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Unformatted text preview: Abrogation of the Sunnah by the Sunnah. This too has been illustrated by the two ahadith which we quoted under the rubric of explicit abrogation. (3) Abrogation of the Qur'an by Sunnah. An example of this is the ayah of bequest in sura al-Baqarah (2:180) which has been abrogated by the Hadith which provides that `there shall be no bequest to an heir'. It is generally agreed that `the Qur'an itself does not abrogate the ayah of bequest and there remains little doubt that it has been abrogated by the Sunnah'. Qadri, Islamic Jurisprudence, p. 230.] [27. Hitu, Wajiz, p. 252. See also (4) Abrogation of the Sunnah by the Qur'an. An example of this is the initial ruling of the Prophet which determined the qiblah in the direction of Jerusalem. When the Prophet migrated to Madinah, he ordered the believers to pray in the direction of Jerusalem. This was later repealed by the Qur'an (al-Baqarah, 2:144) which ordered the Muslims to turn their faces toward the holy mosque of the Ka'bah. [28. Hitu, Wajiz, p. 252. See also Qadri, Islamic Jurisprudence, p. 230.] The Qur'an, in other words, abrogated a practice that was initially authorised by the Sunnah. The main exception to the foregoing classification of naskh is taken by Imam Shafi'i, the majority of the Mu'tazilah, and Ahmad b. Hanbal (according to one of two variant reports), who have validated the first two types of abrogation, but have overruled the validity of the remaining two. In their view, abrogation of the Qur'an by the Sunnah and vice versa is not valid. [29. Amidi, Ihkam, III,153] This is the conclusion that alShafi'i has drawn from his interpretation of a number of Qur'anic ayat where it is indicated that the Qur'an can only be abrogated by the Qur'an itself. [30. Shafi'i, Risalah, p.54ff; Amidi, Ihkam, III,156ff.] Thus we read in sura al-Nahl (16:101): And when We substitute one ayah in place of another ayah [ayatun makana ayatin], and God knows best what He reveals. This text, according to al-Shafi`i, is self-evident on the point that an ayah of the Qur'an can only be abrogated or replaced by another ayah. The fact that the ayah occurs twice in this text provides conclusive evidence that the Qur'an may not be abrogated by the Sunnah. In another place, the Qur'an reads: None of our revelations do We abrogate [ma nansakh min ayatin] or cause to be forgotten unless We substitute for them something better or similar (at-Baqarah,2:106). The text in this ayah is once again clear on the point that in the matter of naskh, the Qur'an refers only to itself. The Qur'an, in other words, is self-contained in regard to naskh, and this precludes the possibility of it being abrogated by the Sunnah. Naskh in the Qur'an, according to al-Shafi'i, is a wholly internal phenomenon, and there is no evidence in the Qur'an to suggest that it can be abrogated by the Sunnah. Indeed the Qur'an asks the Prophet to declare that he himself cannot change any part of the Qur'an. This is the purport of the text in sura Yunus (10:1 5) which provides: `Say: it is not for me to c...
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