Briefly stated (on basis of some ayas in Sura 2), the doctrine of abrogation within Islam says that insofar as there is a conflict between two verses in the Quran, it is the the latest revealed verse that has ultimate validity, abrogating the previous one.
This has important consequences, of life and death, actually, since ALL the peaceful verses of the Quran were composed at Mecca, all of them abrogated by Medinan verses like “Kill the infidels wherever you find them”.
It is the Medinan verses that are to be followed for the Muslim, if there is a conflict between that and some Meccan verses.
Now, one might ask, isn’t this “doctrine of abrogation” some obscure, medieaval concept that scaremongers bring forth against Islam?
Does it have any reality at all?
Then my first contention would be that it is NOT an obscure, irrational and medieaval principle at all, but rather, one of the most fundamental concepts of all modern jurisprudence:
If I find a law from 1824 in the US law system and says that this contradicts a law given in 1999, WHICH ONE has the validity in our society today?
Obviously, the law from 1999, not the one from 1824..
In general, a legislator is always given the power to abrogate former laws that he has the authority to legislate.
Therefore, only those laws are held valid in a society that does not go against the laws promulgated by the CURRENT LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY(LEGISLATOR!
But this is EXACTLY that so-called obscure principle of “abrogation” in the Quran.
Thus, prior to marshalling the textual evidence, the rational point of view is that the doctrine of abrogation is, indeed, a reality within the conception of Islamic law.
That this makes Islam into a death cult is not the “fault” of formal principles of jurisprudence, but rather, the fault of the tenets of Islam itself…