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 Post subject: Did the Sunna abrogate 24:2?
PostPosted: 13 Jul 2010, 03:09 
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It is amazing to me that scholars till this day are in dispute over what the penalty in Islam for adultery is! God has specified it in no uncertain terms,

{24:1} [This is] a Chapter which We have sent down, mandated it and sent down in it verses of clear evidence so that you may remember.
{24:2} The adulteress and the adulterer - flog each one of the two of them a hundred lashes, and let not pity take you for them in the religion of God, if you should believe in God and the Final Day. And let witness their torment a group of the believers.

The first verse in that Chapter declares the Chapter mandated! So, how can anybody even think of doing something else?

Yet, plenty of scholars have said that the verse only applies to unmarried people. In English there are two words for illicit sexual intercourse: fornication and adultery. The former is often used for unmarried people and the latter is meant for married people. This is not the case in Arabic! Arabic has only one word: الزنى. Thus, 24:2 applies to married or unmarried people.

Not so, says many scholars. They actually coined a new phrase الزاني المحصن to refer to an adulterer. They mean by it a married fornicator.

Ihaab Abduh, in his book استحالة وجود النسخ بالقرآن, devotes pages 381-474 to the subject of the stoning ruling. A good part of his discussion deals with the a type of abrogation that we did not cover in this project, namely, abrogation of a verse but not of its ruling. As bizarre as this notion is, many scholars believe in it and quote narrations to support it.

The reason we are not discussing this type of abrogation in this project is because what we're concerned with here is whether there are abrogated verses in the bound volume of the Quran. If a verse was abrogated in recitation and writing but not in ruling, then it's not Quran and thus is outside the scope of this study.

That said, the fact that the ruling is said to remain is a major argument of the scholars who claimed that 24:2 was abrogated by the practice of the Prophet (PBUH). As a result of this opinion, people have been killed who should have only been flogged.

That's why I will list Ihaab's arguments about the claimed "stoning verse" in subsequent posts in this topic.

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 Post subject: Re: Did the Sunna abrogate 24:2?
PostPosted: 13 Jul 2010, 03:11 
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In a previous topic involving 24:2, I mentioned this,
Linguistic wrote:
Dr. As-Saqqa, in his book لانسخ في القرآن, mentions a hadeeth, reported by Al-Bukhaari, in which Ash-Shaybaani asked Abdullah ibn Abi-Afwa asked, "Did the Messenger of God stone?" He said, "Yes". He said, "Was that before or after the Noor verse (24:2)?" He said, "I don't know."
...
Finally, he mentions a number of distinguished scholars who rejected the stoning ruling, people such as Muhammad Abu-Zahra, Ali Al-Khafeef, Mustafa Az-Zarqa and Abdul-Wahaab Khallaaf.

Thus, the probability exists that 24:2 abrogated the stoning ruling, if we concede that stoning was done.

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 Post subject: Re: Did the Sunna abrogate 24:2?
PostPosted: 13 Jul 2010, 03:47 
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Linguistic wrote:
The first verse in that Chapter declares the Chapter mandated! So, how can anybody even think of doing something else?

You mentioned this point in another post and I find it to be a great point indeed. Let me analyze it further. For any verse in Chapter 24 to be abrogated, the first verse must also be abrogated because of its wording. However, the first verse is a statement of fact, and thus unabrogatable according to even the pro-abrogation folks.

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 Post subject: Was there a stoning verse?
PostPosted: 13 Jul 2010, 03:56 
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On page 381 of his book استحالة وجود النسخ بالقرآن, Ihaab Abduh discusses the alleged stoning verse, which is claimed to have been recited as part of the Quran but was not included in the bound volume. Ihaab quotes a narration attributed to Umar ibn Al-Khattaab, may God have been pleased with him, saying, "If it were not that people may say Umar added to the Book of God, I would have written the stoning verse with my hands."

Ihaab comments the obvious: That means that the Book currently is short a verse that should have been there but fear of gossip stopped the caliph from doing this religious duty! As-Suyooti wondered about that and said in his book الإتقان في علوم القرآن that the recitation must have been abrogated because what people may or may not say has no bearing on what goes into the Quran. An-Nawawi, in his book شرح مسلم adds that what Umar feared did happen: the Khawaarij faction ("the defectors") denied there was a stoning verse and emphasized that there is no stoning ruling.

