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January 16, 2022

Successive Evolutionary Commands in the Qur’aan Vs. Naasikh and Mansookh

The Qur’aan was revealed not only for providing the final guidance for humankind from Allaah SWT, but also for helping the society change to a desired state from their current state and to guide a movement to accomplish that task. Changing a society completely from a deeply ingrained way of life to a totally different way of life is not a task that can happen overnight just because guidance has been revealed. It takes much painstakingly hard work to gradually transform from the current to the desired state. To help in this transformation and ease the transition so that the change is not too big and too sudden to be practical for human beings, Allaah SWT gave some interim transitional commands that were replaced with permanent commands as soon as the society was ready to take the next steps. The most well-known example of such transition is that for the consumption of intoxicants, which people were weaned from in three successively stricter commands.

Also at the beginning, a movement needs very extraordinary people who possess special strength, commitment, dedication, endurance and courage. Initially, very stringent steps are needed to break away from the pressures of the society, current lifestyle, and the status quo, and a really great devotion to establish new relationships, paradigms and life patterns. Hence, initially, the demands upon early Muslims to engage in special nightly worship was quite heavy. Later on, when an excellent team of dedicated Ŝaĥaabah (companions) had come into existence with close, devout relationship with Allaah SWT, and the new-comers to the movement could be safely absorbed into an established mode of life, the requirements were relaxed.

The Qur’aan, being the complete and preserved record of the revelations from Allaah SWT, contains the transitional commands as well as the final commands. A person who studies the Qur’aan to understand the desired state in which Allaah SWT wants to see individuals and society, must know the difference between the transitionary phases and the final desired state. Not knowing what is merely an interim phase and what is the desired state may cause a person to be confused or to draw wrong conclusions.

Relevance of Transitional Commands

As for the relevance of the transitional Qur’aanic commands, there are two extremist views about them. One extremist view is that because these commands are still mentioned in the Qur’aan, depending upon one’s circumstances, they can be acted upon. Taking this approach carte blanche is extremely dangerous. This is an approach that has potential to destroy the religion altogether. It leaves people to decide which command they should follow rather than following the decision of Allaah who already has given the final command.

The other extreme is the view that transitional commands are invalid altogether. They are not applicable in any circumstances. This approach also causes serious problems. Our Ummah is currently far away from many very essential basic commands. Reconstructing the Ummah and bringing it back on track will require some interim or transitional phases, however brief they might be. Their approach in fact deprives the Ummah of any chance of getting back on track from the current deplorable condition. The reason is that no matter what, the whole Ummah cannot become organized like the community of Ŝaĥaabah over night. Re-establishing the Islamic institutions, state, Khilaafah, and Islamic economic, political and social system will need going through transitional stage(s). Otherwise it will never happen.

The balanced approach in this respect is twofold:

  • Individually, every existing practising Muslim must follow the final commands. There is no excuse or reason for them not to do so. Nothing else will be acceptable from them. However, a person converting to Islam or a strayed person coming back to Islam may have to be taken through some brief transition period. The lifestyle of a person cannot be changed overnight. The person needs to be handheld and brought to the desired level of performance over a planned course of action and timetable. This is in the spirit of the directions that the Prophet gave to Mu‘aadz ibn Jabal while sending him to Yemen:

“You will come to the people of Scripture, and when you reach them, invite them to testify that none has the right to be worshipped except Allaah and that Muhammad is His Messenger. And if they obey you in that, then tell them that Allaah has enjoined on them Ŝalaah to be performed five times every day and night. And if they obey you in that, then tell them that Allaah has enjoined on them Ŝadaqah (i.e. Zakaah) to be taken from the rich amongst them and given to the poor amongst them. And if they obey you in that, then be cautious! Do not take their best properties (as Zakaah) and be afraid of the curse of an oppressed person as there is no barrier between his invocation and Allaah.” (Narrated by Ibn ‘Abbaas in Bukhari 5:634)

  • Collectively, establishment of Jamaa‘ah, unity, state, Khilaafah, Hudood, justice system, economic system, foreign policy, etc., in a Muslim majority country, all will have to be done through an evolutionary process with a pre-determined plan and strategy so that it can be achieved at an accelerated pace within the shortest period of time, according to the wisdom learned from the methodology used by the Prophet during his original movement. Otherwise, if we keep fighting over Naasikh and Mansookh or demand full implementation on day one, as some people expect it to be done, we will remain in our current condition, never being able to come out.

