Literally, naskh means ‘obliteration’, such as inالمشى ثرثأث ثحثالري ثختث,نس meaning ‘the wind obliterated thefootprint’. Naskh also means transcription or transfer (والتحويل ;)النقل The ulama have differed as to which of these two meaningof naskh is the literal (الحقيقى as opposed to that whichmight be metaphorical (majazi). Abu Bakr al-Baqillan and al-Ghazali, have held that ‘naskh’is a homonym. According to the majority view, however, obliteration (والازالة )الرفع is the primary meaning of naskh.
MEANING Naskh may be defined as the suspension orreplacement of one Shariah ruling by another, providedthat the latter is of a subsequent origin, and that the tworulings are enacted separately from one another. Naskh operates with regard to the rules of Shariahonly, which excludes the application of naskh to rulesthat are founded in rationality) )عقلى alone. Abrogation applies almost exclusively to the Quran andthe Sunnah; the application of naskh to the Quran andSunnah is confined, in terms of time, to one period only,which is the lifetime of the Prophet.
The ulama are unanimous on the occurrence ofnaskh in the Sunnah. Abrogation is, by and large, a Medinanphenomenon which occurred as a result of thechanges that the Muslim communityencountered following the Prophet’s migrationto Medina. The number of daily prayers which was initiallyfixed at two but was later increased to five,mutah, or temporary marriage, was initiallypermitted.
Some Hanafi and Mutazili scholars have heldthe view that ijma can abrogate a ruling of theQuran or the Sunnah. The proponents of thisview have claimed that it was due to ijma thatUmar ibn al-Khattab discontinued the share ofthe قلوبهم .المؤلفة The majority ulama have held that ijma neitherabrogates nor can be abrogated itself; ijmacannot abrogate a nass of the Quran or theSunnah, for a valid ijma may never beconcluded in contradiction to the Quran or theSunnah.
The Mutazili scholars and also the Hanafi scholar Isaibn Aban, have, on the other hand, held that ijmamay abrogate the nass and give as an example theQuranic text on the share of muallafah al-qulub. The jumhur have replied that this was a case not ofabrogation, but of the termination of a hukmbecause of the termination of its illah. However, a later ijma may abrogate an existing ijmain consideration of public interest (المرسلة )المصثالح orcustom (.)العرفAbrogation & Ijma’
Since the principal function of qiyas isto extend the rulings of the Quran andthe Sunnah to similar cases, it cannever operate in the opposite direction,namely, to revoke a text of the Quranor Sunnah.
In his Risalah, Imam Shafii has maintained the view thatnaskh is not a form of annulment (;)الغاء rather, it is asuspension or termination of one ruling by another. Instances of conflict between two texts may turn out to beapparent rather than real. One of the two texts may be general ()عام and the otherspecific ()خاص one that is stronger in respect of authenticity(thubit) is to be preferred. But if the two texts happen to be equal on all of thesepoints, then the prohibitory text is to be given priority overthe permissive in all instances of conflict, it is essential todetermine the time factor. If this can be determined, thenthe later in time abrogates the earlier.WHEN TO RESORT TO NASKH
Naskh is not applicable to the ‘perspicuous’texts of the Quran and hadith known as,المحكمات like: Certain subjects to which abrogation doesnot apply; attributes of God, principles offaith, Shariah of Islam itself, which is the lastof the revealed laws. Rational matters and moral truths such asnusus of the Quran and Sunnah that relatethe occurrence of certain events in the past.
NO ABROGATION CAN TAKE PLACE UNLESSNO ABROGATION CAN TAKE PLACE UNLESS:: First, that the text itself has not precluded the possibility,ex. The Quranic provision concerning persons who are convicted ofslanderous accusation (qadhf) that they may never be admitted aswitnesses (al-Nur, 24:4)ex. 2- the Hadith which proclaims that `jihad shall remain valid tillthe day of resurrection, obviously precludes the possibility ofabrogating the permanent validity of jihad Second, that the subject is open to the possibility of repeal.Thus the attributes of God and the principles of belief, moral virtues andrational truths, etc., are not open to abrogation Third, that the abrogating text is of a later origin.
