) were already gone and we only have unabrogated verses in the Quran now. The question is not whether any verses were abrogated, but whether the abrogated verses survived in the text of the Quran. The forgotten verses, by definition, did not survive. The key fact that has been established is:

None of the verses in the Quran currently considered abrogated has been declared abrogated by the Prophet (PBUH).

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 Post subject: Re: Definition of abrogation
PostPosted: 11 Jan 2010, 07:05 
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This is what As-Suyooti wrote in his book, "Al-Itqaan fi `Uloom Al-Qur'aan," defining the word abrogation,


وفي هذا النوع مسائل
الأولى يرد النسخ بمعنى الإزالة ومنه قوله فينسخ الله ما يلقي الشيطان ثم يحكم الله آياته
وبمعنى التبديل ومنه وإذا بدلنا آية مكان آية
وبمعنى التحويل كتناسخ المواريث بمعنى تحويل الميراث من واحد إلى واحد
وبمعنى النقل من موضع إلى موضع ومنه نسخت الكتاب إذا نقلت ما فيه حاكيا للفظه وخطه
قال مكي وهذا الوجه لا يصح أن يكون في القرآن وأنكر على النحاس إجازته ذلك محتجا بأن الناسخ فيه لا يأتي بلفظ المنسوخ وأنه إنما يأتي بلفظ آخر
وقال السعيدي يشهد لما قاله النحاس قوله تعالى إنا كنا نستنسخ ما كنتم تعملون وقال وإنه في أم الكتاب لدينا لعلي حكيم
ومعلوم أن ما نزل من الوحي نجوما جميعه في أم الكتاب وهو اللوح المحفوظ كما قال تعالى في كتاب مكنون لا يمسه إلا المطهرون


Abrogation may mean:
  • Removal, as in
  • Replacement, as in
  • Redirection, as in giving the inheritance share to someone else, such as the case when heirs die before the estate is divided, or
  • Repetition, as in copying a book where you transport its words and its script. Makki said that doesn't apply to the Quran and criticized An-Nahhaas for saying it applies and his evidence is that the repetition in the Quran is always with other words. As-Saeedi said that what confirms An-Nahaas's opinion is the verse,

    in conjunction with the verse,

    Thus, every word in the text of the Quran is copied literally from the Preserved Tablet.

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 Post subject: Re: Definition of abrogation
PostPosted: 12 Jan 2010, 17:22 
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In his book, "Nawaasikh Al-Qur'aan", Ibn Al-Jawzi reports scholars opinions about what constitutes a valid abrogation case as follows,


الباب الرابع: باب شروط النسخ. الشروط المعتبرة في ثبوت النسخ خمسة:

الشرط الأول أن يكون الحكم في الناسخ والمنسوخ متناقضا بحيث لا يمكن العمل بهما جميعا، فإن كان ممكنا لم يكن أحدهما ناسخا للآخر. وذلك قد يكون على وجهين: الوجه الأول أن يكون أحد الحكمين متناولا لما تناوله الثاني بدليل العموم والآخر متناولا لما تناوله الأول بدليل الخصوص، فالدليل الخاص لا يوجب نسخ دليل العموم بل يبين أنه إنما تناوله التخصيص لم يدخل تحت دليل العموم. والوجه الثاني أن يكون كل واحد من الحكمين ثابتا في حال غير الحالة التي ثبت فيها الحكم الآخر مثل تحريم المطلقة ثلاثا فإنها محرمة على مطلقها في حال وهي ما دامت خالية عن زوج وإصابة فإذا أصابها زوج ثان ارتفعت الحالة الأولى وانقضت بارتفاعها مدة التحريم فشرعت في حالة آخرى حصل فيها حكم الإباحة للزوج المطلق ثلاثا فلا يكون هذا ناسخا لاختلاف حالة التحريم والتحليل.

