A Detailed Analysis Of The Khaas (Specific) Verses In The Quraan

Abrogation VS specific:

According to the majority of the scholars the verse conveyed in specific terms specifies the verse conveyed in general terms.

According to the majority of scholars the time factor has no role to play in the event of general and specific. The specific always specifies the verse conveyed in general terms. According to the hanafes however, when the specification was revealed after the general verse was revealed, it abrogates the general verse, rather than specifying it.

Below is a table which shows how the chronological order effects the role of specifying the general verses in the Quraan:

Specific in relation to the general Parallel After Unknown Before
Majority Specifies Specifies Specifies
Hanafee Specifies Abrogates Specifies Abrogates

As is seen in this table, when the Specific is parallel, after or unknown (in chronological order of revelation) it specifies the general, but according to the Hanafees, when the specific is after the general, it abrogates it. Likewise, when the order of revelation is unknown, the hanafees presume that it is parallel to the general, thus take it as a form of specifier.

The difference between specifying and abrogating is that abrogation is a total or partial suspension of a ruling at a later date, whereas specification simply limits the application of the ruling.

According to the majority, the specific is a form of bayaan (explanation), whereas the Hanafees say it is a form of bayaan (explanation) when:

(a) the chronological order of both the specific and general is parallel (as seen in the table above), and;

(b) the specific and general are both of the same strength (i.e, qat’ee [decisive] or zanni [speculative]) in their application.

So according to the hanafees, when the specific is after the general, the specific is a form of abrogation, not bayaan (explanation).

The hanafees differ with the majority of scholars when it comes to the detailed rulings of specification (takhsees). The Hanafees say that specification is a partial abrogation whereas the majority of scholars disagree on this and say that it is not a partial abrogation but a bayaan (explanation) or a qualification. [See below for more details on a verse being partially specified/abrogated]

Al-Ghazaalee refutes the two points/conditions the Hanafees maintain ((a) and (b) above) namely that (a) the time factor can change the specification into an abrogation and (b) the strength of the verse determines the difference between specification and abrogation.

Qat’ee and Zanni:

Qat’ee is a definitive proof and zanni is speculative in its proof.

The majority of scholars say that the general a zanni (speculative), whether before or after being specified (so it is open to qualification and ta’weel).

But the Hanafees say that the general is qat’ee (definitive) but when partially specified, the part which is not partialy specified becomes zanni (speculative).

When The general is Partially Specified:

The majority of scholars say that when a general verse has been specified, then the general verse need not be acted upon. Furthermore; when the general is partially specified, then the part which is not partially specified retains its legal authority.

According to the Hanafees however, a verse conveyed in general terms is qat’ee (definitive) before the specification, but when it is partially specified, the part which was not partially specified becomes zanni (speculative) in its weight. Therefore, they claim, it can now be specified by another zanni (speculative) verse.

Conflict Between A General And Specific Verse:

As stated previously, the Hanafees see both, the general and specific, as qat’ee (definitive), so based on this principle, a conflict can occur between the general and specific. the majority, however, disagree that a clash/conflict can occur, because according to the majority, the general is zanni (speculative) and the specific is qat’ee (definitive), so the specific will always prevail over the general.

What To Do In Cases Of A ‘Conflict’:

A conflict cannot take place, but due to the opinion of the Hanfees, we state their approach. The Hanafees state that in case of a conflict, the chronological order needs to be ascertained. I.e, whether one is Makkee, the other Madanee, or whether both are Makkee, or both are Madanee etc.

Once the chronological order is known, then if the verse conveyed in general terms is later in date than the specific verse, then the general abrogates the specific (see table above). If the verse conveyed in specific terms is later than the general verse, then the specific partially abrogates the general. Why is this? Because the Hanafees say that the specific specifies the general if they are parallel (in chronological order) and are both qat’ee (definitive).

The majority, refute this concept mentioned above, and say the specific specifies and explains the general (i.e, acts as a bayaan

). The reason being that the general is like the verse conveyed in the zhaahir (apparant) term. The general and zhaahir are both zanni (speculative) and hence open to qualification and ta’weel.

An Example Of A ‘Conflict’ Between The general And Specific:

If all the above is understood, and maashaaAllaah if you understood all the above, we present an example of such a ‘conflict’ between a general and specific verse.

The first hadeeth reads:

Whatever is watered by the sky is subject to one tenth.

The second hadeeth reads:

There is no charity in less than 5 awsaaq.” (A wasq is approx. 10kg)

the majority of the ‘Ulamaa’ say that the second hadeeth specifies the general rule in the first hadeeth (i.e, it qualifies and explains it).

The Hanafees, however, say that the first hadeeth abrogates the second. They state this because they say the second hadeeth was mentioned before the first one (in chronological order), so according to them (as is seen in the table above), when the specific is before the general, it abrogates the specific.

So according to the Hanafees, they state that there IS zakaah on less than 5 awsaaq.

But according to the majority, there is NO zakaah on less than 5 awsaaq.

In Conclusion:

As already stated above, the view of the majority is the stronger view, and the sounder opinion to take. It is unnecessary to resort to abrogation in cases of ‘conflict’ between the general and the specific.

The general and the specific can thus each operate in their respective spheres with or without a discrepancy in their time of origan and the degree of their respective strength.

[For more info, please refer to “Principles Of Islamic Jurisprudence” by Muhammad Haashim Kamaali, Pp. 151-155]

Likewise; I hope that by stating the two opinions with a somewhat detailed background, my brothers can realise that Islaam (in particular: fiqhi opinions) isn’t as simple as “Here’s the hadeeth to refute such and such opinion,” as through the explanation above (the entire article) we come to know that it isn’t always the case that Imaam Aboo Haneefah didn’t have access to hadeeth, rather he (rh) differed in his usool (fundamentals) in certain topics. It is true that qiyaas was one of his most used tools, (which show he had less access than the other three Imaams) but this is not always the case.



2 Responses to “A Detailed Analysis Of The Khaas (Specific) Verses In The Quraan”

  1. saeed ibn muhammad Says:


    asalmaualaykum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh

    mashallah this is really complex.

    can you email me ———–@—–.—?


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