Al-Ghazali's View on Abrogation in the Qur'an
by Khaleel Mohammed
note: The original copy of this document was presented with the diacritical
marks characteristic of an academic publication. Since they could not be
correctly reproduced in this version, I have omitted them].
makes a very definite statement regarding its nature: "Were it from
other than God, they would have found many contradictions therein."
(Q4:82) This claim, however, presented a great problem for the classical
exegetes who followed an atomistic typology of interpretation, wherein every
verse of Islam's main document was treated as an independent unit. As John
Burton has observed, a verse by verse comparison suggested serious conflict (EI
2.1009), and so a solution had to be found. This was done by recourse to verse
106 of al-Baqara which states: "We do not abrogate an ayah or
cause it to be forgotten, except that we come with one better than it."
In this verse the term translated as "we abrogate" (nansakh)
gave rise to a term "naskh" which was defined as
"abrogation of a previously binding ruling by a latter one, both being
established by the Shari'ah" (Shalabi 1986:545).
was accepted by the general body of scholars as a fundamental aspect of Islamic
legislation, and there is therefore not a single book on Usul al-Fiqh (The
basic legal theories of source methodology in Islam) which does not have a
section on the issue. In recent years, however, this seemingly indelible aspect
of Islam has come under severe challenge. In this paper, I shall examine the
views of one of Islam's most respected modern thinkers, Muhammad al-Ghazali, on
the subject of abrogation, as discussed in the the book "Kayfa
Nata'amal Ma'al-Qur'an," which he co-authored with 'Umar 'Ubayd
Hasanah (1992). The remainder of this paper will be structured thus:
al-Ghazali: His Background
He was born
in on September 22, 1917 in a small village in Egypt known as Nakl al-'Inab
-- thus sharing the same birth village of such famous personalities as Muhammad
'Abduh and Mahmud Shaltut (al-'Awdah 1989:5). In 1937, he enrolled in
the University of al-Azhar, studying in the College of Islamic Sciences
and then later in the College of Arabic (ibid). After his graduation, he became
involved in several reformist activities, although managing to avoid
affiliating with any specific organization (al-Ghazali 1981: frontispiece). He
later held several government posts, and in 1971 was appointed as the Egyptian
Minister of Charities and Endowments, while concurrently holding a teaching
position at al-Azhar (ibid). In 1977 he was appointed as a professor at
the Umm al-Qura University in Mecca, and then on his return to Egypt in
1981, as a minister in charge of Islamic propagation in the Ministry of
taught in Qatar and Algeria, being appointed as President of the Consultative
Body at the Emir Abdel Kader University in Constantina, Algeria
(al-Corentini 1996:69). He authored around fifty books, and was honoured with
the King Faisal International Award for Distinguished Service to Islam (al-'Awdah
1989:6). After his retirement in 1989 and until his death on March 16, 1996, he
was the President of the Egyptian branch of the International Institute for
as suggested by the titles of some of his books, is vocative and hortatory,
eschewing technical academic jargon, but in no way devoid of reflections of
great scholarly merit. Titles of his works, such as "Jaddid
Hayatak" (1988) and "Al-Haqq al-Murr" (1986), show
that al-Ghazali felt that the Muslim condition needed some change, and that the
present state of affairs is extremely bitter in light of the spirit which the
Qur'an foments. His writing has not been without controversy and he has been
stated as "uttering harsh words, so injurious as to cause anger and upset,
speaking on several issues in a manner that goes against the established views
of the majority or the entire umma (al-'Awdah 1989:8).
