Surah al-Tawbah (61-129) (2/2)

Surah al-Tawbah (61-129) (2/2)

Qur'anic Exegesis

وَ اٰخَرُوۡنَ اعۡتَرَفُوۡا بِذُنُوۡبِہِمۡ خَلَطُوۡا عَمَلًا صَالِحًا وَّ اٰخَرَ سَیِّئًا ؕ عَسَی اللّٰہُ اَنۡ یَّتُوۡبَ عَلَیۡہِمۡ ؕ اِنَّ اللّٰہَ غَفُوۡرٌ رَّحِیۡمٌ ﴿۱۰۲﴾ خُذۡ مِنۡ اَمۡوَالِہِمۡ صَدَقَۃً تُطَہِّرُہُمۡ وَ تُزَکِّیۡہِمۡ بِہَا وَ صَلِّ عَلَیۡہِمۡ ؕ اِنَّ صَلٰوتَکَ سَکَنٌ لَّہُمۡ ؕ وَ اللّٰہُ سَمِیۡعٌ عَلِیۡمٌ ﴿۱۰۳﴾ اَلَمۡ یَعۡلَمُوۡۤا اَنَّ اللّٰہَ ہُوَ یَقۡبَلُ التَّوۡبَۃَ عَنۡ عِبَادِہٖ وَ یَاۡخُذُ الصَّدَقٰتِ وَ اَنَّ اللّٰہَ ہُوَ التَّوَّابُ الرَّحِیۡمُ ﴿۱۰۴﴾ وَ قُلِ اعۡمَلُوۡا فَسَیَرَی اللّٰہُ عَمَلَکُمۡ وَ رَسُوۡلُہٗ وَ الۡمُؤۡمِنُوۡنَ ؕ وَ سَتُرَدُّوۡنَ اِلٰی عٰلِمِ الۡغَیۡبِ وَ الشَّہَادَۃِ فَیُنَبِّئُکُمۡ بِمَا کُنۡتُمۡ تَعۡمَلُوۡنَ ﴿۱۰۵﴾ۚ

[Besides these,] there are some others also who have confessed their sins. They have done varied deeds, some good some bad. Hopefully, God will bestow His favour on them because He is forgiving, ever-merciful.[48]Accept the charity of their wealth[49]so that you may cleanse them and purify them.[50]And pray for them, because your prayer is a means of tranquillity for them. God hears and knows all.[51]Do they not know that it is God who accepts the repentance of His servants and lauds their charity and [not know that] God is very inclined to accepting repentance and is merciful.[52]Tell them: "Do deeds; now God and His Messenger and their followers will observe your deeds. You will soon be brought forth before Him who knows all the revealed and the concealed. Then He will inform you what you have been doing." (102-105)

وَ اٰخَرُوۡنَ مُرۡجَوۡنَ لِاَمۡرِ اللّٰہِ اِمَّا یُعَذِّبُہُمۡ وَ اِمَّا یَتُوۡبُ عَلَیۡہِمۡ ؕ وَ اللّٰہُ عَلِیۡمٌ حَکِیۡمٌ ﴿۱۰۶﴾

[Similarly,] there are others whose matter has been deferred till the verdict of God. He will either punish them or accept their repentance. God knows everything. He is full of wisdom.[53](106)

وَ الَّذِیۡنَ اتَّخَذُوۡا مَسۡجِدًا ضِرَارًا وَّ کُفۡرًا وَّ تَفۡرِیۡقًۢا بَیۡنَ الۡمُؤۡمِنِیۡنَ وَ اِرۡصَادًا لِّمَنۡ حَارَبَ اللّٰہَ وَ رَسُوۡلَہٗ مِنۡ قَبۡلُ ؕ وَ لَیَحۡلِفُنَّ اِنۡ اَرَدۡنَاۤ اِلَّا الۡحُسۡنٰی ؕ وَ اللّٰہُ یَشۡہَدُ اِنَّہُمۡ لَکٰذِبُوۡنَ ﴿۱۰۷﴾ لَا تَقُمۡ فِیۡہِ اَبَدًا ؕ لَمَسۡجِدٌ اُسِّسَ عَلَی التَّقۡوٰی مِنۡ اَوَّلِ یَوۡمٍ اَحَقُّ اَنۡ تَقُوۡمَ فِیۡہِ ؕ فِیۡہِ رِجَالٌ یُّحِبُّوۡنَ اَنۡ یَّتَطَہَّرُوۡا ؕ وَ اللّٰہُ یُحِبُّ الۡمُطَّہِّرِیۡنَ ﴿۱۰۸﴾ اَفَمَنۡ اَسَّسَ بُنۡیَانَہٗ عَلٰی تَقۡوٰی مِنَ اللّٰہِ وَ رِضۡوَانٍ خَیۡرٌ اَمۡ مَّنۡ اَسَّسَ بُنۡیَانَہٗ عَلٰی شَفَا جُرُفٍ ہَارٍ فَانۡہَارَ بِہٖ فِیۡ نَارِ جَہَنَّمَ ؕ وَ اللّٰہُ لَا یَہۡدِی الۡقَوۡمَ الظّٰلِمِیۡنَ ﴿۱۰۹﴾ لَا یَزَالُ بُنۡیَانُہُمُ الَّذِیۡ بَنَوۡا رِیۡبَۃً فِیۡ قُلُوۡبِہِمۡ اِلَّاۤ اَنۡ تَقَطَّعَ قُلُوۡبُہُمۡ ؕ وَ اللّٰہُ عَلِیۡمٌ حَکِیۡمٌ ﴿۱۱۰﴾