Examples of Transitional Commands

1. Inheritance: In the first wave of social reforms implemented in Madeenah, the Qur’aan urged Muslims to leave explicit instructions (will or testament) about who should inherit what after their death:

It is prescribed, when death approaches any of you who is leaving behind any assets, that he make a bequest for parents and near relatives, according to the recognized norms of decency; a duty incumbent upon those who have Taqwa.  (Al-Baqarah, 2:180)

This allowed the concept of distributing inheritance complying with some recognized norms to be accepted and adopted in the society. Then, about two years later, in the second wave of social reforms, Allaah SWT Himself fixed the shares of inheritance for parents, spouses, children and in some cases, of siblings, in An-Nisaa 4:11-12 and 176.

Obviously, once Allaah SWT has designated the shares of inheritance, no Muslim would ever overrule them or amend them according to one’s own views. So, after Allaah’s commands in An-Nisaa, it is usually thought that that 2:180 is abrogated and it is no longer obligatory on anyone to make a will before his death. This is true for cases where there are no special situations to be looked after, but there may be situations where formal bequest is still needed. Therefore, the new commands did recognize the need on bequest and provided for its enforcement by saying, “after the payment of any bequest one may have made or a debt”. There may be situations where the deceased may want to contribute to an important charitable cause or to help some relatives not covered by the laws of inheritance such as the orphaned grandchildren or others whose shares are not designated by that law. In those cases, it is still incumbent on Muslims to leave an explicit will for up to 1/3 of the inheritance, so that the remaining is distributed according to the law of inheritance. When people do not fulfill this responsibility of addressing special situation through a bequest, much injustice happens especially to the orphaned children who deserve the most support but are deprived of inheritance altogether. The bequest may also be needed for one’s pledges, as emphasized in 4:33:

From each gender, We have specified heirs for what parents and near relatives leave; as for those with whom you have made firm pledges, you should give them their portion; surely Allaah is a witness over all things.  (An-Nisa 4:33)

Another situation where a written will must be made in all cases is that of Muslims living in the non-Muslims societies. If they do not leave a will there, their inheritance will be distributed according to the law of the land, not according to the Islamic law of inheritance.

2. Fasting for the Missed Fasts: When the fasting was obligated in the month of Ramadhaan, those sick or travelling were allowed to feed the poor in lieu of fasting, for the number of days missed for those reasons, through the following verse of Al-Baqarah:

O you who have believed! Fasting is prescribed for you, as it was prescribed for those before you, so that you may grow in Taqwa. It is for a certain number of days. If, during those days, any of you is sick or on a journey, the number should be made up in other days later; or those who can afford can feed one poor person as a ransom for each missed fast. Then, if anyone does more good voluntarily, it is better for him. And it is better for you that you fast, if you only knew.  (Al-Baqarah 2:183-184)

Later on, when Muslims became accustomed to this obligation, they were told that they must make up the number of the missed days, once the illness or travel is over, through the following verse:

Ramadhaan is the month in which the Qur’aan – guidance to people, containing clear pronouncements of the guidance and the criteria of right and wrong – was sent down. Therefore, whoever of you is present in the month, must spend it in fasting; and whoever is sick or on a journey, must make up the number in other days later. Allaah desires ease for you, and He does not desire difficulty for you. This is so that you complete the prescribed number (of days of fasting) and exalt the greatness of Allaah for the favour that He has guided you, and so that you may give thanks.  (Al-Baqarah 2:185)

However, the first allowance is still applicable when someone is incapable of fasting for health reasons and there is no chance of recovery. They should feed the poor in lieu of each fast missed for that reason.