Understanding Of Naskh In The Qur'an
views on naskh are presented in concise form in the source text, I
shall, rather than present a summary, provide an annotated translation of
Muhammad al-Ghazali's view on the subject. Unless indicated otherwise, all
translations of the Qur'anic verses in the excerpt and the remainder of this
paper are mine. I have preserved his punctuation marks as much as possible, and
the ellipses in the following do not denote that I have left out any part of his
writing, but are rather from his own style of homiletic address, excerpted from
pages in the source text. The translation is as follows:
taken by all the modern scholars whom I have met, or listened to, or whose
works I have read, is contrary to the understanding of naskh that became
so widespread among the later exegetes, namely that there exists naskh
(if accepted) as meaning the abrogation of verses of the Qur'an. I found that
the Shaykh, Jurist and Historian, al-Khidri, categorically rejected this
meaning of naskh. He stated: "It does not occur except to make
specific, or limit, or explain that which is otherwise general and
unconditional." Shaykh Rashid Rida reiterated the same even more
clearly, referring to the verse: "We do not abrogate (naskh) a sign or
cause it to be forgotten . . . (al-Baqara:106).
that an ayah can be in the form of religious obligations (ayat
taklifiyyah) or cosmic phenomena (ayat takwiniyyah), and that which
is abrogated in Sura al-Baqara are the latter; there are no commandments
abrogated by the verse. The meaning of takwiniyyah is well known; it is
those occurrences contrary to natural laws (miracles) with which the Prophets
were assisted. . . Such phenomena are the things that change with the passage
of time. As for the verses of commandments, I studied them carefully vis a vis
the verse: "And if we substitute one sign for another -- and Allah
knows best what He reveals in stages -- they say, thou art but a forger . . .
Al-Khazin1 said: "This verse came as a response
to the allegations that Muhammad decides a ruling, then abrogates it!" I
thereupon asked myself: "The verse (referred to) is from al-Nahl
which is a Meccan revelation; where then are the laws at which the polytheists
were poking fun -- (claiming) that they were abrogated after having been
revealed, in such a manner that confusion resulted in the establishment of the
legislation? There are no such laws. And as for as the purported reason for the
revelation of this verse -- it is a lie."2
There was none from among the polytheists claiming that Muhammad was
legislating edicts and then abrogating them . . . absolutely none -- for there
was no law in Mecca that was abrogated by a verse revealed in Mecca. Neither in
the history of revelation, nor in the history of jurisprudence is it
established that any law was revealed at Mecca and then later cancelled by a
verse revealed in that same city. The Qur'an does not state this.
conjecture therefore is baseless; there are no laws that abrogate the meaning
of the verse. All we have occurring in Mecca are several verses that were
looked at, in such a manner that there was a reduction, as for example in
Allah's words: "Now Allah has lightened your task, for He knows that
there is weakness in you . . . " (Q8:66).
verse ordered that one man should stand against ten (of the enemy), then it was
reduced to standing against two (Q8:65,66). Shaykh al-Khidri, may God be
pleased with him, stated: "This is a permission based on circumstance, and
permission based on circumstance is not considered as abrogation. The permanent
lasting ruling is that a Muslim should stand against ten, and he is enjoined to
do this. The lessened aspect of facing only two is a permission and this is the
The verse: "He
knows that you cannot keep count thereof, so He has turned to you in mercy.
Read therefore of the Qur'an that which is easy for you. He knows that there
may be some among you in ill-health, others travelling through the land seeking
of Allah's bounty, and others fighting in Allah's cause. Read therefore of the
Qur'an as is easy for you . . . " (Q73:20) is said to have abrogated
the first part of the chapter al-Muzzammil. This however, is not so, for
the chapter is directed to the Prophet and ordains that he prays during the
night, and this night prayer remained obligatory upon him until the day he
died. This order is reiterated in the chapter al-Isra': "And from (a
portion of) the night exert yourself (in prayer), an additional prayer for you;
perchance your Lord will raise you to a station of praiseworthiness"
(17:79). What needs to be noted here is that many companions emulated the
Prophet in this night prayer in the manner that is described in the first part
of chapter al-Muzzammil. But God, being aware of the state of affairs of
the group that worked extremely hard during the day at their livelihood, a
group which, unlike the bearer of the revealed message, was not enjoined with
this commandment, thus said: "Read therefore as much of the Qur'an as
is easy for you . . . "3
The Prophet, however, (as) the bearer of the revelation, still remained
responsible for performing the night prayer; there is then absolutely no
abrogation in the verse.
