Wednesday 19 June 2024

Responding to objections about Islam: Quran claims there is no change in words of Allah, But Allah also says He changes old verses with new ones

Qur'an is often the target of the non Muslims, specially those who see a high rate of reversion of their followers to Islam. Thus there is every effort to downplay the Qur'an by finding faults in its verses and presenting Qur'an not as a Divine Scripture but a brainchild of Islamic Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ). However, despite severe criticism, more and more non Muslims are finding the Divine Wisdom contained in Qur'an. But on the other hand, many are engrossed in finding verses that could be twisted to suit their malice intentions. 

However, it is generally seen that most of the objections are raised by those who have never read Qur'an, specially in the reference to the context, and take out one odd verse to confront the Muslims and telling them that that even  God, Allah of Muslims, has made mistakes and (God forbids) does not know what He intend saying. We, in our previous posts have tried to reply many such objections / lies and disinformation about Islam which are consolidated in out reference page: The Rebuttal

Today we take yet another objection by non Muslims, which is elf explanatory by the captions so added:
Before we answer the observation, let us go back to the time of revelation of Qur'an in the seventh century AD to Prophet Muhammad ﷺ.  Qur'an was revealed on the most stubborn, and motile people of the time: The Bedouins. They were in the habit of gambling, drinking, free sex, keeping as many slaves as they could keep. While they had lust for women, they also detested birth of a baby girl and resorted to inhuman act of burying the newly born baby girls alive. Such were the habits that were drilled into them and were not easy to remove.

And that is the reason, Qur'an was revealed slowly and gradually spanned over a period of 23 years to condition the newly reverted Muslims to conform to the principles and tenets of Islam. Thus many a earlier verses were replaced with new ones to supersede the older commandments with new ones so that newly reverted Muslims continue to be updated for the final commandments of Allah.

The concept changing older verses / commandments with new ones is known as "abrogation" (Naskh) in Islamic theology. Abrogation means that certain verses of the Quran were replaced or superseded by later verses. This phenomenon is mentioned in the Quran and has been a topic of discussion among Islamic scholars.

Quranic References to Abrogation: Qur'an explains the concept of abrogation of verses as under
  • "We do not abrogate a verse or cause it to be forgotten except that We bring forth [one] better than it or similar to it. Do you not know that Allah is over all things competent?" (Surah 2. Al Baqara:106:)
  • "And when We substitute a verse in place of a verse - and Allah is most knowing of what He sends down - they say, 'You, [O Muhammad], are but an inventor [of lies].' But most of them do not know." (Surah An-Naḥl 16. [Arabic: الْنَّحْل; The Bee ]:101:
Reasons for Abrogation
  • Gradual Implementation of Laws: Abrogation allowed for the gradual introduction and implementation of Islamic laws and principles. This gradual approach made it easier for the early Muslim community to adapt to significant changes.
  • Contextual Relevance: Some verses were revealed to address specific circumstances or issues faced by the early Muslim community. As circumstances changed, new verses were revealed to provide updated guidance.
  • Testing Obedience and Faith: Abrogation served as a test of the believers' faith and obedience. It tested their willingness to follow Allah's guidance, even when it changed.
Examples of Abrogation in the Quran
  • Alcohol Consumption: Alcohol drinking was deep rooted in the Bedouin culture and the reverted Muslims could not break away from this menace. Since drinking has a deep impact on the logical thinking process of a man, it had to be abolished. Likewise women when intoxicated could easily be lured in by the lustful men for unlawful sex. That is why this otherwise deep rooted menace from the lives of Muslims needed to eradicated. The Qur'an addresses the consumption of wine (intoxicants) in several verses, gradually prohibiting it in a few stages. Here are the main references and what they say about drinking wine:
    • Initial Stance: Moderation in alcohol consumption.  "They ask you about wine and gambling. Say, 'In them is great sin and [yet, some] benefit for people. But their sin is greater than their benefit.'" (Surah Al Baqara 2:219)
    • Prohibition During Prayer: Prayer, As salat, is a means of one to one communication between the servant and his Master. Thus one should be in perfect and clear state of mind when offering prayer, or in other words talking to Allah. Therefore in the second stage a commandment was revealed: "O you who have believed, do not approach prayer while you are intoxicated until you know what you are saying..." (Surah An-Nisa (4:43). This verse prohibits approaching prayers in a state of intoxication, emphasizing the importance of being clear-minded during worship.
    • Final Stance: Complete prohibition. "O you who have believed, indeed, intoxicants, gambling, [sacrificing on] stone alters [to other than Allah], and divining arrows are but defilement from the work of Satan, so avoid it that you may be successful. Satan only wants to cause between you animosity and hatred through intoxicants and gambling and to avert you from the remembrance of Allah and from prayer. So will you not desist?" (Surah 5. Al-Ma'idah - The Table Spread:90-91)
    • The Qur'an's approach to prohibiting wine (intoxicants) was gradual, first highlighting its harm, then restricting its use during prayer, and finally completely forbidding it. The complete prohibition is aimed at preventing the negative social and spiritual impacts of intoxication, such as enmity, distraction from worship, and moral decay.
  • Direction of Prayer (Qibla):
    • Initial Direction: Praying towards Jerusalem. "The foolish among the people will say, 'What has turned them away from their qibla, which they used to face?'" (Surah Al Baqara 2:142)
    • Final Direction: Praying towards the Kaaba in Mecca. "So turn your face toward al-Masjid al-Haram. And wherever you [believers] are, turn your faces toward it [in prayer]." (Surah Al Baqara2:144)
Scholarly Perspectives
  • Classical Scholars: Many classical Islamic scholars, such as Imam Al-Suyuti and Imam Al-Qurtubi, wrote extensively about abrogation, providing examples and explaining the wisdom behind it.
  • Modern Interpretations: Some modern scholars and thinkers argue for a more nuanced understanding of abrogation, suggesting that it reflects the dynamic and contextual nature of divine guidance.
In light of few examples quoted above, the concept of Abrogation in the Quran reflects Allah's wisdom in providing guidance that is both contextually relevant and progressively suitable for the evolving circumstances of the Muslim community. It illustrates the adaptability and responsiveness of Islamic law to the needs of its followers. This concept is rooted in the belief that Allah, in His infinite wisdom, knows what is best for humanity and provides guidance accordingly.

