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I came across with claim "Sunnah can abrogate Quran".

So, Can Sunnah abrogate Quran?

  • There are already posts addressing this topic. Maybe you should check them and share your own efforts with us!
    – Medi1Saif
    Sep 17, 2021 at 13:22
  • what is the source of your claim?. Sep 17, 2021 at 13:28

2 Answers 2


This is a matter of disagreement among the schools of thought. It has been discussed at length in works on Usul al-Fiqh , under chapters named نسخ القرآن بالسنة or نسخ الكتاب بالسنة and similar. Below I will give only a brief overview:

  • One view is that the sunnah can abrogate the Quran. Further there is a division on whether only mutawatir reports can abrogate the Quran or whether even ahad reports can abrogate it. Also, after accepting that such abrogation is 'possible', there is a division on whether this abrogation has actually occured or not.

    The evidence for this school is that both the Quran and Sunnah are revelations from Allah, and one revelation can abrogate another revelation, regardless of the names given to it. The fact that the sunnah is revelation from Allah and that it is obligatory to follow it is proven from the same evidence that is cited for the usage of sunnah in fiqh, see Is the Quran complete? If so, why do we need Hadith? and Is there any reason to not follow only the Quran and reject the sunnah? :

    وما ينطق عن الهوى إن هو إلا وحي يوحى

    Nor does he speak from [his own] inclination. It is not but a revelation revealed.

    Quran 53:3-4

    قل ما يكون لي أن أبدله من تلقاء نفسي إن أتبع إلا ما يوحى إلي

    It is not for me to change it on my own accord. I only follow what is revealed to me.

    Quran 10:15

    من يطع الرسول فقد أطاع الله

    He who obeys the Messenger has obeyed Allah

    Quran 4:80

    Some of those who accepted that the Sunnah can abrogate the Quran also accepted that such abrogation has even occured and they have given the following among the examples:

    • The verse which prescribes a bequest for parents:

      كتب عليكم إذا حضر أحدكم الموت إن ترك خيرا الوصية للوالدين والأقربين

      Prescribed for you when death approaches [any] one of you if he leaves wealth [is that he should make] a bequest for the parents and near relatives

      Quran 2:180

      Is abrogated by the hadith:

      لا وصية لوارث

      There is no bequest for a heir

      Ibn Majah and Abu Dawud

    • The verse on lashing for zina:

      الزانية والزاني فاجلدوا كل واحد منهما مائة جلدة

      The woman or man found guilty of sexual intercourse - lash each one of them with a hundred lashes

      Quran 24:2

      Is abrogated by the hadith on stoning the married person who commits zina:

      فأمر به رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم فرجم، وكان قد أحصن‏

      Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) ordered him to be stoned to death as he was a married person.


    • The verse which commands washing the feet in wudu:

      يا أيها الذين آمنوا إذا قمتم إلى الصلاة فاغسلوا ... وأرجلكم إلى الكعبين

      O you who have believed, when you rise to [perform] prayer, wash ... your feet to the ankles.

      Quran 5:6

      Is abrogated by the hadith which also permits wiping over the socks:

      فغسل ذراعيه ومسح برأسه ثم أهويت لأنزع خفيه فقال دعهما فإني أدخلتهما طاهرتين ومسح عليهما

      Then he washed his arms and wiped his head. Then I bent down to take off his Khuff and he said: 'Leave them, for I put them on while my two feet were Tahir (clean or pure),' and he wiped over them.


      ثم توضأ ومسح على خفيه. قال الأعمش قال إبراهيم كان يعجبهم هذا الحديث لأن إسلام جرير كان بعد نزول المائدة

      Then he performed Wudu' and wiped over his Khuff. Al-A'mash said: Ibrahim said: 'They were impressed by this Hadith, because Jarir accepted Islam after Surat Al-Ma'idah was revealed.'