Fourth, that the two texts are of equal strength.Thus a textual ruling of the Quran may beabrogated either by another Quranic text or by amutawatir hadith ; according to the hanafis evenby a mashhur hadith.According to Imam Shafi’I, however, theSunnah, whether as mutawatir or ahad, may notabrogate the Quran. Fifth, that the two texts are genuinely in conflictand can in no way be reconciled. Lastly, that the two texts are separate and arenot related in the sense of one being thecondition (,)شرط qualification ()وصف or exception(.)استثناء For when this is the case, the issue islikely to be one of specification (,)تخصيص orqualification ()تقييد rather than abrogation.
explicit (sarih) Abrogation such as in the Hadith which provides: `I hadforbidden you from visiting the graves. Nay, visit them, for they remind you ofthe hereafter. An example of explicit abrogation in the Quran is the passage in sura al-Baqarah (2:142-144) with regard to the change in the direction of theqiblah from Jeruselem to the Kabah. In the case of implicit abrogation, the abrogating text does not clarify allthe relevant facts. An example of implicit abrogation is the ruling in sura al-Baqarah(2:180) which permitted bequests to one’s parents and relatives.ل ىَ ىعَ ى ققاًّاحَ ى فقِ روُفو عُْر مَ ى لُْرباِ نَ ى بيِ رَ ى قُْرلُْرَ ى واَ ى نِ يُْردَ ىلِ واَ ى لُْرلِ ةُفو يَّةقصِ وَ ى لُْرا راً ا يُْرخَ ى كقَ ى رَ ى تَ ى نقُْر إِ تُفو وُْر مَ ى لُْرا مُفو كُفودَ ىحَ ى أَ ى رَ ى ضَ ى حَ ى ذاَ ىإِ مُْر كُفو يُْرلَ ىعَ ى بَ ى تِ كُفونَ ى قيِ تَّةمُفو لُْراThis was subsequently abrogated by another text which entitled legalTypes of NaskhExplicit (Explicit (صريحصريح) or Implicite () or Implicite (ضمن ىضمن ى))
2. Partial abrogation (جزئ ى )نسخ is a form of naskh in whichone text is only partially abrogated by another.• The Quranic ayah of (جالقذفslanderous accusation), partiallyrepealed by the ayah of imprecation (.)جاللع ان• Those who accuse chaste women [of adultery] and then fail tobring four witnesses to prove it shall be flogged with eightylashes (al-Nur, 24:4). مَْر هُنو دوُنولِخجَْر ف اَجا ءَجا دجاَجاهَجا شُنو ةِخ عَجا بَجارَْر أَجابِخ توجاُنوأَْريَجا مَْر لَجا مَّةثُنو تِخ ن اَجاصَجا حَْر مُنو لَْرجا نَجا موُنو رَْر يَجا نَجا ذيِخلَّةجاوَجانَجا قوُنوسِخ ف اَجالَْرجا مُنوهُنو كَجا ئِخلَجاأوُنووَجا دجاًابَجاأَجا ةًادَجاه اَجا شَجا مَْر هُنو لَجا لوجاُنوبَجاقَْر تَجا لَجا وَجا ةًادَجالَْرجَجا نَجا نيِخم اَجا ثَجا• Those who accuse their spouses and have no witnesses, otherthan their own words, to support their claim, must take foursolemn oaths in the name of God and testify that they are tellingthe truth (al-Nur, 24:6). ةُنودَجاه اَجا شَجا فَجا مَْر هُنو سُنو فُنونَْرأَجا لَّة إِخ ءُنو دجاَجاهَجا شُنو مَْر هُنو لَجا نَْر كُنو يَجا مَْر لَجاوَجا مَْر هُنو جَجا وجاَجا زَْر أَجا نَجا موُنو رَْر يَجا نَجا ذيِخلَّةجاوَجا) نَجا قيِخدِخص اَّة جال نَجا مِخ لَجا هُنو نَّةإِخ للَّةِخ ب اِخ تٍ دجاَجاه اَجا شَجا عُنو بَجارَْر أَجا مَْر هِخ دِخحَجا أَجا6نَجا بيِخذِخك اَجا لَْرجا نَجا مِخ نَجا ك اَجا نَْر إِخ هِخ يَْرلَجاعَجا للَّةِخ جا ةَجا نَجاعَْر لَجا نَّة أَجا ةُنو سَجا مِخ خ اَجا لَْروجاَجا (• The first ayah lays down the general rule that anyone, be it aspouse or otherwise, who accuses chaste women of zina mustproduce four witnesses.• The second ayah provides that if the accuser happens to be aspouse; he may take four solemn oaths to take the place of fourwitnesses.
