Q1: Discuss the theory of abrogation.
Q2: Define and dicuss Quran as primary source of islamic Law.
Understanding the necessity for Naskh is crucial in understanding Islam and its theology. The Qur'an is said to have been revealed by the angel Jibreel to Muhammad over a period of twenty-three years. During those years, a lot had changed in his personal and private life.
Muhammad began as a preacher, and ended his life as the founder and Head of the first Islamic state, so it is not surprising that the style and message of later Medinan Qur'anic revelations changed and often conflicted with earlier Meccan ones.
Today's Qur'an, when read at face value with its non-chronological organization, can support any number of views on several subjects, and when read as a whole, many surahs clearly contradict one another. This is why Muhammad himself (through Qur'anic revelations) introduced this concept into Islam.
At the time of the caliphate, some scholars (particularly a preacher from Kufa, Iraq) were banned from explaining and preaching the Qur'an by early 'ilmic authority figure (usually 'Alī but sometimes also Ibn 'Abbās) because of their ignorance of the principles of naskh.
Some may claim this doctrine does not exist or is not a part of mainstream Islam. However, when you view the chronological order of the revelations, it becomes undeniable. Moreover, Muslims adhere to this doctrine everyday, by prohibiting the consumption of alcohol.
Arabic:ماننسخ من اية او ننسها نات بخير <منها او مثلها الم تعلمان الله على كل شئ قدير
Transliteration: Ma nansakh min ayatin aw nunsiha na/ti bikhayrin minha aw mithliha alam taaalam anna Allaha aala kulli shay-in qadeerun
Shakir: Whatever communications We abrogate or cause to be forgotten, We bring one better than it or like it. Do you not know that Allah has power over all things?
Meaning of Verse 2:106
The Meaning of Naskh
Ibn Abi Talhah said that Ibn `Abbas said that,
(Whatever a verse (revelation) do Nansakh) means, "Whatever an Ayah We abrogate. Also, Ibn Jurayj said that Mujahid said that,
(Whatever a verse (revelation) do Nansakh) means, "Whatever an Ayah We erase. Also, Ibn Abi Najih said that Mujahid said that,
(Whatever a verse (revelation) do Nansakh) means, "We keep the words, but change the meaning. He related these words to the companions of `Abdullah bin Mas`ud. Ibn Abi Hatim said that similar statements were mentioned by Abu Al-`Aliyah and Muhammad bin Ka`b Al-Qurazi. Also As-Suddi said that,
(Whatever a verse (revelation) do Nansakh) means, "We erase it. Further, Ibn Abi Hatim said that it means, "Erase and raise it, such as erasing the following wordings (from the Qur'an), `The married adulterer and the married adulteress: stone them to death,' and, `If the son of Adam had two valleys of gold, he would seek a third.'
Ibn Jarir stated that,
(Whatever a verse (revelation) do Nansakh) means, "Whatever ruling we repeal in an Ayah by making the allowed unlawful and the unlawful allowed. The Nasakh only occurs with commandments, prohibitions, permissions, and so forth. As for stories, they do not undergo Nasakh. The word, `Nasakh' literally means, `to copy a book'. The meaning of Nasakh in the case of commandments is removing the commandment and replacing it by another. And whether the Nasakh involves the wordings, the ruling or both, it is still called Nasakh.
Allah said next,
(or Nunsiha (cause it to be forgotten)). `Ali bin Abi Talhah said that Ibn `Abbas said that,
(Whatever a verse (revelation) do Nansakh or Nunsiha) means, "Whatever Ayah We repeal or uphold without change. Also, Mujahid said that the companions of Ibn Mas`ud (who read this word Nansa'ha) said that it means, "We uphold its wording and change its ruling. Further, `Ubayd bin `Umayr, Mujahid and `Ata' said, `Nansa'ha' means, "We delay it (i.e., do not abrogate it). Further, `Atiyyah Al-`Awfi said that the Ayah means, "We delay repealing it. This is the same Tafsir provided by As-Suddi and Ar-Rabi` bin Anas. `Abdur-Razzaq said that Ma`mar said that Qatadah said about Allah's statement,
(Whatever a verse (revelation) do We abrogate or cause to be forgotten) "Allah made His Prophet forget what He willed and He abrogated what He will.