And those who have built a mosque[54]to harm [Islam] and strengthen disbelief and cause a rift between the believers and to provide an ambush for people who before this have been engaged in war with God and His Messenger, [they will also come] and swear oaths: "We only intended good."[55]But God bears witness that they are absolute liars. Never stand in it. Only that mosque is worthy[56]that you stand in it [for worship] whose foundation from the first day was based on God-consciousness.[57]In it are people who like to remain pure and God likes only those who are pure.[58]Then is that person better who based the foundation of his building on God-consciousness and in pleasing Him or he who built his building on a hollow precipice that is about to fall and it fell with him in Hell? God never guides such unjust people.[59]This building which they have built will always be a basis of doubt in their hearts except if their hearts shatter to pieces.[60]God knows everything; He is very wise. (107-110)

اِنَّ اللّٰہَ اشۡتَرٰی مِنَ الۡمُؤۡمِنِیۡنَ اَنۡفُسَہُمۡ وَ اَمۡوَالَہُمۡ بِاَنَّ لَہُمُ الۡجَنَّۃَ ؕ یُقَاتِلُوۡنَ فِیۡ سَبِیۡلِ اللّٰہِ فَیَقۡتُلُوۡنَ وَ یُقۡتَلُوۡنَ ۟ وَعۡدًا عَلَیۡہِ حَقًّا فِی التَّوۡرٰىۃِ وَ الۡاِنۡجِیۡلِ وَ الۡقُرۡاٰنِ ؕ وَ مَنۡ اَوۡفٰی بِعَہۡدِہٖ مِنَ اللّٰہِ فَاسۡتَبۡشِرُوۡا بِبَیۡعِکُمُ الَّذِیۡ بَایَعۡتُمۡ بِہٖ ؕ وَ ذٰلِکَ ہُوَ الۡفَوۡزُ الۡعَظِیۡمُ ﴿۱۱۱﴾ اَلتَّآئِبُوۡنَ الۡعٰبِدُوۡنَ الۡحٰمِدُوۡنَ السَّآئِحُوۡنَ الرّٰکِعُوۡنَ السّٰجِدُوۡنَ الۡاٰمِرُوۡنَ بِالۡمَعۡرُوۡفِ وَ النَّاہُوۡنَ عَنِ الۡمُنۡکَرِ وَ الۡحٰفِظُوۡنَ لِحُدُوۡدِ اللّٰہِ ؕ وَ بَشِّرِ الۡمُؤۡمِنِیۡنَ ﴿۱۱۲﴾

In reality, those who have professed faith [by making a pledge with the Messenger], their person and wealth have been bought by God in return for Paradise. They fight in the way of God, slay others and are slain.[61]This is a true promise of God in the Torah, in the Gospel and in the Qur'an.[62]And who can be truer in fulfilling his promise than God? So rejoice on your deal that you have made with God. This is the greatest success. They are those who repent, worship, are grateful, who exert [for the cause of God], who kneel and prostrate [before Him], urge [people] to good and forbid [them] from evil and protect the bounds of God.[63][It is they who are true believers] and [O Prophet!] give glad tidings to these believers.[64](111-112)


مَا کَانَ لِلنَّبِیِّ وَ الَّذِیۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡۤا اَنۡ یَّسۡتَغۡفِرُوۡا لِلۡمُشۡرِکِیۡنَ وَ لَوۡ کَانُوۡۤا اُولِیۡ قُرۡبٰی مِنۡۢ بَعۡدِ مَا تَبَیَّنَ لَہُمۡ اَنَّہُمۡ اَصۡحٰبُ الۡجَحِیۡمِ ﴿۱۱۳﴾ وَ مَا کَانَ اسۡتِغۡفَارُ اِبۡرٰہِیۡمَ لِاَبِیۡہِ اِلَّا عَنۡ مَّوۡعِدَۃٍ وَّعَدَہَاۤ اِیَّاہُ ۚ فَلَمَّا تَبَیَّنَ لَہٗۤ اَنَّہٗ عَدُوٌّ لِّلّٰہِ تَبَرَّاَ مِنۡہُ ؕ اِنَّ اِبۡرٰہِیۡمَ لَاَوَّاہٌ حَلِیۡمٌ ﴿۱۱۴﴾ وَ مَا کَانَ اللّٰہُ لِیُضِلَّ قَوۡمًۢا بَعۡدَ اِذۡ ہَدٰىہُمۡ حَتّٰی یُبَیِّنَ لَہُمۡ مَّا یَتَّقُوۡنَ ؕ اِنَّ اللّٰہَ بِکُلِّ شَیۡءٍ عَلِیۡمٌ ﴿۱۱۵﴾ اِنَّ اللّٰہَ لَہٗ مُلۡکُ السَّمٰوٰتِ وَ الۡاَرۡضِ ؕ یُحۡیٖ وَ یُمِیۡتُ ؕ وَ مَا لَکُمۡ مِّنۡ دُوۡنِ اللّٰہِ مِنۡ وَّلِیٍّ وَّ لَا نَصِیۡرٍ ﴿۱۱۶﴾

It is not befitting for the Prophet[65]and his followers to pray for the forgiveness of the Idolaters [after an acquittal has been declared] even if they are their relatives when it has become evident to them that they are the companions of Hell.[66]Abraham had asked for the forgiveness of his father only because of the promise he had made with his father.[67]But when it became evident to him that he is God's enemy, he dissociated from him. In reality, Abraham was very kind-hearted and gentle.[68][Remember that] this is not God's practice that He again lead astray a nation after guiding it until He clearly informs them of what they must refrain from.[69]Indeed, God has knowledge of all things. It is God whose kingdom prevails in the heavens and the earth. Only He gives life and He alone gives death and except for God you neither have a supporter nor a helper. (113-116)

