أخبار عاجلة

A Critique of the Issue of Abrogation in Revelation

A Critique of the Issue of Abrogation in Revelation *

Prof. Jamila Tilout**

Abrogation (Arabic: Naskh) is one of the mechanisms of understanding the Islamic Discourse in case of (apparent) contradiction among Divine texts, at which it is connectedly through exegetical writings. Abrogation is studied through more than one cognitive field. For example, it is studied through Tafsir (exegetical field) and Uṣul (fundamental field) especially when tackling the issue of apparent contradiction (Ta’aruḍ) and outweighing (Tarjee), in order to know how to weigh the texts by abrogating one of them when it is rationally impossible to reconcile or outweigh them through other dependable mechanisms. Thus, abrogation has become an independent field of study in the Islamic culture.

Yet, its independence does not hinder the questions about its essence and function, especially because it is related to the fundamental texts of this culture and to the Divine Revelation. It raises many doubts about the features of this Revelation. It is obvious that claiming abrogation leads to many doubts.

When reading the early writings tackling the issue of abrogation, the reader will firstly notice the difference in determining the abrogated Verses, as we can see that the Verses they claimed had been abrogated do not depend on a consensus (Ijma’). For example, Qatada ibn Di’ama (117 Hijri) tackled about forty issues concerning abrogation, while An-Nahhas (245 H) tackled about 134 Verses, and Ibn alJawzī tackled 148 Verses, and Ibn Al-Barizī (683 H) tackled 249 issues1. Moreover, Al-Suyutī, throughout his book entitled “الإتقان” (The Perfect Guide to the Sciences of the Quran: Al-Itqan Fi ‘Ulum Al-Qur’an), mentioned twenty (20) Verses. In fact, the examples of abrogation mentioned do not have the same signification. These various significations of the concept of abrogation show the reason behind the difference in the numbers concluded through independent reasoning; claiming hundreds and handful. Accordingly, what does the concept of abrogation mean?

How to prove that a certain Verse have been abrogated meaning the cancelation of its ruling without recitation; although continuity in time and space is among the Quranic features? and how to prove the presence of abrogation with the unity and fixed rulings of the Book?

To answer those previous questions, some fundamental questions should be raised first. They are divided into theoretical and practical questions.

Regarding the theoretical questions, the first question is about the concept of abrogation. So, what does the concept of abrogation mean, according to the Noble Quran? What is its usage in the early exegetical writings? In another words, what was the concept of abrogation during the stage of early reflection?

In fact, focusing on the main significations of abrogation, by depending on the Holy Quran, the core, beside the authentic Prophetic Hadiths and also the early texts, is the best way to tackle the claim of abrogation from a sound conceptual approach.

Moreover, among other theoretical questions is the question about the features of the Islamic discourse and the degree of its accord or contradiction with abrogation. Thus, is the widespread concept of abrogation suitable for the features of the Quranic discourse?

Then, the practical question is raised to find practical evidences supporting this claim from the Hadith (Prophetic Saying). Is there any Prophetic text supporting the claim of abrogation as mentioned in the early and latter Quranic studies?

How to benefit from the mechanisms of understanding texts when there is an (apparent) contradiction without breaching the features and pillars of this text?

Indeed, criticizing the claim of abrogation is critical, but it is inevitable because it is related to the early and modern interpretation of the religious text. That’s why we need a through discussion of this issue by using main cognitive practical mechanisms.

I intend, throughout my paper, to thoroughly search for the roots of this concept, then, clarify its semantic development during the early stage by setting some necessary comparisons. Then, we will tackle the functionality of the abrogation and its impact on the exegetical contribution. To avoid being absolutely theoretical, I intend to discuss some Verses mentioned in the fundamental exegetical writings, which they claimed had been abrogated, to examine the authenticity of this claim by suggesting a mechanism which reconciles apparent contradictory texts.

First, The Rise of The Idea: First Generation

If we want to investigate the authenticity of this idea, we should first depend on the Prophetic Hadiths as they are the most dependable source. By studying those Hadiths, we won’t find any Hadith mentioning abrogation or its doubts. This is because any contradiction was impossible during the time of the Prophet (ﷺ), the interpreter whom Companions (Ṣaḥabah) used to ask him for explanation, interpretation and clarification.

Yet, some may argue that, through this prophetic interpretation, the abrogating is distinguished from the abrogated, and the applicable is distinguished from the inapplicable. However, we won’t find this mentioned explicitly in the Hadiths by uttering the (Arabic) word “Naskh” (Abrogation).

Furthermore, the Hadiths quoted to prove the authenticity of abrogation were uttered during a late stage after the Prophetic era. In fact, the claim of abrogation was raised by scholars and not by a statement of the Prophet (ﷺ), the interpreter.

Hence, the concept of abrogation was firstly tackled at the time of the Companions, may Allah be pleased with them. During their era, this concept was tackled differently. In fact, after its first appearance, this idea was developed to be what is known as the “Theory of Abrogation”. In order to understand the first stage of this idea during the second reflection stage, after the Prophetic era, we should depend on the Sayings of the Companions. I studied on the Sayings of Ibn ‘Abbas (May Allah be pleased with him) (68 H) focusing on the issue of abrogation, being the most famous sayings during this stage, to fully understand his opinion in this regard. Indeed, this helps us in reaching a better understanding of the meaning of abrogation during this stage which is the first fundamental stage on which the following stages depend.

I rely on an Encyclopedia entitled,  Encyclopedia of Makkah School in Tafsir“موسوعة مدرسة مكة في التفسير” (Mausu’at Madrasat Makkah Fil Tafsir), by Dr. Ahmad Al-Omrany who dedicated its first three parts to the exegesis of Ibn ‘Abbas (May Allah be pleased with him). He collected the Sayings of Ibn ‘Abbas from different exegetical writings and books of Sunnah and other Islamic writings. In fact, those sayings are not at the same level of authenticity, as some are sound others are fine, weak and even fabricated. Although the difference in their level of authenticity, those sayings were mentioned in the exegetical writings and influenced the understanding of the religious text.

I studied the opinion of Ibn ‘Abbas about abrogation through this Encyclopedia. In this regard, Hadiths exceed fifty Hadiths excluding the repeated. Nine of them refer to the theoretical side of abrogation; its definition and significance, while the rest Hadiths tackle the issue of inter-revelatory abrogation, in a number not exceeding five Hadiths, or intra-revelatory abrogation, in a number exceeding thirty with the repeated. In fact, abrogation is not limited to rulings but it can be also in unalterable Divine Reports (Akhbār)2, although it was mentioned explicitly in the latter writings that abrogation is not in unalterable Divine Reports. Thus, we should thoroughly study the meaning intended by Ibn ‘Abbas of abrogation during this stage.

Ibn ‘Abbas assures the huge significance of abrogation being a part of the Quranic knowledge when interpreting the word wisdom mentioned in the Quranic Verse:

“يُؤْتِي الْحِكْمَةَ مَن يَشَاءُ ۚ وَمَن يُؤْتَ الْحِكْمَةَ فَقَدْ أُوتِيَ خَيْرًا كَثِيرًا…”

“He gives wisdom to whom He wills, and whoever has been given wisdom has certainly been given much good…

(Al-Baqarah (The Cow): 269)3.

He refers to the precise “Muḥkam” as the abrogating and allegorical “Mutashabih” as the abrogated4. He also interpreted the Verse:

“يَمْحُو اللَّهُ مَا يَشَاءُ وَيُثْبِتُ…”

Allah eliminates what He wills or confirms…”

(Ar-Ra’d (The Thunder): 39),

Referring to the Quran, as He eliminated, confirmed, made His Prophet (ﷺ) forget. He   abrogated what He wills and confirmed Verses which is referred to as precise. In addition, the Verse,

“…وَعِندَهُ أُمُّ الْكِتَابِ”

“….and with Him is the Mother of the Book.”,

refers to the whole Book and its origin5.

In addition, the significance of the abrogating and the abrogated is raised by his comment on the Quranic Verse:

“وَالَّذِينَ اهْتَدَوْا زَادَهُمْ هُدًى وَآتَاهُمْ تَقْوَاهُمْ…”

“And those who are guided – He increases them in guidance and gives them their righteousness”

(Muhammad:17).

He said: “When Allah Almighty revealed Quran, we believed in it and it became our Guidance, and when the abrogating and the abrogated were distinguished, it increases them in guidance.”6

However, all these narrations are not dependable because they are probably used to show the significance of the abrogating and the abrogated without differentiating between the sound and weak narrations. This, however, will help in understanding the way by which the significance of abrogation is built inside the exegetical attitude later on. Yet, the question about its essence is still with no answer, as its essence will be manifested by reflecting on the practical applications.

Therefore, if we reflect on the application of abrogation, we will find that one of the concepts of abrogation is inter-revelatory abrogation which indicates that the Quran, the Scripture of Islam, abrogates all the previous Scriptures7.

On the other hand, intra-revelatory abrogation refers to various meanings. It sometimes refers to the change8, specification, limitation, or clarification. It mostly refers to the specification of the generalized (Takhṣiṣ al-‘Umom) and the limitation of the indefinite (Taqeed al-Muṭlaq). The following is a detailed explanation in this regard.

  • Specification of the Generalized:

Commenting on the Verse,

“وَلَا تَنكِحُوا الْمُشْرِكَاتِ حَتَّىٰ يُؤْمِنَّ…”

“And do not marry polytheistic women until they believe…”

(Al-Baqarah (The Cow): 221),

Ibn ‘Abbas said:

“Marrying Christian/Jewish women is excluded from this Verse. It is permissible for Muslim men to marry them, but it is impermissible for Muslim women to marry their men9. Yet, this abrogation does not depend on a consensually interpretation. Scholars disagree over whether to regard a Christian/Jewish as a polytheist, as mentioned in the Verse, or as people of religion even if he/she follows a distorted religion to differentiate between the Christian/ Jewish and the polytheist?10

In addition, Ibn ‘Abbas, commenting on:

“وَالْمُطَلَّقَاتُ يَتَرَبَّصْنَ بِأَنفُسِهِنَّ ثَلَاثَةَ قُرُوءٍ…”

“Divorced women remain in waiting for three periods…”

(Al-Baqarah (The Cow): 228),

and,

“وَاللَّائِي يَئِسْنَ مِنَ الْمَحِيضِ مِن نِّسَائِكُمْ إِنِ ارْتَبْتُمْ فَعِدَّتُهُنَّ ثَلَاثَةُ أَشْهُرٍ…”

“And those who no longer expect menstruation among your women – if you doubt, then their period is three months

(Aṭ-Ṭalāq (The Divorce): 4),

Saying that an exception was given by the Verse:

“…ثُمَّ طَلَّقْتُمُوهُنَّ مِن قَبْلِ أَن تَمَسُّوهُنَّ فَمَا لَكُمْ عَلَيْهِنَّ مِنْ عِدَّةٍ تَعْتَدُّونَهَا …”

“…and then divorce them before you have touched them, then there is not for you any waiting period to count concerning them…”

(Al-Aḥzāb (The Confederates): 49).11

He (may Allah be pleased with him) also interpreted the Saying of Allah Almighty,

“وَالْمُطَلَّقَاتُ يَتَرَبَّصْنَ بِأَنفُسِهِنَّ ثَلَاثَةَ قُرُوءٍ ۚ وَلَا يَحِلُّ لَهُنَّ أَن يَكْتُمْنَ مَا خَلَقَ اللَّهُ فِي أَرْحَامِهِنَّ…”

“Divorced women remain in waiting for three periods, and it is not lawful for them to conceal what Allah has created in their wombs…”

(Al-Baqarah (The Cow): 228),

saying:

This (was revealed) because when a man divorced his wife, he was entitled to return her back even after divorcing her three times (an irrevocable divorce). Yet, this has been abrogated by the Verse:

“الطَّلَاقُ مَرَّتَانِ…”

“Divorce is twice…”12

(Al-Baqarah (The Cow): 229).

Furthermore, the issues of the bequest have a similar situation. For example, it has been narrated that Ibn ‘Abbas, when delivering a public speech, recited and explained the Verses of Surat Al-Baqarah. When reaching the Verse,

“…إن تَرَكَ خَيْرًا الْوَصِيَّةُ لِلْوَالِدَيْنِ وَالْأَقْرَبِينَ…”

“…if he leaves wealth [is that he should make] a bequest for the parents and near relatives…”

(Al-Baqarah (The Cow): 180),

he commented: “This (Verse) has been abrogated”. Then, he continued recitation and when reaching the Verse,

“وَالَّذِينَ يُتَوَفَّوْنَ مِنكُمْ وَيَذَرُونَ أَزْوَاجًا وَصِيَّةً لِّأَزْوَاجِهِم مَّتَاعًا إِلَى الْحَوْلِ غَيْرَ إِخْرَاجٍ…”

“And those who are taken in death among you and leave wives behind – for their wives is a bequest: maintenance for one year without turning [them] out…”

(Al-Baqarah (The Cow): 240),

he said: “and this also (has been abrogated)”.13

This can be affirmed by his interpretation to the Quranic Verse:

“وَإِذَا حَضَرَ الْقِسْمَةَ أُولُو الْقُرْبَىٰ وَالْيَتَامَىٰ وَالْمَسَاكِينُ فَارْزُقُوهُم مِّنْهُ وَقُولُوا لَهُمْ قَوْلًا مَّعْرُوفًا”

“And when [other] relatives and orphans and the needy are present at the [time of] division, then provide for them [something] out of the estate and speak to them words of appropriate kindness.”

(An-Nisaa’ (The Women): 8).

He commented: “Some argued that the rule of this Verse is cancelled, by Allah, it is not cancelled, but the people have stopped acting on it. There are two kinds of guardians (who are in charge of the inheritance): One is that who inherits; such a person should give (of what he inherits to the relatives, the orphans and the needy, etc.), the other is that who does not inherit (e.g. the guardian of the orphans): such a person should speak kindly and say (to those who are present at the time of distribution), “I cannot give it to you (as the wealth belongs to the orphans).”  14

(Sunnah.com)

  • Declaration of a Ruling:

It has been narrated that Ibn ‘Abbas said: The Verse

“وَاللَّاتِي يَأْتِينَ الْفَاحِشَةَ مِن نِّسَائِكُمْ فَاسْتَشْهِدُوا عَلَيْهِنَّ أَرْبَعَةً مِّنكُمْ ۖ فَإِن شَهِدُوا فَأَمْسِكُوهُنَّ فِي الْبُيُوتِ حَتَّىٰ يَتَوَفَّاهُنَّ الْمَوْتُ أَوْ يَجْعَلَ اللَّهُ لَهُنَّ سَبِيلاً”

“Those who commit unlawful sexual intercourse of your women – bring against them four [witnesses] from among you. And if they testify, confine the guilty women to houses until death takes them or Allah ordains for them [another] way.”

(An-Nisaa’ (The Women): 15),

mentions males after females then gathers between them saying:

“وَاللَّذَانِ يَأْتِيَانِهَا مِنكُمْ فَآذُوهُمَا ۖ فَإِن تَابَا وَأَصْلَحَا فَأَعْرِضُوا عَنْهُمَا…”

“And the two who commit it among you, dishonor them both. But if they repent and correct themselves, leave them alone…”

(An-Nisaa’ (The Women): 16).

This (ruling) has been abrogated by the Verse of lashing:

“الزَّانِيَةُ وَالزَّانِي فَاجْلِدُوا كُلَّ وَاحِدٍ مِّنْهُمَا مِائَةَ جَلْدَةٍ…”

“The [unmarried] woman or [unmarried] man found guilty of sexual intercourse – lash each one of them with a hundred lashes…”

(An-Nur (The Light): 2).15

The punishment for a woman guilty of adultery is not prescribed except in the Verse of Surat An-Nur. That’s why the declaration of the ruling is considered to be an abrogation. In this case, it does not mean that a previous ruling is lifted or canceled, because Allah Almighty did not set a ruling concerning woman who committed adultery.

  • Clarification of an ambiguity

It has been narrated that Said b. Marjanah said:

When I visited Abdullah b. ‘Umar, he recited this Verse:

“…إِن تُبْدُوا مَا فِي أَنفُسِكُمْ أَوْ تُخْفُوهُ يُحَاسِبْكُم بِهِ اللَّهُ ۖ فَيَغْفِرُ لِمَن يَشَاءُ وَيُعَذِّبُ مَن يَشَاءُ…”

“…Whether you show what is within yourselves or conceal it, Allah will bring you to account for it. Then He will forgive whom He wills and punish whom He wills…”

(Al-Baqarah (The Cow): 284).

