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Meaning of Allah blotting out what He wills and confirming what He wills of the Book Print E-mail

Allah said,

﴿يَمْحُو اللَّهُ مَا يَشَآءُ﴾

(Allah blots out what He wills) of the divinely revealed Books,

﴿وَيُثَبِّتْ﴾

(and confirms), until the Qur'an, revealed from Allah to His Messenger peace be upon him, abrogated them all. Mujahid commented;

﴿يَمْحُو اللَّهُ مَا يَشَآءُ وَيُثْبِتُ﴾

(Allah blots out what He wills and confirms (what He wills).) "Except life and death, misery and happiness ﴿i.e., faith and disbelief﴾, for they do not change.'' Mansur said that he asked Mujahid, "Some of us say in their supplication, `O Allah! If my name is with those who are happy (believers), affirm my name among them, and if my name is among the miserable ones (disbelievers), remove it from among them and place it among the happy ones.'' Mujahid said. "This supplication is good.'' I met him a year or more later and repeated the same question to him and he recited these Ayat,

﴿إِنَّآ أَنزَلْنَـهُ فِى لَيْلَةٍ مُّبَـرَكَةٍ﴾

(We sent it (this Qur'an) down on a blessed night.) Mujahid commented next, "During Laylatul-Qadr (Night of the Decrees), Allah decides what provisions and disasters will occur in the next year of. He then brings forward or back (or blots out) whatever He wills. As for the Book containing the records of the happy (believers) and the miserable (disbelievers), it does not change.'' Al-A`mash narrated that Abu Wa'il, Shaqiq bin Salamah said that he used to recite this supplication often, "O Allah, if You wrote us among the wretched ones, remove this status from us and write us among the blessed ones. If You wrote us among the blessed ones, please let us stay that way, for surely, You blot out and confirm what You will, and with You is the Mother of the Book.'' Ibn Jarir At-Tabari collected this. Similar statements were collected from `Umar bin Al-Khattab and `Abdullah bin Mas`ud, indicating that Allah blots out (or abrogates) and affirms what He wills in the Book of Records. What further supports this meaning is that Imam Ahmad recorded that Thawban said that the Messenger of Allah said,

«إِنَّ الرَّجُلَ لَيُحْرَمُ الرِّزْقَ بِالذَّنْبِ يُصِيبُهُ، وَلَا يَرُدُّ الْقَدَرَ إِلَّا الدُّعَاءُ، وَلَا يَزِيدُ فِي الْعُمْرِ إِلَّا الْبِر»

(A man might be deprived of a provision (that was written for him) because of a sin that he commits; only supplication changes Al-Qadar (Predestination); and only Birr (righteousness) can increase the life span.'') An-Nasa'i and Ibn Majah collected this Hadith. There is also a Hadith recorded in the Sahih that affirms that maintaining the ties of the womb increases the life span. Al-`Awfi reported that Ibn `Abbas said about Allah's statement,

﴿يَمْحُو اللَّهُ مَا يَشَآءُ وَيُثْبِتُ وَعِندَهُ أُمُّ الْكِتَـبِ ﴾

(Allah blots out what He wills and confirms (what He wills). And with Him is the Mother of the Book.) "A man might work in Allah's obedience for a while but he reverts to the disobedience of Him and then dies while misguided. This is what Allah blots out, while what He confirms is a man who works in His disobedience, but since goodness was destined for him, he dies after reverting to the obedience of Allah. This is what Allah confirms.'' It was also reported that Sa`id bin Jubayr said that this Ayah is in the meaning of another Ayah,

﴿فَيَغْفِرُ لِمَن يَشَآءُ وَيُعَذِّبُ مَن يَشَآءُ وَاللَّهُ عَلَى كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ﴾

(Then He forgives whom He wills and punishes whom He wills. And Allah is able to do all things.) ﴿2:284﴾

﴿وَإِن مَّا نُرِيَنَّكَ بَعْضَ الَّذِى نَعِدُهُمْ أَوْ نَتَوَفَّيَنَّكَ فَإِنَّمَا عَلَيْكَ الْبَلَـغُ وَعَلَيْنَا الْحِسَابُ - أَوَلَمْ يَرَوْاْ أَنَّا نَأْتِى الاٌّرْضَ نَنقُصُهَا مِنْ أَطْرَافِهَا وَاللَّهُ يَحْكُمُ لاَ مُعَقِّبَ لِحُكْمِهِ وَهُوَ سَرِيعُ الْحِسَابِ ﴾

(40. Whether We show you part of what We have promised them or cause you to die, your duty is only to convey (the Message) and on Us is the reckoning.) (41. See they not that We gradually reduce the land from its outlying borders. And Allah judges, there is none to put back His judgement, and He is swift at reckoning.)

 
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