allegation that 120 verses on the invitation to Islam were abrogated by the
verse of the sword4, is in
fact one of crassest stupidity and only serves to show that the great number of
Muslims are in a stage of regression of either knowledge or intelligence in our
time, and have become ignorant of the Qur'an. As a result of this ignorance
therefore, they have forgotten how to call to the way of God, how to facilitate
the call to Islam, and how to be proper examples, and how to present a good
perspective. Perhaps this is the reason for the failure in the propagation of
Islam, and the prolonged stagnation of the Islamic message being effected --
for it has been assumed that the sword is that which fulfills the obligation of
delivering the message. Such a concept is, by the agreement of all those who
are rational and discerning, totally absurd.
This tale of
abrogation then, or the notion of embalming of some verses, in that such verses
are present but are inoperative, is a baseless one. There is no verse in the
Qur'an which may be said to be out of commission, and is therefore now invalid;
this is nonsense. Each verse is potentially valid, but it is He, the Legislator
who knows the conditions in which the verses may be applied, and it is in this
manner that the Qur'anic verses are to be considered in light of the state of
human affairs -- with wisdom and exhortation. Does not the context of the verse
"We do not abrogate an ayah or cause it to be forgotten" (Q2:106)
denote that the matter pertains to the abrogation of the laws of previous
religions by a new one?
obvious that there is no room for any assumption that abrogation of
responsibility is what is meant here. Shaykh Rashid Rida mentioned this
topic, pointing out that the words in the verse (taken in conjunction with
those immediately in the following verse are): "We do not nansakh an
ayah or cause it to be forgotten (except that) we come with a better one or a
similar one. Do you not know that Allah is all powerful over everything?
(Q2:106)" -- refer to the Divine Omnipotence and not to the laws of
(human) responsibility. For if it were in the latter case, the verse would have
read for example: "Do you not know that God is the Omniscient," the
Legislator rather than "the Omnipotent."
The verse "Do
you wish to ask your Messenger as Moses was asked aforetime?" (Q2:108)
manifestly shows that the verse is referring to the miraculous signs (ayat
al-kawniyah). For what was it about which Moses was asked aforetime? It was
"We wish to see Allah clearly"; "we wish this and that";
people wanted the cosmological signs, or miracles which verified the message of
Muhammad. The use of the expression "aforetime" is to indicate
reference to the children of Israel.
Allah says: "And
if it is said to them 'Believe in what Allah has revealed,' they say we believe
in what was revealed to us, and reject that which has come afterwards -- even
though the latter is true, verifying what is with them. Say: Why then did you
kill the Prophets of God before if you indeed were believers?" (Q2:91)
to them begins by pointing out that they are not believers in what they
profess, nor in that which has come unto others. It goes on further to state: "Those
of the People of the Book and the polytheists do not wish that anything good
should be revealed to you from your Lord. But God singles out for His mercy
whosoever He wishes. Indeed God is the Lord of Mighty Grace."
here are very clear that when the Qur'an came down, it was as a mercy from
Allah to the Arabs, and that He selected them for His special grace. He gave
them a new message, not that which had previously come down to the previous
Prophets, nor like that which before had been abetted by the raising of the
Mountain, nor that which sometimes was completed by the creation of miracles.
