Abrogation in the Quran, Imam As-Suyuti and Shah Waliyullah

10 Sep

As-Salam ‘Alaikum

I have seen two frauds claiming to offer seekers guidance on the internet suggest a contention that can be summarized roughly as follows:

The juridical definitions of “abrogation” as used by sahaba and earlier scholars and as used by latter scholars are different. Based on the differences in the juridical definition of “naskh”, the number of abrogated verses differ from earlier scholars to latter scholars. Imam Jalaluddin As-Suyuti said that only 20 verses of the Quran are abrogated and Shah Waliyullah agreed with Imam As-Suyuti on only five of those verses. Coincidentally, the 20 verses mentioned by Imam Jalaluddin As-Suyuti do NOT deal with any verse of war juxtaposed against the verses of peace.

Those 2 people are liars who are lying against two legendary scholars of the Ahlus Sunnah. And they claim to be shuyukh who take seekers to guidance. La’anahumullah!

Let us see what Shah Waliyullah Ad-Dehlawiy said in his famous work on the Quranic sciences, Al-Fawz Al-Kabiir:

Al-Fawz Al-Kabiir 

Section 7 – The Difficulties in Quranic Understanding and Their Solutions

Chapter 2 – Naasikh and Mansookh Verses

For the understanding of the Quran, one of the tough areas where a lot of debates have taken place, and about which a lot of disarrays are found, is the recognition of naasikh and mansookh verses.

In this regard, the greatest difficulty is that the terminology of the older mufassireen (exegetes) and the latter mufassireen are different. If the sayings of the sahaba and the tabi’een are surveyed, it is found that they used the word “naskh” (to be abrogated) in its original, literal [broad-based] meaning – that is, “to remove one thing by another thing”. The latter ‘ulema of usuul formulated a new definition of “naskh” to mean – “changing the HUKM (commandment) of one ayah (verse) with the HUKM of another verse.”

Therefore, according to this [new] definition, there can be many forms of “naskh”:

1 – One form is that a hukm had been decreed a set time [for application] and after such time, the hukm ends by itself.

2 – The second form is that one meaning of a verse is detoured towards another meaning, and in this case, the first interpretation shall be ruled to be “mansookh” (abrogated).

3 – The third form is that it be stated regarding a necessary condition specified in a verse for the implementation of a hukm, that the condition is no longer necessarily required to be fulfilled.

4 – The fourth form is that a general and open ended hukm be made specific.

5 – The fifth form is that such a point be made known that due to it, the meaning of the REAL hukm of an ayah becomes manifest in contrast to an incorrect meaning being taken due to the words contained in it.

6 – The sixth form is that some tradition or convention from the days of jaahiliyyah or a permission/command from previous shari’ahs [of previous prophets] be terminated.

There are these and many other forms like these through which a commandment (hukm) in an ayah is considered abrogated by another hukm.


The number of abrogated verses according to the muta-akhkhireen (latter scholars):

After the Salaf As-Saalihiin, the meaning in which the muta-akhkhireen have used the word “naskh” and made a new terminology out of it, according to that, the number of abrogated verses becomes very less. On this matter, the opinion that we have adopted, according to it, the number of abrogated verses remains very few.

Imam As-Suyuti, in his famous book Al-Itqan, states the number of abrogated verses as 20 on the authority of Ibn ‘Arabi, but according to me, this number can be further reduced.

The abrogated verses according to Ibn ‘Arabi and discussion on them:

Now we shall mention the abrogated verses according to Ibn ‘Arabi, and discuss them:


4 – This verse of Surah Baqarah has also been considered abrogated

يَسْأَلُونَكَ عَنِ الشَّهْرِ الْحَرَامِ قِتَالٍ فِيهِ ۖ قُلْقِتَالٌ فِيهِ كَبِيرٌ ۖ وَصَدٌّ عَن سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ وَكُفْرٌ بِهِ وَالْمَسْجِدِ الْحَرَامِ وَإِخْرَاجُ أَهْلِهِ مِنْهُ أَكْبَرُ عِندَ اللَّهِ ۚ وَالْفِتْنَةُ أَكْبَرُ مِنَ الْقَتْلِ ۗ وَلَا يَزَالُونَ يُقَاتِلُونَكُمْ حَتَّىٰ يَرُدُّوكُمْ عَن دِينِكُمْ إِنِ اسْتَطَاعُوا ۚ وَمَن يَرْتَدِدْ مِنكُمْ عَن دِينِهِ فَيَمُتْ وَهُوَ كَافِرٌ فَأُولَٰئِكَ حَبِطَتْ أَعْمَالُهُمْ فِي الدُّنْيَا وَالْآخِرَةِ ۖ وَأُولَٰئِكَ أَصْحَابُ النَّارِ ۖ هُمْ فِيهَا خَالِدُونَ

