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 Post subject: The lawsuit parable
PostPosted: 13 May 2010, 20:45 
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I often thought of the lawsuit parable as I read books for and against the abrogation doctrine. In this parable, the plaintiff is the pro-abrogation folk, since a plaintiff is the one who brings a claim to the court. Defense is the anti-abrogation folk. The charge is that some verses in the Quran are no longer to be followed, only recited.

As in any lawsuit, the burden of proof lies entirely on the claimant. All that the defense has to do is show reasonable doubt that the charge is true.

The prosecution in this parable has no direct testimony, since neither God nor His messenger have ever said anywhere or at anytime that this verse abrogated that other verse, nor did they ever say that any ruling in the Quran was no longer to be followed. Quite the contrary, as a matter of fact.

What the plaintiff does have is expert testimony. That is sayings of scholars. Defense can easily show expert testimony of its own by other scholars that contradicts the former.

In terms of evidence, the prosecution has only circumstantial evidence. All of it is interpretation of text and defense has shown alternative interpretations that are equally or more plausible.

Without evidence, no proof can be made and without proof no charge can stick, especially a charge as serious as that of the abrogation doctrine. Any jury or judge will have to dismiss such charge.

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 Post subject: Re: The lawsuit parable
PostPosted: 14 May 2010, 00:03 
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Good thread. I suggest we collect specific scholarly quotes and acknowledged juristic rules that articulate what the burden of proof is in this case, and what reasonable doubt means. This way we would not be imposing an 'external' standard.

In his book, Nada discusses the burden of proof. I have discussed what he said about the burden of proof for individual abrogation claims in another post. Here, I am going to mention what he said about the burden of proof for establishing that abrogation has occurred in the Quran in general, which is usually done through citing 2:106 and 16:101.

Similar to having just a 'plausible' reconciliation of verses to counter individual abrogation claims, we only need a plausible interpretation of 2:106 and 16:101 that does not support the abrogation doctrine in order to deprive the pro-abrogation argument from the ability to use these verses as evidence for the doctrine. Nada states the general juristic principle involved:

مع الاحتمال يسقط الاستدلال
An alternative possibility precludes citing as evidence

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 Post subject: Re: The lawsuit parable
PostPosted: 14 May 2010, 00:21 
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Linguistic wrote:
The prosecution in this parable has no direct testimony, since neither God nor His messenger have ever said anywhere or at anytime that this verse abrogated that other verse, nor did they ever say that any ruling in the Quran was no longer to be followed. Quite the contrary, as a matter of fact.

What the plaintiff does have is expert testimony. That is sayings of scholars. Defense can easily show expert testimony of its own by other scholars that contradicts the former.

In terms of evidence, the prosecution has only circumstantial evidence. All of it is interpretation of text and defense has shown alternative interpretations that are equally or more plausible.

I would like to pin down these statements in a terminology that is accepted by Islamic scholars, and supported by rules that they themselves set.

For instance, 'circumstantial evidence' is a fairly technical term. If the accused was seen close to the crime scene, that is considered direct evidence. It is weak direct evidence, but nonetheless direct evidence. On the other hand, if he was just not seen at the usual places that he goes to, that would be circumstantial evidence that he was at the crime scene. I am mentioning this because people may consider the Sahabi narrations as direct evidence, or even more so 2:106 and 16:101.

As I read more and more of the pro- and anti-abrogation literature, my conclusion is that "it's all there." Our original contribution will be fairly small (although at times compelling). Our biggest contribution will be putting things together in the clearest and most compelling case, without 'improvising'. That's why I want each piece of the argument, and the overall logic, to stand on its own merit in the face of the anticipated attacks.

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 Post subject: Re: The lawsuit parable
PostPosted: 14 May 2010, 01:39 
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Pragmatic wrote:
Good thread. I suggest we collect specific scholarly quotes and acknowledged juristic rules that articulate what the burden of proof is in this case,

One well recognized principle that asserts the burden of proof is
البينة على من ادعى واليمين على من أنكر
"Clear evidence is upon whoever claimed and the oath is upon whoever denied."


That is, the claimant must furnish clear evidence but all the defendant has to do is to swear that he did not commit the offense.

Pragmatic wrote:
This way we would not be imposing an 'external' standard.

Ironically, those legal terms all came to the West from Islamic law! That reminds me of the word logrithm, which Arabs who do not know the origin of the word have translated it لوغارتم, a transliteration, not a translation, when the word came from the last name of the Muslim mathematician Al-Khawaarizmi :)

Pragmatic wrote:
Here, I am going to mention what he (Nada) said about the burden of proof for establishing that abrogation has occurred in the Quran in general, which is usually done through citing 2:106 and 16:101.
...
مع الاحتمال يسقط الاستدلال
An alternative possibility precludes citing as evidence

That's a good one.

Pragmatic wrote:
I would like to pin down these statements in a terminology that is accepted by Islamic scholars, and supported by rules that they themselves set.

We have plenty of that scattered all over the place in this forum. Much of it is in the individual cases and some is in the Definition of Abrogation, Inconsistencies, Scholars opinions about abrogation topics.

We also have topics in the other forum, Deduction Methods addressing various juristic definitions and principles made by the scholars many of which can be applied to the abrogation claim.