3. Performance of Tahajjud: In the earlier part of his mission in Makkah, the Prophet was obligated to wake up in the later part of the night and stand up in Ŝalaah, reciting the Qur’aan, as told in Al-Muzzammil:

O you who wraps himself in a mantle! Stand in worship at night except a little, its last half, or a little less, or a little more; and recite the Qur’aan with measured, distinct enunciation.  (Al-Muzzammil 73:1-4)

This was called Tahajjud Ŝalaah. In following the footsteps of the Prophet, many Muslims used to perform Tahajjud as well. Then, in the last phase of his mission in Madeenah, the requirement was relaxed so that the length of the time spent in Tahajjud was reduced to whatever people could easily manage, considering their daily duties and routines:

Surely, your Lord knows that you stand in worship nearly two-thirds of the night, or half of it, or a third of it, and so does a group of your companions; and Allaah determines the duration of the night and the day. He knows that you people will be unable to keep up with it, so He has turned to you mercifully; therefore, recite as much of the Qur’aan as is easy for you. He knows that there will be among you those in ill-health, and others traveling in the land seeking Allaah’s grace, and others fighting in Allaah's way; therefore, recite as much of it as is easy.  (Al-Muzzammil 73:20)

Naasikh and Mansookh

Usually, people use the terms “Naasikh” and “Mansookh” to describe this evolutionary characteristic of the commands in the Qur’aan, where Naasikh (repealer) means the final command that repealed the interim commands called Mansookh (repealed). It is done because of the use of the word Naskh (repeal) in Al-Baqarah 2:106. However, it should be remembered that the Qur’aan has used this terminology only to describe the evolution of the teachings of Sharee‘ah from messengers to messengers – especially the role that Islam, as revealed to our Prophet ŜA‘WS, had played in relation to existing beliefs and practices of the Jews and Christians (the Believers of the earlier Book).

Just as there has been an evolution of Islamic lifestyle within the mission of the Prophet, there has been a natural progression and evolution in the commands of Allaah as they were given to the followers of various prophets and messengers in the past. As the human society was evolving, Allaah SWT was adjusting His commands according to the needs of the people at their specific stage in the evolutionary process of maturity. Our Prophet was sent as the last prophet of Allaah because humanity had matured to a level that the final guidance could be given without any need for future changes or updates. On top of that, the followers of the previous prophets had invented their own Bid‘aat (heresies and innovative deviations), changed the teachings of the prophets, lost some of the teachings or their meaning, etc. Now it was the job of our Prophet ŜA‘WS to present Islam in its pure and final form. Consequently, Islam changed some of the commands that were given to the Believers of the Book in the past because they were transitional for their stage of the evolution and now the stage was set for the final version. It rejected all the Bid‘aat or wrong practices introduced and invented by the Believers of the Book and it restored some of the teachings that were ignored, forgotten or thrown away. When Allaah SWT started sending down the teachings about the societal reforms in Madeenah, and the Prophet ŜA‘WS started implementing those changes from the previous practices of the people of the Book, the Jews would create a lot of noise, raise objections and rant: if Muslims believe that Moosa (Moses) ‘AS was the messenger of Allaah and that Tawraah (Torah) was revealed by Allaah, then why is Islam changing the established teachings of Jewish religion, instead of following them? How can Allaah command differently at different times? Allaah SWT responded to their propaganda and attacks in Al-Baqarah:

We do not repeal any verse nor let it be forgotten, but We substitute something better or similar. Do you not know that Allaah has power over everything?  (Al-Baqarah 2:106)

This gave a categoric answer to the Jewish objections that the repeal, replacement and disregard of the existing teachings of the Torah is by Allaah’s design to provide humanity with the final and the most suitable teachings that will be useful for them for all times until the Last Day. 

