A Discussion on Marriage and Abrogation issues

Sam Shamoun

Karim has "responded" (*) to my rebuttal (*) regarding whether Muslims can marry nonbelievers.

In this first section we want to focus on some of the biblical passages which Karim raised in his article. Lord Jesus permitting, we will then follow it up with a refutation to his reply regarding whether Muslims can marry unbelievers or not.

Karim, to justify abrogation within the Quran, focuses on specific biblical examples which he erroneously thinks shows that the Bible itself contains abrogation. He writes:

Sham Shamoun rejects the fact that Allah swt himself and noble companions of the prophet confirm that Allah swt excluded the ‘people of the book’ from soerah 2:221 at the day islam was completed as religion. Morever the qu’ran and the companions of the prophet confirm  that abrogation exist in islam, contrary to the bible. Therefor if the bible changes a rule, the christian cannot claim is’t abrogation, since the bible doesn’t hold this option open. Moreover the arguments of the christian missionaries against abrogation, will cause major problems to their own bible:


Notice that everytime a Muslim is unable to defend Muhammad and/or the Quran he or she automatically turns his or her attention to attacking the Holy Bible. The Muslims erroneously think that the Quran somehow wins by default or stands vindicated if the Bible happens to teach something similar!

We have thoroughly explained the differences between the NT consummating or fulfilling the OT with the Quran abrogating itself. More on this a little later.

More importantly, we are not the only ones to see how the Islamic doctrine of abrogation undermines the Quran’s claim of being the word of God and that it is free from all discrepancies. There are certain Muslims who see it this way as well. Again, more on this shortly.

Karim mentions the issue of divorce as taught in the Old and New Testaments, as well as in the Apocrypha literature, to illustrate that the Holy Bible abrogates itself. Since we have already thoroughly addressed this here, there is no need for us to address it again. He also mentions the issue of Sabbath observance, which is also an issue we have already discussed, the links to which will be provided later. In fact, Karim himself will provide the link to one of my articles that deals with this point!

Yet we do want to address his gross distortion when he claims that:

Jesus (god according to christians) worked on the sabbath day by making clay , which contradicts his own command. Unless the rules has been changed in this context here, which according to sham shamoun is impossible.


It seems that Karim has taken the Apocryphal stories of Jesus fashioning clay birds on the Sabbath as having actually occurred, assuming that this was a genuine event in the life of the historical Christ. It is not hard to see why he has confused myth with history since this legendary story has found its way into the Quran. For the details on this subject please consult the following links: 1, 2, 3, as well as the latter part of this one: 4.

As far as Jesus working on the Sabbath is concerned, what Christ did wasn’t in violation of the Sabbath but violated the traditions of the Pharisees and scribes who distorted the real meaning of the Sabbath. In the words of the Lord Jesus himself:

"Then Pharisees and scribes came to Jesus from Jerusalem and said, ‘Why do your disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their hands when they eat.’ He answered them, ‘And why do you transgress the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition? For God commanded, "Honor your father and your mother,' and, `He who speaks evil of father or mother, let him surely die." But you say, "If any one tells his father or his mother, What you would have gained from me is given to God, he need not honor his father." So, for the sake of your tradition, you have made void the word of God. You hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy of you, when he said: "This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the precepts of men."’" Matthew 15:1-9

And what is the real purpose of the Sabbath? Jesus tells us:

"At that time Jesus went through the grainfields on the sabbath; his disciples were hungry, and they began to pluck heads of grain and to eat. But when the Pharisees saw it, they said to him, ‘Look, your disciples are doing what is not lawful to do on the sabbath.’ He said to them, ‘Have you not read what David did, when he was hungry, and those who were with him: how he entered the house of God and ate the bread of the Presence, which it was not lawful for him to eat nor for those who were with him, but only for the priests? Or have you not read in the law how on the sabbath the priests in the temple profane the sabbath, and are guiltless? I tell you, something greater than the temple is here. And if you had known what this means, "I desire mercy, and not sacrifice," you would not have condemned the guiltless. For the Son of man is lord of the sabbath.’And he went on from there, and entered their synagogue. And behold, there was a man with a withered hand. And they asked him, ‘Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath?’ so that they might accuse him. He said to them, ‘What man of you, if he has one sheep and it falls into a pit on the sabbath, will not lay hold of it and lift it out? Of how much more value is a man than a sheep! So it is lawful to do good on the sabbath.’ Then he said to the man, ‘Stretch out your hand.’ And the man stretched it out, and it was restored, whole like the other. But the Pharisees went out and took counsel against him, how to destroy him." Matthew 12:1-14

Christ shows that the real spirit behind the Sabbath is to glorify God by doing what is good and pleasing in his sight. And what greater good can there be than to meet the needs of human beings who are created in the image of God? Jesus is basically saying that the works that God forbids are those done for personal gain, for personal benefit. Yet God doesn’t forbid acts of charity and restoration, deeds that are performed for the sole purpose of extending God’s love and mercy to those who are in need, to those who are marginalized and downtrodden.

