How Is It Possible that Verses of the Qur’an Could Be Abrogated?

The Islamic approach towards dealing with any issue relating to faith and practice is direct. Thus this invariably involves looking at what the Qur’an has to say, how this was understood and applied by the Prophet (peace be on him, and the pious generations, who are considered our perennial role models in all matters of deen (religion). As far as the issue of abrogation in the Qur’an is concerned, it has been a subject of disagreement among scholars. One of the considered opinions is that there is no cancellation or abrogation but there was always revocation or progression in setting up legal rulings.
Dr. Sano Koutoub Moustapha, professor of Fiqh and its Principles, International Islamic University, Malaysia, states: “The word abrogation is a translation of the word “naskh” which means revocation and replacement of a legal ruling with another legal ruling. It does not mean cancellation or amendment in the English sense. However, this issue has been a subject of disagreement among scholars. I am of the opinion that there is no cancellation or abrogation but there was always revocation or progression in setting up legal rulings. In other words, the Qur’an was revealed to the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) in a gradual manner, so as to enable the people to have a better understanding of its meanings and teachings. This is stated in the Qur’an, Allah says what means: “And (it is) a Qur’an that We have divided, that you may recite it unto mankind at intervals, and We have revealed it by (successive) revelation.” (Al-‘Isra’: 106)
However, we should not bother our mind with this view or comment which claims that few verses have been abrogated. We should continue to read and study the Qur’an. Certainly, there is no doubt that what is in the Mus-haf (printed copy of the Qur’an) today is considered the Qur’an.”