Sunday, May 31, 2009

Abrogation and Al-Qur'an

Sano Koutoub Moustapha

How Is It Possible that Verses of the Qur'an Could Be Abrogated?

Question: As-Salamu `alaykum. I am sad to say that this is the first time that I have read the Qur’an, and I am reading it in English, so I am a little confused about something. I am only in the seventh surah and already I have read two verses that are said to have been ’abrogated’, ’cancelled’ or ’amended.’ Why and how did the commentators or interpreters come to the conclusion that these verses were to be cancelled due to other verses? I find it hard to believe that anything in the Qur’an needs to be amended or cancelled! Could you please shed some light on this topic? Thank you.

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.

On the nature of abrogation, many people incline to think that abrogation means cancellation. It is not the case. In the first instance with the revelation of Al-Qur'an, it means an abrogation, total cancellation or amendment of the previous scriptures. But as far as in the context of the Qur’an and other particular verses it would mean as an amendments, revocation or progression in setting up legal rulings.

Dr. Sano Koutoub Moustapha, Professor of Fiqh and its Principles, International Islamic University, Malaysia, states:

“The word of abrogation is a translation of the word "naskah" which should mean the revocation and replacement of a legal ruling with another legal ruling, not to mean the cancellation or amendment as in the English sense.

Hence, there is no cancellation or abrogation but there was always revocation or progression in setting up legal rulings. It is apt to take the that meaning because the Qur’an was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad s.a.w in a gradual manner, so as to enable the people to have a better understanding of its meanings and teachings Allah s.w.t clearly stated in the Qur’an says as follows :

“And (it is) a Qur’an that We have divided, that you may recite it unto mankind at intervals, and We have revealed it by (successive) revelation.” [Al-‘Isra’: 106]

On the basis of the verse, one must not bother the mind with the comments which claims that few verses have been abrogated, it is meant as a progression in settling the issues. One should continue to read and study the Qur’an which is the Kalam Allah. Certainly, there is no doubt that what is in the Mushaf – the printed copy of the Qur’an today is considered the Qur’an, which contain valuable virtues."

May Allah guide us all to the Straight Path! Allah Almighty Knows best.
1. Excerpted with modifications from Islam Online, Asked about Islam, published on 31 Mar 2004.
2. Dr. Sano Koutoub Moustapha, Professor of Fiqh and its Principles, International Islamic University, Malaysia.

©Islam Online


benj said...

Salam SK:

Perhaps you would consider a BM version so that you would reach a wider audience. Tq.


Saudara benj, Thank you for your thoughts but I belive English is widely spoken than Bahasa Melayu. My vision of Sri Kandeh is not only among the Malay readers but the world at large. I thinks it would be better if Muslims in Malaysia be a multi lingual to be able to spread the messege. Anyway, I will try to post some articles in Bahasa Melayu.