Ihaab then says that Ibn Hajar, Ibn Hanbal, Ad-Daarimi, Al-Bayhaqi and Maalik said it read: والشيخ والشيخة فارجموهما البتة (And the old man and the old woman stone them totally). Ibn `Awaana narrated it without the particle فـ . Either narration presents a problem right away, doesn't it? No crime is mentioned that the old man and the old woman did!

Perhaps that's why there is another version of that alleged verse. An-Nasaa'i and Maalik both reported that the verse was in Chapter 33 and they reported a narration by Yahya ibn Sa`d from Sa`eed ibn Al-Musayyib saying that it read: والشيخ والشيخة إذا زنيا فارجموهما البتة نكالا من الله والله عزيز حكيم (And the old man and the old woman when they fornicate stone them totally, a retribution from God and God is Almighty and Wise). Also narrated by Al-Bayhaqi (two different versions), Abdur-Razzaaq, Al-Bazzaar, Ibn Hubbaan and Al-Haakim and rated authentic by Al-Albaani. Ibn Hanbal reports it with عليم (Knowledgeable) instead of عزيز (Almighty). At-Tabaraani dropped the word البتة (Totally). Ash-Shaafi`i, An-Nasaa'i (another version), Al-Bayhaqi (3rd version), Ibn Hanbal (another version), Ibn Maajah, Al-Haakim (another version) and Ibn Hubbaan (another version) all reported it without the last phrase نكالا من الله والله عزيز حكيم.

But wait, there is more! A third version reads: الشيخ والشيخة فارجموهما البتة بما قضيا من اللذة (The old man and the old woman, stone them for what they got of pleasure). Pleasure is reason to kill?! This version was reported by An-Nasaa'i (2 versions now) and Al-Bayhaqi (4 versions now). An-Nasaa'i has a variant of it that inserts إذا زنيا (if they fornicate). That would be his 3rd version of it. At-Tabaraani, Ibn Abi-`Aasim and Al-Haakim reported likewise.

A fourth version exists: الشيخ والشيخة إذا زنيا فارجموهما البتة نكالا من الله ورسوله (the old man and the old woman, if they fornicate, stone them, a retribution from God and His Messenger). This version was reported by Abdur-Razzaaq (3rd version now), Al-Bayhaqi (5th version now) and At-Tayaalisi.

Ihaab then laments that this kind of talk did not miss Islam's adversaries. He quotes a contemporary bishop, Zacharia Butros, who has written many articles attacking Islam and the Quran. Ihaab said that the man simply followed up on what Muslim scholars wrote in the classic literature, thus he does not blame him! He faults the Muslim scholars who were mired in doubtful narrations and couldn't see the forest for the trees.

Butros asked the logical question: Was the stoning verse in the Preserved Tablet? If it was then why did Muslims remove it from the Quran? If it wasn't then why did Muslims keep writing about it and narrating it in their literature?

Ihaab's answer to this question is simple: There was never a stoning verse. The narrations quoting it are bogus. I'd add that while scholars may have faithfully reported what was narrated to them, they really should not have reported any narration they could not authenticate. It taints the rest of what they wrote and robs it of credibility.

Ihaab argues as follows to prove this answer,

  • All of the narrations are weak.

  • Verse 24:2 has a peculiar style: It mentions the adulteress first then the adulterer. This is the only place in the Quran females are mentioned before males. Ihaab believes this style is intentional to draw attention to who makes adultery possible. It is men, most of the time, who initiate adultery and it is women who most of the time stop them. In other words, adultery usually cannot occur unless the woman agrees. The stoning "verse" on the other hand, mentions the old man before the old woman, losing that particular style.

  • The word الشيخ (the old man) and الشيخة (the old woman) do not necessarily mean either is married!

  • Using اللذة (pleasure) as the reason for the capital punishment is ridiculous. Pleasure is not the reason adultery is penalized. Pre-marital or extra-marital sex is. The law of God is to give marriage sanctity as it is the best guarantor of a healthy family structure. Only within its framework is sex allowed, even encouraged. Besides, pleasure can be obtained within marriage, so it cannot be the reason.

  • Any one who knows Arabic can quickly tell how pallid the style of this "verse" is. It stands out as a poor attempt to imitate the Quran and fails miserably at it.

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 Post subject: Re: Did the Sunna abrogate 24:2?
PostPosted: 14 Jul 2010, 05:12 
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Linguistic wrote:
The first verse in that Chapter declares the Chapter mandated! So, how can anybody even think of doing something else?

Turns out Ihaab Abduh beat me to this observation, in his book استحالة وجود النسخ بالقرآن, pages 388-389, and he adds a gem: The verb فرضناها (mandated it) is in the past tense, indicating that this matter is settled and already decided! That there can be no alternative ruling ever. Amen.

