Missing Verse On Suckling?


Bassam Zawadi




Here are the hadiths which supposedly speak about the "missing verse" from the Qur'an:


Saheeh Muslim 

Book 008, Number 3421:

'A'isha (Allah be pleased with, her) reported that it had been revealed in the Holy Qur'an that ten clear sucklings make the marriage unlawful, then it was abrogated (and substituted) by five sucklings and Allah's Apostle (may peace be upon him) died and it was before that time (found) in the Holy Qur'an (and recited by the Muslims).

Malik's Muwatta

Book 030, Hadith Number 017.
Section : Suckling in General.

Yahya related to me from Malik from Abdullah ibn Abi Bakr ibn Hazm from Amra bint Abd ar-Rahman that A'isha, the wife of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "Amongst what was sent down of the Qur'an was 'ten known sucklings make haram' - then it was abrogated by 'five known sucklings'. When the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, died, it was what is now recited of the Qur'an." Yahya said that Malik said, "One does not act on this."

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

هو بضم الياء من ( يقرأ ) ومعناه أن النسخ بخمس رضعات تأخر إنزاله جدا حتى أنه صلى الله عليه وسلم توفي وبعض الناس يقرأ خمس رضعات ويجعلها قرآنا متلوا لكونه لم يبلغه النسخ لقرب عهده فلما بلغهم النسخ بعد ذلك رجعوا عن ذلك وأجمعوا على أن هذا لا يتلى                                                                                                                                                                            

There is a dumma on the letter ya'a and it means that the abrogation of the five sucklings came very late until the time that the Prophet (peace be upon him) died and a few people were reciting the five sucklings verse making it part of the Qur'an for they might not have been informed of its abrogation. So when he (Muhammad peace be upon him) did inform them afterwards they stopped reciting it and formed a consensus that this verse should not be recited anymore. (Imam Nawawi, Sharh Saheeh Muslim, Kitab: Al Ridaa', Bab: Al Tahreem Bi Khams Ridaa'aat, Commentary on hadith no.2634, Source) 

Al Sindi says in his commentary on Sunan Al Nisaa'i... 

فقيل إن الخمس أيضا منسوخة تلاوة إلا أن نسخها كان في قرب وفاته صلى الله تعالى عليه وسلم فلم يبلغ بعض الناس فكانوا يقرءونه حين توفي صلى الله تعالى عليه وسلم ثم تركوا تلاوته                                                                                                                                          

It is said that the five's (verse on five sucklings) recitation has been abrogated and its abrogation came near the death of the Prophet (peace be upon him) so some people weren't informed about it. So they used to recite it but when the Prophet (peace be upon him) died they left its recitation. (Al Sindi, Sharh Sunan Al Nisaa'i, Kitab: Al Nikah, Bab: Al Qadar Allazhi Yuharrim Min Al Ridaa'aa, Commentary on Hadith no. 3255, Source 

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

والمعنى أن النسخ بخمس رضعات تأخر إنزاله جدا حتى أنه صلى الله عليه وسلم توفي وبعض الناس يقرأ خمس  رضعات ويجعلها قرآنا متلوا لكونه لم يبلغه النسخ لقرب عهده فلما بلغهم النسخ بعد ذلك رجعوا عن ذلك وأجمعوا على أن هذا لا يتلى . والنسخ ثلاثة أنواع : أحدها ما نسخ حكمه وتلاوته كعشر رضعات . والثاني ما نسخت تلاوته  دون حكمه كخمس رضعات                                                                                                                                                                             

And what this means is that the abrogation by five sucklings was revealed very late to the extent that when the Prophet (peace be upon him) died, some people were still reciting the verse of five sucklings and making it part of recited Qur'an for they were not informed about its abrogation but when they were after that, they went back on that and formed a consensus on that this verse must not be recited. And abrogation is of three types: One of them is that its ruling and recitation be abrogated just like the ten sucklings verse. And the second is that its recitation has been abrogated without its ruling just like the five sucklings verse... (Muhammad Shams al-Haqq al-Adhim Abadi, Awn al-Mabud Sharh Sunan Abu Dawud, Kitab: Al Nikah, Bab: Hal Yuhharram Ma Doona Khamsa Ridaa'aat, Commentary on hadith no. 1765, Source 

Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid said... 

For breastfeeding to have the effect of transmitting its benefits from the nursing woman to the child suckled, it must meet certain conditions, which are:

  1. The breastfeeding must happen within the first two years of the child's life, because Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): "The mothers shall give suck to their children for two whole years, (that is) for those (parents) who desire to complete the term of suckling." [al-Baqarah 2:233].

  2. The number of breastfeedings must total the known five feeds, in which the child eats his fill as if eating and drinking. If the child leaves the breast for a reason, such as to take a breath or to switch from one breast to the other, this (i.e., each separate time the child latches on) is not counted as one breastfeeding. This is the opinion of al-Shaafa'i, and the opinion favoured by Ibn al-Qayyim. The definition of rad'ah (one breastfeeding) is when the child sucks at the breast and drinks until the milk enters his stomach, then he leaves the breast of his own accord. The evidence for the number five (number of breastfeedings) is the report from 'Aa'ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her) who said: "There was in the Qur'aan [an aayah which stipulated that] ten [was the number of] breastfeedings which created the relationship of mahram, then this was abrogated [by another aayah which stipulated] five. The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) died and [the aayah which stipulated five] was still being recited as part of the Qur'aan." (Reported by Muslim, 1452). In other words, the abrogation came so late that when the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) died, some people had not yet heard that this aayah had been abrogated, but when they heard that it had been abrogated, they stopped reciting it, and agreed that it should not be recited, although the ruling mentioned in the aayah remained in effect. This is an abrogation of the recitation without abrogation of the ruling, which is one type of abrogation. (Source) 

We can clearly see that the evidence shows that the consensus amongst the companions of the Prophet (peace be upon him) was that the verse's recitation was meant to be abrogated and it was also commanded by the Prophet (peace be upon him) to abrogate this verse. However, the command came just a very short while before the Prophet's (peace be upon him) death and therefore not everyone was informed about it and some still thought that it was still a recited part of the Quran. However, once they have been informed that the Prophet (peace be upon him) ordered its abrogation, then they stopped reciting it. 


Feel free to contact me at b_zawadi@hotmail.com


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