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 Post subject: Re: Did 9:5 abrogate 124 verses?
PostPosted: 10 Jun 2010, 05:27 
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Linguistic wrote:
More wholesale claims of abrogation by the sword verse are made about Chapter 39,

Dr. Az-Zalmi, in his book التبيان لرفع غموض النسخ في القرآن, pages 363-364, adds to the above list quoting Ibn Hazm Al-Andalusi the claim that,

was abrogated by the sword verse. He says that the refutation is so obvious, it's a waste of time to reply. He used these harsh words criticizing Ibn Hazm Al-Andalusi and others who followed him, such as Ibn Salaama:
زعم ابن حزم ص ٥٢ (وابن سلامة ص ١٦٢) وأنصاره من المبالغين في النسخ ومن المسيئين إلى جلالة ذات الله وعظمة القرآن لجهل أو إفراط أو تفريط في أفكارهم اللامسئولة...؛

Translation:
Ibn Hazm (Al-Andalusi) and his supporters (e.g., Ibn Salaama) those who exaggerated in abrogation, who insulted the majesty of God, and the Grandeur of the Quran, because of ignorance, negligence or expressiveness in their irresponsible thoughts...

I guess the esteemed Professor couldn't take it any more.

Who said what:
For:
Ibn Hazm Al-Andalusi,
Ibn Salaama.

Against:
Dr. Az-Zalmi.

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 Post subject: Re: Did 9:5 abrogate 124 verses?
PostPosted: 23 Jun 2010, 05:26 
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Linguistic wrote:
Of the verses claimed abrogated by the sword verse is

...
The claim is made by Qataada and Mujaahid (in one report) and agreed to by Ibn Jurayh, As-Suddiyy and Abu-Haneefa. However, Ibn Umar, Al-Hasan, Ibn Seereen, Mujaahid (in another report), Ahmad and Ash-Shaafi`i all said it was not abrogated and the pardon and ransom options remain in effect.

Neither side say why and Ibn Al-Jawzi offers no opinion.

Al-Ghaali, in his book بالحجة والبرهان لا نسخ في القرآن, pages 167-170, refutes this case and adds a few names:

  • Ibn Salaama, Al-Jassaas and Ibn Abbaas said 47:4 was abrogated by the sword verse.
  • Ad-Dhahhaak said that 47:4 has abrogated the fighting verses. `Ataa' agrees.
  • Al-Hasan hated to kill a prisoner of war.
  • Maalik, Ash-Shaafi`i and Ash-Shawakaani said that the imaam has the option to kill or imprison a captured enemy soldier. If he chooses to imprison him, then he either lets him free or takes a ransom for his release.
  • An-Nahhaas accepts that rationale and concludes from it that 47:4 was not abrogated.
  • Ibn Al`Arabi said that 47:4 was not abrogated.
  • Quoting Ibn Abbaas and Al-Bukhaari, Rasheed Ridha explained 8:67 by saying that first comes victory over the enemy and then prisoners of war are taken. This is also the opinion of Ar-Raazi, Sayyid Qutb and Al-Ghaali.

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 Post subject: Re: Did 9:5 abrogate 124 verses?
PostPosted: 24 Jun 2010, 20:46 
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Al-Ghaali, in his book بالحجة والبرهان لا نسخ في القرآن, pages 187-198, discusses the sword verse and what the scholars said about it. He does a great job of showing that it does not abrogate anything at all.

He mentioned something I've read elsewhere that some scholars called,

the sword verse instead of 9:5. This is noteworthy, since many scholars referred to "the sword verse" without actually quoting it.

Here is what Al-Ghaali writes about 9:5,

  • Ibn Salaama said that it abrogated 124 verses and its ending abrogated its beginning!

  • Ibn Al-Jawzi ridiculed that opinion and described those who made it as "those who have no understanding among the transmitters of exegesis."

  • Abu-Ja`far An-Nahhaas said it abrogated 113 verses.

  • Al-Ghaali asks the rhetorical question: Isn't it strange that God reveals a command and emphasizes it 124 times then abrogates it with one verse?

  • As-Suyooti said that the verses claimed abrogated by the sword verse are actually delayed (منسأ). That is, they apply for their time only and the contingencies they are tied to. That's not abrogation, he said, because abrogation is to cancel a ruling such that it's not permissible to comply with it.