More importantly, Jesus is God’s beloved Son who is Lord over the Sabbath:

"So the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath." Mark 2:28

"After these things there was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. Now there is in Jerusalem by the sheep gate a pool, which is called in Hebrew Bethesda, having five porticoes. In these lay a multitude of those who were sick, blind, lame, and withered… A man was there who had been ill for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he had already been a long time in that condition, He said to him, ‘Do you wish to get well?’ The sick man answered Him, ‘Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up, but while I am coming, another steps down before me.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Get up, pick up your pallet and walk.’ Immediately the man became well, and picked up his pallet and began to walk. Now it was the Sabbath on that day. So the Jews were saying to the man who was cured, ‘It is the Sabbath, and it is not permissible for you to carry your pallet.’ But he answered them, ‘He who made me well was the one who said to me, "Pick up your pallet and walk."’ They asked him, ‘Who is the man who said to you, "Pick up your pallet and walk"?’ But the man who was healed did not know who it was, for Jesus had slipped away while there was a crowd in that place. Afterward Jesus found him in the temple and said to him, ‘Behold, you have become well; do not sin anymore, so that nothing worse happens to you.’ The man went away, and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had made him well. For this reason the Jews were persecuting Jesus, because He was doing these things on the Sabbath. But He answered them, ‘My Father is working until now, and I Myself am working.’ For this reason therefore the Jews were seeking all the more to kill Him, because He not only was breaking the Sabbath, but also was calling God His own Father, making Himself equal with God." John 5:13, 5-18

Hence, just as God is not bound to keep Sabbath and can work on it because he is Sovereign over it, in a similar fashion Christ can work on this day as well since he is God’s Son and the Sabbath’s Lord. And notice once again that the work Jesus did on the Sabbath was an act of love and mercy whereby he restored a man to complete physical wholeness.

In his third example Karim mentions that Noah was permitted to eat all foods (which is only partially true, since he was forbidden from consuming meats with blood), and contrasts this with Moses having made many foods unlawful for believers to consume. Again, this issue has already been addressed in a few of our articles, the links to which will be provided shortly. This will help prevent us from having to constantly repeat ourselves.

In his fourth example, Karim refers to the OT promise that God would make a New Covenant with the people:

Example 4:

Jeremiah 31:31-32

Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah:
Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD."

It is clearly understood from this passage that the new covenant would abrogate the old covenant. Well, the above examples oblige both Jews and Christians to accept the notion of abrogation.


First, it is vital that we quote the entire context:

"Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, not like the covenant which I made with their fathers when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, my covenant WHICH THEY BROKE, though I was their husband, says the LORD. But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD: I will put my law within them, and I will write it upon their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. And no longer shall each man teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, says the LORD; for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more." Jeremiah 31:31-34

The purpose in giving the people a New Covenant is because of their inability and failure in carrying out the previous one. Furthermore, this New Covenant is made with a people whom God empowers and transforms to do what he requires of them:

"Behold, I will gather them from all the countries to which I drove them in my anger and my wrath and in great indignation; I will bring them back to this place, and I will make them dwell in safety. And they shall be my people, and I will be their God. I will give them one heart and one way, that they may fear me for ever, for their own good and the good of their children after them. I will make with them an everlasting covenant, that I will not turn away from doing good to them; and I will put the fear of me in their hearts, that they may not turn from me. I will rejoice in doing them good, and I will plant them in this land in faithfulness, with all my heart and all my soul." Jeremiah 32:37-40

"For I will take you from the nations, and gather you from all the countries, and bring you into your own land. I will sprinkle clean water upon you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleannesses, and from all your idols I will cleanse you. A new heart I will give you, and a new spirit I will put within you; and I will take out of your flesh the heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to observe my ordinances. You shall dwell in the land which I gave to your fathers; and you shall be my people, and I will be your God." Ezekiel 36:24-28

This is what the New Testamant calls the new birth, the new creation, or being born again:

