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 Post subject: Re: Definition of abrogation
PostPosted: 24 Jul 2013, 14:35 
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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, says that Ibn Hazm Az-Zhaahiri researched the linguistic meanings of naskh and concluded that there are two of them: (a) removal or (b) transference. He said that the former is the more known and he cites for the latter the expression the Arabs often used نسخ النحل العسل (bees transfered honey [from one cell to another]).

It occurred to me that the second semantic may be understood from 2:106 to mean the transference of the Message of God from the Israelites to the Arabs! The following verse gives credence to this thought,

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 Post subject: Re: Definition of abrogation
PostPosted: 08 Aug 2013, 11:11 
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Dr. M. Ibrahim Faaris, in his introduction to the book صفوة الراسخ في علم المنسوخ والناسخ, page 10, is unambiguous that Naskh means abrogation. He blames scholars who "conflated other types of speech with abrogation calling them naskh. Things like specification, limitation, exception, etc. As a result, the number of verses said to have been abrogated has mushroomed to over 300." He praises scholars who limited the word to abrogation and named Dr. Mustafa Zayd and As-Suyooti as examples. He lauds the book for being clear on that definition and that "such conflation is dangerous."

He says that what matters is the conventional definition (التعريف الاصطلاحي). I respectfully disagree; what matters is the linguistic meaning of the word at the time of the Sahaaba who used the word in their narrations. There is no question that the word meant to them much more than abrogation and many scholars have confirmed that.

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 Post subject: Re: Definition of abrogation
PostPosted: 09 Aug 2013, 11:01 
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Linguistic wrote:
Dr. M. Ibrahim Faaris, in his introduction to the book صفوة الراسخ في علم المنسوخ والناسخ, page 10, is unambiguous that Naskh means abrogation. He blames scholars who "conflated other types of speech with abrogation calling them naskh. Things like specification, limitation, exception, etc. As a result, the number of verses said to have been abrogated has mushroomed to over 300." He praises scholars who limited the word to abrogation and named Dr. Mustafa Zayd and As-Suyooti as examples. He lauds the book for being clear on that definition and that "such conflation is dangerous."

Not clear what he considers unambiguous here. If it is the quranic use of the word, I concur and subatantiate that (if not conclusively prove it) by the use of the word in


Quote:
He says that what matters is the conventional definition (التعريف الاصطلاحي). I respectfully disagree; what matters is the linguistic meaning of the word at the time of the Sahaaba who used the word in their narrations. There is no question that the word meant to them much more than abrogation and many scholars have confirmed that.

I agree that the meaning is a linguistic issue, but I am not sure that this is what the author was addressing. There is irrefutable evidence (to the extent that the narrations are authentic) that Ibn Abbas used the word to mean something other than abrogation, and he had the linguistic right to do that. The author may be just complaining that the scholars have confused the meanings of the word and hence declared verses abrogated when they weren't.

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 Post subject: Re: Definition of abrogation
PostPosted: 09 Aug 2013, 11:44 
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Dr. M. Ibrahim Faaris, in his book صفوة الراسخ في علم المنسوخ والناسخ, pages 27-30, defines naskh. It's not clear whether it's his definition, or the definition made by Shu`la, whose book he introduces. I say that because he refers to contemporary scholars such as Dr. Mustafa Zayd.

He starts with the linguistic definition, which he says is any of the following: to remove, change, replace, copy or transfer.

Then he talks about the conventional definition (الاصطلاح). He says it is "The lifting of a legal ruling with a later legal evidence from the Quran or the Sunna."

I submit that this is NOT the conventional definition agreed with by the majority. Shu`la's definition explicitly adds the Sunna as a possible abrogator. This reflects his following of Imaam Ibn Hanbal, rahimahullah, whom he admired immensely.

He further explains that "lifting a ruling" is not literal. It means "severing its relationship with the ruled." He says that a former ruling is reality and that cannot be lifted. I think that he was paving a way for justifying the notion that a verse stayed in the Quran even after its ruling has been abrogated.

Then he says that a legal ruling is a "directive from God, be it a demand, a prohibition or an option."

I submit that this is NOT the definition of a legal ruling. Scholars have largely agreed that an abrogatable ruling is either a mandate or a prohibition. I think perhaps he was giving himself leeway to approve more abrogation claims.