Then, Ibn ‘Umar said: ‘if we depend on the (literal meaning of this) Verse, we will inevitably perish.’ Then, he wept. Ibn ‘Abbas said: ‘May Allah forgive Abdullah b. ‘Umar, the Companions of the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) were terrified from it like Ibn ‘Umar. Then, Allah Almighty revealed:

“لَا يُكَلِّفُ اللَّهُ نَفْسًا إِلَّا وُسْعَهَا ۚ لَهَا مَا كَسَبَتْ وَعَلَيْهَا مَا اكْتَسَبَتْ…”

“Allah does not charge a soul except [with that within] its capacity. It will have [the consequence of] what [good] it has gained, and it will bear [the consequence of] what [evil] it has earned…”

(Al-Baqarah (The Cow): 286);

abrogating (the accountability of) inner thoughts and affirming (the significance of) utterances and actions16. In this regard, the ambiguity has been clarified. When Companions (may Allah be pleased with them) found difficulty in understanding the Verse, another Verse was revealed to affirm that Allah dose not bring man to account for his inner thoughts.

  • Lifting a Ruling

This meaning is the most dependable among the majority of scholars of Usul and Tafsir. Among its examples is the claim that the Verse of Sword (Ayat-u- As-Sayf) abrogates many Verses. Although it is a controversial exemplification, it is quoted depending on some exegetical narrations. The most famous narrations, in this regard, are the narrations of Ibn ‘Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him), despite the disagreement about its authenticity and the meaning of abrogation intended.

Ibn ‘Abbas commented on the Saying of Allah Almighty:

“إلَّا الَّذِينَ يَصِلُونَ إِلَىٰ قَوْمٍ بَيْنَكُمْ وَبَيْنَهُم مِّيثَاقٌ…”

“Except for those who take refuge with a people between yourselves and whom is a treaty…”

(An-Nisaa’ (The Women): 90),

saying that it has been abrogated by the Verse:

“فَإِذَا انسَلَخَ الْأَشْهُرُ الْحُرُمُ فَاقْتُلُوا الْمُشْرِكِينَ حَيْثُ وَجَدتُّمُوهُمْ…”

“And when the sacred months have passed, then kill the polytheists wherever you find them…”

(At-Tawbah (The Repentance): 5)17.

Ibn ‘Abbas said also that the Verse:

“وَإِن جَنَحُوا لِلسَّلْمِ فَاجْنَحْ لَهَا…”

“And if they incline to peace, then incline to it [also]…”

(Al-Anfāl (The Spoils of War): 61)

has been abrogated by the Verse:

“قَاتِلُوا الَّذِينَ لَا يُؤْمِنُونَ بِاللَّهِ وَلَا بِالْيَوْمِ الْآخِرِ وَلَا يُحَرِّمُونَ مَا حَرَّمَ اللَّهُ وَرَسُولُهُ وَلَا يَدِينُونَ دِينَ الْحَقِّ مِنَ الَّذِينَ أُوتُوا الْكِتَابَ حَتَّىٰ يُعْطُوا الْجِزْيَةَ عَن يَدٍ وَهُمْ صَاغِرُونَ”

“Fight those who do not believe in Allah or in the Last Day and who do not consider unlawful what Allah and His Messenger have made unlawful and who do not adopt the religion of truth from those who were given the Scripture – [fight] until they give the jizyah willingly while they are humbled.”

(At-Tawbah (The Repentance): 29)18.

In fact, many narrations of Ibn ‘Abbas in this section is not authentic. Thus, some scholars tried to reconcile all texts and made all of them applicable by refuting the (apparent) contradiction19.

  • Explanation and Clarification

Ibn ‘Abbas said that the Verse:

“إِلَّا تَنفِرُوا يُعَذِّبْكُمْ عَذَابًا أَلِيمًا…”

“If you do not go forth, He will punish you with a painful punishment…”.

(At-Tawbah (The Repentance): 39)

and the Verses:

“مَا كَانَ لِأَهْلِ الْمَدِينَةِ……..يَعْمَلُونَ”

“It was not [proper] for the people of Madinah…what they were doing.”

(At-Tawbah (The Repentance): 120-121).

have been abrogated by the Verse following it:

“وَمَا كَانَ الْمُؤْمِنُونَ لِيَنفِرُوا كَافَّةً…”

“And it is not for the believers to go forth [to battle] all at once…”

(At-Tawbah (The Repentance): 122).

In fact, Abrogation, here, means explanation and clarification.

Studying the Sayings of Ibn ‘Abbas, we notice that abrogation for him holds various significations. It sometimes refers to specification of the generalized, limitation of the indefinite, declaration of a Ruling, clarification of an ambiguity, lifting of a Ruling and others.

Therefore, when quoting a saying of Ibn ‘Abbas or others of the early generation which has the (Arabic) word “Naskh“, the signification of abrogation should be clarified because the meaning intended by the latter scholars is different than that by the predecessors. In addition, the signification of lifting (a ruling) is accepted only if it is supported by a dependable evidence. This is because, by studying the sayings of Ibn ‘Abbas, it is obvious that abrogation mostly refers to the specification of a generalized ruling and not the lifting of a ruling. That’s why it is necessary to verify the signification of abrogation when quoting those narrations and differentiate between sound and weak narrations.

Hence, any abrogation does not imply a total lifting of a Ruling, even if it is not among unalterable Divine Reports. This is because there is no abrogation in unalterable Divine Reports, as agreed upon by the latter scholars contrary to the predecessors. In fact, abrogation can be found in unalterable Divine Reports not in term of lifting a ruling but in term of other significations.

Obviously, abrogation is a reason-based issue. For instance, many Hadiths were claimed to be abrogated, yet, Ibn ‘Abbas refuted these claims by affirming that they are precise20. In fact, abrogation is not an indisputable Divine Will, but a fallible reason-based process. Thus, the most important principle, in this regard, is that reconciliation has priority over outweighing.

Second: The Beginning of Abrogation according to the scholars of Tafsir (Exegetists): Etymology Stage

To know the beginning of abrogation in its first exegetical stage, during the end of the first and second century, it is necessary to turn to the abrogation applications found in the sayings of the successors (of Companions) or those following them. Since the exegetical writings which reached us were few, I intend to depend only on practical inductive examples quoted from the exegesis of Mujahid (104 H), a successor but he was known for his huge transmissions of the narrations of Ibn ‘Abbas, and the book of Al-Faraa’ (207 H) entitled “معاني القرآن” (The Meaning of the Quran), which is among the early exegetical writings.21

  • Abrogation according to MUJAHID (104 H)

Whosoever reads this exegesis won’t find an explicit existence of abrogation like which is found in the narrations of Ibn ‘Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) or the successors who composed many narrations tackling abrogation. All narrations mentioned in this exegesis are the narrations of Ibn ‘Abbas. We find him refuting some claims of abrogation and this proves that abrogation is originally a reason-based issue.

‘Ataa’ has narrated that Ibn ‘Abbas commented on the Verse:

“…وَعَلَى الَّذِينَ يُطِيقُونَهُ…”

“…And upon those who are able [to fast, but with hardship]…”

(Al-Baqarah (The Cow): 184),

saying that it refers to “who finds hardship in performing (fasting)”. And:

“…طَعَامُ مِسْكِينٍ ۖ فَمَن تَطَوَّعَ خَيْرًا…”

“… feeding a poor person [each day]. And whoever volunteers excess…”

means “to feed another poor person”,

“…فَهُوَ خَيْرٌ لَّهُ…”

“…it is better for him…”

Thus, “This (ruling) has not been abrogated.”

In this regard, Ibn ‘Abbas said: “License Rukhsah (substituting the original ruling with another ruling in case of hardship) in this Verse is just for the old person who could not fast and the patient with an incurable disease….In addition, it has been narrated that Mujahid said: “They used to fast till the night then eat, drink and engage in conjugal intercourse. Yet, if someone sleep at night, all these actions will be impermissible. Some men used to deceive themselves (by secretly doing this). Then, Allah has lifted their burden by allowing them to eat, drink and engage in conjugal intercourse before and after sleeping all night long.”22

In this Verse, we notice that Ibn ‘Abbas denied the presence of abrogation. This proves that the interpretation of abrogation was widespread and applicable despite its different significations, as it is a controversial reason-based issue and not a narration-based issue.

  • It has been narrated that Mujahid said, commenting on the Verse:

“وَاللَّذَانِ يَأْتِيَانِهَا مِنكُمْ فَآذُوهُمَا ۖ فَإِن تَابَا وَأَصْلَحَا فَأَعْرِضُوا عَنْهُمَا ۗ إِنَّ اللَّهَ كَانَ تَوَّابًا رَّحِيمًا”

“And the two who commit it among you, dishonor them both. But if they repent and correct themselves, leave them alone. Indeed, Allah is ever Accepting of repentance and Merciful.

An-Nisaa’ (The Women): 16),)

that “dishonor them both” فَآذُوهُمَا)) means insulting (by tongue), then it has been abrogated by the Verse:

“الزَّانِيَةُ وَالزَّانِي فَاجْلِدُوا كُلَّ وَاحِدٍ مِّنْهُمَا مِائَةَ جَلْدَةٍ…”

“The [unmarried] woman or [unmarried] man found guilty of sexual intercourse – lash each one of them with a hundred lashes…”23

(An- Nur (The Light): 2).

This is among the famous examples mentioned in earlier and latter writings in the field of Tafsir and Usul. Yet, does abrogation here refer to a total change of the ruling, especially we find, according to the Hadith quoted to support their point of view, that lashing is designed for a married person who committed adultery not a bachelor? According to the dependable opinion, the intended meaning of the Verse is to interpret a generalized ruling as specified and not to totally lift its ruling. This was previously mentioned when tackling the concept of abrogation according to Ibn ‘Abbas.

  • It has been also narrated that Ibn ‘Abbas said, commenting on the Verse:

“لِّلَّهِ مَا فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَمَا فِي الْأَرْضِ ۗ وَإِن تُبْدُوا مَا فِي أَنفُسِكُمْ أَوْ تُخْفُوهُ يُحَاسِبْكُم بِهِ اللَّهُ ۖ فَيَغْفِرُ لِمَن يَشَاءُ وَيُعَذِّبُ مَن يَشَاءُ ۗ وَاللَّهُ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ”

“To Allah belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is in the earth. Whether you show what is within yourselves or conceal it, Allah will bring you to account for it. Then He will forgive whom He wills and punish whom He wills, and Allah is over all things competent.”

(Al-Baqarah (The Cow): 284):

“The Verse:

“…وَإِن تُبْدُوا مَا فِي أَنفُسِكُمْ أَوْ تُخْفُوهُ…”

“…Whether you show what is within yourselves or conceal it…”

was revealed then it has been abrogated by a Verse following it:

“لَا يُكَلِّفُ اللَّهُ نَفْسًا إِلَّا وُسْعَهَا ۚ لَهَا مَا كَسَبَتْ وَعَلَيْهَا مَا اكْتَسَبَتْ…”

“Allah does not charge a soul except [with that within] its capacity. It will have [the consequence of] what [good] it has gained, and it will bear [the consequence of] what [evil] it has earned…”

(Al-Baqarah (The Cow): 286).24

The meaning of this example was previously mentioned. In fact, abrogation, here, means blocking the way towards illusions and clarifying the ambiguity in the minds of the Companions at the time of the revelation of this Verse.

These are all the examples mentioned in the exegesis of Mujahid. It is obvious that they do not present abrogation in term of the lifting of a ruling. Assuming its presence, it refers to one of other significations. Yet, the general concept of abrogation refers to the absolute clarification, due to the (apparent) contradiction appearing when trying to reconcile texts to understand them. When the researcher thinks that they are contradictory, he intends to avoid this contradiction whether by specifying the generalized or limiting the indefinite or other mechanisms which reconcile the Divine evidences.

  • Abrogation according to Al-FARAA’ (207 H) through his Book “معاني القرآن:

This book of Exegesis shows three examples proving abrogation:

Allah Almighty says:

“…وَعَلَى الَّذِينَ يُطِيقُونَهُ فِدْيَةٌ…”

“…And upon those who are able [to fast, but with hardship] – a ransom“…

(Al-Baqarah (The Cow): 184).

It has been said that those who are able to fast but with hardship, so they choose not to fast, should feed a poor person as a substitute for each day of breaking the fast. It has been also said that:

“…وَعَلَى الَّذِينَ يُطِيقُونَهُ فِدْيَةٌ…”

refers to those who are able to pay a ransom.

Then, this ruling has been abrogated by the Saying of Allah Almighty:

“…وَأَن تَصُومُوا خَيْرٌ لَّكُمْ…”

“…But to fast is best for you…” than feeding25.

It may also refer (only) to the month of Ramadan when saying:

“…كُتِبَ عَلَيْكُمُ الصِّيَامُ…”

“…decreed upon you is fasting…”

(Al-Baqarah (The Cow): 183),

and

شَهْرُ رَمَضَانَ…”

The month of Ramadan…”

(Al-Baqarah (The Cow): 185);

meaning that: but to fast (the month of Ramadan) is best for you.

In addition, the Verse:

“…فَمَن شَهِدَ مِنكُمُ الشَّهْرَ فَلْيَصُمْهُ…”

“…So whoever sights [the new moon of] the month, let him fast it..“.

(Al-Baqarah (The Cow): 185)

proves that the (ruling of) feeding has been abrogated.

In this regard, he commented:

Whoever is in good health, with no illness, or whoever is a resident, and not a traveler, should fast; depending on the Verse:

“…وَمَن كَانَ مَرِيضًا أَوْ عَلَىٰ سَفَرٍ…”

“…and whoever is ill or on a journey…”

In addition to the Verse:

“…يُرِيدُ اللَّهُ بِكُمُ الْيُسْر…َ”

“…Allah intends for you ease…”

by breaking the fast during the journey,

“…وَلَا يُرِيدُ بِكُمُ الْعُسْرَ…”

“…and does not intend for you hardship…”

by fasting during the journey26,

(Al-Baqarah (The Cow): 185).

In fact, meaning of abrogation in this Verse according to the narrations of Ibn ‘Abbas was mentioned before, so it is obvious that it is a controversial issue.

Moreover, the Verse:

“إِنَّ الَّذِينَ فَرَّقُوا دِينَهُمْ وَكَانُوا شِيَعًا لَّسْتَ مِنْهُمْ فِي شَيْءٍ…”

“Indeed, those who have divided their religion and become sects – you, [O Muhammad], are not [associated] with them in anything…”

(Al- An’ām (The Cattle): 159),

means that you are not entitled to fight them in anything. Yet, it has been abrogated by the Verse:

“…فَاقْتُلُوا الْمُشْرِكِينَ حَيْثُ وَجَدتُّمُوهُمْ…”

“…then kill the polytheists wherever you find them…”

(At-Tawbah (The Repentance): 5)27.

In fact, the Verse of Surat At-Tawbah which has abrogated many Quranic Verses is called the “Verse of Sword”. We notice that abrogation, in the previous example, is based on independent reasoning, because there is no Divine Text indicating that the Verse of Sword has abrogated this Verse. In fact, it is an independent reasoning by the scholars of Tafsir when finding an (apparent) contradiction among texts.

  • The Verse:

“…كُتِبَ عَلَيْكُمُ الْقِصَاصُ فِي الْقَتْلَى ۖ الْحُرُّ بِالْحُرِّ وَالْعَبْدُ بِالْعَبْدِ وَالْأُنثَىٰ بِالْأُنثَىٰ…”

“…prescribed for you is legal retribution for those murdered – the free for the free, the slave for the slave, and the female for the female…”

(Al-Baqarah (The Cow): 178)

was revealed because of the story of two Arab tribes. One tribe, which was superior over the other in number and honour, used to marry the daughters of the other (inferior) tribe without dowry. Suddenly, when some of the inferior tribe killed some members of the superior tribe, the superior tribe swore to kill the male for the female and the free for the salve and to injury them in excess. Thus, Allah Almighty revealed this Verse to his Prophet. Then, this Verse is abrogated by the Verse:

“وَكَتَبْنَا عَلَيْهِمْ فِيهَا أَنَّ النَّفْسَ بِالنَّفْسِ…”

“And We ordained for them therein a life for a life…”

(Al-Ma’edah (The Table spread with Food): 45),

In fact, the first Verse has been abrogated and is no longer applicable28.