"Jesus answered him, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born anew, he cannot see the kingdom of God.’ Nicode'mus said to him, ‘How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?’ Jesus answered, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, "You must be born anew." The wind blows where it wills, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know whence it comes or whither it goes; so it is with every one who is born of the Spirit.’" John 3:3-8

"What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. We know that our old self was crucified with him so that the sinful body might be destroyed, and we might no longer be enslaved to sin." Romans 6:1-6

"Therefore, if any one is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away, behold, the new has come." 2 Corinthians 5:17

Basically, the foregoing shows that God was preparing the people for a transition, one which included the consummation or fulfilmment of the Law’s requirements for a transformed community of believers to follow. These spiritually transformed individuals would be enabled to carry out not the copies or shadows of the things embodied in the Old Covenant but the substance of these practices which the Old Testament pointed to and which have now been realized in the advent of Christ.

Moreover, notice that this promise of a New Covenant was given centuries after the time of Moses and centuries before it was instituted by Christ. God didn’t simply cancel out or comsummate the Old Covenant right away, within a few weeks, months, years etc., of its institution, much like we find in the case of the Quran abrogating "revelations" shortly after they had been given.

This now leads us to Karim’s fifth example:

Example 5:

Hebrews 7:12

For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law 

In John Wesley's Bible notes, it is mentioned that "For" signifies that "One of these cannot be changed without the other." In Peoples[sic] New Testament, it was even clearer, as it reads, "Of course, if the priesthood was changed, the law of the old priesthood, the law of Moses, must go with it, and give place to a new law."  (see:  http://bible.crosswalk.com/Commentaries/PeoplesNewTestament/pnt.cgi?book=heb&chapter=007)


Let us first read the immediate context to see the point Hebrews is making:

"Now if perfection had been attainable through the Levit'ical priesthood (for under it the people received the law), what further need would there have been for another priest to arise after the order of Melchiz'edek, rather than one named after the order of Aaron? For when there is a change in the priesthood, there is necessarily a change in the law as well. For the one of whom these things are spoken belonged to another tribe, from which no one has ever served at the altar. For it is evident that our Lord was descended from Judah, and in connection with that tribe Moses said nothing about priests. This becomes even more evident when another priest arises in the likeness of Melchiz'edek, who has become a priest, not according to a legal requirement concerning bodily descent but by the power of an indestructible life. For it is witnessed of him, ‘You are a priest for ever, after the order of Melchiz'edek.’ On the one hand, a former commandment is set aside because of its weakness and uselessness (for the law made nothing perfect); on the other hand, a better hope is introduced, through which we draw near to God. And it was not without an oath. Those who formerly became priests took their office without an oath, but this one was addressed with an oath, ‘The Lord has sworn and will not change his mind, "You are a priest for ever."’ This makes Jesus the surety of a better covenant. The former priests were many in number, because they were prevented by death from continuing in office; but he holds his priesthood permanently, because he continues for ever. Consequently he is able for all time to save those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them. For it was fitting that we should have such a high priest, holy, blameless, unstained, separated from sinners, exalted above the heavens. He has no need, like those high priests, to offer sacrifices daily, first for his own sins and then for those of the people; he did this once for all when he offered up himself. Indeed, the law appoints men in their weakness as high priests, but the word of the oath, which came later than the law, appoints a Son who has been made perfect for ever." Hebrews 7:11-28

The inspired author quotes Psalm 110:4 to show that this change in priesthood had already been announced centuries prior to the coming of Christ:

"The LORD says to my lord: ‘Sit at my right hand, till I make your enemies your footstool.’ The LORD sends forth from Zion your mighty scepter. Rule in the midst of your foes! Your people will offer themselves freely on the day you lead your host upon the holy mountains. From the womb of the morning like dew your youth will come to you. The LORD has sworn and will not change his mind, ‘You are a priest for ever after the order of Melchiz'edek.’" Psalm 110:1-4

He also says that the Levitical priesthood and animal sacrifices served as shadows pointing to a greater reality:

"For since the law has but a shadow of the good things to come instead of the true form of these realities, it can never, by the same sacrifices which are continually offered year after year, make perfect those who draw near. Otherwise, would they not have ceased to be offered? If the worshipers had once been cleansed, they would no longer have any consciousness of sin. But in these sacrifices there is a reminder of sin year after year. For it is impossible that the blood of bulls and goats should take away sins." Hebrews 10:1-4