Naskh has once again beenclassified into three types.1. The first: naskh al-hukm: The words of the Quranic textconcerning bequests to relatives (2:180) and the oneconcerning the iddah of widows (2:240) are still a part ofthe Quran.2. Naskh al-tilawah is abrogation of the words of the words of textwhile ruling is retained . Example, ‘When a married man or amarried woman commits zina, their punishment shall bestoning as retribution ordained by God.’3- Naskh al-hukm wa al-tilawah that is abrogation of both thewords and the ruling- Example, According to Aisha,, it hadbeen revealed in the Quran that ten clear suckings by achild make marriage unlawful between that child andothers who drank the same woman’s milkTypes of Naskh
According to the majority (jumhur) view, the Quranand the Sunnah may be abrogated by themselves orby one another. Abrogation may be once againclassified into the following varieties:1) Abrogation of the Quran by the Quran2) Abrogation of the Sunnah by the Sunnah3) Abrogation of the Quran by the Sunnah.4) Abrogation of the Sunnah by the Quran;Abrogation of…by…Abrogation of…by…Types of Naskh
The main exception to the foregoingclassification of naskh is taken by ImamShafi’i, the majority of the Mu’tazilah andAhmad ibn Hanbal (according to one of twovariant reports), who have validated the firsttwo types of abrogation, but have overruledthe validity of the remaining two. According to the preferred view, which isalso held by al-shafi’i, the ahad, however,can abrogate the mutawatir. Al-Shafi’i refersto the incident when the congregation ofworshippers at the mosque of Quba’ wereinformed by a single person (khabar al-wahid) of the change in direction of theqiblah from Jerusalem to the Ka’bah; theyacted upon it.Types of Naskh
If the Quran were to abrogate the Sunnah, while theProphet has not indicated such to be the case, to give anexample, all the varieties of sale that the Prophet hadbanned prior to the revelation of the Quranic ayah on thelegality of sale would be rendered lawful. Punishment ofstoning for sins authorized by the Prophet would bedeemed abrogated by the variant ruling of one hundredlashes in sura al-Nur. The majority opinion, which admits abrogation of theQuran and Sunnah by one another, is preferable as it isbased on the factual evidence of having actually takenplace. While referring to al-Shafi’is doctrine, al-Ghazalicomments: ‘How can we sustain this in the face of theevidence that the Quran never validated Jerusalem as theqiblah? Furthermore, the Quranic ayah which permittedconjugal intercourse at night-time in Ramadan abrogatedthe prohibition that the Sunnah had previously imposed.’Abrogation of…by…Abrogation of…by…
Naskh and takhsis resemble one another in that both tendto qualify or specify an original ruling in some way.Particularly true, perhaps, of partial naskh.Main differences betweenMain differences between Abrogation SpecificationAbrogation Specification1. No real conflict in takhsis.2. Naskh can occur in respect of a general or specificruling; takhsis can, occur in respect of a general rulingonly.3. Naskh is basically confined to the Quran and Sunnah.Takhsis can also occur on the grounds of rationality andcircumstantial evidence.II. ABROGATION, SPECIFICATIONII. ABROGATION, SPECIFICATION((تخصيصتخصيص))AND ADDITION (TAZ’ID)AND ADDITION (TAZ’ID)
4. Takhsis is possible by means of speculativeevidence such as qiyas and solitary hadith. Naskh,by another qat’i ruling.5. In naskh it is essential that the abrogator (al-nasikh) is later in time. While regard to takhsis, theHanafis maintain that the ‘amm and the khassmust in fact be either simultaneous or parallel intime. But according to the majority, the ‘ammand khass can precede or succeed one anther. Inthe two ayat regarding القذف and اللعان (divorce bymutual imprecation). The first was revealedgeneral law ,)عام but at a time when there was anoccasion for its enforcement, the second ayah wasrevealed.II. Abrogation, SpecificationII. Abrogation, Specificationand Additionand Addition
The added materials may fall into one of two categories:1)The addition may be independent of the original text butrelate to the same subject, such as adding a sixth salah tothe existing five. Does this amount to the abrogation ofthe original ruling? The majority of ulama have answeredthis question in the negative.2)The new addition may not be independent of the originaltext. A hypothetical example of this would be toadd another unit (rak’ah) or an additional prostration.Another example to add to the existing requirement ofreleasing a slave in expiation for breaking the fast a newcondition that the slave has to be a Muslim. The ulama havediffered on this, the majorities have held the view that it doesnot amount to abrogation.Is the Addition Naskh?Is the Addition Naskh?
