Abrogation in the Qur’an and Islamic Law  book cover
1st Edition

Abrogation in the Qur’an and Islamic Law

ISBN 9781138809512
Published July 3, 2014 by Routledge
316 Pages 7 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

This book examines in detail the concept of "abrogation" in the Qur’an, which has played a major role in the development of Islamic law and has implications for understanding the history and integrity of the Qur’anic text. The term has gained popularity in recent years, as Muslim groups and individuals claim that many passages about tolerance in the Qur’an have been abrogated by others that call on Muslims to fight their enemies. Author Louay Fatoohi argues that this could not have been derived from the Qur’an, and that its implications contradict Qur’anic principles. He also reveals conceptual flaws in the principle of abrogation as well as serious problems with the way it was applied by different scholars.

Abrogation in the Qur’an and Islamic Law traces the development of the concept from its most basic form to the complex and multi-faceted doctrine it has become. The book shows what specific problems the three modes of abrogation were introduced to solve, and how this concept has shaped Islamic law. The book also critiques the role of abrogation in rationalizing the view that not all of the Qur’anic revelation has survived in the "mushaf", or the written record of the Qur’an. This role makes understanding abrogation an essential prerequisite for studying the history of the Qur’anic text.

Table of Contents

Introduction 1. A History of the Concept of "Abrogation" 2. Abrogation in Scriptures Before the Qur’an 3. The Term "Naskh" in the Qur’an 4. The Concept of "Naskh" in the Qur’an 5. Conceptual and Implementational Differences of Abrogation 6. Legal Abrogation 7. The Verse of the Sword 8. Does the Mushaf Contain All of the Qur’an? 9. Did the Prophet Forget Verses? 10. Legal-Textual Abrogation 11. Textual Abrogation I: The "Stoning Verse" 12. Textual Abrogation II: The Five-Suckling Verse and the Anomalous Reading of the Oath Breaking Verse 13. Abrogation of the Sunna 14. Islamic Law: A New Reading 15. Conclusion: The Myth of Abrogation A. The Meaning of “Hadīth” and “Sunna” Bibliography Glossary Index of Qur’anic Verses Index of Names and Subjects

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Louay Fatoohi is the Operations Director at Packt Publishing. His research interests are in Qur’anic studies, including comparisons between the Qur'an’s account of history with Biblical narratives, other Jewish and Christian writings, and historical sources. He is the author of The Mystery of the Historical Jesus (2007) and Prophet Joseph in the Qur’an, the Bible, and History (2007).


"The author offers a refreshing perspective to his readers to understand that Muslim scholars do not always have a monolithic opinion on subjects even as sensitive as this. The book also affirms that critical thinking is not alien to Islamic scholarship. If there is one valuable book in the English Language on the subject, this is it." Jabal M. Buaben, University Of Birmingham