The foregoing should help bring out the writer’s point more clearly. The OT sacrifices and priesthood could not make anything perfect due to the imperfection of the priests and the temporary and finite value of the animals being sacrificed. Yet the priesthood and animal sacrifices were shadows pointing to the ultimate reality which could make individuals perfect in the sight of God, namely Jesus Christ’s priesthood and his once and for all atoning sacrifice:

"Consequently, when Christ came into the world, he said, ‘Sacrifices and offerings you have not desired, but a body you have prepared for me; in burnt offerings and sin offerings you have taken no pleasure. Then I said, "Lo, I have come to do your will, O God," as it is written of me in the roll of the book.’ When he said above, ‘You have neither desired nor taken pleasure in sacrifices and offerings and burnt offerings and sin offerings’ (these are offered according to the law), then he added, ‘Lo, I have come to do your will.’ He abolishes the first in order to establish the second. And by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. And every priest stands daily at his service, offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, then to wait until his enemies should be made a stool for his feet. For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are sanctified. And the Holy Spirit also bears witness to us; for after saying, ‘This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the Lord: I will put my laws on their hearts, and write them on their minds,’ then he adds, ‘I will remember their sins and their misdeeds no more.’ Where there is forgiveness of these, there is no longer any offering for sin. Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter the sanctuary by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way which he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water." Hebrews 10:5-22

Moreover, the Law was made ineffective due to the inability of sinners to do what it demands, which is the very reason why Christ came to do for us what we cannot do for ourselves:

"While we were living in the flesh, our sinful passions, aroused by the law, were at work in our members to bear fruit for death. But now we are discharged from the law, dead to that which held us captive, so that we serve not under the old written code but in the new life of the Spirit. What then shall we say? That the law is sin? BY NO MEANS! Yet, if it had not been for the law, I should not have known sin. I should not have known what it is to covet if the law had not said, ‘You shall not covet.’ But sin, finding opportunity in the commandment, wrought in me all kinds of covetousness. Apart from the law sin lies dead. I was once alive apart from the law, but when the commandment came, sin revived and I died; the very commandment which promised life proved to be death to me. For sin, finding opportunity in the commandment, deceived me and by it killed me. So the law IS HOLY, and the commandment IS HOLY AND JUST AND GOOD. Did that which is good, then, bring death to me? By no means! It was sin, working death in me through what is good, in order that sin might be shown to be sin, and through the commandment might become sinful beyond measure. We know that the law is spiritual; but I am carnal, sold under sin." Romans 7:5-14

"For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do: sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the just requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit." Romans 8:3-4

This point bears repeating: The Hebrew Scriptures already announced and predicted a change of the Law and priesthood centuries before Christ arrived on the scene so as to prepare the people for this new way of approaching God. This is unlike the Quran with all its contradictory injunctions.

We now turn our attention to refuting Karim’s distortion on what Paul actually wrote. As a last act of desperation, Karim claims:

To Marry Or Not To Marry in the Bible ?

Genesis 2:18

And the LORD God said, "It is NOT good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper meet for him."

Here god tells us that it is not good for men to be alone, so god gave adam a wife, called eve. Later on in the bible however we read:

1 Corinthians 7:1-2

Now for the matters you wrote about: It is good for a man not to marry.But since there is so much immorality, each man should have his own wife, and each woman her own husband.

1 Corinthians 7:8

Now to the unmarried and the widows I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I am.

Now God in the bible created women for men, because it was not good that men should be alone. Now later on paul tells us that it is good not to marry, and to stay alone , instead of married. A clear cut contradiction. The holy spirit must have been confused, since all scripture is inspired by the holy spirit, pauls[sic] opinion was based upon the wisedom[sic] of gods holy spirit. Because all Scripture is inspired by God (2 Tim. 3:16), this is not just Paul's advice, but the advice of the Holy Spirit (god in christianity), through the apostle[sic] So the bible says in verse A: it is not good to be alone, while verse B says it is good to be alone. Moreover paul calls something good wich denies gods[sic] creation, how can it be good to deny a women[sic] which according to the bible god was created for men (because it was not good for men to be alone).  

1 Corinthians 11:9

neither was man created for woman, but woman for man.

So paul call’s[sic] it good to deny something which god solely created for men (according to the bible). Paul clearly contradicts god, and therefor the bibe is not gods[sic] word. To marry or not to marry ?