However, the contextual reading concludes that there is no (apparent) contradiction between the two Verses because the Verse of Al-Ma’edah talks about what was prescribed by Allah Almighty in Torah, while the Verse of Al-Baqarah affirms the ruling of attribution (Qiṣāṣ) and sets its limits according to our (Islamic) legislation29.

According to the previous examples, we notice that abrogation is a mechanism to refute (apparent) contradiction among texts. Sometimes, it is a mechanism of reconciliation, by specifying the generalized, limiting the indefinite and clarifying the ambiguity, which is an “illustrative mechanism”. Other times, it is a mechanism for absolute outweighing by erasing a ruling of a text which explicitly appears when nullifying the application of (a ruling) of a Verse in case there is a latter text. Because there is no text to support the total cancellation of a Divine ruling, abrogation, in this case, is regarded as a “nullifying mechanism” because it causes the lifting of a Divine ruling. However, rulings are originally fixed and not subjected to lifting and nullification.

According to all these exegetical opinions, the status of abrogation in exegesis will be more obvious. In fact, those transmitted narrations are the milestone of the theory of abrogation to which many contributed till the Verses regarded as abrogated increased in number. Yet, the problem appears in regarding the lifting of a ruling as the original signification of abrogation by just differentiating between the latter (Muta’akhir) and earlier (Mutaqadim) revelation. Consequently, the chronological order will deduce the ruling without verifying the signification of abrogation according to the predecessors. In fact, specifying the generalized, limiting the indefinite or clarifying the ambiguity are not controversial. Yet, the disagreement arises over interpreting abrogation in term of eternal cancellation of a ruling. This will be shown explicitly through abrogation etymology.

Abrogation etymology has been fully studied by scholars of Usul. They collected all narrations related to abrogation and started the process of its etymology depending on Quran and Sunnah to set it as an independent field of study.

Third: The Beginning of Abrogation according to the Scholars of Usul: The Stage of Etymology

The Arabic term “Naskh” is used differently in the field of Tafsir and Usul. Etymology is originally based on the practical examples but it is distinctive because it searches for the authenticity of abrogation in Quran and Sunnah to set it as an independent field of study in the Islamic heritage.

When searching for the usage of the (Arabic) term Naskh in the writings of the second Hijri century, we won’t find a broad usage of this concept. Yet, Imam Ash-Shafi’ī one of the prominent scholars of the second Hijri century (150 – 204 H), clarified this issue. Thus, I will mention, here, only his etymology through his book in Usul, the first transmitted writings in Usul, which belongs to the first stage of reading Revelation. In fact, his book is one of the devoted contributions to Usul to understand the Divine Discourse that served as a turning point in the field and framed many writings in understanding Divine Texts [i.e. Usul At-Tafsir/ Usul Al-Fiqh (Principles of Exegesis/ Principles of Islamic Jurisprudence)].

A book entitled Ar-Risālah “الرسالةwas composed during the second Hijri century which witnessed a disagreement over the issue of the abrogating and the abrogated. Ash-Shafi’ī composed Ar-Risālah to answer a question raised by Abdul Rahman b. Mahdy about many issues among which is the clarification of the abrogating and the abrogated in Quran and Sunnah. Then, Ash-Shafi’ī set the knowledge of the abrogating and abrogated Quranic Verses among the Quranic knowledge qualifications.30

Thus, I intend to present the features of the theory of abrogation according to Ash-Shafi’ī in order to later facilitate a cognitive approach adequate with the characteristics of the Islamic Revelation, the seal of all revelations.

  • Concept of Abrogation

Affirmed  that Allah sets obligations in His Book; some of them are confirmed  while some of them are abrogated  to shower His Mercy on His creatures and ease the hardship beside completing His Favor upon them. He, then, rewarded them, for following His Confirmed Obligations, by granting them His paradise (Jannah) and protecting them from His Punishment. That’s how they are showered with His Mercy by what He affirms and abrogates as well.31

In this context, abrogation is the antonym of affirmation. This means that the original meaning of abrogation is the cancellation of a ruling.

In addition, Ash-Shafi’ī explicitly defined abrogation saying clearly:

Naskh means to abandon a temporal obligation if it has been definitely abrogated by Allah. Whosoever followed His abrogated Obligation at its time is obedient and who was not a contemporary is regarded as obedient too by following the abrogating obligation.32

The meaning of abrogation according to Ash-Shafi’ī is close to the meaning of the lifting and cancelation of a ruling; a meaning which is adopted later by writings in the field of Usul till setting it as the central signification. Thus, when the concept of abrogation is mentioned in its general sense, it means lifting a Divine ruling depending on a Divine evidence which was revealed later.

  • Sections of Abrogation

Ash-Shafi’ī believes that Quran can only be abrogated by Quran and not by Sunnah because it comes after the Quran. It (Sunnah) explains the Quranic Words and specifies the generalized rulings in the Quran33. Thus, among the rules of abrogation, according to Ash-Shafi’ī, is that anything can be abrogated by its counterpart. For example, Quran can abrogate the Quran and Sunnah can abrogate Sunnah, because Allah does not specify for a person what He specified for Himself. 34

Therefore, Ash-Shafi’ī avoided the acceptance of the abrogation of Sunnah by Quran especially if it was not stated by the Messenger of Allah himself. Thus, it is acceptable to say that some Sunnah-based rulings have been abrogated, such as the abrogation of (the ruling of) stoning by setting the punishment of lashing instead.

However, Ash-Shafi’ī stated that some Quranic Verses have been abrogated by Sunnah depending on an agreed-upon Hadith.

  • Abrogation Etymology

Proving abrogation, Ash-Shafi’ī depends on some Quranic Verses as follows:

First: The Verse,

“يَمْحُو اللَّهُ مَا يَشَاءُ وَيُثْبِتُ وَعِندَهُ أُمُّ الْكِتَابِ”

Allah eliminates what He wills or confirms and with Him is the Mother of the Book.”

 (Ar-Ra’d (The Thunder): 39),

means that Allah eliminates some obligations and confirms others according to His will.

 He assures this in the Verse:

“مَا نَنسَخْ مِنْ آيَةٍ أَوْ نُنسِهَا نَأْتِ بِخَيْرٍ مِّنْهَا أَوْ مِثْلِهَا ۗ أَلَمْ تَعْلَمْ أَنَّ اللَّهَ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ”

“We do not abrogate a verse or cause it to be forgotten except that We bring forth [one] better than it or similar to it. Do you not know that Allah is over all things competent?”

(Al-Baqarah (The Cow): 106).

In this Verse, Allah informs us that the Quranic abrogation and the delay of its revelation could not occur except by a counterpart; other Quranic Verses.35

He also depends on the Verse:

“وَإِذَا بَدَّلْنَا آيَةً مَّكَانَ آيَةٍ ۙ وَاللَّهُ أَعْلَمُ بِمَا يُنَزِّلُ قَالُوا إِنَّمَا أَنتَ مُفْتَرٍ ۚ بَلْ أَكْثَرُهُمْ لَا يَعْلَمُونَ”

“And when We substitute a verse in place of a verse – and Allah is most knowing of what He sends down – they say, “You, [O Muhammad], are but an inventor [of lies].” But most of them do not know.”

(An-Naḥl (The Bees): 101).36

All these supporting evidences indicate that the principal meaning of abrogation is the lifting of a ruling and not specification or limitation. This is proved by the meaning of substitution and elimination mentioned. Accordingly, we can understand the reason of the widespread belief stating that abrogation refers to the lifting of the original ruling, according to the latter scholars.

  • Exemplification of abrogation

Ash-Shafi’ī proved the presence of abrogation in Quran and Sunnah depending on practical examples. In fact, those examples will give us a further illustration of his view on abrogation during this stage.

  • Abrogation of the obligatory prayer prescribed before the five prayers

He mentioned this example under the title:

“الناسخ والمنسوخ الذي يدل الكتاب على بعضه والسنة على بعضه”

The Abrogating and the Abrogated, of which the Quran indicates some and the Sunnah others.

He narrated that some prominent scholars said that Allah had obligated a prayer before the prescribed five prayers by saying:

“يَا أَيُّهَا الْمُزَّمِّلُ (1) قُمِ اللَّيْلَ إِلَّا قَلِيلًا (2) نِّصْفَهُ أَوِ انقُصْ مِنْهُ قَلِيلًا (3) أَوْ زِدْ عَلَيْهِ وَرَتِّلِ الْقُرْآنَ تَرْتِيلًا (4)”

“O you who wraps himself [in clothing] (1)

Arise [to pray] the night, except for a little –(2)

Half of it – or subtract from it a little (3)

Or add to it, and recite the Qur’an with measured recitation. (4)”

(Al-Muzzammil (The Enwrapped One): 1-4).

This has been abrogated in the same Surah by the Verse:

“إِنَّ رَبَّكَ يَعْلَمُ أَنَّكَ تَقُومُ أَدْنَىٰ مِن ثُلُثَيِ اللَّيْلِ وَنِصْفَهُ وَثُلُثَهُ وَطَائِفَةٌ مِّنَ الَّذِينَ مَعَكَ….”

“Indeed, your Lord knows, [O Muhammad], that you stand [in prayer] almost two thirds of the night or half of it or a third of it, and [so do] a group of those with you.…”

(Al-Muzzammil (The Enwrapped One): 20).

After Allah obligated the prayer almost two thirds of the night or half of it or a third of it, by saying:

“أَدْنَىٰ مِن ثُلُثَيِ اللَّيْلِ وَنِصْفَهُ وَثُلُثَهُ وَطَائِفَةٌ مِّنَ الَّذِينَ مَعَكَ….”

“almost two thirds of the night or half of it or a third of it, and [so do] a group of those with you.…”,

He Almighty lightened the hardship by saying:

“…عَلِمَ أَن سَيَكُونُ مِنكُم مَّرْضَىٰ…فَاقْرَءُوا مَا تَيَسَّرَ مِنْهُ…

“…He has known that there will be among you those who are ill…so recite what is easy [for you] from it [the Qur’an]…”.

Then, Ash-Shafi’ī said:

The Quran has explicitly abrogated the ruling of the night prayer (Qyam), by spending the whole night and its half of two thirds or a third of it, through the Verse:

“…فَاقْرَءُوا مَا تَيَسَّرَ مِنْهُ…

“…so recite what is easy [for you] from it [the Qur’an] …”37.

Yet, the Verse may convey other meanings beside abrogation38. He added: Thus, it is necessary to prove one of the meanings depending on the Sunnah. We found that, according to the Sunnah, there is no obligatory prayer except the knwon prescribed five prayers. Accordingly, we deduce that there are only five obligatory prayers, and the previous obligatory prayer prescribed before have been abrogated, as Allah says:

“…فَتَهَجَّدْ بِهِ نَافِلَةً لَّك…”

“…pray with it as additional [worship] for you…”

(Al-Isrā’ (The Night Journey): 79).

This Verse has abrogated the obligation of praying the whole night, its half, third or what is easy for Muslims39.

In conclusion, the more appropriate meaning of the Verses is obvious. This proves that abrogation is among other possible significations.

  • Abrogation of the prayer destination towards jerusalem

Among the examples he mentioned in the section of abrogation is the abrogation of the prayer destination (Qiblah). Allah prescribed for His Messenger a destination for his prayer which was Jerusalem. Then, He Almighty has abrogated the destination towards Jerusalem; prescribing the Ka’ba, the Sacred Mosque40 of Makkah, instead.

Ibn ‘Umar said:

While the people were offering the Dawn prayer at Quba’ (near Madinah), someone came to them and said: ‘It has been revealed to Allah’s Messenger () tonight, and he has been ordered to pray facing the Ka’ba.’ So turn your faces to the Ka’ba. Those people were facing Levant (Jerusalem) so they turned their faces towards the Ka’ba.++

Thus, It is permissible to pray facing Levant only during performing prayers in state of fear (Salat-ul Khawf), according to Ash-Shafi’ī. The ruling of prayers in state of fear is proved by the Quranic Verse:

“فَإِنْ خِفْتُمْ فَرِجَالًا أَوْ رُكْبَانًا…”

“And if you fear [an enemy, then pray] on foot or riding…”

(Al-Baqarah (The Cow):239).

In conclusion, whosoever prays an obligatory prayer should not pray while riding except in state of fear. In this case, Allah does not mention the necessity of facing the Qiblah41. In addition, it has been narrated in a Prophetic Hadith:

If the fear is too great, then (they may pray) on foot or riding regardless of the direction of the Qiblah.”42.

This is among the examples mentioned in the writings tackling abrogation in particular or exegetical writings in general. Ash-Shafi’ī excluded the prayer in time of fear, because there is no choice in case of necessity.

  • Abrogation of the triumph of the twenty over the two hundred to prescribe the triumph of the one hundred over the two hundred in a battle

Allah Almighty says:

“يَا أَيُّهَا النَّبِيُّ حَرِّضِ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ عَلَى الْقِتَالِ ۚ إِن يَكُن مِّنكُمْ عِشْرُونَ صَابِرُونَ يَغْلِبُوا مِائَتَيْنِ ۚ وَإِن يَكُن مِّنكُم مِّائَةٌ يَغْلِبُوا أَلْفًا مِّنَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا بِأَنَّهُمْ قَوْمٌ لَّا يَفْقَهُونَ”

“O Prophet, urge the believers to battle. If there are among you twenty [who are] steadfast, they will overcome two hundred. And if there are among you one hundred [who are] steadfast, they will overcome a thousand of those who have disbelieved because they are a people who do not understand.”

(Al-Anfāl (Spoils of War): 65).

Then, He Almighty explains, in His Book that He has lightened the hardship for them by supporting one (believer) in defeating two (disbelievers) instead of defeating ten (disbelievers). He Almighty says:

“الْآنَ خَفَّفَ اللَّهُ عَنكُمْ وَعَلِمَ أَنَّ فِيكُمْ ضَعْفًا ۚ فَإِن يَكُن مِّنكُم مِّائَةٌ صَابِرَةٌ يَغْلِبُوا مِائَتَيْنِ ۚ وَإِن يَكُن مِّنكُمْ أَلْفٌ يَغْلِبُوا أَلْفَيْنِ بِإِذْنِ اللَّهِ ۗ وَاللَّهُ مَعَ الصَّابِرِينَ”

“Now, Allah has lightened [the hardship] for you, and He knows that among you is weakness. So if there are from you one hundred [who are] steadfast, they will overcome two hundred. And if there are among you a thousand, they will overcome two thousand by permission of Allah. And Allah is with the steadfast.”

(Al- Anfāl (Spoils of War): 66).

In this regard, it has been narrated that Ibn ‘Abbas said:

When the Verse,

“…إِن يَكُن مِّنكُمْ عِشْرُونَ صَابِرُونَ يَغْلِبُوا مِائَتَيْنِ…

“If there are among you twenty [who are] steadfast, they will overcome two hundred…”,

was revealed, it became hard on the Muslims when it became compulsory that twenty (believers) should not flee (in war) before two hundred (disbelievers). So Allah Almighty revealed:

“الْآنَ خَفَّفَ اللَّهُ عَنكُمْ وَعَلِمَ أَنَّ فِيكُمْ ضَعْفًا ۚ فَإِن يَكُن مِّنكُم مِّائَةٌ صَابِرَةٌ يَغْلِبُوا مِائَتَيْنِ….

“Now, Allah has lightened [the hardship] for you, and He knows that among you is weakness. So if there are from you one hundred [who are] steadfast, they will overcome two hundred.”

Thus, it became compulsory that hundred (believers) should not flee (in war) before two hundred (disbelievers)43.

Then, Ash-Shafi’ī added:

“This is in conformity with what is mentioned by Ibn ‘Abbas. But Allah explains it through the Verse and no further interpretation is needed. “44

  • Abrogation of house confinement and dishonor infliction (by tongue) by prescribing lashing instead and the abrogation of lashing by prescribing stoning instead:

Allah Almighty says:

“وَاللَّاتِي يَأْتِينَ الْفَاحِشَةَ مِن نِّسَائِكُمْ فَاسْتَشْهِدُوا عَلَيْهِنَّ أَرْبَعَةً مِّنكُمْ ۖ فَإِن شَهِدُوا فَأَمْسِكُوهُنَّ فِي الْبُيُوتِ حَتَّىٰ يَتَوَفَّاهُنَّ الْمَوْتُ أَوْ يَجْعَلَ اللَّهُ لَهُنَّ سَبِيلًا (15) وَاللَّذَانِ يَأْتِيَانِهَا مِنكُمْ فَآذُوهُمَا ۖ فَإِن تَابَا وَأَصْلَحَا فَأَعْرِضُوا عَنْهُمَا ۗ إِنَّ اللَّهَ كَانَ تَوَّابًا رَّحِيمًا  (16)

“Those who commit unlawful sexual intercourse of your women – bring against them four [witnesses] from among you. And if they testify, confine the guilty women to houses until death takes them or Allah ordains for them [another] way (15) And the two who commit it among you, dishonor them both. But if they repent and correct themselves, leave them alone. Indeed, Allah is ever Accepting of repentance and Merciful (16)”

(An-Nisā’ (The Women) 15-16).

