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 Post subject: Can the Sunna abrogate verses from the Quran?
PostPosted: 17 Jan 2010, 08:18 
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Ibn Al-Jawzi reports in his book, "Nawaasikh Al-Qur'aan" that a minority of scholars have stated that the Sunna can abrogate verses from the Quran. When those scholars were confronted with the evidence taken from 2:106 that the abrogator must be stronger or of equal strength as the abrogated, they replied that the words of the prophet, peace be upon him, qualify because God says,


This topic is to discuss this argument in principle and also to discuss the cases where such abrogation has been claimed.

I'll start by saying that most of the hadeeths, and that includes the authentic ones (الصحيح), are still what the scholars of Usool (Foundations of Hadeeth authentication) classified as ظني الورود, that is it is not absolutely certain that they were said the way they were reported by the people who narrated it. A few hadeeths may qualify to be on par with verses of the Quran, a classification the scholars called قطعي الورود, i.e., certain to have been worded as reported by those who narrated it. Those hadeeths are called متواتر (ubiquitous) and none of them, to the best of my knowledge, speak of abrogation. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

This is what As-Suyooti said about that in his book, "Al-Itqaan fi `Uloom Al-Qur'aan,"

حكى القاضي أبو بكر في الانتصار عن قوم إنكار هذا الضرب لأن الأخبار فيه أخبار آحاد ولا يجوز القطع على إنزال قرآن ونسخه بأخبار آحاد لا حجة فيها

Judge Abu-Bakr narrated in his book, "Alintisaar" from several people that they dismissed the use of Hadeeth to prove abrogation in the Quran if the hadeeth was narrated by a few, as such hadeeths cannot be decisive proof.

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 Post subject: Did the Sunna abrogate 2:222?
PostPosted: 17 Jan 2010, 09:15 
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As evidence that the Sunna may abrogate verses from the Quran, some scholars have said that 2:222 was abrogated by the practice of the Prophet, peace be upon him. This is the verse,

Ibn Al-Jawzi says this about that case,

ذكر الآية الثامنة والعشرين: قوله تعالى "ويسألونك عن المحيض قل هو أذى". توهم قوم قل علمهم أن هذه الآية منسوخة، فقالوا هي تقتضي مجانبة الحائض على الإطلاق كما يفعله اليهود، ثم نسخت بالسنة، وهو ما روى عن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم أنه أباح الاستمتاع بالحائض إلا النكاح، وكان النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم يستمتع من الحائض بما دون الإزار. وهذ ظن منهم فاسد، لأنه لا خلاف بين الآية والأحاديث، قال أحمد بن حنبل الحيض موضع الدم، ويوضح هذا التعليل للنهي بأنه أذى، فخص المنع مكان الأذى. ثم لو كانت الأحاديث تضاد الآية قدمت الآية لما بينا في أول الكتاب من أن الناسخ ينبغي من أن يشابه المنسوخ في قوته والقرآن أقوى من السنة

The claim is that the verse mandates total alienation from the menstruating wife, as the Jews do. But then the practice of the Prophet shows that that was not the case. Ibn Al-Jawzi argues against abrogation by pointing out what Ahmad Ibn Hanbal said; he defined "Al-Maheedh" as the place of menstruation, not the fact or the time of it. Besides, Al-Jawzi said, the Sunna cannot abrogate the Quran because the Quran is more authentic.

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 Post subject: Re: Did the Sunna abrogate 2:222?
PostPosted: 17 Jan 2010, 10:01 
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I would avoid the notion of "Sunna abrogating Quran" altogether for two reasons. First, the notion doesn't hold water since the abrogation doctrine is based on 2:106,



which promises to bring us "better or similar" if a verse is abrogated, and it is self evident that the Prophet's words or deeds (PBUH) cannot be better than or similar to the word of God.

Second, because opening the door of "Sunna abrogating Quran" would entail dealing with vast items of Sunna of varying authenticity, and that would not only distract from the main argument, but totally overwhelm it.

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 Post subject: Re: Can the Sunna abrogate verses from the Quran?
PostPosted: 17 Jan 2010, 10:09 
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I agree and so does Ibn Al-Jawzi.

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 Post subject: Who said what
PostPosted: 21 Jan 2010, 18:55 
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For:
Abu-Haneefa, according to Ibn Al-Baarizi.

Against:
Ash-Shaafi`i, according to Ibn Al-Baarizi,
As-Suyooti,
Ibn Al-Jawzi,
Al-Asfahaani,
N.A. Tantaawi,
Ihaab Hasan Abduh.

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 Post subject: Re: Who said what
PostPosted: 21 Jan 2010, 20:57 
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That the Sunna can in principle abrogate the Quran:
For: Imam Abu-Haneefa
Against: Imam Al-Shafe'iy
Per: ناسخ القرآن العزيز ومنسوخه لابن البارزي (page 1 of the Internet copy))

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 Post subject: Re: Can the Sunna abrogate verses from the Quran?
PostPosted: 29 Jan 2010, 19:14 
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Not exactly related to Sunna abrogating Quran, but this post discussed abrogation within the Sunna in another thread and I thought I would have a pointer to it here since this is a more befitting thread.

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 Post subject: Re: Can the Sunna abrogate verses from the Quran?
PostPosted: 09 Feb 2010, 16:09 
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Another argument supporting the premise that the Sunna may abrogate the Quran is what God says about obeying the Prophet, e.g.,

And

Thus, in principle, the Sunna may abrogate the Quran. But, the Sunna must be certain (قطعي الورود) and there aren't many of those to begin with. Besides, no authentic Sunna has ever said that it abrogated a verse or a ruling in the Quran.

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 Post subject: Re: Can the Sunna abrogate verses from the Quran?
PostPosted: 09 Feb 2010, 20:24 
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Linguistic wrote:
Thus, in principle, the Sunna may abrogate the Quran. But, the Sunna must be certain (قطعي الورود) and there aren't many of those to begin with.

You put your finger on a key point. The reluctant reaction to "Sunna abrogating the Quran", even by those who believe that there are abrogated verses of the text of the Quran, has to do with authenticity rather than disregard for the authority of the Sunna. IMHO, this situation was created by theologists as they advocated less-than-reliable Sunna in many other contexts, but that's another project. :)

If you think about it, if there are verses that were abrogated from the Quran and never made it to the text, as there may have been given the evidence, those verses were abrogated by the Sunna (since it's the Prophet PBUH who declared them abrogated and didn't put them in the text of the Quran). Once again, we see confusion between a verse being abrogated and our ability to ascertain that a verse is abrogated.

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 Post subject: Re: Can the Sunna abrogate verses from the Quran?
PostPosted: 10 Apr 2010, 04:44 
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Professor Ahmed Ibrahim, in his book علم أصول الفقه, wrote that the authentic Sunna can abrogate verses of the Quran, but he did not elaborate.

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