Abrogation

From WikiAhmadiyya, the free encyclopedia on Islam and Ahmadiyyat

Abrogation is a concept held by some Muslim sects, who believe certain verses of the Quran are no longer applicable due to the revelation of others. The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community rejects this theory and believes all verses of the Quran are eternally valid. 


Ahmadiyya View


The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community rejects the theory of abrogation and numerous verses of the Quran are presented to support this position, including:

Will they not, then, meditate upon the Quran? Had it been from anyone other than Allah, they would surely have found therein much disagreement.

- Quran 4:83


Verily, We Ourself have sent down this Exhortation, and most surely We will be its Guardian.

- Quran 15:10

This is a perfect Book; there is no doubt in it

- Quran 2:3


Verses associated with abrogation


Verse 2:107

They who disbelieve from among the People of the Book, or from among those who associate gods with Allah, desire not that any good should be sent down to you from your Lord; but Allah chooses for His mercy whomsoever He pleases; and Allah is of exceeding bounty. Whatever Sign We abrogate or cause to be forgotten, We bring one better than that or the like thereof. Dost thou not know that Allah has the power to do all that He wills?

- Quran 2:107-108

The phrase 'Whatever Sign We abrogate' has been understood by some non-Ahmadi scholars to lend support to the theory of abrogation. However, Ahmadis note the context of the verse is discussing the abrogation of the signs belonging to the 'People of the Book', meaning the abrogation of the Bible by the Quran and not the abrogation of the Quran itself. 

Verse 16:102

When We bring one Sign in place of another - and Allah knows best what He reveals - they say, ‘Thou art but a fabricator.’ Nay, but most of them know not.

- Quran 16:102

This verse was revealed during the early period of Muhammad'ssa career, while he was still residing in Mecca. At this stage, much of the Quran was yet to be revealed and the majority of the legal injunctions came much later, when Muhammadsa had become the head of state in Medina. Therefore it is impossible to interpret this verse as promoting the abrogation of Quranic commandments - as those commandments were only revealed much later. 

Verse 17:86-87

And they ask thee concerning the soul. Say, ‘The soul is by the command of my Lord; and of the knowledge thereof you have been given but a little.’ And if We pleased, We could certainly take away that which We have revealed to thee and then thou wouldst find in the matter no guardian for thee against Us.

- Quran 17:86-87

Ahmadi scholars have noted that the threat to 'take away that which We have revealed to thee' is not address to Muhammadsa but those who raised the question regarding the soul - which is historically recorded to have been the non-Muslims of Arabia. Therefore the verses here were not aimed at the Muslims or the Quran, but to the non-Muslim scriptures. 


Alleged instances of abrogation


Verse 2:181

It is prescribed for you, when death comes to any one of you, if he leave much wealth, that he make a will to parents and near relatives to act with fairness; it is an obligation on those who fear God.

- Quran 2:181


Allah commands you concerning your children: a male shall have as much as the share of two females; but if there be females only, numbering more than two, then they shall have two-thirds of what the deceased leaves; and if there be one, she shall have the half. And his parents shall have each of them a sixth of the inheritance, if he have a child; but if he have no child and his parents be his heirs, then his mother shall have a third; and if he have brothers and sisters, then his mother shall have a sixth, after the payment of any bequests he may have bequeathed or of debt. Your fathers and your children, you know not which of them is nearest to you in benefit. This fixing of portions is from Allah. Surely, Allah is All- Knowing, Wise.

- Quran 4:12

Those who support the theory of abrogation believe the general instruction of 2:181 to make a will is abrogated by the specific details of Islamic inheritance in 4:12, whereas the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community holds the instruction of 2:181 to write a will for those who are wealthy and nearing death is still very much valid in its own right and point to the accepted Islamic legal principle that one third of an inheritance may be gifted according to the will of the bequeather. 

Verse 2:220

They ask thee concerning wine and the game of hazard. Say: ‘In both there is great sin and also some advantages for men; but their sin is greater than their advantage.’ 

- Quran 2:220


O ye who believe! approach not Prayer when you are not in full possession of your senses

- Quran 4:44

O ye who believe! wine and the game of hazard and idols and divining arrows are only an abomination of Satan’s handiwork. So shun each one of them

- Quran 5:91

Some non-Ahmadi scholars claim 2:220 was abrogated by 4:44 which in turn was abrogated by 5:91. Ahmadis believe all three verses remain entirely valid. The use of wine still contains some potential advantages, but its sin outweighs these advantages, as stated in 2:220. Moreover, men are still prohibited from approaching prayer while dispossessed of their full senses, whether that be caused by medical drugs, sleepiness or some other reason. Finally, gambling and wine have both been prohibited by the Quran. In this way, all three verses are still valid and applicable in the present day and do not contradict one another.