What Is An-Nasikh and Al-Mansukh: 11 Questions on Quran Abrogation in Islam

An-Naskh (abrogation) is a concept in Islam that refers to the replacement of one Quranic verse or ruling

An-Naskh (abrogation) is one of the main issues used to attack Islam, attributes contradictions to the Quran, and generates doubts about the Quran’s authenticity. 

In this article, we will be discussing the meaning of An-Naskh, its wisdom and importance, and its types accompanied with some examples. We will also be highlighting the fact that An-Naskh rule has been supported by the Quran itself and stated in Quranic verses. We will also state the number of abrogated verses.

To make good use of this guide, I advise you, dear reader, to sincerely open your heart to the truth, and to build your knowledge on the valid rational basis of the authenticity of Islam and the Quran discussed in other articles on this website. 

Let’s get started!

What is Nasikh and Mansoukh meaning in Islam (abrogating and abrogated)?

An-Nasekh and Al-Mansoukh, in the linguistic sense,  are two Arabic words that have the same root word “Nasakh” meaning: to abolish, lift, replace, remove, withdraw or abrogate. The first word “An-Nasikh” means “The abrogating” and the other word “An-Mansoukh” means“The abrogated”.

As for the technical meaning of abrogation, it means substituting a legislated religious ruling with another or canceling it altogether. 

Abrogation, in itself, was  only valid to the time of the Prophetic mission of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).

Read more about authenticity of Islam and the Quran:

What is the wisdom behind naskh (abrogation)?

Naskh in Islam has many purposes. Including but not excluding to the following:

1- Graduation in the legislation of rulings:

Islam was first presented to the Arabs (a tribal community).  It contained commandments and legal rulings that were somehow different from theirs and what they were used to. It was expected, of course, to encounter some resistance at first or at the least some type of resentment. Hence, it was out of Allah’s Mercy and Wisdom to graduate revealing some of Islamic rulings to ease them (the Arabs and the new reverts to Islam of every place) into Islam’s domain and to alleviate difficulty from upon them.

2- Providing the best for Allah’s servants:

Naskh illustrates Allah’s Wisdom as He legislates for what’s better for His servants in their life and afterlife.

3- Testing Allah’s servants:

Allah Almighty tests His servants by abrogation, as part of the general test of submission to Allah. Will the servants accept the new ruling and apply it, or will they reject it totally?

As an example for this point, we may refer to the wisdom mentioned in the Quran for changing the qiblah (direction of prayer) from Jerusalem to the Sacred House in Makkah:

وَمَا جَعَلْنَا ٱلْقِبْلَةَ ٱلَّتِى كُنتَ عَلَيْهَآ إِلَّا لِنَعْلَمَ مَن يَتَّبِعُ ٱلرَّسُولَ مِمَّن يَنقَلِبُ عَلَىٰ عَقِبَيْهِ ۚ

“We assigned your former direction of prayer only to distinguish those who would remain faithful to the Messenger from those who would lose faith. It was certainly a difficult test except for those ˹rightly˺ guided by Allah.”

 (Quran, 2: 143)

The Naskih has been made also to test the servants’ reactions upon rulings. Will they show patience in case of abrogating an easy ruling with a harder one, and show gratitude in case of abrogating a hard ruling with an easier one?

Overall, Abrogation itself is one form of Allah’s, The Almighty, mercy.

For about twenty-three years of time, the Quran has been revealed. Initial rulings have been revealed in the Quran somehow in an easier way on the believers in the Arabian Peninsula to accept and apply them.

What is the importance of Naskih?

It’s one of the utmost important to Know about Naskih in the Quran as it directly relates to understanding Islamic texts and yet facilitates an accurate application of Islamic legal rulings. In other words, knowing about Naskih in the Quran is vital for the following reasons:

– Knowing about Nasikh is one of the prerequisites for embarking on Tafsir (explanation of Quran).

– Knowing about Nasikh is a must for attempting to understand and implement Islamic laws.

– Knowing about Nasikh shows the steps of gradual prescribing of Islamic legal code.

Is there Naskh in the Quran?

Some arguments claimed that Naskh was a later concept that has been developed by scholars to justify contradictions in Islam and/or the Quran. Indeed, this allegation is completely false. The following three verses of the Quran confirm the fact of abrogation during the very first era of Islam.

1. Allah Almighty asserts Naskh in the Quran:

The following Quranic verse shows the foundation for the principle of Naskh in the Quran. Allah Almighty says asserting naskh:

مَا نَنسَخْ مِنْ ءَايَةٍ أَوْ نُنسِهَا نَأْتِ بِخَيْرٍۢ مِّنْهَآ أَوْ مِثْلِهَآ ۗ

If We ever abrogate a verse or cause it to be forgotten, We replace it with a better or similar one. you do not know that Allah is Most Capable of everything?” 


