What is the principle known in Arabic as nasikh?

Mark A Gabriel, PhD“…when there is a contradiction between two verses in the Quran, the newer revelation overrides the previous revelation.  The new cancels the old.” ― The Unfinished Battle Islam and the Jews, by Mark A. Gabriel, Ph.D.[1], Charisma House, Lake Mary, Florida, Page 47.

 “Do all Muslims interpret the Quran this way?  Do all Muslims accept that a contradiction in the Quran is solved by using the newest revelation?

               This principle is known in Arabic a nasikh.  It means that Allah led Muhammad in a progressive revelation.

               Nasikh is widely accepted in Islam.  The two largest sects in Islam, Sunni and Shia, accept this principle.  I learned it at my Muslim high school.  I also studied it at Al-Azhar University in Quranic commentary class.  I taught it at the mosque where I preached.

               Many copies of the Quran have a table that shows whether a surah is from Mecca or Medina in order to help readers know which is a newer revelation.

               Even Quranic history shows that nasikh is valid.  If there were no nasikh, Muhammad’s followers would have just stayed with Mecca ideals.  There would be no jihad and no Islamic military to conquer land and people all over the world.  Islam would have never left Arabia.”

               The problem is, if you do not accept nasikh, how are you going to interpret the Quran?  Are you going to just choose the verses you like best? And what are you going to do about the example of Muhammad?  He did more than just preach in Mecca.  He went to Medina and declared war on unbelievers.  Are you going to follow just half of his example?

               If anyone denies the continuing revelation of Allah to Muhammad, they are denying Islam itself.  Some Muslims who are not well taught in their faith may not understand nasikh fully, but it is still a foundational principle of Islam.” ― The Unfinished Battle Islam and the Jews, by Mark A. Gabriel, Ph.D., Charisma House, Lake Mary, Florida, Page 48.

 “The Quran commands Muslims to go and rule the entire world and submit all mankind to the religion of Islam.  That is the basis of war in Islam.” ― The Unfinished Battle Islam and the Jews, by Mark A. Gabriel, Ph.D., Charisma House, Lake Mary, Florida, Page 52.


[1] Former Professor of Islamic History at Al-Azhar University, Cairo, Egypt

About Michael

Retired military officer; retired Air Force civil servant; retired executive, DS Information Systems Corporation; writer; researcher; reader and avid yachtsman.
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