Ulum al Qur'an
CONTENTS ONLINE LIBRARY
General and Specific
Some verses of the Qur'an are of a very wide, general application (al-'am), e.g. including all human beings, or all Muslims etc. Other ayat are restricted in their application to certain special circumstances only (al-khas).
'Every soul shall have a taste of death' (Al-Qur'an 3: 185)
'Let there be no obscenity, nor wickedness nor wrangling in the Hajj' (Al-Qur'an 2:187).
'God (thus) directs you as regards your children (inheritance)' (Al-Qur'an 4: 11).
Furthermore one also distinguishes between 'general verses' which remain general, and others which intend a specific meaning.
'Pilgrimage thereto is a duty man owes to God- those who can afford the journey' (Al-Qur'an 3: 97).
Of the 'special meanings' there are several varieties. Usually some kind of condition or limitation is specified.
'Your step-daughters under your guardianship, born of your wives to whom you have gone in' (Al-Qur'an 4: 23).
'It is prescribed when death approaches any one of you, if you leave any goods that he make a bequest to parents and next of kin' (Al-Qur'an 2: 180).
'So keep away from the women in their courses, and do not approach them until they are clean' (Al-Qur'an 2: 222).