To begin with, the texts are dealing with two different situations, two different time periods, two different conditions. In the Garden, where the environment was good and without sin, it wasn’t beneficial for man to be alone. Paul, on the other hand, was dealing with a totally different situation from the one which Adam was in. Had Karim actually read the Holy Bible he would have seen this for himself and would have also discovered that Paul wasn’t completely prohibiting marriages IN ALL CIRCUMSTANCES, BUT ONLY IN SPECIFIC SITUATIONS. The context of 1 Corinthians 7 shows that Paul was addressing specific questions that had been asked of him by the Corinthian believers:

"NOW FOR THE MATTERS YOU WROTE ABOUT: It is good for a man not to marry…"

As the above verse demonstrates, Paul was speaking in reference to the concerns of the Corinthians. Paul even gives us an idea as to the nature of these concerns:

"Because of the PRESENT CRISIS, I think that it is good for you to remain as you are." 1 Corinthians 7:26 NIV

Evidently the circumstances that the Corinthians found themselves in led Paul to conclude that it would be better for individuals not to marry. Paul was simply saying that it would be wiser for the Corinthians to remain single in light of THE CRISIS that they were undergoing. It was his advice to a specific group of people in specific circumstances. It was not a general recommendation, let alone a command, not to marry at all.

Paul wasn’t the first to make such a suggestion since God Almighty himself told Jeremiah essentially the same thing:

"Then the word of the LORD came to me: ‘You must not marry and have sons or daughters in this place. For this is what the LORD says about the sons and daughters born in this land and about the women who are their mothers and the men who are their fathers: "They will die of deadly diseases. They will not be mourned or buried but will be like refuse lying on the ground. They will perish by sword and famine, and their dead bodies will become food for the birds of the air and the beasts of the earth."’" Jeremiah 16:1-4

God forbade Jeremiah from marrying and having children in order to spare him from having to see his family members experience the destruction and judgment that God was about to bring upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem.

Moreover, Paul warned against those who would forbid marriage altogether, irrespective of whether the circumstances called for celibacy or not:

"The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron. They forbid people to marry and order them to abstain from certain foods, which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and who know the truth. For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, because it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer." 1 Timothy 4:1-5 NIV

Paul says that those forbidding marriage are actually teaching doctrines of demons!

Thus, the foregoing demonstrates that the blessed Apostle wasn’t forbidding marriages IN ALL SITUATIONS, nor advising against marriage in general. Therefore he did not contradict what God had said in Genesis 2:18.

To summarize, the statements in Genesis 1:28 and 2:18,24 remain the general principle that holds true for the vast majority of people, but that there are occasional exceptions. God's command to Jeremiah is one such explicit exception, Paul's advice to the Corinthians is another. Jesus himself also says that some will remain unmarried for the sake of the kingdom:

"The disciples said to him, ‘If this is the situation between a husband and wife, it is better not to marry.’ Jesus replied, ‘Not everyone can accept this word, but only those to whom it has been given. For some are eunuchs because they were born that way; others were made that way by men; and others have renounced marriage because of the kingdom of heaven. The one who can accept this should accept it.’" Matthew 19:10-12 NIV

God's command to "be fruitful and multiply ..." (Genesis 1:28) is a command to Adam and Eve, but it only extends to their descendants as a general principle or guideline. The story of the creation of Eve (Genesis 2:18-25) also draws the general conclusion, "For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh" (2:24), but this again is formulated as an observation, a general principle, not a command that everyone must follow.

Thus, if there is no such general command, and Paul only gives an advice to some specific people in specific circumstances, where is the problem? There is no command in the Bible that everyone must marry, and Paul does not give a command forbidding to marry. Where is the contradiction?

Karim said earlier that:

Sham shamoun desperate tried to refute these claim, which failed at:

http://www.answering-islam.org/Shamoun/consummation1.htm, he hardly adresses anything relevant. Read also:




It is truly amazing to see Karim link to my own article explaining the Biblical concept of consummation versus Islamic abrogation, which thoroughly addresses the great bulk of the criticisms he raised here, i.e. Sabbath observance, dietary restrictions etc. Yet despite his knowing that I have already addressed these issues, Karim still raises the same objections without bothering to refute any of my arguments.

