Showing posts with label Video. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Video. Show all posts

Tuesday 5 May 2020

Surat At Tawbah - The Repentance: 9th Chapter of Quran (Exegesis Part III)

Sūrat At Tawba " ٱلتَّوْبَة " is the 9th surah / chapter of the Holy Qur'an with 129 ayahs with sixteen rukus / sections, part of the 10th-11th Juzʼ. This Surah is known by two names: At Tawbah and Al-Bara'at. It is called At Tawbah because it enunciates the nature of Tawbah (repentance) and mentions the conditions of its acceptance.(verses 102. 118). The second name Bara'at (Release) is taken from the first word of the Surah.

As mentioned in the Overview of the Sürah, the exegesis of the Sürah has been divided into three parts as per the three discourses so discussed in it. We now present the Part III: The Third Discourse (verses 73-129) which was revealed on the return of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) from the Campaign of Tabuk. There are some pieces in this discourse that were sent down on different occasions during the same period and were afterwards consolidated by the Holy Prophet into the Surah in accordance with inspiration from Allah. But this caused no interruption in its continuity because these dealt with the same subject and formed part of the same series of events. This discourse warns the hypocrites of their evil deeds and rebukes those Believers who had stayed behind in the Campaign of Tabuk. Then after taking them to task, Allah pardons those true Believers who had not taken part in the Jihad in the Way of Allah for one reason or the other.

Note: This is the only Sürah to which the usual formula of Bismillah is not prefixed. It was among the last of the Sürahs revealed, and though the Prophet had directed that it should follow Sürah VIII, it was not clear whether it was a separate Sürah or only a part of Sürah VIII. It is now treated as a separate Sürah, but the Bismillah is not prefixed to it as there is no warrant for supposing that the Prophet used the Bismillah before it in his recitation of the Qur'an.  Therefore the Companions did not prefix it and their successors followed them. This is a further proof of the fact that utmost care has been taken to keep the Quran intact so that it should remain in its complete and original form.

In this discourse, the Muslims have been told clearly and explicitly that they will inherit the rewards promised by Allah only if they take active part in the conflict with kufr, for that is the criterion which distinguishes true Muslims from hypocrites. Therefore true Muslims should take active part in Jihad, without minding dangers, obstacles, difficulties, temptations and the like. 

Let us now read the translation and exegesis / tafseer in English of the Part III of the Sürah. You may listen to its recitation in Arabic with English subtitles at the end.

Ruku / Section 10 [Verses 73-80]
Verses 73 - 90: This portion deals with the problems of hypocrites and lays down rules and regulations governing the treatment that should be meted out to them and points out their distinctive marks from true Muslims. 

يٰۤاَيُّهَا النَّبِىُّ جَاهِدِ الۡـكُفَّارَ وَالۡمُنٰفِقِيۡنَ وَاغۡلُظۡ عَلَيۡهِمۡ​ؕ وَ مَاۡوٰٮهُمۡ جَهَـنَّمُ​ؕ وَبِئۡسَ الۡمَصِيۡرُ‏ 
( 73 )   O Prophet, fight against the disbelievers and the hypocrites and be harsh upon them. And their refuge is Hell, and wretched is the destination.
From here begins the third discourse that was sent down after the expedition to Tabuk.

This command enunciated the change of policy towards the hypocrites. Up to this time, leniency was being shown to them for two reasons:
First, the Muslims had not as yet become so powerful as to take the risk of an internal conflict in addition to the one with the external enemies. 
The other reason was to give enough respite to those people who were involved in doubts and suspicions so that they could get sufficient time for attaining to faith and belief. But now the time had come for a change of policy. 
The whole of Arabia had been subdued and a bitter conflict with the external enemies was about to start; therefore it was required that these internal enemies should be crushed down so that they should not be able to conspire with the external enemies to stir up any internal danger to the Muslims. And now it had become possible to crush them. As regards to the second reason, these hypocrites had been given respite for a period of nine years to observe, to consider and test the right way, and they could have availed of it, if they had any good in them. So there was no reason why any more leniency should be shown to them. Therefore, Allah enjoined the Muslims to treat the hypocrites on one and the same level with the disbelievers and start Jihad against them, and to give up the policy of leniency they had adopted towards them and adopt a fine and stern policy instead.

In this connection, it should also be noted that this verse does not enjoin the Muslims to fight with the hypocrites. It merely meant to end the policy of leniency that had hitherto been adopted towards them. This verse enjoined that they were no more to be considered a part and parcel of the Muslim community, nor were they to be allowed to take part in the management of its affairs, nor consulted about any matter, so that they might not be able to spread the poison of hypocrisy. This changed policy required that the true believers should expose all those, who adopted a hypocritical attitude and conduct and showed in any way that they were not sincere allies to Allah, His Messenger (peace be upon him) and the true Muslims. Each and every one of such hypocrites should be openly criticized and reproved so that there should remain for them no more place of honor and trust in the Muslim society. They should be socially boycotted and kept away from the consultations of the community. Their evidence in the courts of law should be regarded as untrustworthy. The doors of offices and positions of trust should be closed against them and they should be held in contempt in the social meetings. In short, every Muslim should show by his behavior to such a one that there was no place of honor or respect or trust for a hypocrite in the Muslim society. Besides this, if any one of them was found to be guilty of treachery, there should be no connivance at his crime, nor should he be pardoned but openly tried in a court of law and should be duly punished.

This command was urgently needed at the time it came. It was obvious that in order to save the Muslim community from fall and degradation, it was essential to purge it of all the internal dangers to its solidarity. A community which nourishes hypocrites and traitors and allows the internal enemies to flourish with honor and security will inevitably be doomed to moral degradation and ultimate destruction. Hypocrisy is a plague and a hypocrite is the rat that carries and spreads its germs. Therefore to allow him the freedom of movement in the society is to expose the whole population to the danger of hypocrisy. Likewise, to give a place of honor and prestige to a hypocrite is to encourage many others in hypocrisy and treachery, for this shows that it is not sincerity, true faith, and its welfare that count in it. One may flourish and prosper in it even if one verbally professes to be a Muslim and at the same time indulges in dishonesty and treachery. The Prophet (peace be upon him) has expressed the same thing in a pithy saying. He said, “Whoso honors and respects the inventor of new practices which are un-Islamic, indeed helps to demolish the very structure of Islam.”

يَحۡلِفُوۡنَ بِاللّٰهِ مَا قَالُوۡا ؕ وَلَقَدۡ قَالُوۡا كَلِمَةَ الۡـكُفۡرِ وَكَفَرُوۡا بَعۡدَ اِسۡلَامِهِمۡ وَهَمُّوۡا بِمَا لَمۡ يَنَالُوۡا​ ۚ وَمَا نَقَمُوۡۤا اِلَّاۤ اَنۡ اَغۡنٰٮهُمُ اللّٰهُ وَرَسُوۡلُهٗ مِنۡ فَضۡلِهٖ​ ۚ فَاِنۡ يَّتُوۡبُوۡا يَكُ خَيۡرًا لَّهُمۡ​ ۚ وَاِنۡ يَّتَوَلَّوۡا يُعَذِّبۡهُمُ اللّٰهُ عَذَابًا اَلِيۡمًا ۙ فِى الدُّنۡيَا وَالۡاٰخِرَةِ​ ۚ وَمَا لَهُمۡ فِى الۡاَرۡضِ مِنۡ وَّلِىٍّ وَّلَا نَصِيۡرٍ‏ 
( 74 )   They swear by Allah that they did not say [anything against the Prophet] while they had said the word of disbelief and disbelieved after their [pretense of] Islam and planned that which they were not to attain. And they were not resentful except [for the fact] that Allah and His Messenger had enriched them of His bounty. So if they repent, it is better for them; but if they turn away, Allah will punish them with a painful punishment in this world and the Hereafter. And there will not be for them on earth any protector or helper.
We cannot say with certainty what that “word of disbelief” was which they had uttered. There are, however, traditions that mention several things of unbelief which were uttered by the hypocrites during that time. For instance, it is related that a hypocrite, while he was talking to a young Muslim, a near relative of his, said, “If all that this man, referring to the Prophet (peace be upon him), is saying be true, then we are worse than donkeys.” Another tradition relates that when, during the expedition to Tabuk, one of the she-camels of the Prophet (peace be upon him) went astray and the Muslims were moving about in search of it, a party of the hypocrites made a good deal of fun of this, saying to one another, “Just consider the prophethood of this man. He tells news of heavens but cannot tell where his she-camel is.”

This is a reference to the plots which the hypocrites had made during the Tabuk expedition. On the return journey they conspired to push the Prophet (peace be upon him) down into some ravine, while he would be passing over some hill at night. The Prophet (peace be upon him) got wind of the plot and ordered that the army should take the longer route through the valley round the hills, while he himself along with Ammar bin Yasir and Huzaifah bin- Yaman would make the short route over the hill. While they were on the way, suddenly they discovered that a dozen of the hypocrites, with covered faces, were following them. At this Huzaifah (may Allah be pleased with him) turned towards them so that he may drive away their camels but they were terrified when they saw him coming towards them and took to flight lest they should be recognized.

The other plot was to declare Abdullah bin Ubayy as king at Al-Madinah as soon as they should hear some bad news about the Muslim army, because according to their expectations, the Prophet (peace be upon him) and his faithful companions could never fare well against the armies of the great Roman Empire.

This is an insinuation to put to shame by an indirect suggestion the hypocrites of Al-Madinah. This refereed to the prosperity of Al-Madinah and its peoples, for Al- Madinah was a small town before the migration of the Prophet (peace be upon him) to it, and its two clans Aus and Khazraj did not hold any high position in regards to wealth or prestige. But within the short period of nine years or so, this small town became the capital of Arabia because of the residence of the Prophet (peace be upon him), and the sacrifices of the Ansar, the true Muslims. As a result of which, the former peasants Aus and Khazraj of Al- Madinah became the great ones of the Islamic state, and wealth began to flow into this central city on account of spoils of war and increased commercial activity. The hypocrites were rebuked in this verse that, instead of being grateful to the Prophet (peace be upon him), they showed anger and spite against him for no other reason than that he had brought forth prosperity among them.

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
The reference is to a plot made by the Prophet's enemies to kill him when he was returning from Tabuk. The plot failed. It was all the more dastardly in that some of the conspirators were among the men of Madinah who were enriched by the general prosperity that followed the peace and good government established through Islam in Madinah. Trade flourished: justice was firmly administered with an even hand. And the only return that these men could make was a return of evil for good. That was their revenge, because Islam aimed at suppressing selfishness, stood for the rights of the poorest and humblest, and judged worth by righteousness rather than by birth or position.

Ibn Kathir Explanation:
Reason behind revealing Ayah 9:74:
Al-Amawi said in his Book on Battles, "Muhammad bin Ishaq narrated that Az-Zuhri said that `Abdur-Rahman bin `Abdullah bin Ka`b bin Malik narrated from his father, from his grandfather that he said, `Among the hypocrites who lagged behind ﴿from battle﴾ and concerning whom the Qur'an was revealed, was Al-Julas bin Suwayd bin As-Samit, who was married to the mother of `Umayr bin Sa`d. `Umayr was under the care of Al-Julas. When the Qur'an was revealed about the hypocrites, exposing their practices, Al-Julas said, `By Allah! If this man (Muhammad) is saying the truth, then we are worse than donkeys.' `Umayr bin Sa`d heard him and said, `By Allah, O Julas! You are the dearest person to me, has the most favor on me and I would hate that harm should touch you, more than I do concerning anyone else! You have uttered a statement that if I exposed, will expose you, but if I hide, it will destroy me. One of them is a lesser evil than the other.' So `Umayr went to the Messenger of Allah and told him what Al-Julas said. On realizing this, Al-Julas went to the Prophet and swore by Allah that he did not say what `Umayr bin Sa`d conveyed he said. `He lied on me,' 
Al-Julas said. Allah sent in his case this verse: (They swear by Allah that they said nothing (bad), but really they said the word of disbelief, and they disbelieved after accepting Islam) until the end of Ayah. The Messenger of Allah conveyed this Ayah to Al-Julas, who, they claim, repented and his repentance was sincere, prompting him to refrain from hypocrisy.'''

Imam Abu Ja`far Ibn Jarir recorded that Ibn `Abbas said, "The Messenger of Allah was sitting under the shade of a tree when he said: (A man will now come and will look to you through the eyes of a devil. When he comes, do not talk to him.)' A man who looked as if he was blue (so dark) came and the Messenger of Allah summoned him and said: (Why do you curse me, you and your companions) That man went and brought his friends and they swore by Allah that they did nothing of the sort, and the Prophet pardoned them.

Allah, the Exalted and Most Honored revealed this verse: (and they resolved that which they were unable to carry out) It was said that this Ayah was revealed about Al-Julas bin Suwayd, who tried to kill his wife's son when he said he would inform the Messenger of Allah ﴿about Al-Julas' statement we mentioned earlier﴾. It was also said that it was revealed in the case of `Abdullah bin Ubayy who plotted to kill the Messenger of Allah . As-Suddi said, "This verse was revealed about some men who wanted to crown `Abdullah bin Ubayy even if the Messenger of Allah did not agree. ,It was reported that some hypocrites plotted to kill the Prophet , while he was at the battle of Tabuk, riding one night. They were a group of more than ten men. Ad-Dahhak said, "This Ayah was revealed about them.'' In his book, Dala'il An-Nubuwah, Al-Hafiz Abu Bakr Al-Bayhaqi recorded that Hudhayfah bin Al-Yaman said, "I was holding the bridle of the Messenger's camel while `Ammar was leading it, or vise versa. When we reached Al-`Aqabah, twelve riders intercepted the Prophet . When I alerted the Messenger , he shouted at them and they all ran away.

The Messenger of Allah asked us: (Did you know who they were) We said, `No, O Allah's Messenger! They had masks However, we know their horses.' He said: (They are the hypocrites until the Day of Resurrection. Do you know what they intended) We said, `No.' He said: (They wanted to mingle with the Messenger of Allah and throw him from the `Aqabah (to the valley).)