The verse is concluded by Allah’s name “the Most Capable” to illustrate Allah’s Capacity to provide new rules for the best for the Muslims in this life and afterlife.

2. The Quran describes the deniers of Naskh as ignorant.

The verse describes those who accuse Prophet Muhammad  (peace be upon him) of fabrication, out of abrogation of some verses, as ignorant since they don’t know the authenticity of the Quran. 

وَإِذَا بَدَّلْنَآ ءَايَةًۭ مَّكَانَ ءَايَةٍۢ ۙ وَٱللَّهُ أَعْلَمُ بِمَا يُنَزِّلُ قَالُوٓا۟ إِنَّمَآ أَنتَ مُفْتَرٍۭ ۚ

“When We replace a verse with another—and Allah knows best what He reveals—they say, “You ˹Muḥammad˺ are just a fabricator.” In fact, most of them do not know.”


Indeed, the Prophet, peace and blessings upon him, shouldn’t make such abrogation or allege it by himself without Allah’s permission.

3. The Prophet’s preservation of the Quran is guaranteed except for what has been abrogated.

Allah Almighty says in the Quran:

سَنُقْرِئُكَ فَلَا تَنسَىٰٓ * إِلَّا مَا شَآءَ ٱللَّهُ ۚ

“We will have you recite ˹the Quran, O  Prophet,˺ so you will not forget ˹any of it˺, unless Allah wills otherwise.”


The above verse/ayah means, Allah Almighty will have you memorize the revelations and apply the rulings contained in them, unless one ruling is replaced by another.

Read more topics about the Quran:

What are the major types of Naskh?

There are two types of abrogation; Inter-revelatory and intra-revelatory.

The First, the inter-revelatory abrogation indicates that the Quran, the Scripture of Islam, abrogates all the previous Scriptures as the Quran is the seal of all Books.

The Second, the intra-revelatory abrogation refers to the change, specification, limitation, or clarification of some rulings. It mostly refers to the specification of the generalized and the limitation of the indefinite.

What are the kinds of Naskh in the Quran?

There are three kinds of abrogation in the Quran, as mentioned by Imam Az-Zarqani in his book, Manahil Al-Irfaan:

1. Naskh al-hukm dun al-tilawa (abrogation of the ruling and not the words)

One example of this category is the following verse:

يَـٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوٓا۟ إِذَا نَـٰجَيْتُمُ ٱلرَّسُولَ فَقَدِّمُوا۟ بَيْنَ يَدَىْ نَجْوَىٰكُمْ صَدَقَةًۭ ۚ 

 “O believers! When you consult the Messenger privately, give something in charity before your consultation.”


Its rule is abrogated by the following verse:

ءَأَشْفَقْتُمْ أَن تُقَدِّمُوا۟ بَيْنَ يَدَىْ نَجْوَىٰكُمْ صَدَقَـٰتٍۢ ۚ فَإِذْ لَمْ تَفْعَلُوا۟ وَتَابَ ٱللَّهُ عَلَيْكُمْ فَأَقِيمُوا۟ ٱلصَّلَوٰةَ وَءَاتُوا۟ ٱلزَّكَوٰةَ وَأَطِيعُوا۟ ٱللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُۥ ۚ

Are you afraid of spending in charity before your private consultations ˹with him˺? Since you are unable to do so, and Allah has turned to you in mercy, then ˹continue to˺ establish prayer, pay alms-tax, and obey Allah and His Messenger.”


After the mentioned abrogating verses have been revealed, Muslims appreciated the idea of allowing them to consult the Messenger (PBUH) privately, without giving charity, appraising Allah, The Almighty, for making it easier for them.

2. Naskh al-hukm wa al-tilawa (abrogating both the ruling and the words):

The example for abrogating both the ruling and the words is what is narrated by Aisha, may Allah be pleased with her:

كَانَ فِيمَا أُنْزِلُ فِي اَلْقُرْآنِ: عَشْرُ رَضَعَاتٍ مَعْلُومَاتٍ يُحَرِّمْنَ, ثُمَّ نُسِخْنَ بِخَمْسٍ مَعْلُومَاتٍ

In what was sent down in the Qur’an was ‘ten known sucklings made marriage unlawful’. Afterwards, they were abrogated by ‘five known ones.’ (Muslim reported)

Thus, both the words and the ruling of such were abrogated.

