Ulum al Qur'an
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Specific or General?
Another question leads directly to the field of tafsir, but is still connected with asbab al-nuzul. When one knows about the sabab al-nuzul, it is still to be decided whether the revelation has a specific implication for the particular occasion it was connected with, or whether it is of general implication and needs to be applied by all Muslims at all times.
'As to the thief, male or female, cut off his or her hands: a punishment by way of example, from God, for their crime: and God is exalted in power' (5: 41).
This verse although it was revealed concerning a specific person who had stolen a piece of armour and had been punished accordingly, is of general application. [See Wahidi, op.cit., p.111; also Tafsir Ibn al-Jauzi, Beirut, 1964, Vol.II, p.348.]