Abrogation in the Quran

An-naskh, is the Arabic word for abrogation, abolition, cancellation or replacement. The definition of naskh in Sharia is: ‘The abolition of an established judgment, which came about through a previous Divine Revelation, by a later Divine Revelation.’ Linguistically, naskh in Arabic means to remove something. As you say, “The rain removed the footprints.”

Abolish or forget

“Whatever We abrogate from a verse or cause it to be forgotten, We bring forth something better than it or its like” Quran 2:106

There have been verses, but not many, which have been literally abrogated, which God has caused to be forgotten and were rejected by the companions of the Prophet is no longer recited. The abolition doctrine does not mean that the Sharia, Islamic law, has changed. The core of the law or the message remains the same, but it is educational in nature and depends on the circumstances and events The concept of naskh (abolition) is unfortunately used by the enemies of Islam (particularly the orientalists and the Muslim scholars influenced by them) to try to undermine the religion, and to try to avoid contradictions and deviations. in the Qur’an and Sharia. Thus, it is essential that Muslims understand and appreciate the concept of naskh (abrogation) so that they are not deceived by the distortions and misrepresentations of those who seek to damage and destroy Islam .

Abrogation in practice

In the beginning, each of the Muslim men had to fight ten infidels in war:
8:65: ,If there are twenty patient ones among you, they will defeat two hundred.,

This judgment has been lifted by a later revelation, namely: 8:66 :
“Now God has lightened the task for you, knowing that there is weakness in you. Then if a hundred of you are patient, they will defeat two hundred. And if there be a thousand among you, they will slay two thousand, by God’s leave…

In the first verse the ratio was 1:10, while in the later revealed verse the ratio is 1:2. The new judgment is then called naasikh, which can be roughly translated as abolitionist, and the old judgment which has been abolished is called al-mansukh, the abolished.

In a hadith, which is a tradition, the Prophet Muhammad says: I advised you not to visit the graves; well, visit the graves for it is a reminder of the Hereafter. (A tradition of Muslim)
The ruling of the law that had prohibited visiting the graves has now been abolished by the Prophet and thus visiting the graves for the sake of remembering the hereafter becomes fully permitted.

To arrive at a naskh (abolition), unanimity of the Muslim scholars is required, which also includes knowing the history of the legal judgment that was previously given and the final judgment. It must be said that the naskh is not established by one’s own effort and research, nor by an external contradiction between certain evidence. So these aspects do not lead to an-naskh.

Naskh, therefore abolition, in various forms

A judgment can be abolished without another judgment taking its place. In the beginning, if someone wanted to have a conversation with the Prophet, he had to make a donation in charity. See 58:12:
, O you who believe! If you wish to have a private conversation with the Messenger, spend something in charity before your conversation.,

This rule has been abolished and nothing has taken its place. See further in the same verse:
“Are you afraid of poverty by spending on charity before your conversation? If you do not do that, God will forgive you.,

Another form of naskh in which a Quranic verse is abolished by another Quranic verse, and the example of this is the abolition of revelation: 2:219:
, They ask you about wine and gambling. Say to them: ,In both there is great harm and some benefit to the people. ,

Some time later another verse was revealed which definitively prohibited wine and gambling. Quran 5:90:
, O you who believe, wine and gambling and idols and magic arrows are nothing but abominations wrought by Satan. So avoid them that you may prosper., Another

form of naskh is the abolition of the Sunnah by the Sunnah, including the abolition of pleasure marriage, which was permitted in the beginning and then abolished. The father of Ilyas ibn Salamah related in a hadith about the Prophet Muhammad that he allowed pleasure marriage in the year of ‘awtaas’, but then declared it definitively forbidden. (Narrated by Muslim)

Imaam Al-Bukhaari wrote a chapter on this which he entitled: Chapter: Prophet Muhammad’s prohibition on pleasure marriage.

For detailed information on this subject, see Abu Ammaar Yasir Qadhi, An Introduction to the Sciences Concerning the Qur’an, Chapter 13: Abolition in the Qur’an (an-Naasikh wa al-Mansukh).

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