Ihaab then offers many good points to refute the possibility that there is any penalty for adultery other than what the Quran specified,

  • There is no ruling in the Quran of stoning for any offense.

  • That the only stoning mentioned in the Quran is something the disbelievers do to the believers! For instance,

    And


  • 24:2 warns Muslims of feeling pity for fornicators as they are flogged. Stoning to death is a more horrific sight to watch than flogging. All the more reason to feel pity. It makes no sense, Ihaab says, that God would not mention the stoning as a penalty then instruct Muslims not to feel pity for the stoned.

  • The penalty of adultery by a married woman accused of it by her husband, but without collaborating witnesses, is العذاب (torment), per 24:8. Stoning, Ihaab argues, is a league above torment, since the tormented may survive the torment but stoning only stops when the stoned one is dead.

    I see his point and agree with him. However, I can see a refuting argument: the punishment in this case is reduced because no witnesses could be produced. Thus, the pro-stoning crowd may argue, the penalty for adultery is stoning if there are four witnesses and flogging if there aren't. However, according to Ihaab, they didn't say that! They also said the penalty in this case is stoning. Knowing that the accused wife can always escape the punishment, whatever it is, by swearing by God she's innocent, it takes a saint not to save her life with a false oath! So, now a convicted adulteress is a saint?!

  • According to

    The penalty for an adulteress slave girl married to her master is half that of the free woman. Death cannot be halved! But 100 floggings can. Ihaab adds that the verse clearly calls marriage إحصان, the same word the pro-stoning crowd used to specify stoning for married fornicators. Therefore, there can be no doubt that God is talking about two married women one getting half the punishment of another!

    Ihaab mentions a strange interpretation, made by Ash-Shaafi`i in his famous book الرسالة, that "those whom I learn from of the people of knowledge told me that إحصان means Islam." Ihaab refutes this by showing all the verses in the Quran which mention the word. They all mean chastity by way of marriage, never once mean Islam. Ihaab also wonders why Ash-Shaafi`i neglected to mention who told him so. Why did he keep their names a secret?

    Ibn Katheer attempted to explain and concluded that Ash-Shaafi`i meant a narration which has been rated weak by some and unrecognized by others. Ibn Katheer said that the opinion that the word means Islam is made by Ibn Mas`ood, Ibn Umar, Anas, Al-Aswad ibn Yazeed, Sa`eed ibn Jabeer, `Ataa', Ibrahim An-Nakh`i, Ash-Sha`bi, As-Suddi and Az-Zuhri. On the other hand, the word meant marriage, said Ibn Abbaas, Mujaahid, Ikrima, Taawoos, Sa`eed ibn Jabeer (another report), Al-Hasan, Qataada, Ash-Sha`bi (another report) and Az-Zuhri (another report) among others. Furthermore, Ali ibn Abi-Taalib has ruled flogging in these cases. Ibn Katheer agreed that the word means marriage and said that At-Tabari said the same thing.

    What is even stranger is that the verse, 4:25, clearly says, "your believing [slave] girls", so they are already Muslim before marriage, Ihaab elaborated.

  • A man is not allowed to pester his wife to get back some of what he spent on her, unless she committed adultery,

    Ash-Shaafi`i implied a change in his opinion about stoning because of this verse. He said that an adulteress can give back some of her dowry to her husband so she can leave him, known in Islam as Khul` (severance). Ibn Hanbal, Ibn Katheer and At-Tabari agreed. Scholars who were pro-stoning tried to explain the new position of Ash-Shaafi`i (you can't pester a dead woman!) by saying that the verse is not talking about adultery but about bad character! That is simply untenable, because the words God uses in 4:19 describe a clear debauchery (فاحشة مبينة) and most exegetes have stated it means adultery.

    Among those who opined that the debauchery is bad character are Ibn Abbaas (in one report), Ikrima (in one report) and Ad-Dhahhaak (in one report) as well as An-Nawawi and Al-Bayhaqi. Some scholars even said that 4:19 was abrogated!

    Ironically, I don't see a necessary conflict between 4:19 and stoning, though I fully disagree that stoning is indicated in Islam at all. The reason there is no conflict is that after the adulteress wife is dead from stoning, her husband will inherit a portion of her estate, and that includes some of his dowry.

