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 Post subject: Re: Did 2:286 abrogate 2:284?
PostPosted: 04 Jun 2010, 16:48 
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Ihab Hasan Abduh has a remarkably simple explanation to refute this claim. He says in his book استحالة وجود النسخ بالقرآن, page 336, that the verse does not speak about thoughts, but rather about actions, such as when a person sins privately. It's a plausible interpretation and it explains to me why the Prophet, peace be upon him, smiled when Umar interpreted it as speaking about thoughts.

This is one example of naskh doing the job of clearing up misunderstanding. Verse 2:286 does so by explaining four things,
  1. God will never charge a person beyond their capacity. Much of thoughts is uncontrollable and therefore cannot be covered by 2:284.
  2. Only earned action is counted.
  3. God may let pass forgetfulness and mistakes believers make and pardon them.
  4. God may not burden believers with difficult requirements as a punishment for their infractions.

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 Post subject: Re: Did 2:286 abrogate 2:284?
PostPosted: 05 Jun 2010, 04:53 
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Linguistic wrote:
Ihab Hasan Abduh has a remarkably simple explanation to refute this claim. He says in his book استحالة وجود النسخ بالقرآن, page 336, that the verse does not speak about thoughts, but rather about actions, such as when a person sins privately.

I have to say that this idea is not born by the wording "ما في أنفسكم" in the verse.

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 Post subject: Re: Did 2:286 abrogate 2:284?
PostPosted: 07 Jun 2010, 07:45 
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In his book, Al-Ghali discusses this abrogation claim on pages 92-98. He spends most of the time detailing other opinions about the case for and against, as well as Sahaba narrations about the case. He takes the view that we mentioned before, citing belief and disbelief as well as the intentions we have in doing something as clear cases of things that we are accountable for. He also cites as evidence examples from some verses, e.g.,


quoted by Rasheed Reda as something inside us that we are accountable for.

I find that the wording of 2:284 supports the interpretation that it is about intention. The particular wording I have in mind is يحاسبكم به as opposed to يحاسبكم عليه (hold you accountable according to it rather than for it), similar to the use of بالنيات in the famous hadeeth.

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 Post subject: Re: Did 2:286 abrogate 2:284?
PostPosted: 17 Jun 2010, 17:43 
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Al-Ghaali, in his book بالحجة والبرهان لا نسخ في القرآن, pages 87-92, in refuting this claim, offers a brilliant interpretation even though he doesn't elaborate on it. He says that hypocrisy and Shirk (association of others with God in worship) are works of the heart, and a person may hide them but that does not mean he won't be punished for it! In other words, I gather, the verse, 2:284, which is unanimously thought to be addressing the believers, is actually addressing everybody, including the hypocrites and telling them that hiding their ill beliefs will not save them from being accounted for them.

Love that. What supports this is that Chapter 2 is the first Chapter revealed in Medina, where hypocrites appeared for the first time in the early Islamic era.

Other refutation arguments he presents are,
  • Ibn Al-Jawzi narrated from Ibn Abbaas that verse 2:284 was not abrogated but the accounting mentioned in it is showing the individual the ill thoughts he had and were not written by the angels because they didn't know of them. Ibn Al-Jawzi also mentioned a narration from `Aa'isha (RA) explaining the accounting to be the distress, sadness the believer will subsequently feel and the worldly punishment that will befall him.
  • Ikrima rejected the abrogation claim saying that the verse is talking about suppressing testimony.
  • Ibn Hanbal rejected the claim of abrogation as he saw the verse talking about doubt and certainty. Mujaahid and Al-Hasan said the same.
  • Ibn Al-Anbari rejected the abrogation claim because the verse is declarative.
  • Ar-Raazi rejected the abrogation claim because there was never a command to avoid thinking bad thoughts!
  • Ibn Atiyya, in his exegesis, المحرر الوجيز في تفسير الكتاب العزيز, part 2, page 310, rejects the claim of abrogation and explains ما في أنفسكم to mean what has settled in one's belief system but never revealed, not the fleeting bad thoughts that may occur to one.

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 Post subject: Re: Did 2:286 abrogate 2:284?
PostPosted: 09 Aug 2010, 14:50 
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Al-Khazraji, in his book نفس الصباح في غريب القرآن وناسخه ومنسوخه, volume 1, pages 244-245, says that Ibn Abbaas and Ibn Mas`ood made the claim, but in another narration they both said it 2:284 was not abrogated. Which is it?

Ibn Abbaas's argument why 2:284 is not abrogated is that it's about concealing testimony. Ikrima agrees and says that 2:282 mentioned concealing a testimony. That's a possible interpretation, but the language of 2:284 is too general to be narrowed down to concealment of testimony, IMHO.

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 Post subject: Re: Did 2:286 abrogate 2:284?
PostPosted: 03 Sep 2010, 14:45 
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Jamaal `Ataaya, in his book حقيقة النسخ وطلاقة النص في القرآن, pages 197-203, discusses and rejects this claim. Among his arguments is what he quoted from Ar-Raazi's book مفاتيح الغيب, volume 4, page 31. He refutes the claim on a number of grounds,

  • Thoughts of the heart are two types:
    1. Thoughts that one formulates and intends to act on. Those are accountable.
    2. Thoughts that occur to a person, he might dislike them but can't kick them off. Those are not accountable.
    The evidence is


  • Accounting follows the deliberate actions of the heart. For instance, disbelief in God is accountable. While actions without intention, such as those of the sleeping are not accountable.

