The chapter contains three branches:
The first branch is about definition and pillars:
Naskh means removal and may be used for copying a book but the first meaning is intended.
Its definition is: Removing a confirmed ruling because if abrogation had not been revealed, the ruling would have been effective.
None among Muslims has ever denied abrogation except few people who have no status in Islam because the entire nation hold consensus on its permissibility and effectiveness.
As for its pillars, they are four: Abrogator, who is Allah. Abrogated, which is the removed ruling. Abrogated [removed] from, which is the charged Muslim. And abrogation which is the ruling that indicates the removal of the confirmed ruling.
A proof may be called an abrogator as a figure of speech such as: This Ayah is abrogator to this.
A ruling also may be called abrogator such as: The fasting of Ramadan is abrogator to the fasting of Ashura' (the 10th of Muharram).
The second branch is about its conditions:
The conditions of abrogation are four:
1- The abrogated must be a Shari ah ruling not a man-made ruling.
2- Abrogation must be done by a text, so the death of the charged Muslim is not an abrogation.
3- The abrogated ruling must not be confined or limited by a time and when the time comes it will not exist such as Allah Saying: "Then complete your Saum (fast) till the nightfall." [Surat Al Baqarah: 187].
4- The abrogating ruling must come after the confirmed ruling, not as Allah's Saying: "until they pay the Jizyah with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued." [Surat At-Tawbah: 29].
Here are some matters that may be thought to be conditions but they are not.
1- Abrogation should replace a ruling with another ruling, but the condition must be (just) removing to the ruling [even without giving another ruling].
2- Abrogation should be revealed after the entry time of the abrogated ruling, however it is permissible to be revealed before its time.
3- It is not required that the abrogated ruling may be liable to exception and specification, but it is permissible that the abrogation is done by a single command in one time.
4- It is not required that the Qur'an abrogates the Qur'an and the Sunnah abrogates the Sunnah, but it is valid to be abrogated by a significant proof, however Al Shafi y stipulated that condition as shall be explained later.
5- It is not required that the abrogating and the abrogated should be decisive texts because it is permissible to abrogate the narration of a single chain of transmission by another single chain of transmission and by Tawatur (frequently reported narrations), but it is not permissible to abrogate the Mutawater with the narration of a single chain of transmission.
6- It is not required that the abrogating ruling must be reported by the same wordings of the abrogated but should be reported by any proper way.
7- It is not required that the abrogating should be equal to the abrogated, so it is permissible that a command abrogates a prohibition and prohibition abrogates a command.
8- It is not required that the abrogating and the abrogated ruling must be confirmed by texts, but they may be included in the purport of the words or the outward meaning, in this case it is permissible to be negated.
9- It is not required that the abrogating ruling must replace it with another ruling, but it may abrogate it without giving another ruling, whereas some people considered it a condition to replace a ruling with another.
10- It is not required to abrogate a hard ruling with an easy one, but it may be replaced by a same ruling or a heavier ruling. Some people said: It is permissible to abrogate a hard ruling with an easy one, whereas the opposite is not permissible, but this is not a standard.
The third branch is about the rulings of abrogation:
Any Shari ah ruling can be abrogated, whereas some scholars said this is not true because there are some rulings that cannot be abrogated such as showing gratitude to the Giver and setting justice among people, so it is not permissible to abrogate it. Likewise, disbelief and oppression, they cannot be abrogated by setting them permissible. Moreover, an Ayah which contains a ruling may be omitted from recitation without abrogating its ruling or abrogating its ruling without its recitation or abrogating both.
It is permissible to abrogate the Qur'an by the Sunnah and the Sunnah by the Qur'an according to the majority of scholars because both were revealed by Allah, and reported narrations confirmed that.
As for abrogating the Sunnah by the Qur'an, facing Jerusalem in Salah is not mentioned in the Qur'an but it is a Sunnah then the Qur'an abrogated it. Likewise, the fasting of Ashura' (10th of Muharram) was confirmed by the Sunnah then the Qur'an abrogated it by the fasting of Ramadan.
As for abrogating the Qur'an by the Sunnah, abrogating the will that is given to one's parents and relatives by the Prophet's saying: "There is no will for an heir" because the Ayah of inheritance does not prohibit the will. Al Shafi y (may Allah bestow mercy on his soul) said: It is not permissible to abrogate the Sunnah by the Qur'an or the Qur'an by the Sunnah.
Furthermore, the Shari ah ruling cannot be abrogated by the saying of a Companion, but he must say: I heard the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) saying such and such." If he says so, if the ruling was confirmed by the narration of a single chain of transmission, it shall be abrogated, but if it was decisive, it would not.
It is not permissible to abrogate the decisive frequently reported text by analogy, supposition, or Ijtihad.
Moreover, consensus cannot abrogate a Shari ah text because there is no abrogation after the end of revelation.
When there are two contradictory texts, the abrogating is the later.
The later cannot be recognized except by narrations, not by the Shari ah or the reason through the following:
1- The wordings may indicate it such as the Prophet's Saying: "I have prohibited you from visiting graves, so visit them."
2- The entire nation would hold consensus that such and such ruling is abrogated and its abrogating ruling was revealed later.
A narrator mentions the date of narration such as to say: I heard in the year of Al Khandaq or in the year of opening Makkah, whereas the ruling was revealed before that date.
There is no difference that the abrogated and the abrogating is reported by a single narrator or more. The delay of the abrogating ruling is not ascertained except through the following ways: A Companion says: "The ruling was such and such then it was abrogated" because he might say it according to his Ijtihad.
The delay cannot be ascertained by coming after another ruling in arrangement such as the arrangement of Surahs: When a Surah comes after another Surah that does not mean it abrogates it because arrangement is not a proof to the delay.
It is not required that the delay of a ruling must not be reported by junior Companions because a junior Companion may report from senior Companions, and senior Companions may report from juniors.
It is not required that the narrator should have embraced Islam in the year of opening Makkah because he might report it in the state of disbelief then he reported the narration after embracing Islam or heard from another Companion who embraced Islam earlier.
It is not required that the companionship of a narrator should be continuous because people might think that his narration is prior to those whose Companionship continued, and it is not a condition that the narration of the one who accompanied the Prophet until his death would be delayed from the one who accompanied the Prophet for a short time.
It is not required that one of the two narrations must be in harmony with reason and was not preceded by another ruling such as the Prophet's saying: "There is no ablution due to foods that are cooked by fire."
The command should not be prior to the ruling of performing ablution due to foods that are cooked by fire because it may be obligated then was abrogated or was prohibited without prior ruling.
Abrogation in regard to those who do not know the ruling of abrogation is confirmed even if they do not know the ruling of abrogation, whereas some people said: It will not become abrogating until it reaches the people.