The context of the Qur’aan determines very clearly that this comment is not a general statement to be applicable to everything. Rather, it is specifically applicable to the replacement, reformation and purification of the teachings of the previous religions by the Qur’aan; and this comment was made in response to the Jewish attacks. It came in the context of the responses to Jewish propaganda and appropriate advice to the Muslims in relation to that propaganda. Therefore, using this verse to describe the successive evolutionary teachings of Islam is unjustified. In fact, the verse cannot even be stretched to apply to the evolutionary commands of the Qur’aan because at the time of the revelation of this verse, the first wave of Islamic reforms was being introduced. By that time, none of the commands of the Qur’aan had so far been superseded by subsequent revelations.

If the meaning and the context of the verse is clearly understood, and only the term is used to describe the superseded commands by the subsequent commands, such use can be considered innocuous. However, some people cross the limits, and use the concept of naasikh and mansookh to base their baseless speculation that some verses used to be revealed and recited by the Prophet and Muslims, and then they were removed from the text of the Qur’aan and/or replaced with new revelations. They support this view of Naasikh and Mansookh with verse 101 of An-Nahl, which was revealed in Makkah towards the later period of the Prophet’s mission there.

Verse 101 An-Nahl

To understand the background of this verse, keep in mind that the revelation of the Qur’aan was to provide guidance to the Islamic movement undertaken by the Prophet. Naturally, this required that guidance be provided dynamically on a continuous basis as the movement progressed from phase to phase and from stage to stage until it succeeded in fully attaining its objectives. Thus, the Qur’aan was revealed gradually according to the guidance needs of the movement, every step of the way.

The purpose of the movement was to reform a corrupt society and transform it into a righteous society. When a society is being reformed, reformation happens one step at a time. Sometimes, reformation of a certain area of human activity is done in stages. When one stage is reached, the standards are raised to the next level until the desired level is achieved. That is how Allaah’s commands were given gradually at the right time of their implementation.

Lasting reformation is not possible without changing the views, outlook and paradigms of the society, which is an extremely difficult task. It happens only gradually and over a long period of time. Each point needs to be explained multiple times in a variety of ways from a variety of perspectives to a variety of people. This requires presenting the same point again and again in different styles until it is fully understood and internalized by different audiences. It also requires repeating this process over and over at different stages of the development of the views and the shift in paradigms until they are fully evolved the way Allaah wants them to be. That is what the revelation of the Qur’aan was precisely designed to do as the Book of reformation and change; and that was one of the reasons it was revealed gradually according to the human psychology of change. However, those who are unwilling to understand or change try to justify their attitude by raising objections for objections’ sake, regardless of how absurd they are. Thus, objections against the gradual revelation of the Qur’aan were persistently made by the disbelievers at different times.

As explained in the introduction to this book (1), the Qur’aan has not been compiled in the order of its revelation. Rather, every revelation was inserted at a designated place commanded by Allaah SWT. Sometimes verses were inserted in between previously revealed verses which ended up changing their original context. The Qur’aan was compiled like assembling the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle, which was being completed by every new revelation. With the arrival of the final revelation, the whole Qur’aan was in the order as it exists today. At the time of revelation of this verse, Soorah Al-An‘aam and this Soorah An-Naĥl were both being revealed. Some verses were inserted in one Soorah, others in the other. That is why we find references in both Soorahs to each other’s verses. Although it was perfectly according to the plan of Allaah SWT, to uninitiated or ignorant people it appeared as if someone did not know what he was doing and as if he was trying to make up his mind as he moved along. That is why the opponents thought the Prophet must be forging the Qur’aan in pieces and then trying to fit the pieces here and there.

1  For full discussion on the topic of the compilation of the Qur’aan, refer to the articles in “About the Qur’aan” section.

