The Quranic Verse On Stoning

By

Bassam Zawadi

 

Note: FIRST READ THIS ARTICLE (*)

 

Some of the hadith that talk about the verse on stoning...

 

Saheeh Bukhari 

Volume 8, Book 82, Number 816:

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."

Saheeh Muslim

Book 017, Number 4194:

'Abdullah b. 'Abbas reported that 'Umar b. Khattab sat on the pulpit of Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) and said: Verily Allah sent Muhammad (may peace be upon him) with truth and He sent down the Book upon him, and the verse of stoning was included in what was sent down to him. We recited it, retained it in our memory and understood it. Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) awarded the punishment of stoning to death (to the married adulterer and adulteress) and, after him, we also awarded the punishment of stoning, I am afraid that with the lapse of time, the people (may forget it) and may say: We do not find the punishment of stoning in the Book of Allah, and thus go astray by abandoning this duty prescribed by Allah. Stoning is a duty laid down in Allah's Book for married men and women who commit adultery when proof is established, or it there is pregnancy, or a confession.

 

Christian missionaries tend to argue that this verse was removed from the Quran and they claim that this is proof that Muslims corrupted the Quran. Let's see if this argument holds any water. 

 

The alleged verse is...

 

الشيخ والشيخة إذا زنيا فارجموهما البتة                                                                                                                 

 

The old man and the old lady if they committed adultery then stone them 

 

Another opinion is that it is...

 

الشيخ والشيخة إذا زنيا فارجموهما البتة نكالا من الله والله عزيز حكيم                                                                                

 

The old man and the old lady if they committed adultery then stone them as a punishment from Allah and Allah is the Most Mighty, Most Wise 

 

 

Imam ibn Hajar Al Asqalani says in his commentary on Saheeh Bukhari...

 

فقال عمر : لما نزلت أتيت النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم فقلت أكتبها ؟ فكأنه كره ذلك , فقال عمر : ألا ترى أن الشيخ إذا زنى ولم يحصن جلد , وأن الشاب إذا زنى وقد أحصن رجم                                                                                                               

 

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" Then Umar said: "Cant you see that if the old man if he commits adultery he does not get the whip, and that if the young man if he commits adultery he gets stoned?" (Ibn Hajar Al Asqalani, Fathul Bari, Kitab: Al Hudood, Bab: Al I'tiraaf bil Zina, Commentary on Hadith no. 6327, Source)

 

 

Here we clearly see that the Prophet (peace be upon him) did not want the verse to be written down because it was never meant to be part of the text of the Quran. The scholars of Islam are unanimous that the recitation of this verse has been abrogated but its ruling still remains in effect. 

However, the only reason why Umar got emotional and wanted to put the verse in the Quran was because he was afraid that one day people would think that its ruling had been cancelled. However, the companions did not allow him to because they all knew that its recitation had been abrogated. In order to put a verse in the Quran there needed to be two witnesses and Umar was all by himself. Umar himself knew that its recitation was abrogated but he was getting emotional, for he feared that people in the future would not believe in the ruling of stoning the adulterers. 

 

Imam ibn Hajar Al Asqalani has in his commentary...

 

أي في الآية المذكورة التي نسخت تلاوتها وبقي حكمها , وقد وقع ما خشيه عمر أيضا فأنكر الرجم طائفة من  الخوارج أو معظمهم وبعض المعتزلة                                                                                                                        

 

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.

 

وقد أخرج عبد الرزاق والطبري من وجه آخر عن ابن عباس أن عمر قال " سيجيء قوم يكذبون بالرجم "                                   

 

And it was reported by Abd al Razzaq and Al Tabari from another view that Ibn Abbas said that Umar said "There will come a people that will lie (or disbelieve) in the stoning" (Ibn Hajar Al Asqalani, Fathul Bari, Kitab: Al Hudood, Bab: Rajam Al Hublah min Zana Eezha Ahsanat, Commentary on Hadith no. 6328, Source)  

 

 

Imam Nawawi says in his commentary in Saheeh Muslim...

 

وهذا مما نسخ لفظه وبقي حكمه                                                                                                                             

 

And this is whose recitation has been abrogated and its ruling remained. 

 

 

 وفي ترك الصحابة كتابة هذه الآية دلالة ظاهرة أن المنسوخ لا يكتب في المصحف , وفي إعلان عمر بالرجم وهو على المنبر  وسكوت الصحابة وغيرهم من الحاضرين عن مخالفته بالإنكار دليل على ثبوت الرجم                                                            

 

And the companions of the Prophet abandoning the writing of this verse is clear evidence that the abrogated should not be written in the Quran 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) (Imam Nawawi, Sharh Saheeh Muslim, Kitab: Al Hudood, Bab: Rajam Al Thayb fil Zina, Commentary on Hadith no. 3201, Source)

 

 

Al Sindi says in his commentary on Sunan Ibn Majah...

 

أي آية الرجم وهذه الآية مما نسخ لفظها وبقي حكمها                                                                                                  

The verse of stoning: Its recitation has been abrogated and its ruling still remains in effect. (Al Sindi, Sharh Sunan Ibn Majah, Kitab: Al Hudood, Bab: Al Rajam, Commentary on Hadith no. 2543, Source)

 

 

Muhammad Shams al-Haqq al-Adhim Abadi says in his commentary on Sunan Abu Dawud...

 

وهذا مما نسخ لفظه وبقي حكمه                                                                                                                           

 

And this is whose recitation has been abrogated but ruling remains in effect. (Muhammad Shams al-Haqq al-Adhim Abadi, Awn al-Mabud Sharh Sunan Abu Dawud, Kitab: Al Hudood, Bab: Fil Rajam, Commentary on Hadith no. 3835, Source)

 

 

Conclusion

We can clearly see that there was a consensus amongst the companions of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and the scholars that the recitation of the verse on stoning was abrogated and that they did not corrupt it. How can all the companions of the Prophet (peace be upon him) who sacrificed everything they had for this religion just happen to decide to come together and purposely corrupt the Quran by removing this verse? What motive would they have in doing so if its law was to remain being implemented? So there can't be a motive to remove this verse simply because they wished to not follow its ruling since the ruling still remains in effect up to this day.

So clearly the evidence shows that this recitation was always meant to be abrogated while its ruling remains in effect.

 

 

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