Somehow he erroneously assumes that the Islamic Awareness team has addressed my arguments, but fails to inform his readers that their rebuttal has nothing to do with my paper at all since it was written long before I ever wrote my articles. He also fails to inform his readers that their article was thoroughly refuted long ago:


Moreover, one of the reasons why I wrote my biblical consummation articles was to specifically refute the distortions contained in the Noorullah paper. Hence, nothing that Karim has presented even begins to remotely address the points I made and raised. For more on the stark differences between Biblical consummation/fulfillment and Quranic abrogation, we highly recommend the following papers:


To basically repeat what we had stated at the conclusion of our Biblical Consummation article, in the Holy Bible a New Covenant replaces an Old Covenant because a new era has begun. The old one was for a certain people (the Israelites) and for a certain time (until the coming of the Messiah). Already in the Old Covenant it was announced that a new one would replace it later on, a New Covenant for a new time and one that would also include the Gentiles. It is a coherent story. There is a clear reason for the New Covenant, because God started a new phase of dealing with humanity. None of the Biblical prophets had to repeatedly abrogate his own words. There is no changing one command here, and another command there. The paradigm, the whole Covenant is changed at once.

The Quran is very different. The same alleged prophet gave all the abrogated and the abrogating verses to the same people within a few years, sometimes even abrogating them within a few months. There was no grand plan, but simply confusion, trying to cover up errors and false revelations (satanic verses), changing rules because the original ones turned out to be insufficient (the statements on alcohol) or never worked at all (the law of retaliation). Somebody who could not foresee the consequences of some of his statements and commands designed the Quran, and when realizing that things did not work out as intended, he changed his mind and gave new commands (when the Jews did not join him, he changed the Qibla from Jerusalem to Mecca).

More importantly, the other major difference between the Bible’s teaching and the Quranic doctrine of abrogation is the fundamental differences regarding the nature of these two books. Informed Christians do not believe that the Holy Bible is eternal, uncreated, or an earthly replica of an eternal book or revelation. Rather, the Holy Bible is a created book which God composed by inspiring human authors whom he appointed to write down in human langauge all that God wanted for his followers:

"Inasmuch as many have undertaken to compile a narrative of the things which have been accomplished among us, just as they were delivered to us by those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word, it seemed good to me also, having followed all things closely for some time past, to write an orderly account for you, most excellent The-oph'ilus, that you may know the truth concerning the things of which you have been informed." Luke 1:1-4

"But on some points I HAVE WRITTEN to you very boldly by way of reminder, because of the grace given me by God." Romans 15:15

"And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who possess the Spirit." 1 Corinthians 2:13

"First of all you must understand this, that no prophecy of scripture is a matter of one's own interpretation, because no prophecy ever came by the impulse of man, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God." 2 Peter 1:20-21

"This is now the second letter that I HAVE WRITTEN to you, beloved, and in both of them I have aroused your sincere mind by way of reminder; that you should remember the predictions of the holy prophets and the commandment of the Lord and Savior through your apostles." 2 Peter 3:1-2

Muslims, on the other hand, believe that the Quran is the eternal, uncreated speech of Allah, that it originates from a heavenly exemplar:

We verily, have made it a Qur'an in Arabic, that you may be able to understand (its meanings and its admonitions). And Verily, it (this Qur'an) is in the Mother of the Book (i.e. Al-Lauh Al-Mahfuz), before Us, indeed Exalted, full of Wisdom. S. 43:3-4 Hilali-Khan

Nay! This is a Glorious Qur'an, (Inscribed) in Al-Lauh Al-Mahfuz (The Preserved Tablet)! S. 85:21-22 Hilali-Khan

Allah is even said to have recited the Quran before the creation of the heavens and the earth!

Narrated AbuHurayrah
Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) said, "A thousand years before creating the heavens and the Earth, Allah RECITED Ta-Ha and Ya-Sin, and when the angels HEARD the recitation they said, 'Happy are the people to whom this comes down, happy are the minds which carry this, and happy are the tongues which utter this." Darimi transmitted it (Tirmidhi Hadith, 660- ALIM CD-ROM Version)

The following Muslim writer named G.F. Haddad says regarding the essence of the Quran that:

Ahl al-Sunna agree one and all that the Qur'an is the pre-existent, pre-eternal, uncreated Speech of Allah Most High on the evidence of the Qur'an, the Sunna, and faith-guided reason.

In a rare instance of classic kalâm reasoning, Imam Malik gave the most succinct statement of this doctrine:

"The Qur'an is the Speech of Allah, the Speech of Allah comes from Him, and nothing created comes from Allah Most High." Narrated by al-Dhahabi in Siyar A`lam al-Nubala' (Dar al-Fikr ed. 7:416).

