In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful
Assalaamu `alaykum waRahmatullahi Wabarakatoh
At the outset, I would like to explain the aspect of naskh (نسخ) in Shariah.
The Jews believe that naskh cannot take place. They say that if naskh is accepted, then it will prove that Allah Ta’ala is prone to mistakes (May Allah forbid). Their understanding of naskh is that Allah Ta’ala made a certain ruling, thinking it was appropriate, and later found out that he had made a mistake, so he changed the ruling (May Allah forbid).
The correct belief is that naskh can take place; and the correct understanding of naskh is that Allah Ta’ala, who is all-knowing, issues his rulings according to the requirements of that time and era. This does not prove that the former ruling was wrong, but it proves that the former ruling was more appropriate for that time and the new ruling is more appropriate for the present time.
Uloomul Quran – Mufti Taqi Uthmani Saheb Pg:160 (Maktabah Darul Uloom Krachi)
A very good example of naskh is the ruling on alcohol. Initially, alcohol was not totally prohibited, because the Sahabah (Radiyallahu Anhum) had just accepted Islam and it would have been difficult for them to abandon something they loved. Therefore, the Quran gradually prohibited alcohol by saying that its harms outweigh its benefits; then it said that it is not permissible to perform salaah in the state of intoxication; and after Islam had settled in firmly in the hearts of the Sahabah (Radiyallahu Anhum), alcohol was totally prohibited.
In this example, the prohibition of alcohol in the end does not prove that its permissibility initially was a mistake, but it proves that permissibility was more appropriate in the initial stages and prohibition was more appropriate in the end.
The aspect of naskh is also explained in the Quran in the following verse:
ما ننسخ من آية أو ننسها نأت بخير منها أو مثلها
Whenever we cancel a verse or cause it to be forgotten, We bring something better or equal to it. (Verse 1:106)
Secondly, Allah Ta’ala has taken the responsibility of safeguarding the Quran. Allah Ta’ala says in the Quran:
إنا نحن نزلنا الذكر وإنا له لحافظون
Verily We have revealed the Reminder (Quran) and We shall certainly be its protectors. (Verse 15:9)
Therefore, any text that proves otherwise will not be accepted.
Hereunder is the explanation to the narrations mentioned in the query:
1) The author has mentioned this narration to prove naskh. Therefore, Abdullah bin Umar’s (Radiyallahu Anhuma) saying that most of the Quran is lost refers to that part of the Quran which has been made naskh. The aspect of naskh has been explained above.
2) The saying attributed to Umar (Radiyallahu Anhu): “The current Quran is incomplete” could not be located. The reference provided was not sufficient as the edition was not mentioned.
3) By saying it was almost as long as the chapter of the Cow, Umar (Radiyallahu Anhu) refers to those aayaat of Surah Al Ahzab that were made naskh. The aspect of naskh has been mentioned above.
4) Imam Suyuti (Rahimahullah) himself mentions in Al Itqaan that one of the narrators is weak. Imam Suyuti (Rahimahullah) also mentions in Jaami’us Sagheer that the narration is weak. This narration is also mentioned in Al Mu’jam Al Awsat Li Al Tabrani, but with the same chain of narrators.
5) It is understood from this narration that the initial ruling regarding a wet-nurse was that if the child suckled her milk ten times, then she would become a mahram of the child. Then this ruling was made naskh and was reduced to suckling five times. This too was made naskh a short period before the demise of Nabi (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam). Some of the Sahabah (Radiyallahu Anhum) did not know of this naskh until after the demise of Nabi (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam), therefore still considered it to be an aayah of the Quran at the time of demise of Nabi (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam). However, they were
Sahih Muslim Bi Sharhi Al Imam Muhyi Addeen Al Nawawi Vol:10 Pg:271/2 (Darul Ma’rifah)
وقولها : ( فتوفي رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم وهن فيما يقرأ )
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 .
6) The ayah of rajm (stoning) was initially part of the Quran. The ayah was later made naskh, but the ruling still remained. The Sahabah (Radiyallahu Anhum) carried out the act of rajm even after the demise of Nabi (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam). This proves that the ruling was not cancelled.
This is one type of naskh, where the ayah is made naskh but the ruling does not get cancelled.
7) The translation of this narration quoted in the query is incorrect. The words “Quran mein ghaltiyan hain” were not said by Aishah (Radiyallahu Anha). The correct translation of the words said by Aishah (Radiyallahu Anha) is: “Merey bhanjay, yeh likhne waalon ka kaam he, unhon ne likhne mein ghalti ki”.
Al Itqan – Urdu Translation Vol:1 Pg:492 (Idarah Islamiyah)
The correct meaning of these words is also explained in detail by Imam Suyuti (Rahimahullah) in the same chapter. An essence of the whole explanation is that the Quran was revealed in seven different dialects. When the Sahabah (Radiyallahu Anhum) made copies of the Quran during the Khilafat of Uthman (Radiyallahu Anhu), they decided to write the Quran in such a way that all seven dialects could be read from one script of the Quran. To do so, they had to adjust some words to suit all seven dialects.
In the narration mentioned, Aishah’s (Radiyallahu Anha) nephew showed her three aayaat where such adjustments were made. Upon this, Aishah (Radiyallahu Anha) answered that they did not choose the best words that would suit all seven dialects. This does not prove that they did not write the Quran properly, or the words did not suit all seven dialects. It just proves that they could have chosen a better adjustment.
Al Itqan – Urdu Translation Vol:1 Pg:496 (Idarah Islamiyah)
8) Although Ibn Majah is one of the Sihah Sittah, some of its narrations are weak and some of them are even fabricated.
The narration mentioned in the query is also weak. Muhammed bin Ishaq, who is considered to be a weak narrator, is present in the chain of narrators.
Besides the fact that it is a weak narration, the aayaat written on the piece of paper were not part of the Quran at that time, but they were made naskh before the demise of Nabi (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam), as mentioned in 5) and 6).
Uloomul Quran – Mufti Taqi Uthmani Saheb Pg:220-221 (Maktabah Darul Uloom Krachi)
And Allah knows best
Mufti Ebrahim Desai
Darul Iftaa, Madrassah In’aamiyyah