Then, Allah has abrogated the ruling of the house confinement and dishonor infliction by saying:

“الزَّانِيَةُ وَالزَّانِي فَاجْلِدُوا كُلَّ وَاحِدٍ مِّنْهُمَا مِائَةَ جَلْدَةٍ…”

“The [unmarried] woman or [unmarried] man found guilty of sexual intercourse – lash each one of them with a hundred lashes…”

(An-Nur (The Light): 2).

Then, Sunnah specifies that the ruling of lashing with a hundred lashes is prescribed for the unmarried fornicators. For example, Ubadah b. Aṣ- Ṣamit (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said:

“Receive from me (this revelation), receive from me (this revelation). Allah has ordained a way for those women (unmarried females who committed adultery). When an unmarried man, commits adultery with an unmarried woman, they should receive one hundred lashes and be exiled for a year. If they (committing adultery while they) were married, they shall receive hundred lashes and be stoned to death.”

That’s how the Sunnah of Messenger of Allah demonstrates that the ruling of a hundred lashes is ordained, with no disagreement, for the free unmarried fornicators only, but it was abrogated for the free adulterers. In fact, stoning is ordained, with no disagreement, for the free married adulterers, because the Messenger of Allah said: “Receive from me (this revelation), receive from me (this revelation). Allah has ordained a way for those women (unmarried females who committed adultery). When an unmarried man, commits adultery with an unmarried woman, they should receive one hundred lashes and be exiled for a year. If they (fornicate while they) were married, they shall receive hundred lashes and be stoned to death).”

This Hadith proves the abrogation of the rulings of house confinement and dishonor infliction ordained for the fornicators, males and females.

For instance, since the Prophet (ﷺ) ordered to punish Ma’ez by stoning to death not by lashing, he also ordered Unays to inquire from the wife of Al-Aslami and to stone her if she confessed adultery. This proves that the punishment of lashing for the free (married) adulterers was abrogated by prescribing stoning to death instead, as if something follows the other, it is the final one.

The Book of Allah and, then, the Sunnah of His Prophet prove that the slave-fornicators are excluded from this ruling”45.

Abrogation in this example refer to the lifting of a ruling as mentioned in the first phrase, as the ruling of the house confinement and dishonor infliction is substituted by lashing. It also includes the specification of a generalized ruling, as (the ruling of) lashing, mentioned in this Verse, is specified for the unmarried fornicator not the married one. After reconciling opinions, the punishment of a married (who committed adultery) is stoning as mentioned in the Hadith.

  • Abrogation of (the Verse of) the bequest

Ash-Shafi’ī mentioned this example under the title:

الناسخ والمنسوخ التي تدل عليه السنة والإجماع

The abrogating and the abrogated which are indicated by Sunnah and Consensus (Ijmaa’).

Allah Almighty says:

“كُتِبَ عَلَيْكُمْ إِذَا حَضَرَ أَحَدَكُمُ الْمَوْتُ إِن تَرَكَ خَيْرًا الْوَصِيَّةُ لِلْوَالِدَيْنِ وَالْأَقْرَبِينَ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ ۖ حَقًّا عَلَى الْمُتَّقِينَ”

“Prescribed for you when death approaches [any] one of you if he leaves wealth [is that he should make] a bequest for the parents and near relatives according to what is acceptable – a duty upon the righteous.”

(Al-Baqarah (The Cow): 180)

Allah Almighty also says:

“وَالَّذِينَ يُتَوَفَّوْنَ مِنكُمْ وَيَذَرُونَ أَزْوَاجًا وَصِيَّةً لِّأَزْوَاجِهِم مَّتَاعًا إِلَى الْحَوْلِ غَيْرَ إِخْرَاجٍ ۚ فَإِنْ خَرَجْنَ فَلَا جُنَاحَ عَلَيْكُمْ فِي مَا فَعَلْنَ فِي أَنفُسِهِنَّ مِن مَّعْرُوفٍ ۗ وَاللَّهُ عَزِيزٌ حَكِيمٌ”

“And those who are taken in death among you and leave wives behind – for their wives is a bequest: maintenance for one year without turning [them] out. But if they leave [of their own accord], then there is no blame upon you for what they do with themselves in an acceptable way. And Allah is Exalted in Might and Wise.”

(Al-Baqarah (The Cow): 240).

Allah has revealed the ruling of the inheritance of the parents and other heirs among near relatives, who receive their portion whether as successors or together with them, beside the inheritance of the husband from his wife and the wife from her husband.

The two Verses may be interpreted to confirm bequest for the parents and near relatives and the bequest for the wife and inheritance together with the bequests, so that inheritance and bequests are lawful. They also may be interpreted to confirm that inheritance abrogates the bequest.

Since both interpretations are possible, scholars should search for an evidence from the Book of Allah. If it is not explicitly mentioned in the Book of Allah, they should search in the Prophetic Sunnah. If they found such evidence, they should accept what is said by the Prophet as if accepted from Allah who ordered us to obey His Messenger.46

Then, Ash-Shafi’ī said:

“We found that the scholars qualified for issuing verdicts and those scholars dedicated to the Prophetic Campaigns, whether from (the tribe of) Quraysh or others, agreed that the Prophet said, in the year of the Conquest (of Makkah) that there is “No Bequest for an Heir, nor shall a believer be slain for (the blood of) a disbeliever.” This narration has been transmitted from those who have heard it from the authorities on the Prophetic campaigns. Thus, this narration has been transmitted by people from people, so it is more authentic than that of single narrator. That’s why it has been consensually agreed upon.”47

Later on, Ash-Shafi’ī affirmed that he reported an interrupted Hadith, with a broken chain of transmission (Hadith Munqate’), which are not confirmed by the scholars of Hadith. He said that he accepted it because it was narrated on the authority of those scholars dedicated to the Prophetic Campaigns and won a public agreement.48

He, then, narrated on the authority of Mujahid that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said:

“There is no bequest for an heir”.

Therefore, we deduce from the Hadith, transmitted by scholars dedicated to Prophetic Campaigns: “there is No Bequest For An Heir“, beside the Hadith transmitted and the public agreement that the (verse of) inheritance has abrogated the (Verse of) bequest ordained for the parents and the wife.

In addition, the majority among people said that the bequest for the relatives has been abrogated and is no longer obligatory. If they are heirs they have the right to receive their portion (depending on the Verse of the inheritance), and if they are not among the heirs, the bequest for them is not obligatory49. Ash-Shafi’ī mentioned that Tāwous and few others said that the bequest for the parents has been abrogated, and it was confirmed for the relatives who have no right to inherit. Accordingly, it is impermissible to ordain a bequest for a non-relative. Since there is an interpretation of the Verse which agrees with what was said by Tāwous confirming the bequest for relatives, because it has been narrated on the authority of scholars dedicated to the Prophetic Campaigns only that the Prophet ﷺ)) said: There is no bequest for an heir”, scholars, according to our opinion, should, find an evidence whether refuting or confirming what was mentioned by Tāwous.50 Then, Ash-Shafi’ī supports his opinion by mentioning the ruling of the Messenger of Allah concerning a penniless man who freed his six slaves when he was dying, and he did not have any wealth apart from them. The Prophet, then, divided them (the slaves) into three groups. He freed two and left four as slaves. In this regard, he (Ash-Shafi’ī) said: The signification of the Sunnah, in this Hadith, shows that the Messenger of Allah decreed that freeing them (the slaves) on deathbed is a bequest51. This proves that the bequest of a deceased is permissible only if it does not exceed one-third of his estate. This is proved by the Prophetic action in returning back what exceeded the one-third52. It is known that Ash-Shafi’ī did not adopt the belief that Sunnah can abrogate the Quran except if this is a consensually agreed upon.

Obviously, the appearance of the “theory of abrogation” was actually initiated by Ash-Shafi’ī through his Book Ar-Risalah. He thoroughly studied the issue and set its etymology and exemplification. Yet, we notice that the sections of abrogation are related to the ruling only. Thus, he did not adopt the reason-based division applied by the latter scholars who divided abrogation into many types such as the abrogation of words without ruling, the abrogation of words without recitation and the abrogation of both of them altogether…etc.

Furthermore, abrogation was a broad concept which was not used only in term of the lifting of a ruling only but exceeded this to the meaning of specification and limitation. However, the original meaning (of abrogation), according to his supporting evidences and explanations, is the lifting of a ruling.

In addition, differentiating between the abrogating and the abrogated is not a narration-based issue but a reason-based issue. However, this opposes some definitions which regard the independent reasoning in differentiating between the abrogating and the abrogated as fixed. For example, Al-Baṣarī, a Mu’tazilite scholar, mentioned, in his book entitled (المعتمد) “Al-Mu’tamad” the definition of abrogation:It is a Saying by Allah Almighty or the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) which indicates the removal of an original ruling by a ruling set later through a Divine Revelation or a Prophetic Saying or Action53.This opinion is not adopted by the Mu’tazilites only but all dialectical theologians among the scholars of Usul and all latter scholars who believed in the concept of abrogation. For example, Al-Juwaynī argued:

“The final conclusion, in this regard, is that abrogation is only confirmed by Allah, because the action of abrogation is only attribute to Allah. Yet, it is reasonable to accept other ways of Divine Revelations.54

We notice that Ash-Shafi’ī mentioned many examples proving abrogation which were widely discussed later by writings in Usul and Tafsir such as the abrogation of the Qiblah and the prayer, then the abrogation of (the ruling of) lashing the adulterer (the married who committed adultery), then the abrogation of the bequest to the parents. In fact, this abrogation is due to an (apparent) contradiction among texts.

Hence, we will discuss these supporting evidences proving the concept of abrogation then the examples mentioned in order to build a clear overview.

Are the supporting evidences mentioned by Ash-Shafi’ī decisive or debatable? What is the degree of strength of those Verses on which they depend to prove the existence of abrogation? And can we reflect on the examples mentioned and reconcile them by using a different mechanism rather than the mechanism of abrogation in term of the lifting of a ruling?

Fourth: Abrogation: A critical study of etymology and exemplification

After demonstrating the etymology and the relevant supporting evidences and examples of abrogation by Ash-Shafi’ī, it is necessary to re-consider those supporting evidences and examples. This is because they framed the following exegetical writings. In addition, abrogation encountered a development till being an independent field of study in both writings of Usul and Tafsir.

  • A critical study of Etymology

Firstly, we should study the Verses used as supporting evidences in etymologizing abrogation. Yet, those Verses which the (Arabic) word of abrogation (Naskh) is mentioned are the strongest supporting evidences. Does the abrogation intended by the Quran mean” intra-revelatory abrogation”, which means abrogation of rulings of the same legislation, or “inter-revelatory abrogation”, which means the abrogation of previous legislations by Islam?

To answer this question, we should, first, study the concept of abrogation as intended by the Noble Quran apart from the Arabic lexicons which were written in a late stages and were influenced by the loose definitions of the exegetists; leading to a merge between the lexical and Usul-based knowledge. Thus, we find the signification of the lifting of a ruling is included. Hence, it is necessary to return to the intended meaning of the Quran to settle the issue and reach a final conclusion.

So, what is the concept of abrogation, according to the Quran? And what is the degree of strength of the supporting evidences of other Verses used to prove the occurrence of abrogation?

  • The Concept of Abrogation

The Arabic root “نَسْخ” (Pronounced: Naskh) is mentioned in the Quran four times, as follows: 55

The first Verse is mentioned in Surat Al-Baqarah:

“مَا نَنسَخْ مِنْ آيَةٍ أَوْ نُنسِهَا نَأْتِ بِخَيْرٍ مِّنْهَا أَوْ مِثْلِهَا ۗ أَلَمْ تَعْلَمْ أَنَّ اللَّهَ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ”

“We do not abrogate a verse or cause it to be forgotten except that We bring forth [one] better than it or similar to it. Do you not know that Allah is over all things competent?”

(Al-Baqarah (The Cow): 106).

In fact, this Verse is the strongest supporting evidence in this issue.

The second Verse is:

“وَلَمَّا سَكَتَ عَن مُّوسَى الْغَضَبُ أَخَذَ الْأَلْوَاحَ ۖ وَفِي نُسْخَتِهَا هُدًى وَرَحْمَةٌ لِّلَّذِينَ هُمْ لِرَبِّهِمْ يَرْهَبُونَ”

“And when the anger subsided in Moses, he took up the tablets; and in their inscription was guidance and mercy for those who are fearful of their Lord.

(Al-A’rāf (The Heights): 154).

In this Verse, the inscription (النسخة) means the words written in a tablet or a paper56. Thus, this Verse is not a supporting evidence.

The third Verse is:

“وَمَا أَرْسَلْنَا مِن قَبْلِكَ مِن رَّسُولٍ وَلَا نَبِيٍّ إِلَّا إِذَا تَمَنَّىٰ أَلْقَى الشَّيْطَانُ فِي أُمْنِيَّتِهِ فَيَنسَخُ اللَّهُ مَا يُلْقِي الشَّيْطَانُ ثُمَّ يُحْكِمُ اللَّهُ آيَاتِهِ ۗ وَاللَّهُ عَلِيمٌ حَكِيمٌ”

“And We did not send before you any messenger or prophet except that when he spoke [or recited], Satan threw into it [some misunderstanding]. But Allah abolishes that which Satan throws in; then Allah makes precise His verses. And Allah is Knowing and Wise.”

(Al- Ḥajj (The Pilgrimage): 52).

The reason of revealing this Verse to the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) is that the Satan threw some Falsehood into his recitation. Consequently, the Messenger of Allah faced a hardship and was stricken with grief, but Allah revealed this Verses to soften his heart.57

In addition, “فَيَنسَخُ اللَّهُ مَا يُلْقِي الشَّيْطَانُ” means that Allah abolishes and nullifies which Satan throws in the tongue of His Prophet. Then Allah purifies His Verses from the thrown devilish falsehood. In fact, Aṭ-Ṭabarī narrated the meaning of abrogation on the authority of Ibn ‘Abbas58. This opinion depends on the tale of Al-Gharānīq (Satanic Verses) which is a fabricated story.59

On the other hand, some exegetists says that the Satan’s throwing is through whispering, and Allah, through His Guidance and Words, abrogates anything thrown by Satan which means that He abolishes, through His Explicit Statement, the falsehood thrown by the Satan. He also clarifies the message of His messengers. This is how He makes His Verses precise; by verifying, confirming and clarifying them. Undoubtedly, all falsehood is abolished but those with rusted hearts could not see. 60

Thus, this Verse has nothing to do with abrogation, according to the scholars of Tafsir and Usul. It is not appropriate to be added to etymology because it is a weak supporting evidence.

The fourth Verse is:

“هَٰذَا كِتَابُنَا يَنطِقُ عَلَيْكُم بِالْحَقِّ ۚ إِنَّا كُنَّا نَسْتَنسِخُ مَا كُنتُمْ تَعْمَلُونَ”

This, Our record, speaks about you in truth. Indeed, We were having transcribed whatever you used to do.”

(Al-Jathiyah (Kneeling): 29).

The Arabic wordنَسْتَنسِخُ” “, here, means that “Verily, We were recording what you used to do in scripts.”61

Therefore, the first Verse is the central Verse in formulating the concept of abrogation. Writings of Fiqh, Usul and Quranic sciences depended on it to prove the occurrence of abrogation. Thus, it is necessary to study the context of the Verse and the Verses following and preceding it in order to understand the principal concept. Whosoever reflect on the Verse,

“مَا نَنسَخْ مِنْ آيَةٍ أَوْ نُنسِهَا نَأْتِ بِخَيْرٍ مِّنْهَا…”

“We do not abrogate a verse or cause it to be forgotten except that We bring forth [one] better than it…”

(Al-Baqarah (The Cow): 106),

won’t find in it the meaning of abrogation used by the latter scholars defining abrogation in terms of lifting or cancelation. This means that the abrogation of a Verse does not necessarily mean that the ruling or the Divine Command is canceled. This is because the Arabic word “آية” (pronounced: Ayah) has different meanings in the Quran which were collected by Al-Aṣfahanī in his book entitled “المفردات في غريب القرآن” (Al-Mufradat fi Gharib al-Quran):

It, sometimes, refers to the tall building as in the Saying of Allah Almighty:

“أَتَبْنُونَ بِكُلِّ رِيعٍ آيَةً تَعْبَثُونَ”

“Do ye build a landmark on every high place to amuse yourselves?