(We bring a better one or similar to it), better, relates to the benefit provided for the one it addresses, as reported from `Ali bin Abi Talhah that Ibn `Abbas said,
(We bring a better one) means, "We bring forth a more beneficial ruling, that is also easier for you. Also, As-Suddi said that,
(We bring a better one or similar to it) means, "We bring forth a better Ayah, or similar to that which was repealed. Qatadah also said that,
(We bring a better one or similar to it) means, "We replace it by an Ayah more facilitating, permitting, commanding, or prohibiting.
The Meaning of Naskh
Tafsir ibn Kathir
Allah doth blot out or confirm what He pleaseth: with Him is the Mother of the Book.
And when We change (one) communication for (another) communication, and Allah knows best what He reveals, they say: You are only a forger. Nay, most of them do not know.
They ask thee concerning the Spirit (of inspiration). Say: "The Spirit (cometh) by command of my Lord: of knowledge it is only a little that is communicated to you, (O men!)" If it were Our Will, We could take away that which We have sent thee by inspiration:then wouldst thou find none to plead thy affair in that matter as against Us,-
By degrees shall We teach thee to declare (the Message), so thou shalt not forget, Except as Allah wills: For He knoweth what is manifest and what is hidden.
The following sahih narration indicates their are many verses in the Qur'an that have been abrogated, but all of them had to be included.
I said to 'Uthman bin 'Affan (while he was collecting the Qur'an) regarding the Verse:-- "Those of you who die and leave wives ..." (2.240) "This Verse was abrogated by an other Verse. So why should you write it? (Or leave it in the Qur'an)?" 'Uthman said. "O son of my brother! I will not shift anything of it from its place."
Sahih Bukhari 6:60:53
They had a choice, either fast or feed a poor for every day.." and added, "This Verse is abrogated."
Sahih Bukhari 6:60:33
That he heard Ibn 'Abbas reciting the Divine Verse:-- "And for those who can fast they had a choice either fast, or feed a poor for every day.." (2.184) Ibn 'Abbas said, "This Verse is not abrogated, but it is meant for old men and old women who have no strength to fast, so they should feed one poor person for each day of fasting (instead of fasting).
Sahih Bukhari 6:60:32
"For those who can fast, they had a choice either fast, or feed a poor for every day," (2.184) was revealed, it was permissible for one to give a ransom and give up fasting, till the Verse succeeding it was revealed and abrogated it.
Sahih Bukhari 6:60:34
'Ata said: Ibn 'Abbas said, "This Verse, i.e. the Statement of Allah: "..without turning them out.." cancelled the obligation of staying for the waiting period in her dead husband's house, and she can complete this period wherever she likes
Sahih Bukhari 6:60:54
This Verse:--"Whether you show what is in your minds or conceal it.." (2.284) was abrogated
Sahih Bukhari 6:60:68
A man from the companions of Allah's Apostle who I think, was Ibn 'Umar said, "The Verse:-- ‘Whether you show what is in your minds or conceal it ...’ was abrogated by the Verse following it."
Sahih Bukhari 6:60:69
The Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) abrogated some of his commands by others, just as the Qur'an abrogates some part with the other.
Sahih Muslim 003:0675
Al-Bara' b. 'Azib reported: This verse was revealed (in this way): "Guard the prayers and the 'Asr prayer." We recited it (in this very way) so long as Allah desired. Allah, then, abrogated it and it was revealed: "Guard the prayers, and the middle prayer." A person who was sitting with Shaqiq (one of the narrators in the chain of transmitters) said: Now it implies the 'Asr prayer. Upon this al-Bara' said: I have already informed you how this (verse) was revealed and how Allah abrogated it, and Allah knows best. Imam Muslim said: Ashja'i narrated it from Sufyan al-Thauri, who narrated it from al-Aswad b. Qais, who narrated it from 'Uqba, who narrated it from al-Bara' b. 'Azib who said: We recited with the Prophet (may peace be upon him) (the above-mentioned verse like this, i. e. instead of Salat al- Wusta, Salat al-'Asr) for a certain period, as it has been mentioned (in the above-quoted hadith).