لَقَدۡ تَّابَ اللّٰہُ عَلَی النَّبِیِّ وَ الۡمُہٰجِرِیۡنَ وَ الۡاَنۡصَارِ الَّذِیۡنَ اتَّبَعُوۡہُ فِیۡ سَاعَۃِ الۡعُسۡرَۃِ مِنۡۢ بَعۡدِ مَا کَادَ یَزِیۡغُ قُلُوۡبُ فَرِیۡقٍ مِّنۡہُمۡ ثُمَّ تَابَ عَلَیۡہِمۡ ؕ اِنَّہٗ بِہِمۡ رَءُوۡفٌ رَّحِیۡمٌ ﴿۱۱۷﴾ۙ وَّ عَلَی الثَّلٰثَۃِ الَّذِیۡنَ خُلِّفُوۡا ؕ حَتّٰۤی اِذَا ضَاقَتۡ عَلَیۡہِمُ الۡاَرۡضُ بِمَا رَحُبَتۡ وَ ضَاقَتۡ عَلَیۡہِمۡ اَنۡفُسُہُمۡ وَ ظَنُّوۡۤا اَنۡ لَّا مَلۡجَاَ مِنَ اللّٰہِ اِلَّاۤ اِلَیۡہِ ؕ ثُمَّ تَابَ عَلَیۡہِمۡ لِیَتُوۡبُوۡا ؕ اِنَّ اللّٰہَ ہُوَ التَّوَّابُ الرَّحِیۡمُ ﴿۱۱۸﴾

God showed mercy on the Prophet and [his companions] among the Ansar and the Muhajirun who stood up with the Prophet in times of difficulty after it happened that the hearts of some among them had almost become inclined towards deviation. Then God looked at them with mercy. In reality, He is affectionate to them and very merciful.[70]In a similar manner, He looked with mercy on the three whose matter had been deferred. Until when the earth seemed to close in upon them in spite of its vastness and they got sick of themselves and they came to know that there is no place to escape God except with him.[71]Then God turned to them in mercy so that they turn [to Him].[72]Indeed, it is God Who is very prone to accepting forgiveness and is merciful. (117-118)

یٰۤاَیُّہَا الَّذِیۡنَ اٰمَنُوا اتَّقُوا اللّٰہَ وَ کُوۡنُوۡا مَعَ الصّٰدِقِیۡنَ ﴿۱۱۹﴾ مَا کَانَ لِاَہۡلِ الۡمَدِیۡنَۃِ وَ مَنۡ حَوۡلَہُمۡ مِّنَ الۡاَعۡرَابِ اَنۡ یَّتَخَلَّفُوۡا عَنۡ رَّسُوۡلِ اللّٰہِ وَ لَا یَرۡغَبُوۡا بِاَنۡفُسِہِمۡ عَنۡ نَّفۡسِہٖ ؕ ذٰلِکَ بِاَنَّہُمۡ لَا یُصِیۡبُہُمۡ ظَمَاٌ وَّ لَا نَصَبٌ وَّ لَا مَخۡمَصَۃٌ فِیۡ سَبِیۡلِ اللّٰہِ وَ لَا یَطَـُٔوۡنَ مَوۡطِئًا یَّغِیۡظُ الۡکُفَّارَ وَ لَا یَنَالُوۡنَ مِنۡ عَدُوٍّ نَّیۡلًا اِلَّا کُتِبَ لَہُمۡ بِہٖ عَمَلٌ صَالِحٌ ؕ اِنَّ اللّٰہَ لَا یُضِیۡعُ اَجۡرَ الۡمُحۡسِنِیۡنَ ﴿۱۲۰﴾ۙ وَ لَا یُنۡفِقُوۡنَ نَفَقَۃً صَغِیۡرَۃً وَّ لَا کَبِیۡرَۃً وَّ لَا یَقۡطَعُوۡنَ وَادِیًا اِلَّا کُتِبَ لَہُمۡ لِیَجۡزِیَہُمُ اللّٰہُ اَحۡسَنَ مَا کَانُوۡا یَعۡمَلُوۡنَ ﴿۱۲۱﴾ وَ مَا کَانَ الۡمُؤۡمِنُوۡنَ لِیَنۡفِرُوۡا کَآفَّۃً ؕ فَلَوۡ لَا نَفَرَ مِنۡ کُلِّ فِرۡقَۃٍ مِّنۡہُمۡ طَآئِفَۃٌ لِّیَتَفَقَّہُوۡا فِی الدِّیۡنِ وَ لِیُنۡذِرُوۡا قَوۡمَہُمۡ اِذَا رَجَعُوۡۤا اِلَیۡہِمۡ لَعَلَّہُمۡ یَحۡذَرُوۡنَ ﴿۱۲۲﴾

Believers! [If you want to protect yourself from these mistakes] fear God and be in the company of the truthful.[73][In reality,] it was not befitting for the Bedouins of Madinah and those who lived nearby that they sit behind leaving God and His Messenger. Neither was it befitting for them to regard their own life to be dearer than his. This is because whatever thirst, fatigue and hunger they are afflicted with in the cause of God and whatever step they take to inflict sorrow on the disbelievers [of the Messenger] and injury on [his] enemy – in exchange for all of these one pious deed is written for them. God does not waste the reward of those who are thorough.[74][Similarly,] whatever small or large amount they spend in charity and whatever valley they traverse [for the cause of God] all is written for them so that God can best reward them for their deeds. It was not possible that all Muslims take it upon themselves; but why did this not happen that a few from each group could come forward to obtain sound understanding of religion and return to their people to warn them [about these attitudes] so that they may take heed.[75](119-122)

