Was there once a “stoning verse”?

Is there such thing as a “Verse of Rajm or stoning”? I read a hadith that says in Sahih Bukhari:
Volume 8, Book 82, Number 816 :

Narrated by Ibn ‘Abbas:

‘Umar said, “I am afraid that after a long time has passed, people may say, “We do not find the Verses of the Rajam (stoning to death) in the Holy Book,” and consequently they may go astray by leaving an obligation that Allah has revealed. Lo! I confirm that the penalty of Rajam be inflicted on him who commits illegal sexual intercourse, if he is already married and the crime is proved by witnesses or pregnancy or confession.” Sufyan added, “I have memorized this narration in this way.” ‘Umar added, “Surely Allah’s Apostle carried out the penalty of Rajam, and so did we after him.”

Is this hadith authentic?

And also, is it possible for a hadith to be authentic but still contradict the Glorious Quran? Thanks, and in no way did I mean to cause offence.

This hadeeth is problematic because it alleges that several verses were revealed but never recorded as part of the Quran. This is called Naskh in Islamic literature and is often, incorrectly IMHO, translated abrogation. This is a complex, and controversial, subject in Islamic literature, but if you’re interested to know more about it you can check out this discussion forum.

Because this hadeeth is reported in Al-Bukhaari (and Muslim’s) Hadeeth compilation books, regarded by all Sunni Muslims to be authentic sources, many scholars are adamant that there was once a stoning verse. The majority of them have opined that it was abrogated by 24:2, the only explicit verse that sets a penalty for adultery in an unambiguous, most emphatic language. There is no other penalty for adultery in Islam than what verse 24:2 states.

The subject of abrogation is perhaps the strangest subject you will ever read in the classic books of the Salaf. If you are interested in learning what has been said about the stoning verse and whether it was abrogated by 24:2 or abrogated it (!!), you may want to read this discussion topic.

To answer your last question, yes, a hadeeth can be rated authentic but still appear contradictory to the Quran. It’s not because the Prophet (PBUH) would contradict the Quran, but it’s because the hadeeth is either misunderstood or mistransmitted. Read some of the posts in categories Authentication and Abrogation for more details.

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