(Ash-Shu’arā’ (The Poets): 128).

In addition, it refers to the rational signs which some people can realize according to their degree of knowledge, as in the Saying of Allah Almighty:

“إِنَّ فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ لَآيَاتٍ لِّلْمُؤْمِنِينَ”

“Indeed, within the heavens and earth are signs for the believers.”

(Al-Jāthiyah (Kneeling): 3)62.

In fact, it has other meanings which differ according to the context.

In addition, there are, in other contexts, Verses talking about the event when Moses brought to his people clear proofs, then they worship the calf. Allah Almighty says:

“وَلَقَدْ جَاءَكُم مُّوسَىٰ بِالْبَيِّنَاتِ ثُمَّ اتَّخَذْتُمُ الْعِجْلَ مِن بَعْدِهِ وَأَنتُمْ ظَالِمُونَ”

“And Moses had certainly brought you clear proofs. Then you took the calf [in worship] after that, while you were wrongdoers.”

(Al-Baqarah (The Cow): 92).

After talking about the Israelites’ denial of the clear proofs and signs, the Verses talk about the clear proofs sent to the Ummah (nation) of His Messenger. Allah Almighty says:

“وَلَقَدْ أَنزَلْنَا إِلَيْكَ آيَاتٍ بَيِّنَاتٍ ۖ وَمَا يَكْفُرُ بِهَا إِلَّا الْفَاسِقُونَ”

“And We have certainly revealed to you verses [which are] clear proofs, and no one would deny them except the defiantly disobedient.

(Al-Baqarah (The Cow): 99).

In fact, “verses [which are] clear proofs” are the Noble Quran as It is the Revealed Verses.

Then, the Quranic discourse talks again about the Israelites when they followed [instead] what the devils had recited during the reign of Solomon. Then, the discourse is delivered again to the believers advising them not to follow the disbelievers’ path:

“وَلَوْ أَنَّهُمْ آمَنُوا وَاتَّقَوْا لَمَثُوبَةٌ مِّنْ عِندِ اللَّهِ خَيْرٌ ۖ لَّوْ كَانُوا يَعْلَمُونَ (103) يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لَا تَقُولُوا رَاعِنَا وَقُولُوا انظُرْنَا وَاسْمَعُوا ۗ وَلِلْكَافِرِينَ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ (104) مَّا يَوَدُّ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا مِنْ أَهْلِ الْكِتَابِ وَلَا الْمُشْرِكِينَ أَن يُنَزَّلَ عَلَيْكُم مِّنْ خَيْرٍ مِّن رَّبِّكُمْ ۗ وَاللَّهُ يَخْتَصُّ بِرَحْمَتِهِ مَن يَشَاءُ ۚ وَاللَّهُ ذُو الْفَضْلِ الْعَظِيمِ (105) مَا نَنسَخْ مِنْ آيَةٍ أَوْ نُنسِهَا نَأْتِ بِخَيْرٍ مِّنْهَا أَوْ مِثْلِهَا ۗ أَلَمْ تَعْلَمْ أَنَّ اللَّهَ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ (106) أَلَمْ تَعْلَمْ أَنَّ اللَّهَ لَهُ مُلْكُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ ۗ وَمَا لَكُم مِّن دُونِ اللَّهِ مِن وَلِيٍّ وَلَا نَصِيرٍ (107) أَمْ تُرِيدُونَ أَن تَسْأَلُوا رَسُولَكُمْ كَمَا سُئِلَ مُوسَىٰ مِن قَبْلُ ۗ وَمَن يَتَبَدَّلِ الْكُفْرَ بِالْإِيمَانِ فَقَدْ ضَلَّ سَوَاءَ السَّبِيلِ”

“And if they had believed and feared Allah, then the reward from Allah would have been [far] better, if they only knew. O you who have believed, say not [to Allah ‘s Messenger], “Ra’ina” but say, “Unthurna” and listen. And for the disbelievers is a painful punishment. Neither those who disbelieve from the People of the Scripture nor the polytheists wish that any good should be sent down to you from your Lord. But Allah selects for His mercy whom He wills, and Allah is the possessor of great bounty. We do not abrogate a verse or cause it to be forgotten except that We bring forth [one] better than it or similar to it. Do you not know that Allah is over all things competent? Do you not know that to Allah belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth and [that] you have not besides Allah any protector or any helper? Or do you intend to ask your Messenger as Moses was asked before? And whoever exchanges faith for disbelief has certainly strayed from the soundness of the way.”

(Al-Baqarah (The Cow): 103-108).

Obviously, the context does not mean that the Arabic word “آيات” (pronounced: Ayāt) refers to the Divine rulings. Yet, ” “آيةmeans a clear proof and evidence, as intended by the Verses talking about the Israelites. In fact, the meaning intended is that We do not abrogate a verse with clear proofs, (as We had revealed to the Israelites) except that We bring forth [one] better than it. Undoubtedly, the Noble Quran is the best sign and the clearest proof. This is clear when reflecting on the context following and preceding the Verses mentioned. To be certain, this is also proved through the Verse:

“أَمْ تُرِيدُونَ أَن تَسْأَلُوا رَسُولَكُمْ كَمَا سُئِلَ مُوسَىٰ مِن قَبْلُ…”

“Or do you intend to ask your Messenger as Moses was asked before?”

(Al-Baqarah (The Cow): 108).

It means that the people of Muhammad asked him to show them a clear proof just as Moses was asked before. In another words, they asked him to show them a miracle like the signs shown to the Israelites. Then, the Quran proves that they will receive the best sign, as there is no sign clearer than the Noble Quran.

If it is appropriate to use this Verse in proving the occurrence of abrogation, it can be used to prove the inter-revelatory abrogation, and not the abrogation of the rulings which is called intra-revelatory abrogation. In fact, inter-revelatory abrogation is not a controversial issue, but the disagreement is about the abrogation of the rulings.

In conclusion, the Quranic usage of the abrogation of the verse has nothing to do with what is intended later on. Although it is mentioned, in some contexts, in term of lifting and cancelation or recording, the term ” “آية(Ayah) mentioned, here, is not the Verse intended by books of Tafsir and Usul.

Thus, scholars, to strengthen this signification, depended on other Verses which are more obvious to prove the occurrence of abrogation.

  • Criticizing the way of proving abrogation depending on evidences from Quran and Sunnah

-Evidences from Quran:

Verses whith the Arabic word Naskh (نَسْخ) are among the most important Verses in etymologizing and proving abrogation depending on the Quran. When finding that Verses are not persuasive, we depend on the Verses of elimination and change which compose a central argument.

Allah Almighty says:

“يَمْحُو اللَّهُ مَا يَشَاءُ وَيُثْبِتُ وَعِندَهُ أُمُّ الْكِتَابِ”

Allah eliminates what He wills or confirms and with Him is the Mother of the Book.”

 (Ar-Ra’d (The Thunder): 39).

This Verse has many interpretations. Some exegetists said:

Allah eliminates what He wills among the affairs of His creatures, then He changes them, except their status (in the Book of Records); misery and happiness, for they are unchangeable.63 On the other hand, others argued: “This means that Allah eliminates and confirms what He wills from any book other than the Mother of the Book (The Noble Quran) which is fixed.64” Others argued: “This means that He confirms and eliminates all what He wills.65“.

In fact, the verse does not refer to the abrogation of the ruling revealed through Quran or Sunnah. We all agree that the Divine Will is above all things. In fact, the disagreement is about interpretations showing the Divine cancelation of a Quranic Verse after its confirmation, or the temporal confirmation of a Verse then its removal from the Quran. This is the controversial issue meant, which the Verse mentioned does not include.

Furthermore, Allah Almighty says:

“وَإِذَا بَدَّلْنَا آيَةً مَّكَانَ آيَةٍ ۙ وَاللَّهُ أَعْلَمُ بِمَا يُنَزِّلُ قَالُوا إِنَّمَا أَنتَ مُفْتَرٍ ۚ بَلْ أَكْثَرُهُمْ لَا يَعْلَمُونَ”

“And when We substitute a verse in place of a verse – and Allah is most knowing of what He sends down – they say, “You, [O Muhammad], are but an inventor [of lies].” But most of them do not know.”

(An-Naḥl (The Bees): 101).

Whosoever reflects on the verses following and preceding it will find that the “substituted Verse” refers to Verses talking about the previous nations or their Scriptures which were substituted by the “Revealed Verse”. Therefore, the substitution, here, means the change in the Verses talking about the previous nations and the confirmation is achieved through the Quranic Verse, the seal of all Books. Hence, the meaning intended is the “inter-revelatory abrogation” not the abrogation of the Quranic rulings, according to some books of Tafsir66. Aṭ-Ṭabarī has narrated on the authority of Mujahid the commentary: “We has abrogated, substituted and lifted it, then confirmed another one.67“.

In conclusion, Quran does not support the “claim of abrogation” in term of a final lift of a ruling of a Verse. In fact, we did not find a definite evidence proving this interpretation, as this claim was recently raised. Concerning the stage of the early etymology, I tried to depend on the Verses containing the (Arabic) word Naskh or the compound phrase of “Verse abrogation”, but, in fact, I found that the semantic signification differs from the meaning agreed upon. Later on, I depended on Verses which convey the meaning of abrogation. While the context offers an interpretation and specialization, some of these central Verses refer to the inter-revelatory abrogation and not the abrogation of the final Divine Verses. It is irrational to deduce the abrogation of the fixed Divine ruling depending on the inter-revelatory abrogation, because they are different, as inter-revelatory abrogation is agreed upon, while the intra-revelatory abrogation is debatable.

Evidence from Sunnah

Depending on Sunnah to prove the occurrence of abrogation, the early scholars did not depend on a Hadith which have the Arabic term of abrogation (Naskh) or any of its meanings, as there is no authentic Prophetic Hadith in this regard. Thus, they depended on some Hadiths which can be interpreted in a way proving the occurrence of abrogation, at the top of which is the Hadith prohibiting meat storage.

  • A Hadith prohibiting meat storage:

This example has been mentioned several times through the writings of Usul and Tafsir, starting from Ash-Shafi’ī‘s Ar-Risalah and the following writings, proving the occurrence of abrogation in Sunnah. In fact, this Hadith is the central example proving the abrogation in Sunnah. Thus, many of scholars of Usul and Fiqh used this Hadith as an example of abrogation. For instance, Ash-Shafi’ī said:

“The Hadith of ‘Aishah is the strongest evidence which clarifies the abrogating and the abrogated in Sunnah.68” in fact, the Hadith referred to is the Hadith prohibiting meat storage.

Ad-Dahlawī said: Abrogation is observed through the wordings of the Prophet (ﷺ):

“I forbade you to visit graves, but you may now visit them.69“.

In fact, there is no an explicit wordings by the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم). Therefore, the example of the Hadith prohibiting meat storage is a good example for presenting the issue of abrogation in text interpretation.

For verification, we should read the whole narration compiled in Sahih Muslim, a collection of authentic Hadiths by Imam Muslim. Abdullah b. Aby Bakr, on the authority of Abdullah b. Waqed, narrated that the Prophet (ﷺ) forbade eating of the flesh of sacrificed animals beyond three (days). Abdullah b. Aby Bakr said: “I informed ‘Amrah with this, and she replied: “He is true, I heard ‘Aishah saying:

‘Some people of desert came at the time of sacrifice in the time of Apostle of Allah (ﷺ). The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: Store up for three days and give the rest as charity. After than the people said to the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ): Messenger of Allah, the people used to benefit from their sacrifices, take and dissolve fat from them, and make water-bags (from their skins). The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: What is that? or whatever he said: They said: Messenger of Allah (ﷺ), you have prohibited to preserve the meat of sacrifice after three days. The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: I prohibited you due to a body of people who came to you. Now eat, give it as charity, and store up.'”70

(Sunnah.com)

However, some argue that the prohibition of storage has definitely been abrogated; which means that this ruling is not applicable even if the reason (of its prohibition) is found. The group, adopting this opinion as well as Ash-Shafi’ī, depend on a narration on the authority of ‘Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said:

“None of you should eat any meat left from his sacrifice beyond three days.”

Yet, proving abrogation depending on this narration only has several shortcomings:

First, the possibility that the reason (of prohibition) was still there during the time of the narration, but following the original ruling was not necessary. It is not true to deduce that the ruling has been abrogated. In fact, it indicates the continuity of the prohibition of storage due to the presence of the reason, as the ruling always adheres with its (reason) presence.

Second, it is possible that ‘Ali did not hear of the Hadith mentioning the reason (of prohibition), according to Ash-Shafi’ī in his book Ar-Risalah.71

Hence, the Divine Legislation is above all, as leaving the first (ruling) without confirming its abrogation does not indicate that the first ruling is an abrogated and inapplicable ruling such as in the example of the storage prohibition. This is because the prohibition was due to a certain reason, and if it is found, the ruling will be applicable again. Indeed, no one can confirm the abrogation if there is no clear Divine Declaration. The scholars of Usul describes this through a maxim stating that ruling rotates with reasons, affected by their existence and abundance.

Thus, this Hadith does not prove the presence of abrogation as some may imagined.

  • Criticizing Exemplification

Reflecting on the previous examples proving the occurrence of abrogation, we observe the possibility of reconciling all texts mentioned. Through reconciliation, we will observe that some mechanisms are more efficient than abrogation in term of the lifting of a ruling not its limitation or specialization. This is a premise to lay the ground for the claim of abrogation for different reasons among which are: applicability and reconciliation have priority over inapplicability and outweighing respectively, as agreed upon by scholars of Usul.

Moreover, abrogation should depend on a Divine Text and the previous examples do not include an authentic Prophetic text to lift or eliminate a ruling. In fact, this is not achieved in the previous examples.

Reconciliation is applied by reflecting on the texts as a whole unit. Hence, it is possible to read the text again depending on the scientifically acceptable regulators such as the mechanisms of specialization, limitation, clarification or rotation72. These mechanisms were included within the theory of abrogation, according to the predecessors. Yet, the exegetical writings adopted the concept of the “lifting and elimination of a ruling” by reflecting on differentiating between the early and latter. That’s why abrogation was used in term of the cancelation of a ruling.

Furthermore, reconciliation can be achieved also through contextualization, in a general and specific way, and differentiation between rulings which are cancelled and those which are gradually legislated. Through approaches of texts applicability (I’māl), it is possible to deduce a number of comprehensive hermeneutical principles.

Thus, when we reflect on all examples mentioned through etymology, we will notice that they are out of context. In fact, reconciling Hadiths is possible through all mechanisms. Yet, I will only mention the most famous examples which are the most controversial; leaving the rest for deduction.

  • Mechanism of Confirming a Ruling: e. Qiblah shifting

If we reflect on the event of Qiblah shifting and its relevant texts, we will notice that there is no (Islamic) Divine Discourse stating that prayer should be performed facing Jerusalem, as the Qiblah of the people of Book, which is Jerusalem, it was followed till the Divine Command was revealed to shift to the Sacred House (of Makkah).

We only have one unambiguous authentic Divine Discourse, which is the Command to pray facing the Sacred House. In fact, facing Jerusalem while praying is based on Istiṣḥāb (presumption of continuity) and it is not a binding Divine Command. There is a difference between abrogation and Istiṣḥāb in case there is no Divine discourse. Hence, Qiblah shifting is a confirmation of a new ruling and not lifting of a previous ruling.

  • Mechanism of Gradual Legislation: i.e. intoxicants

Many scholars argue that Allah Almighty has abrogated the permission of intoxicants. In fact, we did not find any text permitting this, but it is a gradual legislation. Allah Almighty clarifies, at the first stage, its (intoxicants) status saying:

“يَسْأَلُونَكَ عَنِ الْخَمْرِ وَالْمَيْسِرِ ۖ قُلْ فِيهِمَا إِثْمٌ كَبِيرٌ وَمَنَافِعُ لِلنَّاسِ وَإِثْمُهُمَا أَكْبَرُ مِن نَّفْعِهِمَا….”

