|Verse of Substitution|
|The substitution of a harder ruling with an easier one|
|Related Verses||Qur'an 2:106|
Al-Tabdīl Verse, (Arabic: آیة التبدیل) or the Verse of Substitution, is verse 101 of Qur'an 16 concerning the substitution of an initial ruling in a Quranic verse with another ruling. Such substitution is called "naskh" (abrogation). The verse was revealed to the Prophet (s) when polytheists said that Muhammad (s) was messing with his companions, since he commanded them to do one thing one day, and the next day he prohibited them from doing it and then commanded them to do something easier. They claimed that such substitutions were evidence that Muhammad (s) did not talk on behalf of God.
Text and Translation
وَإِذَا بَدَّلْنَا آیةً مَکانَ آیةٍ وَاللَّهُ أَعْلَمُ بِمَا ینَزِّلُ قَالُوا إِنَّمَا أَنْتَ مُفْتَرٍ بَلْ أَکثَرُهُمْ لَا یعْلَمُونَ
When We change a sign for another in its stead—and Allah knows best what He sends down—they say, ‘You are indeed a fabricator.’ Indeed, most of them do not know.
|— Qur'an 16:101|
Occasion of Revelation
Some commands were revealed by God and were then substituted by other commands, such as commands to peace which were replaced by commands to wars after a short while. Polytheists said that Muhammad was messing with his companions, since he commanded them to do one thing one day, and the next day he prohibited them from doing it and then commanded them to do something easier. They claimed that such substitutions were evidence that Muhammad did not talk on behalf of God, and this was all a lie he fabricated. After these remarks, the verse was revealed.
Meanings of Words
- "Baddalna" (بَدَّلْنَا) means substitution. In this verse, substitution means abrogation (naskh); that is, a ruling is revealed which was in the interest of people, but it later ceased to be in their interest, and was thus abrogated.
- "Muftar": (مُفْتَرٍ, in subject form) a person who fabricates lies.
Implication of Abrogation
The occasion of the revelation of the verse concerns the substitution of a harder ruling with an easier one. Thus, the verse is concerned with abrogation (naskh) of a ruling by another. There are two reasons why the verse implies the occurrence of abrogation:
- The verse was revealed to reject the views of those who insulted Islam and the Prophet (s) because of abrogation. Thus, there were cases of abrogation because of which they insulted the Prophet (s).
- The verse implies the occurrence of abrogation, because the substitution of a verse is to put aside a ruling and replace it with another ruling, which is abrogation.
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- Islāmī, Shaʾn-i nuzūl, p. 355.
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- Ṭabāṭabāʾī, al-Mīzān, vol. 10, p. 7.
- Qurashī, Qāmūs-i Qurān, vol. 5, p. 172.
- Makārim Shīrāzī, Tafsīr-i nimūna, vol. 11, p. 405.
- Farhangnāma-yi ʿulūm-i Qurʾān, vol. 1, p. 41-48.
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