The notion of ”abrogation” in the Muslim belief system is one of the major root causes of Muslim terrorism today

Whatever verse We abrogate or cause to be forgotten We bring one a better than it or like it. Do you know that God has power over all things? Quran, 2: 106

Before getting into my main subject matter I would like to point out to two important points, the first one is my severe criticism of the doctrine of Muslims is not a mere allegations  and blind attacks on their religious teachings. The main reason for that is it became obvious for everyone who wants to conduct an analytical overview of the reality of Muslim socio political situation will reach a reasonable conclusion that terrorism and violence is rooted in our faith, the doctrine of the Muslim religion.

The second point is that we must separate between the universal Islamic religion the upright (haneef) whose foundations laid down by Ibrahim (as), and between the organized religion founded by Muslim scholars. Thus, my words here and other articles directed to the belief system of our religion, the Muslim religion, which became fragmented into several mini religious groups’ condemns each other and their exclusivity to salvation is the hall mark of their doctrine.

My words here not directed towards the universal Islamic religion, which includes all of God’s creation, and that its criterion to salvation is engaging in good deeds and serving the human cause. Whereas the organized religion; the religion of Muslim scholars, it only includes its followers and its criterion to salvation is mere affiliation or verbal pronunciation of “shahada” or by being born into a Muslim parent.

Now I would like to discuss one of the most important subjects, which is in my opinion, it has a direct relationship to the dire socio-political situation of Muslims and Muslim global terrorism. This subject is the notion of “abrogation in the Quran” which is adopted by the vast majority of Muslim scholars from both major sects Sunni and Shiites. I truly believe that such approach towards the Quran represent the most damaging blow to the essential universal message of the Quran.

It is very regrettable to see that Muslim scholars by adopting this notion of abrogation, weather intended or not, this is for them to answer, it had led to the suspension of the message of peace and tolerance of the Quran. Unfortunately They advocate that all of the Qur’anic verses, which advocate peace, love and tolerance towards our fellow men abrogated with other sets of Quranic verses, which relate to war, violence and conflicts-neglecting their historical contexts.

Clearly, this well-established belief, abrogation, towards the Quran is nothing but an attempt to go around their inability to corrupt the text of the Quran simply because God Himself is guarding it from corruption as He SW clearly confirmed it in the Quran;

“Surely We have revealed the remembrance and that We will most surely be its guardian-15:9

furthemore, the other reason, for Muslim scholars, for adopting the notion of abrogation is, in my opinion, due to their failure to fully comprehend the true meaning of these Quranic verses which were alleged to be abrogated, some with good intentions and others are not.

Allow me to elaborate on the notion of Abrogation, in few words. Abrogation of Quranic verses, means, according to Muslim scholars, they contend that there are some Quranic verses abrogated-cancelled, by God, other Quranic verses due to various imagined reasons not sanctioned by God.  It is worth mentioning here that Muslim scholars differ on the specific abrogated Quranic verses. In other words, abrogated Quranic verses in respect to Sunni Muslim scholars may not be the same abrogated Quranic verses according to Shiite Muslim scholars.

Clearly, this disagreement pause a major problem and detrimental to the essence of the Quran and its textual integrity. This belief will represent mocking the final message of God to Mankind and it opens the door to attack the integrity of the Quran. Furthermore, it enables many scholars with deranged minds and selfish political ambitions to suspend many Quranic verses under the pretext of abrogation so that they can select some other verses as replacement to suit the dictates of their school of thoughts. Consequently, this grim reality led to the cancellation of many Quranic verses, which advocate peace, love and intolerance and replaced with other sets of verses that related to historical war and conflicts. In this short essay I will not go into details of the alleged abrogated verses, this can be pursuit by the reader, because it is beyond the scope of my essay.

Now I will attempt to challenge and refute the notion of abrogation within the Quran as advocated by the vast majority of Muslim scholars and to do that I will discuss the Quranic verse, which represents the backbone of this belief, the abrogation, where Muslim scholars deduced this notion of abrogation within the Quran. Please note that in my attempt here, I will not refer to Muslim traditions nor Muslim scholars opinions to refute the notion of abrogation rather I will solely depend on the Quran itself and nothing else because it is after all the victim and the most authentic source for any discussion.

Now let’s look at this verse under discussion is:

Whatever verse We abrogate or cause to be forgotten We bring one a better than it or like it. Do you know that God has power over all things? 2: 106

Looking at this verse, 2:106 mentioned above, it is very clear that it allude to the notion of abrogation. The question to ask here, is this suggested abrogation in this verse is related to the Quranic verses or related to something else?

Before I answer this question, I would like to elaborate on this verse. Certainly if we look closely at this verse, we can establish two notions. The first one is “abrogation” and the second one is “forgetfulness” Surprisingly Muslim scholars do not refer to the second notion of “forgetfulness” rather they often focus on the first one, abrogation, as clearly stated, “cause to be forgotten

In other words, this verse, 2:106, we can clearly establish that abrogation is different from forgetfulness. The notion of “abrogation” means cancellation of one verse by another one where as the notion of “forgetfulness” means total removal of a verse from the memory of people; prophets, disciples, etc.. The reason I alluded to the this second notion of “forgetfullnes” or “casue to be forgotten” in verse 2:106, is that I believe that this particular notion exposes the fallacy of the alleged “abrogation”. I will explain this in the next few lines.