We said, `O Allah's Messenger! Should you ask their tribes to send the head of each one of them to you' He said:(No, for I hate that the Arabs should say that Muhammad used some people in fighting and when Allah gave him victory with their help, he commanded that they be killed.) He then said, (O Allah! Throw the Dubaylah at them.)

We asked, `What is the Dubaylah, O Allah's Messenger' He said: (A missile of fire that falls on the heart of one of them and brings about his demise.)'' Abu At-Tufayl said, "Once, there was a dispute between Hudhayfah and another man, who asked him, `I ask you by Allah, how many were the Companions of Al-`Aqabah' The people said to Hudhayfah, `Tell him, for he asked you.' Hudhayfah said, `We were told that they were fourteen men, unless you were one of them, then the number is fifteen! I testify by Allah that twelve of them are at war with Allah and His Messenger in this life and when the witness comes forth for witness. Three of them were pardoned, for they said, `We did not hear the person whom the Messenger sent to announce something, and we did not know what the people had plotted,' for the Prophet had been walking when he said:  (Water is scarce, so none among you should reach it before me.) When he found that some people had reached it before him, he cursed them.''' `

Ammar bin Yasir narrated in a Hadith collected by Muslim, that Hudhayfah said to him that the Prophet said: (Among my Companions are twelve hypocrites who will never enter Paradise or find its scent, until the camel enters the thread of the needle. Eight of them will be struck by the Dubaylah, which is a missile made of fire that appears between their shoulders and pierces their chest.) This is why Hudhayfah was called the holder of the secret, for he knew who these hypocrites were, since the Messenger of Allah gave their names to him and none else.

Allah said next: (and they could not find any cause to do so except that Allah and His Messenger had enriched them of His bounty.)
This Ayah means, the Messenger did not commit an error against them, other than that Allah has enriched them on account of the Prophet's blessed and honorable mission! And had Allah guided them to what the Prophet came with, they would have experienced its delight completely. 
The Prophet once said to the Ansar: (Have I not found you misguided and Allah guided you through me, divided and Allah united you through me, and poor and Allah enriched you through me) Whenever the Messenger asked them a question, they replied, "Allah and His Messenger have granted the favor.'' This type of statement, (And they had no fault except that they believed in Allah...), is uttered when there is no wrong committed. Allah called the hypocrites to repent, (If then they repent, it will be better for them, but if they turn away; Allah will punish them with a painful torment in this worldly life and in the Hereafter.) The Ayah says, if they persist on their ways, Allah will inflict a painful torment on them in this life, by killing, sadness and depression, and in the Hereafter with torment, punishment, disgrace and humiliation, (And there is none for them on earth as a protector or a helper.) who will bring happiness to them, aid them, bring about benefit or fend off harm.

وَمِنۡهُمۡ مَّنۡ عَاهَدَ اللّٰهَ لَـئِنۡ اٰتٰٮنَا مِنۡ فَضۡلِهٖ لَـنَصَّدَّقَنَّ وَلَنَكُوۡنَنَّ مِنَ الصّٰلِحِيۡنَ‏ 
( 75 )   And among them are those who made a covenant with Allah, [saying], "If He should give us from His bounty, we will surely spend in charity, and we will surely be among the righteous."
فَلَمَّاۤ اٰتٰٮهُمۡ مِّنۡ فَضۡلِهٖ بَخِلُوۡا بِهٖ وَتَوَلَّوْا وَّهُمۡ مُّعۡرِضُوۡنَ‏   
( 76 )   But when He gave them from His bounty, they were stingy with it and turned away while they refused.
 This is an instance of their ingratitude for which the hypocrites were rebuked in Ayat 74.

They broke their covenant with Allah which enjoined them to spend money in charity, if Allah enriched them by His bounty. This shows that they were confirmed criminals and they did not care in the least for the agreements they made, and were niggardly and had no moral code to observe.

فَاَعۡقَبَهُمۡ نِفَاقًا فِىۡ قُلُوۡبِهِمۡ اِلٰى يَوۡمِ يَلۡقَوۡنَهٗ بِمَاۤ اَخۡلَفُوا اللّٰهَ مَا وَعَدُوۡهُ وَبِمَا كَانُوۡا يَكۡذِبُوۡنَ‏ 
( 77 )   So He penalized them with hypocrisy in their hearts until the Day they will meet Him - because they failed Allah in what they promised Him and because they [habitually] used to lie.
Yusuf Ali Explanation:
If men are false to their covenants and words, the natural consequence will be hypocrisy to cover their falsehood. Such consequences will last till the Day of Judgment, when they will have to account for their deeds. They may think that they are deceiving men by their hypocrisy, but they cannot deceive Allah, to Whom all their most secret thoughts and plots and doings are known.

اَلَمۡ يَعۡلَمُوۡۤا اَنَّ اللّٰهَ يَعۡلَمُ سِرَّهُمۡ وَنَجۡوٰٮهُمۡ وَاَنَّ اللّٰهَ عَلَّامُ الۡغُيُوۡبِ​ ۚ‏  
( 78 )   Did they not know that Allah knows their secrets and their private conversations and that Allah is the Knower of the unseen?
 اَلَّذِيۡنَ يَلۡمِزُوۡنَ الۡمُطَّوِّعِيۡنَ مِنَ الۡمُؤۡمِنِيۡنَ فِى الصَّدَقٰتِ وَالَّذِيۡنَ لَا يَجِدُوۡنَ اِلَّا جُهۡدَهُمۡ فَيَسۡخَرُوۡنَ مِنۡهُمۡؕ سَخِرَ اللّٰهُ مِنۡهُمۡ وَلَهُمۡ عَذَابٌ اَلِيۡمٌ‏ 
( 79 )   Those who criticize the contributors among the believers concerning [their] charities and [criticize] the ones who find nothing [to spend] except their effort, so they ridicule them - Allah will ridicule them, and they will have a painful punishment.
This refers to the mean conduct which the hypocrites evinced on the occasion of the appeal of the Prophet (peace be upon him) for contributions towards the Tabuk expedition. The well-to-do hypocrites did not themselves make any contributions, but when the sincere Muslims came forward with generous contributions according to their means, they began to deride them. If a well-to-do Muslim made a handsome contribution, they would at once accuse him to be guilty of a showoff. On the other hand, if a poor Muslim contributed a paltry sum which he could hardly spare after sacrificing some of the barest necessities of his family, or contributing the small earnings obtained by hard work, they would at once ridicule, saying, “Lo! Here is the farthing that will help conquer the forts of the Roman Empire!”

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
When financial help is necessary for the Cause, every Muslim contributes what he can. Those who can afford large sums are proud to bring them in of their own free-will, and those who are very poor contribute their mite or their labour. Both kinds of gifts are equally precious because of the faith and good-will behind them, and only cynics will laugh at the scantiness of the one or the lavishness of the other. Sometimes they not only laugh, but attribute wrong motives to the givers. Such conduct is here reprimanded.

اِسۡتَغۡفِرۡ لَهُمۡ اَوۡ لَا تَسۡتَغۡفِرۡ لَهُمۡؕ اِنۡ تَسۡتَغۡفِرۡ لَهُمۡ سَبۡعِيۡنَ مَرَّةً فَلَنۡ يَّغۡفِرَ اللّٰهُ لَهُمۡ​ؕ ذٰلِكَ بِاَنَّهُمۡ كَفَرُوۡا بِاللّٰهِ وَرَسُوۡلِهٖ​ؕ وَاللّٰهُ لَا يَهۡدِى الۡقَوۡمَ الۡفٰسِقِيۡنَ‏ 
( 80 )   Ask forgiveness for them, [O Muhammad], or do not ask forgiveness for them. If you should ask forgiveness for them seventy times - never will Allah forgive them. That is because they disbelieved in Allah and His Messenger, and Allah does not guide the defiantly disobedient people.
Yusuf Ali Explanation:
An awful warning for those who actively oppose the Cause of Allah. The Holy Prophet was by nature full of mercy and forgiveness. He prayed for his enemies. But in such a case even his prayers are nullified by their attitude of rejecting Allah.

Ruku / Section 11 [Verses 81-89]

فَرِحَ الۡمُخَلَّفُوۡنَ بِمَقۡعَدِهِمۡ خِلٰفَ رَسُوۡلِ اللّٰهِ وَكَرِهُوۡۤا اَنۡ يُّجَاهِدُوۡا بِاَمۡوَالِهِمۡ وَاَنۡفُسِهِمۡ فِىۡ سَبِيۡلِ اللّٰهِ وَقَالُوۡا لَا تَنۡفِرُوۡا فِى الۡحَـرِّؕ قُلۡ نَارُ جَهَـنَّمَ اَشَدُّ حَرًّا​ؕ لَوۡ كَانُوۡا يَفۡقَهُوۡنَ‏ 
( 81 )   Those who remained behind rejoiced in their staying [at home] after [the departure of] the Messenger of Allah and disliked to strive with their wealth and their lives in the cause of Allah and said, "Do not go forth in the heat." Say, "The fire of Hell is more intensive in heat" - if they would but understand.
Yusuf Ali Explanation:
The Tabuk expedition had to be undertaken hurriedly in the heat of summer, because of a threat or fear of Byzantine invasion. They marched from Madinah about the month of September or October in the solar calendar.

فَلۡيَـضۡحَكُوۡا قَلِيۡلاً وَّلۡيَبۡكُوۡا كَثِيۡرًا​ ۚ جَزَآءًۢ بِمَا كَانُوۡا يَكۡسِبُوۡنَ‏  
( 82 )   So let them laugh a little and [then] weep much as recompense for what they used to earn.
They may sneer or ridicule or rejoice now: that will be only for a little: much will they have to weep for afterwards.

فَاِنۡ رَّجَعَكَ اللّٰهُ اِلٰى طَآئِفَةٍ مِّنۡهُمۡ فَاسۡتَـاْذَنُوۡكَ لِلۡخُرُوۡجِ فَقُلْ لَّنۡ تَخۡرُجُوۡا مَعِىَ اَبَدًا وَّلَنۡ تُقَاتِلُوۡا مَعِىَ عَدُوًّا​ ؕ اِنَّكُمۡ رَضِيۡتُمۡ بِالۡقُعُوۡدِ اَوَّلَ مَرَّةٍ فَاقۡعُدُوۡا مَعَ الۡخٰلـِفِيۡنَ‏  
( 83 )   If Allah should return you to a faction of them [after the expedition] and then they ask your permission to go out [to battle], say, "You will not go out with me, ever, and you will never fight with me an enemy. Indeed, you were satisfied with sitting [at home] the first time, so sit [now] with those who stay behind."
Ibn Kathir Explanation:
(say: "Never shall you go out with me nor fight an enemy with me...'') as an admonishment and punishment for them. Allah mentioned the reason for this decision,

إِنَّكُمْ رَضِيتُمْ بِالْقُعُودِ أَوَّلَ مَرَّةٍ ("You were pleased to sit (inactive) on the first occasion...'')

Allah said in a similar Ayah,
" وَنُقَلِّبُ أَفْئِدَتَهُمْ وَأَبْصَـرَهُمْ كَمَا لَمْ يُؤْمِنُواْ بِهِ أَوَّلَ مَرَّةٍ " (And We shall turn their hearts and their eyes away (from guidance), as they refused to believe therein for the first time. ) [6:110] 
The recompense of an evil deed includes being directed to follow it with another evil deed, while the reward of a good deed includes being directed to another good deed after it. For instance, Allah said concerning the `Umrah of Hudaybiyyah,

"سَيَقُولُ الْمُخَلَّفُونَ إِذَا انطَلَقْتُمْ إِلَى مَغَانِمَ لِتَأْخُذُوهَا" (Those who lagged behind will say, when you set forth to take the spoils.)[48:15]

Allah said next, " فَاقْعُدُواْ مَعَ الْخَـلِفِينَ " ("...then you sit (now) with those who lag behind.'') in reference to the men who lagged behind from ﴿Tabuk﴾ battle.

 وَلَا تُصَلِّ عَلٰٓى اَحَدٍ مِّنۡهُمۡ مَّاتَ اَبَدًا وَّلَا تَقُمۡ عَلٰى قَبۡرِهٖ ؕ اِنَّهُمۡ كَفَرُوۡا بِاللّٰهِ وَرَسُوۡلِهٖ وَمَاتُوۡا وَهُمۡ فٰسِقُوۡنَ‏
( 84 )   And do not pray [the funeral prayer, O Muhammad], over any of them who has died - ever - or stand at his grave. Indeed, they disbelieved in Allah and His Messenger and died while they were defiantly disobedient.
This verse was sent down to prevent the Prophet (peace be upon him) from saying funeral prayers for Abdullah bin Ubayy, the ringleader of the hypocrites, who died a short while after the Tabuk expedition. His son Abdullah who was a sincere Muslim called on the Prophet (peace be upon him) and requested him to give his shirt for his father’s shroud. The Prophet (peace be upon him) very generously granted his request. Then he begged the Prophet (peace be upon him) to lead his father’s funeral prayer. The Prophet (peace be upon him) agreed to this also but Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) very respectfully requested him repeatedly not to do so, saying, “O Prophet of Allah! will you say funeral prayer for a person who was guilty of such and such crimes and sins.” The Prophet (peace be upon him), who was a blessing both for friends and for foes, got ready to say funeral prayer even for that man who was a deadly enemy of Islam. At last when he stood up to lead the funeral prayer, this verse was sent down to prevent him from this by a direct command from God, in accordance with the changed policy declared in Ayat 73 which forbade to do anything that might encourage the hypocrites among the Muslims.

The above incident led to the formulation of the regulation that the leaders and prominent people from among the Muslims should neither lead, nor offer the funeral prayers of the sinners against Islam, or for those notorious for their disobedience to Islam. After this, whenever a request was made to the Prophet (peace be upon him) for a funeral prayer, he would first inquire about the conduct of the deceased person. If he came to know that he was a bad person, he would say to his people, “You may perform his burial just as you like”.