revelation of the Qur'an, as far as the abrogation of the signs of creation is
concerned, is an abrogation of some of the legislation of the People of the
Scriptures (Jews and Christians). The Qur'an no doubt cancelled some of the
laws of the former religions, and started by reshaping the human consciousness
anew, by awakening its talents and directing it to Allah. There is no
contradiction in the Qur'an whatsoever, for every verse has a context within
which it functions. (al-Ghazali 1992:80-84)
Comparison With The Normative Position
al-Ghazali then, as is evident from the above, absolutely denies the concept of
abrogation as understood by the classical jurists, thereby seeking to show that
the entire gamut of related legislative discourse is in fact constructed on a
foundation of misinterpretation and misconception. The language of the above
excerpt shows that Muhammad al-Ghazali did not phrase his words in what may be
termed a gentle persuasive manner. His denouncing the abrogation of certain
verses as "crass stupidity" certainly could not have won him any
favor with those jurists who feel that abrogation is indeed part and parcel of
Islam, and that knowledge thereof is what distinguishes a scholar from a
non-scholar. Ali, the son-in-law of Muhammad was alleged to have, upon learning
that a lecturer in the mosque was ignorant of the abrogated verses and the
abrogating ones, evicted the man from the mosque and forbade him to address the
people (al-Nahhas 1986:3).
point that becomes clear too is that the thematic reading of the Qur'anic
verses can lead to conclusions that are very much at variance with the rulings
based upon an atomistic understanding of Islam's main document. A thematic
reading actually shows that the position of the traditional scholars on the
issue of abrogation indeed goes against one of the most fundamental laws of
Qur'anic exegesis: namely that "Al asl fi'l-kalam al-haqiqah"
-- The Fundamental Rule Of Speech Is Literalness (Borno, 1990:260). For, were
the law applied, the primary understanding of the word ayah in verse
Q2:106 would have been "sign," not "verse," and the whole
aspect of abrogation of legal rulings, if discussed, would have had its
foundation on another site.
al-Ghazali's interpretation of abrogation went against the traditional
understanding, and the language that he used was sometimes abrasive, he
demonstrated a great degree of astuteness in the overall method he employed. It
will be noted that throughout, he relies on two great Shaykhs -- al-Khidri
and Rashid Rida. His great reliance on the latter also identifies him,
according to the typology suggested by Wael Hallaq, as following the
utilitarian school of modernists (1997:254).
respected Shaykhs, al-Ghazali was showing that his words had been echoed
before and that he was not in fact committing that hated sin -- innovation in
Islamic thought. Never once does he refer to the writing of Muhammad Amin who,
like al-Ghazali, rejected the notion of abrogation. We surmise that this pointed
lack of mention is that he did not want to identify with someone who had been
classified as a heretic by the 'ulama (infra:12).
on Rashid Rida's understanding of the ayah in Q2.106, al-Ghazali brought
to the fore something that had been overlooked by scholars to a great extent --
that the Qur'anic application of some everyday words to a specific, and
sometimes newer, context, effectively obliterated the pre-Islamic understanding
of those terms in many cases. As the Japanese scholar Toshihiko Isutzu has
shown, one example is the word "kafir" which in the parlance
of the Muslims is taken to mean infidel, whereas the original usage of the word
simply meant "a man who does not show gratitude to his benefactor"
to the problem of trying to understand the apparently contradictory verses of
the Qur'an, it would seem that a misunderstanding of the word ayah gave
rise to the concept of abrogation. The word ayah " . . . has
several meanings in the Qur'an, all of which are interrelated through the
literal meaning of 'sign,' some being at times interchangeable with
others" (Mir 1987:24). Since the Qur'an is one of the "signs"
sent down by God to guide humankind to Him, it is also regarded as an ayah,
and within that document itself the word is used in several places to show that
the Qur'anic verses are to be referred to by this name (e.g.Q2:252; Q16:101).
Despite ayah being used in its original lexical connotation in many
verses, however, (e.g. Q2:118; Q7:73), the classical jurists seem to have
understood it to mean a verse of the Qur'an.
then seemed to be the answer to the problem of apparently contradictory verses.