Verses 101-102 of An-Nahl were revealed in respect of both types of the abovementioned objections:

When We insert a verse shifting the place of an earlier verse (2) – and Allaah knows best what He sends down – they say, “You are only a forger”; but most of them do not know. Tell them, “The holy spirit (3) has brought it down gradually in successive revelations from your Lord in Truth to bring firmness to those who believe and to provide (timely) guidance and good news for Muslims.  (An-Nahl 16:101-102)

1  For a detailed discussion on this translation vis-à-vis other translations, refer to the appendix to this soorah.
2  This is the title of archangel Jibreel (Gabriel) who has no divine attributes, but unfortunately, the Trinitarians have deified him. The “holy spirit” has not been capitalized intentionally, to avoid confusion with the Christian term for the third member of their Trinity.

Scholars mostly agree that verse 101 responds to the Makkan objection against the gradual revelation of the Qur’aan, but there is some difference of opinion as to which aspect of the gradual revelation is being focused on in this response.

Obviously, this verse cannot be about the evolutionary introduction of the Qur’aanic commands, because not many commands had been revealed by the time of its revelation. Amin Ahsan Islahi thinks that the focus is on the rules about lawful and unlawful foods because these commands were being given in both Soorah Al-An‘aam and this Soorah, which were at variance with the idolatrous traditions of the Arabs in some respects and with the Jewish traditions in some other respects. The Jews strongly objected to the difference. They claimed: had the Prophet been Allaah’s messenger, he would have brought the same law as they followed. This objection was regurgitated by the Makkans at the behest of the Jews. Therefore, Islahi translates verse 101 as “We replace one verse with another” whereby verse refers to Allaah’s law whether it was revealed to Moosa or the Prophet; so the verse according to him means, “We replace Jewish law (verses of the Torah) with Islamic law (verses of the Qur’aan)”. However, although the situation he has reported is valid, this meaning does not fit with the objective “to bring firmness to those who believe” in verse 102, because firmness is the product of timely and gradual revelations about the fundamentals of faith, not of the sporadic commands.

Syed Maududi asserts that “replacing one verse with another verse” means: repeating the same subject matter in different styles at different occasions, using different examples at different places to explain the same point, citing different aspects of the same story of previous messengers in different words at different places and different times, mentioning a point briefly at one place and elaborating it at the other, etc. These are all valid examples and valid reasons that explain the gradual revelation of the Qur’aan and their benefit “to bring firmness to those who believe and as a guidance and good news for Muslims”. However, none of these examples can be taken to mean “replacing one verse with another” in actuality. In fact, no verse of the Qur’aan has ever been replaced with another. Every word of the Qur’aan has been preserved as it was once revealed. Thus, although Maududi’s examples and points are all valid in themselves, they do not address the “replacing” aspect mentioned in verse 101.

T.B. Irving (4) has translated this verse as “Whenever We shift a verse from its context in favour of another verse…”, whereby the phrase “Makaana Aayatin” i.e., “the place of the verse” refers its location in the context of other verses. We agree with his understanding of the verse and thus have translated it as “When We insert a verse shifting the context (place) of an earlier verse …”.

4  The Noble Qur’an, 1992, Amana Books

Accordingly, verse 101 refers to the contextual placement of the verses revealed and reminds people that Allaah very well knows what He is revealing, when it should be revealed and where it should fit in the context; and it is they who do not know the facts. Verse 102 explains the wisdom in and benefits of revealing the Qur’aan gradually in small chunks. The “holy spirit” mentioned in this verse, is the title of Angel Jibreel (Gabriel) who was bringing the revelation to the Prophet. He has been mentioned to impress the point that he is pure of any weakness that would impact the quality or reliability of the message with which he is sent by Allaah SWT. The benefits of the gradual revelation mentioned in this verse are: it brings firmness to believers by frequent reminders in different styles and by helping them build on their earlier achievements; it provides guidance to the Muslims, revealed at the most appropriate time of their need; and it continues to give them the good news of their success in this world and in the Hereafter, thus keeping their spirits high despite the challenges they face. When it says, “guidance for Muslims”, it includes all Muslims who join the movement later on as well as the subsequent generations of Muslims. It is for their guidance needs and benefit that the verses were being ordered and contextualized differently than the order of their revelation.