  • Rasheed Ridha said that abrogation claims about the sword verse have been greatly exaggerated and that what the scholars mentioned is not abrogation as the foundationists (الأصوليون) defined it.

  • Modern-day Saudi scholar Ibn `Uthaymeen, rahimahullah, said (my translation), "Many scholars whenever they were unable to reconcile verses, or fit them to actuality resorted to claiming abrogation and that's not right."

  • Muhammad Al-Ghazaali, rahimahullah, said that abrogation is an "insult that appears in the exegeses of some inept" (قذى يظهر في تفسيرات بعض القاصرين). He added, "And I've seen some who desperately tried to prove that Islam spread by the sword and forced peoples to enter it, and for that end they canceled or abrogated over 120 verses starting with 2:256."

  • Al-Ghaali quotes Al-Hasan, `Ataa', Ad-Dhahhaak and As-Suddiyy saying that the sword verse was abrogated by 47:4. They interpreted the word المشركين as prisoners of war, that is killing the enemy is no longer allowed but instead the leader may let them go or take their ransom. Mujaahid, Qataada and others disagreed.

    Al-Ghaali says that the majority agrees that killing is for enemy combatants only and that the leaders has three options about a prisoner of war: Let him go, ransom him or kill him.

    Al-Ghaali says that Al-Qurtubi, Ibn Al-Jawzi, At-Tabari and An-Nahhaas all said that the two verses, 9:5 and 47:4 are not abrogated.

  • Scholars interpreted the word المشركين (polytheists) in many different ways:

    • Muqaatil said it means those who had no treaty but the named 50 days.
    • Az-Zamakhshari and An-Nasfi said it means those who breached their treaty and supported the enemies of Muslims.
    • Al-Baydhaawi said it means those who reneged.
    • Ibn Al`Arabi said it means those polytheists who fight Muslims. Al-Ghaali concludes, incorrectly I think, that Ibn Al`Arabi meant the Arab polytheists at that time only.
    • Al-Jassaas said it means the Arab polytheists only.

    Al-Ghaali concludes that the word means the polytheists who breached their treaty. He argues the same argument I made before, but puts it more elegantly. He said that 9:6,

    proves that non-combatants are not to be killed, nor be given a choice to become Muslim or be killed. Thus, Al-Ghaali concludes, the contingency in 9:5 is not polytheism, but rather aggression and treachery. He says that this is emphasized earlier in 9:4,

    which confirms that understanding and goes a step further: That polytheists who keep their word and do not support our enemies are to be treated with the same courtesy. That's what At-Tabari settled on. Ibn Katheer agreed. Ar-Raazi agrees too and adds a gem; he said that the verse ends with the words "And God loves the watchful [of Him]", which means that watchfulness of God requires the differentiation between combatants and non-combatants. I'd add that God ends 9:7 with the same words as well.

  • Al-Ghaali points out another proof that the contingency of 9:5 is not polytheism,

    I'd add that this verse also confirms the reciprocation of courtesy implied by 9:4.

  • Al-Ghaali makes an excellent point: He says that God has actually specified what the contingency of 9:5 was! He says,

    And

    And


  • If the intention of the sword verse is killing the polytheists, unless they accept Islam, then why the four months reprieve, asks Al-Ghaali. He says that polytheists, who now see four months between them and their death, would either get out or prepare for war. I agree that these are two possible alternatives but disagree that they are the only ones. They could also pretend to accept Islam and add their names to the list of hypocrites!

    Was any of those alternatives intended by God? One might argue that expelling the polytheists from Arabia was desired by God. This can be supported by a hadeeth of the Prophet (PBUH) in which he said, "Get the polytheists out of the peninsula of the Arabs", narrated by Ibn Abbaas and reported by Al-Bukhaari and Muslim. One may even interpret God's words فسيحوا في الأرض (then spread in the land), in 9:2 to mean "get out of the land", but that's a stretch.

    I'd counter that a similar hadeeth quotes the Prophet (PBUH) saying, "I surely will expel the Jews and the Christians from the peninsula of the Arabs until I leave in it none but Muslims", narrated by Umar and reported by Muslim, An-Nasaa'i and Ahmad. Yet, there is no text that gives the Jews and the Christians a reprieve of any length! How come? It is established that the People of the Book are not polytheists, so how can the polytheists have an advantage over them?

