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 Post subject: Re: Validation process
PostPosted: 03 Feb 2010, 04:16 
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Pragmatic wrote:
and perhaps give examples of verses that have never been considered abrogated but might be if that rule was violated, in order to underline the importance of the rule. This way, when we invoke the rule, we can refer to that section instead of making petty arguments in individual cases.

This is a terrific idea and it would make our presentation scholarly. It will counter the pick-and-choose tendency of some scholars. We may want to do the same with all the subjective items on the list as well.

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 Post subject: Re: Validation process
PostPosted: 04 Feb 2010, 08:37 
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Linguistic wrote:
3. Is the abrogated verse a statement of fact (semantically, not just syntactically)? Then it cannot be abrogated.

Something dawned on me. In this rule and in other aspects of the abrogation analysis, we are inadvertently confusing "the verse was abrogated" with "we can tell that the verse was abrogated." Bear with me. :)

In order for us to claim that a verse is abrogated, in the absence of a divine designation that it is, we rely on finding a contradiction between the verse and a later verse. Since contradicting a statement of fact means that it is false, which is impossible given that God is the author of that statement, the quoted rule rightly excludes statements of fact from claims of abrogation.

If you look at this argument closely, what it excludes is our ability to determine that a statement of fact is abrogated, since we rely on contradiction as our tool. However, God has indeed abrogated many verses that do not contradict later verses, and some of them contain statements of fact. Which verses am I talking about? The verses in the Bible, the Torah, etc. When these verses were abrogated, that didn't mean that their statements of fact were false. It just meant that the verses lost their divine authority because God withdrew it. That doesn't make them false, it just makes them unauthoritative.

This distinction does not change the quoted rule, or the other rules, as litmus tests for claims of abrogation in the Quran. It just makes the point that the rules have to do with our ability to tell that a verse is abrogated. Of course, if no verses in the text of the Quran are abrogated, none will pass the litmus tests. At that point, we will rely on verses like 2:2 and 41:41-42 to assert that there are no abrogated verses in the text of the Quran, period, not just that we couldn't find any.

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 Post subject: Re: Validation process
PostPosted: 04 Feb 2010, 17:18 
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Pragmatic wrote:
Linguistic wrote:
3. Is the abrogated verse a statement of fact (semantically, not just syntactically)? Then it cannot be abrogated.

Something dawned on me. In this rule and in other aspects of the abrogation analysis, we are inadvertently confusing "the verse was abrogated" with "we can tell that the verse was abrogated."
...
In order for us to claim that a verse is abrogated, in the absence of a divine designation
...
If you look at this argument closely, what it excludes is our ability to determine that a statement of fact is abrogated, since we rely on contradiction as our tool. However, God has indeed abrogated many verses that do not contradict later verses, and some of them contain statements of fact. Which verses am I talking about? The verses in the Bible, the Torah, etc. When these verses were abrogated, that didn't mean that their statements of fact were false. It just meant that the verses lost their divine authority because God withdrew it. That doesn't make them false, it just makes them unauthoritative.

You make a good distinction, and I suggest that the rule be rephrased as follows,
Quote:
3. Is the abrogated verse a statement of fact (semantically, not just syntactically)? Then it cannot be abrogated without a direct statement from God or His messenger that it was.

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 Post subject: Re: Validation process
PostPosted: 04 Feb 2010, 19:56 
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Linguistic wrote:
I suggest that the rule be rephrased as follows,

3. Is the abrogated verse a statement of fact (semantically, not just syntactically)? Then it cannot be abrogated without a direct statement from God or His messenger that it was.

Let me take your words and create a new rule instead of modifying the current ones:

0. Is there a direct statement from God or His Messenger that the verse is abrogated? If so, it is abrogated regardless of all the remaining rules, here or elsewhere.

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 Post subject: Re: Validation process
PostPosted: 05 Feb 2010, 02:00 
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Pragmatic wrote:
Let me take your words and create a new rule instead of modifying the current ones:

0. Is there a direct statement from God or His Messenger that the verse is abrogated? If so, it is abrogated regardless of all the remaining rules, here or elsewhere.

All abrogation claims will fail that rule! So, why bother list any other? LOL. The answer to the question posed in that rule is a big no.

I certainly agree with that rule and added it to the list. This is why I referred in another post that verse 10:59 tells me that no scholar, however esteemed, is authorized to declare any verse abrogated, since neither God nor His messenger gave them such authority.

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 Post subject: Re: Validation process
PostPosted: 05 Feb 2010, 08:18 
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Linguistic wrote:
2. Is the abrogating text a verse in the text of the Quran? If not the case is invalid since nothing can abrogate the Quran, if anything would, but the Quran.

