Are there examples where the sunnah takes precedence over something in the Quran?
The Qur’an always comes before the sunnah, as the sunnah is the commentary and the explanation of the Qur’an. Allah Most High says to His Messenger (Allah bless him & give him peace):
“So that you explain to the people what has been revealed to them.” (Surah al-Nahl, 44)
Also the famous Hadith of Mu’adh (Allah be pleased with him) when he said: “I will judge and make decisions according to the Qur’an and if I don’t find a ruling in the Qur’an, I will turn to the sunnah”, is an example of this.
However, the Sunnah at times restricts the broad and general meaning of a particular word of the Qur’an. Similarly, it explains the ambiguous term by which the meaning intended by Allah Almighty is known. There are many examples for this.
Also according to the majority of the scholars (jumhur), a ruling of the Qur’an can be nullified by the Sunnah, as whatever the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) says is from Allah (Surah al-Najm,v4).
Example for this is the Hadith which says “Wasiyya (bequest) is not permissible for an heir (inheritor). This cancels out the verse of the Qur’an which indicates that Wasiyyat is prescribed for parents (al-Baqara, v.180).
And Allah Knows Best
[Mufti] Muhammad ibn Adam
Leicester , UK