While السسيوطى has claimed, in his Itqan fi Ulum al-Quran, twenty-one instances of naskh in the Quran,Shah Wali Allah (d. 1762 AD) has only retained fiveof al-Suyuti’s twenty-one cases as genuine. The majority of ulumaa have neverthelessacknowledged the incidence of naskh in the Quranon the authority of the Quran itself.“None of our revelations do We abrogate nor causeto be forgotten unless We substitute for themsomething better or similar ” (al-Baqarah, 2:106).ل ىَ ىعَ ى للَّهَ ى ا نَّه أَ ى مْ أ لَ ىعْ أ تَ ى مْ أ لَ ىأَ ى هاَ ى لَِهثْ أمَِه وْ أ أَ ى هاَ ى نْ أمَِه رٍ م يْ أخَ ى بَِه تَِه أْ أنَ ى هاَ ى سَِه نْ أنُن وْ أ أَ ى ةٍ م يَ ىآَ ى نْ أ مَِه خْ أ سَ ى نْ أنَ ى ماَ ىرٌ ديَِهقَ ى ءٍ م يْ أ شَ ى لِّ كُن
To some commentators, the word ‘ayah in these passagesrefers not to the text of the Quran itself, but to previousscriptures including the Torah and the Bible. Abu Muslim al-Isfahani, a Mu’tazili scholar and author of a Quran commentary(Jami al-Ta’wil), has held the view that all instances of so-calledabrogation in the Quran are in effect no more thanqualifications and takhsis of one text by another, To al-Isfahani, the word ‘ayah in these passages means not a portionof the Quranic text, but miracle. Two other points that al-Isfahani has added to hisinterpretation are as follows. Supposing that the passagesunder consideration do mean abrogation, even then they donot confirm the actual occurrence of naskh but rather thepossibility of it. Lastly, al-Isfahani maintains that all instancesof conflict in the Quran are apparent rather than real.
According to the majority of uluma, the occurrence of naskh in the Quran isproven beyond dispute. By the clear text of the Quran, ijma has been claimed inits favour.Some exaggerated the actual instances of abrogation, Ibn Hazm, Wahbatullah IbnSalamah and Jamal Ibn al-Jawzi (the author of Nawasikh al-Quran) who listed theincidents of naskh in the Quran at 214, 213, and 247 respectively. Jalal al-Din al-Suyuti counted them at twenty-one cases; Shah Wali Allah at five and AbuMuslim al-Isfahani, as already noted, has denied naskh altogether.The main reason behind the exaggerated figures related to a certain overlap andconfusion between naskh and takhsis; between naskh and termination of theeffective cause.The fact that the Quran confined the number of divorces to three, and ofpolygamy to four, and that it proscribed marriage with one’s step-mother and soforth did not mean that the preceding customary practices were abrogated. Therewas in fact no naskh; for naskh is by definition removal of one shar’i ruling byanother, and there was no shar’i ruling prior to the advent of Islam.