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
On the death of a Muslim, it is the pious duty of every neighbouring Muslim who can, to assist in the simple funeral ceremonies,-the prayer for mercy before the body is consigned to the grave, and the consignment of the body to the grave, by a simple, solemn, and dignified ritual. For those who have shown hostility to Islam, this would not be seemly and is forbidden.

Ibn Kathir Explanation:
Allah commands His Messenger to disown the hypocrites, to abstain from praying the funeral prayer when any of them dies, from standing next to his grave to seek Allah's forgiveness for him, or to invoke Allah for his benefit. This is because hypocrites disbelieved in Allah and His Messenger and died as such. This ruling applies to all those who are known to be hypocrites, even though it was revealed about the specific case of `Abdullah bin Ubayy bin Salul, the chief hypocrite. Al-Bukhari recorded that Ibn `Umar said, "When `Abdullah bin Ubayy died, his son, `Abdullah bin `Abdullah, came to the Messenger of Allah and asked him to give him his shirt to shroud his father in, and the Messenger did that. He also asked that the Prophet offer his father's funeral prayer, and Allah's Messenger stood up to offer the funeral prayer. `Umar took hold of the Prophet's robe and said, `O Allah's Messenger! Are you going to offer his funeral prayer even though your Lord has forbidden you to do so' Allah's Messenger said,

«إِنَّمَا خَيَّرَنِي اللهُ فَقَالَ:
(I have been given the choice, for Allah says:

﴿اسْتَغْفِرْ لَهُمْ أَوْ لاَ تَسْتَغْفِرْ لَهُمْ إِن تَسْتَغْفِرْ لَهُمْ سَبْعِينَ مَرَّةً فَلَن يَغْفِرَ اللَّهُ لَهُمْ﴾
(Whether you ask forgiveness for them (hypocrites), or do not ask for forgiveness for them. Even though you ask for their forgiveness seventy times, Allah will not forgive them.)

وَسَأَزِيدُهُ عَلَى السَّبْعِين»
(Verily, I will ask ﴿for forgiveness for him﴾ more than seventy times).' `Umar said, `He is a hypocrite!' So Allah's Messenger offered the funeral prayer and on that Allah revealed this Verse,

﴿وَلاَ تُصَلِّ عَلَى أَحَدٍ مِّنْهُم مَّاتَ أَبَداً وَلاَ تَقُمْ عَلَى قَبْرِهِ﴾
(And never (O Muhammad) pray (funeral prayer) for any of them (hypocrites) who dies, nor stand at his grave.)'' `Umar bin Al-Khattab narrated a similar narration. In this narration, `Umar said, "The Prophet offered his funeral prayer, walked with the funeral procession and stood on his grave until he was buried. I was amazed at my daring to talk like this to the Messenger of Allah , while Allah and His Messenger have better knowledge. By Allah, soon afterwards, these two Ayat were revealed,

﴿وَلاَ تُصَلِّ عَلَى أَحَدٍ مِّنْهُم مَّاتَ أَبَداً﴾
(And never (O Muhammad ) pray (funeral prayer) for any of them (hypocrites) who dies.) Ever since this revelation came, the Prophet never offered the funeral prayer for any hypocrite nor stood on his grave until Allah, the Exalted and Most Honored, brought death to him.'' At-Tirmidhi collected this Hadith in his Tafsir ﴿section of his Sunan﴾ and said, "Hasan Sahih''. Al-Bukhari also recorded it.

وَلَا تُعۡجِبۡكَ اَمۡوَالُهُمۡ وَاَوۡلَادُهُمۡ​ؕ اِنَّمَا يُرِيۡدُ اللّٰهُ اَنۡ يُّعَذِّبَهُمۡ بِهَا فِى الدُّنۡيَا وَتَزۡهَقَ اَنۡفُسُهُمۡ وَهُمۡ كٰفِرُوۡنَ‏ 
( 85 )   And let not their wealth and their children impress you. Allah only intends to punish them through them in this world and that their souls should depart [at death] while they are disbelievers.
Yusuf Ali Explanation:
Except for the omission of a single word ("life"), this verse repeats verse 55 above. But the repetition indicates the harmonious closing of the same argument in two aspects. In ix. 55 it occurred in connection with the reasons for refusing to receive the contributions of such persons to the expenses of an enterprise which though vital to Islam's defence was secretly opposed by such persons. Here (in ix. 85) it is a question of refusing to participate in the obsequies of such persons after their death: it is natural to omit the word "life" in this case.

وَاِذَاۤ اُنۡزِلَتۡ سُوۡرَةٌ اَنۡ اٰمِنُوۡا بِاللّٰهِ وَجَاهِدُوۡا مَعَ رَسُوۡلِهِ اسۡتَـاۡذَنَكَ اُولُوا الطَّوۡلِ مِنۡهُمۡ وَقَالُوۡا ذَرۡنَا نَكُنۡ مَّعَ الۡقٰعِدِيۡنَ‏  
( 86 )   And when a surah was revealed [enjoining them] to believe in Allah and to fight with His Messenger, those of wealth among them asked your permission [to stay back] and said, "Leave us to be with them who sit [at home]."
Ibn Kathir Explanation:
Allah chastises and admonishes those who stayed away from Jihad and refrained from performing it, even though they had the supplies, means and ability to join it. They asked the Messenger for permission to stay behind, saying,

"ذَرْنَا نَكُنْ مَّعَ الْقَـعِدِينَ" ("Leave us (behind), we would be with those who sit (at home)'') thus accepting for themselves the shame of lagging behind with women, after the army had left. If war starts, such people are the most cowardice, but when it is safe, they are the most boastful among men.

Allah described them in another Ayah:
فَإِذَا جَآءَ الْخَوْفُ رَأَيْتَهُمْ يَنظُرُونَ إِلَيْكَ تَدورُ أَعْيُنُهُمْ كَالَّذِى يُغْشَى عَلَيْهِ مِنَ الْمَوْتِ فَإِذَا ذَهَبَ الْخَوْفُ سَلَقُوكُم بِأَلْسِنَةٍ حِدَادٍ
(Then when fear comes, you will see them looking to you, their eyes revolving like (those of) one over whom hovers death; but when the fear departs, they will smite you with sharp tongues.)[33:19] their tongues direct their harsh words against you, when it is safe to do so. In battle, however, they are the most cowardice among men.
 Allah said in another Ayah:
وَيَقُولُ الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ لَوْلاَ نُزِّلَتْ سُورَةٌ فَإِذَآ أُنزِلَتْ سُورَةٌ مُّحْكَمَةٌ وَذُكِرَ فِيهَا الْقِتَالُ رَأَيْتَ الَّذِينَ فِى قُلُوبِهِمْ مَّرَضٌ يَنظُرُونَ إِلَيْكَ نَظَرَ الْمَغْشِىِّ عَلَيْهِ مِنَ الْمَوْتِ فَأَوْلَى لَهُمْ - طَاعَةٌ وَقَوْلٌ مَّعْرُوفٌ فَإِذَا عَزَمَ الاٌّمْرُ فَلَوْ صَدَقُواْ اللَّهَ لَكَانَ خَيْراً لَّهُمْ 
(Those who believe say: "Why is not a Surah sent down (for us) But when a decisive Surah (explaining and ordering things) is sent down, and fighting is mentioned therein, you will see those in whose hearts is a disease looking at you with a look of one fainting to death. But it was better for them. Obedience (to Allah) and good words (were better for them). And when the matter is resolved on, then if they had been true to Allah, it would have been better for them.) [47:20-21]

 رَضُوۡا بِاَنۡ يَّكُوۡنُوۡا مَعَ الۡخَوَالِفِ وَطُبِعَ عَلٰى قُلُوۡبِهِمۡ فَهُمۡ لَا يَفۡقَهُوۡنَ‏ 
( 87 )   They were satisfied to be with those who stay behind, and their hearts were sealed over, so they do not understand.
“They do not understand” for they deliberately and intentionally chose the shameful way of staying at home with women, when they were required to go forth for Jihad, though they were healthy, physically fit and well-to-do, and professed Islam. Therefore, according to the divine law of nature, a seal was set upon their hearts and they were bereft of those noble feelings which make one feel ashamed of adopting such a disgraceful conduct.

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
Khawalif, plural of khalifa, those (feminine) who remain behind at home when the men go to war: women. There is a stinging taunt in this, a suggestion that such men were cowards, preferring to remain behind like women when stiff work was to be done by men in defending their homes. They were not only cowards, but fools: as they did not understand their own best interests. If the enemy got the better of their brethren, they would themselves be crushed. "Their hearts are sealed": the habits of cowardice and hypocrisy which they have adopted have become their second nature.

لٰـكِنِ الرَّسُوۡلُ وَالَّذِيۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡا مَعَهٗ جَاهَدُوۡا بِاَمۡوَالِهِمۡ وَاَنۡفُسِهِمۡ​ؕ وَاُولٰۤـئِكَ لَهُمُ الۡخَيۡـرٰتُ​ وَاُولٰۤـئِكَ هُمُ الۡمُفۡلِحُوۡنَ‏  
( 88 )   But the Messenger and those who believed with him fought with their wealth and their lives. Those will have [all that is] good, and it is those who are the successful.
Yusuf Ali Explanation:
"Good things," and "prosperity," are to be understood both in the physical and in the highest spiritual sense as the next verse makes clear.

Ibn Kathir Explanation:
After Allah mentioned the sins of the hypocrites, He praised the faithful believers and described their reward in the Hereafter,
لَـكِنِ الرَّسُولُ وَالَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ مَعَهُ جَـهَدُواْ: (But the Messenger and those who believed with him strove hard and fought) until the end of these two Ayat [9:88-89]. This describes the qualities, as well as, the reward of faithful believers.

Allah said: وَأُوْلَـئِكَ لَهُمُ الْخَيْرَاتُ (Such are they for whom are the good things), in the Hereafter, in the gardens of Al-Firdaws and the high grades.

اَعَدَّ اللّٰهُ لَهُمۡ جَنّٰتٍ تَجۡرِىۡ مِنۡ تَحۡتِهَا الۡاَنۡهٰرُ خٰلِدِيۡنَ فِيۡهَا​ ؕ ذٰ لِكَ الۡـفَوۡزُ الۡعَظِيۡمُ
( 89 )   Allah has prepared for them gardens beneath which rivers flow, wherein they will abide eternally. That is the great attainment.
Yusuf Ali Explanation:
In this verse there is a reminiscence, but not an exact repetition, of verse 72 above. This balances the parallel repetition or reminiscence in verse 85 above. The symmetry of the argument is thus completed, as regards the Hypocrites of Madinah before we pass on to consider the case of the Hypocrites among the desert Bedouins in Ruku / section 12.

Ruku / Section 12 [Verses 90-99]

وَ جَآءَ الۡمُعَذِّرُوۡنَ مِنَ الۡاَعۡرَابِ لِيُؤۡذَنَ لَهُمۡ وَقَعَدَ الَّذِيۡنَ كَذَبُوا اللّٰهَ وَرَسُوۡلَهٗ​ ؕ سَيُصِيۡبُ الَّذِيۡنَ كَفَرُوۡا مِنۡهُمۡ عَذَابٌ اَ لِيۡمٌ‏ 
( 90 )   And those with excuses among the Bedouins came to be permitted [to remain], and they who had lied to Allah and His Messenger sat [at home]. There will strike those who disbelieved among them a painful punishment.
Here the word Bedouins refers to those Arabs who lived in the desert near Al-Madinah.

The hypocritical profession of Islam has been called the way of unbelief, because that profession of faith which lacks practical proof, surrender, sincerity and obedience is in fact unbelief. As such persons prefer their own interests and worldly desires to Allah and His Way, they shall be dealt with by Allah as unbelievers and rebels, even if they could not be legally treated as such in this world but were considered Muslims due to their profession of faith. This is because in the life of this world, the Islamic law treats as unbelievers only such hypocrites as are guilty of open unbelief, rebellion, treachery, or infidelity. That is why there are many cases of hypocrisy that do not come under kufr in the Islamic shariah. However, this does not mean that if one escaped the penalty according to the Islamic code, one will escape punishment according to the divine judgment also.

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
Not only had the Hypocrites a nest in Madinah, but their tactics affected some of the village or desert Bedouins, who loved war and would have followed a standard of war even if no question of Faith or a sacred Cause was involved. But some of them, though professing Islam, were frightened by the hardships of the Tabuk expedition and the prospect of meeting the trained armies of the great Roman (Byzantine) Empire. They made all sorts of lying excuses, but really their want of faith made them ineligible for being enlisted in a sacred Cause, in the terms of ix. 46-47 and ix. 53-54. Some came to make excuses: other did not even come , but sat at home, ignoring the summons.

Verses 91 - 110: This portion deals with the case of those who remained behind and did not accompany the Holy Prophet for Jihad to Tabuk. For this purpose they have been separated in different categories, that is, the disabled, the sick, the indigent, the hypocrites, the believers who realized their guilt and punished themselves before the return of the Holy Prophet from Tabuk and those who confessed their error. Their cases have been dealt with in accordance with the nature and extent of their offense. 