والشرط الثاني أن يكون الحكم المنسوخ ثابتا قبل ثبوت حكم الناسخ فذلك يقع بطريقتين: أحدهما من جهة النطق كقوله تعالى "الآن خفف الله عنكم وعلم أن فيكم ضعفا"، وقوله "فتاب عليكم وعفا عنكم فالآن باشروهن". ومثل قول النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم "كنت نهيتكم عن زيارة القبور ألا فزروها". والثاني أن يعلم بطريق التاريخ وهو أن ينقل بالرواية بأن يكون الحكم الأول ثبوته متقدما على الآخر فمتى ورد الحكمان مختلفين على وجه لا يمكن العمل بأحدهما إلا بترك الآخر ولم يثبت تقديم أحدهما على صاحبه بأحد الطريقين امتنع ادعاء النسخ في أحدهما.

والشرط الثالث أن يكون الحكم المنسوخ مشروعا أعني أنه ثبت بخطاب الشرع فأما إن كان ثابتا بالعادة والتعارف لم يكن رافعه ناسخا بل يكون ابتداء شرع وهذا شيء ذكر عند المفسرين فإنهم قالوا كان الطلاق في الجاهلية لا إلى غاية فنسخه قوله "الطلاق مرتان"، وهذا لا يصدر ممن يفقه لأن الفقيه يفهم أن هذا ابتداء شرع لا نسخ.

والشرط الرابع أن يكون ثبوث الحكم الناسخ مشروعا كثبوت المنسوخ فأما ما ليس بمشروع بطريق النقل فلا يجوز أن يكون ناسخا للمنقول ولهذا إذا ثبت حكم منقول لم يجز نسخه بإجماع ولا بقياس.

والشرط الخامس أن يكون الطريق الذي ثبت به الناسخ مثل الطريق الذي ثبت به المنسوخ أو أقوى منه فأما إن كان دونه فلا يجوز ان يكون الأضعف ناسخا للأقوى


This is a good definition, briefly translated as follows:
Five conditions constitute a valid abrogation case,
  1. The two rulings are in conflict and cannot be reconciled. If one ruling is specific and the other is general, that's not a conflict. If a ruling is timed to a term, or applies to a special case or time then it cannot be abrogated.
  2. Abrogated ruling can be shown with proof that it has been in effect before the abrogating ruling, e.g., 8:66.
  3. Abrogated ruling must have been made by God or His Messenger. Rulings of custom don't count.
  4. Abrogating ruling must be made by God or His Messenger. Opinions don't count. Not even majority opinion.
  5. Abrogator must be equal to or stronger in authenticity than the abrogated.

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 Post subject: Re: Definition of abrogation
PostPosted: 12 Jan 2010, 17:47 
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Another excellent tidbit by Al-Jawzi, rahimahullah,


ذكر الآية العاشرة: قوله تعالى "إن الذين يكتمون ما أنزلنا من البينات والهدى" إلى قوله "اللاعنون"، قد زعم قوم من القراء الذين قل حظهم من علم العربية والفقه أن هذه الآية منسوخة بالاستثناء بعدها، ولو كان لهم نصيب من ذلك لعلموا أن الاستثناء ليس بنسخ وإنما هو إخراج بعض ما شمله اللفظ. وينكشف هذا من وجهين: الأول أن الناسخ والمنسوخ لا يمكن العمل بأحدهما إلا بترك العمل بالآخر، وههنا يمكن العمل بالمستثنى والمستثنى منه، والثاني أن الجمل إذا دخلها الاستثناء يثبت أن المستثنى لم يكن مرادا دخوله في الجملة السابقة وما لا يكون مرادا باللفظ الأول لا يدخل عليه النسخ


Citing 2:159, he said that people with little knowledge of Arabic and jurisprudence have claimed that it was abrogated by the next verse, 2:160, with the exception stated there. Al-Jawzi said that an exception is not abrogation because abrogation means the abrogated and the abrogator cannot be worked out together while exceptions can. Also, exceptions mean that they were not meant to be included in the original statement and what is not meant to be included cannot abrogate.

