Abrogation of the Ayah: 'O you who believe! Fear Allah as He should be feared'

Q: Does the second of the two following Ayahs (Qur’anic verses) abrogate the first (meanings of which are translated as): O you who believe! Fear Allâh (by doing all that He has ordered and by abstaining from all that He has forbidden) as He should be feared. [Obey Him, be thankful to Him, and remember Him always], and die not except in a state of Islâm [as Muslims (with complete submission to Allâh)]. So keep your duty to Allâh and fear Him as much as you can; listen and obey, and spend in charity; that is better for yourselves. And whosoever is saved from his own covetousness, then they are the successful ones.


A: The Mufassirs (exegetes of the Qur’an) among the Sahabah (Companions of the Prophet) and others held different views about whether the first Ayah is abrogated or Muhkamah (clearly decided Qur’anic verse, mostly concerning legal rulings). Ibn `Abbas and his followers hold that it is Muhkamah and explained the part of the Ayah (saying what means) ...as He should be feared. [Obey Him, be thankful to Him, and remember Him always] as follows: The believers should duly strive in the Cause of Allah (Exalted be He), (Part No. 4; Page No. 205) fear the blame of no one except Allah (Exalted be He) and stand out firmly for justice, even though it be against themselves, their parents or their children. On the other hand, Sa‘id ibn Jubayr Abu Al-‘Aliyah, Al-Rabi‘ ibn Anas, Qatadah, Muqatil ibn Hayyan, Zayd ibn Aslam, Al-Suddy and others held that this Ayah is abrogated by the following Ayah in which Allah (Exalted be He) says (what means), So keep your duty to Allâh and fear Him as much as you can The preponderant view is that it is not abrogated. Rather, the meaning of fearing Allah (Exalted be He) as He should be feared is no different from what is indicated in the other Ayah that says: So keep your duty to Allâh and fear Him as much as you can May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.

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