    Among those who opined that the debauchery is adultery are Ibn Abbaas (in another report), Ibn Mas`ood, Sa`eed ibn Al-Musayyib, Ash-Sha`bi, Al-Hasan Al-Basri, Muhammad ibn Seereen, Sa`eed ibn Jabeer, Mujaahid, Ikrima (in another report), `Ataa' Al-Khuraasaani, Ad-Dhahhaak (in another report), Abu-Qilaaba, Abu-Saalih As-Suddi, Zayd ibn Asalam and Sa`eed ibn Abi-Hilaal.

  • A man cannot force the wife he's divorced while she is still in her grace period, `Idda, to leave the house, unless she committed adultery,

    Her getting out of the house is redundant if she is stoned to death!

  • The origin of stoning is the Old Testament, see for instance Deuteronomy 22:24, Kings 21:13 and Deuteronomy 17:2. Ihaab quotes a number of hadeeths and opinions of scholars that echo the Old Testament almost word for word! That is a red alarm for any God-fearing Muslim.

  • One hadeeth, reported by Abu-Daawood and Ibn Hanbal narrates that the Prophet (PBUH) ordered an adulterer be stoned. As the man was being stoned, he panicked and managed to run away. Abdullah ibn Unays found him and killed him. When the story reached the Prophet, he said, "Shouldn't you have left him perhaps he would repent and God may accept his repentance?"

    So, does that mean that a stoned adulterer may be left alone if he manages to escape? Or does it mean that if he repents, he's let go? If so, who wouldn't do that to escape death? And if an adulterer may skip stoning by repenting, then he got away scot-free without even being flogged! Thus, a married fornicator has an advantage over an unmarried fornicator!

  • Ash-Shaafi`i and Abu-Yoosuf said that an enemy adulterer who's been given safe haven is stoned, while Abu-Haneefa and Maalik said he is not. So, now an enemy gets away with adultery while a Muslim cannot?!

  • Ash-Shaafi`i, Ibn Hanbal and Abu-Yoosuf said that an apostate adulterer is stoned, while Abu-Haneefa and Maalik said he is not. So, apostasy can save a man from getting killed?! Some, such as Ibn Al-Qayyim, said that if he goes back to Islam afterward, he is not stoned then either. Do you see a loophole here?

    Al-Hattaab agreed that the apostate adulterer is not stoned even after he comes back to Islam, but adds that if he commits adultery again afterward then he is stoned. Well, what if he apostates again? He knows the routine by now.

    Ihaab comments that life and death is now decided by scholars instead of God.

  • Scholars disagreed about what constitutes a valid testimony of adultery:

    • Some said four are required, others said two are enough.
    • Some said a man and two women can be witnesses, others said only two men.
    • Some said witnesses can be from people of the Book, others said they have to be Muslims.
    • Some said there are four conditions for a valid witness (e.g., Al-Bayjarami), others said six (e.g., Ar-Rassaa`), others said seven (e.g., Az-Zayla`i, Ibn Al-Humaam, Ibn `Aabideen and Al-`Abbaadi), others said eight (e.g., As-San`aani Az-Zaydi), others said nine (e.g., Atfeesh Al-Abaadhi) and others said ten (e.g., As-Saawi, An-Nafraawi, Al`Adawi and Ibn `Arafa Ad-Dusooqi).

  • Some said the conditions for proving إحصان (protection by marriage), which change the penalty from flogging to stoning, apply equally to men and women, others, such as Maalik, the Shaafi`is and some Hanbalis said they don't. They said that if the conditions apply to the woman's husband, she is a qualified adulteress! Some Hanbalis excluded a "woman" younger than nine (!) who is married.

  • Abu-Yoosuf, Ash-Shaafi`i, Ibn Qadaama, Az-Zuhri and in one report of Ibn Hanbal said that Islam is not one of those conditions. Most others, such as Abu-Haneefa, Zayd ibn Ali, `Ataa', An-Nakh`i, Ash-Sha`bi, Mujaahid, Ath-Tawri and Ibn Abdil-Barr disagreed. Gives an advantage to non-Muslims over Muslims, doesn't it?

  • Scholars disagreed about mentally ill adulterers. Some, such as Ibn Al-Majishoon, said they are stoned, others said they are not.

  • Ibn Abi-Shayba said that if a married man commits adultery with a minor girl, he is not stoned, only flogged, and no penalty on her. And if a boy fornicates with a grownup woman, she is not stoned, only flogged and the boy is beaten up only. Encourages child molestation, doesn't it?

  • Scholars disagreed about a man who is flogged for fornication and then it was discovered that he is married, should he be stoned? Some said he is stoned too, others, such as Al-Balkhi said no. Another loophole.