Sahih Muslim 4:1317
Anas b. Malik reported that the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) invoked curse in the morning (prayer) for thirty days upon those who killed the Companions (of the Holy Prophet) at Bi'r Ma'una. He cursed (the tribes) of Ri'l, Dhakwan, Lihyan, and Usayya, who had disobeyed Allah and His Messenger (may peace be upon him). Anas said: Allah the Exalted and Great revealed (a verse) regarding those who were killed at Bi'r Ma'una, and we recited it, till it was abrogated later on (and the verse was like this):, convey to it our people the tidings that we have met our Lord, and He was pleased with us and we were pleased with Him".
Sahih Muslim 4:1433
Sa'id b. Jubair reported: I said to Ibn Abbas: Will the repentance of that person be accepted who kills a believer intentionally? He said: No. I recited to him this verse of Sura al-Furqan (xix.): "And those who call not upon another god with Allah and slay not the soul which Allah has forbidden except in the cause of justice" to the end of the verse. He said: This is a Meccan verse which has been abrogated by a verse revealed at Medina: "He who slays a believer intentionally, for him is the requital of Hell-Fire where he would abide for ever," and in the narration of Ibn Hisham (the words are): I recited to him this verse of Sura al-Furqan: "Except one who made repentance." (see also Sahih al-Bukhari Volume 6, Book 60, Number 285)
Sahih Muslim 43:7173
In Surat al-Muzzammil (73), the verse: "Keep vigil at night but a little, a half thereof" (2-3) has been abrogated by the following verse: "He knoweth that ye count it not, and turneth unto you in mercy. Recite then of the Qur'an that which is easy for you" (v.20). The phrase "the vigil of the night" (nashi'at al-layl) means the early hours of the night. They (the companions) would pray (the tahajjud prayer) in the early hours of the night.
Abu Dawud 5:1299
Ibn ‘Abbas said: When the opening verses of Surah asl-muzzammil (lxxiii.), were revealed, the Companions would pray as long as they would pray during Ramadan until its last verses were revealed.
Abu Dawud 1:1300
Women who are divorced shall wait, keeping themselves apart, three monthly courses; and then said: And for such of your women as despair of menstruation, if ye doubt, their period (of waiting) shall be three months. This was abrogated from the former verse. Again he said: (O ye who believe, if ye wed believing women) and divorce them before ye have touched them, then there is no period that ye should reckon.
Abu Dawud 12:2275
Neither the abrogating nor the abrogated verses on suckling appear in the text of the Qur'an today. This, along with the qur'anic verse of rajm (stoning), were written on a piece of paper and were reportedly lost when a goat ate them.
Yahya related to me from Malik from Abdullah ibn Abi Bakr ibn Hazm from Amra bint Abd ar-Rahman that A'isha, the wife of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "Amongst what was sent down of the Qur'an was 'ten known sucklings make haram' - then it was abrogated by 'five known sucklings'. When the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, died, it was what is now recited of the Qur'an." Yahya said that Malik said, "One does not act on this."
Al-Muwatta 30 3.17b
Yahya said that he heard Malik say, "This ayat is abrogated. It is the word of Allah, the Blessed, the Exalted, 'If he leaves goods, the testament is for parents and kinsmen.' What came down about the division of the fixed shares of inheritance in the Book of Allah, the Mighty, the Exalted, abrogated it" ...
Al-Muwatta 37 5.4bb
Companions of Muhammad
According to Ali, the fourth Rightly-guided Caliph, knowing the difference between abrogating and abrogated verses will save you from being damned.
Ali ['Ali ibn Abi Talib]said to Abdul Rahman “can you differentiate between abrogating and abrogated verses” Abdul Rahman said, “no.” Thereupon Ali said “Thou art damned and causeth others to be damned.”
"Although the companions of Muhammad are reported to have discussed naskh, and even to have disagreed over the abrogation of a particular verse, references to the generation of the companions in the naskh literature are relatively infrequent.
Ibn Salama, al-Nasikh wa ‘l-mansukh (Cairo 1315/1899), 142-3, where `Ali and Ibn ‘Abbas disagree over the abrogation of Quran 4:94; `Ali maintained that the verse was abrogated by Quran 4:115 and 4:48, while Ibn ‘Abbas held that it remained muhkama.