So let no one deceive about Islam by lies, misinformation and disinformation. Islam provides the easiest access to Allah without any intermediary to speak to Him, repent one's sins and seek forgiveness.
May Allāh (سبحانه و تعالى‎) help us understand Qur'ān and follow the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ, which is embodiment of commandments of Allah contained in the Qur'ān. May Allah help us to be like the ones He loves and let our lives be lived helping others and not making others' lives miserable or unlivable. May all our wrong doings, whether intentional or unintentional, be forgiven before the angel of death knocks on our door. 
وَمَا عَلَيۡنَاۤ اِلَّا الۡبَلٰغُ الۡمُبِيۡنُ‏ 
(36:17) and our duty is no more than to clearly convey the Message.”
That is Our duty is only to convey to you the message that Allah has entrusted us with. Then it is for you to accept it or reject it. We have not been made responsible for making you accept it forcibly, and if you do not accept it, we shall not be seized in consequence of your disbelief, you will yourselves be answerable for your actions on Day of Resurrection.

Reading the Qur'ān should be a daily obligation of a Muslim - Reading it with translation will make it meaningful. But reading its Exegesis / Tafsir will make you understand it fully. It will also help the Muslims to have grasp over social issues and their answers discussed in the Qur'an and other matter related to inter faith so that they are able to discuss issues with non-Muslims with authority based on refences from Qur'an.

May Allah forgive me if my posts ever imply a piety far greater than I possess. I am most in need of guidance.

Note: When we mention God in our posts, we mean One True God, we call Allah in Islam, with no associates. Allah is the Sole Creator of all things, and that Allah is all-powerful and all-knowing. Allah has no offspring, no race, no gender, no body, and is unaffected by the characteristics of human life.

You may read more posts on countering / responding to lies / misinformation and disinformation about Islam: The Rebuttal: Countering disinformation being spread about Islam (Reference Page)

You may also refer to our Reference Pages  and Understanding Al Qur'an for knowing more about Islam and Qur'ān.
Disclaimer: The material for this post has been collected from the references given above. If anyone differs with the material contained in this post, one may consult the references and their authors.  If someone has more material about the subject, he/she is most welcome to share in the comments box to make the post all encompassing.


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I have read our entire article with objection. Simply to say, it is your greatness to work hard and share it for awareness. As for as, I do not need any argument about truthness of Quran.

Thank you for your feedback. I know no Muslim needs any clarification. It is for non Muslims who raise such objections

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