“They ask you about intoxicants and gambling. Say, “In them is great sin and [yet, some] benefit for people. But their sin is greater than their benefit…”

(Al-Baqarah (The Cow): 219).

A wise person is the one who decides to stay apart from something which has a great sin and [yet, some] benefit. Yet, some people did not follow this advice, thus, Allah Almighty has prohibited (Muslims from) performing prayer while intoxicated:

“يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لَا تَقْرَبُوا الصَّلَاةَ وَأَنتُمْ سُكَارَىٰ حَتَّىٰ تَعْلَمُوا مَا تَقُولُونَ…”

“O you who have believed, do not approach prayer while you are intoxicated until you know what you are saying…”

(An-Nisā’ (The Women): 43).

This ruling is fixed and not abrogated, because the reason of this command here is the prohibition of the prayer of an intoxicated person and not the prohibition of intoxicants. In fact it is an objective that differs from the one mentioned to prove the claimed abrogation. In addition, prohibiting the prayer of an intoxicated person is a fixed matter; applied for any intoxicated person and anytime, as it was not abrogated. Then, the final famous text prohibiting intoxicants was revealed:

“يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا إِنَّمَا الْخَمْرُ وَالْمَيْسِرُ وَالْأَنصَابُ وَالْأَزْلَامُ رِجْسٌ مِّنْ عَمَلِ الشَّيْطَانِ فَاجْتَنِبُوهُ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُونَ”

“O you who have believed, indeed, intoxicants, gambling, [sacrificing on] stone alters [to other than Allah], and divining arrows are but defilement from the work of Satan, so avoid it that you may be successful.”

(Al-Mā’edah (Table spread with Food): 90).

According to linguists, the Arabic imperative verb “فَاجْتَنِبُوهُ” (English: avoid it) indicates the highest level of prohibition.

Indeed, there is no abrogation in these Verses, as Allah Almighty did not permit then prohibit the intoxicants. Yet, He Almighty gradually sets its legislation till reaching the final Divine Discourse. Furthermore, the reason of abrogation, in term of the lifting of a ruling, is the presence of two contradictory discourses. In this case, there is no contradiction when adopting a comprehensive reflection.

  • Mechanism of Contextualization: i.e. Night Prayer

Many exegetical writings state that the Saying of Allah Almighty:

“يَا أَيُّهَا الْمُزَّمِّلُ (1) قُمِ اللَّيْلَ إِلَّا قَلِيلًا (2) نِّصْفَهُ أَوِ انقُصْ مِنْهُ قَلِيلًا (3) أَوْ زِدْ عَلَيْهِ وَرَتِّلِ الْقُرْآنَ تَرْتِيلًا (4)”

“O you who wraps himself [in clothing],

Arise [to pray] the night, except for a little –

Half of it – or subtract from it a little

Or add to it, and recite the Qur’an with measured recitation.”

(Al-Muzzammil (The Enwrapped One): 1-4),

has been abrogated by the Saying of Allah Almighty:

“…عَلِمَ أَن لَّن تُحْصُوهُ فَتَابَ عَلَيْكُمْ ۖ فَاقْرَءُوا مَا تَيَسَّرَ مِنَ الْقُرْآن…ِ”

“He has known that you [Muslims] will not be able to do it and has turned to you in forgiveness, so recite what is easy [for you] of the Qur’an.

(Al-Muzzammil (The Enwrapped One): 20).

Reflecting on the Discourse in Surat Al- Muzzammil, we will notice that the addressee is the Messenger Muhammad (ﷺ) through: “O you who wraps himself [in clothing]”, “Arise”, “subtract”, “add”, “recite”, and “Indeed, We will cast upon you a heavy word“. Thus, the addressee is the Messenger as a way to prepare him to receive the Heavy Word. Being the role model, Muslims followed the Prophet (ﷺ) in performing the night prayer, Allah Almighty says:

“إِنَّ رَبَّكَ يَعْلَمُ أَنَّكَ تَقُومُ أَدْنَىٰ مِن ثُلُثَيِ اللَّيْلِ وَنِصْفَهُ وَثُلُثَهُ وَطَائِفَةٌ مِّنَ الَّذِينَ مَعَكَ وَاللَّهُ يُقَدِّرُ اللَّيْلَ وَالنَّهَارَ ۚ عَلِمَ أَن لَّن تُحْصُوهُ فَتَابَ عَلَيْكُمْ …”

“Indeed, your Lord knows, [O Muhammad], that you stand [in prayer] almost two thirds of the night or half of it or a third of it, and [so do] a group of those with you. And Allah determines [the extent of] the night and the day. He has known that you [Muslims] will not be able to do it and has turned to you in forgiveness…”

In fact, people followed his footsteps, so he was afraid that the night prayer would be set as obligatory73.

The Prophet (ﷺ) did not want to overburden Muslims with what they cannot bear in following his way. In fact, this Command is actually addressing him, and the command for them is to exert their effort without overburdening themselves.

On the other hand, the Verse has another interpretation. The discourse in the second Verse is a clarification for the first one, as the Saying of Allah Almighty:

“…عَلِمَ أَن لَّن تُحْصُوهُ فَتَابَ عَلَيْكُمْ ۖ فَاقْرَءُوا مَا تَيَسَّرَ مِنَ الْقُرْآن…ِ”

“He has known that you [Muslims] cannot calculate it, able to do it and has turned to you in forgiveness, so recite what is easy [for you] of the Qur’an.

refers to the Quran recitation and reflection not the night prayer, as indicated by the Arabic phrase “لَّن تُحْصُوهُ” (cannot calculate it). Actually, there is no contradiction between the texts. The partial and comprehensive contextualization of the Verses helps in refuting the contradiction. In fact, contextualization is the most effective mechanism in applying the principle stating that reconciliation has priority over outweighing as well as abrogation.

  • Mechanism of the Specialization of the Generalized: i.e. punishment of stoning

The punishment of adultery is explicitly mentioned in Surat An-Nur (The Light) which is a Madani Chapter (among chapters revealed after the Prophetic immigration). Allah Almighty says:

“الزَّانِيَةُ وَالزَّانِي فَاجْلِدُوا كُلَّ وَاحِدٍ مِّنْهُمَا مِائَةَ جَلْدَةٍ ۖ وَلَا تَأْخُذْكُم بِهِمَا رَأْفَةٌ فِي دِينِ اللَّهِ إِن كُنتُمْ تُؤْمِنُونَ بِاللَّهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الْآخِرِ ۖ وَلْيَشْهَدْ عَذَابَهُمَا طَائِفَةٌ مِّنَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ

“The [unmarried] woman or [unmarried] man found guilty of sexual intercourse – lash each one of them with a hundred lashes, and do not be taken by pity for them in the religion of Allah, if you should believe in Allah and the Last Day. And let a group of the believers witness their punishment.”

(An-Nur (The Light): 2).

It has been argued that this Verse has been abrogated by the Hadiths stating the punishment of stoning.

However, this Verse is explicitly stated and has an absolute authentication and signification stating that the punishment of adultery is a hundred lashes before a group of believers without differentiating between the married and unmarried person, and the male and female, as all of them are equal in punishment. Yet, the Verse also may indicate that this is the highest punishment for the adulterers, males and females by saying:

“…وَلَا تَأْخُذْكُم بِهِمَا رَأْفَةٌ فِي دِينِ اللَّهِ…”

“…and do not be taken by pity for them in the religion of Allah…”.

Furthermore, many scholars believed that a part of this Verse has been abrogated by the punishment of stoning. It has been said that it was revealed for the unmarried fornicator, as mentioned by Ash-Shafi’ī, by quoting the Prophetic Hadith:

Receive from me (this revelation), receive from me (this revelation). Allah has ordained a way for those women (unmarried females who committed adultery). When an unmarried man, commits adultery with an unmarried woman, they should receive one hundred lashes and be exiled for a year. If they (fornicate while they) were married, they shall receive hundred lashes and be stoned to death.

Reported by Muslim.74(Sunnah.com)

There is no Prophetic declaration stating that this ruling has been abrogated. Stoning is regarded as the punishment because it specifies the generalized punishment mentioned in the Verse. Thus, lashing will be the punishment of the unmarried fornicator, while stoning will be the punishment of the married adulterer. In fact, this is called reconciliation not abrogation. Regarding it an abrogation, it indicates the specification of a generalized ruling and not the lifting of a ruling.

Furthermore, the issue of bequest tackled through many exegetical writings is similar. The claimed abrogation of the Verses of inheritance is a controversial issue. In fact, the disagreement indicates that abrogation is a weak argument because it should be supported by a Divine evidence not a personal reasoning. Although there is a disagreement, Allah is the One who inspires a scholar to settle it, as some depended on the way of reconciliation between the Verse of the bequest and the Hadith of “A Bequest for an heir is not allowable unless the other heirs are agreeable,” a rare Hadith narrated only by Abu Umamah. Being a part of the farewell sermon (Khutbat Al-Wadā’), it is supposed to be narrated by more than one narrator. In fact, the rarity of this part delivered in a public event gathering many people before the Messenger weakens such narration. Dr. Jasser Auda sees that there is a weakness in this narration75.

Among those who argued that there is no abrogation is Tāwous and others. This group believes that the Verse of the bequest “is not abrogated but specialized, because relatives is a general word; referring to the deserving an undeserving heirs. Thus, the bequest is specified for all of them except the undeserving heirs who are excluded by the Verse of inheritance and the Prophetic Hadith. In fact, the fixed share for the undeserving heirs among relatives did not change.” 76

“The Verse may refer to those who are deprived from inheritance among the relatives or parents because of the difference in religion, according to those who adopted this opinion, or other reasons. In addition, it may refer to those of special needs who need an extra care such as the elders, the vulnerable, and the one who have many children among heirs.”77

  • Semantic Mechanism (signification): e. the ruling of the one who commit an adultery

Allah Almighty says in Surat An-Nisā’ (The Women):

“وَاللَّاتِي يَأْتِينَ الْفَاحِشَةَ مِن نِّسَائِكُمْ فَاسْتَشْهِدُوا عَلَيْهِنَّ أَرْبَعَةً مِّنكُمْ ۖ فَإِن شَهِدُوا فَأَمْسِكُوهُنَّ فِي الْبُيُوتِ حَتَّىٰ يَتَوَفَّاهُنَّ الْمَوْتُ أَوْ يَجْعَلَ اللَّهُ لَهُنَّ سَبِيلًا (15) وَاللَّذَانِ يَأْتِيَانِهَا مِنكُمْ فَآذُوهُمَا ۖ فَإِن تَابَا وَأَصْلَحَا فَأَعْرِضُوا عَنْهُمَا ۗ إِنَّ اللَّهَ كَانَ تَوَّابًا رَّحِيمًا  (16)

“Those who commit immorality (unlawful sexual intercourse) of your women – bring against them four [witnesses] from among you. And if they testify, confine the guilty women to houses until death takes them or Allah ordains for them [another] way (15) And the two who commit it among you, dishonor them both. But if they repent and correct themselves, leave them alone. Indeed, Allah is ever Accepting of repentance and Merciful (16)”

(An-Nisā’ (The Women) 15-16).

It was said that this Verse has been abrogated by the Verse:

“الزَّانِيَةُ وَالزَّانِي فَاجْلِدُوا كُلَّ وَاحِدٍ مِّنْهُمَا مِائَةَ جَلْدَةٍ…”

“The [unmarried] woman or [unmarried] man found guilty of sexual intercourse – lash each one of them with a hundred lashes…”

(An-Nur (The Light): 2).

In fact, the Arabic word “الْفَاحِشَةَ” (Eng.: immorality) refers to the most disgraceful actions and utterances. According to this context, the immoral action could be “unlawful sexual intercourse”, “male homosexuality”, “lesbianism” or others. The Quran describes the unlawful sexual intercourse as an immorality through the Saying of Allah Almighty:

“وَلَا تَقْرَبُوا الزِّنَا ۖ إِنَّهُ كَانَ فَاحِشَةً وَسَاءَ سَبِيلًا”

“And do not approach unlawful sexual intercourse. Indeed, it is ever an immorality and is evil as a way.”

(Al-Isrā’ (The Night Journey): 32)

Homosexuality is also mentioned in the Quran through the Saying of Allah Almighty:

“…إِنَّكُمْ لَتَأْتُونَ الْفَاحِشَةَ مَا سَبَقَكُم بِهَا مِنْ أَحَدٍ مِّنَ الْعَالَمِينَ”

“…’Indeed, you commit such immorality as no one has preceded you with from among the worlds.”

(Al-‘Ankabout (The Spider): 28).

Thus, an immorality does not only refer to unlawful sexual intercourse, but every unlawful sexual intercourse is an immorality.

Many scholars argued that the Verse of “lashing the fornicator” mentioned in Surat An-Nur abrogated this Verse. However, reflecting on the Verse, we will notice that the immorality intended is not the unlawful sexual intercourse, and Allah Knows best, but the Verse may refer to the punishment of male homosexuality and lesbianism. The supporting evidence proving this opinion is the usage of the Arabic feminine plural relative pronoun اللَّاتِي” and the Arabic masculine dual relative pronoun “اللَّذَانِ“.

Hence, the opinion stating that the Verse of Surat An-Nur has abrogated the Verses of Surat An-Nisā’ is refuted because they are not tackling the same issue. Indeed, abrogation in term of the lifting of a ruling should be proved by a (Divine) Text, and there is no Text indicating that this Verse has nullified the ruling of the first Verse.

Linguistically, the contextual objective of Surat An-Nisā’ is different than that of Surat An- Nur. In fact, each Verse specifies a punishment for each immorality.

Whereas reconciliation and applicability have priority over outweighing and inapplicability respectively, the claim of abrogation is nullified by the previous opinions. Hence, the texts are fixed, and there is neither contradiction nor abrogation. This deduces that the:

-punishment of “lesbianism” is house confinement,

-punishment of “male homosexuality” is dishonor infliction. This punishment is suitable for males’ lifestyle, as it is not appropriate to confine them to houses like women. In fact, dishonor is a broad word, so it can be limited like other discretionary punishments (Ta’zir).

-punishment of the “unlawful sexual intercourse” is hundred lashes before a group of believers.

Those are some suggested mechanisms to reconcile the texts. We reflect on the most famous examples claimed to have abrogation during the etymology stage till the early stages, by putting into consideration the conceptual development of the term “Naskh“. In fact, some of these mechanisms belong to the concept of abrogation, according to the reflection stage, such as the mechanism of the specialization of the generalized. After its development when the lifting of the ruling became its central signification, it was necessary to focus on other cognitive mechanisms for an approach which adopt applicability and reconciliation.

Fifth, Abrogation and the Quranic Discourse Features

This aims to approach abrogation in term of the cancelation of the ruling, as it is the widespread signification in old and modern studies of Quran, Tafsir and Usul. It is obvious that the most famous definition of abrogation is the lifting of a Divine ruling depending on a Divine evidence which was revealed later. In fact, this definition has many problems which should be discussed and compared with the features of the Quranic Discourse suitable for all eras. We should also be cautious about the danger of the excessive claims of abrogation which contradict the features of the Islamic Discourse, the Seal.

As previously mentioned, the scientific etymology is not apart from criticism, refutation and objection. That’s why it is a fragile study in the field of Tafsir and Usul. Yet, the issue of abrogation, in term of the lifting of a ruling and not other meanings, appears when it contradicts the features of the Islamic Discourse. According to Taha Jabir Al-‘Alwani, the Quranic Discourse is “an absolute and an inimitable challenge. Quran has its several features and the knowledge of the Quranic Discourse and its styles is sufficient to refute the concept of the possibility (of abrogation), whether it is based on reason or narration, in a Divine Discourse which falsehood cannot approach it from before it or from behind it. The infallibility of this Book and its consistency and harmony with the universe and its motion is obvious. The position of its Verses, Words and Letters is similar to the positions of stars in the heaven. If the position of any star is changed or if it deviated from its orbit, or created its own orbit, the whole system will be distorted. The position of the “stars of the Quran” and its Verses, Words and letters is similar. Noticing this fact, we could not accept the applicability of the “theory of abrogation” in the mighty honored Quran78.”

