Al-Qaasim ibn Salaam, in his book الناسخ والمنسوخ في القرآن والسنة, page 156, quotes Ibn Abbaas saying that
is among four verses
that were abrogated by 9:5 and 9:29. And it appears that he agrees. His argument is that fighting was prohibited at first and then recommended and then mandated.
That is a point worth discussing. Was fighting prohibited at first? Do any of the verses claimed abrogated by the sword verse say, "Do not fight or else you will be punished"? That's what a prohibition would look like. Obviously, no such verse exists. Fighting was never prohibited. Pardoning and patience were recommended
. Big difference. A recommendation can only be abrogated by a prohibition. The sword verse does not prohibit pardoning or patience; it only mandates fighting back those who fight us.
Scholars have all agreed that the reason for "abrogation" of patience and pardoning is that Muslims were weak at first, so fighting would be tantamount to suicide. But now that they are strong, they can and must fight. If that is true, then we have a contingency
in the ruling. A contingent ruling cannot be abrogated unless the contingency continues
. In other words, abrogating patience and pardoning cannot happen unless Muslims are still weak
but yet they are ordered to fight and not be patient.
So, to refine the issue further, the question to ask is this: If Muslims are attacked and are strong enough to fend off the attack, can they pardon the attacker and not fight? No; they must fight back until the enemy chooses peace. Consider
What if Muslims are attacked but they are weak? Then the contingency mentioned above kicks in again and thus, they should not fight. If one says that they should because
orders them to fight even when they are weak, then one is saying that the contingency they agreed existed has been abrogated. Isn't that a change of mind (بداء), God forbid?
The only logical solution to this dilemma is to recognize that there were no wars launched by the polytheists against Muslims while they lived in Mecca. There was persecution, but not an armed struggle. Thus, all of the pardoning and patience verses were about enduring persecution for a while. Many of the endurance verses came with a time limit, e.g.,
Wars started after the migration to Medina, when the polytheists resolved to eradicating Muslims. That's when the time came. That's when Muslims were allowed to fight. That is the pretext of Chapters 8 and 9. Consider,