A General Verse Could Imply 3 Possible Implications

The ‘Aamm (general) verse in the Quraan may be divided into three main categories in relationship to the context of the verses in which they occur and the laws and principles which were intended.

First: The General Verse Maintaining Its General:

This is where the general verse remains general. An example of such a verse is:

…And Allaah knows all [kull] things.” [4:176]

Likewise the verse:

Your mothers [ummuhaatukum] have been made forbidden [in marriage] to you…” [4:23]

As there are no exceptions to these verses, they remain general without no specifications or exceptions.

Second: The Figurative ‘Aamm:

This is where the general verse is only figurative, in which the general meaning of the verse was never intended. An example of such a verse is:

Those to whome the people [an-naas] said, ‘The people [an-naas] have gathered against you, so fear them’.” [3:173]

The first expression of “the people” refers specifically to Nu’aym ibn Mas’ood, while the second expression of “the people” refers to Aboo Sufyaan and the Quraysh army, and not the generality which the expression implies.

Third: The Specified ‘Aamm:

This is where the genrality of the ‘Aamm expression is qualified by one of the specific words or phrases. An example of such a verse is:

…Hajj to the house [the Ka’bah] is an obligation to Allaah on all people [an-naas] who are able to find a way there…” [3″97]

The generality of “all people” has been specified by the condition that it is only for those people who can carry out the task (financially and physically).

[Usool At-Tafseer, by Bilal Philips, Pp. 268-270]


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