    • The verse which declares everything as halal to eat except for four things:

      قل لا أجد في ما أوحي إلي محرما على طاعم يطعمه إلا أن يكون ميتة أو دما مسفوحا أو لحم خنزير فإنه رجس أو فسقا أهل لغير الله به

      Say, "I do not find within that which was revealed to me [anything] forbidden to one who would eat it unless it be a dead animal or blood spilled out or the flesh of swine - for indeed, it is impure - or it be [that slaughtered in] disobedience, dedicated to other than Allah.

      Quran 6:145

      Is abrogated by the ahadith:

      أن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم نهى عن أكل كل ذي ناب من السباع

      Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) forbade the eating of the meat of beasts having fangs.


      نهى النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم عن لحوم الحمر

      The Prophet (ﷺ) prohibited the eating of donkey's meat.


    • The verse which makes all women lawful other than the listed ones:

      وأحل لكم ما وراء ذلكم

      And lawful to you are [all others] beyond these

      Quran 4:24

      Is abrogated by the hadith which forbids simultaneously a woman and her aunt:

      نهى رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم أن تنكح المرأة على عمتها أو خالتها

      Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) forbade that a woman should be married to man along with her paternal or maternal aunt.


    Note that each one of these examples can also be explained as something other than abrogation, such as a tafsir or specification (تخصيص) of the corresponding verse. This has been debated at length with arguments given for either side. Hence, as said before, some have held the opinion that while abrogation of the Quran through Sunnah is logically possible but it has not occurred.

  • The second view is that the Sunnah can not abrogate the Quran. This is based on an interpretation of the following verses:

    ما ننسخ من آية أو ننسها نأت بخير منها أو مثلها

    We do not abrogate a verse or cause it to be forgotten except that We bring forth [one] better than it or similar to it.

    Quran 2:106

    وإذا بدلنا آية مكان آية

    And when We substitute a verse in place of a verse

    Quran 16:101

    One meaning which can be taken from these verses is that the Quran can only be abrogated by the Quran. However this has been debated. Similarly there is a hadith which is sometimes cited:

    كلامي لا ينسخ كلام الله

    My word does not abrogate the word of Allah

    Sunan al-Daaraqutni (Note: This hadith is weak and is possibly fabricated)

  • Then what do those who believe the sunnah can’t abrogate the Qur’an say about the (alleged) abrogation of Kur 6:145 by the prophetic prohibition on the eating of the meat of fanged beasts . As this verse and Hadith are in direct conflict
    – Hisham
    Sep 26, 2022 at 2:40
  • 1
    This is a distinct question. Some consider the ahadith to make the foods makruh not haram. Some say that the verse is only refuting the false innovations of the Mushrikeen (6:138-139) and hence only mentions what is haram from those animals (i.e. from cattle). Some state that 6:146 forbids clawed animals for the Jews and that this also applies to us since there is no evidence for its abrogation and the hadith affirms its application.
    – UmH
    Sep 26, 2022 at 3:03

Definite not. Sunnah cannot abrogate the Quran. However, there is a fine line between abrogation and explanation. Often the Sunnah is the way to understand how a particular injection of the Quran is to be understood. Unless there is a categorical contradiction, which I don't think is easy to find, the Sunnah will only elaborate upon the verses of the Quran.

What were the assignments of the beloved prophet Muhammad (pbuh)? Read the following verse of the Quran.

هُوَ ٱلَّذِى بَعَثَ فِى ٱلْأُمِّيِّـۧنَ رَسُولًا مِّنْهُمْ يَتْلُوا۟ عَلَيْهِمْ ءَايَـٰتِهِۦ وَيُزَكِّيهِمْ وَيُعَلِّمُهُمُ ٱلْكِتَـٰبَ وَٱلْحِكْمَةَ وَإِن كَانُوا۟ مِن قَبْلُ لَفِى ضَلَـٰلٍ مُّبِينٍ

He is the One Who raised for the illiterate ˹people˺ a messenger from among themselves—reciting to them His revelations, purifying them, and teaching them the Book and wisdom, for indeed they had previously been clearly astray.

  • Isn’t the Sunnah revelation?
    – Hisham
    Sep 26, 2022 at 2:41

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