it does not pertain to the abrogation doctrine,
I wish. Unfortunately, the interpretation of 2:106
which a cornerstone in our message is at stake.
We agree, I think, that what 2:106 refers to is that the Quran abrogates the Old Testament. No?
If so, a question that may rise in the minds is: why? Why was that necessary?
Scholars have answered that in many ways as they attempted to explain the "wisdom" of abrogation
and why it is not a change of mind. The most commonly offered answers are:
- God can do whatever He wills without having to explain why.
- Different people and times require different messages and laws.
Both answers are valid, but only the first one is what is actually stated in 2:106. The second is implied from other verses. The structure of 2:106 is that of a rule of God and a statement of His ability. That is, if God were to ever replace or cause to forget any of His signs, He would bring a better one because He can.
That structure does not prove that abrogation of prior scriptures has happened, only that it could.
I'm not intellectually averse to the notion that prior scriptures were abrogated. I just don't see it being necessary or relevant to the abrogation doctrine. Because what the Quran (and the Gospel for that matter) abrogated is the Old Testament, not the Torah. The statement Jesus (PBUH) is quoted saying, in 3:50, to the Jews makes it clear that he has come to confirm the Torah. If that's all, then why is he needed?
The answer to that is because the Torah was edited by the Children of Israel and became the Old Testament. The job of Jesus (PBUH) was to reset the message of God which the Israelites have altered. Jesus came to annul what has been added to it, restore what has been deleted from it and reset what has been changed in it. That is what naskh is. And Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) is instructed in the Quran to make the same statement about the Quran restoring the Torah and the Gospel and confirming them.
I find it indisputable that previous books, in their original uncorrupted version, mandated fasting that is not our Ramadan fasting, and that such fasting is not mandated on us.
You mentioned this example before
, but we don't really know that, do we? Where is the authentic text that says so? I'll concede that this is likely the case, but hardly indisputable. In absence of authentic proof, I don't think that this example can be effectively used.
We're merely presenting a plausible interpretation of 2:106, agreed with by a large number of scholars, that diverts the discussion from the abrogation doctrine, because the abrogation doctrine basis does not automatically follow from such interpretation without additional evidence.