Hafiz Abu al-Qasim Ibn `Asakir said in Tabyin Kadhib al-Muftari (Dar al-Jil ed. p. 150-151):

"The Mu`tazila said: 'the Speech of Allah Most High is created, invented, and brought into being.' The Hashwiyya, who attribute a body to Allah the Exalted, said: 'The alphabetical characters (al-hurűf al-muqatta`a), the materials on which they are written, the colors in which they are written, and all that is between the two covers [of the volumes of Qur'an] is beginningless and pre-existent (qadîma azaliyya). Al-Ash`ari took a middle road between them and said: The Qur'an is the beginningless speech of Allah Most High unchanged, uncreated, not of recent origin in time, nor brought into being. As for the alphabetical characters, the materials, the colors, the voices, the elements that are subject to limitations (al-mahdűdât), and all that is subject to modality (al-mukayyafât) in the world: all this is created, originated, and produced."

Hafiz Abu Bakr al-Bayhaqi said in al-Asma' wa al-Sifat (al-Kawthari ed. p. 265; al-Hashidi ed. 2:18) with a sound chain:

"Something Ibn Shaddad had written was handed to Abu Bakr al-Marwazi which containing the phrase: "My pronunciation of the Qur'an is uncreated" and the latter was asked to show it to Ahmad ibn Hanbal for corroboration. The latter crossed out the phrase and wrote instead: "The Qur'an, however used (haythu yusraf), is uncreated."

"In another sound narration, Abu Bakr al-Marwazi, Abu Muhammad Fawran [or Fawzan], and Salih ibn Ahmad ibn Hanbal witnessed Ahmad rebuking one of his students named Abu Talib with the words: "Are you telling people that I said: 'My pronunciation of the Qur'an is uncreated'?" Abu Talib replied: "I only said this from my own." Ahmad said: "Do not say this - neither from me, nor from you! I never heard any person of knowledge say it. The Qur'an is the Speech of Allah uncreated, whichever way it is used." Salih said to Abu Talib: "If you told people what you said, now go and tell the same people that Abu `Abd Allah [Imam Ahmad] forbade to say it."" End of al-Bayhaqi's narration in al-Asma' wa al-Sifat (Kawthari ed. p. 265-266; al-Hashidi ed. 2:18). This is a sound narration also found in Salih ibn Ahmad's book al-Mihna (p. 70-71), Ibn al-Jawzi's Manaqib al-Imam Ahmad (p. 155), and Ibn Taymiyya in Majmu` al-Fatawa (12:360, 12:425).

The Proof of Islam and Renewer of the Fifth Hijri Century, Imam Abu Hamid al-Ghazzali said in his "Foundations of Islamic Belief" (Qawa`id al-`Aqa'id) published in his Rasa'il and his Ihya' `Ulum al-Din and partially translated in Shaykh Nuh Keller's Reliance of the Traveller and by Mrs. Ahmad Darwish on the Mosque of the Internet:

"The Qur'an is read by tongues, written in books, and remembered in the heart, yet it is, nevertheless, uncreated and without beginning, subsisting in the Essence of Allah, not subject to division and or separation through its transmission to the heart and paper. Musa - upon him peace - heard the Speech of Allah without sound and without letter, just as the righteous see the Essence of Allah Most High in the Hereafter, without substance or its quality." End of al-Ghazzali's words.

And Imam al-Tahawi said of the Qur'an in his "Creed of Abu Hanifa and his Companions": "It is not created like the speech of creatures." (The Uncreatedness of the divine speech the glorious Qur'an; online source; bold and underline emphasis ours)

He then quotes one source regarding Allah’s attributes:

The `Aqida of the People of Truth is:

sifaatu-l-Laahi laysat `ayna dhaatin
The Attributes of Allah are neither the very Essence,

wa laa ghayran siwaahu dha-nfisaali
nor other than Himself, nor separate.

sifaatu-dh-Dhaati wa-l-af`aali turran
And all the Attributes of the Essence and of the Acts

qadiimaatun masuunaatu-z-zawaali
are pre-existent and without end.

[From the poem Bad' al-Amali by the Maturidi master, Siraj al-Din `Ali ibn `Uthman al-Ushi (d. 569).] (Ibid.)

What this means is that the Quran eternally contained two sets of contradictory commandments, one of which Allah specifically blotted out within time and space! Note the following verse carefully:

Allah BLOTS OUT what He wills and confirms (what He wills). And with Him is the Mother of the Book (Al-Lauh Al-Mahfuz). S. 13:39 Hilali-Khan

Here is a rough translation of Al-Qurtubi’s comments on this passage:

Means that Allah will erase from that book whatever he chooses (wills) to cause to happen to his people and bring upon them. "Confirm" his will, means he can delay it till the proper time. It is said: "I erased the Book completely", meaning no signs of it will be left. "Confirm", means will keep, as Allah said in [Sura 33:35]… and Allah erases whatever he chooses of the commandments, and he abrogates and replaces them, and will confirm of the commandments whatever he wills and does not abrogate. And the whole collection of the abrogated and abrogating are in the mother book.