"The number of verses that are considered to have been abrogated increased dramatically between the eighth and eleventh centuries (al-Zuhri mentions 42 abrogated verses, al-Nahhas 138, and Ibn Salama, 238), at which point an upper limit seems to have been reached (Ibn ‘Ata’iqi identifies 231 abrogated verses, and al-Farsi, 248).
- "al-Suyuti (d. 911/1505) recognised only twenty  instances of true abrogation and Shah Wali Allah (d 1762) reduced that number to five .
"these figures are mentioned in Ernest Hahn, ‘Sir Sayyid Ahmad Khan’s The Controversy over Abrogation (in the Qur’an)
Ibn al-’Ata’iqi, on the other hand, while citing 231 instances of abrogation, appendixes the phrase wa fihi nazar, indicating doubt or uncertainty to his discussion of twenty-six verses."
- "There is also considerable disagreement over the scope of abrogation within the Qur’an itself. At one extreme, there were apparently certain people who argued that ‘the Qur’an does not contain either an abrogated or an abrogating verse’.
("Ibn Salama, p. 26; cf. Al-Nahhas, pp 2-3"), these people, according to Ibn Salama, ‘have deviated from the truth and by virtue of their lying, have turned away from God’. ("Ibn Salama, p. 26)
At the other extreme were those scholars who maintained that any narrative, positive command, or prohibition in the Qur’an may be abrogated." ("Al-Nahhas, pp. 2-3")
According to Ibn Salma , those who reject abrogation have deviated from the truth. Once again, its improtant to note at the time of the caliphate, some scholars (particularly a preacher from Kufa, Iraq) were banned from explaining and preaching the Qur'ān by early 'ilmic authority figures because of their ignorance of the principles of naskh.
Naskh is a fact since Allah Most High said "We do not erase (nansakh) any aya or cause it to be forgotten (nunsiha) but bring a better one or the like of it" (2:106).
Second, the mutual abrogability of the Qur'an and the Sunna (i) is rationally possible - since the Qur'an describes the Sunna as revealed as well: "Nor does he speak of his own desire" (53:3) - and (ii) occurs in the Law, as per the abrogation of the verse of bequest (2:180) by the mass-transmitted hadith "There is no bequest for anyone who stands to inherit."
Imam al-Shafi`i famously dissented with the massive majority of the Scholars when he said that only the Qur'an abrogates the Qur'an and only the Sunna abrogates the Sunna, but his School did not follow him in this cf. Imam al-Haramayn in Mughith al-Khalq and the contemporary Shaykh Hasan Hitu in al-Wajiz fi Usul al-Tashri` al-Islami, both staunch Shafi`is.
We should be aware that in recent times the tendency has been toward minimalism, much of it a reaction to Orientalist and other attempts to construe naskh as a literary rewrite invalidating Divine origin, some Muslim revisionists even forwarding the view that there is no abrogation in the Qur'an. However, of the 60-odd teatises written on abrogation there is no precedent for such an extreme view. The number of cases hovers around 200, peaking at 247 with Ibn al-Jawzi, 214 with Ibn Hazm and 213 with Hibat Allah ibn Salama while falling to 134 with al-Nahhas and only 66 with `Abd al-Qahir al-Baghdadi.
The Mu`tazili grammarian and author of the Qur'anic commentary Jami` al-Ta'wil li-Muhkam al-Tanzil, Abu Muslim al-Asfahani (254-322), was reputed to have denied intra-Qur'anic naskh altogether. Al-Razi and al-Shawkani refuted him in al-Mahsul and Irshad al-Fusul respectively, but others (such as Ibn Daqiq al-`Id and the contemporary scholar `Ali Hasabullah) justified his stance as a difference in terminology only (khilaf lafzi) - due, for example, to interpreting the word aya as "(super)natural sign" or "previous Scriptures" rather than "Qur'anic verse," or a reconsideration of purported abrogation to be mere specification (ikhtisas). Hence al-Qarafi's rebuttal, when al-Razi questioned the claim of consensus on the existence of abrogation: "Agreement has indeed formed over meaning; difference is only over naming."