Now, is it logical to think that there are some verses revealed to the heart of the Prophet and then cancelled out by other verses; or to suggest that some verses revealed on the heart of the Prophet, whether he (as) conveyed them or not, and then God cause them to be forgotten and erase them from his memory or the memory of people. Certainly, this kind of scenario is an act can only come from someone who is limited in knowledge, unwise, or someone in vain, and God (SW) is free from such acts.

I believe that the abrogation attempt towards the Quran is clear violation of the integrity of the Quran and a devious attempt to maneuver around the impossibility of textual corruption of the Quran simply because that the textual integrity of the Quran is a task under taken by God Himself as He SW stated in 15:9 Quran

“It is We who revealed the remembrance and it We are its protector”

Now let’s assume that abrogation occurred, for the sake of argument, and let’s agree with this first notion of verse; abrogation within the Quran. But what about the second notion which is “forgetfulness” this follows that why would God erase a verse from the memory of the Prophet Muhamad AS and then restore it back again as stated in the verse under discussion, 2:106

 “……cause to be forgotten We bring one………. like it”

Isn’t this an amateurish and an unwise act and attributing negative characteristics to the Quran, and renders it as an average book lacks perfection and wisdom, where God the most high clearly refute any of these negative characteristics in the Quran, as seen in the following verse 11:1,

الَر كِتَابٌ أُحْكِمَتْ آيَاتُهُ ثُمَّ فُصِّلَتْ مِن لَّدُنْ حَكِيمٍ خَبِيرٍ (11:1

Alif. Lam. Ra. (This is) a Scripture the verses whereof are perfected (through wisdom have been perfected) and then expounded. (It cometh ) from One Wise, Informed, – 11:1 

Looking closely at the this verse 11:1 above, we see very important fact regarding the main characteristics of the Quranic verses and that is refer to as “uhkimat” this Arabic term is derived from the root word “hakam” which means “he perfected, he ruled, he acted according to wisdom…” also we know the word “wisdom-alhikma”is also of the same root word of “hakama” and our word in the above verse 11:1; “u-hkima-t” furthermore the verse allude to another important fact and that is that the verses of the Quran are “perfected and then expounded” by the All-Wise and the All-informed”. This follows that Quranic verses are perfect and expounded to suit the ever changing of times and there is no need to abrogate nor to cause some verses to be forgotten as was the case in the previous revelations.

Now let me go back to my main question and that is how can we understand the concept of abrogation which is clearly alluded to in verse 2:106 keeping in mind that God describe His book to be perfected and wise; verse 11:1 above. Hence, it is reasonable to say that the abrogation or forgetfulness categorically did not occur in the Quran. Then where did the abrogation occur?

To answer this question we must examine the context of all verses preceded the verse under discussion 2:106. We can see that the overall context is dealing with the people of the book particularly the children of Israel. This follows that the abrogation occurred between the old testament and the new testament on one hand and the Quran on the other hand. In other words, there are some verses in the Old testament are abrogated in respect to the new testament this can be seen from the following verse where Jesus (as) clearly state this fact of abrogation:

وَمُصَدِّقًا لِّمَا بَيْنَ يَدَيَّ مِنَ التَّوْرَاةِ وَلِأُحِلَّ لَكُم بَعْضَ الَّذِي حُرِّمَ عَلَيْكُمْ وَجِئْتُكُم بِآيَةٍ مِّن رَّبِّكُمْ فَاتَّقُواْ اللّهَ وَأَطِيعُونِ (3:50)

And [I have come] to confirm the truth of whatever there still remains of the Torah, and to make lawful unto you some of the things which [aforetime] were forbidden to you. And I have come unto you with a message from your Sustainer; remain, then, conscious of God, and pay heed unto me. – 3:50 

This verse 3:50, clearly confirm beyond any shadow of a doubt that abrogation did occur between the Old testament and the new testament.

In conclusion, there are some verses contained in the previous revelation were abrogated; were not repeated again in the Quran but rather they were replace by other verses which better than them, and some other verses were revealed to the previous prophets but were forgotten and then God chose to restore them back again in His sw final book the Quran.; as clearly stated in the verse under discussion; 2:106:

Whatever verse We abrogate or cause to be forgotten We bring one a better than it or like it. Do you know that God has power over all things? Quran, 2: 106

In the near future I will expound on the consequences of the abrogation approach, and its impact on the world peace and the peaceful message of Islam.

Lastly, there is no abrogation within the Quran and unfortunately this false belief towards the Quran opened the door for the corruption of God’s final message and the pretext to devoid the Quran from its essence and consequently undermine the universal message of the Quran.

Adill Hissan

عادل حسين

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