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 Post subject: Re: Scholars opinions about abrogation
PostPosted: 30 Jul 2013, 20:34 
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Linguistic wrote:
  • Full consensus of scholars, without one dissension.

by saying that consensus not based on a text cannot be used as such criterion as that would open the gate for abrogation by whim.

I disagree with the reasoning, even if I concur with the conclusion. Simply "this will lead to things I don't like" is not an argument to refute something. You do not start from the conclusion in making an argument. That makes it convincing for the person who made the argument due to their comfort with the conclusion, but makes it labored for the reader who is faithfully following the logic of the argument.

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 Post subject: Re: Scholars opinions about abrogation
PostPosted: 03 Aug 2013, 14:31 
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Dr. M. Saalih Ali Mustafa finishes his book النسخ في القرآن الكريم - مفهومه وتاريخه ودعاواه, page 61, by calling on all scholars to "return the meaning of naskh to its definition made by the Salaf (predecessors), which has a wide range of meanings, including specification, limitation, elaboration and abrogation."

I agree, but he neglected to say that it was the Salaf, starting with the fellows of Ibn Mas`ood, who restricted the meaning of the word to abrogation only! He blames the modern scholars for that, but they simply followed up on what the Salaf did.

He then calls on scholars to be specific about what type of naskh they are talking about, e.g., نسخ تخصيص (edition by specification), نسخ تقييد (edition by limitation), نسخ تفصيل (edition by elaboration), نسخ تفسير (edition by explanation). I fully agree and wish that the Salaf did that too. In some narrations, Ibn Abbaas (RA) did, but rarely.

He states that the abrogation doctrine is difficult to prove and has been disagreed on despite the multitude and fame of its claims.

He criticizes the modern scholars for relying only on narrations (النقل) to reject abrogation, whereas the Salaf relied on "الصريح الصحيح من النقل والعقل" (the explicit, authentic narration as well as intellect).

Really? The main tool of modern scholars has been sound logic. In addition, so many of the narrations the Salaf solicited for support of the abrogation doctrine are inauthentic or down right weak. All are singles and none are attributed to the Prophet (PBUH). Perhaps what he meant was that modern scholars have stated that abrogation cannot be concluded on the basis of analysis (اجتهاد); that it must be explicitly stated in authentic text.

If that's what he meant, then his statement implies that he disagrees with it; that he sees analysis as a legitimate method to conclude abrogation of a verse's ruling! But many of the Salaf in fact have stated that this is unacceptable (see the burden of proof post), and we have noticed that most of abrogation claims stem from a narration.

Then he switches blame toward the pro-abrogation folk who "exaggerated the number of claims" and that what they're claiming affects the very foundation of the religion. That, indeed, is the seriousness of the abrogation doctrine, but whether abrogation happened once or 300 times doesn't matter. I hope we've shown that it didn't happen at all in the Quran.

He concludes that the difference between the pro- and anti-abrogation scholars is really about semantics. I respectfully disagree, as we have shown many statements by the Salaf that rulings of verses claimed abrogated are no longer to be followed. No confusion about semantics here.

Dr. Mustafa finishes by calling for correct definition of naskh and says that once that is done, the wisdom of it will be clear. That wisdom is the graduation of legislation to build the soul like a body being healed.

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 Post subject: Re: Scholars opinions about abrogation
PostPosted: 04 Aug 2013, 12:56 
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The content of the last post is a good find as it is detailed and central to our discussion. One remark:

Linguistic wrote:
Dr. M. Saalih Ali Mustafa finishes his book النسخ في القرآن الكريم - مفهومه وتاريخه ودعاواه, page 61, by calling on all scholars to "return the meaning of naskh to its definition made by the Salaf (predecessors), which has a wide range of meanings, including specification, limitation, elaboration and abrogation."

I agree, but he neglected to say that it was the Salaf, starting with the fellows of Ibn Mas`ood, who restricted the meaning of the word to abrogation only! He blames the modern scholars for that, but they simply followed up on what the Salaf did.

According to our research which was pretty elaborate on this specific point, there is no question that the origin of the abrogation doctrine is the quote by the companions of Ibn Massoud, and there is no question that what they talked about was abrogation rather than any other shade of the meaning of the word naskh. Mustafa's remark would apply to the narrations of Ibn Abbas, but not to the earlier quote from the companions of Ibn Massoud. Maybe he is not familiar with that quote?

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 Post subject: Re: Scholars opinions about abrogation
PostPosted: 08 Aug 2013, 10:29 
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Dr. Ramadhaan Abdut-Tawwaab, who wrote the introduction to صفوة الراسخ في علم المنسوخ والناسخ, says on page 7 that the fact that so many scholars wrote about abrogation reflects its importance. That is true, but IMHO it also reflects vast uncertainty about it. A subject that requires so many books to explain and invokes so many debates and disputes may be important but it may also be false.

