I have a question that has been seriously bothering me for a while.
In tafsir Al-Qurtubi and Itqan by Suyuti a narration has been quoted that shows that Surah At-Tawbah was originally equal to the length of Surah Baqarah. Here is the reference from Itqan by Suyuti:-
Malik says that several verses from chapter 9 (Sura of Repentance) have been dropped from the beginning. Among them is, ‘In the name of God the compassionate, the Merciful’ because it was proven that the length of Sura of Repentance was equal to the length of the Sura of the Cow." - (The Itqan" by Suyuti Part 3, Page 184/ Itqan by Suyuti, part 3, page 72)
Here is what Al-Qurtubu records in his Tafsir:-
Malik said among what had been narrated by Ibn Wahb and Ibn Al Qasim and Ibn Abdul Hakam is that when the first part of Surat Bara'at was lost, ‘Bismillah Al Rahman Al Raheem’ was also lost along with it. It has also been narrated from Ibn Ajlan that he heard that Surat Bara'at was equal to the length of Surat Al Baqarah or approximately equal to it, so the part was gone and because of that "Bismillah Al Rahman Al Raheem" wasn't written between them (between the lost and the remaining part) .” (Tafsir al-Qurtubi on Surah al Bara'at)
Some say that it is referring to abrogation of those verses. But why does Imam Malik said that these verses were lost?
Imam Malik ibn Anas was asked as to why there is no "Bismillah" in this surah. He said, "It was lost with its earlier parts, because it is confirmed that it was equal to surah al-Baqarah in length.
But the main question is that is there any evidence from the Koran or authentic Hadiths that proves that many verses of Surah Tawbah were abrogated?