یٰۤاَیُّہَا الَّذِیۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡا قَاتِلُوا الَّذِیۡنَ یَلُوۡنَکُمۡ مِّنَ الۡکُفَّارِ وَ لۡیَجِدُوۡا فِیۡکُمۡ غِلۡظَۃً ؕ وَ اعۡلَمُوۡۤا اَنَّ اللّٰہَ مَعَ الۡمُتَّقِیۡنَ ﴿۱۲۳﴾ وَ اِذَا مَاۤ اُنۡزِلَتۡ سُوۡرَۃٌ فَمِنۡہُمۡ مَّنۡ یَّقُوۡلُ اَیُّکُمۡ زَادَتۡہُ ہٰذِہٖۤ اِیۡمَانًا ۚ فَاَمَّا الَّذِیۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡا فَزَادَتۡہُمۡ اِیۡمَانًا وَّ ہُمۡ یَسۡتَبۡشِرُوۡنَ ﴿۱۲۴﴾ وَ اَمَّا الَّذِیۡنَ فِیۡ قُلُوۡبِہِمۡ مَّرَضٌ فَزَادَتۡہُمۡ رِجۡسًا اِلٰی رِجۡسِہِمۡ وَ مَا تُوۡا وَ ہُمۡ کٰفِرُوۡنَ ﴿۱۲۵﴾ اَوَ لَا یَرَوۡنَ اَنَّہُمۡ یُفۡتَنُوۡنَ فِیۡ کُلِّ عَامٍ مَّرَّۃً اَوۡ مَرَّتَیۡنِ ثُمَّ لَا یَتُوۡبُوۡنَ وَلَا ہُمۡ یَذَّکَّرُوۡنَ ﴿۱۲۶﴾ وَ اِذَا مَاۤ اُنۡزِلَتۡ سُوۡرَۃٌ نَّظَرَ بَعۡضُہُمۡ اِلٰی بَعۡضٍ ؕ ہَلۡ یَرٰىکُمۡ مِّنۡ اَحَدٍ ثُمَّ انۡصَرَفُوۡا ؕ صَرَفَ اللّٰہُ قُلُوۡبَہُمۡ بِاَنَّہُمۡ قَوۡمٌ لَّا یَفۡقَہُوۡنَ ﴿۱۲۷﴾

Believers! [Come out now after these warnings and as has been directed earlier] wage war with the disbelievers around you[76]and let them find sternness in you.[77]You should know that God is with those who are conscious of their limits.[78][Alas! How will they come out? Such is their situation that] when a surah is revealed, there are some among them who ask: "Whose faith among you has it increased?"[79]So, those who have actually believed,[80]it has increased their faith and they are receiving glad tidings from it. As for those who have the ailment [of hypocrisy] in them,] then it increased their filth with another filth and they remained disbelievers till their death.[81]Do they not see that every year they are put through trials once or twice[82]and even then they do not repent or take heed.[83]And when a surah is revealed [for the preparation of a new campaign,] they gaze at one another that is there anyone who is watching? Then they run away. God [in accordance with His law] has turned their hearts away because these are people who do not understand.[84](123-127)

لَقَدۡ جَآءَکُمۡ رَسُوۡلٌ مِّنۡ اَنۡفُسِکُمۡ عَزِیۡزٌ عَلَیۡہِ مَا عَنِتُّمۡ حَرِیۡصٌ عَلَیۡکُمۡ بِالۡمُؤۡمِنِیۡنَ رَءُوۡفٌ رَّحِیۡمٌ ﴿۱۲۸﴾ فَاِنۡ تَوَلَّوۡا فَقُلۡ حَسۡبِیَ اللّٰہُ ۫٭ۖ لَاۤ اِلٰہَ اِلَّا ہُوَ ؕ عَلَیۡہِ تَوَکَّلۡتُ وَ ہُوَ رَبُّ الۡعَرۡشِ الۡعَظِیۡمِ ﴿۱۲۹﴾

[O People!] There has come to you a Messenger from among yourselves.[85]It weighs down heavily on him if you suffer loss. He is very desirous of your betterment, very benevolent and ever-merciful for the believers[86]– even then if they still turn away [O Prophet!] say: "God is sufficient for me."[87]There is no deity except Him. I have trusted Him and He is the Lord of the glorious throne. (128-129)

Kuala Lumpur

23 July 2011

[48]. These people were not hypocrites yet were definitely inflicted with weaknesses. Thus at the instance of Tabuk too they showed weakness. However, as soon as they realized their mistake, they were very ashamed and instead of making excuses, they truthfully accepted their mistake. It is stated in some narratives that some people tied themselves to columns of the Prophet's mosque and said that they would neither eat nor sleep unless they were forgiven by God and His messenger. (Ibn Kathir, Tafsir al-Qur'an al-'Aẓim, vol. 2, 505). They are given glad tidings that if they continue to do good deeds, hopefully God will accept their repentance. The reward and punishment of the Hereafter can also be understood from this. Thus it is such type of people about whom it can be expected that they will be forgiven there too without being punished.

[49]. This refers to the charity they will now give to atone for their sins. It is evident from this that the most effective thing for repentance and self-purifcation is spending for the cause of God.

[50]. Two words are used in the verse: taṭhir and tazkiyah. Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi writes:

... It is evident from the usage of these two words in the Qur'an that taṭhir refers to cleansing someone of outward and inward filth while tazkiyah in addition to this meaning also refers to developing the potential and abilities of people to adorn them with high moral conduct. (Amin Ahsan Islahi,Tadabbur-i Qur'an, vol. 3, 639)

[51]. It was stated earlier that neither will the charity of the hypocrites be accepted nor will God's messenger seek repentance from them. In fact, if any of them dies, he will not even offer the funeral prayer for them. Here, on the contrary, it is directed that all these doors of blessings and mercy should be opened for these people who have acknowledged their mistakes.

[52]. The previous verses addressed the Prophet (sws). Now in these people are directly addressed and urged to repent and to spend for the cause of God as a condition of this repentance.

[53]. It is evident from verse 118 ahead that they were three people. Narratives record their names as Ka'b ibn Malik, Hilal ibn Umayyah and Murarah ibn Rabi'. They had whole-heartedly confessed the cowardice they had shown in Tabuk. Yet God, on the basis of His knowledge and wisdom had deferred their matter and stated that time will tell whether they should be punished or forgiven. It is quite evident from this that they were still facing God's anger and He was not pleased with them. In all probability, the reason for this was that such weakness could not be expected from people of their stature. At the same time, they had also not fully realized their mistake to the extent that befitted them. Thus the matter was deferred for their cleansing and purification.