Ibn Abbas said: "Allah effaceth what He will" – means: Allah replaces from the Quran whatever he wills and abrogates it, "and Confirms" whatever he wills and does not abrogate it, "with Him is the mother of the book" – he said: the collection of all of these abrogated and abrogating are in this mother book

Ibn Abbas said: Allah has a preserved tablet (its length equals 500 years long), and Allah looks at it daily 360 times, so that he can replace whatever he wills and confirms whatever he wills. Abu Ad Dard’a narrated, that the prophet said: Allah opens Al Zikr (The Reminder) in three hours at night and looks in the book that no one else can look at besides him, and confirms whatever he wills AND ERASES WHATEVER HE WILLS)… And Al Ghaznawy said: some of what is on the tablets was made known to some of the angels, hence, it is not a secret any more; therefore, it must be erased and replaced.

"and with Him is the Mother of the Book" means the original writings and other things throughout all the ages. It was said that "The Mother Book" is the preserved tablet which never changes…Ka’b said: The mother of the books is "Allah Knowledge of whatever he created and will be creating". (Arabic original; translated by Mutee’a Al-Fadi, bold, capital and underline emphasis ours)

Allah erases verses from the book which he alone looks at! Al-Tabari writes:

… Ibn Abbas stated regarding this verse: TWO BOOKS; ONE BOOK HE ERASES WHATEVER HE WILLS and confirms whatever he wills in it, and the second is the mother book…Others said: this means that Allah abrogates whatever he wills of his commandments, and confirms whatever he wills and does not abrogate it.

Ibn Abbas said: {Allah effaceth what He will} means from the Quran… Ibn Jareeh said: it means he abrogates. And the mother book is Az Zikr.

"the mother of the book." - … Al Hasan said: It is the mother of the Quran. Others said: it is the original of the book and its entire collection… Ibn Abbas said: It is the abrogated and the abrogating… Ka’b said: it is Allah’s knowledge of what he created and will be creating.

The word "confirm" – some read it with an emphasis, "Yu thappitu," which means "leaves it alone and does not change." Others read it, "Yu thbitu," which means "writes it down." And we (Al Tabari) have demonstrated that the first way is more correct than the second one. (Source; translated by Mutee’a Al-Fadi)

Hence, Allah basically has two books, one from which he erases verses!

Our question is very basic: How can eternal commands which are uncreated, which form an integral part of an essential attribute of Allah, namely his speech, be blotted out?

Finally, Karim must also address the issue that not all Muslims accept that the Quran teaches the doctrine of abrogation, and that these Muslims claim that this doctrine was developed in order to explain away the Quranic contradictions which could not be reconciled. One such Muslim was the late Muhammad Asad, whom we already quoted in our initial rebuttal.

Another Muslim, the Maulana Muhammad Ali of the Ahmadiyya sect, also rejected the doctrine of abrogation because he felt that it violated the claim of the Quran that it is free from errors and discrepancies. He readily admitted that this concept was developed because Muslims were confronted with references that conflicted with one another which they could not satisfactorily explain:

The principle on which the theory of abrogation is based is unacceptable, being contrary to the clear teachings of the Qur'an. A verse is considered to be abrogated when the two cannot be reconciled with each other; in other words, when they appear to contradict each other. But the Qur’an destroys this foundation when it declares that no part of it is at variance with another: "Will they not then meditate on the Qur’an? And if it were from any other than Allah, they would have found in it many a discrepancy" (4 : 82). It was due to lack of meditation that one verse was thought to be at variance with another; and hence it is that in almost all cases where abrogation has been upheld by one person, there has been another who, being able to reconcile the two, has repudiated the alleged abrogation. (Ali, The Religion of Islam [The Ahmadiyya Anjuman Isha'at Islam (Lahore) U.S.A., Eighth Edition 2005], p. 32; bold and italic emphasis ours)

What Ali's candid admission shows is that the real reason why Muslims (specifically Muhammad) appeal to abrogation is primarily because they are unable of reconciling the errors within the Quran. Abrogation therefore became the convenient way of explaining away these discrepancies.

In light of the foreging, Karim needs to face the music and accept the fact that the Holy Bible does not at all teach or support the Islamic concept of abrogation.

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