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So I seem to recall there was a hadith by Aisha which describes that there were verses eaten by a sheep which dictated the ruling of stoning adulterers and I'm wondering if this is authentic and if so, doesn't this imply that the Quran is lacking/incomplete?

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Is it true that there were verse(s) of the Quran dictating the stoning of adulterers?

Yes. Once upon a time there were verse(s) of the Quran dictating the stoning of adulterers.

The verse of Stoning was REVEALED and it was RECITED and it was also MEMORIZED by the sahaba.

“Allah sent Muhammad with the Truth and revealed the Holy Book to him, and among what Allah revealed, was the Verse of the Rajam (the stoning of married person (male & female)) who commits illegal sexual intercourse, and we did recite this Verse and understood and memorized it.” (Sahih al-Bukhari Book 82 Hadith 817)

“…Verily Allah sent

Muhammad (pbuh) with truth and He sent down the Book upon him, and the verse of stoning was included in what was sent down to him. We recited it, retained it in our memory and understood it…” (Sahih Muslim Book 17 Hadith 4194)

“Among what was revealed to him was the Ayah of

stoning.” (Jami` at-Tirmidhi Book 17 Hadith 1432)

“Umar b. al-Khattab

gave an address saying: Allah sent Muhammad (pbuh) with truth and sent down the Books of him, and the verse of stoning was included in what He sent down to him. We read it and memorized it.” (Sunan Abu Dawood Book 40 Hadith 4404)

“I have read it (verse of stoning).” (Sunan Ibn Majah Book 20 Hadith 2553)

Was the verse of rajm written during the lifetime of Muhammad (pbuh)?

No.

Umar said, “When this was revealed, I went to the Prophet and I said: Let me write it.” Shu’bah said, “It was as if the Prophet disliked that.” (Source: Musnad Aḥmad 21086) Grade: Sahih (authentic) according to Al-Albani

Is the verse of Stoning abrogated?

Yes and this verse is no longer part of the Quran.

If I didn't dislike that I add to the Book of Allah. I would have written it in the Mushaf, for I fear that there will come a people and they will not find it in the Book of Allah, so they will disbelieve in it." (Jami` at-Tirmidhi Book 17 Hadith 1431)

I swear by Allah, had it not been so that the people might say: ‘Umar made an addition to Allah’s Book, I would have written it (there). (Sunan Abu Dawood Book 40 Hadith 4404)

Were it not that some would say Umar has added to the book of Allah what does not belong in it, I would have written it in the margins of the Quran. Source: Musnad Aḥmad 156, Grade: Sahih

By He in Whose Hand my self is, had it not been that people would say that Umar ibn al-Khattab has added to the Book of Allah ta- ala, we would have written it (verse of stoning). (Muwatta Imam Malik Book 41 Hadith 10)

Umar even asked for the permission of Prophet (pbuh) to write the verse, but the Prophet (pbuh) did not allow him to write.

Umar said, “When this was revealed, I went to the Prophet and I said: Let me write it.” Shu’bah said, “It was as if the Prophet disliked that.” (Source: Musnad Aḥmad 21086) Grade: Sahih (authentic) according to Al-Albani

Is the ruling (e.g adulterers should be stoned to death) also abrogated?

No. Stoning the adulterer is a Sunnah.

'Umar said, "…. Lo! I confirm that the penalty of Rajam be inflicted on him who commits illegal sexual intercourse, if he is already married and the crime is proved by witnesses or pregnancy or confession." Sufyan added, "I have memorized this narration in this way." 'Umar added, "Surely Allah's Apostle carried out the penalty of Rajam, and so did we after him." (Sahih al-Bukhari Book 82 Hadith 816)

Allah's Apostle did carry out the punishment of stoning and so did we after him… And the punishment of the Rajam is to be inflicted to any married person (male & female), who commits illegal sexual intercourse, if the required evidence is available or there is conception or confession. (Sahih al-Bukhari Book 82 Hadith 817)

Narrated Ash-Sha'bi:

from 'Ali when the latter stoned a lady to death on a Friday. 'Ali said, "I have stoned her according to the tradition of Allah's Apostle." (Sahih al-Bukhari Book 82 Hadith 803)

“Allah's Messenger (Peace be upon him) awarded the punishment of stoning to death (to the married adulterer and adulteress) and, after him, we also awarded the punishment of stoning,….. Stoning is a duty laid down in Allah's Book for married men and women who commit adultery when proof is established, or it there is pregnancy, or a confession.” (Sahih Muslim Book 17 Hadith 4194)

Umar bin Al-Khattab said:

"The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) stoned, Abu Bakr stoned, and I stoned…” (Jami` at-Tirmidhi Book 17 Hadith 1431)

So the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) stoned, and we stoned after him… Indeed stoning is the retribution for the adulterer if he was married and the evidence has been established, or due to pregnancy, or confession (Jami` at-Tirmidhi Book 17 Hadith 1432)

The Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) had people stoned to death and we have done it also since his death…. Stoning is a duty laid down (by Allah) for married men and women who commit fornication when proof is established, or if there is pregnancy, or a confession. (Sunan Abu Dawood Book 40 Hadith 4404)