لَّيْسَ عَلَى الضُّعَفَاءِ وَلَا عَلَى الْمَرْضَىٰ وَلَا عَلَى الَّذِينَ لَا يَجِدُونَ مَا يُنفِقُونَ حَرَجٌ إِذَا نَصَحُوا لِلَّـهِ وَرَسُولِهِ ۚ مَا عَلَى الْمُحْسِنِينَ مِن سَبِيلٍ ۚ وَاللَّـهُ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ 
( 91 )   There is not upon the weak or upon the ill or upon those who do not find anything to spend any discomfort when they are sincere to Allah and His Messenger. There is not upon the doers of good any cause [for blame]. And Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.
This implies that even those people who are otherwise excusable because of disability, sickness or indigence will be pardoned only if they are sincerely and truly faithful to Allah and His Messenger (peace be upon him). Without this fidelity, no one shall be pardoned merely because he was sick or indigent at the time when he was called upon to go forth for Jihad. For Allah does not judge merely by appearances, and treats alike, and forgives all those who present medical certificates of their disability because of sickness, old age or some other physical defect. On the Day of Judgment, He will examine minutely the heart of each and everyone, and take into account his whole conduct, open and hidden, and will consider whether his excuse was of a faithful servant or of a traitor and rebel. It is obvious that each and every case, in spite of apparent similarity, requires a separate and different judgment. For instance, let us take the case of two men who suddenly fell ill on the eve of Jihad. One of them thanked his lucky stars for the timely disease, as if to say, “How lucky it is that I have fallen ill on the opportune moment! Otherwise, this calamity of Jihad could not have been avoided and I would have had to suffer it anyhow.” On the contrary, the other man was filled with sorrow at his illness, and he cried in anguish, “Ah, what a bad luck! I have been attacked by this sudden disease at the time when I ought to have been in the battlefield instead of lying down here in bed.” One of them made his illness not only an excuse for exemption from Jihad but also tried to dissuade others from it. On the contrary, the other one, though lying in the bed, went on urging his own dear relatives, friends, and others to go forth to Jihad; nay, he entreated even those who were attending him, saying, “Leave me in the care of the real Master, and go forth to Jihad. I am sure that the arrangements for my nursing will be made somehow. Therefore, you should not waste your precious chance for my sake but go forth and serve the right way.” But the other, who stayed at home, spent all this time in spreading discontent and bad news and in damaging war efforts and in disrupting the affairs of the families of the fighters. The other man in similar circumstances did his very best to make the home front as strong as he could. Though these two men had similar excuses for exemption, they cannot be considered as equal in the sight of Allah: the second one only may expect Allah’s pardon, and not the first man who was a traitor and rebel against Allah, though he might have had a genuine excuse for exemption.

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
Though active service in person or by contributing resources is expected in emergencies of every person who believes in the Cause, there are some who must necessarily be exempted without the least blame attaching to them. Such would be those who are weak in body on account of age, sex, infirmity, or illness. Personal service in their case is out of the question, but they could contribute towards expenses if they are able. But if they are too poor to afford even such assistance, they are excused. But in all cases the motive must be sincere, and there should be a desire to serve and do such duty as they can. With such motives people are doing good or right in whatever form they express their service: sometimes, in Milton's words, "they also serve who only stand and wait." In any case their purity of motive would get Allah's grace and forgiveness, and we must not criticize even if we thought they might have done more.

Ibn Kathir Explanation:
Legitimate Excuses for staying away from Jihad: Allah mentions here the valid excuses that permit one to stay away from fighting. He first mentions the excuses that remain with a person, the weakness in the body that disallows one from Jihad, such as blindness, limping, and so forth. He then mentions the excuses that are not permanent, such as an illness that would prevent one from fighting in the cause of Allah, or poverty that prevents preparing for Jihad.

There is no sin in these cases if they remain behind, providing that when they remain behind, they do not spread malice or try to discourage Muslims from fighting, but all the while observing good behavior in this state, just as Allah said:

"مَا عَلَى الْمُحْسِنِينَ مِن سَبِيلٍ وَاللَّهُ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ" (No means (of complaint) can there be against the doers of good. And Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.)

Al-Awza`i said, "The people went out for the Istisqa' (rain) prayer. Bilal bin Sa`d stood up, praised Allah and thanked Him then said, `O those who are present! Do you concur that wrong has been done' They said, `Yes, by Allah!' He said, `O Allah! We hear your statement:
"مَا عَلَى الْمُحْسِنِينَ مِن سَبِيلٍ" (No means (of complaint) can there be against the doers of good.) 
O Allah! We admit our errors, so forgive us and give us mercy and rain.' He then raised his hands and the people also raised their hands, and rain was sent down on them.'' Mujahid said about Allah's statement,

وَلَا عَلَى الَّذِينَ إِذَا مَا أَتَوْكَ لِتَحْمِلَهُمْ قُلْتَ لَا أَجِدُ مَا أَحْمِلُكُمْ عَلَيْهِ تَوَلَّوا وَّأَعْيُنُهُمْ تَفِيضُ مِنَ الدَّمْعِ حَزَنًا أَلَّا يَجِدُوا مَا يُنفِقُونَ  
( 92 )   Nor [is there blame] upon those who, when they came to you that you might give them mounts, you said, "I can find nothing for you to ride upon." They turned back while their eyes overflowed with tears out of grief that they could not find something to spend [for the cause of Allah].
Such people as felt a strong urge for Jihad but could not join it because of some really genuine excuse, will be counted by Allah among those who actually took part in it, even though they could not join it in person and do anything practically for it. This is because they were sincerely grieved at their absence from Jihad for no fault of theirs, just as a man of the world would be grieved if he were deprived of some lucrative business or of some high profit. Allah considers such a one as on duty, because his heart was serving in the Way of Allah, though he had been deprived of active service on account of some genuine excuse. The Prophet (peace be upon him), while returning from Tabuk, stated the same thing like this: “There are some people at Al-Madinah (at this time) who have been traveling and marching all along with you through every valley. Naturally the companions to whom he was speaking were wonder struck at this. So they asked, “While staying at Al-Madinah?” He replied, “Yes, while staying at Al- Madinah! This is because they were compelled by the circumstances to stay behind at Al-Madinah: otherwise they would certainly have accompanied you.”

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
Hamala, yahmilu, here seems to mean: to provide means of transport, viz., mounts (horses, camels, etc.) for riding, and perhaps beasts of burden for carrying equipment and baggage, suitable to the rank of those concerned. It may possibly mean other facilities for getting about, such as boots and shoes, or provisions: for an army's march depends upon all these things. Where people fight as volunteers for a cause, without an extensive war fund, those who can afford it provide such things for themselves, but those without means, yet anxious to serve, have to be left behind. Their disappointment is in proportion to their eagerness to serve.

  إِنَّمَا السَّبِيلُ عَلَى الَّذِينَ يَسْتَأْذِنُونَكَ وَهُمْ أَغْنِيَاءُ ۚ رَضُوا بِأَن يَكُونُوا مَعَ الْخَوَالِفِ وَطَبَعَ اللَّـهُ عَلَىٰ قُلُوبِهِمْ فَهُمْ لَا يَعْلَمُونَ 
( 93 )   The cause [for blame] is only upon those who ask permission of you while they are rich. They are satisfied to be with those who stay behind, and Allah has sealed over their hearts, so they do not know.
Yusuf Ali Explanation:
Cf. ix. 87, where similar phrases are used for a similar shirking of duty by towns-folk, while here we are considering the desert folk. It is not only a duty, but a precious privilege, to serve a great Cause by personal self-sacrifice. Those who shirk such an opportunity know not what they miss.

 يَعْتَذِرُونَ إِلَيْكُمْ إِذَا رَجَعْتُمْ إِلَيْهِمْ ۚ قُل لَّا تَعْتَذِرُوا لَن نُّؤْمِنَ لَكُمْ قَدْ نَبَّأَنَا اللَّـهُ مِنْ أَخْبَارِكُمْ ۚ وَسَيَرَى اللَّـهُ عَمَلَكُمْ وَرَسُولُهُ ثُمَّ تُرَدُّونَ إِلَىٰ عَالِمِ الْغَيْبِ وَالشَّهَادَةِ فَيُنَبِّئُكُم بِمَا كُنتُمْ تَعْمَلُونَ 
( 94 )   They will make excuses to you when you have returned to them. Say, "Make no excuse - never will we believe you. Allah has already informed us of your news. And Allah will observe your deeds, and [so will] His Messenger; then you will be taken back to the Knower of the unseen and the witnessed, and He will inform you of what you used to do."
Ibn Kathir Explanation:
(In the end you will be brought back to the All-Knower of the unseen and the seen, then He (Allah) will inform you of what you used to do.) Allah will inform you of your deeds, whether they were good or evil, and will recompense you for them. Allah said that the hypocrites will swear to the believers in apology, so that the believers turn away from them without admonishing them. Therefore, Allah ordered disgracing them by turning away from them, for they are, (Rijs) meaning, impure inwardly and in their creed. Their destination in the end will be Jahannam, (a recompense for that which they used to earn.) of sins and evil deeds.

 سَيَحْلِفُونَ بِاللَّـهِ لَكُمْ إِذَا انقَلَبْتُمْ إِلَيْهِمْ لِتُعْرِضُوا عَنْهُمْ ۖ فَأَعْرِضُوا عَنْهُمْ ۖ إِنَّهُمْ رِجْسٌ ۖ وَمَأْوَاهُمْ جَهَنَّمُ جَزَاءً بِمَا كَانُوا يَكْسِبُونَ  
( 95 )   They will swear by Allah to you when you return to them that you would leave them alone. So leave them alone; indeed they are evil; and their refuge is Hell as recompense for what they had been earning.
The Arabic words are of the same root but have different senses in the two sentences in which they occur. In the first sentence it means, “You may turn away from them” and forbear them and may not take them to task. In the second sentence it means, “So turn away from them” and break off all connections with them and have nothing to do with them, as if you had broken off completely with them, and they with you.

 يَحْلِفُونَ لَكُمْ لِتَرْضَوْا عَنْهُمْ ۖ فَإِن تَرْضَوْا عَنْهُمْ فَإِنَّ اللَّـهَ لَا يَرْضَىٰ عَنِ الْقَوْمِ الْفَاسِقِينَ  
( 96 )   They swear to you so that you might be satisfied with them. But if you should be satisfied with them - indeed, Allah is not satisfied with a defiantly disobedient people.
Ibn Kathir Explanation:
Allah said that if the believers forgive the hypocrites when they swear to them, (certainly Allah is not pleased with the people who are Fasiqin.) who rebel against the obedience of Allah and His Messenger . `Fisq', means, `deviation'.

  الْأَعْرَابُ أَشَدُّ كُفْرًا وَنِفَاقًا وَأَجْدَرُ أَلَّا يَعْلَمُوا حُدُودَ مَا أَنزَلَ اللَّـهُ عَلَىٰ رَسُولِهِ ۗ وَاللَّـهُ عَلِيمٌ حَكِيمٌ 
( 97 )   The Bedouins are stronger in disbelief and hypocrisy and more likely not to know the limits of what [laws] Allah has revealed to His Messenger. And Allah is Knowing and Wise.
As has already been stated earlier the “Bedouins” here refers to those rustic Arabs of the desert who had settled in the suburbs of Al-Madinah.

The background which may help one to comprehend the meanings of the verse is this. Though these people had outwardly embraced Islam, they had not done so from conviction. When they saw the rising of the organized power of Islam in Al-Madinah, they were so overawed by it that they could not ignore it. So at first they adopted the attitude of the opportunists towards the conflict between Islam and kufr. But when the power of the Islamic government spread over the major portions of Hijaz and Najd, and the power of its enemy clans began to decline, they thought it expedient to enter the fold of Islam. But there were very few among them who had sincerely accepted Islam from the conviction that it was the right way. That is why they did not make any sincere efforts to fulfill the implications of the true faith, and observe the obligatory duties imposed by Islam. On the contrary, the majority of them had accepted Islam just because it was the best policy for them. They merely desired to take advantages of being Muslims in order to gain those benefits to which they were entitled as members of the ruling party, without performing those duties which became obligatory on them by the very acceptance of Islam. Therefore they were utterly averse to saying the prescribed prayers, observing the fasting, paying the Zakat dues from their date palm gardens and their herds of cattle. Moreover, they smarted under the discipline of the Islamic state and resented being subdued by any power for the first time in history. Above all, it was against their very nature to make sacrifices of their lives and wealth in the Way of Allah, as was being demanded by Islam, for they were accustomed to fight only for plunder and spoils. That is why they always invented one excuse or the other for exemption from the restrictions and obligations that were being imposed on them. For, they had no interest in the truth or the welfare of humanity; their only concern was their camels and their goats, that is, the narrow world around their tents. As regards anything higher than these, the only thing which they could believe in was irrational reverence for those who would guarantee their worldly welfare and protect them from calamities and give them amulets to safeguard them against haram and evil, and say prayers for them as a recompense for their offerings to them. But they were not prepared to accept any faith or belief that would bring under its moral and legal discipline every aspect of their cultural, social and economic life, and demand from them the sacrifices of lives and wealth for the cause of a universal reform.

In this verse, the above mentioned mental and moral condition of the Bedouins has been described like this: "These Bedouins are more hypocritical than the urban Arabs and are more stubborn and obdurate in their denial of the truth. This is because the urban people make use of the opportunities of meeting the learned and pious people and thus learn the laws and regulations of the true way. On the other hand, in all probability, the Bedouins will learn little about the divine way, because they get few opportunities for this. Moreover, they lead lives of economic animals rather than of human beings having moral and spiritual values; therefore they do not think of higher things than their animal urges.

It should also be noted that the main cause of the subsequent storm of rebellion and apostasy during the caliphate of Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with him) two years after the revelation of these verses (97-99) was the same that has been mentioned therein.

