Did 73:20 abrogate 73:1-4?
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Author:  Linguistic [ 01 Feb 2020, 20:02 ]
Post subject:  Re: Did 73:20 abrogate 73:1-4?

Al-Ghaali, in his book بالحجة والبرهان لا نسخ في القرآن, pages 179-183, rejects this claim of abrogation on several grounds,
  • The command in 73:1 is for the Prophet (PBUH) alone, evidence by something particular to him (being bundled up from the cold he felt). Some scholars, such as Ibn Al-Arabi, suggested that the command extends to the entire community, but Al-Ghaali says there is no evidence that it does and gives a great example of a command addressed to the Prophet but extends to the community,

    while 73:20 clearly mentions members of the community. Whereas the commands,


    are clearly addressed to the Prophet (PBUH} alone.

  • That the Sahaba followed suit is their own understanding, which was incorrect, much like, Al-Ghaali compares, when they misunderstood 2:284 and burdened themselves as a result. The relieving verses, 73:20 and 2:286 came to abrogate that misunderstanding. I'd add the example of 3:102 as well, relieved by 64:16. Here are these verses

  • The fact that only a bevy of the fellows of the Prophet (PBUH) did stay up at night proves that the command was understood to be a recommendation and not a mandate, or else the rest of the Sahaba could not dare not doing it.

  • 73:20 states the reason God did not mandate the night prayer on all Muslims: Some of them will be sick, busy with work all day and must sleep at night, or join battles that require them to be alert.

  • The command فاقرؤوا ما تيسر من القرآن (so, recite what you find easy to recite of the Quran) may be literal, i.e., it refers to reciting the Quran and not to the night prayer.

  • The flexibility of what portion of the night to stay up, as stated in 73:2-4, suggests that the command is a recommendation.
Thus, Al-Ghaali concludes that there are three refuting arguments and one supporting argument and that tips the balance for non-abrogation. The three refuting arguments are 1. The command is specific to the Prophet (PBUH), 2. The command is a recommendation and 3. The command is to recite the Quran and does not talk about the night prayer. The one supporting argument is that the command is for all Muslims, is a mandate and is talking about the night prayer.

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