The following are key arguments presented by As-Suyooti,
وقد حكى ابن حبيب النيسابوري في المسألة ثلاثة أقوال:
أحدها أن القرآن كله محكم لقوله تعالى "كتاب أحكمت أياته".
الثاني كله متشابه لقوله تعالى "كتابا متشابها مثاني"،
الثالث وهو الصحيح انقسامه إلى محكم ومتشابه للآية المصدر بها
Ibn Habeeb An-Naysapoori told that there are three opinions in the matter:
One is that the whole of the Quran is "Muhkam", for God says "A Book whose verses have been fixed" (11:1),
The second is that all of it is "Mutashaabih", for God says, "A Book looking alike with dual [verses]" (39:23),
And the third, which is the correct opinion, is that it is divided into "Muhkam" and "Mutashaabih" for the verse in question, 3:7.My comment
All three opinions are correct, not just the third one, even as they appear contradictory. Bear with me.
- Verse 11:1 makes it clear that the Book's verses have been fixed and then detailed. Thus, all of the verses of the Quran are fixed. None have been abrogated. And they have been detailed in a couple of ways,
- If we understand متشابهات to mean "carry multiple meanings", then they are that way on purpose. God wanted all those meanings, arrived at with sound logic, to be applicable. That is out of His generosity and grace. He could have made all verses mean one and only one thing and we would have had to comply. The religion then would have been strict. Instead, the religion is flexible and can accommodate changes in life and in people. Thus, the details God refers to in 11:1 are the variety of acceptable meanings.
- If we understand متشابهات to mean "look-alike", which is the literal, linguistic meaning, then that is further support to the fact that they detail the other verses. God explained the same concept in several ways in order for us to understand it fully.
- God inspired His messenger, peace be upon him, many hadeeths to explain things to us, thus detailing the Quran. God says,
If there were abrogated verses in the Quran but neither God nor His messenger have told us about them, that would contradict God's promise in 75:19.
- Verse 39:23 simply means that the Quran is consistent. متشابها means "every part of it looks like every other part." It is the opposite of متناقضا.
- Verse 3:7, we showed in point 1 above that verses that have multiple meanings detail the other, but all those meanings are consistent as well. They do not contradict each other, nor any other verse.
وقال بعضهم الآية لا تدل على الحصر في الشيئين إذ ليس فيها شيء من طرقه، وقد قال تعالى "لتبين للناس ما نزل إليهم"، والمحكم لا تتوقف معرفته على البيان، والمتشابه لا يرجى بيانه
Some said the verse, 3:7, does not imply only these two options. God says, "So that you can explain to people what has been sent down to them" (39:23). But the "fixed" does not need explanation and the "look-alike" cannot be hoped to be explained.My comment
The explanation meant in 39:23 is the details referred to in 11:1. As for the look-alikes, we said above that they are not mystery, rather they are a grace, a leeway from God.
That's my humble opinion and God knows best.