78) There has also been the opinion that around two hundred of the verses of the Qur’an have been abrogated. Is this true ?
The term naskh has the connotation of replacement. To inform the functional end of anything based on this meaning; to show that it is not the apparent meaning of a particular word that is intended; to show that a law which has been declared conditional as being able to exist without any condition, whatsoever; to understand a ruling which is held to be general in its application as being particular; to replace any of the usual practices which prevailed before Islam; these and similar acts come within the gambit of the term naskh as is seen the opinions of some scholars of yesteryear. If such, indeed, is the case, naskh implies a wide connotation and as a natural corollary to this idea many more verses would tend to fall within this sphere of meaning.
It has been because of this that some books do state that around two hundred of the verses of the Qur’an have been subject to the procedure of naskh. Apart from this, it does not is any way mean that they have been abrogated.
In reality, however, the verses of the Qur’an that harbour within themselves laws that have actually been abrogated are very few indeed. In fact they are as few as to enable one to count them on the fingers of one’s hands. The idea that there are around two hundred abrogated verses in the Qur’an had gained currency because of the mistake of the earlier writers in composing books prior to a proper understanding of the subject. They had accepted the meaning of naskh only in the narrow sense of abrogation and had prematurely arrived at the conclusion that the legal decrees in all verses deemed abrogated by the predecessors were, themselves, subject to replacement. However, the truth of the matter has been that the rulings embodied in such verses were never abrogated per se. On the contrary, they remain as legally applicable as ever.