I wanted to post my opinion that the hostile attitude towards those who disagreed with the abrogation doctrine, which can be seen in the abusive language openly used against them in the theological literature, may have inhibited those who had doubts about abrogation from pursuing their ideas or expressing their opinions. The reason this is relevant to the merits of the case here is that such bias of embracing those who agree and shunning those who disagree could result in a self-fulfilling 'consensus'.
Ihaab Abduh, in his book استحالة وجود النسخ بالقرآن, pages 9-10, quotes Ibn Al-Qayyim saying (my brief translation),
"Just like the law set the capital punishment for apostasy
, to defend the religion, it also set it for heresy, to protect the religion from corrupt and invalid interpretations.
Interpretation is two types: one that does not contradict the Book, the Sunna and consensus
, and another that does. That's heresy.
Someone mentions a corrupt interpretation not heard before
is a heretic. The majority of later followers
of Abu-Haneefa and Ash-Shaafi`i agree that such person is to be killed
That takes the cake for intimidation, indoctrination and suppression of individual analysis! I actually find it hard to believe that Ibn Al-Qayyim would say anything of the sort. That quote makes a number of points, all easily refutable:
- The law is to kill apostates. The Quran is clearly against that. Consider,
If God intended for an apostate to be killed, He would have said so in this verse. But He didn't.
In fact, God made it clear that religion is a free choice,
- Religion is hurt by apostates. Says who? God is protecting His religion against all attempts to extinguish its light,
And even if Muslims abandon Islam, God has promised to replace them with another generation that will uphold it,
As well as 5:54 quoted in the previous point.
- Heretics are to be killed. There is simply no evidence from the Quran or the authentic Hadeeth to support that. The capital punishment is not something that can be left to opinions of scholars. It must be specified by a certainly authentic sanctioned text.
- Religion is hurt by heresy. Says who?
- Deviation from consensus is heresy. Scholars have reported hundreds of juristic issues in which there was consensus, then new scholars, such as Maalik and Ash-Shaafi`i issued dissenting opinions. Nobody called them heretics. And guess what? The new opinions became the consensus!
- Coming up with a new interpretation no one heard before is heresy. Why?
- The ruling to kill heretics was not advocated by the early scholars, only the later ones. Isn't that a departure of the students from the consensus of their teachers?