The Principle of Abrogation in the Quran

The trick behind the apparent inconsistency of the Quran and why the radical Muslims are always correct: Like no other holy book among the world religions, the Quran contains an abundance of contradictory expressions. What is forbidden in one place is expressly demanded in another, and vice versa. However, the contradictory quality of the Quran is only an apparent one. It falls apart abruptly when one recognizes the very carefully protected secret hidden within the architecture of the Quran. For the Quranic Suras (chapters) are not arranged chronologically, but rather according to their length – and the newer Suras (from Muhammad’s violent later phase when he was in Medina) override the older ones from his era in Mecca that were comparatively more peaceful. However, this secret is guarded by Islamic scholars very closely as if it were a holy grail – and is aired only on particular occasions.
(An Essay from Michael Mannheimer, Germany, March 23, 2010 / More>>

The Islamic doctrine of abrogation

Ibn Kathir, perhaps the Muslim world’s most popular Quran commentator, says Allah’s pardon of the unbelievers was repealed by Quran Chapter 9 and its verses of the sword

Kathir explains here (if you go there, scroll down to the bottom third of the page) that Quran 2:106, which advises Muslims to be tolerant toward unbelievers, has been canceled by verses in Quran Chapter 9 (which Muslim scholars generally agree was one of the last Quran chapters revealed). Kathir quotes part of Quran 9:5, but here’s the whole verse:

Then, when the sacred months have passed, slay the idolaters wherever ye find them, and take them (captive), and besiege them, and prepare for them each ambush. But if they repent and establish worship and pay the poor-due, then leave their way free. Lo! Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.

And Kathir quotes part of Quran 9:29. Again, here’s the whole verse:

Fight those who do not believe in Allah, nor in the latter day, nor do they prohibit what Allah and His Messenger [Muhammad] have prohibited, nor follow the religion of truth [Islam], out of those who have been given the Book [Christian and Jews], until they pay the tax in acknowledgment of superiority and they are in a state of subjection [this subjection is a source of Islamic law's institution of dhimmitude, i.e., third-class legal status for non-Muslims].

Notice that 9:29 does not say “fight in self-defense.” It says “fight those who do not believe” in Islam.

On Islam and the state of subjection referred to in 9:29, read Mark Durie’s brilliant, concise, and very readable book, The Third Choice: Islam, Dhimmitude, and Freedom.

Anyway, then Kathir says,

Allah’s pardon for the disbelievers was repealed. Abu Al-`Aliyah, Ar-Rabi` bin Anas, Qatadah and As-Suddi said similarly: “It [the pardon, or forgiveness] was abrogated by the Ayah [verse] of the sword.” [Quran 9:5]

11 thoughts on “The Principle of Abrogation in the Quran”

  1. There is absolutely no ‘Naskh’ or ‘Abrogation’ in the holy Qur’an … none whatsoevr. You have totally misunderstood, and consequently misrepresented the cpncept of ‘Abrogation’. Early scholars did not consider ‘Abrogation’ as cancellation of one injunction by another … they merely regarded ‘Few Specific’ injunctions to be phased in ‘Gradually’ and by by degrees … like prohibition of alcohol.

    BUT EVEN IN THIS RESPECT THEY WERE WRONG and remain so. These scholars expressing their ‘opinion’ is not a proof of validity. There have been past Muslim scholars who subscribed to the ‘Flat Earth’ theory … they were free to do so but it is no part of the Qur’an

    However, no one has ever disputed the universal, abiding and immutable application/interpretation of verses dealing with basic human rights, e.g. ‘There is no compulsion in religion’ … never ever. This catagory of verses are called ‘Muhkamat’ [the Foundation] … and as such their meaning and interpretation is immutable.

    You are totally disingenuous in abstracting verses like, ‘kill the infidels wherever you find them’ … from there true historical context. With such a biased and jaundiced approach, it is pointless to conduct a meaningful dialogue with likes of you. The points you raise and allegations that you make have been effectively rebutted contless times. I am saying this with not much hope of expecting you to remove your tinted glasses … but merely to point out to those who may come accross your uninformed views … that there is another side to the coin.

  2. Your co-religionists would disagree, especially those who are better educated than you….

    “The points you raise and allegations that you make have been effectively rebutted contless times”

    When and where?

    You are very welcome to provide evidence for that statement. I rely on statements and writings by eminent Muslim scholars, I invite you to do the same.

    Besides, thanks for the joke about “no compulsion”, its not that Mohammedans ever converted anyone by the sword….. real Muslims wouldn’t do a thing like that, hahahahah!

  3. Conversion by sword. First how do you know what a person is thinking? That would take mind reading. In addition, when religion is forced upon a population then that religion degenerates and self destructs. (check history out)

    Popular acceptance of anything does not make right. It just makes that which is popular. (Remember there have been civilization when the popular theory was the world is flat.)

  4. Exgesis is a topic of much debate in the Muslim world, with some (such as Qardawi) believing that there Koran isn’t abrogated in any way. It’s salient to note that medieval Muslim scholars (who interpreted via naskh) have never agreed on which verses were “abrogated”.

  5. Ealr versions of the hate book had everything in chron order with context from the sira. A later caliph changed this so w.e we have nukes waiting for you.

  6. I have ben writing articles on the “War on Terrorism” for the past 6 yrs. I am published monthly.

    Please advise if you are open publishing my articles?

    I would be pleased to semd several.

    ED Ziegler 352-750-3298

  7. You would not embark on a trip with somebody who likely will not harm you while you are asleep. Islam is Sharia and this is enough to say that no theocracy is compatible with the Western Civilisation – unless and at least until God himself will face-up with His Kingdom.
    The safe total quote of Muslims in the West seems settled around 3%. This quote could be reciprocated with the equivalent of Christians in Muslim countries. The excess should be delivered where it correctly belongs.
    At this conditions the unsuitable presence of Sharia could be safely handled.
    Interfaith & International Reciprocity + Calibrated Immigration are the real issues and not the theoretical probability of the Quran supporting a safe coexistence – which should be simply assessed in real life… in their countries. The divisive influence of poisoned secular ideologies is the reason why the West has been weakened in its correct interpretation and relation of Islam.

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