Ibn Kathir Explanation:
The Bedouins are the Worst in Disbelief and Hypocrisy: Allah states that there are disbelievers, hypocrites and believers among the Bedouins. He also states that the disbelief and hypocrisy of the Bedouins is worse and deeper than the disbelief and hypocrisy of others. They are the most likely of being ignorant of the commandments that Allah has revealed to His Messenger . Al-A`mash narrated that Ibrahim said, "A Bedouin man sat next to Zayd bin Sawhan while he was speaking to his friends. Zayd had lost his hand during the battle of Nahawand. The bedouin man said, `By Allah! I like your speech. However, your hand causes me suspicion.' Zayd said, `Why are you suspicious because of my hand, it is the left hand ﴿that is cut﴾' The bedouin man said, `By Allah! I do not know which hand they cut off (for committing theft), is it the right or the left' Zayd bin Sawhan said, `Allah has said the truth,
(The Bedouins are the worst in disbelief and hypocrisy, and more likely to not know the limits which Allah has revealed to His Messenger.)'' 
Imam Ahmad narrated that Ibn `Abbas said that the Messenger of Allah said,
(He who lives in the desert becomes hard-hearted, he who follows the game becomes heedless, and he who associates with the rulers falls into Fitnah.) Abu Dawud, At-Tirmidhi and An-Nasa'i collected this Hadith. At-Tirmidhi said, "Hasan Gharib.'' The Prophet once had to give a Bedouin man many gifts because of what he gave him as a gift, until the Bedouin became satisfied. 
The Prophet said,
(I almost decided not to accept a gift except from someone from Quraysh, Thaqafi, the Ansar or Daws.) This is because these people lived in cities, Makkah, At- Ta'if, Al-Madinah and Yemen, and therefore, their conduct and manners are nicer than that of the hard-hearted Bedouins. 
Allah said next: (And Allah is All-Knower, All-Wise.) Allah knows those who deserve to be taught faith and knowledge, He wisely distributes knowledge or ignorance, faith or disbelief and hypocrisy between His servants. He is never questioned as to what He does, for He is the All-Knower, All-Wise. Allah also said that among Bedouins are those,

 وَمِنَ الْأَعْرَابِ مَن يَتَّخِذُ مَا يُنفِقُ مَغْرَمًا وَيَتَرَبَّصُ بِكُمُ الدَّوَائِرَ ۚ عَلَيْهِمْ دَائِرَةُ السَّوْءِ ۗ وَاللَّـهُ سَمِيعٌ عَلِيمٌ 
( 98 )   And among the Bedouins are some who consider what they spend as a loss and await for you turns of misfortune. Upon them will be a misfortune of evil. And Allah is Hearing and Knowing.
This means that they regarded the payment of Zakat dues as a fine and the expenditure on hospitality, an Islamic duty, a penalty. Likewise, if they had to make any contributions towards Jihad, they did so to show that they were loyal to the Islamic state and not because they wanted to please Allah by giving sincere monetary help for His cause.

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
The payments refer to the regular Charity established by Islam-the obligatory alms. If you look upon them as a fine or a burden, their virtue is lost. If you rejoice that you have there an opportunity of helping the Community to maintain its standards of public assistance and to suppress the unseemly beggary and loathsome importunity whose relief is only governed by motives of getting rid of awkward obstacles on the way, then your outlook is entirely different. You wish for organised and effective efforts to solve the problems of human poverty and misery. In doing so, you get nearer to Allah, and you earn the good wishes and prayers of godly men, led by our holy Leader Al-Mustafa.

  وَمِنَ الْأَعْرَابِ مَن يُؤْمِنُ بِاللَّـهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الْآخِرِ وَيَتَّخِذُ مَا يُنفِقُ قُرُبَاتٍ عِندَ اللَّـهِ وَصَلَوَاتِ الرَّسُولِ ۚ أَلَا إِنَّهَا قُرْبَةٌ لَّهُمْ ۚ سَيُدْخِلُهُمُ اللَّـهُ فِي رَحْمَتِهِ ۗ إِنَّ اللَّـهَ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ
( 99 )   But among the Bedouins are some who believe in Allah and the Last Day and consider what they spend as means of nearness to Allah and of [obtaining] invocations of the Messenger. Unquestionably, it is a means of nearness for them. Allah will admit them to His mercy. Indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.
Ibn Kathir Explanation:
(And of the Bedouins there are some who believe in Allah and the Last Day, and look upon what they spend (in Allah's cause) as means of nearness to Allah, and a cause of receiving the Messenger's invocations.) This is the type of praiseworthy Bedouins. They give charity in Allah's cause as way of achieving nearness to Allah and seeking the Messenger's invocation for their benefit.

(Indeed these are a means of nearness for them.) they will attain what they sought, (Allah will admit them to His mercy. Certainly Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.)

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
The Mercy of Allah is always present, as the sun is always shining. But when we have prepared ourselves to receive it, we come to the full enjoyment of it, as a man who was in a shade comes out by his effort into the open, and basks in sunshine.

Ruku / Section 13 [Verses 100-110]

وَالسَّابِقُونَ الْأَوَّلُونَ مِنَ الْمُهَاجِرِينَ وَالْأَنصَارِ وَالَّذِينَ اتَّبَعُوهُم بِإِحْسَانٍ رَّضِيَ اللَّـهُ عَنْهُمْ وَرَضُوا عَنْهُ وَأَعَدَّ لَهُمْ جَنَّاتٍ تَجْرِي تَحْتَهَا الْأَنْهَارُ خَالِدِينَ فِيهَا أَبَدًا ۚ ذَٰلِكَ الْفَوْزُ الْعَظِيمُ
( 100 )   And the first forerunners [in the faith] among the Muhajireen and the Ansar and those who followed them with good conduct - Allah is pleased with them and they are pleased with Him, and He has prepared for them gardens beneath which rivers flow, wherein they will abide forever. That is the great attainment.
Yusuf Ali Explanation:
The vanguard of Islam-those in the first rank-are those who dare and suffer for the Cause and never flinch. The first historical examples are the Muhajirs and the Ansar. The Muhajirs-those who forsook their homes in Makkah and migrated to Madinah, the Holy Prophet being among the last to leave the post of danger, are mentioned first. Then come the Ansar, the Helpers, the citizens of Madinah who invited them, welcomed them, and gave them aid, and who formed the pivot of the new Community. Then are mentioned all who follow them in good deeds: not only the early heroes and ordinary men and women who had been Companions of the Prophet or had seen him, but men and women in all ages who have lived noble lives. In spite of all their sacrifice and suffering they rejoice in the precious gift of the Good Pleasure of Allah, and their Salvation is the Supreme Felicity which such Good Pleasure gives.

Their punishment in this world was double, viz., not only in their discomfiture, but because in their obstinate ignorance, they failed to understand the accomplished facts, while cleverer men realised that their hostility to Islam was hopeless. In addition to their discomfiture in this life, they would have to meet the penalties to come.

Ibn Kathir Explanation:
Allah mentions that He is pleased foremost with the Muhajirin, Ansar and those who followed them in faith, and that they are well-pleased with Him, for He has prepared for them the gardens of delight and eternal joy.

Ash-Sha`bi said that (The foremost Muhajirin and Ansar) are those who conducted the pledge of Ar-Ridwan in the year of Hudaybiyyah. Abu Musa Al-Ash`ari, Sa`id bin Al-Musayyib, Muhammad bin Sirin, Al-Hasan and Qatadah said that they are those who performed the prayer towards the two Qiblahs with the Messenger of Allah ﴿first toward Jerusalem and later toward the Ka`bah﴾. Allah, the Most Great, stated that He is pleased foremost with the Muhajirin, the Ansar and those who followed their lead with excellence. Therefore, woe to those who dislike or curse them, or dislike or curse any of them, especially their master after the Messenger, the best and most righteous among them, the Siddiq (the great truthful one) and the grand Khalifah, Abu Bakr bin Abi Quhafah, may Allah be pleased with him. The failure group, the Rafidah (a sect of Shiites), are the enemies of the best Companions, they hate and curse them, we seek refuge with Allah from such evil. This indicates that the minds of these people are twisted and their hearts turned upside down, for where are they in relation to believing in the Qur'an They curse those whom Allah stated He is pleased with! As for the followers of the Sunnah, they are pleased with those whom Allah is pleased with, curse whomever Allah and His Messenger curse, and give their loyalty to Allah's friends and show enmity to the enemies of Allah. They are followers not innovators, imitating ﴿the Sunnah﴾ they do not initiate it on their own. They are indeed the party of Allah, the successful, and Allah's faithful servants.

 وَمِمَّنْ حَوْلَكُم مِّنَ الْأَعْرَابِ مُنَافِقُونَ ۖ وَمِنْ أَهْلِ الْمَدِينَةِ ۖ مَرَدُوا عَلَى النِّفَاقِ لَا تَعْلَمُهُمْ ۖ نَحْنُ نَعْلَمُهُمْ ۚ سَنُعَذِّبُهُم مَّرَّتَيْنِ ثُمَّ يُرَدُّونَ إِلَىٰ عَذَابٍ عَظِيمٍ 
( 101 )   And among those around you of the Bedouins are hypocrites, and [also] from the people of Madinah. They have become accustomed to hypocrisy. You, [O Muhammad], do not know them, [but] We know them. We will punish them twice [in this world]; then they will be returned to a great punishment.
 They had become so expert in the art of hiding their hypocrisy that even the Prophet (peace be upon him) could not recognize them, though he possessed immense sagacity and insight into human nature; so Allah informed him about them.

This double chastisement will be the loss of their worldly advantages and the victory of the Islamic mission in the teeth of their opposition. Thus one chastisement shall be the loss of their worldly benefits for which they practiced deceptions and adopted hypocritical attitudes, and instead of gaining wealth, honor and prestige they shall meet with disgrace and utter failure. The second chastisement will be in the shape of the victory of the Islamic mission to defeat which they exerted their utmost by their machinations and plots. But the Islamic mission will come out successful in the teeth of their evil wishes, desires, intentions and vicious efforts and they themselves shall witness its victory to their utter despair, regret, grief and sorrow.

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
Their punishment in this world was double, viz., not only in their discomfiture, but because in their obstinate ignorance, they failed to understand the accomplished facts, while cleverer men realised that their hostility to Islam was hopeless. In addition to their discomfiture in this life, they would have to meet the penalties to come.

Their punishment in this world was double, viz., not only in their discomfiture, but because in their obstinate ignorance, they failed to understand the accomplished facts, while cleverer men realised that their hostility to Islam was hopeless. In addition to their discomfiture in this life, they would have to meet the penalties to come.

Ibn Kathir Explanation:
Allah informs His Messenger, peace be upon him, that among the bedouins around Al-Madinah there are hypocrites and in Al-Madinah itself, those, (who persist in hypocrisy;) meaning they insisted on hypocrisy and continued in it Allah's statement, (you know them not, We know them), does not contradict His other statement,

(Had We willed, We could have shown them to you, and you should have known them by their marks; but surely, you will know them by the tone of their speech!)[47:30], because the latter Ayah describes them by their characteristics, not that the Messenger knows all those who have doubts and hypocrisy. The Messenger knew that some of those who associated with him from the people of Al-Madinah were hypocrites, and he used to see them day and night ﴿but did not know who they were exactly.

We mentioned before in the explanation of, (...and they resolved that (plot) which they were unable to carry out...) [9:74] that the Prophet informed Hudhayfah of the names of fourteen or fifteen hypocrites. This knowledge is specific in this case, not that the Messenger of Allah was informed of all their names, and Allah knows best. `Abdur-Razzaq narrated that Ma`mar said that Qatadah commented on this Ayah [9:101], "What is the matter with some people who claim to have knowledge about other people, saying, `So-and-so is in Paradise and so-and-so is in the Fire.' If you ask any of these people about himself, he would say, `I do not know (if I will end up in Paradise or the Fire)!' Verily, you have more knowledge of yourself than other people. You have assumed a job that even the Prophets before you refrained from assuming.

Allah's Prophet Nuh said:  (And what knowledge have I of what they used to do)[26:112]

Allah's Prophet Shu`ayb said:  (That which is left by Allah for you (after giving the rights of the people) is better for you, if you are believers. And I am not a guardian over you)[11:86], while Allah said to His Prophet, (you know them not, We know them.)''

Mujahid said about Allah's statement: (We shall punish them twice), "By killing and capture.'' In another narration he said, "By hunger and torment in the grave, (and thereafter they shall be brought back to a great (horrible) torment.)'' `Abdur-Rahman bin Zayd bin Aslam said, "The torment in this life strikes their wealth and offspring,'' and he recited this Ayah,

فَلاَ تُعْجِبْكَ أَمْوَلُهُمْ وَلاَ أَوْلَـدُهُمْ إِنَّمَا يُرِيدُ اللَّهُ لِيُعَذِّبَهُمْ بِهَا فِي الْحَيَوةِ الدُّنْيَا (So let not their wealth nor their children amaze you; Allah only wants to punish them with these things in the life of this world.) [9:55] These afflictions torment them, but will bring reward for the believers. As for the torment in the Hereafter, it is in the Fire, (and thereafter they shall be brought back to a great (horrible) torment.)

 وَآخَرُونَ اعْتَرَفُوا بِذُنُوبِهِمْ خَلَطُوا عَمَلًا صَالِحًا وَآخَرَ سَيِّئًا عَسَى اللَّـهُ أَن يَتُوبَ عَلَيْهِمْ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّـهَ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ 
( 102 )   And [there are] others who have acknowledged their sins. They had mixed a righteous deed with another that was bad. Perhaps Allah will turn to them in forgiveness. Indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.
Yusuf Ali Explanation:
There were some whose will was weak and succumbed to evil, although there was much good in them. To them is held out the promise of forgiveness if they would repent and undertake all acts of Muslim charity, which would purify their souls, aided by the prayers of Allah's Messenger. Then would they get the Peace that comes from purity and right conduct.

  خُذْ مِنْ أَمْوَالِهِمْ صَدَقَةً تُطَهِّرُهُمْ وَتُزَكِّيهِم بِهَا وَصَلِّ عَلَيْهِمْ ۖ إِنَّ صَلَاتَكَ سَكَنٌ لَّهُمْ ۗ وَاللَّـهُ سَمِيعٌ عَلِيمٌ 
( 103 )   Take, [O, Muhammad], from their wealth a charity by which you purify them and cause them increase, and invoke [Allah 's blessings] upon them. Indeed, your invocations are reassurance for them. And Allah is Hearing and Knowing.
Ibn Kathir Explanation:
Allah commanded His Messenger to take Sadaqah from the Muslims' money to purify and sanctify them with it. This Ayah is general, even though some said that it refers specifically to those who mixed good and evil deeds, who admitted to their errors.

Some Bedouin later thought that paying Zakah to the Leader was not legislated except to the Messenger himself, using this Ayah as evidence, (Take Sadaqah from their wealth.) Abu Bakr As-Siddiq and other Companions refuted this ill comprehension and fought against them until they paid the Zakah to the Khalifah, just as they used to pay it to the Messenger of Allah. As-Siddiq said, "By Allah! If they abstain from paying a bridle that they used to pay to the Messenger of Allah , I will fight them for refraining from paying it.''

Allah's statement, (and Salli for them), means, supplicate for them, and ask Allah to forgive them.