[54].The predicate (khabar) of this sentence has been suppressed. The sentence beginning from وَلَيَحْلِفُنَّ is coordinated to it. Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi writes:

This is a mention of the most mischievous group of the hypocrites. One of their tricks is referred to here. At that time, there existed two mosques. One of them was the Qaba' mosque in the suburbs of Madinah and the other was the Nabawi mosque within Madinah. Yet these hypocrites built a separate mosque solely for the purpose of spreading disorder and playing mischief. They wanted to make available for themsevles a safe haven in which they could sit and conspire against Islam and the Muslims. However, they called that place a mosque so that they could impose the awe of their religiosity on the Prophet (sws) and the Muslims and also fulfill their objectives. In order to make it acceptable and holy to the Muslims, they also tried that the Prophet (sws) should lead the prayer just once so that it earned the same respect in the eyes of the people as that of the Qaba' mosque. However, the Prophet (sws) understood their evil intention and postponed it. Then when these verses were revealed about it, he had it razed to the ground, let alone pray in it. (Ibn Kathir, Tafsir al-Qur'an al-'Aẓim, vol. 2, 436). (Amin Ahsan Islahi,Tadabbur-i Qur'an, vol. 3, 641)

[55]. The implication of their words was that they only wanted that a place be built for remembering God and Muslims who were deprived of the reward of the congregational prayer because of dark nights or cold or rain while living afar were afforded this opportunity.

[56]. The actual word is أَحَقُّ. However, it is evident from the occasion and context that it occurs without any comparison. In the Arabic language, the form أَفْعَلْ is used in this way.

[57]. The style of the sentence shows that it refers to the Qaba' mosque. It is evident from narratives that this mosque was built for the very purpose of countering the Ḍarar mosque. (Ibn Kathir, Tafsir al-Qur'an al-'Aẓim, vol. 2, 509)

[58]. Deliberation shows that while this verse praises those who offer the prayer in the Qaba' mosque, it censures the miscreants of the Ḍarar mosque: their inner and other selves are incriminated with filth and God is very displeased with such people.

[59]. Ie., will not show them the path of the destination that has been prescribed for the believers in the Hereafter.

[60]. This is a hyperbolic expression of impossibility. It is like saying that this stain in the cloth will go only when the cloth is gone into extinction. In a similar way, it is said that only when their hearts are crushed to pieces will this building in their hearts be razed to ground.

[61]. The essence of Islam is this deal of sale. However, here it is referred to because in the presence of God's messenger the greatest requisite of this deal is that those who believe in him become a means of God's punishment on those who disbelieve in him and slay them even if as a consequence some of them have to lay down their lives for this. Earlier people were mentioned whose real reason for hypocrisy was abstaining from giving up their lives and wealth for the cause of God. It is thus clarified here that at this time the greatest requisite of the pledge that is made at the hands of the Prophet (sws) is waging war for the cause of God.

[62]. Ie., the promise of Paradise in return for sacrificing life and wealth. In the Gospel the words "Kingdom of Heaven" are used for this. The kingdom which is gained in this world after pledging a covenant at the hands of God's messenger is its prelude. The translators of the Torah have interpreted it to mean a country in which milk and honey flows. The reference is to Palestine which they intended to own in this world.

[63]. The inchoative (mubtada') is suppressed here. The actual construction would be: هُمْ التَّائِبُوْن. Here the attributes which every true believer should have so that he is able to decide the requisites of faith and the attitude which is regarded as disbelief and hypocrisy are explained to the hypocrites. Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi writes:

Of the various components of the character of believers that are mentioned here, the first one is penitence. It means "turning to God." The first step that a person should take in worshipping and obeying God is that instead of wandering about in satanic ways he turns to his Lord and shows determination in treading the straight path. It is this penitence that gets hold of him in every task. Whenever he deviates from the straight path, it is penitence that comes to his rescue and sets him back on the straight path.

After penitence, worship is mentioned. It is the greatest right of God imposed on the person who turns towards God. And since there is no one else except God Who has this right, hence no one else should have a share in this worship nor in obedience because obedience is a natural requisite of worship. After worship, gratitude is mentioned because it is the essence of all forms of worship. This is precisely why rituals like the prayer and the zakah ... are manifestations of gratitude to God and an acknowledgement of His favours. If the sentiments of gratitude and acknowledgement of favours are not deeply engendered in a person, he is not able to befittingly worship God nor is His worship braced with its true spirit.

After this exertion is mentioned ... It is a comprehensive expression of all efforts, exercises and struggles which a person undertakes to reform his inner and outer self, to understand and teach religion and to disseminate and spread it with fervour and altruism and for whose cause he sacrifices the pleasures and comforts of his life without any hesitation.

After that, the prayer is mentioned. The expression used to refer to it is الرّٰکِعُوۡنَ السّٰجِدُوۡنَ. Wherever the prayer is mentioned in this manner in the Qur'an, it does not merely refer to the obligatory prayer. It also alludes to the ones offered in seclusion. It is these prayers which protect all the attributes mentioned earlier and it is they who enliven and nurture the exertion for the cause of God called sayahah by the Qur'an.

After this forbidding from evil and urging towards virtue is mentioned. The attributes stated earlier refer to individual reform. Now the collective conduct of people is clarified: they enjoin virtue and forbid vice. They are not unconcerned with the right and wrong of others and in fact have great concern in them to reform others and according to their capacity try to set right wrongs.

At the end, the bounds of God are mentioned. This in fact is an expression of piety. This is a reference to an attribute which is the most comprehensive: in other words, these people remain very vigilant in every phase of life to abide by the bounds set by God and not to cross them. Neither do they themsleves dare to break any limit nor, as far as they are can, permit others to do so. (Amin Ahsan Islahi,Tadabbur-i Qur'an, vol. 3, 647)

[64]. The co-ordinated clause of this sentence is suppressed and has been revealed in the translation.

[65]. This is the sixth and last episode of this surah. It was revealed sometime in Madinah after the Prophet's return from Tabuk.