Dr. Abdut-Tawwaab acknowledges that scholars have differed greatly on the number of abrogated and abrogating verses and took diverse paths.

The verifier of the book, Dr. M. Ibrahim Faaris exposes his bias right away in his introduction on page 9, when he says that anti-abrogation scholars offer "labored interpretations" of abrogated verses in order to negate that abrogation did occur in the book of God. He repeats the shaky story of هلكت وأهلكت (alledged to Ali) without authenticating it. He also mentions another unauthenticated narration from Az-Zuhri, in which he says "Whoever does not know the abrogating and the abrogated will mix things in the religion."

He warns that abrogation is used as a tool of "atheists, missionaries and orientalists" to attack Islam. He sees abrogation as grace from God, who "raised the Muslim community in 23 years in a way that would normally take centuries."

But scrutiny reveals that none of the verses claimed abrogated have had their rulings canceled, only amended. Dr. Faaris, however, rejects that naskh means anything but abrogation.

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 Post subject: Re: Scholars opinions about abrogation
PostPosted: 09 Aug 2013, 11:29 
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Linguistic wrote:
The verifier of the book, Dr. M. Ibrahim Faaris exposes his bias right away in his introduction on page 9, when he says that anti-abrogation scholars offer "labored interpretations" of abrogated verses in order to negate that abrogation did occur in the book of God.

The burden of proof is confused in the literature. While the question of whether abrogation occurred in the abstract is a symmetric question where the burden of proof is comparable for those for and against, the question of whether a particular verse is abrogated is far from symmetric and requires serious evidence to be asserted. Therefore, the argument that the verse is not abrogated is only required to raise doubt rather than prove anything, so the argument need not be compelling, just reasonable. That does not relagate it to "labored interpretation" because the burden of proof is on those who disagree with it.

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 Post subject: Re: Scholars opinions about abrogation
PostPosted: 10 Aug 2013, 17:59 
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Linguistic wrote:
He (Dr. Faaris) repeats the shaky story of هلكت وأهلكت (alledged to Ali) without authenticating it.

On page 33, he promises to authenticate that story in the introduction of the book author, Shu`la, but he actually doesn't. Instead, he refers the reader to the book الإتقان في علوم القرآن, by As-Suyooti, volume 2, page 20.

So, I decided to look it up. I didn't find it! What I found, on page 55, is a mention of the story without a narration chain.

So, I decided to look it up the narration myself. What I found is this,

انتَهى عليٌّ إلى رجلٍ وَهوَ يقصُّ فقالَ علمتَ النَّاسخَ من المنسوخِ ؟ قالَ : لا قالَ : هلَكتَ وأَهلَكتَ

Translation: Ali encountered a man telling stories. He asked him: Do you know the abrogating from the abrogated? He said: No. He said: You are doomed and you caused doom.

The narration is made by Abu-`Abdir-Rahmaan As-Salmi and reported and rated authentic by Ibn Muflih in his book الآداب الشرعية (Legal Disciplines), volume 2, page 86.

This confirms that the man in question is not a judge, as quoters of the story often have reported, but a story teller. Such is not expected to know of abrogation. The narration, and Ali's words, are general. The man could have been telling Israelite stories for all we know. How such a flimsy story keeps being cited as evidence for abrogation is beyond me.

The narrator's name appears as Abu-`Abdir-Rahmaan Al-Juhani, instead of As-Salmi, in a narration rated authentic by Al-Albaani and reported by Abu-Khaythama in his book العلم, page 130. That narration too mentions nothing about what the story teller was talking about.

Then I found the narration, attributed to Ibn Abbaas by Ad-Dhahhaak ibn Muzaahim. That narration is not clearly rated but it has, in its chain of narrators, a man by the name of Abu-Ya`la Raashid, a servant of the Banu `Aamir folk and no one has evaluated his credibility. The narration appears in the book مجمع الزوائد, volume 1, page 159, by Al-Haythami.

BTW, As-Suyooti mentions, on page 55 of that book, the name of the hadeeth reporter Abu-Daawood as one of the scholars who wrote about and classified abrogation. But I haven't seen any of his writing about that, nor any other reference to him as an abrogation scholar elsewhere.

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 Post subject: Re: Scholars opinions about abrogation
PostPosted: 10 Aug 2013, 18:31 
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Dr. M. Ibrahim Faaris, in his book introduction صفوة الراسخ في المنسوخ والناسخ, page 38, mentions a very interesting statistic, presented by Dr. Abdul-Mun`im An-Nimr, in his book علوم القرآن الكريم, of the breakdown of the number of verses claimed abrogated but are really not:
75 statements of fact,
28 threats,
63 falsely called abrogated by the sword verse,
48 elaborated, not abrogated,
63 contain no contradictions,
6 called abrogated by consensus of scholars but the case for abrogating them is incorrect.
Total: 283.

