Ayat ar-Rajm (The Verse of Stoning)

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1 month 2 days ago #1037 by Imam Rassi Society
Salamu alaykum,

I know the question was asked and answered on the forum, but I’m looking for a bit more detail on Ayat al-Rajm.

I was just wondering if you would be able to offer any insight from a linguistic perspective? The supposed “verse” reads as follows: الشيخ والشيخة إذا زنيا فارجموهما البتة

My contentions would be that the words Shaykh wa Shaykha do not mean a married man and married woman, but instead mean an old man and old woman - making it bad use of vocabulary. In addition to this, the word بتة is not used anywhere in the Quran indicating different authorship.

Would you be able to offer additional insight? Or perhaps see if our Imams have offered any textual or linguistic criticism on this?

Barakallahu feek!
wa alaykum as salaam wa rahma!

Thank you for your question! Alhamdulillah, I can say with all certainty that this narration of the Verse of Stoning does not appear in any Zaydi corpus of hadith. The only thing close we have is the narration in which the Verse of Stoning refers to a verse from the Torah, not the Qur'an. None of our imams ever relate the hukm of stoning to the Qur'an. It's even narrated that Imam Ali (as) said: "Whipping is in the Book of Allah, and stoning is in the Sunnah of the Messenger, peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny."

As for as a linguistic argument, I haven't come across anything from our imams that argue from a linguistic standpoint. It does seem rather odd that the verse begins with "Shaykh and shaykha when they commit fornication..." which is a novel construction in the Qur'an. To me, it would make more sense, at least linguistically, to say "The fornicating woman and fornicating man..." like it does in Q 24:2.

And Allah knows best!

IRS

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1 month 2 days ago #1038 by Imam Rassi Society
Salamu alaykum!

Thank you for the reply. Do you know if any of our scholars rejected the concept of a verse which is abrogated in recitation but the ruling of which still applies? If so, it would be be great if you could locate any quotes on this. Also, would you happen to have any references/quotes at hand of any of our Imams explicitly rejecting the stoning verse? I have put a post together on this and the quotes from our Imams would just be the finishing touches.

Barakallahu feek!

Wa alaykum as salaam

Thank you for your question! As far as what I could find, in Al-Bahr az-Zakhkhaar, Imam Ahmed b. Yahya (as) cited ‘Ayat ar-Rajm’ from Umar as an example of the abrogation of recitation but not the hukm. He also cited examples of the abrogation of both recitation and hukm as in the case of the supposed ‘Verse of Ten Sucklings’ by A’isha. However, he adds: “These are only examples since their authenticity has not been expressed and some of them contradict what is permissible.” By that, I think the imam means that these reports contradict the integrity of the Qur’an.

And Allah knows best!

IRS

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