Islam teaches that the Qur’an, being the Word of God, is eternal. The problem is that the Word of God cannot be separate from Allah because that would mean that it, like Allah, is also a divine eternal being, which would mean the existence of more than one divine eternal being. Only God is eternal, therefore, not only Allah would be a God, so would Allah’s Word be a God. One way out of the “duonundrum” might be to say that God and his Word are One. This, alas would militate against the Islamic idea that God cannot consists of parts. So this won’t do.
Another problem with the Islamic idea of the eternality of the Qur’an is its doctrine of “abrogation,” which it says is not abrogation. What else can this verse mean?
None of Our revelations do We abrogate or cause to be forgotten, but We substitute something better or similar: Knowest thou not that Allah Hath power over all things? (“We” is the “royal we”).
The problem is that if the Qur’an has been residing in the bosom of the all-knowing, all-perfect, all-good Allah from all eternity, why would it contain a plethora of substitutions of something better, which implies change, becoming, time-bound. I am reminded of the open theist whose God is not totally free but merely reacts to human decisions, and arranges his thoughts and actions accordingly.
Examples from the Qur’an: 1. Allah decrees that Muslims are not allowed more than four wives. Later the revelation comes down of something better for Mohammed who ends up with 9 wives or more. 2. Mohammed desires his adopted son-in-law’s wife, but feels this desire wrong. Then something better comes down and says something better – not in the vein of the Joseph-Mary incident – when Allah reveals to Mohammed that it’s ok to take this woman to wife.
There are many more “something betters” in the Qur’an, which I won’t mention here.
Excerpt from “The Quran’s Doctrine of Abrogation” by Abdullah Al Araby http://www.islamreview.com/articles/quransdoctrineprint.htm
In an attempt to polish Islam’s image, Muslim activists usually quote verses from the Quran that were written in the early days of the Islamic movement while Mohammed lived in Mecca. Those passages make Islam appear loving and harmless because they call for love, peace and patience. Such is a deception. The activists fail to tell gullible people that such verses, though still in the Quran, were nullified, abrogated, rendered void by later passages that incite killing, decapitations, maiming, terrorism and religious intolerance. The latter verses were penned while Mohammed’s headquarters was based in Medina.
When speaking with people of Christianized/Western societies, Muslim activists deliberately hide a major Islamic doctrine called “al-Nasikh wal-Mansoukh” (the Abrogator and the Abrogated). This simply means that in situations wherein verses contradict one another, the early verses are overridden by the latter verses. The chronological timing in which a verse was written determines its authority to establish policies within Islam. Non-Muslims cannot afford to be ignorant about the full implications of the Abrogator and the Abrogated Doctrine (al-Nasikh wal-Mansoukh). When Islamic spokesmen say that Islam is a religion of peace and that the Quran does not support such things as human rights infractions, gender bias and terrorism, they are lying. This means that the Western politicians and liberal journalists, who continually spout that Islam is a noble religion of peace, are in reality propagating a deception that they have been deceived into parroting.
Abrogation – ok then “substitute something better” – only makes sense in open theism. Any other attempt to explain it is nothing more than abrogadabra.
Related Article: “The problem of abrogation in the Qur’an.” http://answering-islam.org/Authors/Farooq_Ibrahim/abrogation.htm