From Bill Warner’s Sharia Law for Non-Muslims:
The Koran is so filled with contradictions such as this that it provides a method to resolve the problem, called abrogation.
Abrogation means that the later verse is stronger than the earlier verse. However, both verses are still true, since the Koran is the exact, precise word of Allah. In the two verses above, the first verse is earlier than the second verse and is, therefore, weaker. It is always that way. The early, weaker “good” verse is abrogated by the later, stronger “bad” verse.
The “truth” of the earlier Meccan verses is demonstrated by the fact that it is the Meccan Koran that is quoted by Muslims and apologists. It may be abrogated, but it is still used as the sacred truth of the Koran.
Practically speaking, this means that the early verses are used when Islam is weak and the later verses are used when Islam is strong. This parallels Mohammed’s life.
Mohammed’s career had two distinctly different phases – early and late. In Mecca Mohammed was a religious preacher. Later, in Medina he became a politician and warrior and became very powerful. The early Meccan Koran gives the advice of Allah when Islam is weak and the later Medinan Koran says what to do when Islam is strong. The stronger Mohammed became, the harder he waged war against the Kafirs. The Koran gives the proper advice to every Muslim for every stage.
Abrogation is based on the following verse of the Koran:
“Whatever a Verse (revelation) do We abrogate or cause to be forgotten, We bring a better one or similar to it. Know you not that Allah is able to do all things?”
However there are other ideas what abrogation means and how it is implemented.
What do you think? Can you provide some examples how abrogation works?