[66]. This directive relates to the phase in which people refuse to accept faith even after God's messenger has conclusively communicated the truth to them and also announced his acquittal from them. The supplications of God's messenger and his companions are a guarantee for the refuge and security of the ummah. In this phase of reward and punishment it was essential that they be divested of this refuge so that they are ready to face the punishment that has become destined for them. Moreover, these supplications were also against honour and support for the truth. This is because once it has been told that these people have become worthy of Hell any supplication of forgiveness on the basis of blood relations will only mean that the honour for such relations has prevailed on the honour for the truth. However, after the passing away of Muhammad (sws) there is no further possibility of such conslusive communication of the truth and declaration of acquittal. Thus there is nothing wrong if the following words of Jesus (sws) are used to pray for the forgivenss of a person guilty of polytheism and disbelief: اِنۡ تُعَذِّبۡہُمۡ فَاِنَّہُمۡ عِبَادُکَ وَ اِنۡ تَغۡفِرۡ لَہُمۡ فَاِنَّکَ اَنۡتَ الۡعَزِیۡزُ الۡحَکِیۡمُ. (118:5)(if You punish them, they are your servants, and if You forgive them, You only are Mighty and very Wise, (5:118)).

[67]. It is evident from this what extraordinary importance promises have.

[68]. This is an expression of God's likeness for Abraham's kind hearted and gentle disposition for his father. Yet when it became evident that his father is in fact God's enemy, he sternly declared his acquittal from his father. Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi writes:

... Since God likes a person to be hard-hearted as well as soft-hearted in God's love, both these aspects have been made evident by Abraham about his heart. It is precisely this example for those who want to serve religion. Unless they have a caring and affectionate heart, it is useless for them to take up the responsibility of reforming the masses and unless they have an iron will and tremendous perseverance they will be absolutely useless for their religion. (Amin Ahsan Islahi,Tadabbur-i Qur'an, vol. 3, 655)

[69]. Muslims are warned here that after guiding them to the right path God has informed them of the dangers which they can face. If they pray for the forgiveness of their kindred who have beed declared by God as His enemies, then this can become a means of trial for their faith. Thus they are clearly told that this is not befitting for them. In the succeeding verses, Muslims are reminded through God's attributes and form part of this warning. The implication is that they should be very careful. They are dealing with someone Who is the king of the heavens and the earth. He has control over life and death and has knowledge of the inner and outer selves of people. If they leave any semblance of hypocrisy about Him in their minds and hearts they may well face a great danger. Then they will find none but Him as their helper and supporter.

[70]. In this verse, the preposition of the verb تَابَ is عَلَیand it is ascribed to God. When it occurs in this manner, it encompasses the meaning of mercy and affection. The Prophet (sws) had not committed any such mistake as the ones committed by those who have been warned earlier. It was because of His graciousness and benevolence that at times he had forgiven the hypocrites whereas the Almighty wanted to expose them before punishing them and as such this attitude of the Prophet (sws) was against the scheme of God. This has been alluded to earlier. Similarly, though a very large group of the Muhajirun and the Ansar showed perseverance in the face of great adversities and hardships, a small group showed weakness at the time of Tabuk. The verse actually refers to this group by saying that some hearts had become inclined to deviation. However, these people soon realized their folly and through repentance set their hearts on the right path. This verse gave glad tidings to all that God has turned to them with affection and mercy. They have remained with the Prophet (sws) at the time of Tabuk and at all previous instances of hardship. For this reason, God has pardoned all their mistakes. Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi writes:

... These words firstly delineate the fact that real faith is that of those who have succeeded in the trials of hardship. The second thing which is evident is that this attribute of the faith of the Muhajirun and the Ansar made them worthy of God's affection and He accepted their repentance. God does not deprive His sincere and selfless servants from the urge to do good. When some weakness emanates from them, God instills in them the urge to repent after which they repent and God forgives them. God disregards only those who make claims with their tongues only but are not prepared to face any adversity. (Amin Ahsan Islahi,Tadabbur-i Qur'an, vol. 3, 657)

[71]. These people have been mentioned earlier in verse 106. It is evident from narratives that these three faced God's wrath for fifty whole days. At His behest, all Muslims socially boycotted them. Their relatives even their wives and children alienated themselves from the three. (Ibn Kathir, Tafsir al-Qur'an al-'Aẓim, vol. 2, 519). It is this situation which is portrayed by the words of the verse "the earth seemed to close in upon them for them in spite of its vastness." Their inner selves became badly affected by the nagging feeling that God and His Messenger are angry with them. As a result, they became averse to their own selves and the stage was reached when they had no place of comfort out side their selves and their hearts too lacked peace and poise. The consequence of all this was that their hearts melted and they reached that level of repentance that was needed from people of their status. Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi writes:

... The intensity with which these people were taken to task, with the same intensity did these people show urgency to turn to God thinking that when God is seizing them, they can only seek His refuge to save themselves. Two of these three totally isolated themselves in seclusion. Day and night they would cry and plead and express shame and repentance. The third would at times go out but only because he might earn the affection of God and His Messenger. (Ibn Kathir, Tafsir al-Qur'an al-'Aẓim, vol. 2, 519). Had these people any germ of hypocrisy in them, they would have sought the refuge of someone when they had been discarded by God and His Messenger. On the contrary, these people were true in faith. Hence just like a child who in fear clings even more closely to his mother when she scolds him, they ran to seek God's refuge to save themselves from His wrath. (Amin Ahsan Islahi,Tadabbur-i Qur'an, vol. 3, 659)

[72]. The actual words are: ثُمَّ تَابَ اللّهُ عَلَيْهِمْ لِيَتُوْبُوْا. The verb لِيَتُوْبُوْا occurs in its complete sense. They had already confessed to their sins. Yet after passing through these hard phases of trial their hearts melted and hence God pardoned them and blessed them with the urge to repent to such an extent that their minds and hearts were cleansed of all filth. Another fact becomes evident from these words of the Qur'an. Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi has explained it. He writes:

... Repentance basically begins from God. It is He Who creates the urge in His servants to repent. When a person repents, God again shows His affection to him and accepts his repentance. Such is the nature on which God has made a human being that if he has faith in it, his heart grieves at every sin he commits and with regret and remorse the feeling of turning to his Lord arises in him. If a person gets ready to act according to this feeling, the Almighty provides his heart and tongue with words that reflect these feelings and which are dear to Him. He then accepts these sentiments. Only those unfortunate people are deprived from it who are who have lulled their conscience to sleep and whose faith has become lifeless. Such people become heedless of God. The punishment they get for this is that God also becomes heedless of them. The anecdote of Adam and Satan mentioned in Surah al-Baqarah is a very revealing example in this regard. (Amin Ahsan Islahi,Tadabbur-i Qur'an, vol. 3, 660)

[73]. The actual word is صَادِقِيْنَ which is the opposite of مُنَافِقِيْن (hypocrites). It refers to people whose words and deeds are in complete harmony with one another. This verse urges people to fear God and to remain in the company of the truthful in order to secure themselves from the wrongs mentioned on which they have been earlier called to account. The first of these things protects a person from inside and the other helps him against Satan from the outside. Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi writes:

... If a person spends a better part of his time with disbelievers, hypocrites and the ignorant, at times even a strong willed person also is influenced by them let alone the weak ones. In a similar way, the company and affection of those who are men of faith and deeds instils the strength and will in the weak to overcome their shortcomings and they gradually are transformed into one of them.(Amin Ahsan Islahi,Tadabbur-i Qur'an, vol. 3, 660)

[74]. The actual word is مُحْسِنِيْنَ. It alludes to the condition which is necessary for the acceptability of deeds to God. In other words, when a deed is done such that both its form and spirit are kept in consideration with full poise, every component is perfectly executed and while doing it a person thinks that he is in God's presence. The implication is that when this is how the Almighty deals with people who bear suffering for His cause, then it is also not befitting for them to give preference to their persons and to their wealth against the Prophet (sws).

[75]. This is the arrangement that has been suggested by the Almighty for the education and instruction of those who because of living far off were not able to directly benefit from the company of the Prophet (sws). It is obvious that such an arrangement should be in place as well after he passes away. Thus it is stated that this was not possible for all Muslims but a few from every group among them should certainly go out to obtain religious knowledge and try to save their people from God's grasp in the Hereafter by warning them of this consequence. Deliberation shows that this is exactly the same task as is undertaken by prophets and messengers of God. It is evident from this that the responsibility of inviting others to the truth and warning them on evading it that was imposed on the Prophet (sws) was transferred to the scholars of this ummah and after the termination of the institution of prophethood, it is they who must carry out this responsibility till the Day of Judgement.

[76]. Though the nature of address in the verses is general, they are in fact directed to those hypocrites who because of their friendships, familial ties and business relations were not prepared to launch any offensive against those about whom this surah had directed them to wage war. The Almighty has stated that every person has to fight those who live nearby and in some capacity or the other belong to him. It is this attitude which is the real test of a person's faith and sincerity. It may be kept in mind that in the incident of calf-worship too the Israelites were punished in similar way: each person was directed to kill his own kin. The word يَلُوْنَكُمْ in the verse actually points to this very condition.

[77]. Ie., they should feel that Muslims do not have any friendship, attachment and affection left for them. It is precisely this requisite of the phase of reward and punishment considering which Muslims are directed to sever ties. It does not relate to those who are still addressees in the phase of preaching.

[78]. These are glad tidings of victory and divine help and are always given with the condition that people must abide by the limits prescribed by God and even in times of warfare do not exceed them.

[79]. This is a sarcastic remark. Their purpose was to belittle the directives of God and to discourage those who were ready to hear these directives and to obey them with full sincerity.

[80]. The actual words are: فَاَمَّا الَّذِيْنَ آمَنُوا. The verb used in them occurs in its complete meaning and has been translated thus.

[81]. This is not merely a metaphor, but in fact a reality. Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi writes:

... Each directive of the Qur'an opens up a sphere of competition for the Muslims and when they win in this sphere their faith feels encouraged and determined to win in other spheres till finally they gradually reach the highest point of honour. On the other hand, the hypocrites bear one deprivation after another and one defeat after another and ultimately become totally devoid of any speck of faith and resolve. Layers of hypocrisy envelop their hearts to the extent that all the abilities which God has blessed them with at birth are trampled beneath and die away. (Amin Ahsan Islahi,Tadabbur-i Qur'an, vol. 3, 665)

[82]. This is part of the law of trials which is mentioned in the Qur'an with regard to the direct addressees of God's messengers. Such trials are faced by other people as well from time to time to remind and warn them yet it is not necessary that every person faces them and that too each year.

[83]. Ie., neither is their intellect awakened so that they can be reminded nor do their hearts melt so that they may turn towards God.

[84]. Ie., the law that God has prescribed for guiding people.

[85]. Attention is directed here to God's great favour to all mankind in general and the Arabs in particular in sending Muhammad (sws) for their guidance. The address is directed to the wretched who instead of showing due regard to this favour were regarding it to be a burden for themselves.

[86]. All these attributes are mentioned without a particle of conjunction. The purpose is to express their perfect congruence. The implication is that the being they are not duly giving regard is one who is very anxious and worried about his companions. He feels for them in much the same way as a father feels for his children in order to protect them from every form of hardship, sorrow and grief. He wants them to be blessed with every good fortune of life and if they adhere to faith, he is an embodiment of affection and mercy (رَءُوْفٌ رَّحِيْمٌ) for them. About these last two attributes Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi writes:

Evident in one of them is revulsion to evil and in the other blessings of goodness and permanance of mercy. Both these attributes are from among God's noble qaulities which are exactly used here for Muhammad (sws). It is evident from this that in the matter of showing affection and mercy to the creatures the noble prophet was a manifestation of divine attributes. (Amin Ahsan Islahi,Tadabbur-i Qur'an, vol. 3, 667)

[87]. Ie., if they are not being able to understand the Prophet's earnest message that the favours of this world and the next which are hidden in his call to waging jihad for the cause of God at His behest, then he should not be concerned about them. He should clearly tell them that these are not his needs and that God is sufficient for him.


