Were parts of the Quran lost or forgotten?

I got an email from a group called the Sakshi Reserach Team quoting some hadeeths which imply that parts of the Quran were lost, forgotten or abrogated. One hadeeth says that verses were written on a piece of paper but a goat ate it!

Is is strange or what? How do I answer them?

See what happens when people give narrations precedence over the Quran? The subject of abrogation is one of the worst manifestations of that.

BTW, verse 2:106 does not say “We do not abrogate”, it says “If we ever abrogate”.

If you read half as many classical books as I did, you will be absolutely shocked by some of what was said in them.

Muslims must never believe that any part of the Quran was lost, forgotten or abrogated, because God clearly says in it,

“Verily, upon Us is collecting it and [teaching you how to] recite it. When We recite it [to you], follow its recitation. Then upon Us is its elaboration.” (75:17-19)

Muslims must also never give narrations, no matter how authentic they are, precedence over the Quran, if those narrations contradict it. This is what Imaam Maalik and all the Sahaaba did in regard to the authentic hadeeth reported by Amra bint Abdir-Rahmaan (RA) who said that `Aa’isha (RA) told her that there was once a verse specifying ten sucklings as a minimum before a child is considered a suckling sibling. Then, she said, it was abrogated by anoher verse that reduced the minimum to five. She said that `Aa’isha told her that both verses were in recitation when the prophet (PBUH) died!

All the Sahaaba rejected that. None of them ever heard those two “verses”. Imaam Maalik said that the hadeeth, even though it’s authentic, must be rejected (Mardood). No one has ever said that Amra lied, or that she was anything less than trustworthy. In fact, she was so knowledgeable that Umar ibn Abdil-Azeez (RA) used to consult her!

So, how can that be? Who knows why? Maybe she was confused. Maybe she misunderstood what she heard from `Aa’isha. Maybe maybe. The bottom line is that when a narration, even an authentic one, contradicts the Quran, it must not be accepted. The Sahaaba did so and so did Imaam Maalik, rahimahullah.

Does that mean they denied the Sunna? Of course not. They simply put the Quran at a higher pedestal. The Quran was transmitted to us by thousands narrating to thousands who all memorized every letter, diacritic and intonation of it. It was written down entirely during the life of the Prophet (PBUH). It was copied and sent to the capitals of all Muslim countries.

The Hadeeth, on the other hand, was not written down and was not authenticated for nearly 200 years after the death of the Prophet (PBUH). 99% of it is narrated by a few people (Aahaad), only a small fraction, approximately 300, are narrated by many from many, called Mutawaatir (ubiquitous).

Does that mean we should discard the Hadeeth? Of course not. The Hadeeth is extremely important as it tells us details we could never know on our own without it. But we must understand that the Quran takes first stage, and nothing can nor should overrule it. This is what God tells us in the Quran,

“Is it then other than God that I should seek as judge, when He sent down to you the Book, detailed?” (6:114)

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