But even then, the problem was not solved. The clearest evidence of this is
that there are no less than a dozen readings of the verse that is claimed to be
the very foundation of the theory of abrogation (Burton 1977:48). Evidence also
lies in the fact that despite the general acceptance of the theory by the later
scholars, every work that deals with the subject reports some arguments against
it. One of the scholars who is mentioned as being opposed to abrogation is the
Mu'tazilite Abu Muslim Muhammad ibn Hajr al-Asfahani (d. 322/933). His
arguments are documented and rebutted by Fakhr al-Razi in his Mahsul
(1992:3.307ff). Although al-Razi, like the rest of his contemporaries, reported
these arguments in severely censored form, we can nevertheless understand some
of the objections.
Qur'an is indeed of divine authorship, and is perfect in its construction and
style, no verse can be better than another; how then could one verse abrogate
another? Is God not Wise and Far-Seeing enough to give rulings that are
permanent, or does He suffer from an occasional change of mind? Abrogation of a
law meant that it became illegal in the face of the one replacing it, and that
this latter one was illegal while the former was in place. This would be to
declare good as evil and evil as good, clearly not a divine activity (Burton
To the above
queries, the jurists and exegetes provided some answers which were largely
structured on an admixture of semantic acrobatics and doctrinal innovations so
typical of medieval scholasticism. As far as some verses abrogating others,
they explained that what was abrogated was not the verses of the Qur'an, but
rather the rulings derived from such texts (al-Tabari 1954:2.248). On the
aspect of God's laws and their supposed temporality, uncharacteristic of divine
behavior, such rulings were to be looked at in terms of their relation to the
conditions of the humans. It was quite possible for something to be beneficial
for them in one situation, and detrimental in another. An example is the case
of fasting, where eating is allowed at night, but forbidden in the day (Ibn
Qudamah 1983:2.71). There was too, no change of mind by God, for He knew from
the beginning the period of time for which such rulings would be in place, and
the change was therefore all part of the Divine Plan (ibid). That which was
evil or good was known solely by divine decree, not by any rationalization on
the part of humans. God therefore could test us for our obedience by declaring
something good at one time and evil at another, as is evidenced by the fact
that regulations differ from one previously revealed religion to another, and
from period to period.
arguments buttressed by the use of hadith of the type quoted earlier, a
science known as "'Ilm al-Nasikh wa'l-Mansukh" (Knowledge of
the Abrogating and Abrogated) was created. This science not only investigated
if the verses of the Qur'an could abrogate and be abrogated, but if the Sunna
could abrogate the Qur'an and vice versa. (It is not within the scope of this
research to discuss these issues and those wishing more information on the
subject may refer to the works of Burton and Powers listed in my bibliography).
Qur'anic verses, by the consensus of scholars, are not arranged in
chronological order, the task of identifying which verse abrogates which can be
a daunting task. The fact that there are still differences of opinion among the
different schools on several issues pertaining to naskh shows the
problems that the concept presents. As a result, the passing of time has seen a
tremendous fluctuation in the number of verses alleged to have been abrogated.
al-Zuhri (2nd/8th century), reportedly one of the first to write on the
subject, mentioned 42 verses, al-Nahhas (4th/10th century), 138; Ibn Salama
(5th/11th century), 238; and Ibn al-Ata'iqi (8th/14th century), 231 (Powers
1988:122). But by the 10/16th century, al-Suyutti recognized only 20 instances
of abrogation, and by the 12th/18th, Shah Wali Allah only five (ibid:123).
Powers points out that one reason for the initial increase was the expansion of
the semantic range of the term naskh, which in addition to several of
its new meanings was now taken to mean specification, exception etc., and the
later decrease was in consideration of theological considerations (ibid:122).
concept of naskh was given sanction from the Qur'an and hadith,
the jurists started categorizing the different types of abrogation. They
suggested three main ones (Hahn 1974:126):
Abrogation of the text and its ruling such as the verses of Chapter 33 which
was supposedly at one time as long as Chapter 2. (al-Nahhas:11)
Abrogation of the text, but not its ruling such as the penalty for adultery.
