Posted by: mjaga | March 25, 2011

Abrogated Verses

Qur’aanic Verse 2.106:

2.106

Transliteration:

106. Ma nansakh min ayatin aw nunsiha na/ti bikhayrin minha aw mithliha alam taAAlam anna Allaha AAala kulli shay-in qadeeru

Translation:

106. Against that which do We abrogate of a Verse150, 151, or do We cause it to be forgotten, We bring forth a better one or one that is similar to it.152, 153 Are you not aware that, certainly, Allah is in control of everything?

Study Notes:

150. Proper understanding of the meaning, of the Qur’aanic word aayat (plural: aayaat) used, is necessary for the proper understanding of the divine statement made in this Verse 106. The Arabic word is translated here as ‘Verse’, following a long-standing tradition in this regard. However our understandings of the English word ‘Verses’ are the short, numbered divisions of the Qur’aan, a la the Bible. Consequently, we have generally come to understand aayaat to mean only the short, numbered divisions of the Qur’aan, just as this aayat 106 is one of the over 6000 such aayaat constituting the entire divine Book.

151. But aayat/aayaat has been given a much wider meaning in the Qur’aan. The word is used at over 200 places throughout therein. In our on-going Studies of the Qur’aan, so far, we have come across this word in Verses 2.39, 2.41, 2.61 and 2.99. And we have seen that the word aayaat is used therein to denote the Verses of not only the Qur’aan, but also the earlier divine Messages. The meaning of the word is not restricted to divisions of the divine Messages either. As can be seen from Verse 2.164, the word covers natural phenomena like the heavens and the earth, the alternation of night and day, the ship sailing on the sea, the rains, the winds etc., also. It covers miraculous signs like those with which Prophet Moses was sent to Pharaoh (7.103), and it (in its singular form) covers the entire divine Message (20.47) as well. In short, it covers the numbered divisions of any divine Message, any divine Message itself, any natural phenomenon, any miraculous sign and any other offering from Allah that is meant to help His human creatures understand the Reality – the Reality of His existence and of the Hereafter!

152. Under the influence of the restricted meaning of aayat as one of the short, numbered divisions only of the Qur’aan, some people think that there were some abrogated Qur’aanic Verses which find no place in the Qur’aan, as we find it today. And some others think that the Qur’aan, as we find it today, does contain some abrogated Verses also. Were either of these two presumptions correct, it would lead us to an absurd conclusion that the All-knowing and Almighty Allah, like the authors among His human creatures, needs drafting, correcting and redrafting before finalising His Book of  guidance to these creatures!

153. If, on the other hand, we take into account the broad meaning of aayat, as delineated in Note 151 above in Qur’aanic light, the meaning of the Verse becomes clear. The context, in which the word is used here, itself suggests its meaning to be a divine Message, like the Torah or the Injeel, given in an earlier age to a particular community, or to be a particular divine Law given in those earlier Books. All divine Messages were essentially the same, but Allah did give different commands (for implementing the same basic principles of religion) to different people at different points of time to suit the different conditions they were in. And at the threshold of the world becoming virtually a global village, so to say, He issued His final commands, in the form of the Qur’aan, for the entire mankind. It is this change, effected from time to time, in the divine commands for implementation of the same basic principles, that is hinted at here when Allah says He abrogates or causes to be forgotten min aayat (of a Verse). ‘min aayat‘ may well be translated, in Qur’aanic light (see Note 151 above), as ‘of a divine Message sent to people earlier’. This interpretation squarely fits into the context of the immediately preceding Verse 105 mentioning the people (Jews and Christians) of the Book disliking any good (in the form of a better or superceding divine Message) coming to people other than them themselves.

================================

Mohammad Shafi

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Responses

  1. Yes, The word Ayah, as used in the Quran, can have one of four different meanings:
    a- It could mean a miracle from God as in: 17.101
    b- It could also mean an example for people to take heed from as in: 25.37
    c- The word ‘Ayah’ can also mean a sign as in: 19.10
    d- It could mean a verse in the Quran, as in: 38.29

    Mohd. Shafi adds:
    e- It could also mean the entire divine Message, as in:20.47

  2. Is nasakh always means correction or redraft?
    In your point 151 you claim that Nasakh means correction or redrafting.
    Can you please tell from where you got this meaning that Nasakh is always for correction or redraft? because your point is based on it hence it should be 100% clear. And if you say that not always, then your point have no use here, and can’t be a base for next points.

    Mohammad Shafi responds:
    I have not given the meaning of nasakh as ‘correction or redraft’. You have not read my study note properly. Read it again carefully and do not try to give a twist to what I said.

