I am a bit confused about where this is going,
First, what we are disputing in this project is naskh the way the word was used by the pro-abrogation scholars over the centuries, and there is no doubt that they mean abrogation.
My purpose is to refute the abrogation doctrine at the definition
stage. I contend that the formulation of the abrogation doctrine, which evidence shows was started by the companions of Ibn Mas`ood, may God have been pleased with them, is without merit. The premise I'd like to prove is that the word naskh was not used to mean abrogation.
Let's make it plain language. They certainly mean
The verse is not to be followed
That is what we are contesting. If that is not what is meant, then we are not contesting it.
What I'm saying is that this what the subsequent scholars indeed meant, but it is not what the word linguistically means, not how the Quran used it, and not how the Sahaaba used it.
Therefore, if we are looking into the true linguistic meaning of naskh, the only purpose for this exercise would be to verify/refute the evidence those scholars have used from the Quran and the narrations of the Sahaba involving the word naskh, lest it should have a different meaning from what they are citing it for.
Precisely. My effort in this regard is to show that the word should not have been used to mean abrogation, or "lifting a juristic ruling by a juristic later evidence." That definition has no merit, nor cause.
In the Quran, 2:106 uses the word in a particular way. It doesn't say that a verse abrogated a verse. It says that God abrogated a verse. There is no replacing or modifying entity implied by the verb naskh itself. That is implied by the rest of the verse "We bring.." I feel that it is very compelling that the meaning of naskh in 2:106 is "invalidate", "annul", or "withdraw the divine authority", especially given the context of 2:105. The other use of the verb in the Quran in 22:52 also means annul or invalidate, and that one has not been disputed.
In short, the only linguistic analysis of the word naskh that matters in this project is what does the word mean in its specific use in 2:106.
I humbly suggest that no annulment or invalidation is implied by 2:106, rather correction or restoration. You see, what I'm seeing now, after going through 25 scholarly books, old and new, is that the word naskh should really be defined as follows,
"Explicitly stating information about a ruling that were not explicitly stated before."
That is, statement A states a ruling. Statement B came later and stated information about the same ruling that statement A did not explicitly state.
The question then arises: why? The detractors will say "it implies uncovering of new information not previously thought of." That's the charge from the Jews (البداء). That, of course, is absurd. Some of the reasons for naskh as I defined above are,
- The ruling was not complete. It was only introduced. All Islamic rulings were not complete until the Prophet, peace be upon him, died. Rulings during the dynamic phase of the Quran and Hadeeth, were gradual and timely to train Muslims who will spread the Word, and to have the most impact on their faith. That is precisely what God mentions as the reason for sending the Quran in stages and not in one revelation.
- The ruling was distorted, misrepresented, or misunderstood. The new statement came to correct the misunderstanding or to restore the original ruling. There are many examples of misunderstanding of a ruling. A good one is the misunderstanding of "the true way He should be feared" in 3:102. A good example of a distorted ruling is the Torah. That is why the Quran was revealed: to restore the original teachings God gave Moses (PBUH). This is not abrogation; it's revival. That is now my understanding of 2:106.