  • The verb God used is يحاسبكم (He will question you), not يؤاخذكم (He will hold you accountable). `Ataaya picks that point up and elaborates it nicely. He says,

    علينا أن نعرف الفرق بين المحاسبة والمؤاخذة. فالمحاسبة هي معرفة ماهو لي وماهو لك. ولكن المؤاخذة هي: أن آخذ ماهو لي وأن تأخذ ماهو لك.
    فالمحاسبة هي مجرد العلم بالحقوق، ولكن المؤاخذة هي أخذ الحقوق

    Translation: We must understand the difference between Muhaasaba (questioning) and Mu'aakhazha (accounting). Muhaasaba is to know what is mine and what is yours. Mu'aakhazha is that I take what is mine and you take what is yours. So, Muhaasaba is knowledge of rights, while Mu'aakhazha is taking those rights.

  • A claim of abrogation is weak because
    • 2:284 does not say that believers should not have bad thoughts. If it did, the abrogation claim would have merit.
    • 2:284 does not specify a punishment for bad thoughts.
    • 2:284 is a declarative statement which rules of abrogation say cannot be abrogated.

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 Post subject: Re: Did 2:286 abrogate 2:284?
PostPosted: 08 Sep 2010, 14:34 
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Al-Qaasim ibn Salaam reports three narrations of interest to this claim which he does not take a stand on in his book الناسخ والمنسوخ في القرآن والسنة, pages 202-206:

  1. Ibn Abbaas said it was not abrogated. He explained it as follows. God gathers the creation and tells them: I tell you what you concealed in your souls. As for the believers, He tells them then He forgives them. As for the disbelievers and doubters, He tells them what they concealed of belying.

    He does not attribute that interpretation to anybody, so presumably it's his own.

  2. `Aa'isha was asked about 2:284 and about 4:123,

    She replied that she asked the Prophet (PBUH) the same question and he answered her, "This is the follow-up of God to the worshiper in what he is hit with of hardship, or stung with a pin, or what hits his family or property, such that he would put his merchandise in the palm of his hand and loses it and panics, until the believer gets out of his sins as the red ore comes out of the bellows."

  3. `Aa'isha explained 2:284 as follows: What you make public, God holds you accountable to it, and as for what you concealed is what He hastened to you of punishment in this world.

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 Post subject: Re: Did 2:286 abrogate 2:284?
PostPosted: 20 Sep 2010, 03:33 
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A point occurred to me as I was reading the analysis of this abrogation claim. The preposition used in 2:284 is "ب" not "على" as the verse says "يحاسبكم به الله" not "يحاسبكم عليه الله". This is the same preposition used in the well known hadeeth "إنما الأعمال بالنيات". In both cases, the statement being made is that we are accountable according to our intentions, rather than for our intentions. In other words, it is a tangible action that we would be accountable for, but how we are accountable depends on what was in our heart when we acted.

This is just another angle for refuting the abrogation claim. It remains very compelling that faith, the foremost thing we are accountable for, is inside our heart even if we never act upon it one way or another.

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 Post subject: Re: Did 2:286 abrogate 2:284?
PostPosted: 20 Sep 2010, 05:47 
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Pragmatic wrote:
A point occurred to me as I was reading the analysis of this abrogation claim. The preposition used in 2:284 is "ب" not "على" as the verse says "يحاسبكم به الله" not "يحاسبكم عليه الله".

Bingo. I finally understand what `Aa'isha said, may God have been pleased with her, when she interpreted 2:284 by saying that the ill thoughts are themselves a punishment for sins.

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 Post subject: Re: Did 2:286 abrogate 2:284?
PostPosted: 09 Oct 2010, 18:31 
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Haani Taahir discusses and refutes this claim in his book تنزيه آي القرآن عن النسخ والنقصان, pages 91-96. He quotes a point made by M. Rasheed Ridha in his exegesis تفسير المنار, volume 3, pages 140-141, saying that the Quran has made it clear that ideas that have fermented in a person's heart are rewarded or punished, even if they never materialize. For examples, he cites these verses,

And

Basheer-ud-Deen Mahmood, in his exegesis, cites this verse,

I'd add that this is exactly why God has promised hell for the hypocrites, even though outwardly they do what honest Muslims do, but in their hearts they don't believe and some may be plotting against Islam. That is why God says

And


Therefore, Ridha concludes and Taahir agrees, that casual thoughts, even bad ones, are not punishable; only determined thoughts. As a wise man once said,
Quote:
Watch your thoughts, for they become words.
Watch your words, for they become actions.
Watch your actions, for they become habits.
Watch your habits, for they become character.
Watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.


Ridha adds one more evidence the pro-abrogation scholars cited for this claim, a hadeeth reported by Ibn Hajar and narrated by Abu-Hurayra without saying he heard it from the Prophet (PBUH), in which he says, "God has let go for my community what they whisper or talk to themselves, unless they announce it or act upon it."

Ridha says it's not clear if this is Abu-Hurayra's understanding of something the Prophet (PBUH) said, and he articulated it as he understood it. Ridha says this sort of narration has happened often. It's called مرفوع (hung). I looked for this narration in the top six books of Hadeeth, but could not find it in any of them. Something similar can be found in the Musnad of Ibn Hanbal, which is not a well regarded compilation of hadeeths by most authentication scholars.

Ridha asserts that a hadeeth that contradicts the Quran should not be accepted, even if its attribution chain is authenticated.

Taahir then quotes Al-Qaasimi saying that there is no abrogation here because the context is about testimony and bearing witness. He also quotes An-Nahhaas objecting harshly to the abrogation claim saying that this is a declarative statement which cannot be abrogated and that what Ibn Abbaas, in his narration about this claim, meant by naskh is confirmation.

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