What is the Evidence That the Verse about Breastfeeding Five Times Was Abrogated but the Ruling Was Upheld?

Answered by Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat

Question

Someone stated that a verse about breastfeeding five times was abrogated, but its ruling was upheld. I understand and accept this type of abrogation (where the verse is abrogated but the ruling is retained), but I have yet to find evidence for the abrogation of this specific verse and the retention of its ruling.

Please provide the evidence for this specific verse’s abrogation in this specific form.

Answer

I pray you are well.

‘A’isha, the wife of the Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, said, “Amongst that which was revealed of the Quran was that ‘ten known breastfeedings establish the ruling of rasa’a (yuharrimna)’ which was then reduced to five. The Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, passed away when this was still recited at Ouran.” [Muslim]

Needless to say, she was mistaken about them being part of the Quran. Imam Nawawi provided an explanation of this, “This means that the abrogation of the five feedings was a very late stage (in the life of the Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace), almost at the point where he passed away with some people still reciting ‘five feedings’ as though it is the Quran. This was  due to them not being informed of its abrogation because of how late it happened. When they heard it had been abrogated they ceased to do so.” [Nawawi, Sharh Sahih Muslim]

This matter is clear to anyone who has studied the compilation of the Quran and topic of Abrogation. Had it still been the case that this was meant to be recited Quran then ‘A’isha and the other companions would not have sat silent knowing it was not included in the compilation of the Quran.

For more details on all of this please register for our course on the Introduction to the Quran.

May Allah grant you the best of both worlds.
[Shaykh] Abdul-Rahim
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat began his studies in Arabic Grammar and Morphology in 2005. After graduating with a degree in English and History he moved to Damascus in 2007 where, for 18 months, he studied with many erudite scholars. In late 2008 he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continued his studies for the next six years in Sacred Law (fiqh), legal theory (Usul al-fiqh), theology, hadith methodology, hadith commentary, and Logic. He was also given licenses of mastery in the science of Quranic recital and he was able to study an extensive curriculum of Quranic sciences, tafsir, Arabic grammar, and Arabic eloquence.