Translation of meaning: They ask you regarding the Sacred Month, regarding war in it; you say, “warring in it is a great sin – and stopping from Allah’s path, and not believing in Him, and forbidding from the Holy Mosque, and ousting its dwellers – these are greater sins than that [warring in the Sacred Month] in front of Allah; and their mischief is greater than killing;” and they will always fight against you until they turn you away from your faith if they can; and whoever among you apostatizes from his religion and dies an infidel, then their works shall go in vain in this world and in the hereafter; and they are the dwellers of the inferno, they shall abide therein unceasingly. (Holy Quran 2:217)

And it has been considered abrogated by the command of the following verse:

إِنَّ عِدَّةَ الشُّهُورِ عِندَ اللَّهِ اثْنَا عَشَرَ شَهْرًا فِي كِتَابِ اللَّهِ يَوْمَ خَلَقَ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضَ مِنْهَا أَرْبَعَةٌ حُرُمٌ ۚ ذَٰلِكَ الدِّينُ الْقَيِّمُ ۚ فَلَا تَظْلِمُوا فِيهِنَّ أَنفُسَكُمْ ۚ وَقَاتِلُوا الْمُشْرِكِينَ كَافَّةً كَمَا يُقَاتِلُونَكُمْ كَافَّةً ۚ وَاعْلَمُوا أَنَّ اللَّهَ مَعَ الْمُتَّقِينَ

Translation of meaning: Verily, the number of months in front of Allah is twelve months in Allah’s book, since He created the heavens and the earth, out of those four are sacred; this is the established religion, then in those months, do not transgress on your own selves; and fight the mushrikiin at all times just as they fight with you at all times, and know that Allah is with the pious. (Holy Quran 9:36)

This statement of abrogation has been narrated by Imam Ibn Jariir At-Tabari from ‘Ata bin Maysarah.

But my opinion is that by this verse [2:217], warring in the sacred months is NOT evidenced as forbidden but rather evidenced as being permitted. And the explanation is thusly that a matter is accepted, and then a deterrent in its path is mentioned. Therefore, according to me, the interpretation of the verse [2:217] is such that it IS a sin to war in the sacred months, but the mischief of kufr and shirk is an EVEN GREATER SIN than that, the prevention of which makes war legitimate EVEN IN the Sacred Months; and this exegesis indeed sounds right and synchronous with the context of the verse [2:217].


The way these hypocrites work is with half truths. They are right in stating that the definitions of abrogation or “naskh” are different between latter scholars and the sahaba + the early scholars. It is also true that As-Suyuti says that the number of abrogated verses is 20 [based on the definition of latter scholars as elucidated above by Shah Waliyullah’s book] and it is also true that Shah Waliyullah says that he agrees with Imam As-Suyuti on ONLY 5 of those 20 verses.

However, the comment that the 20 verses mentioned by Imam As-Suyuti do not include any verse for war is simply a blatant and open lie! By stating this lie they also automatically attribute a lie to Shah Waliyullah since regardless whether he agrees with As-Suyuti or not on which verses are abrogated, it aims to show that both these legendary scholars were cowardly pacifists like these 2 liars are!

The reason Shah Waliyullah agreed with Imam As-Suyuti on only 5 of the 20 verses is because for the rest of the verses, he reconciled the interpretation of one verse with another in a very fluid manner thereby leaving no room to suggest that one verse abrogated the other, as is the case with the citation above, which incidentally, IS about wars against infidels.

Shah Waliyullah and Imam Jalaluddin As-Suyuti both agree that in the Shari’ah, a war declared by a head of the Muslim state is permissible in any month of the year. They just reach the conclusion through different channels. (Please note that declaring war is the responsibility of Muslim rulers. Individuals are not permitted to just declare wars as the jahil khawarij do and make a mockery of Islam hurting its cause and causing discomfort to Muslims at the hands of the infidel states.)

Imam As-Suyuti reaches that conclusion saying that 9:36 abrogates 2:217, previously a war declared by an Islamic state’s head against infidels was not allowed in the Sacred Months but at the revelation of 9:36 it became allowed at any time of the year.

Shah Waliyullah reaches the exact same conclusion that it is allowed any time of the year by saying that 2:217 never forbade it in the Sacred Months in the first place!

May Allah destroy the cowardly liars who claim to be “shuyukh” offering guidance to seekers! Aameen. 

Please say the Al-Fatihah for Shah Waliyullah and Imam Jalaluddin As-Suyuti, rahimahumullah. 

And Allah alone grants success. 


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One response to “Abrogation in the Quran, Imam As-Suyuti and Shah Waliyullah

  1. Najumuddeen

    September 19, 2012 at 11:06 am

    Assalamu Alaikum Hope you could write somethings about Ijma and Qiyas. Some people are taught they are bidha Thanks May Allah make it easy for you Ameen.


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