The full-back was diagnosed with liver cancer in March 2011 and, despite making a recovery, had to undergo a transplant in April of last year before returning to action for Barcelona in April.
He completed a move from Barca to Monaco this summer and will now be hoping to earn his 62nd France cap against Belgium.
Sevilla midfielder Geoffrey Kondogbia has also been selected in Didier Deschamps' 23-man squad and is in line for a senior debut while Samir Nasri could make his first appearance since Euro 2012.
Speaking at a press conference, Deschamps said of Abidal: "After discussing it at length with him, I decided to call him back. You know his history, his arrival in Monaco, his performances during the warm-up matches.
"There are also injuries with (Raphael) Varane out with his meniscus and (Mamadou) Sakho is struggling at the moment.
"Abidal, more importantly, is competitive and has a deep and strong desire to represent his country."
France squad: Lloris (Tottenham), Mandanda (Marseille), Landreau (Bastia); Debuchy (Newcastle), Abidal (Monaco), Mangala (Porto), Rami (Valencia), Clichy (Manchester City), Evra (Manchester United), Sagna (Arsenal), Koscielny (Arsenal); Guilavogui (St Etienne), Kondogbia (Sevilla), Mavuba (Lille), Capoue (Toulouse), Sissoko (Toulouse), Grenier (Lyon); Ribery (Bayern Munich), Valbuena (Marseille), Payet (Marseille), Nasri (Manchester City), Benzema (Real Madrid), Giroud (Arsenal).