Abrogation?

Qur’an and Abrogation:

There is no abrogation of verses in Qur’an; this issue has already been explained [http://wp.me/P1dL2Q-3U] . The principle laid down in the passages at Qur’an;16:101 & 2:106 are relating to the supersession of the Biblical dispensation by that of the Qur’an.. Apart from the fancifulness of this assertion – which calls to mind the image of a human author correcting, on second thought, the proofs of his manuscript – deleting one passage and replacing it with another – there does not exist a single reliable Tradition [Hadith] to the effect that the Prophet [pbug] ever, declared a verse of the Qur’an to have been “abrogated”. The root cause of the so-called “Doctrine of Abrogation” may be the inability of some of the early commentators to reconcile one Qur’anic passage with another: a difficulty which was overcome by declaring that one of the verses in question had been “abrogated”.

Alleged Abrogated Verses are not Doctrinal: Now lets take the other view, some scholars consider that the doctrine of abrogation also applies to Qur’an. According to prolific Egyptian scholar, Suyuti [d 1505] there are 21 instances in the Qur’an, where a revelation has been abrogated and replaced by another. He also indicates that there is a difference of opinion about some of these: e.g. 4:8, 24:58, etc. Some scholars have attempted to reduce the number of abrogation in the Qur’an even further, by explaining the relationships between the verses in some special ways, e.g. by pointing out that no legal abrogation is involved. Shah Waliullah (d. 1759) the great Muslim scholar from India only retained the following five out of Suyuti’s twenty one cases as genuine.

1)      Instructions to leave ‘Will’ before death, and ratio of share of rightful heirs. [2: 180 considered to be abrogated by 4: 11, 12]:

2)      Maintenance allowance to the widow and residence for 1 year, she may remarry if she desires after waiting period of four 4 months and ten days.[Verse; 2:240 considered to be abrogated by 2: 234]

3)      Raising morale of the believers for combat, being  superior to unbelievers.[Verse; 8:65 considered to be abrogated by 8:66  ]

4)      Regarding restriction on marriage and number of wives of Prophet Muhammad [pbuh] [Verse; 33:50 considered to be abrogated by 33: 52]

5)      Offering charity [Sadiqah, to poor] before privately consulting the Prophet [pbuh], offering prayer [Salah] and Zakah [obligatory] alms.[ Verse 58: 12 considered to be abrogated by 58: 13]

It may be noticed that even in these five cases last two [33:50 & 58: 12 ] are specific to the private person of Prophet are part of history. Hence in real terms we are left with only first three cases [2: 180, 2:240 & 8:65] of supposed abrogation on the subject of:  1) Inheritance, 2) welfare of Widow and 3) Superiority of believers in combat. These are minor in nature and do not involve any change in the Fundamentals of Faith, or doctrines of Islam and practices.

Conclusion: Application of “Doctrine of Abrogation” with in Qur’an has neither, scriptural support nor historical evidence, hence must be rejected. However Qur’an clearly abrogates all the previous scriptures. Qur’an is the final book of divine guidance for the humanity, catering for all situations, probabilities, different cultures, environments for all times, hence applied accordingly by the experts well versed in the knowledge. All the verses weather they emphasize the peaceful coexistence, tolerance, justice or use of force remain applicable in diverse situations.

“A DIVINE WRIT [is this], with messages that have been made clear in and by themselves, and have been distinctly spelled out as well- [bestowed upon you] out of the grace of One who is wise, all-aware,  so that you may worship none but God”.[Qur’an11:1-2]

“The Words of your Lord have been completed with credibility and justice; there is no way to change His Words. He is the Hearer, the Knower”[Qur’an;6:115].

“There is no changing the Words of Allah that is the Supreme Triumph”.[Qur’an;10:64].

The “Doctrine of Abrogation” has no basis whatever in historical fact, and must be rejected. The abrogation relates to the earlier divine messages and not to any part of the Qur’an itself. All the verses of Qur’an remain valid and be applied according the prevailing situation and context.

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