    Mansookh is in all scriptures
    You admitted that Mansookh means an order Mansook in Quran from Torah/Injeel.
    OK, I admit for the time being that it can be one of the meaning, but my question is that you claim there is no Nasakh within Quran – So you need to prove this very claim. About Torah/Injeel/etc. Quran is Naasikh, no Question about it.
    I again iterate my words in other way. Quran has Nasakh (you admitted), then you said that it has Nasakh for old scripture only, so my question is that why you restricted Nasakh for old only while in point 151 you have admitted that word ‘verse’ used for Quran, Torah, Injeel all – but, while applying Nasakh you take meaning of ‘old scriptures only’.

    Mohammad Shafi responds:
    The Qur’aan is the final divine Message. Allah has guaranteed its preservation for all times till the Last Day. How can there be a replacement for it? Fear Allah. You are making misleading arguments in respect of a divine scripture.

    Connection of 106 with 105
    Before telling about context please can you tell that how much you are sure that these two aayaat revealed together so that second can become context of first. Because there is equal chance that this aayat revealed completely independently in another situation. So if later is the case then it means this aayat has broader context and restricting to previous aayat only is not correct.

    Mohammad Shafi responds:
    The Qur’aanic Verses are all inter-related being from the same Author, whatever be the situation in which they were revealed. You are giving a false & an uncalled-for twist when you say that I am restricting Verse 106 to Verse 105 only. Who am I to give such a restriction to divine Verses?

  3. Salaam,

    Respected Uncle, Here’s a link to an article on the same subject. I would kindly request your input.

    http://shamsuddinwaheed.blogspot.com/2008/07/quranic-abrogation-examination-of-naskh.html

    Mohammad Shafi responds:
    Yes, from whatever angle we see it, it is absolutely unacceptable that the Qur’aan could contain any Verse that was abrogated.
    May Allah reward you for your quest for the truth. I have bookmarked your page.

  4. You are making a self contradictory statement here by stating that :

    “it would lead us to an absurd conclusion that the All-knowing and Almighty Allah, like the authors among His human creatures, needs drafting, correcting and redrafting before finalising His Book of guidance to these creatures! ”

    The same principle applies for Torah & Injeel as well.

    Mohammad Shafi responds:
    It’s not clear what you mean. If you mean that there were changes effected from Torah to Injeel and from Injeel to Qur’aan, then I say of course, the changes were effected to suit the different times. But there cannot be any abrogated Verses within the Qur’aan. All the existing Verses therein are valid for all times till the Last Day.

    While replying to Shamsuddin’s question you have forgotten to take the MOST IMPORTANT ANGLE into consideration that Allah Subhana Hu Wa Ta’ala, is Malikul Mulk La Shareek. He is Qadir e Mutlaq and in his own words :

    Knowest thou not that Allah Hath power over all things?

    Fear Allah and do not misguide people with the wrong interpretation of Holy Quran.

    Mohammad Shafi responds:
    The same advice is applicable to you yourself. HE is the best Judge. I leave the matter to Him.
    And as regards Shamsuddin’s question alluded to by you, I am unable to locate it here. It might be on some other topic.

  5. Yes Allah Kareem is the best Judge indeed.

    As for the first part of your reply, I am quite clear what I meant to say. I simply quoted your words without adding a single word from my side. If you are unable to understand your own statements, how could you make a claim to interpret Quran e Majeed Furqan e Hameed about which Allah Kareem says :

    62:2 It is He Who has sent amongst the Unlettered an apostle from among themselves, to rehearse to them His Signs, to sanctify them, and to instruct them in Scripture and Wisdom,- although they had been, before, in manifest error;-

    Regarding Shamsuddin’s link, it is very much avaialble on this very page but again if you do not want to see something, nothing can be done.

    In response to your absurd argument where you challenge the SUPREME AUTHORITY of Allah kareem by saying that :

    Quote :

    But there cannot be any abrogated Verses within the Qur’aan. All the existing Verses therein are valid for all times till the Last Day.

    Unquote .

    I would only say that you have not only contradicted your own statement but have agreed to the changes made by Allah Kareem in Quran e Majeed Furqan e Hameed as well. Have a look at your reply again which I am reproducing below for your ready reference :

    Quote :

    If you mean that there were changes effected from Torah to Injeel and from Injeel to Qur’aan, then I say of course, the changes were effected to suit the different times.

    Unquote.

    The revelation of Quran took 23 years to complete. Why so long ? Simply because when the message of Islam was presented to the Arabs as something new, and different from their way of life, it was introduced in stages. The Qur’an brought important changes gradually, to allow the people to adjust to the new prescriptions.