Those who translate verse 101 as “When We replace a verse with another” and connect it to Naskh verse 2:106 implying that some portions or verses of the Qur’aan were revealed and then cancelled and replaced by different verses overlook not only the context of the verses but some other facts as well. For example, this verse (101) under discussion was revealed in Makkah, while the Naskh verse 2:106 was revealed in Madeenah. If their view is accepted, it suggests the following scenario:

  • Allaah SWT sends down the verses of the Qur’aan and continues to revise them as the time passes, replacing the old revelations with new verses.
  • Observing such frequent revisions, the Makkans conclude that it cannot be from Allaah, the Prophet is only fabricating them on his own and revising them as the time passes.
  • In response, Allaah SWT tells them, “We know what We send down; We do it that way to bring firmness to those who believe…”.
  • Then years later, in Madeenah, when Makkans are not there, He tells, “We do so because We replace the cancelled verses with similar or better ones”.

Does that sound like the scenario of the sublime and amazing Qur’aan that is Allaah’s eternal word?

The fact is that Allaah SWT is the knower of everything known and unknown in the past, present and future. Every revelation He sent down to the Prophet was based on His perfect knowledge and thus, never needed a revision. It is human weakness that people come up with ideas and then they have to revise them when they discover some more pertinent information or gain more experience. Allaah SWT and His words are infinitely above such weaknesses. Every word He revealed to His Messenger was eternal and never needed to be revised, changed or edited. Were the words of the Qur’aan or its verses being changed in any manner after their revelation, the objection of the Makkans would have been very valid and Allaah’s response “and Allaah knows best what He sends down” would have been meaningless. This response would be valid only if, being based on Allaah’s own eternal knowledge, the revelation would be true and valid until the Day of Judgment. Moreover, if the previous revelations were being replaced by new ones, they would not bring firmness to those who believed, but would have rather caused doubts and confusion.

In reality, once the words were revealed to the Prophet, they became a permanent part of the Qur’aan and were never edited, redacted, replaced or changed in any manner whatsoever. That is why even the personal instructions of temporary nature that were meant only for the Prophet but were included in the revelations became integral verses of the Qur’aan and remain so. Had there been any deletions or replacements, they would have been the first to go. Just two evident examples are the following:

      1. In the initial days of revelations, the Prophet was taught the proper way of receiving the revelations and was told in Al-Qiyaamah:

Do not move your tongue (O Prophet) along with the revelation to hasten with it. Verily, We are responsible for its compilation and its recitation. So, once We have recited it, then follow its recital. Thereafter, We are also responsible for explaining it.  (Al-Qiyaamah 75:16-19)

These instructions were given interrupting the flow of the message. After these instructions, the Prophet adhered to them so well that he never had to be reminded again. If the replacement was ever done, they would have been the glaring candidates to be replaced.

2. Similarly, in the heat of the opposition from his enemies, the revelations from Allaah were the major sources of solace and strength for the Prophet. Therefore, he used to wait anxiously for Jibreel to show up and desired him to come more often with revelations; but was told in Maryam

We (5) do not descend except by the command of your Lord; to Him belongs whatever is before us and whatever is behind us and whatever lies in between; and your Lord is never forgetful.  (Maryam 19:64)

5  Here, the revelation quotes Angel Jibreel (Gabriel) to convey his and his fellow angels’ feelings.

Once again, there was no need to make them a part of the Qur’aan but the rule was whatever came down was to remain a part of the Qur’aan forever.

