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Recitation of a verse being abrogated while its ruling remains in effect

Published: 27/08/2011 08:37:00 PM GMT
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I brought up the point with some people that the verse of stoning was a part of the Qur'ân, but was later taken out by Allah's command while its ruling remained. I cited the narration from 'Umar as proof. To say the least, I was sternly rebuked. One of them said that such an idea contradicts the verse: "Indeed, it is We who sent down the Reminder, and indeed, We will be its guardian." Is my assumption correct?

Answered by

the Fatwa Department Research Committee - chaired by Sheikh `Abd al-Wahhâb al-Turayrî

We are surprised that you were rebuked for what you said. It is absolutely correct.

`Umar b. al-Khattâb gave a sermon in which he said: “Allah sent Muhammad (peace be upon him) with the truth and revealed to him the Book. Among what He revealed to him was the verse of stoning. We used to recite it and commit it to memory. The Prophet (peace be upon him) used to carry out the punishment of stoning and we continued to carry out this sentence after his passing. I fear that there will come a time when someone will say that they do not find stoning in the Book of Allah and go astray by abandoning a command that Allah had revealed in His Book. For truly stoning is from Allah’s Book prescribed for men and women who commit adultery after having been married.” [Sahîh al-Bukhârî (6829), [Sahîh Muslim (1691), Sunan al-Tirmidhî (1431), and Sunan Ibn Mâjah (2553)]

This hadîth shows us that stoning was established by a verse of the Qur’ân. The recitation of this verse was later abrogated but its ruling was not.

`Umar b. al-Khattâb said: “We used to read: ‘The male and female sheikh, if they commit adultery, stone them to death.’”

Please refer to Fath al-Bârî (12/143) for more information.

This is a classic example of the abrogation of the recitation of a verse while upholding its ruling. It is cited as an example in nearly every book of Islamic jurisprudence and most books of Qur’ânic studies.

What is most shocking is the contention that such abrogation runs contrary to the meaning of the verse: "Indeed, it is We who sent down the Reminder, and indeed, We will be its guardian." Allah is the one who does the abrogating so there is no contradiction.

Please refer this person to Allah’s statement: “What We abrogate of the verses or cause to be forgotten, we come with what is better or similar to it. Do you not know that Allah is capable of all things?” [Sûrah al-Baqarah: 105]

The words: “or cause to be forgotten” clearly show that verses can not only have their rulings abrogated, but their recitation can be abrogated as well.

And Allah knows best.

Source: Islam Today

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