The Sources for Determining What Has Been Abrogated: al-Suyooti

Sheikh Jalal al-Deen al-Suyooti brought the following topic in the midst of his discussion on the Naasikh and Mansookh verses:

تنبيه : قال ابن الحصار : إنما يرجع في النسخ إلى نقل صريح عن رسول الله – صلى الله عليه وسلم – ، أو عن صحابي يقول : آية كذا نسخت كذا . قال : وقد يحكم به عند وجود التعارض المقطوع به من علم التاريخ ، ليعرف المتقدم والمتأخر . قال : ولا يعتمد في النسخ قول عوام المفسرين ، بل ولا اجتهاد المجتهدين من غير نقل صحيح ، ولا معارضة بينة ; لأن النسخ يتضمن رفع حكم وإثبات حكم تقرر في عهده صلى الله عليه وسلم والمعتمد فيه النقل والتاريخ دون الرأي والاجتهاد . قال : والناس في هذا بين طرفي نقيض ، فمن قائل : لا يقبل في النسخ أخبار الآحاد العدول ; ومن متساهل يكتفي فيه بقول مفسر أو مجتهد . والصواب خلاف قولهما . انتهى . ـ

An important point: ibn al-Hassaar said:

When it comes to abrogation, one should only rely on an explicit statement transmitted from Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) or from one of the Sahabah saying, “Such-and-such ayah abrogates such-and-such ayah.”

He also said:

In cases of conflicting texts which cannot be reconciled, one could resort to information about historical events in order to know which text came earlier and which came later to make a judgement of abrogation.

He went on to say:

When it comes to the ruling of abrogation, one cannot simply take the statement of any mufassir as a proof – in fact, not even the scholarly verdict of an expert – without the presence of an authentically transmitted text or an irreconcilable conflict. That is because a ruling of abrogation entails that one legal ruling was lifted while another one was put in place and acted on during the time of the Prophet (ﷺ). So the trusted source for knowing if abrogation has taken place is through transmitted narrations and the study of history, not mere opinions or even scholarly opinions.

And he also mentioned:

People range between two extremes and one middle position. On one extreme is the type who says, “When it comes to abrogation, the report of a single trustworthy person does not reach the level of acceptability.” On the other is those who are lax and will accept the mere statement of a mufassir or expert scholar. But neither of these are the correct position.

[al-Itqan fee ‘Uloom al-Qur’an 1/661]

See also: What the Salaf Meant by “Abrogation”: Ibn al-Qayyim

See also: A Primer on Abrogation: al-Zarkashi

See also: Search al-Naasikh w’al-Mansookh Article Index

See also: Makki and Madani Series

3 thoughts on “The Sources for Determining What Has Been Abrogated: al-Suyooti

  1. Pingback: A Primer on Abrogation: al-Zarkashi | Tulayhah

  2. Pingback: What the Salaf Meant by “Abrogation”: Ibn al-Qayyim | Tulayhah

  3. Pingback: The Length of Surah al-Ahzab: Tafsir al-Qurtubi | Tulayhah

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