  • Al-Kharashi said that if a woman claims she committed adultery because her husband has not had sex with her for a long time and her husband denies it, she is stoned. But if a man says the same, he is not stoned. Need I comment?

  • Ibn Al-Qaasim said if four sons testify that their father committed adultery the father is stoned, unless he is rich (!) The reason being that the sons may be trying to inherit him! He added that they are then flogged for false testimony! Ashhab and Ibn Al-Lubbaad agreed. Now your money can keep you alive.

  • Ibn Hajar Al-Haytami and Zakariyya Al-Ansaari both said that in a time of dire need, one may kill and eat an adulterer or an apostate. `Izzud-Deen ibn Abdis-Salaam agreed about grownups but spared boys. Al-Bayjarami said that the man may be cooked or grilled.

Ihaab reiterates that this kind of conflicting views, lack of logic and absurdity is the direct result of relying on narrations instead of making the Quran the only arbiter. He quotes,


Ihaab then moves on to the alleged stoning hadeeths. Coming up next.

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 Post subject: Are the stoning narrations authentic?
PostPosted: 17 Jul 2010, 05:47 
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Ihaab Abduh addresses the hadeeths which refer to stoning adulterers with extensive study. These hadeeths narrate four events,

  1. The stoning of Maa`iz ibn Maalik Al-Aslami.
  2. The stoning of the Ghaamidiyya woman.
  3. The stoning of two Jewish adulterers. Another version says it's one.
  4. Commissioning someone to stone a woman from `Aseef. Another report says it's a man. A third report says Al`Aseef was the man's name.

Ihaab addresses the first two events in his book استحالة وجود النسخ بالقرآن and said that he will cover all events in more detail in a another upcoming book. Additionally, he addresses the narration attributed to Umar (RA) saying, "Stoning in the Book of God is true. The Messenger of God stoned and we stoned after him."

Here are the points Ihaab raised about the story of Maa`iz ibn Maalik:

  • Al-Bukhaari, Muslim and Abu-Daawood reported that "a man was brought to the Messenger of God while he was in the Mosque. He called him saying, 'O Messenger of God, I fornicated.' "

    But Muslim, Abu-Daawood and Ibn Hanbal all reported the event as this: The Prophet, peace be upon him, met Maa`iz and asked him, "Is it true what I was told about you? I was told that you fell with the slave girl of the family of so-and-so."

    Thus, conflict #1 is, says Ihaab: Did Maa`iz confess or was it the Prophet who interrogated him?

    I'd add three more salient problems: not naming the slave girl or her masters makes one think the story is fudged. The other problem is that the hadeeth does not show that Maa`iz was married. The third problem is what happened to the other party to the act, the slave girl? No version of the hadeeth talks about that.

    Conflict #2 is: Was Maa`iz brought to the Prophet, or did the Prophet chance upon him?

  • An-Nawawi reported that Muslim reported the story as follows: The people of Maa`iz brought him to the Prophet. The Prophet said to the man who brought him, Huzaal, "Shouldn't you have covered him with your robe, Huzaal? It would have been better for you." Then when the people of Maa`iz told the Prophet what happened to Maa`iz, he asked him, "Is it true what I've been told about you?"

    That presents a new problem. What does "cover him with your robe" mean? Was Maa`iz naked and Huzaal caught him in the act and brought him to the Prophet as is, naked, which prompted the Prophet to reprimand Huzaal for leaving the man naked? If so, does that mean that it is OK to bring naked people to the mosque?! Or is the phrase a metaphor for not divulging the sin of adultery? That would imply that the Prophet condones concealing testimony, which would be a contradiction of the mandate in the Quran,


  • Muslim, Abu-Daawood and Ibn Hanbal all reported the story in such a way to imply that the Prophet knew the identity of the woman, "the slave girl of the so-and-so family." Yet, they all also reported it like this: "You confessed four times. Whom did you fornicate with?"

    Conflict #3: Did the Prophet (PBUH) know the identity of the woman or did he not? If he did, how? Did people tell him? If so, then it means he listens to gossip, God forbid. If they swore to him as witnesses, why doesn't any version of the hadeeth say so? If he didn't know, then why did he name her in his interrogation of Maa`iz?

  • Al-Bukhaari, Muslim and Abu-Daawood reported that Maa`iz said what he did the first time. He said, "I fornicated". Then repeated it three more times. So, the Prophet (PBUH) knew from the first time what the problem was. Yet, Muslim and Ibn Hanbal reported that Maa`iz said three times to the Prophet (PBUH), "Purify me!" Each time the Prophet (PBUH) would ask him, "Purify you of what?" The fourth time, Maa`iz said he fornicated.