The Qur'an only speaks of a public lashing, but this was supposedly abrogated
by the practice of the Prophet with the penalty of stoning to death. (ibid)
Abrogation of the ruling, but not the text. (Such as the verse in which a
Muslim is told to face in combat ten unbelievers, which was supposedly replaced
by a later verse wherein he is now told to face only two. (ibid)
earlier, there is indication that the idea faced some problems. Most certainly
there must have been those who pointed out that the entire controversy could
have been avoided had the word ayah been read in its true and original
meaning. And this raises the question: Why was the abrogation theory so
of the early history of Islam provides several reasons: Modern research shows
that there are several rulings in the Qur'an that seem suited to a particular
situation, and that the Meccan verses, for example, are of a generally
different genre than the Medinan verses. The Qur'anic laws then can in many
cases be seen as applying to a specific temporal and spatial setting. That the
early Muslims did not view all the Qur'anic legislation as permanent is clear
from the fact that as Fazlur Rahman noted, sometime during the 2nd/8th century,
the Muslim lawyers began to make a distinction between the clear wording (nass)
and what was deducible from it (Rahman 1979:39).
jurists interpreted the doctrine of permanency of the Qur'an not to mean that
it was a document from which perpetual guidance could be obtained by studying
the way it dealt with various situations; rather they interpreted permanency to
mean that its laws were immutable. Read in this light, several verses of the
Qur'an seemed to be in contradiction to others. The only way to explain the
discrepancy was to show that some rulings were abrogated by later ones.
reason was that the Qur'an did not provide an answer to every problem that the
rapidly expanding Muslim state encountered. The political and legal decisions
taken sometimes went clearly against the rulings of the Qur'an, and in such
cases, reason had to be found to show that this was permissible (Semaan
1961:12,13). It does not rule anywhere in the Qur'an, for example, that the
Prophets do not allow their children to inherit their property. On the
contrary, that book clearly states "And Solomon inherited from
David" (Q16:27). The later jurists could not show that Abu Bakr, in
denying Fatima, daughter of Muhammad, her right to her father's property, was
acting against the letter of the Qur'an. They therefore resorted to claiming
that in this case, Muhammad had privately instructed Abu Bakr in matters of
inheritance, and that such hadith had therefore either limited the
meaning of verse Q16:27 or abrogated it.
criticism of the abrogation concept only started in the latter part of the last
century with Muhammad Abduh, Sir Sayyid Ahmad Khan, and Rashid Rida in the
vanguard. Sir Sayyid Ahmad Khan decided to read the so-called abrogation verse
in relation to the one that immediately precedes it, and to claim that what was
being abrogated was the Mosaic Law. He dismissed all the ahadith
purporting to explain the reasons for revelation of the verse by stating
flatly, " . . . not even a single hadith cited by them is
sound." He even further noted that " . . . the whole controversy over
nasikh and mansukh is nonsensical" (Hahn 1974:126).
graduate, Muhammad Amin, at the beginning of this century, also spoke out
against abrogation (Mustafa 1988:17). In 1949, 'Abd al-Muta'al al-Jabri wrote
his Master's thesis at the University of Cairo and entitled it "Naskh
As I Understand It In The Islamic Shari'ah." He later published his
work under the title "No Naskh in the Qur'an -- Why?"