    There is no historical evidence, to the best of my knowledge, that the polytheists took advantage of the reprieve to prepare for a terminal war. Why didn't they? They were still the majority.

    Lastly, an option they could have contemplated was to claim conversion and join the hypocrites. There is no evidence that they did that either. And could it possibly be a desired outcome that masses of people become hypocrites?

    What is evident from history is that the Prophet's triumphant return to Mecca took place with very little fighting and even less resistance, and with overwhelming victory. He took six thousand prisoners of war with almost no effort. And what did he do with them? If he had understood the "sword" verse to mean "kill the polytheists", he would have killed those POWs, but instead he understood 47:4 and he asked them, "What do you think I'll do with you?" They replied, "Good; you're a noble brother and a noble nephew!" Indeed he was, peace be upon him. He replied, "Go! You are free." The Arabs have never before seen 6,000 POWs let go.

    The result of this magnanimity, which came naturally to the Prophet (PBUH), was that delegation after delegation of Arab tribes came to the Prophet declaring their willing acceptance of Islam and vowing allegiance to him. Were they hypocrite? Some of them may have been, but only God knows that. The historical evidence is that no Arab tribe reverted to polytheism ever since.

  • The next question Al-Ghaali asks is: If we concede that the sword verse mandates killing the polytheists, is that mandate for all polytheists around the world at all times, or is it limited to the time, place and people at the time of revelation? His answers were not strong, I thought. I'd offer the same hadeeth presented as evidence for this as evidence against it! If the mandate is for all times and about all polytheists, then what's the point of expelling the polytheists from the Arabian peninsula if Muslims are supposed to chase them wherever they go and kill them?!

  • The last point Al-Ghaali makes is good, and I have not seen it mentioned elsewhere, namely, the sword verse gives a number of options about the hostile polytheists. Killing them is only one. The other options are to take them as prisoners of war, enforce sanctions on them and stalk them. That is only fair, since those types of actions were all done by the polytheists to Muslims before. In fact, the polytheists did worse; they tortured them to renounce Islam but that didn't work.

Doesn't all that logically lead to the one conclusion: that verse 9:5 is not a sword verse, does not require Muslims to kill anybody except enemy combatants who are bent on killing them and would not live and let live?

Only two categories of people would disagree: Trigger-happy Muslims with a perverted concept of Islam who long for the days of pre-Islamic era where tribes freely raided each other, stole their property, killed their men and enslaved their women and children. That kind of life was the norm everywhere in the world for most of human history, be it the Vikings raiding England, the Anglos fighting the Saxons, or be it the Germanics or the Francs, etc. Islam came to put an end to those practices which it calls الجاهلية (ignorance). It was revolutionary. So, it is doubly sad that some Muslims want to revert to ignorance and worse yet that they want to sanction it by Islam!

The other category are Islamophobes and enemies of Islam who wish to silence the truth and curtail the tide of Islam, or at least keep Muslims fighting amongst each other.

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 Post subject: Re: Did 9:5 abrogate 124 verses?
PostPosted: 25 Jun 2010, 02:12 
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Linguistic wrote:
He mentioned something I've read elsewhere that some scholars called 9:36 the sword verse instead of 9:5. This is noteworthy, since many scholars referred to "the sword verse" without actually quoting it.

I remember when Zaid addressed these abrogation claims in his book, he said that the sword verse is likely 9:5. Now I understand what he meant.

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 Post subject: If 9:36 is the sword verse
PostPosted: 25 Jun 2010, 22:40 
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Linguistic wrote:
Al-Ghaali, in his book بالحجة والبرهان لا نسخ في القرآن, pages 187-198, discusses the sword verse and what the scholars said about it. He does a great job of showing that it does not abrogate anything at all.

He mentioned something I've read elsewhere that some scholars called 9:36 the sword verse instead of 9:5. This is noteworthy, since many scholars referred to "the sword verse" without actually quoting it.