    Conflict #4: Did the Prophet (PBUH) know what the problem was the first time, or the fourth time?

  • Al-Bukhaari, Muslim, Abu-Daawood, At-Tirmizhi, An-Nasaa'i and At-Tabaraani all reported the story as follows: Maa`iz went to the Prophet (PBUH) in the mosque." But, Al-Bukhaari and Muslim reported it that he was brought to the Prophet (PBUH).

    Conflict #5: Did Maa`iz go of his own free will, or was he brought to the Prophet (PBUH)?

  • Muslim reports three versions of the hadeeth about how many times the Prophet (PBUH) turned aside from Maa`iz after he confessed. One version says, he turned aside twice, another version says three times, another says four times.

    Conflict #6: How many times did Maa`iz confess and the Prophet (PBUH) turn aside from him?

  • Al-Bukhaari and Muslim reported that Maa`iz confessed four times in the same day and the same sitting. But Muslim reported that Maa`iz confessed four times in four consecutive days!

    Conflict #7: Did the confession of Maa`iz take one day or four?

  • Muslim, Abu-Daawood, Ibn Hanbal and Ad-Daarqutni all reported that Maa`iz said to the Prophet (PBUH), "Kill me with stones." But, Abu-Daawood, Ibn Hanbal and Ad-Daarqutni reported that Maa`iz screamed at his stoners saying, "Take me back to the Messenger of God. My people killed me. They promised me that the Prophet would not kill me!"

    Conflict #8: If he thought he wouldn't be stoned, then why did he say to the Prophet (PBUH), "Kill me with stones."?

  • Muslim reported from Abu-Sa`eed Al-Khudri saying, "We did not tie him up or dig for him a pit." Al-Bukhaari and Muslim reported that Maa`iz managed to escape but his stoners caught him. But Muslim also reported that after Maa`iz confessed the fourth time, a pit was dug and the Prophet ordered him stoned.

    Conflict #9: Was a pit dug for him or not?

    Ihaab says this is the reason for a great difference between the opinions of the scholars about pit digging for a stoned adulterer. Abu-Haneefa (in one report) and Maalik said a pit must not be dug. Another report by Abu-Haneefa, Abu-Yoosuf and Qataada says a pit must be dug. Some Maalikis said, "A pit is dug when the proof of adultery is by witnesses, but no pit is dug if the proof is confession." The Shaafi`is said no pit should be dug.

    As for the woman, they differed similarly and some added the opinion that digging a pit should be decided by the ruler. An-Nawawi and Ibn Hajar said that the opinion of no digging is weak, but didn't say why.

  • Muslim, Abu-Daawood and Ibn Hanbal reported that Maa`iz died of stoning after he was caught after he ran away, but Abu-Daawood, Ibn Hanbal and Ibn Abi-Shayba said that Abdullah ibn Unays caught him and killed him with a sharp instrument.

    Conflict #10: If Maa`iz was in a pit, how did he run away? And did he die by stoning or by a sharp instrument?

  • Al-Bukhaari and Muslim reported that after Maa`iz was stoned, the Prophet (PBUH) said, "Whenever God gives me control over any of them, I would make an example out of them." Some interpreted "them" to mean adulterers, but he could have been referring to the stoners! In fact, Abu-Daawood and Ibn Hanbal reported that when the Prophet (PBUH) heard that Maa`iz ran away, he said, "Wouldn't you let him perhaps he would repent and God will accept his repentance?" Al-Albaani noted that the narrators of the latter version are people authenticated by Muslim.

    Conflict #11: Did the Prophet (PBUH) want to make an example out of adulterers or did he encourage giving them a chance to repent?

Thus, the story is chock full of irreconcilable contradictions and hazy details. Ihaab's conclusion is that the only explanation for all those contradictions is that the story is made up, for when people make things up, each time they tell the story, they tell it differently and the truth cannot be ascertained.

Then, Ihaab moves on to the second most famous adultery case, the Ghaamidiyya woman. Here are his points,

  • Many scholars, such as Ibn Hajar, confused the Ghaamidiyya with the Juhaniyya. They thought they were two different women, when they actually were the same woman. Ghaamid is a district of Juhayna. An-Nawawi and Ash-Shawkaani pointed that out. Ibn Hajar wrote that the Prophet, peace be upon him, ordered a pit dug for the Ghaamidiyya but no pit for the Juhaniyya!

