FOR TRUTH SEEKERS ONLY: What Muhammad Actually Said About ‘Abrogation’


This post is intended for the education of those who seek the Truth — no matter what that Truth may be.  It is wholly unsuited for those who seek to believe in lies.

As I do not wish to intentionally miss-represent Islam, I am going to openly state that, within Islam, ‘abrogation‘ is a disputed topic.  Some Muslims reject the claim that any passage of the Qur’an has been abrogated, but, mostly, the debate is over what passages (Surahs) of the Qur’an have been replaced, and which passages replaced them.  All I know is that, if one reads the Qur’an and takes Muhammad at his word (which Muhammad commands), then the concept of abrogation is in the Qur’an.  All that remains is to determine which passage replaces another, and since Islam is a ‘chronological’ religion (meaning it builds from early to later), the later passages logically replace the earlier ones (which is supported by the fact that Muhammad said this is the way abrogation works). So, why is this important to understand?  Because most of the passages dealing with peaceful relations toward non-Muslims have been abrogated!

Note: passages in red are from the Qur’an; those in black are from the Sunnah (customs and sayings of Muhammad), the second holiest book in Islam and absolutely necessary to make a religion out of the Qur’an.

Qur’an 2:106

“We do not abrogate any of Our verses (of the Qur’an) or cause it to be forgotten except [unless] that We substitute it with something better or similar; don’t you know that Allah has full power over everything?”

Qur’an 13:39

“Allah blots out or confirms what He pleases: with Him is the Mother [or essence/basis] of the Book.”

Qur’an 87:6-7

“We shall make you recite, so do not forget (anything) except whatever God may wish [i.e. Allah does command Muslims to forget previous Surahs] . He knows the obvious and what is hidden.”

In the Sunnah (collection of Hadith, which are the sayings and customs of Muhammad), we find that this is exactly how the earliest Muslims understood Muhammad’s commands:


“Umar said, ‘Our best Qur’an reciter is Ubai. And in spite of this, we leave out some of his statements because Allah’s Apostle himself said, “Whatever verse or revelation We abrogate or cause to be forgotten We bring a better one.”

In response to what are known as ‘The Satanic verses,’ Muhammad was ‘given’ this passage:

Qur’an 22:52

“Never did We send a messenger or a prophet before you, but, when he framed a desire, Satan threw some vanity into his desire: but Allah will cancel anything (vain) that Satan throws in.” [Another translation reads:] “He recited (the message) Satan proposed. But Allah abolishes that which Satan proposes.” [A third claims:] “Satan made a suggestion respecting his desire; but Allah annuls that which Satan casts,” [A fourth:] “whose recitations Satan tampered with, yet Allah abrogates what Satan interpolates; and Allah will confirm His Signs/Revelations.”

Again, the Sunnah (Hadith) affirms that the earliest Muslims understood this passage correctly:


“Then Allah annulled [i.e. abrogated] what Satan had cast, and established his verses by telling him that he was like other prophets and messengers. Every Messenger or Prophet before you recited the message Satan cast into his recitation. Allah abrogates what Satan casts. Then Allah established his verses.'”

This verse ‘came down’ after people accused Muhammad of making things up to suit his needs/purposes at the time (the same accusation Muhammad’s scribe made before he left Islam and went back to Christianity):

Qur’an 16:101

“When We substitute one revelation for another, and Allah knows best what He reveals (in stages), they say, “Thou art but a forger”: but most of them understand not.”

Also in response to criticisms that Muhammad’s commands from Allah conflict and do not agree, Muhammad then ‘received’ this Surah:

Qur’an 4:82

“Do they not consider the Quran (with care)? Had it been from other than Allah, they would surely have found therein much discrepancy.”

So, whether or not one accepts Muhammad as the messenger of Allah is the key to how one sees the issue of ‘abrogation.’  If a Muslim obeys Muhammad (as Muhammad commanded), then they understand that the earlier passages commanding peace between Muslims and non-Muslims have been abrogated.  Muhamamd’s last commands on this subject were not to take non-Muslims as friends, and to wage war with all humanity until there is only Islam.  The Hadith record that these commands stayed with Muhammad until his dying breaths, and we among his last words.

For additional reading on this subject:

The Islamic doctrine of abrogation

The Doctrine of Abrogation and Quran Chronology


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