In volume 1 of this book, Dr. Mostafa Zeid supports this view and quotes the opinion of Imam Al-Shafeiy who required that any verse in the Quran be abrogated only by a verse in the Quran (Item 257 on page 169). He mentions this in the context of arguing that an incidence of abrogation cannot be recognized without instruction from God.

While the Hanafis seem to diasgree with this rule, a closer look shows that they use the word abrogation in a broader sense that does not necessarily annul the abrogated verse, so there is potentially no conflict with the rule if we stick to our definition of abrogation.

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 Post subject: Re: Validation process
PostPosted: 05 Feb 2010, 09:43 
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Linguistic wrote:
6.Was the abrogating verse revealed after the abrogated verse?
...
9. Does the abrogated verse specify a time limit for its ruling? If it does, it can only be abrogated if the abrogating verse came before the expiration of the time limit.

In volume 1 of this book, Dr. Mostafa Zeid supports the two quoted rules in Item 263 on pages 174-175. It is interesting to see the self-delimiting aspect of rule #9 recognized in the scholarly literature.

He also adds another rule which can be labeled "self-undelimiting," which is that if the ruling explicitly specifies that it is permanent, it cannot be abrogated. Sounds a bit academic and is closer to the statement-of-fact rule than to rule #9 since the impossibility of abrogation here is because it is tantamount to a statement being false, whereas in rule #9 the point is that ending the ruling would not constitute abrogation since the fact that it will end is already predicted in the 'abrogated' verse.

BTW, in spite of the fact that the section of the book called "conditions of abrogation" is more than 50 pages long, it offers little input about our validation rules and focuses mostly on examples of abrogating the Sunna and the opinions of different schools about the validity of the methods used. The previous sections in the book offer more substance as far as validation rules are concerned. In one instance, he describes how people observed the self-delimiting rule in the 5 centuries after Al-Jassas:

Item 118 on page 83: "The first thing we notice is that they were all keen on defining abrogation as indication of an ending, and none of them said it was an indication of a limited duration. This is because indicating a limited duration can be done in two ways, indicating that it will end and indicating that it has ended, and only the latter can be called abrogation. The former, indicating that a ruling will end which characterizes a temporary ruling [what we call self-delimiting on this forum] is not subject to abrogation and one cannot consider the timing aspect in it as abrogating it."

Another case study of self-delimiting is 2:109 which is discussed by the author in Item 211 on page 134.

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 Post subject: Re: Validation process
PostPosted: 05 Feb 2010, 10:02 
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Linguistic wrote:
7. Was the abrogation in fact an exemption? If it was, it's not abrogation but a completion of the specification of a ruling.
8. Was the abrogation in fact another option? If it was, it's not abrogation but a completion of the specification of a ruling.
...
11. Does the abrogated verse specify something particular and the abrogating verse made it general? If so, that's not abrogation because that adds scope. It would be abrogation if the scope was narrowed.

The quoted rules, related to verses that create exceptions from a ruling or elaboration of a ruling, are extensively supported as litmus tests against abrogation in the section starting on page 108 of volume 1 of this book. Some of the specifics are pointed out in this post.

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 Post subject: Re: Validation process
PostPosted: 06 Feb 2010, 20:26 
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Linguistic wrote:
0. Is there a direct statement from God or His Messenger that the verse is abrogated? If so, it is abrogated regardless of all the remaining rules, here or elsewhere and you can ignore the rest of the rules below. If not, then continue checking out the following rules.

This rule says that a direct statement from God or His Messenger is sufficient for abrogating a verse. Is it necessary as well? In other words, does the absence of a direct statement from God or His Messenger preclude the possibility of abrogation? It is not surprising that the anti-abrogation camp would believe so, but the interesting part is that some in the pro-abrogation camp agree.

In volume 1 of his book, Dr. Mostafa Zeid who is pro-abrogation discusses this point extensively. In addition, he criticizes the contradiction-based abrogation claims. Here is the relevant part.

Items 249-251 on pages 162-164: The author argues that there is no real conflict between any two juristic texts. He concludes that "we assert definitively that no such conflict exists between two texts within the Quran or within the Sunna, or between two texts one in the Quran and the other in the Sunna, and our evidence for this is exhaustive reading. Such reading proves with certainty that conflict, as defined and qualified by the originalists, did not occur between two juristic texts."

This would imply that abrogation claims based on contradiction arguments are wholesale void. However, the author still supports 5 abrogation claims for verses in the text of the Quran. It will be quite interesting to see how he argues these cases given the very rigid requirements for abrogation that he set for himself.

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 Post subject: Re: Validation process
PostPosted: 06 Feb 2010, 22:38 
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In Item 304 on pages 204-205, Dr. Zaid cites several scholars who are very rigid in their abrogation criteria, making the point that the strict approach to abrogation has credibility. While there are variations in the criteria that these scholars used, they all throw out (with pretty harsh words at times) the free-for-all abrogation culture that prevailed for centuries.

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