  • Muslim reported that the Prophet (PBUH) said to the Ghaamidiyya woman, "Go nurse your baby until he is weaned and then come back." She did and brought the boy with a piece of bread he was eating. Then the Prophet (PBUH) ordered her stoned.

    But Muslim also reported another version of the story: The Prophet (PBUH) said, "We do not stone her and leave her baby without somebody to nurse him." A man then rose and said to the Prophet (PBUH), "I'll take care of the nursing." The Prophet (PBUH) then ordered her stoning.

    Conflict #1: Did the Prophet (PBUH) give the woman reprieve or not? Who nursed her baby?

  • Muslim reported that the Prophet (PBUH) ordered a pit dug for the Ghaamidiyya woman. A pit was dug as deep such that only her upper body was above ground.

    Another version, also reported by Muslim does not mention a pit. Instead, the report says that the Prophet ordered her tied up in her clothes and then stoned.

    Az-Zayla`i acknowledged the conflict and made two conflicting conclusions himself: a. A pit is optional, or b. a pit is necessary for the woman but not for the man. His reason? Because stoning may expose parts of the woman's body! If that's a valid reason, then keeping her upper body above the ground may also expose parts of it!

    Conflict #2: Was a pit dug for the woman or not? Was she tied up or not?

Ihaab stops there and says that he will write a book dedicated to the stoning fable. I'd add that this hadeeth too leaves out the other party in the crime, the man! Who was he? How come she did not name him? If she did, why was that not reported? What happened to him?

As for the hadeeth attributed to Umar, may God have been pleased with him, Ihaab says,

  • There are two versions of it. One says, "We do not find stoning in the Book of God." The other says, "Stoning in the Book of God is true." Which is it?

  • Ibn Hajar tried to explain it by saying that what Umar meant was this verse,

    Meaning that the way out is stoning!

  • Al-Baghwi also tried to explain saying that what Umar meant was this verse,

    Meaning that the discipline is stoning!

Another report attributed to Umar (RA) says, "Stoning is a mandate upon an adulterer who has been protected by marriage if the clear proof is established or if pregnancy occurred or by confession."

Ihaab mentions a number of points about that,

  • Pregnancy can occur without a sexual act, An-Nawawi noted. Abdur-Rahmaan ibn Qadaama said likewise that a a virgin girl may get pregnant and it did happen.

    Ihaab asks, why did the scholars not take those narrations? How come they picked and chose which narrations to quote? How can a hadeeth they use for clarification be itself in need of clarification?

  • Ibn Hajar said that pregnancy can be the result of rape. Ash-Shaafi`i said that no penalty on a pregnant woman except with proof or confession. Abu-Haneefa and the majority agreed. Isn't this stating the obvious?

  • As for confession, Ihaab noted, a man is not only confessing to his adultery but he's also accusing a woman of adultery! If he has no witnesses but himself, he is therefore subject to God's ruling in

    So, he must be flogged eighty times, not stoned. Clever.

    Ibn Hajar tried to explain saying that the man is able to withdraw his confession, but the woman can't because she's pregnant! So, Ihaab wonders, a woman who is not pregnant may withdraw her confession at any time and escape stoning?

    An-Nawawi tried to explain that the woman must have been married. So, Ihaab asks, we are now guessing that she had a husband? Who was he? Why was he not assigned the job of taking care of nursing the boy? But Ibn Hajar said that his teacher said that the Ghamidiyya woman had no husband but was pregnant.

A final point Ihaab makes is also important:

  • Scholars have not agreed what constitutes إحصان (protection that turns the penalty from flogging to stoning). Then how is it that people's confession that they are so protected is accepted without witnesses? How did illiterate Bedouins know when the educated scholars can't even agree on what it is?

    He quoted a hadeeth reported by An-Nawawi in his book المجموع that a woman accused a man of having sex with her, and the Prophet (PBUH) ordered him stoned! Then another man confessed that it was he who committed the adultery, so the Prophet (PBUH) stoned him too! In another report he pardoned him! So, they want us to believe that the prophet (PBUH) would stone someone to death without proof, witnesses or confession, only by accusation, but would pardon an adulterer who confessed?! How lowly of those narrators!

    Furthermore, no word about what happened to the woman? She committed two crimes: false accusation and adultery, yet nobody said that she was punished?