Al-Ghaali immediately notices and points out that the word كافة (altogether) is an adverb for "fight the polytheists", not an apposition for "the polytheists". That is, it describes the manner of fighting, i.e., "fight the polytheists altogether, united, just as they fight you altogether." This is a better articulation than mine of the classic error in interpretation of this word. Put another way, if God wanted the word كافة to describe the polytheists, He could have said instead: وقاتلوا كافة المشركين, but He didn't. Al-Ghaali shows that many scholars have interpreted the word correctly, such as:

  • Al-Qurtubi quoted Ibn `Atiyya saying that the verse orders ganging up on the enemy and limits the order with the words كما يقاتلونكم كافة (as they fight you altogether), i.e., our ganging up on them is predicated on their ganging up on us.
  • Muqaatil said it means: Fight the disbelievers of Mecca altogether as they fight you altogether even if they fight you during a sacred month.
  • At-Tabari said it means: Fight them without division amongst yourselves. As-Suddi said the same thing, and so did Ar-Raazi and Ibn Katheer. And so does Rasheed Ridha.
  • Ibn Abbaas, however, opined that it means: fight all of them without trying to appeal to some of them, because they all fight you.

Al-Ghaali says that the majority of scholars agree that the enabler of fighting (مناط القتال) is fighting and aggression, not disbelief. He quotes Ibn Abbaas making a distinction between two types of polytheists: One is war-mongering which fought the Prophet and he fought them back. The other type is those who honor their pledges (أهل عهد); they did not fight the Prophet, and he did not fight them.

Thus, it is obvious that 9:36 is not a sword verse either and it did not abrogate anything, but rather it confirms the many other verses that instruct Muslims to fight only those who fight them and points out that Muslims should unite against their enemy as the enemy bands together against them. What else would make sense?

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 Post subject: Re: If 9:36 is the sword verse
PostPosted: 26 Jun 2010, 03:45 
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Linguistic wrote:
Al-Ghaali immediately notices and points out that the word كافة (altogether) is an adverb for "fight the polytheists", not an adjective of "the polytheists". That is, it describes the manner of fighting, i.e., "fight the polytheists altogether, united, just as they fight you altogether."

Excellent point.

My Arabic isn't what it used to be :), but isn't it grammatically impossible for كافة to be an adjective of the polytheists, since it is not following the definite aspect of the Arabic word the polytheists?

BTW, my understanding of the adverb كافة in this context is that it means "on all fronts."

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 Post subject: Re: If 9:36 is the sword verse
PostPosted: 26 Jun 2010, 04:10 
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Pragmatic wrote:
My Arabic isn't what it used to be :), but isn't it grammatically impossible for كافة to be an adjective of the polytheists, since it is not following the definite aspect of the Arabic word the polytheists?

Oops, I meant to say that they thought it was an apposition (بدل), i.e., they thought the clause meant: Fight the polytheists, all of them. But whenever God expressed that semantic, He always used كلهم (all of them) and often emphasized it with جميعا or أجمعون (altogether). For instance,

And


The word كافة is derived from the verb كف meaning to abstain or to avert. I'm not entirely sure, but I think the adverb is related to that root this way: the adverb means "without exception", and one semantic of the verb is to prevent an exception from occurring.

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 Post subject: Did a hadeeth confirm the sword verse abrogation claims?
PostPosted: 26 Jun 2010, 20:33 
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Al-Ghaali, in his book بالحجة والبرهان لا نسخ في القرآن, pages 204-207, discusses the use of this hadeeth as an argument for those who claim that the sword verse abrogated many verses:

أمرت أن أقاتل الناس حتى يشهدوا أن لا إله إلا الله وأن محمدا رسول الله، ويقيموا الصلاة، ويؤتوا الزكاة، فإن فعلوا ذلك؛ عصموا مني دماءهم وأموالهم؛ إلا بحق الإسلام، وحسابهم على الله

Translation:
"I was commanded to fight people until they bear witness that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad in the Messenger of Allah, establish prayer and give alms. When they do that, they protect their bloods and their properties from me, except by the right of Islam and their account is with God."

It is narrated by Shu`ba and reported by Al-Bukhaari and Muslim. A version of it, also authentic, adds that the Prophet (PBUH) then recited,

This version was narrated by Abu-Hurayra and reported by Muslim, At-Tirmizhi, Al-Haakim and Ahmad.

Already, IMHO, this version of the hadeeth clearly explains what the Prophet (PBUH) meant. By "until" he meant that what follows is cause to stop the fight. By reciting 88:21-22, the Prophet (PBUH) made clear that Islam cannot be imposed on people. Thus, the only explanation left is that the hadeeth is talking about militant disbelievers; Muslims have to fight them back and have to stop the fight if the enemy declares Islam, even if they don't actually believe it, for a Muslim is not allowed to fight another Muslim.