3. Naskh al-tilawa dun al-hukm (abrogating the words and not the ruling).

The following authentic narration of Umar bin al Khattab clarifies this type of abrogation where the words were omitted while the ruling is being kept valid:

 وَقَدْ قَرَأْتُهَا الشَّيْخُ وَالشَّيْخَةُ إِذَا زَنَيَا فَارْجُمُوهُمَا الْبَتَّةَ ‏.‏

“I fear that after a long time has passed, some will say: ‘I do not find (the sentence of) stoning in the Book of Allah (ﷺ),’ and they will go astray by abandoning one of the obligations enjoined by Allah (SWT). Rather stoning is a must if a man is married (or previously married) and proof is established, or if pregnancy results or if he admits it. I have read it (in the Quran). “And if an old man and an old woman committed adultery, stone them both.”

(Sunan Ibn Majah)

Nasikh and Mansukh examples from Quran:

There are many examples of Nasikh and Mansukh in the Quran:

1- Gradual Prohibition of Intoxicants

Islamic prohibition of utilizing intoxicants, particularly alcoholic beverages, came in  gradual stages. Considering of it being such a common practice in pre-Islamic communities, Allah, The Merciful, gradually withdrew the believers attachment to it on three stages:

The First: Muslim believers were forbidden to perform Prayers while intoxicated.

O you who believe! Approach not As-Salat (the prayer) when you are in a drunken state until you know (the meaning) of what you utter,”


Then: Allah informed them about the hazards of intoxicants compared to their limited benefits.

They ask you (O Muhammad) concerning alcoholic drink and gambling. Say: In them is a great sin and (some) benefit for men, but the sin of them is greater than their benefit.”


And Finally: In a clear and decisive context, a verse has been revealed stating the ruling of its prohibition.

O you who believe! Intoxicants (all kinds of alcoholic drinks), gambling, Al-Ansab (sacrificing on stone alters), and Al-Azlam (arrows for seeking luck or decision) are an abomination of Shaitan’s (Satan) handiwork. So avoid (strictly all) that (abomination) in order that you may be successful.”


What are the types of Naskh by text?

There are different views of different Islamic scholars in the matter of Naskh but the most agreed upon is that there are four classes of Naskh:

  1. Quran abrogated by Quran
  2. Sunnah abrogated by Quran 
  3. Quran abrogated by Sunnah 
  4. Sunnah abrogated by Sunnah

This is based on the fundamental Islamic belief that Quran and Sunnah are both revelations from Allah and He is All-Knowing, Wise, On-all-Predominant and The-Expert of his worshiper’s nature, good, welfare and benefits.

Here, it should be noted that the Quran contains the wording and rulings of Allah while Sunnah contains the wording of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) for the rulings of Allah.

How do we know of Nasikh and Mansoukh?

Naskh is a ruling that’s not been generated from personal opinion, guesswork or hearsay, it is based upon reliable authentic reports and it is according to the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) teachings and his Companions afterwards. It is commonly accepted that there are three ways of Knowing about Nasikh and Mansoukh:

  1. Authentic reports from the Prophet and/or his Companions.
  2. Ijma (consensus) of Muslims about it.
  3. Knowing about the historical consequence of revelation (which is preceding which).

Can Hadith abrogate the Quran?

According to the opinion of most of Muslim scholars, Hadith can abrogate the Quran since they are both a revelation from Allah, The Almighty. The Quran describes Prophet Muhammad’s (PBUH) speech as a kind of Allah’s revelation in the following verse:

وَمَا يَنطِقُ عَنِ ٱلْهَوَىٰٓ * إِنْ هُوَ إِلاَّ وَحْيٌ يُوحَى

Nor does he speak of his own whims. It is only a revelation sent down ˹to him˺.”

(53: 3-4)

Moreover, Ash-Shafi’e, an eminent Muslim scholar, says: Wherever there is sunnah abrogating [a ruling of] the Quran, there is also a Quran verse supporting the abrogated ruling since the Quran and sunnah are compatible.

Are there Mansookh Ayat in the Quran?

There are ayat/verses of the Quran that the Muslim scholars approved their abrogation while disapproved others. Still, this approval, in most cases, is out of their different opinions in naming the category of those ayat/verses, not a real one.

Even the ayat/verses found in the Quran that the scholars differ in their state, they approved their authenticity. Their disagreement is under the umbrella of accepted disagreement in the rulings, and not in the major fundamentals of the religion.

Indeed, every letter in the Quran comes to us through tawatur (i.e, narrated by a chain of a multiple narrators whose number makes it normally impossible that they agree to a lie, or that a lie may occur to them without intention, and such multiplicity should run from the beginning to the end of the chain of transmission, and that they should be reporting something actual, which they have seen or heard.)

Abrogated verses meaning

The abrogated ayat/verses have included rulings that were valid for a specific time and a specific purpose, then they were no longer being valid. If their wording is kept in the Quranic context, a Muslim who recites them would then be rewarded. But if they were abrogated, both by wording and ruling, then a Muslims wouldn’t be neither reciting them nor rewarded.