In the Sahih, Muslim recorded that `Abdullah bin Abi Awfa said, "Whenever the Prophet was brought charity, he used to invoke Allah for those who brought it. My father also brought his charity and the Prophet said, (O Allah! I invoke You for the family of Abu Awfa.)''

(Verily, your Salat are a Sakan for them), means, a mercy for them, according to Ibn `Abbas. (and Allah is All-Hearer,) of your invocation (O Muhammad), (All-Knower.) in those who deserve your invocation on their behalf, who are worthy of it. Allah said,

  أَلَمْ يَعْلَمُوا أَنَّ اللَّـهَ هُوَ يَقْبَلُ التَّوْبَةَ عَنْ عِبَادِهِ وَيَأْخُذُ الصَّدَقَاتِ وَأَنَّ اللَّـهَ هُوَ التَّوَّابُ الرَّحِيمُ 
( 104 )   Do they not know that it is Allah who accepts repentance from His servants and receives charities and that it is Allah who is the Accepting of repentance, the Merciful?
Ibn Kathir Explanation:
(Know they not that Allah accepts repentance from His servants and accepts the Sadaqat) This Ayah encourages reverting to repentance and giving charity, for each of these actions erases, deletes and eradicate sins. Allah states that He accepts the repentance of those who repent to Him, as well as charity from pure resources, for Allah accepts it with His Right Hand and raises it for its giver until even a date becomes as large as Mount Uhud.

Abu Hurayrah narrated that the Messenger of Allah said: (Verily, Allah accepts charity, receives it in His Right Hand and develops it for its giver, just as one of you raises his pony, until the bite [of food] becomes as large as Uhud.)

The Book of Allah, the Exalted and Most Honored, testifies to this Hadith, (Know they not that Allah accepts repentance from His servants and accepts the Sadaqat), and, (Allah will destroy Riba and will give increase for Sadaqat.) [2:276]

`Abdullah bin Mas`ud said, "Charity falls in Allah's Hand before it falls in the needy's hand,'' he then recited this Ayah,  (Know they not that Allah accepts repentance from His servants and accepts the Sadaqat).

  وَقُلِ اعْمَلُوا فَسَيَرَى اللَّـهُ عَمَلَكُمْ وَرَسُولُهُ وَالْمُؤْمِنُونَ ۖ وَسَتُرَدُّونَ إِلَىٰ عَالِمِ الْغَيْبِ وَالشَّهَادَةِ فَيُنَبِّئُكُم بِمَا كُنتُمْ تَعْمَلُونَ 
( 105 )   And say, "Do [as you will], for Allah will see your deeds, and [so, will] His Messenger and the believers. And you will be returned to the Knower of the unseen and the witnessed, and He will inform you of what you used to do."
In this passage a clear line of demarcation has been drawn between the hypocritical Muslims and the true Muslims, and instructions have been given regarding the treatment that should be meted out to the hypocrites. Therefore, the one who claims to be a Muslim but does not sincerely devote himself to Allah, His Way, and the Islamic community, should be severely dealt with. If there is a clear proof, from his conduct, that he lacks sincerity or if he offers anything in the Way of Allah, it should be rejected forthwith. And when he dies, the Muslims should neither join his funeral prayer nor beg God’s pardon for him, even though he be one’s father or brother. In contrast to this, if a believer is guilty of some sin and confesses it, he should be pardoned, and his offerings should be accepted and prayers should be said for his forgiveness.

As regards the criterion by which it will be judged whether one is or is not a hypocrite, though one might have been guilty of an act of insincerity, three things have been implied in this passage:
(1) A sincere follower will openly and clearly confess his sin without offering any lame excuses and giving false explanations and interpretations of his offense.
(2) It will be judged from his previous conduct whether he was a habitual offender or he committed the sin on the spur of the moment because of some weakness. If he had been behaving like a righteous Muslim and if his record showed sincere services, sacrifices and good deeds to his credit, it will be reasonably concluded that he was not a hypocrite.
(3) His future conduct will be watched to see whether his confession was verbal or there had really been a change of heart. If he sincerely feels sorry for his sins and is anxious to compensate for them and his whole conduct shows that he intends to eradicate the root cause of the weakness in his faith that misled him into the sins, it will be concluded that he sincerely feels sorry for his sins and that he was not a hypocrite but a sinful believer.
The event that is connected with the occasion on which this passage was sent down, makes this subject quite clear. It is related by the scholars of traditions that these verses were revealed in regard to Abu Lubabah bin Abdul Manzar and his companions. Abu Lubabah (may Allah be pleased with him) was one of those people who had embraced Islam on the occasion of the oath of allegiance at Aqabah before the migration of the Prophet (peace be upon him) to Al- Madinah. He had taken part in the battles of Badr, Uhd and other campaigns. But on the occasion of the Tabuk expedition, he succumbed to some inner weakness and stayed at home without any genuine and lawful excuse. The same was the case of the other six companions, who were sincere Muslims. When the Prophet (peace be upon him) returned from Tabuk and they came to know that Allah and His Messenger had a very bad opinion of those who had stayed behind, they were filled with shame and regret. Therefore they tied themselves to a pillar even before they were called upon to explain their conduct. Then they declared, “We will neither eat anything nor sleep unless we are pardoned or die in the same condition.” After some days they fell down in an unconscious condition because of hunger and sleeplessness. When at last they were informed that Allah and His Messenger had pardoned them, they went to see the Prophet (peace be upon him) and said: “We request that you accept from us as propitiatory offerings our houses and the whole of our possessions. As these were responsible for our sin of omission, we desire to give them away in the Way of Allah.” But the Prophet (peace be upon him) replied, “There is no need to give the whole of your property for only one third of it will suffice.”

A deep consideration of this event clearly brings out the kind of weaknesses that are pardonable. All of these people were not habitual offenders and defaulters. Their whole past conduct showed that they were sincere Muslims. None of them invented false explanations to excuse themselves but confessed their sins. By offering the whole of their properties as a propitiatory offerings, they proved that they were really sorry for their conduct and wanted to atone for their sins.

In this connection, another important lesson should also be learned from these verses. In order to atone for one’s sins, one should give a practical proof along with the verbal confession and heartfelt regret. One way of this is to give charity in the Way of Allah for this helps to cleanse the filth which was being nourished in the heart and which was responsible for the sins. This not only eradicates the hidden evil but also increases the capacity for good works. For the confession of one’s sin is like the feeling of one who has fallen into a pit. He at once realizes that he is in a critical situation in a pit, where he does not like to abide, and is troubled over it. Therefore he thinks out plans for getting out of it and makes practical efforts for this. Likewise the one who confesses his sins and feels ashamed of them and takes practical steps to atone for it by making offerings and doing other good works, intends to come out of the pit of sins.

“And you will be returned to the Knower,” Who is the ultimate judge of everything and from Whom nothing can be concealed. Therefore even if one succeeds in hiding one’s hypocrisy in this world or is judged to be up to the standard in one’s faith and sincerity, it does not mean in any way that such a one will succeed in escaping chastisement for hypocrisy in the Hereafter also.

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
The repentant should be encouraged, after their repentance, to amend their conduct. The kindly interest of their brethren in them will strengthen them in virtue and blot out their past. When they go back into Eternity, they will understand the healing grace which saved them, just as the evil ones will then have their eyes opened to the real truth of their spiritual degradation (ix. 94). The similar words, in verse 84 and here, clench the contrast.

Ibn Kathir Explanation:
Mujahid said that this Ayah carries a warning from Allah to those who defy His orders. Their deeds will be shown to Allah, Blessed and Most Honored, and to the Messenger and the believers. This will certainly occur on the Day of Resurrection, just as Allah said,
(That Day shall you be brought to Judgement, not a secret of you will be hidden.) [69:18],
(The Day when all the secrets will be examined.)[86:9], and,
(And that which is in the breasts (of men) shall be made known.)[100:10]
Allah might also expose some deeds to the people in this life. Al-Bukhari said that `Aishah said, "If the good deeds of a Muslim person please you, then say, (Do deeds! Allah will see your deeds, and (so will) His Messenger and the believers.)''

There is a Hadith that carries a similar meaning. Imam Ahmad recorded that Anas said that the Messenger of Allah said,
(Do not be pleased with someone's deeds until you see what his deeds in the end will be like. Verily, one might work for some time of his life with good deeds, so that if he dies while doing it, he will enter Paradise. However, he changes and commits evil deeds. one might commit evil deeds for some time in his life, so that if he dies while doing them he will enter the Fire. However, he changes and performs good deeds. If Allah wants the good of a servant He employs him before he dies.) 
He was asked, "How would Allah employ him, O Allah's Messenger'' He said, (He directs him to perform good deeds and takes his life in that condition.) Only Imam Ahmad collected this Hadith.

 وَآخَرُونَ مُرْجَوْنَ لِأَمْرِ اللَّـهِ إِمَّا يُعَذِّبُهُمْ وَإِمَّا يَتُوبُ عَلَيْهِمْ ۗ وَاللَّـهُ عَلِيمٌ حَكِيمٌ 
( 106 )   And [there are] others deferred until the command of Allah - whether He will punish them or whether He will forgive them. And Allah is Knowing and Wise.
 The case of these people had been deferred because it could not yet be legally decided whether they were sinners or hypocrites, and not because their case was doubtful in the sight of Allah. This was because the symptoms of their diseases had not as yet come to the surface to indicate clearly which of the two they were. For Islam teaches the Muslims not to pass judgment on a person or a party unless they possess definite knowledge based on conscious reasoning and not on intuition and the like to support it.

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
Three categories of men are mentioned, whose faith was tested and found wanting in the Tabuk affair, but their characteristics are perfectly general, and we may here consider them in their general aspects: (1) the deep-dyed hypocrites, who when found out make excuses because otherwise they will suffer ignominy; they are unregenerate and obstinate, and there is no hope for them (ix. 101); (2) there are those who have lapsed into evil, but are not altogether evil; they repent and amend, and are accepted (ix. 102-105); and (3) there are doubtful cases, but Allah will judge them (ix. 106). A fourth category is mentioned in ix. 107 below.

 وَالَّذِينَ اتَّخَذُوا مَسْجِدًا ضِرَارًا وَكُفْرًا وَتَفْرِيقًا بَيْنَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ وَإِرْصَادًا لِّمَنْ حَارَبَ اللَّـهَ وَرَسُولَهُ مِن قَبْلُ ۚ وَلَيَحْلِفُنَّ إِنْ أَرَدْنَا إِلَّا سْنَىٰ ۖ اللَّـهُ يَشْهَدُ إِنَّهُمْ لَكَاذِبُونَ 
( 107 )   And [there are] those [hypocrites] who took for themselves a mosque for causing harm and disbelief and division among the believers and as a station for whoever had warred against Allah and His Messenger before. And they will surely swear, "We intended only the best." And Allah testifies that indeed they are liars.
Yusuf Ali Explanation:
Three categories of Hypocrites having already been mentioned above, a fourth class of insidious evil-doers is now mentioned, whose type is illustrated in the story of the Qubaa "Mosque of mischief (dhirar)". Qubaa is a suburb of Madinah about three miles to the south-east. When the Holy Prophet arrived at Madinah for Hijrat, he rested four days in Qubaa before entering the town of Madinah. Here was built the first mosque, the "Mosque of Piety" to which he frequently came during his subsequent stay in Madinah. Taking advantage of these sacred associations, some Hypocrites of the Tribe of Bani Ganam built an opposition mosque in Qubaa, pretending to advance Islam. In reality they were in league with a notorious enemy of Islam, one Abu 'Amir, who had fought against Islam at Uhud and who was now, after the battle of Hunain (A.H. 9), in Syria: his confederates wanted a mosque for him to come to, but it would only be a source of mischief and division, and the scheme was disapproved.

Abu 'Amir, surname the Rahib (Monk), as he had been in touch with Christian monks. See last note.

Ibn Kathir Explanation:
Masjid Ad-Dirar and Masjid At-Taqwa: The reason behind revealing these honorable Ayat is that before the Messenger of Allah migrated to Al-Madinah, there was a man from Al-Khazraj called "Abu `Amir Ar-Rahib (the Monk).'' This man embraced Christianity before Islam and read the Scriptures. During the time of Jahiliyyah, Abu `Amir was known for being a worshiper and being a notable person among Al-Khazraj. When the Messenger of Allah arrived at Al-Madinah after the Hijrah, the Muslims gathered around him and the word of Islam was triumphant on the day of Badr, causing Abu `Amir, the cursed one, to choke on his own saliva and announce his enmity to Islam. He fled from Al-Madinah to the idolaters of Quraysh in Makkah to support them in the war against the Messenger of Allah . The Quraysh united their forces and the Bedouins who joined them for the battle of Uhud, during which Allah tested the Muslims, but the good end is always for the pious and righteous people. The rebellious Abu `Amir dug many holes in the ground between the two camps, into one of which the Messenger fell, injuring his face and breaking one of his right lower teeth. He also sustained a head injury. Before the fighting started, Abu `Amir approached his people among the Ansar and tried to convince them to support and agree with him. When they recognized him, they said, "May Allah never burden an eye by seeing you, O Fasiq one, O enemy of Allah!'' They cursed him and he went back declaring, "By Allah! Evil has touched my people after I left.'' The Messenger of Allah called Abu `Amir to Allah and recited the Qur'an to him before his flight to Makkah, but he refused to embrace Islam and rebelled. The Messenger invoked Allah that Abu `Amir die as an outcast in an alien land, and his invocation came true. After the battle of Uhud was finished, Abu `Amir realized that the Messenger's call was still rising and gaining momentum, so he went to Heraclius, the emperor of Rome, asking for his aid against the Prophet . Heraclius gave him promises and Abu `Amir remained with him. He also wrote to several of his people in Al-Madinah, who embraced hypocrisy, promising and insinuating to them that he will lead an army to fight the Messenger of Allah to defeat him and his call. He ordered them to establish a stronghold where he could send his emissaries and to serve as an outpost when he joins them later on. These hypocrites built a Masjid next to the Masjid in Quba', and they finished building it before the Messenger went to Tabuk. They went to the Messenger inviting him to pray in their Masjid so that it would be a proof that the Messenger approved of their Masjid. They told him that they built the Masjid for the weak and ill persons on rainy nights.