Then he says that "lifting" means removal and that excludes manners of speech that are not a removal; things like specification: it doesn't lift a ruling, it only limits it to some of its elements.

Then he says "legal evidence" means that it is not a rational evidence. Abrogation does not apply to rulings established by common sense, e.g., a deceased person, a mentally ill person or an unaware person are not required to pray. But he quotes the hadeeth that confirms that, so I don't quite understand this particular evidence, though I agree with him that only legal rulings may be abrogated, if anything can.

Then he says that "from the Quran or the Sunna" means that other sources, such as consensus and analogy, cannot be used to prove abrogation. Dr. Faaris may have been the one who said that part, because he refers to Az-Zurqaani's book مناهل العرفان, volume 2, pages 72-73, and the book الأصول من علم الأصول, by `Uthaymeen, page 35.

Then he acknowledges that the definition of naskh by the Sahaaba, the second and the third generations was even wider than the linguistic one! They used it to mean elaboration too. He quotes Ibn Taymiya, from his famous book الفتاوى, volume 23, page 272 and volume 14, page 10, saying,

المنسوخ يدخل فيه في اصطلاح السلف العام كل ظاهر ترك ظاهره لمعارض راجح كتخصيص العام وتقييد المطلق

Translation: "Mansookh (the amended) includes, in the definition of the Predecessors, any apparent meaning set aside because of preponderant conflictor, such as specification of a generality and limitation of an unlimited."
And,

إن لفظ النسخ مجمل، فالسلف كانوا يستعملونه فيما يظن دلالة الآية عليه من عموم أو إطلاق أو غير ذلك

Translation: "The word naskh is a brief, for the predecessors used it in regards to any implication of a verse, such as generality, absoluteness, etc."

So, what is the problem then? Clearly the word is a heteronym, understood and used as such by the early Muslims. So, why was it changed? And by whose authority?

Shu`ba, or perhaps Dr. Faaris, answers that question by attributing the change to Imaam Ash-Shaafi`i. He quotes him, from his famous book الرسالة, pages 106, 110 and 115-116, saying that a necessary outcome of naskh is leaving compliance with the mansookh (abrogated) and a mandate to comply with the naasikh (abrogator).

Dr. Faaris says that Muhammad Abu-Zahra, in his book أصول الفقه, page 146, confirmed that it was Ash-Shaafi`i who made the distinction and that the earlier scholars did not. Then came scholars who followed Ash-Shaafi`i's definition, such as At-Tabari, An-Nahhaas and Dr. Zayd. He says that the latter two were able to refute much of abrogation claims thanks to that new definition!

Does that mean that scholars have a license to change language as they please?

Isn't it more proper, and more scholarly, to accept what the word actually means and how the people who best knew what it meant have actually used it, and conclude that their narrations are therefore inconclusive evidence that abrogation has ever taken place?

The laudable effort by scholars to reduce the number of abrogation claims was IMHO counterproductive. That's because the larger number of naskh claims, caused by the wider definition of the word naskh, diffuses abrogation. No one claim can be cited for evidence of abrogation in particular, but all may be cited as evidence for naskh. By narrowing the word definition to abrogation only, scholars have made a serious charge against rulings of God, a charge that cannot be substantiated because their basis is an assumption.

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 Post subject: Re: Definition of abrogation
PostPosted: 10 Aug 2013, 03:58 
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Linguistic wrote:
Then he acknowledges that the definition of naskh by the Sahaaba, the second and the third generations was even wider than the linguistic one! They used it to mean elaboration too. He quotes Ibn Taymiya, from his famous book الفتاوى, volume 23, page 272 and volume 14, page 10, saying,

المنسوخ يدخل فيه في اصطلاح السلف العام كل ظاهر ترك ظاهره لمعارض راجح كتخصيص العام وتقييد المطلق

Translation: "Mansookh (the amended) includes, in the definition of the Predecessors, any apparent meaning set aside because of preponderant conflictor, such as specification of a generality and limitation of an unlimited."
And,

إن لفظ النسخ مجمل، فالسلف كانوا يستعملونه فيما يظن دلالة الآية عليه من عموم أو إطلاق أو غير ذلك

Translation: "The word naskh is a brief, for the predecessors used it in regards to any implication of a verse, such as generality, absoluteness, etc."

So, what is the problem then? Clearly the word is a heteronym, understood and used as such by the early Muslims. So, why was it changed? And by whose authority?