Abrogation and Hadith
Shaykh Gibril Fouad Haddad, living islam, December 23, 2008
Misinformation Spread by Apologists
Only Meccan Verses are Universal Commands
When you understand abrogation, you understand what drives Islamic terrorism and extremism. This has led some Muslims to flatly deny they're even aware of such a concept existing within Islam. Some apologists have even attempted to create their own methods in choosing which verses apply to today's world.
One such example of this is the reversal of the truth; it is the obscure and baseless claim that the Medinan verses are read only in an historical and non-legal context, while the less violent Meccan verses are universal commands.
This in itself is not a bad thing, but when they try to pass this off to the Western world as authentic Islam and claim this is widely accepted by Islamic scholars, while never attempting to 'rectify' the alleged misconceptions with their own Eastern brothers, it is nothing more than deceptive propaganda.
Furthermore, theologically this claim makes zero sense. It contradicts several sahih hadith, and Qur'an 5:90-91 which prohibit the consumption of Alcohol and gambling, are Medinan verses.
Prior to the revelation of these verses, there were no prohibitions against intoxicants and games of chance. So when is the last time you have heard Muslims claiming drinking alcohol and gambling is permitted in Islam today?
Abrogation Exists Only Between the Qur'an and Previous Scriptures
Many modern apologists assert that abrogation does not exist within the Qur'an itself, but that the abrogation mentioned in Qur'an 2:106 and Qur'an 16:101 refers to the Qur'an replacing directives given in the Taurat and Injil.
Although this understanding has already been shown to be in error by Ibn Kathir's commentary here, let us take a look at these verses in context.
And when We change (one) communication for (another) communication, and Allah knows best what He reveals, they say: You are only a forger. Nay, most of them do not know
Say: The Holy spirit has revealed it from your Lord with the truth, that it may establish those who believe and as a guidance and good news for those who submit.
And certainly We know that they say: Only a mortal teaches him. The tongue of him whom they reproach is barbarous, and this is clear Arabic tongue.
(As for) those who do not believe in Allah's communications, surely Allah will not guide them, and they shall have a painful punishment.
According to Islam, the 'Book of Musa' was revealed from Allah to Moses (not via the Qur'an's “Holy Spirit” which is Jibreel, an Angel). The Gospels which the Qur'an talks about were written by people who were there, or revealed in visions from Allah etc. Again no angels were involved with the revelation of the previous scriptures. So verse 16:101 is clearly talking about Muhammad and the revelation of the Qur'an after talking about abrogation.
Those who disbelieve from among the followers of the Book do not like, nor do the polytheists, that the good should be sent down to you from your Lord, and Allah chooses especially whom He pleases for His mercy, and Allah is the Lord of mighty grace.
Whatever communications We abrogate or cause to be forgotten, We bring one better than it or like it. Do you not know that Allah has power over all things?
Do you not know that Allah's is the kingdom of the heavens and the earth, and that besides Allah you have no guardian or helper?
Rather you wish to put questions to your Messenger, as Musa was questioned before; and whoever adopts unbelief instead of faith, he indeed has lost the right direction of the way.
Verse 2:106 in context is clearly talking about those who questioned Muhammad about his contradictions, hence the revelation regarding “abrogation”. This has nothing to do with the “previous scriptures” either. So far its abrogation within the Qur'an itself.
Looking at verse 2:136, Allah says there is no distinction between the previous messages.
Say: We believe in Allah and (in) that which had been revealed to us, and (in) that which was revealed to Ibrahim and Ismail and Ishaq and Yaqoub and the tribes, and (in) that which was given to Musa and Isa, and (in) that which was given to the prophets from their Lord, we do not make any distinction between any of them, and to Him do we submit.
Since Isa never wrote a book, we can infer that Allah is talking about the Injil, and Musa; the Taurat. Why would Allah “make no distinction” between them if he had abrogated parts of it? Surely he would have seen fit to mention “except the parts we have substituted”?
Examples of Abrogation
Main Article: List of Abrogations in the Qur'an
Let there be no compulsion in religion
Let there be no compulsion in religion: Truth stands out clear from Error: whoever rejects evil and believes in Allah hath grasped the most trustworthy hand-hold, that never breaks. And Allah heareth and knoweth all things.
