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Sunday, 29 July 2012

Concept of 'mansokh'/ Cancelled Verses



                    
It is believed by many scholars that cancelled/ ‘mansokh’ verses are also included in Quran. Let us analyze this view in the light of Quran and Sunnah.
In view of scholars believing in inclusion of cancelled verses in Quran, cancelled verses are those which were revealed but later on were replaced by some other verses. But both the verses to be replaced and replacing ones are included in Quran. In other words, Allah’s guidance/commandment contained in the replaced/ cancelled verses is no longer applicable though such replaced verses still are included in Quran.
This view about replaced/ cancelled verses is not tenable in the light of Quran which states:
“And this [Qur'an] is a Book We have revealed [which is] blessed, so follow it and fear Allah that you may receive mercy”(al-anaam-155).

From this verse it is clear that whole Book (i.e. Quran) is to be followed; there is no single verse which is not to be followed; all verses containd in Quran are to be followed. There are many other verses in Quran, which speak about to follow the Quran.
“Ta, Seen. These are the verses of the Qur'an and a clear Book. As guidance and good tidings for the believers”(al-naml-1,2).
“This is the Book about which there is no doubt, a guidance for those conscious of Allah” (al-baqra-2)
“Indeed, We have revealed to you, [ Muhammad (saw)], the Book in truth so you may judge between the people by that which Allah has shown you. And do not be for the deceitful an advocate” (al-nisa-105).
“Do you not consider, [ Muhammad (saw)], those who were given a portion of the Scripture? They are invited to the Scripture of Allah that it should arbitrate between them; then a party of them turns away, and they are refusing” (al-imran-23).

From all these above quoted verses, it is clear whole Quran is guidance for the people; the whole Book is to serve as basis to judge between the people. There is no single verse in Quran, which states that any verse included in Quran is no longer applicable. There is no hadith which states that any verse included in Quran is no more applicable.
The view that replaced verses are included in Quran is usually based on the following verse which states:
“We do not abrogate a verse or cause it to be forgotten except that We bring forth [one] better than it or similar to it. Do you not know that Allah is over all things competent”?(al-baqra-106).

This verse is only stating that when Allah cancels any verse or causes it to be forgotten, He brings forth any other verse which is better than or similar to the verse cancelled or forgotten one.  This verse does not state that such cancelled or forgotten verses continued to be  included in Quran. 

It may be noted that Quran is not the only revealed Book; before Quran many Books have been revealed. Al-baqra-106 may mean that the cancelled verses contained in previously revealed Books have been replaced with similar or better verses contained in Quran. Even if it is believed this verse al-baqra-106 is stating about only cancelled verses revealed to our Nabi (saw), this verse does not state that such verses are included in Quran. In other words, even if those verses were revealed to our Nabi (saw) and later on were abrogated, such verses were not made part of Quran, and such verses might have been abrogated before their becoming part of  the Book i.e.  Quran. The Quran which we have received from our Nabi (saw) does not have any such verse which is abrogated/ cancelled.
 Quran states:
“Alif Lam Ra (This is) a Book, whose verses are made decisive/perfected, then are they made plain, from the Wise, All-aware” (Hud-1).

This verse clearly states Quranic verses are decisive; they are perfected. In other words, the constitution/ making of Quranic verses is final and perfect; there is no room to make any further change in the constitution/ making of Quranic verses. Quran further states:
“Praise be to God. He has sent the Book to His servant and has made it a flawless guide (for human beings)” (al-kahf-1).

From these two verses, it is inferred Quranic verses have been constituted finally and perfectly; they are flawless.  According to al-baqra-106 (quoted above), a ‘mansokh’/ cancelled verse is replaced with a similar or better verse. But according to al-kahf-1 and Hud-1,  Quranic verses have been made finally, it means there was no further need to bring forth any similar verses. Because Quranic verses are flawless and perfect, there was no further need to replace them with better verses.  

From the foregoing, we may conclude that either no verse revealed to our Nabi (saw) has been abrogated, Or, even if it has been so, no abrogated verse is included in Quran; such verses, if any, might have been abrogated before their becoming a part of the Book i.e. Quran by erasing them from our Nabi's (saw) memory;  a verse may also be abrogated by erasing from memory of our Nabi (saw) as is mentioned in al-baqra-106). The abrogated verses, if any, are not included in Quran which we received from our Nabi (saw).

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