Comprehensive Features of the Noble Quran

Eternity and Continuity

The Divine Verses are eternal, as there is no Verse which is inapplicable when its necessities are present. It is not possible to recite some Verses seeking Allah’s Blessings without reflecting on its rulings, because this is against the eternal nature of Revelation and its validation for any time and place. Hence, in case reasons of applicability is found, the Verse should be applicable and effective. In fact, those who proved the abrogation of some Verses and the permanent lifting of their ruling did not depend on an explicit Prophetic declaration, because there is no Prophetic interpretation indicating the abrogation of some Quranic Verses. In fact, they only depend on independent reasoning. In case of contradiction, a Mujtahid (Diligent thinker Jurisprudent) should depend on abrogation after finding out that reconciliation and outweighing are not effective. He, then, should apply the mechanism of abrogation. However, if the one who reflects on the Divine Texts remembers that the Divine Discourse is a continuous discourse, the dominance of abrogation will be lessened. As a result, he will turn to other mechanisms which are more compatible with the eternity of the Divine Text and its Validation for every time and place.

Structural Unity

The advantage of this feature, according to Dr. Taha Jabir Al-‘Alwani, is that it makes Quran, despite its several Verses (Ayah), Chapters (Surah), Parts (Juz’), and half parts (Ḥizb), as one word or sentence. Thus, it is impossible to find any contradiction among the parts of one sentence and even one word. This feature refutes the claim of abrogation in term of the lifting and cancelation of a ruling, not in term of exception, specialization of the generalized and limitation of the indefinite.79

In fact, contradiction is apparent and not genuine, as it is originated from the Mujtahid’s mind, because Allah’s Words is Light, and His Lights can never be asymmetrical. Thus, any contradiction should be tackled within the structural unity of the Discourse through a comprehensive and contextual refection and not a partial and unilateral reflection.

Conclusion

By studying the opinions of Ibn ‘Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him), we observe that abrogation has many meanings, at the top of which is the specialization of the generalized, which is a mechanism of reconciliation not outweighing, then the lifting of a ruling, which is an outweighing mechanism. Hence, abrogation, during this stage, was ranging from being a mechanism of reconciliation and outweighing. In fact, it was not an independent field of study, according to the writings in the second Hijri century. Abrogation, during its very beginning, which was during the first century and the beginning of the second Hijri century, was a general exegetical clarification mechanism which does not require the presence of contradiction among texts, as its main objective was absolute explanation.

Abrogation, with its first meanings which are limitation, specialization, clarification and absolute explanation, was a reason-based effort aiming to reconcile texts and refute contradiction among them.

On the other hand, abrogation in term of the lifting and cancelation of a ruling is among the meanings adopted during the reflection stage, then, it becomes the central meaning after the etymology stage. Thus, it should be supported by a Divine evidence, as the authentication of a ruling is a narration-based issue, so its lifting should be based on the Legislator. The Prophet (ﷺ) neither stated that such Verse abrogated such Verse nor stated that such Hadith abrogated such Hadith. There is also no Prophetic statement showing the types of abrogation adopted later by the latter generations. Accordingly, the disagreement arouse due to this latter meaning of abrogation which has become a reason-based effort depending on the interpreter’s conclusion, although the theorization process proves that it is a narration-based effort which cannot be proven unless by a Divine Text!

Therefore, tackling abrogation, during the first reflection stage, paves the way to know the terminology journey especially during its beginning. This helps us understand a number of examples which is claimed to have been abrogated. We will understand also the effect of the terminology in understanding those Hadiths later on. In fact, abrogation was among terminologies of several significations at its first stage, then it became of a central signification which is the “lifting of a ruling”, a controversial issue contrary to all other significations. That’s how abrogation has become an independent mechanism among mechanisms of contradiction refutation, while limitation, specialization and clarification have become among reconciliation mechanisms. Thus, abrogation and reconciliation have become two different mechanisms after being two integrated mechanisms, but even after the reconciliation was part of abrogation.

Writings in the field of Usul Tafsir and Usul Fiqh, after the etymology stage, which started from the end of the second century onwards, state that abrogation is among the mechanisms of contradiction refutation. On other words, we find that abrogation is among the fields of contradiction refutation. In fact, the contradiction is originated from the Mujtahid’s mind and not from the reality. This is because the Divine Texts are light and lights can never be contradictory, yet, the mind may fail to realize the point of reconciliation.

If there is a contradiction among texts, he should rely on reconciliation first through the applicability of all evidences, because reconciliation and applicability have priority over outweighing and inapplicability respectively. If reconciliation is not effective, he should rely on outweighing through the applicability of one evidence and inapplicability of the other one because it is impossible to achieve reconciliation between both of them. Then, he should rely on abrogation which is different than outweighing because the weaker evidence could be applicable in some cases, but the abrogated becomes inapplicable. In addition, abrogation should be applied by differentiating between the first and last ruling, and then depending on the late, by considering it the abrogating, and abandoning the first one, by considering it the abrogated. Writings in the field of Usul states that abrogation needs to be proven by a Divine evidence. However, exegetists did not follow this restriction and proved abrogation by only depending on the differentiation between the first and last ruling. Consequently, many Verses became inapplicable because of abrogation. That’s why it is necessary to seriously tackle this issue in the light of the acceptable cognitive mechanisms through a horizon of comprehensive mechanisms which adopt the applicability of all texts without regarding them inapplicable due to abrogation. In fact, abrogation is a contradiction refutation mechanism. However, it becomes a mechanism dominant over text interpretation, leading to the abandonment of the original mechanisms and the usage of exception mechanism.

Abrogation is originally a reason-based process and not an infinite and eternal Divine Will which cannot be objected. That’s why this mechanism should be studied with a scientific approach appropriate with the features of the Divine Discourse by putting into consideration the eternity, continuity and unity of this discourse.

I focus on this issue specifically because abrogation has become an important element among the elements of Tafsir (Quranic exegesis), Hadith (Prophetic narrations), Fiqh (Islamic Jurisprudence), Usul (principles) and Kalām (dialectical theology). In fact, it is a central element in the Islamic culture to the extent that one of the conditions for an exegetist to be qualified is to know the abrogating and the abrogated because he deals with the Divine Text directly. In addition, its importance for the scholar of fiqh is not less than that for the exegetist because it helps in “deducing contemporary rulings and knowing the permissible and impermissible”80, according to Al-Qurṭubī. It is discussed also by dialectical theologians under the title “النبوة” (Prophethood) to prove that the Islamic legislation abrogates the legislations of previous religions.

However, its function exceeds the limits of being just one of the mechanisms of contradiction refutation. In fact, scholarships’ authority regarded abrogation an essential mechanism to adopt the opinions of the scholarship even if there is no contradiction among the texts. Accordingly, it became a way to support a certain scholarship. In this regard, Al-Karkhī (340 H) said:

“Originally, any Verse which (seemingly) contradicts Companions’ sayings should be interpreted depending on abrogation or outweighing, and priority is for the reason-based interpretation.”81

In conclusion, the etymology of abrogation in term of the lifting of a ruling, as adopted by the fundamental writings in Usul, is not strong enough. In addition, exemplifications could be reconciled using all types of mechanisms of reconciliation such as specialization, limitation, clarification and so on.

Moreover, depending on abrogation grasps our attention towards the relation of the text with the reality. Consequently, the chronological order will deduce the ruling and not vice versa. This contradicts the validity of the text in every time and place. In fact, this link between the spacetime elements and the text by abrogation leads to the cancelation of a number of Islamic Divine rulings. This issue grasps our attention towards a deeper fact which is the relation of the text with time, place and human.

Translated[i] by: Rehab Jamal Bakri

Egyptian Researcher and Translator.

Revised by: Prof: Neamat Mashhour

Professor of Islamic Economics and Islamic Finance.

Faculty of Commerce, Al-Azhar University.

*******

* A research submitted to the international seminar entitled: “قراءة الوحي: خطاب البداية” (Reflection on Revelation: The First Discourse) organized by Studies and Research Center of Humanities and Social (CERHSO), Wejda-Morocco, on 23-24 October 2015. This research is published in (Al-Muslim Al-Muassir) (The Contemporary Muslim) Vol. No, (161-162), P. 29-79.

**  A researcher at Dar El Hadith El Hassania Institute for Higher Studies. Rabat, Morocco / a member of Makassed Center for Studies and Research, Rabat.

1  This statistic was done by Dr. Hatim Al-Damen, Introduction on the Investigation of a book entitled: “ناسخ القرآن” (Nasekh Al-Quran) Ibn Al-Barazī.

2  among the abrogation of unalterable Divine Reports is the Verse:

“إِن تُبْدُوا الصَّدَقَاتِ فَنِعِمَّا هِي…”

                             ” If you disclose your charitable expenditures, they are good…” (2:271).

He (May Allah be pleased with him) commented: This has been abrogated. And also the Verse:

وَفِي أَمْوَالِهِمْ حَقٌّ لِّلسَّائِلِ وَالْمَحْرُومِ

“And from their properties was [given] the right of the [needy] petitioner and the deprived.” (51:19),

has been abrogated. Any Verse about charity in the Quran has been abrogated by the Verse of Surat At-Tawbah (The Repentance):

إِنَّمَا الصَّدَقَاتُ لِلْفُقَرَاءِ وَالْمَسَاكِينِ…”

“Charity (Zakah) is only for the poor and the needy…”  (9:60)

Source: الدر المنثور 1/614، موسوعة، 1/ 215.

3  In the say  ibn Abbas: this Verse refers to the Quranic Knowledge, the abrogating and abrogated Verses, the decisive and allegorical Verses, the first and last Verses, the permissible and impermissible, and examples.

Source: (جامع البيان، 3/ 89. موسوعة، 1/ 283.)

4  interpreting the Verse:

“هُوَ الَّذِي أَنزَلَ عَلَيْكَ الْكِتَابَ مِنْهُ آيَاتٌ مُّحْكَمَاتٌ هُنَّ أُمُّ الْكِتَابِ وَأُخَرُ مُتَشَابِهَاتٌ…”

“It is He who has sent down to you, [O Muhammad], the Book; in it are verses [that are] precise – they are the foundation of the Book- and others (are) allegorical….”  (3:7),

Ibn ‘Abbas said: “Verses [that are] precise explain the abrogating, the permissible and impermissible, the obligations and rulings that should be believed in and implemented. “And others (are) allegorical” explain the abrogated, the first and last, the examples and rulings that should be believed in, but not implemented.

Source: (جامع البيان، 3/476، موسوعة، 1/304).

Interpreting:

“…يَقُولُونَ آمَنَّا بِهِ…”

“But those firm in knowledge say, “We believe in it.

 Ibn ‘Abbas also stated that: (it) refers to Rulings which are abrogated and which are not.

Source: (تفسير ابن أبي حاتم، 2/600. موسوعة، 1/306)

In addition, Ibn ‘Abbas said:

“إنَّ القُرْآنَ ذُو شُجُونٍ وفُنُونٍ، وظُهُورٍ وبُطُونٍ، لا تَنْقَضِي عَجائِبُهُ، ولا تُبْلَغُ غايَتُهُ، فَمَن أوْغَلَ فِيهِ بِرِفْقٍ نَجا، ومَن أوْغَلَ فِيهِ بِعُنْفٍ غَوى؛ أخْبارٌ وأمْثالٌ، وحَرامٌ، وحَلالٌ، وناسِخٌ ومَنسُوخٌ، ومُحْكَمٌ ومُتَشابِهٌ، وظَهْرٌ وبَطْنٌ، فَظَهْرُهُ التِّلاوَةُ، وبَطْنُهُ التَّأْوِيلُ، فَجالِسُوا بِهِ العُلَماءَ، وجانِبُوا بِهِ السُّفَهاءَ، وإيّاكم وزَلَّةَ العالِمِ”.

Source: (الدر المنثور، 2/150. روح المعاني، الألوسي، 1/ 7. موسوعة مدرسة مكة في التفسير، 1/ 306)

5  Source: (تفسير عبد الرزاق: 1/293، موسوعة، 2/ 909).

Ibn ‘Abbas, commented on

“يَمْحُو اللَّهُ مَا يَشَاءُ وَيُثْبِتُ…”

Allah eliminates what He wills or confirms…”,

Saying: from the Quran. As Allah changes what He wills through abrogation and confirms what He wills by not changing it.

The Verse:

“…وَعِندَهُ أُمُّ الْكِتَابِ”

“….and with Him is the Mother of the Book.”

All the details are prescribed with Him in the Mother of the Book. All the abrogated and the abrogating and the changed and the confirmed are prescribed in the Book.

Source: (جامع البيان، 13/169. موسوعة، 2/ 910)

6  جامع البيان، 26 /52. موسوعة، 3/ 1419.

7  Ibn ‘Abbas commented on the Verse,

“لَّيْسَ بِأَمَانِيِّكُمْ وَلَا أَمَانِيِّ أَهْلِ الْكِتَابِ ۗ مَن يَعْمَلْ سُوءًا يُجْزَ بِهِ وَلَا يَجِدْ لَهُ مِن دُونِ اللَّهِ وَلِيًّا وَلَا نَصِيرًا”

“It [i.e., Paradise] is not [obtained] by your wishful thinking nor by that of the People of the Scripture. Whoever does a wrong will be recompensed for it, and he will not find besides Allah a protector or a helper”. (4:123).

Saying that people of the Scripture engaged in an argument. The People of Torah (Jewish) said: our Scripture is the best scripture, as it was revealed before your Scripture, and our Prophet is the greatest of all prophets. The people of Gospel (Christians) said the same. On the other hand, the People of Islam (Muslims) said: there is no religion but Islam, as our Scripture has abrogated other Scriptures, and our Prophet (Muhammad) is the seal of all prophets, and all of us are obliged to believe in your Scripture, but adhere to our Scripture. Then, Allah judged between them saying:

“It will not be in accordance with your desires (Muslims), nor those of the People of the Scripture (Jews and Christians), whosoever works evil, will have the recompense thereof..”

Then, He compared between the people of various religions saying:

وَمَنْ أَحْسَنُ دِينًا مِمَّنْ أَسْلَمَ وَجْهَهُ لِلَّهِ وَهُوَ مُحْسِنٌ وَاتَّبَعَ مِلَّةَ إِبْرَاهِيمَ حَنِيفًا وَاتَّخَذَ اللَّهُ إِبْرَاهِيمَ خَلِيلا”

“And who is better in religion than one who submits himself to Allah while being a doer of good and follows the religion of Abraham, inclining toward truth? And Allah took Abraham as an intimate friend.(4:125).

Source: (جامع البيان، 5/ 289، موسوعة، 1/466-467. –)

It has been narrated that Ibn ‘Abbas said: “people of Islam argued: There is no religion but Islam, as our Scripture has abrogated all other Scriptures and our Prophet (Muhammad) is the seal of all prophets, and our religion is the greatest religion. Then, Allah Almighty sent down:

“وَمَنْ أَحْسَنُ دِينًا مِمَّنْ أَسْلَمَ وَجْهَهُ لِلَّهِ وَهُوَ مُحْسِنٌ..”

“And who is better in religion than one who submits himself to Allah while being a doer of good…”.

Source: (جامع البيان، 5/ 299، موسوعة، 1/ 468)

8  Ibn ‘Abbas commented on the Verse,

“مَا نَنسَخْ مِنْ آيَةٍ…”

“We do not abrogate a Verse..” (2:106),

Saying that (it means) we do not change a Verse.

Source: (الدر المنثور، 1/ 252. البيهقي، شعب الإيمان، 2/ 361/ 2045)

9  الدر المنثور، 1/614، موسوعة، 1/215.

10  For more details, read Vol.2- page No. 598 and the following one in:

زيد، مصطفى. النسخ في القرآن الكريم: دراسة تشريعية تاريخية نقدية.

11 .سنن أبي داود، 1/695، ح2282، وحسنه الألباني. موسوعة، 1/ 232

12 .تفسير ابن كثير، 1/481، سنن أبي داود، باب نسخ المراجعة بعد الطلقات الثلاث. 1/ 233.

13  جامع البيان، 2/581، موسوعة، 1/255

Ibn ‘Abbas said: “The property (of the deceased) was inherited by his offspring, while the parents (of the deceased) inherited by the bequest (of the deceased). Then, Allah cancelled from that custom what He wills and fixed for the male double the amount inherited by the female, and for each parent a sixth (of the whole legacy) and for the wife an eighth or a fourth and for the husband a half or a fourth.