However, Allah prevented His Messenger from praying in that Masjid. He said to them: (If we come back from our travel, Allah willing.)''

When the Messenger of Allah came back from Tabuk and was approximately one or two days away from Al-Madinah, Jibril came down to him with the news about Masjid Ad-Dirar and the disbelief and division between the believers, who were in Masjid Quba' (which was built on piety from the first day), that Masjid Ad-Dirar was meant to achieve. Therefore, the Messenger of Allah sent some people to Masjid Ad-Dirar to bring it down before he reached Al-Madinah. `Ali bin Abi Talhah reported that Ibn `Abbas said about this Ayah (9:107), "They are some people of the Ansar to whom Abu `Amir said, `Build a Masjid and prepare whatever you can of power and weapons, for I am headed towards Caesar, emperor of Rome, to bring Roman soldiers with whom I will expel Muhammad and his companions.'

When they built their Masjid, they went to the Prophet and said to him, "We finished building our Masjid and we would like you pray in it and invoke Allah for us for His blessings.''Allah revealed this verse:
(Never stand you therein), Allah said next: (they will indeed swear), those who built it, (that their intention is nothing but good.) by building this Masjid we sought the good and the comfort of the people.
Allah replied:  (Allah bears witness that they are certainly liars) for they only built it to harm Masjid Quba', and out of disbelief in Allah, and to divide the believers. They made it an outpost for those who warred against Allah and His Messenger , such as Abu `Amir the Fasiq who used to be called Ar-Rahib, may Allah curse him! Never stand you therein), prohibiting His Prophet and his Ummah from ever standing in it in prayer.

  لَا تَقُمْ فِيهِ أَبَدًا ۚ لَّمَسْجِدٌ أُسِّسَ عَلَى التَّقْوَىٰ مِنْ أَوَّلِ يَوْمٍ أَحَقُّ أَن تَقُومَ فِيهِ ۚ فِيهِ رِجَالٌ يُحِبُّونَ أَن يَتَطَهَّرُوا ۚ وَاللَّـهُ يُحِبُّ الْمُطَّهِّرِينَ 
( 108 )   Do not stand [for prayer] within it - ever. A mosque founded on righteousness from the first day is more worthy for you to stand in. Within it are men who love to purify themselves; and Allah loves those who purify themselves.
“Who warred against Allah and His Messenger” was Abu Amir who belonged to the clan of Aus of Al-Madinah. He had become Christian monk during the period of ignorance before the migration of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and was well known as a scholar of the Scriptures and was held in great reverence as a pious monk. But his scholarship and asceticism, instead of leading him to the truth, became hindrance in the way. That was why he not only rejected Islam but also became a bitter enemy of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and his mission, for he took the Prophet (peace be upon him) for a rival in the holy business of priesthood. At first he ignored the Prophet (peace be upon him) and his mission in the hope that the power of the Quraish would suffice to crush him and his mission. But when the Quraish suffered an utter defeat in the battle of Badr, he could no longer ignore it, so he started a vigorous vicious campaign against the Islamic movement. Accordingly, he left Al-Madinah and visited different clans, in order to incite them against Islam, and was one of those who brought about the battle of Uhd. It is said that he had gotten some pits dug in the battle field of Uhd, and that the Prophet (peace be upon him) fell into one of these and received injuries. Then he played an important role in organizing the armies which came to invade Al-Madinah in the battle of Al-Ahzab. Likewise this Christian monk took a very active part in giving support to the mushriks against Islam in all the subsequent battles up to the battle of Hunain. At last, when he realized that no power in Arabia could withstand the onslaught of Islam, he left Arabia and went to the Roman Caesar in order to warn him of the rising danger from AIMadinah. It was because of his efforts that the Caesar began to make preparations for invading Arabia, to counteract which the Prophet (peace be upon him) went forth on the expedition to Tabuk.

Now let us consider the background of the building of the mosque that was built to harm the righteous mission.

A section of the hypocrites of Al-Madinah collaborated wholeheartedly with Abu Amir in all the above mentioned hostile activities against Islam. They also fully agreed with him that he should use his spiritual influence to obtain military help from the Roman Caesar and the Christian states of northern Arabia. Accordingly, when he was preparing to go to the Roman Caesar to urge him to invade Arabia, they devised a plan of making a mosque of their own to serve as a safe meeting place for organizing themselves into a separate party because none would suspect that they were carrying on evil activities under the garb of religion. Moreover, this mosque would serve as an ambush for the agents of Abu Amir who could stay in it as travelers and mendicants without raising any suspicion that they were spies of the enemy.

As there were already two mosques in Al-Madinah, one at Quba and the other Masjid-i-Nabavi in the city. Obviously there was no need for a third one. The hypocrites themselves understood this: therefore they began to invent reasons to show that there was really a need for a third mosque. Accordingly, they went to the Prophet (peace be upon him) and said, “We need another mosque because it is very difficult for the people of this area, especially the old, the sick and the disabled, to offer the five prescribed prayers in either of the two mosques, during the winter season and the rainfall. Therefore we intend to build a new mosque only for the convenience of those who live at a distance from the two mosques but are desirous of saying their prayers in congregation.

With such professedly pure motives, these mischief makers built the mosque and then went to the Prophet (peace be upon him) with the request to stand in this new mosque and lead the congregation in one of the prescribed prayers so as to perform its opening ceremony. But the Prophet (peace be upon him) postponed the matter, saying, “At this time I am wholly engaged in making preparations for the expedition to Tabuk. I shall consider the matter on my return home.” After this he went forth to Tabuk, and they started their nefarious activities. They went on organizing themselves and conspiring against Islam in the mosque and decided to crown Abdullah bin Ubayy as their king, as soon as the Muslims would meet with reverses and be utterly crushed down by the Romans, as they had expected. But their expectations were all frustrated by what happened at Tabuk. Then on the revelation of these verses during the return journey at a place, Zi-Avan, near Al-Madinah, the Prophet (peace be upon him) dispatched some men to demolish the mosque before his entry into the city.

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
The original "Mosque of Piety" built by the Holy Prophet himself.

The true Muslim must be pure in body, mind, and heart. His motives should always be sincere, and his religion without any alloy of worldly gain.

Ibn Kathir Explanation:
Virtues of Masjid Quba: Allah encouraged His Prophet to pray in Masjid Quba' which, from the first day, was built on Taqwa, obedience to Allah and His Messenger , for gathering the word of the believers and as an outpost and a fort for Islam and its people.

This is why Allah the Exalted said: (Verily, the Masjid whose foundation was laid from the first day on Taqwa is more worthy that you stand therein (to pray).)

In reference to the Masjid of Quba'. An authentic Hadith records that the Messenger of Allah said: (One prayer in Masjid Quba' is just like an `Umrah.) It is recorded in the Sahih that the Messenger of Allah used to visit Masjid Quba' while riding and walking.

Imam Ahmad recorded that `Uwaym bin Sa`idah Al-Ansari said that the Prophet went to Masjid Quba' and asked:  (In the story about your Masjid, Allah the Exalted has praised you concerning the purification that you perform. What is the purification that you perform) They said, "By Allah, O Allah's Messenger! We do not know except that we had neighbors from the Jews who used to use water to wash with after answering the call of nature, and we washed as they washed.''

Ibn Khuzaymah collected this Hadith in his Sahih. Allah's statement: (Verily, the Masjid whose foundation was laid from the first day on Taqwa is more worthy that you stand therein (to pray). In it are men who love to clean and purify themselves. And Allah loves those who make themselves clean and pure.) This encourages praying in old Masjids that were built for the purpose of worshiping Allah alone, without partners. It is also recommended to join the prayer with the believing group and worshipers who implement their faith, those who perform Wudu' perfectly and preserve themselves from impure things. Imam Ahmad recorded that one of the Companions of the Messenger of Allah said that the Messenger of Allah led them in a Dawn (Subh) prayer in which he recited Surat Ar-Rum (chapter 30) and made mistakes in the recitation.

When he finished the prayer, he said: (We sometimes make mistakes in reciting the Qur'an, there are people among you who attend the prayer with us, but do not perform Wudu' perfectly. Therefore, whoever attends the prayer with us let him make perfect Wudu'.) This Hadith indicates that complete purification helps in the performance of acts of worship and aids in preserving and completing them.

  أَفَمَنْ أَسَّسَ بُنْيَانَهُ عَلَىٰ تَقْوَىٰ مِنَ اللَّـهِ وَرِضْوَانٍ خَيْرٌ أَم مَّنْ أَسَّسَ بُنْيَانَهُ عَلَىٰ شَفَا جُرُفٍ هَارٍ فَانْهَارَ بِهِ فِي نَارِ جَهَنَّمَ ۗ وَاللَّـهُ لَا يَهْدِي الْقَوْمَ الظَّالِمِينَ 
( 109 )   Then is one who laid the foundation of his building on righteousness [with fear] from Allah and [seeking] His approval better or one who laid the foundation of his building on the edge of a bank about to collapse, so it collapsed with him into the fire of Hell? And Allah does not guide the wrongdoing people.
 In order to comprehend fully the implications of this simile, let us first consider the significance of the Arabic word Juruf. This applies to the brink of that piece of land which has been undermined by a river or a stream, leaving its surface without any support. In this meaningful simile the construction of the structure of life on the Godless foundations has been compared to that building which is built on the river brink, which has been undermined by its water. It is obvious that the ignorant man who builds a structure on the surface of such a piece of land, merely because it is a piece of land, will not only lose the building but will also lose his own life, for it will inevitably fall down into the river along with him because it has nothing to support it. Likewise, the one who lays the foundation of the structure of the system of his life on the surface of worldly things, without any regard to God’s fear or His favor which are the only permanent supports of human life, is like the man who builds his structure on the surface undermined by the river. For such a man, he himself undermines the structure of his life by his wrong deeds which inevitably follow if there is no bedrock of God’s fear and His favor. Therefore the surface on which he had built his life would one day inevitably tumble down into the abyss of Hell along with the earnings of his whole life.

“Guide”, that leads to man’s real success.

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
A man who builds his life on Piety (which includes sincerity and the purity of all motives) and his hopes on the Good Pleasure of Allah, builds on a firm foundation of rock that will never be shaken. In contrast to him is the man who builds on a shifting sand-cliff on the brink of an abyss, already undermined by forces which he does not see. The cliff and the foundations all crumble to pieces along with him, and he is plunged into the Fire of misery from which there is no escape.

  لَا يَزَالُ بُنْيَانُهُمُ الَّذِي بَنَوْا رِيبَةً فِي قُلُوبِهِمْ إِلَّا أَن تَقَطَّعَ قُلُوبُهُمْ ۗ وَاللَّـهُ عَلِيمٌ حَكِيمٌ 
( 110 )   Their building which they built will not cease to be a [cause of] skepticism in their hearts until their hearts are stopped. And Allah is Knowing and Wise.
 That is, these hypocrites have deprived their hearts of the capability of receiving and accepting faith by the commission of the most heinous sin of building a mosque to do harm to that very Islam for the propagation of which mosques are built. This crime has set the desire of disbelief so deep in their hearts that it will remain there as long as they are alive and will leave them only at the time of death when their hearts will cease to beat in their breasts. Obviously, the case of such people is quite different from that of those unbelievers, who openly build idol-temples or openly make preparations for war against God. For it is possible that such a one may get guidance just because he is honest, sincere and bold. Moreover, his open antagonism shows that he has the courage of his convictions and may, therefore, accept Islam, when he would be convinced of its truth. But there is no hope for that cowardly lying and cunning man who builds a mosque for the service of kufr and puts on the garb of God’s worship for fighting against Allah’s Way. This is because a conduct like this kills all the noble sentiments within him and renders him utterly incapable of understanding and accepting Islam.

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
"Their hearts cut to pieces" i.e., they meet their death. The parable is continued further. The heart of man is the seat of his hopes and fears, the foundation of his moral and spiritual life. If that foundation is on an undermined sand-cliff already crumbling to pieces, what security or stability can he have? He is being shaken by alarms and suspicions and superstitions, until like the edge of a sand-cliff they are cut clean away and fall into a heap of ruin and his spiritual life and all its land-marks are destroyed.

Ruku / Section 14 [Verses 111-118]
Verses 111 - 118: In order to make their noble qualities look all the more conspicuous and dignified by contrast, the characteristics of the Believers have been mentioned, and they have been reassured that Allah, the Sovereign of the Universe, is their helper and guardian. Accordingly, because of their sincerity, He has forgiven the Three Believers who did not take part in the expedition. 

إِنَّ اللَّـهَ اشْتَرَىٰ مِنَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ أَنفُسَهُمْ وَأَمْوَالَهُم بِأَنَّ لَهُمُ الْجَنَّةَ ۚ يُقَاتِلُونَ فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّـهِ فَيَقْتُلُونَ وَيُقْتَلُونَ ۖ وَعْدًا عَلَيْهِ حَقًّا فِي التَّوْرَاةِ وَالْإِنجِيلِ وَالْقُرْآنِ ۚ وَمَنْ أَوْفَىٰ بِعَهْدِهِ مِنَ اللَّـهِ ۚ فَاسْتَبْشِرُوا بِبَيْعِكُمُ الَّذِي بَايَعْتُم بِهِ ۚ وَذَٰلِكَ هُوَ الْفَوْزُ الْعَظِيمُ 
( 111 )   Indeed, Allah has purchased from the believers their lives and their properties [in exchange] for that they will have Paradise. They fight in the cause of Allah, so they kill and are killed. [It is] a true promise [binding] upon Him in the Torah and the Gospel and the Qur'an. And who is truer to his covenant than Allah? So rejoice in your transaction which you have contracted. And it is that which is the great attainment.
 In this verse that aspect of the Islamic faith which determines the nature of the relationship between Allah and His servants has been called a transaction. This means that faith is not merely a metaphysical conception but is, in fact, a contract by which the servant sells his life and possessions to Allah and in return for this accepts His promise that He would give him the Garden in the life after death. In order to comprehend the full implications of this transaction, let us first understand its nature.

