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 Post subject: Re: Scholars opinions about abrogation
PostPosted: 15 Mar 2010, 05:21 
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Linguistic wrote:
  • That "cause it to be forgotten" means to leave it unabrogated.
...
The third point is a new one to me that I haven't seen before in the literature, and a rather strange one at that.

That third point is as labored as I have seen.

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 Post subject: Re: Scholars opinions about abrogation
PostPosted: 19 Mar 2010, 01:18 
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In his book الناسخ والمنسوخ في القرآن, Ibn Hazm Al-Andalusi confirms that exception is not naskh and tells that the majority of the jurists are of the opinion that exception and specification are not naskh. He writes,

فصل. والنسخ إنما يقع في الأمر والنهي ولا يجوز أن يقع في الأخبار المحضة. والاستثناء ليس بنسخ، إنما يقع في الأمر من بعد، بخلاف وقوع النسخ في الخبر المحض. وسمى بعضهم الاستثناء والتخصيص نسخا والفقهاء على خلاف ذلك

Then, one page later, he states that the exception in 2:160 is a naskh of 2:159! He wrote,

الآية الخامسة قوله تعالى: "إن الذين يكتمون ما أنزلنا من البينات والهدى" الآية 159 مدنية البقرة 2 نسخها الله تعالى بالاستثناء فقال "إلا الذين تابوا وأصلحوا وبينوا" 159 البقرة


That was an obvious inconsistency. We have shown numerous examples that exception and specification are indeed naskh, as the Arabic word meant, but are not abrogation.

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 Post subject: Re: Scholars opinions about abrogation
PostPosted: 19 Mar 2010, 02:54 
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Linguistic wrote:
That was an obvious inconsistency.

Same complaint I had about Zaid's book. An emphatic statement of principle followed by blatant violation of the principle without as much as a comment about the discrepancy.

My litmus test for being abrogated is simple "was the first verse annulled, never to be taken into consideration in any situation again?" If the answer is no, it is not abrogated by definition. We can adapt that to "ruling" instead of "verse" just to accommodate their logic, but the principle is the same: "was the first ruling annulled, never to be followed in any situation again?"

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 Post subject: Re: Scholars opinions about abrogation
PostPosted: 08 Apr 2010, 17:34 
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Professor Ahmed Ibrahim, may God bless his soul, a towering figure of Islamic law in Egypt per former Sheikh Al-Azhar Jaad-ul-Haqq, held the view that there has been abrogation in Islamic rulings. His views, which I found in his excellent book علم أصول الفقه, are as follows,
  • The wisdom of abrogation is that rulings came in graduation so that they would not be hard on the early Muslims. Examples of that are alcohol, battle and inheritance.
  • Some rulings were timed and when their time came they became void.
  • Abrogation is two types: total or specifying.
  • Abrogation ceased after the death of the Prophet (PBUH). He held the view you have, Pragmatic, about dynamic and static phases of the Quran.
  • The authentic Sunna can abrogate the Quran.

As examples of total abrogation, Professor Ibrahim cites these cases:
  • Abrogation of a will for parents and relatives by the inheritance verses and by the hadeeth: لاوصية لوارث (There shall be no bequest for an heir).
  • The hadeeth allowing visiting the graves after the Prophet had previously forbade it.
  • Changing the direction of prayer from Jerusalem to Mecca.
  • Replacing the command to fast three days with fasting in Ramadhaan.
  • Ending the privilege of a husband to take back his divorced wife after any number of divorces and limiting the number to three times.

Only the first of these points apply to the abrogation doctrine and I offered my humble opinion as to why it's an invalid abrogation claim.

As examples of limiting abrogation, Professor Ibrahim cites these cases:
  • 24:6/24:4 - Making a specific ruling for accusing one's own wife of adultery.
  • 65:4/2:240 - Making a special grace period for pregnant divorced women. He mentions that Ibn Mas`ood (ra) stated emphatically that 65:4 was revealed after 2:240. He said that the majority has ruled that the grace period for a pregnant divorcée is until delivery, even if it was less than four months and ten days. He also said that Ali, may God have been pleased with him, chose instead the longer of the two periods.

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 Post subject: Re: Scholars opinions about abrogation
PostPosted: 08 Apr 2010, 18:55 
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Linguistic wrote:
Professor Ahmed Ibrahim, may God bless his soul, a towering figure of Islamic law in Egypt per former Sheikh Al-Azhar Jaad-ul-Haqq, held the view that there has been abrogation in Islamic rulings. His views, which I found in his excellent book علم أصول الفقه, are as follows

Thank you for the excellent find. I have a lot of respect for Professor Ahmed Ibrahim. Like Dr. Mostafa Zaid, Professor Ibrahim worked in Cairo University which is independent of Al-Azhar, yet he commanded respect from Al-Azhar scholars.

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 Post subject: Re: Scholars opinions about abrogation
PostPosted: 18 Apr 2010, 23:09 
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I finally got a copy of one of the books I've been trying to get for some time, فتح المنان في نسخ القرآن, by Sheikh Ali Hasan Al-Areedh, supervisor of preachers at Al-Azhar.

I'm still reading it, but I have so far found a consistent theme. The author is tormented by what he perceives to be a conflict between two ideas he strongly and equally believes in,

  1. God can do whatever He wills, including abrogation of verses of the Quran, and nobody can contest it or question Him about it.
  2. There is no evidence in the Quran or the Sunna that any verse in the Quran has been abrogated.