Articles by this author

Sūrah Shūrā

Surah Ha Mim al-Sajdah

Surah al-Mu’min

Surah al-Zumar

Surah Saffat

Surah Yasin

Surah Saba

Surah al-Qasas

Ghamidi on Farahi

Surah Luqman

Surah Ahzab

Sūrah al-Rūm

Surah al-‘Ankabut

Surah al-Naml (2/2)

Surah al-Naml (1/2)

Surah al-Shu‘ara’ (2/2)

Surah al-Shu‘ara’ (1/2)

Surah al-Furqan

People of Paradise

Surah al-Ra‘d

People of Paradise

Surah al-Ra‘d

Indications of Islam, Faith, Virtue and the Day of Judgement

Surah al-Nur (2/2)

Surah al-Nur (1/2)

Surah Mu’minun (2/2)

Surah Mu’minun (1/2)

Surah al-Hajj (2/2)

Surah al-Hajj (1/2)

Surah al-Anbiya (2/2)

Surah al-Anbiya (1/2)

Surah Taha (3/3)

Surah Taha (2/3)

Surah Taha (1/3)

Surah Maryam (2/2)

Surah Maryam (1/2)

Surah al-Kahf (2/2)

Surah al-Kahf (1/2)

Surah Bani Isra’il (1/3)

Surah al-Nahl (2/2)

Surah al-Nahl (1/2)

Surah Ibrahim – Surah al-Hijr (2/2)

Surah Ibrahim – Surah al-Hijr (1/2)

Surah Yusuf (3/3)

Surah Yusuf (2/3)

Surah Yusuf (1/3)

Surah Hud (3/3)

Surah Hud (2/3)

Surah Hud (1/3)

Surah Yunus (2/2)

Surah Yunus (1/2)

Surah al-Tawbah (61-129) (2/2)

Surah al-Tawbah (61-129) (1/2)

Surah al-Tawbah (38-60)

Surah al-Tawbah (1-37) (2/2)

Surah al-Tawbah (1-37) (1/2)

Is Democracy Compatible with Islam?

Surah al-Anfal (41-75) (2/2)

Surah al-Anfal (41-75) (1/2)

Surah al-Anfal (31-40)

Surah Nisa’ (153-176)

Surahs Muzzammil and Muddaththir

Surah al-Anfal (1-30)

Surah al-A’raf (184-205)

Surah al-A’raf (163-183)

Islamic Punishments

Surah al-A’raf (152-162)

Surah al-A‘raf (123-153)

Surah al-A‘raf (80-122)

Surah al-A‘raf (57-79)

Surah al-A‘raf (26-56) (2/2)

Surah al-A‘raf (26-56) (1/2)

Surah al-A‘raf (1-25)

Surah An‘am (128-165) (2/2)

Surah An‘am (128-165) (1/2)

Surah An‘am (100-127)

Surah An‘am (74-99)

Surah An‘am (46-73)

Surah An‘am (25-45)

The Noble Wives of the Prophet (sws)

Surah An‘am (1-24)

Islamic Punishments

Surahs Falaq-Nas

Surahs Lahab-Ikhlas

Surahs Kafirun-Nasr

Surahs Ma‘un-Kawthar

Surah Fil – Surah Quraysh

Surah ‘Asr – Surah Humazah

Surah Qari‘ah – Surah Takathur

Surah Zilzal – Surah ‘Aadiyat


Surahs Qadr-Bayyinah

Surahs Tin – ‘Alaq

State and Government

Surahs Duha-Alam Nashrah

Surahs Shams-Layl

Islam and the State: A Counter Narrative

Surahs Fajr-Balad

The Basis of Legislation

The Shari‘ah of Preaching

Surahs A‘la - Ghashiyah

Variant Readings

Surahs Mutaffifin - Inshiqaq

Surahs Buruj – Tariq

Itmam al-Hujjah [1] of God’s Messengers

Theory of Evolution (2)

Surahs ‘Asr-Humazah

Theory of Evolution (2)

Surahs Nazi‘at-‘Abas

Surahs Mursalat-Naba

Dealings and Practices of God

Is Democracy Compatible with Islam?

Wudū and Nail Polish

Surahs Qiyamah-Dahr

Surahs Takwir - Infitar

Sūrahs Muzzammil and Muddaththir

Downfall of the Muslims

Javed Ahmad Ghamidi on Hadith

Your Questions Answered

Surahs Nuh and Jinn

Birth Control

An Interview with the Indian Media

Surahs Haqqah and Ma‘arij

Roles and Responsibilities of Muslims in the West

Surahs Mulk - Qalam

The Punishment of Intentional Murder

Hajj and ‘Umrah

Sūrahs Hashr – Mumtahinah

Religious Extremism

Sūrahs Hadīd – Mujādalah

The Right to make a Will

Talks of the Prophet Muhammad (sws)

Surah Waqi‘ah

The General and the Specific

Sūrah Qamar and Sūrah Rahmān

Surah Tur and Surah Najm

Inheritance of an Orphaned Grandchild

The Sharī‘ah of Preaching

The Source of Religion

Sūrah Mā’idah (90-120)

The Prayer

Sūrahs Qāf and Dhāriyāt (Part 2/2)

Sūrahs Qāf and Dhāriyāt (Part 1/2)

Sūrah Mā’idah (32-63) part (1/2)

Sūrah Mā’idah (32-63) part (2/2)

Dealings and Practices of God

Age of ‘Ā’ishah (rta) at her Marriage

Sūrah Mā’idah (1-31) part (1/2)

Sūrah Mā’idah (1-31) part (2/2)

Sūrah Nisā’ (153-176)