The Wisdom of Naskh (Abrogation)




Dr. Abu Ameenah Bilal Philips


Taken from Usool At-Tafseer The Methodology of Qur'anic Interpretation, pp. 234-235



There is no doubt that the replacement of some laws with others was done for good and important reasons, as none of Allaah's action [sic] are in jest or without a purpose. Some of these reasons He has described, and others are obvious and deducible from His actions; however, there are others unknown to us and beyond our comprehension. Allah's being is unknown to us and beyond our comprehension. Allah's knowledge has no limits and includes all, so man cannot reasonably hope to grasp in totality the supreme wisdom behind Allah's actions. In the case of naskh, it is possible to deduce the following principle reasons for it [sic] occurrence:


  1. It is means of looking after the welfare of mankind by the evolution of divine laws to a stage of completion consistent with the development of human society.


  1. It is used to test the believers with a variety of situations in which they are required to closely follow certain specific laws, while in others they are required not to follow them. This type of variation tests the willingness of the believers to submit to Allaah's commands as well as their faith in Allaah's wisdom.


  1. It also shows that Allaah desires good and ease for the Islaamic nation. Naskh which repeals a law with one more difficult gives the believers an opportunity to earn a greater reward; the divine principle being that the greater the difficulty the greater the reward. On the other hand, naskh which replaces a law with an easier one gives the believers a break and reminds them of Allaah's wish of good for them.



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