3. When the Islamic mission was spreading at a fast pace in Madeenah and a large number of people were accepting Islam, many of them would come to visit the Prophet and want to confer with him privately for minor, usual things that could easily be discussed in public. It was creating much hardship for the Prophet and wasting his time unnecessarily. To eliminate such superfluous requests, Allaah made a rule that whoever wanted to talk to the Prophet privately should first pay some charity. People got the message; therefore, shortly after, the rule was repealed. Both verses, as given below, are in Soorah Mujaadalah:

O you who have believed, when you wish to confer privately with the Messenger, then give some charity (to the poor) before your consultation. This is better for you and purer. However, if you do not find (anything to give in charity), Allaah is Most Forgiving, Most Merciful. Were you afraid of giving charities before your private conversations? Then when you did not do it – and Allaah has turned to you mercifully – then establish Ŝalaah (6), give Zakaah (7), and obey Allaah and His Messenger. And Allaah is Well-Aware of what you do. (Al-Mujaadalah 58:12-13)

6  Remain attached and organized as an Islamic polity through congregational system of Ŝalaah.
7  Finance the activities and projects of the Islamic polity through the payment of Zakaah.

Were the Qur’aan ever edited or had any verses ever been deleted, these verses of a very temporary nature would not be where they are.

Summary

1.  Verse 101 of An-Nahl responds to the objections of the detractors about the following two features of the Qur’aan:

  • The Qur’aan is the collections of guidance provided by Allaah in His own words to guide the mission of the Prophet at every step and stage of this mission or movement. Therefore, it was sent down by Allaah SWT in small chunks to provide timely guidance and to help Muslims internalize the revealed guidance constantly as it was revealed.
  • It was compiled under the direction of Allaah SWT Himself in a totally different order than the order of the revelation of verses. The newly revealed verses were placed according to Allaah’s directions among the previously revealed verses. Therefore, the textual context of the earlier verses changed with the placement of new verses among them.

2.  Before the revelation of the Qur’aan, the existing books of the Jews were considered God’s law. The Qur’aanic revelations confirmed what was right in those books, replaced and reformed what needed to be corrected, and ignored many other teachings that were irrelevant or inapplicable. In doing so, the Qur’aan abrogated many things that the Jews were practising as God’s law and replaced them with the correct and current guidance of Allaah SWT. Therefore, the Qur’aan was Naasikh (abrogator) of the wrong, irrelevant or outdated teachings of the Jewish scriptures, which became Mansookh (abrogated). That is what verse 2:106 describes.

3.  Islam brought the revolutionary change in the society through successive evolutionary commands taking its followers in steps toward its destination and goals. Although the Qur’aan has not used the word Naskh for the transitionary commands that were given in the evolutionary process of the Islamic change, some people use this word to describe the successive evolutionary commands of the Qur’aan too.

4.  Every word that was ever revealed to the Prophet as a part of the Qur’aan was reveled forever, never to be edited, deleted or replaced. Any claim that certain verse or portions of the Qur’aanic text were ever removed or replaced is illogical, unfounded and baseless, having no support from the Qur’aan itself.

Other Invalid Views about Naasikh and Mansookh

Unfortunately, those who took the above two verses out of their context and concluded that the Qur’aan has been revised and edited in the sense of verses being deleted and replaced have done serious injustice to Allaah SWT and to His Word, the glorious and sublime Qur’aan.

What happens is that once a person steps on a slippery slope, he cannot help but going lower and lower. Consequently, some of those people came up with the following kind of ideas:

  • There were verses that were a part of the Qur’aan but were abrogated; but the commands they contained is still applicable.
  • Hadeeth can abrogate the Qur’aan.

Such views are utterly misguided and invalid. The word of our Lord and Master is eternal, not needing any revision, nor any abrogation, nor can it be overridden by any human word, even if it is the word of our Prophet Ŝ‘AWS.

Posted in Qur'aan on January 16, 2022 by Ayub Hamid

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