Shu`ba, or perhaps Dr. Faaris, answers that question by attributing the change to Imaam Ash-Shaafi`i. He quotes him, from his famous book الرسالة, pages 106, 110 and 115-116, saying that a necessary outcome of naskh is leaving compliance with the mansookh (abrogated) and a mandate to comply with the naasikh (abrogator).

Dr. Faaris says that Muhammad Abu-Zahra, in his book أصول الفقه, page 146, confirmed that it was Ash-Shaafi`i who made the distinction and that the earlier scholars did not. Then came scholars who followed Ash-Shaafi`i's definition, such as At-Tabari, An-Nahhaas and Dr. Zayd.

This is gold. Excellent information.

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 Post subject: Re: Definition of abrogation
PostPosted: 14 Aug 2013, 14:02 
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Dr. M. Ibrahim Faaris, in his presentation of Abu-Abdillah Shu`la's book صفوة الراسخ في علم المنسوخ والناسخ, page 76, praises Shu`la for many things, among them is that he "put the opinions of the Sahaaba ahead of those who came after them."

But Shu`la adamantly rejected the Sahaaba's definition of naskh and insistently defended the second generation restriction of the meaning of the word to be abrogation only.

He can't have it both ways.

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 Post subject: Re: Definition of abrogation
PostPosted: 15 Oct 2013, 18:58 
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After explaining that the word Naskh has multiple meanings in the language all of which have been used by the Arabs, Abu-Bakr Al-Hamdaani writes in his book الاعتبار في الناسخ والمنسوخ من الآثار, page 7, "But what is known about naskh in the Quran is the cancellation of the ruling while keeping the inscription." My translation and emphasis.

So, a definition that has foundation in the language and supported by actual usage is discarded in favor of a theory that has no foundation and upon which a whole religious discipline is based?

Al-Hamdaani adds that this is also the case with naskh in the Hadeeth since they (Hadeeth narrators) probably narrated both the abrogating and the abrogated.

Al-Hamdaani died two centuries after Al-Asfahaani, yet he did not even consider the possibility that Al-Asfahaani may have been right and that there was no abrogation in the Quran at all and that the whole thing is caused by inability to reconcile what seemed contradictory.

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 Post subject: Re: Definition of abrogation
PostPosted: 26 Jul 2017, 21:06 
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Farghali, in his book النسخ بين الإثبات والنفي, spends pages 20-23 showing all of the definitions of Naskh that have been written up in classic and modern books. As he does, it becomes clear that scholars had no consensus on a specific meaning that the word has. In fact, on page 38, he says that he did not show the objections of the scholars to each of those definitions because he didn't want to be boring with lengthy details! Yet he spends pages 23-29 trying to limit the definition to one only: abrogation! Later, he claims that there's a consensus on its meaning and that those who deviate from such consensus are unreasonable!

Some of the definitions he cited are,

  • Removal of something, with or without a replacement.
  • Anything that comes after something that was before it. Ibn Faaris said that "كل شيء خلف شيئا فقد انتسخه".
  • Transference and redirection, without alteration, from one place to another or from one state to another, such that it is no longer at the first place or in the first state. Ibn Al-A`raabi said that.
  • Replication, as in copying a book. The original is not removed.
  • Lifting. Abu Al-Ma`aali, bka Imaam Al-Haramayn, said that and confirmed by Ibn Salaama.

There is no specific meaning of the word. It is a heteronym. What Ibn Faaris said was the closest to the common thread that runs through all of the different meanings of the word, namely,
Quote:
Something comes after another. It may leave it in place or in its state, or it may make changes to it, or it may replace it.

Farghali himself confirms it by quoting the Hadeeth,
ما من نبوة إلا وتنسخها فترة

Translation: There was never a prophethood, but was followed by a lull of revelation.

I couldn't find an authentication of that hadeeth though.

What is unreasonable is limiting the many meanings of a heteronym like Naskh to only one because someone wants to back up his theory.

Interestingly enough, he confirms the replication semantic by quoting,

But he doesn't consider the replication semantic in the proper definition of Naskh, because...get this...there is no repeated verse in the quran which was abrogated by its repetition! He says that on page 25 and cites for confirmation Al-Nahhaas who said "that is not of Naskh, which is removal of a ruling while keeping the text"!

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