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 Post subject: Re: The lawsuit parable
PostPosted: 14 May 2010, 06:54 
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Linguistic wrote:
One well recognized principle that asserts the burden of proof is
البينة على من ادعى واليمين على من أنكر
"Clear evidence is upon whoever claimed and the oath is upon whoever denied."
That is, the claimant must furnish clear evidence but all the defendant has to do is to swear that he did not commit the offense.

Just to counter the devil's advocate, we should articulate why the claimant in our case is the pro-abrogation and not the anti-abrogation. It is not difficult, but we should quote crisp statements by scholars rather than be argumentative (convincingly or otherwise) about it.


Linguistic wrote:
Pragmatic wrote:
I would like to pin down these statements in a terminology that is accepted by Islamic scholars, and supported by rules that they themselves set.

We have plenty of that scattered all over the place in this forum. Much of it is in the individual cases and some is in the Definition of Abrogation, Inconsistencies, Scholars opinions about abrogation topics.

We also have topics in the other forum, Deduction Methods addressing various juristic definitions and principles made by the scholars many of which can be applied to the abrogation claim.

Sooner or later we will have to collect the specific statements and organize them according to the points they cover in the 'legal framework' of this lawsuit. To the extent that we can do this now or as we go, within this thread, it will simplify our future task.

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 Post subject: Re: The lawsuit parable
PostPosted: 14 May 2010, 18:39 
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Elevated versus Terminated Narration

In establishing the authority of a narration, a hadeeth is labeled موقوف (terminated) if it does not directly quote the Prophet (PBUH) and is called مرفوع (elevated) if it does. Terminated hadeeths are not considered authoritative since they may just be expressing the opinion of a Sahabi rather than something he/she heard the Prophet (PBUH) say. There are exceptions when there is clear evidence that it is not an opinion, such as the narration of Aisha stating that there was a nursing verse that had been recited.

This is taken from this book on pages 37-38.

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 Post subject: Re: The lawsuit parable
PostPosted: 15 May 2010, 03:04 
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Pragmatic wrote:
Just to counter the devil's advocate, we should articulate why the claimant in our case is the pro-abrogation and not the anti-abrogation. It is not difficult, but we should quote crisp statements by scholars rather than be argumentative (convincingly or otherwise) about it.

I'd quote Az-Zurqaani on this one, as you noted in this post. Namely, the default in verses and their rulings is to be followed. The first person to declare that any ruling in the Quran is no longer to be followed has made a serious claim that reverses the default and therefore he is the claimant and must bring forth robust evidence to back it up.

Pragmatic wrote:
Sooner or later we will have to collect the specific statements and organize them according to the points they cover in the 'legal framework' of this lawsuit. To the extent that we can do this now or as we go, within this thread, it will simplify our future task.

Would help if we are joined by a new member whose user name is Lawyer! :)

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 Post subject: Re: The lawsuit parable
PostPosted: 18 May 2010, 04:37 
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Linguistic wrote:
I'd quote Az-Zurqaani on this one, as you noted in this post. Namely, the default in verses and their rulings is to be followed. Th first person to declare that any ruling in the Quran is no longer to be followed has made a serious claim that reverses the default and therefore he is the claimant and must bring forth robust evidence to back it up.

Nada elaborates Al-Zurqani's opinion about the burden of proof on pages 78-79, and praises his logic while lamenting that Al-Zurqani did not follow his own logic when he considered individual abrogation claims.

Nada also quotes a couple of authors on page 67 about the burden of proof. He goes on to point out that even a direct narration stating abrogation has to be ubiquitous to be accepted, since it has to have attribution certainty قطعي الورود like the text it is overruling.

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 Post subject: Goes to credibility, your honor
PostPosted: 01 Jul 2010, 22:50 
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I suppose that pointing out what scholars said about certain narrators can cast doubt on the credibility of those narrators and therefore the narrations themselves. To that end, let me start by what member Pragmatic suggested,

Pragmatic wrote:
Linguistic, your post mentioned:
Quote:
Al-Jabri states that most narrations attributed to Ibn Abbaas are weak, especially those by way of Al-Kalbi, Al`Awfi, Ad-Dhahhaak and Muqaatil.

Since this has significant ramifications on the abrogation doctrine, I think we should verify it and document that.

I've started to do that in the following posts in the Attribution forum,
Al-Kalbi,
Muqaatil ibn Sulaymaan,
Al`Awfi,
Ad-Dhahhaak.

We have scores of abrogation claims where Muqaatil ibn Sulaymaan was quoted. For instance,
47:35/8:61 and 9:5/2:191. Same thing with Ad-Dhahhaak, e.g., 5:90/4:43 and 9:5/2:256.

And we have two abrogation claims where Al-Kalbi is quoted,
9:5/25:43 and 9:5/25:63.

And we have two abrogation claims where Al`Awfi is quoted,
8:75/8:72 and 33:6/4:33.

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 Post subject: Re: The lawsuit parable
PostPosted: 02 Jul 2010, 04:23 
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Excellent. The attribution is even weaker than I thought. If we keep it up, this may become a major point in refuting the use of Sahaba evidence for abrogation, perhaps on par with the linguistic confusion point.

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