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 Post subject: Re: Did the Sunna abrogate 24:2?
PostPosted: 17 Jul 2010, 06:37 
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Ihaab quotes a hadeeth reported by Al-Bukhaari and Muslim that the Prophet, peace be upon him, said, "Is it that every time we go on a battle for the cause of God, a man is left behind among our families who has a p***s like that of a goat?"

Such vulgar talk, which the prophet, peace be upon, could have never uttered, did not escape the eyes of the adversaries of Islam, Ihaab noted. They wrote that the society of the Sahaaba was wrought with sex, since that hadeeth implies that adultery was rampant in them and depicts Muslim women as loose. Ihaab comments that it was the narrators who fantasized about that and fabricated hadeeths to fulfill those abominable fantasies.

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 Post subject: Re: Did the Sunna abrogate 24:2?
PostPosted: 24 Jul 2010, 21:54 
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Jamaal `Ataaya, in his book حقيقة النسخ وطلاقة النص في القرآن, pages 134-137, discusses the claimed stoning verse. He quotes Badr-ud-Deen Az-Zarkashi from his book البرهان, asking the logical question about the stoning verse, "What is the benefit of saying the old man and the old woman? Wouldn't it have been better to say the Muhsan (chaste by marriage) man and the Muhsan woman?"

Good question, isn't it? If stoning is true, it isn't because of age, it's because of إحصان (chastity), all the pro-stoning scholars agree.

`Ataaya mentions two hadeeths that are really strange. In the first one, Zayd ibn Thaabit and Sa`eed ibn Al`Aas were writing the bound volume of the Quran and they came across the stoning verse. Zayd said he heard it from the Prophet (PBUH). Zayd said that after it was revealed, Umar went to the Prophet (PBUH) and asked him if he should write it down. The Prophet looked annoyed. Umar said: Don't you see that when two married youths commit adultery they are stoned and two old single people fornicate they are flogged?" Reported by Al-Haakim and narrated by Katheer ibn As-Salt.

Is that bizarre or what? They want us to believe that the Prophet (PBUH) disliked a verse in the Quran and that's why it was not recorded? They want us to believe that Umar could see the lack of accuracy in the verse and that's why he was convinced it shouldn't be recorded? Do these people recall this verse,


How low can narrators get? Not only are they lying about the Prophet (PBUH) and Umar, may God have been pleased with him, but they also attribute to them blasphemies.

The second "hadeeth" `Ataaya mentions is that Marwaan ibn Al-Hakam asked Zayd ibn Thaabit why he didn't write the stoning verse in the bound volume of the Quran and Zayd answered, "Don't you see that the two married youths who commit adultery are stoned?" So, narrators also lied against Zayd too and accused him of blasphemy, the man trusted by the Prophet, Abu-Bakr and Uthmaan to inscribe the Quran.

It boggles the mind that a lie such as the stoning verse and stoning ruling could last so long, just because of narrations narrated by a few.

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 Post subject: Re: Did the Sunna abrogate 24:2?
PostPosted: 31 Jul 2010, 06:27 
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Linguistic wrote:
The second "hadeeth" `Ataaya mentions is that Marwaan ibn Al-Hakam asked Zayd ibn Thaabit why he didn't write the stoning verse in the bound volume of the Quran and Zayd answered, "Don't you see that the two married youths who commit adultery are stoned?" So, narrators also lied against Zayd too and accused him of blasphemy, the man trusted by the Prophet, Abu-Bakr and Uthmaan to write down the Quran.

Dr. Ali Jum`a, in his book النسخ عند الأصوليين, pages 57-67, discusses the type of abrogation of recitation but not of ruling. He shows clearly how all the narrations claiming such abrogation are all weak. It is shocking to read what was said about the narrators of those hadeeths; things like "truthful but gets deluded", "We recognize some and reject some of what he says", "truthful but gets confused", etc. Aren't these descriptions of people who cannot be trusted to narrate? Being good and pious is not enough to narrate tenets of the religion. A narrator must also be trustworthy and accurate, especially when he tells us that there was once a verse in the Quran about stoning but it's no longer there!

On the stoning "verse", he quotes Abdullah ibn As-Siddeeq Al-Ghamaari (d. 1412 A.H.), in his book ذوق الحلاوة في امتناع نسخ التلاوة who has strongly criticized this and the other hadeeth and rated them Unrecognized (منكر). He concludes, however, that it was a hadeeth at best and that the practice has been contrary to its apparent meaning, implying, I suppose, that 24:2 abrogated it.

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 Post subject: Re: Did the Sunna abrogate 24:2?
PostPosted: 06 Aug 2010, 10:06 
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My comment on the last two posts: What you said. :)

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