Rather stoning is a must if a man is married (or previously married) and proof is established, or if pregnancy results or if he admits it. The Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) stoned (adulterers) and we stoned (them) after him.' ” (Sunan Ibn Majah Book 20 Hadith 2553)

The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, stoned, so we have stoned. (Muwatta Imam Malik Book 41 Hadith 10)

Conclusion: (1) The verse of stoning was revealed, but later it was abrogated. (2) The Hadith, which says that verse of stoning was eaten by a goat (or tame sheep), is Dai'f. (3) The ruling of that verse is not abrogated and the ruling is that adulterers should be stoned to death. Stoning the adulterer is a Sunnah and the Four Rightly Guided Khalifs practiced this Sunnah after the Death of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). (4) The verse of Stoning WAS NOT written down. Even if we agree that it was written on a piece of paper (for the sake of argument), it does not make the ABROGATED VERSE part of the Quran.

  • Thanks for the answer as you have explained it thoroughly. I am wondering about the reason the prophet disliked the inclusion of that verse in the Quran. Do we know why it was abrogated beyond just that the prophet didn't want it in there? – John Doe May 25 at 16:49
  • I am wondering about the reason the prophet disliked the inclusion of that verse in the Quran. .......---- The Prophet (pbuh) disliked to include the verse in the Quran because the verse was abrogated. – Zidan Kkhan May 25 at 17:20
  • I thought the verse was abrogated because he disliked to include it in the Quran. This is confusing. If it's the other way around as you say, then why was it abrogated? Do we know? – John Doe May 25 at 17:21
  • “Whatever a Verse (revelation) do We abrogate or cause to be forgotten, We bring a better one or similar to it. Know you not that Allah is able to do all things? Know you not that it is Allah to Whom belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth? And besides Allah you have neither any Walee (protector or guardian) nor any helper.” [al-Baqarah 2:106-107]. – Zidan Kkhan May 25 at 17:29
  • Does the prophet say it was abrogated? And why would it be abrogated but yet the ruling remains, and what better or similar verse exists to compensate for the abrogation of that one? – John Doe May 25 at 17:41
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What about the Hadith which says verse was written on a paper and eaten by a goat or tame sheep?

“The Verse of stoning and of breastfeeding an adult ten times was revealed, and the paper was with me under my pillow. When the Messenger of Allah died, we were preoccupied with his death, and a tame sheep came in and ate it.” (Sunan Ibn Majah Book 9 Hadith 1944)

First of all, this was only narrated by Ibn Ishaq and his narration differed from the narration of other trustworthy narrators. Scholars of Hadith say this Hadith is da’eef (weak).

Hanbal ibn Ishaaq said: I heard Abu ‘Abdullah say: The narration of Ibn Ishaaq cannot be used as proof. ‘Abdullah ibn Ahmad said: He – i.e., Ahmad ibn Hanbal – did not use his reports as evidence when discussing what is Sunnah. Ayyoob ibn Ishaaq said: I asked Ahmad ibn Hanbal: O Abu ‘Abdullah, if Ibn Ishaaq is the only narrator of the hadith, will you accept it? He said: No, by Allah, for I have seen him putting together the words of many narrators in a single hadith, and not separating the narration of one person from that of another. Yahya ibn Ma‘een classed him as da‘eef in one report narrated from him. An-Nasaa’i said: He is not qawiy (strong). Ad-Daaraqutni said: The leading scholars differed concerning him, and he is not an authority; rather his narration may be taken into consideration (alongside others) See: Tahdheeb at-Tahdheeb (9/45).

Secondly, even if an abrogated verse is written in a piece of paper, it won’t make the verse part of the Quran.

I hope you got the answer.

  • Thanks for the answer. So I guess that means we don't really know if this was a verse or not. But what makes the verse abrogated, and not part of the Quran if it existed? – John Doe May 24 at 16:41
  • The matter is not as simple as that. Declaring a hadith and a narrator as da'if doesn't qualify the whole bench of narrations as not reliable. This post islam.stackexchange.com/q/39822/13438 covers a sahih hadith with the same content. – Medi1Saif May 24 at 17:03
  • @Medi1Saif Probably, you didn't read my Answer carefully. Because All the Hadith, which narrates about "the tame sheep eating the verse", came from the SAME SOURCE and that is IBN ISHAQ. Thus all these particular ahadith are Da'if. Moreover, my answer ONLY covered this question- What about the Hadith which says verse was written on a paper and eaten by a goat or tame sheep? – Zidan Kkhan May 25 at 7:05
  • @Medi1Saif None of the Sahih Hadith relates the incident of "tame sheep eating verse of stoning or verse of breastfeeding". – Zidan Kkhan May 25 at 7:07
  • I know that and I have already answered a question about the goat that ate this verse, but as the question was later deleted my answer no more be found or read by users with 10000rep< what I was pointing at is that you can't say that this verse didn't exist. – Medi1Saif May 25 at 8:41

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