Source: (صحيح البخاري، ح 2596، موسوعة،1/386)

14 فتح الباري، 5/487، ح 2759. موسوعة، 1/ 382

It has been narrated by ‘Ikrimah that Ibn ‘Abbas said: It is precise and not abrogated.

Source: (مصنف ابن أبي شيبة، 2/225، 30902. موسوعة، 1/382).

Ibn ‘Abbas also commented on:

“وَلِكُلٍّ جَعَلْنَا مَوَالِيَ…”

“And for all, We have made Mawali…” (4:33)

saying that it refers to the heirs.

He also commented on,

…وَالَّذِينَ عَقَدَتْ أَيْمَانُكُمْ…”

“And to those whom your oaths have bound [to you].”,

Saying: When the emigrants came to the Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) at Al-Madinah, the emigrant would inherit from the Ansār (Al-Madinah inhabitants who followed and supported the Prophet), while the latter’s relatives would not inherit from him because of the bond of brotherhood which the Prophet established between them (the emigrants and the Ansār). When the verse,

“وَلِكُلٍّ جَعَلْنَا مَوَالِيَ”

“And for all, We have made Mawali…”

 was revealed, it cancelled (the pledge of brotherhood regarding inheritance).

Then he said:”The verse,

“…وَالَّذِينَ عَقَدَتْ أَيْمَانُكُمْ فَأتُوهُمْ نَصِيبَهُمْ…”

“…And to those whom your oaths have bound [to you] – give them their share…”

remained valid for cases of co-operation and mutual advice, while the matter of inheritance was excluded and it became permissible to assign a bequest to the person who had the right of inheriting before. (Translation Source: https://qurano.com/en/4-an-nisa/verse-33/)

Source: (فتح الباري، 4/ 595، موسوعة، 1/ 416)

15 سنن أبي داود، ح4413. موسوعة 1/392-393.

Ibn ‘Abbas commented on,

“وَاللاتِي يَأْتِينَ الْفَاحِشَةَ مِن نِّسَائِكُمْ…”

“Those who commit unlawful sexual intercourse of your women…”

And,

“…لا تُخْرِجُوهُنَّ مِن بُيُوتِهِنَّ وَلا يَخْرُجْنَ إِلا أَن يَأْتِينَ بِفَاحِشَةٍ مُّبَيِّنَةٍ…”

“…Do not turn them out of their [husbands’] houses, nor should they [themselves] leave [during that period] unless they are committing a clear immorality…” (65:1)

And,

“وَلا تَعْضُلُوهُنَّ لِتَذْهَبُوا بِبَعْضِ مَا آتَيْتُمُوهُنَّ إِلا أَن يَأْتِينَ بِفَاحِشَةٍ مُّبَيِّنَةٍ”

“O you who have believed, it is not lawful for you to inherit women by compulsion. And do not make difficulties for them in order to take [back] part of what you gave them unless they commit a clear immorality [i.e., adultery]” (4:19).

Immorality was mentioned through those Verses before the revelation of the Verse of Surat An-Nur indicating the punishment of lashing and stoning. That’s why the punishment of stoning was applicable till revelation of the Verse:

“الزَّانِيَةُ وَالزَّانِي فَاجْلِدُوا كُلَّ وَاحِدٍ مِّنْهُمَا مِائَةَ جَلْدَةٍ“…

“The [unmarried] woman or [unmarried] man found guilty of sexual intercourse – lash each one of them with a hundred lashes…”

Which abrogates the previous ruling.

Source: (الدر المنثور، 2/455. موسوعة، 1/392)

Ibn ‘Abbas commented on,

“فَأَمْسِكُوهُنَّ فِي الْبُيُوتِ”

“…confine the guilty women to houses…”(4:15),

saying that this ruling was applicable before the revelation of the Verse of Surat An-Nur prescribing the punishment of lashing and stoning.

Source: (تفسير ابن أبي حاتم، 8/ 2518، موسوعة، 3/3)

Ibn ‘Abbas said:

“The temporary marriage was applied only in the early days of Islam. A man would come to a settlement where he had no acquaintance and marry a woman for the period it was thought he would stay there, and she would look after his belongings and cook for him.

But Ibn ‘Abbas said that the verse,

“..فَمَا اسْتَمْتَعْتُم بِهِ مِنْهُنّ..”

“…So for whatever you enjoy [of marriage] from them…” (4:24)

has been abrogated by:

“…مُّحْصِنِينَ غَيْرَ مُسَافِحِينَ…”

“…desiring chastity, not unlawful sexual intercourse“.

That’s how man has a right to marry and divorce according to his will.

Source: (تفسير ابن أبي حاتم، 3/919، موسوعة، 1/ 407).

16 صحيح مسلم، كتاب التفسير، ح200. موسوعة، 1/ 297.

-Ibn ‘Abbas said that the Saying of Allah Almighty:

“إِن تُبْدُوا مَا فِي أَنفُسِكُمْ أَوْ تُخْفُوهُ يُحَاسِبْكُم بِهِ اللَّهُ…”

Whether you show what is within yourselves or conceal it, Allah will bring you to account for it..” (2:284)

has not been abrogated. Yet, Allah Almighty, in the Day of Judgment, will gather his creatures and say: “I will inform you with what you conceal within yourselves which the angels could not know”.

Source: (جامع البيان، 3/147، موسوعة، 1/ 298-297.)

Ibn ‘Abbas said that this Verse has been abrogated by the Verse:

“لا يُكَلِّفُ اللَّهُ نَفْسًا إِلا وُسْعَهَا…”

“Allah does not charge a soul except [with that within] its capacity…”.

Source: (الدر المنثور، 2/130، موسوعة، 1/ 298 )

Ibn ‘Abbas said that when this Verse was revealed, Muslims afraid of this burden. Thus, it has been abrogated by the Verse:

“لا يُكَلِّفُ اللَّهُ نَفْسًا إِلا وُسْعَهَا…”

“Allah does not charge a soul except [with that within] its capacity…”.

Source: (المعجم الكبير، 11/ 457، ح12296، موسوعة، 1/ 299)

Ibn ‘Abbas said that after revealing this Verse, it has been abrogated by the Verse following it. Source: (تفسير مجاهد، 246، موسوعة، 1/ 300).

17 تفسير ابن أبي حاتم، 3/1027، موسوعة، 1/ 445

Ibn ‘Abbas said that the Verse:

“قُل لَّسْتُ عَلَيْكُم بِوَكِيلٍ”

“Say, “I am not over you a manager [i.e., authority]) .”6:66)

was abrogated by the Verse of sword.

Source: (الدر المنثور، 3/290، موسوعة، 2/586. 34)

Ibn ‘Abbas said that the Verse:

…”وَأَعْرِضْ عَنِ الْمُشْرِكِينَ”

“….and turn away from the polytheists.” (15:94),

Beside other Verses commanding the believers to turn away from the polytheists have been abrogated by the Verse of Surat At-Tawbah.

Source: (جامع البيان، 7/308. موسوعة، 2/ 604).

18 الدر المنثور، 4/99، موسوعة، 2/ 743.

19 زيد، مصطفى، النسخ في القرآن الكريم: دراسة تشريعية تاريخية نقدية، ج2، 513.

20 فتح الباري، 8/226. موسوعة، 1/162-163

21  I tried to study those Verses by reading a book of Ibn Wahb entitled “تفسير القرآن الجامع”, but I did not find the example intended.

22 تفسير مجاهد، تحقيق: محمد عبد السلام أبو النيل، مصر: دار الفكر الإسلامي الحديثة، ط1، 1989،1/ 220-221.

23 تفسير مجاهد، 1/ 270.

24 تفسير مجاهد، 1/ 246.

25 الفراء. معاني القرآن، تح: أحمد يوسف النجاتي، محمد علي النجار، عبد الفتاح إسماعيل الشلبي، مصر: دار المصرية للتأليف والترجمة، ط1، د.ت.ط، 1/ 112.

26 معاني القرآن، 1/ 113.

27 معاني القرآن،1/ 366.

28 معاني القرآن، 1/ 108-109.

29 النسخ في القرآن الكريم، ج2، ص632.

30 الرسالة، ص119.

31 الرسالة، ص. 166.

32 الرسالة، ص. 178.

33 الرسالة، ص. 166.

34 الرسالة، ص. 168.

35 الرسالة، ص. 167.

36 الرسالة، ص. 168.

37 الرسالة، ص. 172.

38 الرسالة، ص. 172-173.

39 الرسالة، ص. 173.

40 الرسالة، ص. 177.

++  Translation Source: (https://sunnah.com/bukhari:403)

41 الرسالة، ص. 180.

42 الرسالة، ص. 181.

43 الرسالة، ص. 182.

44 Source:الرسالة، ص. 183.

He added in his book “الأم” (Al-Umm): “This is in conformity with what is mentioned by Ibn ‘Abbas who depended on narration not interpretation.”

Source: read the footnotes of: الرسالة، ص183.

45 الرسالة، ص. 183-184-185.

46 الرسالة، ص. 190.

47 الرسالة، ص. 191.

48 الرسالة، ص. 191.

49 الرسالة، ص. 191-193.

50 الرسالة، ص. 193-194.

51 الرسالة، ص. 194.

52 الرسالة، ص. 195.

53 البصري، أبو الحسين. المعتمد في أصول الفقه، تح: خليل الميس، بيروت: دار الكتب العلمية، ط1، 1403، 1/366.

54 الجويني، عبد الملك. البرهان، تحقيق: صلاح بن محمد بن عويضة، بيروت: دار الكتب العلمية، ط1، 1997، 2/253.

55 عبد الباقي، محمد فؤاد، المعجم المفهرس لألفاظ القرآن الكريم، القاهرة: مطبعة دار الكتب المصرية، د.ر.ط، 1364هـ، ص. 698.

56 ابن عاشور، تحرير المعنى السديد وتنوير العقل الجديد من تفسير الكتاب المجيد (التحرير والتنوير)، تونس: الدار التونسية للنشر، د.ر.ط، 1984، 9/ 121.

57 الطبري، ابن جرير. جامع البيان في تأويل القرآن، تح: أحمد محمد شاكر، دمشق: مؤسسة الرسالة، ط1، 2000، 18/663.

58 جامع البيان، 18/ 668.

59 الألباني، محمد ناصر الدين. نصب المجانيق لنسف قصة الغرانيق، دمشق: المكتب الإسلامي، ط3، 1996.

60 التحرير والتنوير، 17/ 296.

61 الطبري. جامع البيان، 22/ 83.

62 الأصفهاني، الراغب. المفردات في غريب القرآن، تح: صفوان عدنان الداودي، دمشق: دار القلم؛ بيروت: الدار الشامية، ط1، 1412هـ، مادة “أي”، 1/ 101.

63 جامع البيان، 16/ 477.

64 جامع البيان، 16/ 480.

65 جامع البيان، 16/ 481.

66  According to the exegesis of Al-Qurtubī, for example, the Verse may refer to the substitution of a previous legislation with another continuous legislation.

Source: (القرطبي، أبو عبد الله. الجامع لأحكام القرآن، تح: سمير البخاري، الرياض: دار عالم الكتب، د.ر.ط، 2003. 10/176).

67 جامع البيان، 17/ 296.

68 الرسالة، 263.

69 الدهلوي، شاه ولي الله. حجة الله البالغة، تح: سيد سابق، بيروت: دار الجيل، ط1، 2005، ص. 294.

70 صحيح مسلم، باب بيان ما كان من النهي عن أكل لحوم، 28/ 1971.

71 الرسالة، 262.

72  The rotation of the rulings with the reasons, affected by their existence and abundance, as mentioned in the prohibition of meat storage.

73 جامع البيان، 12/ 304.

74 صحيح مسلم، كتاب الحدود، حد الزنا، 1690.

75 عودة، جاسر. نقد نظرية النسخ: بحث في فقه مقاصد الشريعة، بيروت: الشبكة العربية للأبحاث والنشر، ط1، 2013، ص74.

76 الزرقاني، محمد بن عبد الباقي. شرح الزرقاني على موطأ الإمام مالك، تح: طه عبد الرؤوف، القاهرة: مكتبة الثقافة الدينية، ط1، 2003، 4/ 122.

77 ندا، النسخ في القرآن بين المؤيدين والمعارضين، ص60، نقلا عن عودة، جاسر. نقد نظرية النسخ، ص74.

78 نحو موقف قرآني من النسخ، القاهرة: مكتبة الشروق الدولية، ط1، أبريل 2007، ص. 60-61.

79  For more details see:

Source: (العلواني، طه. نحو موقف قرآني من النسخ، ص. 61-62)

80 تفسير القرطبي، تفسير الآية 106.

81  I do not intend by this to underestimate the one who said these words, but to clarify scholarship at that time.

Source: (الكرخي، أبو الحسن عبيد الله. أصول الكرخي، مطبوع ضمن أصول البزدوي، تح: عصمت الله عنايت الله، كراتشي: مطبعة جاويد بريس، ص314.)

[i] Sources of Translation:

  1. Ar-Risalah
  2. com
  3. Qurano.com

References and Sources

  1. الشافعي، محمد بن إدريس. الرسالة، شرح وتحقيق: أحمد محمد شاكر، القاهرة: دار الآثار، ط1، 2008.
  2. تفسير مجاهد، تحقيق: محمد عبد السلام أبو النيل، مصر: دار الفكر الإسلامي الحديثة، ط1، 1989.
  3. الفراء، معاني القرآن، تح: أحمد يوسف النجاتي، محمد علي النجار، عبد الفتاح إسماعيل الشلبي، مصر: دار المصرية للتأليف والترجمة، ط1.
  4. العمراني، أحمد. موسوعة مدرسة مكة في التفسير (مج1-2-3)، القاهرة: دار السلام، ط1، 2011.
  5. عبد الباقي، محمد فؤاد. المعجم المفهرس لألفاظ القرآن الكريم، القاهرة: دار الكتب المصرية، د.ر.ط، 1364هـ.
  6. تحرير المعنى السديد وتنوير العقل الجديد من تفسير الكتاب المجيد (التحرير والتنوير)، ابن عاشور، تونس: الدار التونسية للنشر، د.ر.ط، 1984.
  7. الطبري، محمد بن جرير. جامع البيان في تأويل القرآن، تح: أحمد محمد شاكر، دمشق: مؤسسة الرسالة، ط1، 2000.
  8. الأصفهاني، الراغب. المفردات في غريب القرآن، تح: صفوان عدنان الداودي، دمشق: دار القلم؛ بيروت: الدار الشامية، ط1، 1412هـ، مادة “أي”.
  9. القرطبي، أبو عبد الله. الجامع لأحكام القرآن، تح: سمير البخاري، الرياض: دار عالم الكتب، د.ر.ط، 2003.
  10. الدهلوي، الشاه ولي الله. حجة الله البالغة، تح: السيد سابق، بيروت: دار الجيل، ط1، 2005.
  11. العلواني، طه جابر. نحو موقف قرآني من النسخ، القاهرة: مكتبة الشروق الدولية، ط1، أبريل 2007.
  12. الكرخي، أبو الحسن. أصول الكرخي، مطبوع ضمن أصول البزدوي، تح: عصمت الله عنايت الله، كراتشي: مطبعة جاويد بريس.
  13. زيد، مصطفى. النسخ في القرآن الكريم: دراسة تشريعية تاريخية نقدية. المنصورة: دار الوفاء، ط3، 1987.
  14. الزرقاني، محمد بن عبد الباقي. شرح الزرقاني على موطأ الإمام مالك، تح: طه عبد الرؤوف، القاهرة: مكتبة الثقافة الدينية، ط1، 2003.
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  16. الجويني، عبد الملك. البرهان في أصول الفقه، تحقيق: صلاح بن محمد بن عويضة، بيروت: دار الكتب العلمية، ط1، 1997.
  17. البصري، أبو الحسين. المعتمد في أصول الفقه، 1/366. تح: خليل الميس، بيروت: دار الكتب العلمية، ط1، 1403.
  18. الألباني، محمد ناصر الدين. نصب المجانيق لنسق قصة الغرانيق، دمشق: المكتب الإسلامي، ط3، 1996.

عن رحاب جمال بكري

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By: Prof. Omaima Abou-Bakr

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BY: Prof. Omaima Abou-Bakr

BY: Prof. Huda As-Saa'dy

Translated by: Rehab Jamal Bakri

Someone may argue commenting on the idea tackled through this paper about the Female Muslim physicians saying: "You, women, are writing about something which never exist trying to bring it into the world." This definitive phrase definitely summarizes the dilemma witnessed in the past and the modern age.

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