    There are three verses in the Qur’an concerning the drinking of wine. Wine drinking was very widespread in pre-Islamic times and, although a social evil, highly esteemed. The three verses which finally led to the prohibition of intoxicating substances were revealed in stages (2: 219, 4: 43, 5: 91- 92- 93).

    Now have a look at the above mentioned aaya e mubarka and see how Allah kareem reveals order regarding prohibition of drinking wine.

    Aayt # 219 of Surah e Baqara :

    They ask thee about intoxicants and games of chance. Say: “In both there is great evil as well as some benefit for man; but the evil which they cause is greater than the benefit which they bring.”

    No prohibition on Liquor drinking here.

    In Aayat # 43 of Sura e Nisaa Allah Kareem says :

    O you who have attained to faith! Do not attempt to pray while you are in a state of drunkenness, [but wait] until you know what you are saying;

    Still no prohibition on wine drinking though Allah kareem is addressing clearly to those who have attained faith.

    Whereas in Aayat # 91, 92 & 93 Allah kareem clearly says as under :

    Satan’s plan is (but) to excite enmity and hatred between you, with intoxicants and gambling, and hinder you from the remembrance of Allah, and from prayer: will ye not then abstain?

    Obey Allah, and obey the Messenger, and beware (of evil): if ye do turn back, know ye that it is Our Messenger’s duty to proclaim (the message) in the clearest manner.

    On those who believe and do deeds of righteousness there is no blame for what they ate (in the past), when they guard themselves from evil, and believe, and do deeds of righteousness,- (or) again, guard themselves from evil and believe,- (or) again, guard themselves from evil and do good. For Allah loveth those who do good.

    Allah Knows Better.

  6. Mr Masood,

    I reiterate there cannot be any abrogated Verses within the Qur’aan. All the existing Verses therein are valid for all times till the Last Day.

    I don’t care if you call this absurd. You’re no god. I’m sure you’ll have much answering to do on the Judgment Day for this.

    It is not I but you who is challenging the SUPREME AUTHORITY here.

    Do you think the earlier Verses (in order of revelation) on intoxication quoted by you are abrogated?

    They are not!

    That is the beauty of the Qur’aan. Those earlier Verses are still valid. Re-read them and ponder whether there is anything in Verses 2.219 & 4.43 that is not valid now? The All-knowing Allah has so construed them that they remained valid even after Verses 5.91, 92 & 93 were revealed.

  7. You see Mr. Shafi, when ypou do not have an answer you have started to quarreling 🙂

    First you go to someone who has ample knowledge of Quran e Hakeem and then start giving your Fatwas about someone. You do not even know the proper meaning of abrogation what to to speak of Holy Quran.

    It is you who is misinterpreting Quran e Majeed and misguiding people.

    Indeed they remain valid as far as Tilawat e Quran e Majeed is concerned but the conditions laid there in the previous 2 Aaya e Mubarka of Sura e Baqara and Sura e Nisa’a have been amended through the Aaya e Muabarka of Sura e Maida. Go and read them again carefully. Can you tell anyone who has attained faith not to pray while they are drunk ? On the contrary, you will ask them not to drink wine as it has been declared Haram by Allah Azwa Jal and his Apostle , Hazrat Mohammad Mustafa Alayehis Salaat o Wassaalm. Which Aaya e Mubaraka will you take as the final Order and Law of Allah Kareem ?

    I know people like you do never care about their deeds and sayings as they always consider them the right one and this is one sign of Takabbur.

    It is not me but YOU and only YOU who is challenging the SUPREME AUTHORITY of Allah Azwa Jal.

    May Allah Kareem guide us to the right path.

    • *Lakum deenukum waliya deen*, Brother! Let us stop this futile exercise of blaming each other. Allah Almighty will decide between us as to who it is that

      – has started this quarrel – does not even know the proper meaning of abrogation what to speak of Holy Quran – is misinterpreting Quran e Majeed and misguiding people – is displaying a sign of Takabbur – is challenging the SUPREME AUTHORITY of Allah Azwa Jal

      You wait & I am waiting with you.

      Allah Hafiz till then, Mohammad Shafi

  8. And to close this debate from my side, I am presenting here the Aaya e Mubarka of Sura e Nahl :

    16:101 When We substitute one revelation for another,- and Allah knows best what He reveals (in stages),- they say, “Thou art but a forger”: but most of them understand not.

    Mohammad Shafi responds:
    ‘in stages’ in the above translation is a man-inserted interpolation.


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