The Second Opinion
A group of scholars were of the opinion that the ahadith mentioned in the beginning of this treatise, and those of the same meaning, were stated before the revelation of the obligations and prescribed punishments. Amongst this group were Zuhri and Thawri. This is a very weak opinion: many of these ahadith were articulated in Madinah, after the revelation of the obligations and prescribed punishments. Some mention the fact that he was in the Battle of Tabuk and that occurred towards the end of his, may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him, life.
Of this group some went on to say that these ahadith are all abrogated whereas others went on to say that they were not abrogated, rather unambiguous, and that conditions were later added to them. The issue of whether they are abrogated or not would then revolve around a well-known difference in the principles of jurisprudence: is an addition to a text regarded to be abrogated or not?
Thwari and other clearly stated that these ahadith were all abrogated by the revelation of the obligations and prescribed punishments. It is possible to understand that he meant by ‘abrogation’, ‘clarification and explanation’, because the Salaf would frequently employ the word abrogation with this meaning. In this case, what this group meant was that the revelation of the obligations and prescribed punishment further clarified that entry into Paradise, and safety from the Fire, was dependant upon them. Therefore the texts mentioned in the beginning would be ‘abrogated’ i.e. ‘clarified and expounded upon’; and the obligations would be the ‘abrogating texts’ i.e. the ones that clarify and expound upon the first set of texts.
The Key to Paradise Ibn Rajab Al-Hanbali Page 37