Question: In Quran 8:61, the verse calls for peace to be established. But in Quran 9:29, it says that only jizya is acceptable. So is 8:61 abrogated? What did Ibn Abbas say about 8:61?
Wa ‘alaykum assalam wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh
I pray you are well.
Abrogation in the Qur’an
The concept of abrogation has been overemphasized historically. Not many verses were abrogated. Less than twenty according to Imam Suyuti. Others held this number to be too high. Please refer to our ‘Ulum al Qur’an course for more information.
Most of the time there are other ways to reconcile the meanings of seemingly conflicting verses. This is the case for the verses you mentioned.
Qur’an, 8:61 Is Not Abrogated
There is a position that states this verse is abrogated. It is narrated by Ibn ‘Abbas, Mujahid, and Qatada. However, according to many scholars, it is not abrogated. Tabari, Ibn Kathir, Zamakhshari, Alusi, and others held this position. Tabari held that it referred to Bani Qurayza, based on the contextual factors.
The others said that it refers to people from whom accepting jizya was permissible. The Muslim ruler has a choice in certain situations to make treaties or not. The details are in the books of fiqh.
For the pagan Arabs, however, Jizya was not an option. This is due to the case against them being so strong – owing to their recognition of the miracle of the Qur’an and the truthfulness of the Messenger (Allah bless him and give him peace). They had also shown time and time again that they would be treacherous in the case of any treaty being made (Ruh al Ma’ani, Alusi, al-Tafsir al Wasit, Tantawi).
Insha’Allah, we’ll cover this point in detail in our complete Qur’an tafsir. I pray that helps.
May Allah grant you the best of both worlds.
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.