The Difference Between Naskh and Takhsees

The phenomenon of takhsees ['specification'] was mentioned in previous editions. It is essential that the concept of naskh is not confused with that of takhsees, and for this reason many scholars of 'uloom ai-Qur'aan included in their works the difference  between naskh and takhsees.

Taskhsees is defined to be the specification of a general ruling ['aam], such that what seems to be a general ruling only applies in certain cases. For examples, Qur'aan  orders the amputation of the hand of the thief,

"and the thief - male or female – cut off their hand. " (Q5[Maidah]:38)

The verse is general ['aam], and implies that the hand of every thief must be cut. The Prophet (salallahu alayhi wa sallam), however, qualified that the thief in this case must steal above a certain monetary value. If he stole below this value, this ruling will not apply to him. Therefore, the Prophet (salal/ahu alayhi wa sallam) specified the general ruling of the verse. This, then, is an example of takhsees: the hand of every thief will not be cut; only those thieves who stole above the monetary value are punished.

Naskh differs from takhsees in the following manners:

I] Naskh may only occur with regards to laws and rulings [ahkaam]. Takhsees, on the other hand, may occur with respects to other matters. For example, Allaah says:

 "By the time All mankind is in a loss. Except that who believe, and do righteous deeds, and exhort one another in truth, and .exhort one another in patience" (Q103[Asr]:1-3)

The second verse is general ['aam], implying that all of mankind will be in loss. The last verse, however, is an example of takhsees, since it qualifies those of mankind who are not in a loss.

2] Naskh implies a total abandonment of the previous ruling, no matter what the case. Takhsees, on the other hand, is defined to be the implementation of a previous ruling in only some of the original case. In other words, after a takhsees occurs, the ruling is not totally invalid, but rather valid in a narrower frame. Therefore, the mansookh cannot be applied after the naasikh has been revealed, but the rulings of 'aam still apply afterthe takhsees.

3] The naasikh must be revealed after the mansookh, whereas there is no such time restriction to takhsees.

4] Naskh only occurs with respect to the Qur"aan or the Sunnah. Takhsees on the other hand, may apply to Qur'aan, Sunnah or ijmaa,' or qiyaas. Also, the naasikh may only come from Qur'aan or Sunnah, whereas takhsees may be based on common sense or ijtihaad.

This article was culled from the publications of Deen Communication Limited

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