Dr. Faaris does not mention those 6 abrogation claims that Dr. An-Nimr rejected despite majority approval. I have a feeling that they are the only 6 verses claimed abrogated by Dr. Mustafa Zayd, but I need to check out Dr. An-Nimr's book to confirm it. If I'm right in my guess, then it means that Dr. An-Nimr rejected the abrogation doctrine.

Dr. Faaris says that the total number of verses claimed abrogated is 293 (he should read this forum!), which leaves ten possibles.

Then he states that one of the established rules in the abrogation discipline is that no claim of abrogation should be made unless it is not possible to reconcile two verses and that claiming non-abrogation with an argument and an aspect is much more preferred to claiming abrogation.

I couldn't agree more. Let's see if he follows that rule in the book.

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 Post subject: Re: Scholars opinions about abrogation
PostPosted: 11 Aug 2013, 14:51 
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Dr. M. Ibrahim Faaris defends the abrogation doctrine, in his book صفوة الراسخ في علم المنسوخ والناسخ, pages 46-48, by quoting Az-Zurqaani's reasoning, from his book مناهل العرفان, volume 2, pages 87-88:

  • Abrogation is not logically impossible.

    I respectfully say that it doesn't follow that abrogation in the Quran has happened. Not everything that is possible has happened.

  • If abrogation was not possible, then God would not have ordered His worshipers an order that was temporary that ceases when its term ends, but anti-abrogation scholars allow that.

    I respectfully say that this is NOT abrogation, per the conventional definition that Dr. Faaris strongly approves!

  • If abrogation was not possible, then the Message of Muhammad (PBUH) would not hold, because it is an abrogation of all prior laws and scriptures.

    But that has nothing to do with abrogation within the Quran. If the final scripture can be abrogated, then how can it be final?

  • Evidence that abrogation did happen is available.

    But the evidence has been successfully challenged and refuted by many scholars.

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 Post subject: Re: Scholars opinions about abrogation
PostPosted: 13 Aug 2013, 18:04 
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Starting on page 69 of his book صفوة الراسخ في علم المنسوخ والناسخ, Dr. M. Ibrahim Faaris introduces its author's (Shu`la) methodical writing style with high praise for his scholarship. He mentions how he managed in a mere 41 pages to do what other scholars failed to do in much larger volumes.

He says that the author starts out by proving that abrogation is possible and that the evidence for that is text and consensus.

If textual evidence exists, then how come there are diverse opinions of scholars about abrogation, many rejecting it? You never heard, throughout 1400 years of Islamic scholarship, of any scholar suggesting that leaving out prayers without an excuse is permitted, or that eating pork when unnecessary was allowed. Why not? Because the evidence to the contrary is unambiguous in the Quran!

If abrogation was similarly evidential, the text about it would have been similarly unambiguous. But it is not.

And what about consensus? Is that evidence? There is no consensus on any matter among Muslim scholars, except the foundations of the religion that are explicitly stated in the Quran. Everything else has been debated. Sects and schools of thought evolved as a result of such diversity.

Besides, consensus has been wrong before. It is well known that Imaam Ash-Shaaf`i ruled contrary to consensus several times, and his ruling became the new consensus!

On page 70, Dr. Faaris mentions how Shu`la rejected strongly that statements of fact may be abrogated. He used the simple logic that it is not befitting God to say that something has happened, then come back later to say it didn't.

He used logic. And it is right of course. But why didn't he think that the following too is unfitting God: That God would order us to do something, not tell us that it was temporary or subject to change, then come back later and tell us something contrary and not tell us that it cancels the last order!

Sanctified is God above this nonsense that they imply on Him. When God sent His Message to the Hebrews, He told them that He will send more prophets with more scriptures and that the Hebrews MUST follow the new revelations. He made them swear to it,

Therefore, when the Gospel and Jesus (PBUH) came, they had to be followed, even if that means leaving out orders the Israelites came to believe were divine. And the same thing when the Quran and Muhammad (PBUH) came.

God does not leave a matter as serious as abrogation of His laws to error-prone mortals.

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 Post subject: Re: Scholars opinions about abrogation
PostPosted: 13 Aug 2013, 18:20 
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On page 71 of his presentation of Shu`la's book صفوة الراسخ في علم المنسوخ والناسخ, Dr. M. Ibrahim Faaris mentions that the author, when reporting narrations to back up his conclusions, has rarely mentioned their narration chain. Is that scholarly? Is it proper to cite for evidence that would annul a law of God a narration that may not be authentic, let alone subject to interpretation?

In fact, many times, as Dr. Faaris noted, Shu`la didn't even bother to say who said some opinion. Instead, he would say "Some said" or "only one said." Dr. Faaris clearly finds that peculiar, but does not let it affect his praise for the man's scholarship.

Worse yet, as Dr. Faaris reports, Shu`la at times would say that a verse was abrogated by the sword verse without even saying who said that or why.

Dr. Faaris is a great admirer of Shu`la, yet this is one of five points he criticizes Shu`la for on pages 77-78.

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