Al-Ghaali propounds the scholars interpretation of this hadeeth as follows,

  • The majority, including Abu-Haneefa, Abu-Yoosuf and Ahmad, is of the opinion that it refers to Arab polytheists only. For others, the Jizya (defense tax) is taken and is binding for mutual non-aggression. They quote the hadeeth of the Prophet (PBUH) in which he orders the expulsion of polytheists from the Arabian peninsula. Rasheed Ridha agrees and adds that this has been the practice of all Muslim missions; they never required the polytheist natives in places like India to convert.

  • Maalik said that Jizya is taken from all disbelievers except the dibelievers of Quraysh.

  • Ash-Shaafi`i and Ibn Hazm stated that a polytheist has only two options: Islam or the sword. Unfortunately, Al-Ghaali laments, the Islamic Encyclopedia (دائرة المعارف الإسلامية) agrees.

  • Ibn Hajar points out the important distinction between the two words قتل and قتال. The former means killing and the latter means fighting and they are not the same! He says that Abu-Bakr As-Siddeeq understood the difference when he waged war against the Muslims who refused to pay alms. He did not kill any of them except during action in the war. Ibn Daqeeq Al`Eed agrees and so does Al-Bayhaqi, Ash-Shaafi`i and An-Nahhaas. Dr. Al-Booti also agrees and adds this explanation of the hadeeth (my translation):
    I was commanded to repel any aggression against my calling people to faith in the oneness of God, and if that can only be done by fighting then I have to." Makes perfect sense to me.

  • Al-Ghaali mentions a profound story. He says that when Muslims returned triumphantly to Mecca, Sa`d ibn `Ubaada, who was in charge of carrying the Muslim flag, called out to Abu-Sufyaan, the top elite of Mecca who was still a polytheist at the time, and said, "O Abu-Sufyaan! Today is the day of saga (الملحمة). Today, sanctuaries are game. Today, God has humiliated Quraysh." Abu-Sufyaan then called the Prophet (PBUH) and said, "O, Messenger of God! Were you commanded to kill your folk?" The Prophet (PBUH) replied, "Today is the day of grace (المرحمة). Today, God has honored Quraysh!" And the Prophet fired Sa`d!

    I find that story most pertinent to this entire topic. The pro-abrogation crowd seem to be motivated by revenge or fundamentalism, while the Prophet, peace be upon him, was motivated by an overwhelming desire to guide people to the truth of the one true God. I just love him.

    Ibn Hajar adds that the use of this hadeeth to justify the killing of a Muslim who neglects prayer is therefore a mistake.

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 Post subject: Re: If 9:36 is the sword verse
PostPosted: 27 Jun 2010, 00:10 
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Linguistic wrote:
The word كافة is derived from the verb كف meaning to abstain or to avert. I'm not entirely sure, but I think the adverb is related to that root this way: the adverb means "without exception", and one semantic of the verb is to prevent an exception from occurring.

I suspect the relation is in the meaning "in a way that makes people stop."

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 Post subject: Re: Did a hadeeth confirm the sword verse abrogation claims?
PostPosted: 27 Jun 2010, 00:22 
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Linguistic wrote:
  • The majority, including Abu-Haneefa, Abu-Yoosuf and Ahmad, is of the opinion that it refers to Arab polytheists only.

    ...
  • Al-Ghaali mentions a profound story. He says that when Muslims returned triumphantly to Mecca, Sa`d ibn `Ubaada, who was in charge of carrying the Muslim flag, called out to Abu-Sufyaan, the top elite of Mecca who was still a polytheist at the time, and said, "O Abu-Sufyaan! Today is the day of saga (الملحمة). Today, sanctuaries are game. Today, God has humiliated Quraysh." Abu-Sufyaan then called the Prophet (PBUH) and said, "O, Messenger of God! Were you commanded to kill your folk?" The Prophet (PBUH) replied, "Today is the day of grace (المرحمة). Today, God has honored Quraysh!" And the Prophet fired Sa`d!

Two comments.

1. Notwithstanding the authenticity issues, the opinion of Abu-Haneefa is supported by the wording of the hadeeth. The wording is entirely in first person singular, which suggests that the orders are for the Prophet (PBUH) himself, not necessarily for others.

2. Indeed, we do not 'celebrate' victory. Instead, we are ordered to


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