Alleged Missing Qur’anic Verse of Rajam (Stoning)


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In this article, insha’Allah (by the will of Allah), I’ll refute the non-Muslims’ false allegation of incompletion of the Qur’an and reveal the truth about alleged missing ayah (1) of Rajam (Stoning).

They claim:

Islamic textual evidence suggests that Allah revealed the ayah of rajam (stoning) to Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) and it is not found in the mushaf (codex) of Qur’an that we have today; thus, the Qur’an is not preserved and incomplete.

First, Allah Ta’ala says in the Qur’an that it has been completed (interpretation of the meaning):

“this day have I perfected your deen for you”(2) and He says that He will preserve it (interpretation of the meaning): “We have, without doubt sent down the Message; and We will assuredly guard it (from corruption)” (3).

Second, the entire Qur’an was memorized and written down during the life of Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessing be upon him) and later it was compiled in the form of a book by trustworthy companions (May Allah be pleased with them all) and passed down to us in both forms (written and oral) and how to recite it. Third, it is well known that some ayat of the Qur’an were revealed in the beginning but they were later abrogated and replaced with others or their ruling remained but recitation was abrogated and vice versa. So, it is not enough to prove, from Islamic text, that a certain ayah of the Qur’an was revealed because we do not deny it, as long as there is authentic evidence to prove it. The burden of proof lies on the attackers; they have to prove two things: (1) certain ayah of the Qur’an was revealed (2) and it is suppose to be part of the Qur’an (final recitation). Unfortunately, for the attackers, they can only find the evidence to prove the first case and I fail to see how does this prove that Qur’an is incomplete. Fourth, brother Bassam (May Allah bless him) has already written a very good article (4) to prove the abrogation of this ayah. He has provided lots of Islamic evidences and I’ll be using them, insha’Allah.

Evidence for their claim

Narrated Ibn ‘Abbas: ‘Umar said, “I am afraid that after a long time has passed, people may say, ‘We do not find the Verses of the Rajam (stoning to death) in the Holy Book,’ and consequently they may go astray by leaving an obligation that Allah has revealed. Lo! I confirm that the penalty of Rajam be inflicted on him who commits illegal sexual intercourse, if he is already married and the crime is proved by witnesses or pregnancy or confession.” Sufyan added, “I have memorized this narration in this way.” ‘Umar added, “Surely Allah’s Apostle carried out the penalty of Rajam, and so did we after him.” (5)

Islamic-Life’s Response

We learn two things from this narration: (1) the ayah of rajam was revealed and the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessing be upon him) carried the punishment (2) and ‘Umar (May Allah be pleased with him) is afraid that the time will come when people will reject the ruling due to absence of the ayah in the Qur’an. Now, let’s assume that this ayah was supposed to be part of the Qur’an (final recitation). However, there is a big problem with this assumption because it is well known that the companions of Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) spent their whole lives for Islam and they cared about Qur’an and following the Sunnah of Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him). Thus, they wouldn’t let Qur’an get corrupted by any means when they had written it down and memorized it during the life of Prophet (peace be upon him). So, I ask and have asked the following question to the attackers: If this ayah was suppose to be part of the final recitation, why ‘Umar (May Allah be pleased with him) or one of the other companions did not try to write it in the compiled book form of the Qur’an? The attackers have no answer to this question. In fact, the evidences tell us why ‘Umar (May Allah be pleased with him) did not try to add this in the mushaf (codex) of the Qur’an, which was compiled during the time of Abou Bakar (May Allah be pleased him). Now, let us examine the evidences; the translation is summarized version of what it is being said in the Arabic passage:

Imam Ibn Hajar Al-Asqalani (May Allah have mercy on him) says: “Reported in Muwatta that ‘Umar spoke to people of Medina during the time of pilgrimage (hajj) and said: ‘…people say we do not find this ruling (ayah of rajam) in the book of Allah. Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) did rajam and so did we. If it was in my hands and not for the people to say ‘Umar written/added something in the book of Allah which was not there, I would have written/added in it (ayah of rajam).’ … ‘Umar said to people: ‘The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) carried the punishment of rajam and so did we after him. If it were not for people saying ‘Umar increased in the book of Allah which was not there, I would have written/added in it (ayah of rajam).’” (6)

Imam Ibn Kathir (May Allah have mercy on him) says: “It is reported in Musnad Ahmad that one day ‘Umar said in a sermon: ‘People say we do not find the ruling of rajam in the book of Allah; Qur’an only mentions whiping. Remember Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) himself did rajam and we did the same after him. If I were not afraid of people saying ‘Umar added/written in the book of Allah which was not there, I would have written/added in it the ayah of rajam the way it was revealed.’ This has been also reported in Sunan An-Nasi.” (7)

Thus, the above narrations clearly tell us the reason why the companions (May Allah be pleased with them) abandoned the writing of this ayah in the mushaf of the Qur’an. If something is not supposed to be part of a story, how can you say that the story is incomplete since it is missing that part? Imam Ibn Hajar Al-Asqalani (May Allah have mercy on him) further explains us why ‘Umar (May Allah be pleased with him) got emotional and wanted this ayah to be written down: “In the verse whose recitation has been abrogated but its ruling remained, and it has happened what Umar feared. A tribe from the Khawarij or most of them and some of the Mu’tazilites rejected the stoning” (8). Now, let us examine more ahadith which will prove that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) himself disapprove the writing of this ayah:

Imam Ibn Kathir (May Allah have mercy on him) says: “’People were sitting around Merwan and Hadhrat Zaid bin Thabit was also present. He [Zaid] said, ‘we used to recite in the Qur’an that punishment for married adulterer and adulteress is stoning to death’. Merwan asked, ‘So why did you not write this in the Qur’an (mushaf)’? He [Zaid] said listen, ‘when we started talking about this, we went to ‘Umar bin Khtaab and he told us: one man came to Prophet (peace be upon him) and he started talking about the ayah of rajam. Someone from the gathering said that O Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) write this ayah down. Prophet (peace be upon him) said that I cannot write it down anymore or something similar/same.’ This hadith has also been recorded in Nasi. Therefore, it is proved from these ahadith that the ayah of rajam was first part of recitation but later its recitation was abrogated but the ruling remained and Allah knows best.” (7)

Imam Ibn Hajar Al-Asqalani (May Allah have mercy on him) says: “Umar said, ‘When this verse came down I approached the Prophet (peace be upon him) so I asked him: Should I write it down?’ It is as if he hated that’ … Hence, it is proved from these ahadith that the recitation of this ayah was abrogated but the ruling remained.” (6)

Imam Al-Nawawi (May Allah have mercy on him) says: “And this is whose recitation has been abrogated and its ruling remained … And the companions of the Prophet (peace be upon him) abandoning the writing of this verse is clear evidence that the abrogated should not be written in the Qur’an and that Umar’s statement about the stoning as he is on the pulpit and the silence of the companions and other than them from who were present from opposing him is evidence about the ruling of the stoning (still being implemented).” (9)

Conclusion

In conclusion, the evidences are crystal clear and tells us that recitation of the rajam ayah was abrogated but its ruling remained and this is the unanimous opinion of the companions and scholars of Islam as Prophet (peace be upon him) himself disapproved the writing of the ayah but he practiced the ruling. Unfortunately for the attackers, their poor attempt to disapprove the preservation of the Qur’an has been refuted, alhamdulillah (praise to be Allah)! Before I finish, let me completely bury the attackers and their poor arguments against the preservation of the Qur’an. I call this the golden key and irrefutable argument to refute the supposedly missing ayat and parts of the Qur’an:

Narrated ‘Abdul ‘Aziz bin Rufai’: Shaddad bin Ma’qil and I entered upon Ibn ‘Abbas. Shaddad bin Ma’qil asked him, “Did the Prophet leave anything (any other Qur’an besides this Qur’an)?” He replied. “He did not leave anything (any other revelation) except what is (safe) between the two bindings (of the Qur’an).” Then we visited Muhammad bin Al-Hanafiyya and asked him (the same question). He replied, “The Prophet did not leave (any other revelation) except what is between the bindings (of the Qur’an).” (10)

Imam Wahedi (May Allah have mercy on him) comments on this hadith: “By recording this hadith, Hadhrat Imam Bukhari (May Allah have mercy on him) has rejected the views of those Shias, who say that Qur’an had a verse about Hadhrat Ali (May Allah be pleased with him) being the [first] khalifa and other companions (e.g. ‘Uthman, Abou Bakr, ‘Umar (May Allah be pleased with them all)) didn’t include it in the final compilation of the Qur’an. When Prophet’s (peace be upon him) cousin, ‘Abdullah Ibn ‘Abas and Ali’s son Muhammad bin Al-Hanafiyya (May Allah be pleased with them all) didn’t know about such tales/stories, then how can these people claim it” (11). Similarly, even if we assume what attackers claim, there are missing ayat and parts of the Qur’an or multiple version of the Qur’an, then how come ‘Abdullah Ibn ‘Abas (May Allah be pleased with him) was not aware of it? He was one of the two persons who answered the questioner–from later generation–regarding the preservation of the Qur’an! Why didn’t he tell the questioner that it has been reported or known that there are missing ayat or parts of the Qur’an or there are different version of the Qur’an? This concludes the refutation, alhamdulillah. Wallahu a’lam (and Allah knows best)

Footnotes:

The arabic word “ayah” is commonly translated into “verse” but I do not think it is correctly translated. So until a better word is found, I’ll be using the Arabic word.
Surah Al-Ma’idah, 3, Ayah 3
Surah Al-Hijr, 15, Ayah 9
The Qur’anic Verse on Stoning
Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 8, Book 82, Number 816
Fathul Bari, Commentary on Hadith no. 6327
Tafsir ibn Kathir, Commentary on Surah An-Noor, 24, Ayah 2
Fathul Bari, Commentary on Hadith no. 6328
Sharh Saheeh Muslim, Commentary on Hadith no. 3201
Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 6, Book 61, Number 537
Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 6, page 545, published by Jami’yat Ahla Hadith of Hind in 2004

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About AbdulJabarAzimi

Analytical & Creative. --- I'm not a Sheikh or a scholar, I'm just a regular guy in love with this Deen. Don't praise me for practicing my Deen. But pray for me, for the errors, that you haven't seen.

Posted on July 5, 2013, in Qu'ran. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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