For more clarification, refer to the article sections: What are the kinds of Naskh in the Quran? And How do we know of Nasikh and Mansoukh?

How many abrogated Ayat/verses are in the Quran? 

As-Suyuti, a leading Muslim scholar in the sciences of the Quran, counted the abrogated ayat/verses as 20 ayat/verses. They are as follows:

1. Verse (2: 180) is abrogated by the Hadith “There is No Bequest For An Heir“ and the consensus of Muslim scholars, and the verse of inheritance (4:11).

2. Verse (2: 184);

وَعَلَى ٱلَّذِينَ يُطِيقُونَهُۥ فِدْيَةٌۭ طَعَامُ مِسْكِينٍۢ ۖ 

For those who can only fast with extreme difficulty, compensation can be made by feeding a needy person ˹for every day not fasted˺.” is abrogated by verse

(2: 185)

فَمَن شَهِدَ مِنكُمُ ٱلشَّهْرَ فَلْيَصُمْهُ ۖ

“So whoever is present this month, let them fast.”

3. Verse (2:183) is abrogated by (2:187) according to Imam Ibn al Arabi since the second provides the differences in the Muslim fasting from the previous nations. Other scholars said that (2: 183) is abrogated by sunnah.

4. Verse (2: 217) is abrogated by (9: 36).

5. Verse (2:240) is abrogated by (2:234).

6. Verse (2:284);

وَإِن تُبْدُوا۟ مَا فِىٓ أَنفُسِكُمْ أَوْ تُخْفُوهُ يُحَاسِبْكُم بِهِ ٱللَّهُ ۖ

“Whether you reveal what is in your hearts or conceal it, Allah will call you to account for it” is abrogated by .


7. Verse (2:115) is abrogated by (2:149).

8. Verse (3: 102) is abrogated by (64: 16). Others said its ruling is not abrogated.

9. Verse (4: 33)  is abrogated by (8: 75).

10. Verse (4:15) is abrogated by the introductory verses of surat An-Nur (Q: 24).

11. The ruling of forbidding fighting in the four sacred months in verse (5:2) is abrogated by allowing fighting in these months (in specific cases).

12. Verse (5:42) is abrogated by verse (5:49).

13. The highlighted part related to the conditions of testimony in verse (5:106);

أَوْ ءَاخَرَانِ مِنْ غَيْرِكُمْ

When death approaches any of you, call upon two just Muslim men to witness as you make a bequest; otherwise, two non-Muslims” is abrogated by the following part of verse ;


بِمَعْرُوفٍۢ وَأَشْهِدُوا۟ ذَوَىْ عَدْلٍۢ مِّنكُمْ

“And call two of your reliable men to witness.”

14. Verse (8:65) is abrogated by (8:66).

15. The ruling on verse (9:41) is abrogated by verses (48:17), (9:91-92), and (9:122).

16. Verse (24:3) is abrogated by (24:32). 

17. Verse (33:52) is abrogated by (33:50).

18. Verse (58:12) is abrogated by (58:13).

19. Verse (60:11) is abrogated by verse (9:5) or verse (8: 41). Others said its ruling is not abrogated.

20. Verse (73:2) is abrogated by (73:20).

Some scholars have had other opinions regarding the number of abrogated verses so that these ayat/verses number reached more than 100 or 200 verses.

However, the difference here mainly arose since they considered the ayat/verses that have been revealed to limit other ones or to set a new ruling in Islam that differs from a state that has already been found before .

What is the Law of Abrogation in Islam?

To conclude, Naskh is an Islamic concept that is based, mainly, on the Quran ayah/verse (2:106). Nevertheless, there are a lot of different opinions about its extent in Islamic text. Hence, the subject must be treated with great caution and extensive study by Muslim scholars only (not really for common people as they lack the background knowledge needed to form an authentic opinion on the subject) as all Quranic ayat/verses are subjected to the scrutinizing rules of Islamic authentication as well as Sunnah.

Also, the Knowledge of the agreed-upon opinions of scholars about Naskh is crucial in understanding Quran translation and interpretation as well as the code of Islamic legal rulings. It is also important for practical application of Islamic legal rulings.

If you have any queries about Naskh in Islam/Quran or general questions on any other topic related to Quran authenticity? Start a conversation now for sincere guidance!

Pin It

About Jehad Adel

Jehad Adel is a translator, content writer and a student of Islamic sciences. Jehad has been searching and reading in Islamic fields such as Quran interpretation and Islamic theology. Jehad has been learning and professionally practicing linguistics, content writing, and translation related fields, such as CAT tools and machine translation post editing (MTPE). Jehad is interested in content marketing and Islamic translation in specific. Also, she studied at faculty of languages and simultaneous translation, al-Azhar University.