For reference, here are the two verses:

And

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 Post subject: Re: Definition of abrogation
PostPosted: 13 Jan 2010, 20:44 
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Per your post,

http://forum.themostreadbook.org/viewtopic.php?f=130&t=2516&p=3860#p3860

should we finalize the defintion? I still think that it needs to be defined further by adding the phrase, "containing a ruling" because a true declarative statement cannot be abrogated, because as Ibn Al-Jawzi put it, it would be tantamount to saying the first statement was a lie or uninformed, God forbid.

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 Post subject: Re: Definition of abrogation
PostPosted: 14 Jan 2010, 01:44 
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Linguistic wrote:
Per your post,
http://forum.themostreadbook.org/viewtopic.php?f=130&t=2516&p=3860#p3860
should we finalize the definition? I still think that it needs to be defined further by adding the phrase, "containing a ruling" because a true declarative statement cannot be abrogated, because as Ibn Al-Jawzi put it, it would be tantamount to saying the first statement was a lie or uninformed, God forbid.

There are a number of points here so let me address them one at a time.

1. Verse 2:106 is what introduced the notion of abrogation, and according to it what would be abrogated is a verse. Therefore, the only relevant definition of abrogation is abrogation of a verse. Anything else is an expansion of this definition that helps confuse the issues.

2. Indeed statements of fact cannot be abrogated, but we don't have to worry about that in the definition of abrogation. It will follow from the correct definition of abrogation and from the truth of the statements in the Quran that none of the verses that are statements of fact can possibly be abrogated.

3. I suggest the simple definition of abrogation to be the "annulment of a verse" so we no longer have a mandate to follow it. In 2:106, God promises that whenever this happens, He will bring another verse that is better or equal.

4. The key question is

Are there verses in the text of the Quran (at the time of the death of the Prophet PBUH) that are abrogated verses?

since this has decisive ramifications on the validity of rulings included in the text of the Quran. The question if other verses had been abrogated and removed during the life of the Prophet PBUH has no impact on the validity of rulings in the Quran, since if there were such verses they are gone anyway and are not part of the text.

5. If there are abrogated verses in the text of the Quran, it has been established that they were not designated as such by the Prophet PBUH. Therefore, even if there are abrogated verses, which ones they are is a matter of opinion. Whatever criteria the scholars have put forward as requirements to declare a verse abrogated is also a matter of opinion.

6. If there are no abrogated verses in the text of the Quran, the abrogation issue will no longer be actionable, and the subject will become an 'academic' question similar to what was the fasting mandate on the Jews at the time of Moses?

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 Post subject: Re: Definition of abrogation
PostPosted: 14 Jan 2010, 03:55 
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I agree with your definition, except I'd add a definition of the word itself. I'd say that an abrogated verse is a verse that is not to be followed anymore though it remains in the text of the Quran.

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 Post subject: Re: Definition of abrogation
PostPosted: 14 Jan 2010, 04:49 
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Linguistic wrote:
an abrogated verse is a verse that is not to be followed anymore though it remains in the text of the Quran.

Of course it is a definition and as such we can make it whatever we want it to be, then follow the analysis accordingly. From a practical point of view, it is more effective to use the agreed-upon definition which would include verses that went away and verses that stayed in, then focus the discussion on those that stayed in. Disucssing (or dismissing) the verses that went away adds a complication (e.g., Omar's stoning verse) that distracts from the main argument and has less substance to argue about.

Another point is that using the more general definition makes it more difficult for people to quote what we write out of context. We would be saying "Are there verses in the text of the Quran that are abrogated verses?" rather than "Are there abrogated verses?"

BTW, in نواسخ القرآن لابن الجوزي, only the first 6 pages (of the Internet copy of the book) deal with other aspects of abrogation and starting on page 6, the book is dedicated to the verses in the text of the Quran that are claimed to be abrogated, so indeed this is the focus of the abrogation issue.

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 Post subject: Re: Definition of abrogation
PostPosted: 14 Jan 2010, 16:33 
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What I meant was that if I want to arrive at a uniform conclusion that there are no verses in the text of the Quran that have been abrogated, then I cannot include verses that are not in the text. I find no problem with that particular type of abrogation happening.

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