A Critique of the Theory of Abrogation
Is it true that some Qur’anic verses, establishing certain rulings, have been abrogated and their rulings are no longer valid? Some scholars have claimed that nearly two hundred Qur’anic verses have been abrogated, but other scholars argue that many of these cases do not stand up to scrutiny.
The very idea of abrogation sounds fascinating to many Muslims. Through Islamic history, the study of abrogation acquired special importance as a distinct discipline of Qur’anic studies. Books were devoted to explaining which Qur’anic verses abrogated which earlier ones. But is there really a sound argument that abrogation occurred during the Prophet’s lifetime, with Qur’anic revelations cancelling earlier rulings totally, so as to make them invalid for the rest of time?
This book critically examines such an understanding of abrogation theory. It aims to present to the reader and students of Islamic studies the opposite view that what is said to be abrogated could still address some practical situations.
JASSER AUDA is a scholar who specializes in Islamic law and legal theory. A member of fiqh councils in Europe, America, and Asia, early in his life, he memorized the Qur’an and attended study circles of al-Azhar in Cairo, Egypt. He holds a PhD in the philosophy of Islamic law from the University of Wales, UK, and a PhD in systems analysis from the University of Waterloo, Canada.