In bringing this short series to an end, we provide answers to the following questions. Hopefully, this mini-series can offer the very basic foundations for further study on this vast topic.
- What types of naskh occur in the Qur’ān?
- How are instances of naskh identified?
- How can one study the topic further?
Q1 | What types of naskh occur in the Qur’ān?
There are three possible types:
- Abrogation of the ruling, whilst the verse remains in place;
- Abrogation of the verse, whilst the ruling remains in place;
- Abrogation of both the verse and the ruling.
A general example is the abrogation of the legal ruling derived from:
“Prophet, urge the believers to fight.”
…by the verse,
“But God has lightened your burden now.” 
“This type mentioned in books written on the subject is in fact very limited, even if people have included many verses as examples of it.”
Abrogation of the verse, whilst the ruling remains in place
Among the most well-known examples of this is the legal ruling concerning the stoning of the married adulterer.
This ruling was revealed in the Qur’ān. Then, the words ceased to be part of the Qur’ān, whilst the ruling remained in place.
Concerning this, al-Bukhāri and Muslim both report the ḥādīth of Abdullah ibn Abbas, that he heard Umar ibn al-Khattāb (raḍiy Allāhu ʿanhum) address the people while on the pulpit,
“Verily, Allah has sent Muhammad with the Truth and sent down the Book to him, and the verse of stoning was included in what Allah sent down. We recited, memorised, and comprehended it. The Messenger (ﷺ) accordingly (to what was in the verse) stoned to death (whoever committed adultery while being married), and we stoned after his death.
“But I am afraid that after a long time passes, someone may say,
‘We do not find the verses of stoning in Allah’s Book.’
“Thus, they may go astray by abandoning an obligation that Allah has sent down. Verily, stoning is an obligation in the Book of Allah to be inflicted on married men and women who commit adultery, when their crime is proven, evident by pregnancy, or through the confession (of the adulterer).” 
This report includes the words of two verses that are no longer recited as part of the Qur’ān, but which the ruling remains in place.
Abrogation of both the verse and the ruling
An example of this is the abrogation of the prohibition by suckling ten times of what is prohibited through ties of blood.
`Ā’īshah (raḍiy Allāhu ʿanha) relates,
“Part of what was revealed in the Qur’ān was ten clear sucklings made marriage unlawful. Afterwards, they were abrogated by ‘five clear ones’.
“When Allah’s Messenger died, these words were among what was recited in the Qur’ān.” 
Q2 | How are instances of naskh identified?
To state that some part of scripture has been abrogated is an extremely serious claim; it cannot be made, unless it is based on certainty.
Commenting on the gravity of the claim, Abū Ja’far al-Nahhās (d. 338H) wrote,
“Something that is a confirmed part of revelation and has a sound interpretation cannot be said to be abrogated, unless it is also explicitly mentioned in revelation or based on definitive proof.”
Scholars in the field of Qur’ānic studies have outlined the ways in which it may be correctly determined that some part of scripture has been abrogated.
- That abrogation is clearly alluded to within the text of scripture, as in the above example pertaining to urging the believers to fight, prior to the verse that says “But God has lightened your burden now…”
- That which is abrogating is known definitively to be later than the abrogated.
- The unanimity of the scholastic community that a particular text or teaching of scripture is abrogated, and that the other is abrogating.
In determining whether something is abrogated, it is not possible to simply rely upon opinion, even that of a scholar or a group of scholars (ijtihād), whether they are Qur’ānic scholars or not.
Nor is it sufficient to rely upon apparent contradictions between two texts, or the fact that the narrator of one text was a later convert to Islam than the narrator of the other.
Q3 | How can one study the topic further?
The works listed below are divided into English and Arabic titles.
The English works are listed first, as they will be more accessible to a wider audience. The Arabic titles will be useful for students who can read Arabic and want to study the subject in greater depth.
These can be split into two categories: those that are similar in level to this article, and those that are more advanced.
The first category may provide some additional details, while the second category may not be suitable for complete beginners.
- al-Suyūtī, Gateway to the Qur’ānic Sciences (based on Jalāl al-Dīn al-Suyūtī’s al-Itqān)
- Ahmed Von Denffer, Ulūm al-Qur’ān: An Introduction to the Sciences of the Qur’ān
- Bilal Philips, Usūl al-Tafsīr: The Methodology of Qur’ānic Interpretation (although the title suggests this work is on the narrower field of Usūl al-Tafsīr, its subject matter is much closer to works in Ulūm al-Qur’ān)
- Farhan Zubairi, An Introduction to the Sciences of the Qur’ān
Intermediate and advanced works
- al-Suyūtī, Perfect Guide to the Sciences of the Qur’ān (translation of al-Itqān fī `Ulūm al-Qur’ān), Volumes 1 and 2
- Taqi Usmani, An Approach to the Qur’ānic Sciences (translated from the original Urdu, a new translation is forthcoming from Turath Publishing)
- Yasir Qadhi, An Introduction to the Sciences of the Qur’ān
Arabic books about naskh in the Qur’ān can be split into two categories: general works in the field of Qur’ānic studies – which will often have a chapter on naskh – and works dedicated solely to the topic.
It may be useful to further subdivide these into pre-modern and modern works, as the style of presentation between the two is generally different.
General works on Qur’ānic studies (Ulūm al-Qur’ān)
- Multiple authors, al-Muyassar fī `Ulūm al-Qur’ān
This is a wide-ranging overview of the Qur’ānic sciences, aimed at an introductory level. It is suitable for novice students. It is also the foundation for the notes above.
- Abdullāh al-Juday, al-Muqaddimāt al-Asāsiyyah fī `Ulūm al-Qur’ān
This is a comprehensive guide to the Qur’ānic sciences, representing the current state-of-the-art efforts in the field.
Consequently, it is suitable for an intermediate to advanced level, firmly aimed at students of the sacred Islamic sciences.
Dedicated works on naskh
Pre-modern reference authors (arranged chronologically)
- Abū `Ubayd al-Qāsim ibn Sallām
- Abū Ja`far al-Naḥḥās
- al-Makkī ibn Abī Ṭālib
- Ibn al-`Arabī
- Ibn al-Jawzī
Modern reference authors
- Muṣtafa Zayd
- `Abdallāh ibn Muḥammad al-Amīn al-Shinqīṭī
 al-Qur’ān | 8:66
 al-Bukhāri and Muslim