(Mustafa; p.16). The absolute refutation of a classical concept was extremely
shocking to the scholars, and both Amin and al-Jabri have been classified as
those who overstep the limit, ahl al-tafrit, (Mustafa 1988:16). Indeed
the refutation of the concept was tantamount to heresy according to some
scholars, as evidenced in the statement of one eleventh century scholar, Ibn
Hilal al-Nahwi: " . . . Whoever says this thing (i.e. against abrogation)
is not a believer, but rather a kafir, denying that with which Muhammad
came. He must renounce his position or be killed" (Mustafa 1988:18;
Shaykh Abdul Aziz bin
Abdullah bin Baz, Grand Mufti of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, in
response to an article that contained some ideas against the concept of
abrogation stated: "That which he (the author) did is an act of clear
disbelief, a repudiation of Islam, and denial of Allah the Glorious and His
Prophet on whom be peace -- as any of the people of knowledge and faith who has
read his article can perceive. It is obligatory upon the governing authority to
have that man brought to the courts and ask that he retract his statements, and
to rule upon him according to that which the pure Shari'ah summons" (ibn
to the damning statements quoted above against those who opposed the naskh
theory, the position of the traditional Muslim scholars against Sir Sayyid
Ahmad Khan, Muhammad Amin, and their like is well-known. Yet, when Muhammad
al-Ghazali issued his statements, he was not condemned by the body politic of
the Muslim umma. To what can we possibly attribute this departure from
As has been
already observed, al-Ghazali studiously avoided reference to Muhammad Amin who
had been severely castigated. He instead sought precedent in the writings of
the respected scholars and therefore, while introducing a revolutionary
concept, coated it with the veneer of traditional scholarship.
statements have come at a time when the Muslim scholars are grappling not only
with the problems presented by the abrogation concept, but with modernity as a whole,
and realizing, as noted by Fazlur Rahman, that several aspects of traditional
theology and law are now no longer valid (1982:52). This ethos is reflected in
the book "Al-Naskh fi al-Qur'an al-Karim" wherein an Azhar
scholar, after examining several views, among them that of Muhammad al-Ghazali,
concludes that: "I stress here . . . that what is required is a new
understanding of naskh . . . " (Mustafa 1988:62).
scholars may greet the postulations of lesser personalities with scorn, they may
not as easily dismiss one who has gained the trust of his peers, several
governments, and one who has the entire backing of the International Institute
of Islamic Thought, an international think tank comprised of the most eminent
scholars of the Muslim world, among them, Dr. Yusuf al-Qaradawi and Dr. Taha
Jabir al-Alwani, founder-members of the Muslim World League and the Fiqh
Council. Indeed, the association that published the source text for this
research, the International Institute of Islamic Thought, mentioned in the
book's introduction, its mission statement, which is, inter alia, the
task of "the reformation of the methodology of Islamic thought"
while advocating change, has in no way made the mistake of being labeled, as
have some modernists, a maghrib zadeh, of being influenced by
"Westoxication," and makes it clear that he harbors a deep dislike of
the West and its influence in the Middle East. Such a person then, a winner of
the King Faisal award, and one who has not identified himself with any
anti-government group, has thereby commanded the respect of his peers. The
prognosis then is that, notwithstanding the opposition of some scholars such as
ibn Baz of Saudi Arabia, the thrust towards a thematic understanding of the
Qur'an will gain greater force among Muslims. How long it will take for the
traditional concept of naskh to be abrogated by the reading of Q2:106 as
relating to historical and cosmological phenomena, however, is a question for
which it is too early to hazard a guess.
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Salman bin Fahd. "Fi Hiwar al Hadi ma' Muhammad al-Ghazali."
Riyadh: General Administration for Scientific Research, Ifta', Propagation and
ibn Baz, Abd
al-'Aziz bin Abdullah. "Clear Proof Of The Disbelief Of Whoever Claims
It Is Allowable For Anyone To Leave the Shari'ah Of Muhammad" Al-Dawah
Magazine, Edited by Al-'Issa, 'Abd al-Aziz bin 'Abd al-Karim. Riyadh:
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Muhammad Sidqi bin Ahmad. "Al Wajiz Fi 'Idah Qawa'id al-Fiqh
al-Kulliyah." Riyadh: Imam Muhammad bin Sa'ud University, 1990.
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