Meaning of Verse 2:256
Allah says: "There is no compulsion in religion", meaning: do not force anyone to embrace Islam, because it is clear and its proofs and evidences are manifest. Whoever Allah guides and opens his heart to Islam has indeed embraced it with clear evidence. Whoever Allah misguides blinds his heart and has set a seal on his hearing and a covering on his eyes cannot embrace Islam by force...hence Allah revealed this verse. But, this verse is abrogated by the verse of "fighting...Therefore, all people of the world should be called to Islam. If anyone of them refuses to do so, or refuses to pay the Jizya they should be fought till they are killed. This is the meaning of compulsion. In the Sahih, the Prophet said: "Allah wonders at those people who will enter Paradise in chains", meaning prisoners brought in chains to the Islamic state, then they embrace Islam sincerely and become righteous, and are entered among the people of Paradise.
Tafsir Ibn Kathir (unabridged)
If they incline towards peace, you incline also
But if the enemy incline towards peace, do thou (also) incline towards peace, and trust in Allah: for He is One that heareth and knoweth (all things).
Meaning of Verse 8:60
‘This has been abrogated by the “sword verse” [Q. 9:5]’
Surat Al-'Anfāl (The Spoils of War) 8:61
Ibn Abbas in Tafsir Ibn Abbas and Tafsir al-Jalalayn (Suyuti)
Scholars on 8:60
"It is the consensus of the scholars of this Ummah that if part of the religion is Allah's and other part is not, fighting must go on until the entire religion is Allah's".
Ibn Taymiyyah, ‘Governance According to Allaah’s Law in Reforming the Ruler and his Flock’
"Jihad and the rifle alone. NO negotiations, NO conferences and NO dialogue."
Join The Caravan, p.9
Imam Abdullah Azzam
"So, if the fighting stops, the disbelievers will dominate, and fitnah, which is Shirk (polytheism), will spread."
Join The Caravan, p.20
Imam Abdullah Azzam
Fight those who fight you, Allah hates aggressors
Fight in the cause of Allah those who fight you, but do not transgress limits; for Allah loveth not transgressors.
Meaning of verse 2:190
this stipulation was abrogated by the verse of barā’a, ‘immunity’ [Q. 9:1], or by His saying [below]:
Surat Al-Baqarah (The Cow) 2:190
Tafsir al jalayn (Suyuti)
(And fight in the way of Allah those who fight you,) Abu Al-`Aliyah said, "This was the first Ayah about fighting that was revealed in Al-Madinah. Ever since it was revealed, Allah's Messenger used to fight only those who fought him and avoid non-combatants. Later, Surat Bara'ah (chapter 9 in the Qur'an) was revealed." `Abdur-Rahman bin Zayd bin Aslam said similarly, then he said that this was later abrogated by the Ayah
The Command to fight Those Who fight Muslims and killing Them wherever They are found
Tafsir Ibn Kathir
Surah Tawbah is the last Surah of the Qur'an
Al Taubah (Repentance) is considered to be the closing remarks of Allah. It should not come as a big surprise to learn that this final chapter is not at all about making peace among the people.
Abu Ishaq said that he heard al-Bara' b 'Azib (Allah be pleased with him) say: The last complete sura revealed (in the Holy Qur'an) is Sura tauba (i e. al-Bara'at, ix.), and the last verse revealed is that pertaining to Kalala.
Sahih Muslim 11:3941
(*They ask you for a legal verdict. Say: "Allah directs (thus) about Al-Kalalah- )
Surah Tawbah cancels all peace treaties
"Ibn `Umar said that the Messenger of Allah said,
I have been commanded to fight the people until they testify that there is no deity worthy of worship except Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, establish the prayer and pay the Zakah.
This honorable Ayah (9:5) was called the Ayah of the Sword, about which Ad-Dahhak bin Muzahim said, "It abrogated every agreement of peace between the Prophet and any idolator, every treaty, and every term." Al-`Awfi said that Ibn `Abbas commented: "No idolator had any more treaty or promise of safety ever since Surah Bara'ah was revealed