The torment is unnecessary! The two ideas are compatible. The fact that there are no abrogated verses in the Quran is the result of the free will of God. Had He willed differently, He would have said so, or instructed His messenger to say so. Neither happened. And because neither happened, there simply is no cause for anybody to say otherwise because nobody has any proof to such claim.

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 Post subject: Re: Scholars opinions about abrogation
PostPosted: 20 Apr 2010, 01:29 
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The preface to the 2nd edition of Al-Jabri's book offers a unique perspective on the attacks that an anti-abrogation writer faces. The second edition was published 26 years after the first edition. In the preface (pages 7-12 of the hard copy), Al-Jabri talks about the attacks he received after the first edition was published. Here are the highlights.

1. His response was polite, taking pains to excuse his attackers but lamenting the more vicious attacks. He also mentioned that some of his attackers have become his friends after he talked to them in person.

2. He mentions that his thesis is that there is no abrogation in the Quran or the Sunna, which covers more than the abrogation doctrine. I will have to see his arguments as I read the book.

3. He emphasizes his main argument which is similar to yours, Linguistic, namely that without an explicit statement from God or the Prophet (PBUH) saying that a specific verse abrogated a specific verse, abrogation claims are invalid. He goes on to quote some of his attackers who said basically the same thing, then went on to claim abrogation against their own criterion.

4. The one thing he mentions that raises an issue is that he briefly added the Sahaba's explicit narrations as a legitimate source for deciding abrogation. I have no idea yet how he will handle the various abrogation claims attributed to the Sahaba. We'll see.

5. Nothing new or substantive in the attacks he included and responded to. Things like "you are denying God the right to abrogate" and "you are siding with the enemies of Islam" and "nothing wrong with having temporary rulings."

6. At the end of the preface, he comments on his patience in absorbing and rebutting the attacks over the years, the hardships he had to go through, and his own thinking and rethinking about the issue. He concludes that he is as convinced of his thesis as he was 26 years before.

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 Post subject: Re: Scholars opinions about abrogation
PostPosted: 20 Apr 2010, 16:53 
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In his book فتح المنان في نسخ القرآن, Ali Hasan Al-Areedh quotes two classic scholars thoughts on abrogation:

Abul-Qaasim Ibn Salaama wrote:
Abrogation in the Quran is evidence of the oneness of God, who said in 7:54, "To Him is creation and command." It is narrated by Ibn Abbaas that he climbed the hill of Marwa and recited that verse then said, "Whoever claims a third power, let him rise. Creation is everything that He created and command is everything He decreed. There are no two words that define dominion like those two."

That confirms God's power. It doesn't prove the abrogation doctrine, nor prove that the abrogation doctrine proves God's oneness. The argument is not that God cannot abrogate; it's that He did and left the abrogated verses in the Quran.

Ibn Hazm Al-Andalusi wrote:
God willed that He forbid things for a while then allow them. There is no particular reason for that, just like there is no particular reason for sending Muhammad (PBUH) at the time He sent him and not before, or like there is no particular reason for the prayers to be five and not three or seven.

Again, doesn't address the abrogation doctrine, but rather God's free will. Rejecting the abrogation doctrine is not a rejection of God's power or free will; it's rejection of a concocted doctrine that cannot be proven.

As for the notion that God's timing and amount of a decree, they are both precise! That is the essence of the belief in Al-Qadhaa wal-Qadar (Decree and Precision)! God says,

So the timing of the revelation and the amount of worship are both precise.

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 Post subject: Re: Scholars opinions about abrogation
PostPosted: 20 Apr 2010, 18:21 
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Linguistic wrote:
That confirms God's power. It doesn't prove the abrogation doctrine, nor prove that the abrogation doctrine proves God's oneness. The argument is not that God cannot abrogate; it's that He did and left the abrogated verses in the Quran.

I have thought about the many arguments that revered scholars wrote in order to prove abrogation. The arguments patently prove nothing about the abrogation doctrine, but rather preach general principles of faith. I wondered why this approach is taken, and here are possible reasons I can think of:

1. They didn't have a convincing proof of the abrogation doctrine, but they believed in it, so they tried to defend it in generic terms.

2. Having taken the abrogation doctrine as an article of faith, they were worried about those who may have doubts, so they set out to preach the collective notion without considering its subtleties in order not to open the door for any doubt.

3. They didn't appreciate the distinction, in terms of evidence or impact, between the abrogation doctrine and other forms of abrogation, e.g., abrogation of previous revelations by the Quran.

4. The style of preaching was a safety mechanism since the culture dictated that a statement that is filled with the praise of God cannot be easily attacked even if it has no substance besides the praise of the Almighty.

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 Post subject: Re: Scholars opinions about abrogation
PostPosted: 20 Apr 2010, 18:33 
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Pragmatic wrote:
I have thought about the many arguments that revered scholars wrote in order to prove abrogation. The arguments patently prove nothing about the abrogation doctrine, but rather preach general principles of faith. I wondered why this approach is taken, and here are possible reasons I can think of:

May I add a couple more?

5. They are reassuring themselves before anybody else, for they themselves are uncomfortable about the doctrine for the obvious reason that it is without a firm basis. This I could sense in Ali Hasan Al-Areedh's book فتح المنان في نسخ القرآن as he repeatedly says how that argument or the other "removes doubt" or "assures the believer!"

6. They hate to be the odd man out. The Prophet, peace be upon him, emphasized unity and staying with the group, and obeying the righteous leaders. Nobody can dispute the earned high status and the depth of knowledge of the many pro-abrogation scholars.

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