We should note it well at the outset that, in reality, this transaction is not in regard to the actual selling of the life and possessions of the servant to Allah in the literal sense, for Allah is in fact the real Owner of man’s life and possessions. Allah alone has the right of ownership because He is the Creator of man and of everything he possesses and uses. Therefore there is no question at all of selling and buying in the worldly sense; for man possesses nothing of his own to sell, and Allah has no need to buy anything because everything already belongs to Him. However, there is one thing which has entirely been entrusted to man by Allah, that is, the freedom of will and the freedom of choice, and the transaction concerns that thing.

Of course, it is true that this freedom does not make any change in the real position of man with regard to the right of ownership to his own life and his possessions. They belong to Allah Who has delegated to him only the authority to use or abuse these things as he wills, without any coercion or compulsion from Him. This means that man has been given the freedom to acknowledge or not to acknowledge that Allah is the owner of his life and property. The transaction mentioned in Ayat 111 is concerning the voluntary surrender of this freedom to Allah’s will. In other words, Allah wills to test man whether he acknowledges the ownership of Allah over his life and property, in spite of that freedom, and considers himself to be their trustee only, or behaves as if he were their owner and so could do whatever he liked with them.

Thus, the terms of this transaction from Allah’s side are these: “If you voluntarily, and not by compulsion or coercion, agree to acknowledge that your life, your property and everything in this world, which in fact belong to me, are mine: And if you consider yourself only as their trustees; And if you voluntarily surrender the freedom I have given you to behave; And if you, in a dishonest way do not intend to become their master and owner; Then, I will give you in return, Gardens in the eternal life of the next world”. The one who makes this bargain with Allah is a believer, for faith is in fact the other name for making this bargain. On the other hand, the one who refuses to make this bargain, or after making it adopts the attitude of the one who has not made the bargain, is a kafir. For, technically, kufr is the term applied to the refusal to make this bargain.

The following are the implications of making this transaction:
(1) Allah has put man to two very hard tests in this matter. The first is whether he acknowledges the real Owner as owner, in spite of the freedom of choice given to him. Or he refuses this and becomes ungrateful, treacherous and rebellious. The second test is whether he puts his trust in his God or not. And he surrenders his freedom and sacrifices his desires and wishes in this present world in return for His promise of the Gardens and eternal bliss in the next world. Even though the world were to proclaim, “A bird in hand is worth two in the bush”.
(2) This matter helps to draw a clear line of demarcation between the legal conception of the Islamic faith and the higher and spiritual one according to which Allah will judge one in the Hereafter.
According to its legal conception, the mere verbal profession of the articles of the faith is a sufficient proof that one is legally a Muslim and after this no jurist is authorized to declare such a one to be a disbeliever or to expel one from the fold of the Islamic community, unless there is a definite and clear proof that the one made a false profession of the faith. But this is not so with Allah. Allah considers the faith of only that person to be true, who makes this bargain with Him and sells his freedom of thought and action to Him and gives up his entire claim to ownership in His favor. That is why a man might profess the articles of the faith and observe the prescribed obligatory duties, but if he considered himself alone to be the master and owner of his body and soul, his heart and brain and his other faculties, his property and his resources and other things in his possession, and reserved to himself the right of expending them as he willed, he shall be regarded a disbeliever in the sight of Allah, even though he should be regarded a believer in the sight of the world. This is because such a man has not made that bargain with God which is the essence of the faith according to the Quran. The very fact that a man does not expend his life and property in the way Allah approves of, or expends these in the way He disapproves, shows that the one who claimed to profess the faith either did not sell these to Allah, or after having made the transaction still regarded himself to be their master and owner.
(3) The above conception of the Islamic faith draws a clear line of demarcation between the attitude of a Muslim and that of a disbeliever towards life. The Muslim, who sincerely believes in Allah, surrenders himself completely to Allah’s will, and does nothing whatsoever which may show that he is independent in his attitude, except when he temporarily forgets the terms of the bargain he has made with Him. Likewise no community of the Muslims can collectively adopt an independent attitude in political, cultural, economic, social and international matters and still remain Muslim. And if sometimes it temporarily forgets its subordinate position and its voluntary surrender of its freedom, it will give up the attitude of independence and readopt the attitude of surrender, as soon as it becomes aware of its error. In contrast to this, if one adopts the attitude of independence towards Allah and makes decisions about all the affairs of life in accordance with ones own wishes, whims and caprices, one shall be regarded to have adopted the attitude of disbelief, even though one was a Muslim or a non-Muslim.
(4) It should also be noted well that the will of God to which a man is required to surrender himself is that which is specified by Allah himself and not the one which the man himself declares to be the will of God. For in the latter case one does not follow God’s will but one’s own will, which is utterly against the terms of the transaction. Only that person (or community) who adopts the attitude that conforms to the teachings of His Book and His Messenger, shall be deemed to have fulfilled the terms of the transaction.
From the above implications of this transaction, it also becomes clear why the fulfillment of the terms by Allah has been deferred to the next world after the termination of the life of this world. It is obvious that the Garden is not the return for the mere profession that the buyer has sold his life and property to Allah but it is the actual surrender of these things in the worldly life and their disposal by him as a trustee of Allah according to His will. Thus, this transaction will be completed only when the life of the buyer comes to an end in this world and it is proved that after making the bargain, he went on fulfilling the terms of the agreement up to his last breath. For then and there alone, he will be entitled to the recompense in accordance with the terms of the transaction.

It will also be worthwhile to understand the context in which this matter has been placed here. In the preceding passage, there was the mention of those people who failed in the test of their faith and did not make the sacrifice of their time, money, life and interests for the sake of Allah and His Way, in spite of their professions, because of their negligence or lack of sincerity or absolute hypocrisy. Therefore after criticizing the attitudes of different persons and sections, they have been told in clear words the implications of the faith they had accepted: “This is not the mere verbal profession that there is God and He is One, but the acceptance of the fact that He is the Owner and the Master of your lives and possessions. Therefore, if you are not ready and willing to sacrifice these in obedience to the command of Allah, but expend these and your energies and resources against the will of Allah, it is a clear proof that you were false in your profession of the faith. For, the true believers are those who have truly sold their persons and possessions to Allah, and consider Him to be their Owner and Master, and expend their energies and possessions without any reservations, where He commands them to expend, and do not expend the least of these where He forbids them to expend.

Some critics say that the statement of promise in the Torah and the Gospel is not confirmed by these Books. Their objection in regard to the Gospel is obviously wrong for even in the existing Gospels there are sayings of Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him) that confirm this verse. For instance:

“Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (MAT. 5: 10).

“He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.” (MAT. 10: 39).

“And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name’s sake, shall receive an hundredfold and shall inherit everlasting life.” (MAT. 19: 29).

It is, however, true that the matter of this transaction is not confirmed in its entirety by the existing Torah. For instance, there is a mention of the first part of the bargain at several places in one forth or the other: “Is not He thy father that hath bought thee? hath He not made thee, and established thee?" (DEUT. 32: 6).

"Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might." (DEUT. 6: 4-5).

But as regards the other part of the bargain, that is, the promise of the Gardens, they applied it to the land of Palestine:

“Hear therefore, O Israel, and observe to do it; that it may be well with thee, and that ye may increase mightily, as the Lord God of thy fathers hath promised thee, in the land that floweth with milk and honey.” (DEUT. 6: 3).

This is because the Torah does not give any conception of the life-after-death, the Day of Judgment, rewards and punishments in the Hereafter, though this creed has always been an inseparable part of the right way. This does not, however, mean that the Torah did not originally contain this creed. The fact is that the Jews had become so materialistic during the period of their degeneration that they had no other idea of a reward from God than the well being and prosperity in this world. Therefore they perverted all the promises made by God in return for man’s service and obedience to Him and applied those to the land of Palestine.

In this connection, it should also be noted that the above mentioned changes became possible because the original Torah had been tampered with in several ways. Some portions were taken away from it and others were added to it. Thus, the Torah in the existing form is not purely the word of God but also contains the comments, etc. of the Jewish scholars mixed up with it. So much so that at some places it becomes difficult to distinguish the word of God from the Jewish traditions, their racial prejudices, their superstitions, their ambitions and, wishes, their legal interpretations, etc. all of which have gotten mixed with the word of God. (See E.N. 2 of Aal-Imran).

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
In a human bargain both sides give something and receive some advantage. In the divine bargain of Allah with man, Allah takes man's will and soul and his wealth and goods, and gives him in return ever-lasting Felicity. Man fights in Allah's Cause and carries out His will. All that he has to give up is the ephemeral things of this world, while he gains eternal salvation, the fulfillment of his highest spiritual hopes,-a supreme achievement indeed.

We offer our whole selves and our possessions to Allah, and Allah gives us Salvation. This is the true doctrine of redemption: and we are taught that this is the doctrine not only of the Qur-an but of the earlier Revelations,-the original Law of Moses and the original Gospel of Jesus. Any other view of redemption is rejected by Islam, especially that of corrupted Christianity, which thinks that some other person suffered for our sins and we are redeemed by his blood. It is our self-surrender that counts, not other people's merits. Our complete self-surrender may include fighting for the cause, both spiritual and physical. As regards actual fighting with the sword there has been some difference in theological theories at different times, but very little in the practice of those who framed those theories. The Jewish wars were ruthless wars of extermination. The Old Testament does not mince matters on this subject. In the New Testament St. Paul, in commending the worthy fruits of Faith, mentions Gideon, Barak, and other warriors of the Old Testament as his ideals, "Who through faith subdued kingdoms... waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens..." (Hebrews, xi. 32-34). The monkish morality of the Gospels in their present form has never been followed by any self-respecting Christian or other nation in history. Nor is it common-sense to ignore lust of blood in unregenerate man as a form of evil which has to be combated "within the limits, set by Allah" (Q. ix. 112).

  التَّائِبُونَ الْعَابِدُونَ الْحَامِدُونَ السَّائِحُونَ الرَّاكِعُونَ السَّاجِدُونَ الْآمِرُونَ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَالنَّاهُونَ عَنِ الْمُنكَرِ وَالْحَافِظُونَ لِحُدُودِ اللَّـهِ ۗ وَبَشِّرِ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ 
( 112 )   [Such believers are] the repentant, the worshipers, the praisers [of Allah], the travelers [for His cause], those who bow and prostrate [in prayer], those who enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong, and those who observe the limits [set by] Allah. And give good tidings to the believers.
The Arabic word atta-i-bun literally means “those who repent”. But in the context it occurs it implies “those who possess repentance as their permanent characteristic”, that is, they repent over and over again. Moreover, the literal meaning of taubah is “to turn to” or “to turn back”. Therefore its explanatory translation will be “those who turn back to Allah over and over again”. This is the first and foremost characteristic of a true believer because even a true believer is liable to forget the bargain he makes with Allah by which he sells his life and property to Him. As this matter does not concern his sense organs but pertains to his mind and heart, he is liable to forget that these things are not really his property but they belong to Allah. Therefore, even the true believer occasionally forgets the bargain, and behaves in a way as if he were their owner. But as soon as he becomes conscious of this transitory lapse and realizes that he had violated the terms of his agreement, he feels sorry and ashamed of his conduct and turns to his God, begs His pardon and renews the terms of the bargain with Him, and pledges his allegiance to Him after every slip of its violation. This kind of repentance alone is the guarantee that one will always come back to one’s faith: otherwise it is not possible for man because of the inherent human weaknesses, to observe strictly and deliberately the terms of the bargain without ever falling a prey to negligence and error. That is why Allah says in praise of the true believer that “he turns back to Allah over and over again” and not that “he never slips into error after making the bargain of obedience and service to Him”. And this is the greatest excellence that man can accomplish. Let us now consider the wisdom of placing this characteristics first in the list of the characteristics of the true believers. It is to admonish those who had been guilty of crimes after the profession of their faith. They have been told in Ayat 3 that the true believers are those who sell their lives and property to Allah. After this they are being told that if they sincerely intend to become true believers they should first of all create in themselves this characteristic and at once turn to Allah without showing any obduracy so that they should not deviate further into error.

Some commentators are of the opinion that here Assa-i-hun means “those who observe fast”. As this is not the lexical meaning of the word but only its figurative sense, which has been based on an unauthentic tradition attributed to the Prophet (peace be upon him). We are of the opinion that there is no need to depart from its lexical meanings, that is, “move about in the land (for His sake)”. For here the Arabic word does not mean merely to “move about in the land” but “move about in the land for the sake of noble and high aims, e.g. to propagate Islam, to do Jihad, to emigrate from those places where the unbelievers are in power, and to reform the people, to seek true knowledge, to earn a lawful livelihood and the like”. This characteristic of the believers has been especially mentioned here to reprove those who had not gone forth to Jihad, in spite of their claim that they were believers. They have been admonished that a true believer is the one who goes forth into the land to raise high His word, and exerts his utmost to fulfill the implications of his faith, and not the one who stays behind when he is called upon to move about in the land.

That is those who “strictly observe the limits prescribed by Allah” in regard to the articles of the faith, worship-morality, social behavior, culture, economics, politics, judiciary, peace and war, and in all the aspects of their individual and collective lives. They neither transgress these limits in order to follow their lusts nor invent laws, nor replace the divine law by other laws. They establish these limits and prevent their violations. Hence, the true believers are those who not only strictly observe the limits prescribed by Allah, but also do their very best to establish them and safeguard them so as to prevent their violation to the best of their powers and capabilities.

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
We are to rejoice that by giving up such small things as ourselves and our possessions we are to be rewarded with such a great thing as the eternal life of felicity. The truly righteous, whose lives in various aspects are described in this verse, do so rejoice. The good news is to be proclaimed to all Believers, including the weakest among us, so that they may profit by that example.

 مَا كَانَ لِلنَّبِيِّ وَالَّذِينَ آمَنُوا أَن يَسْتَغْفِرُوا لِلْمُشْرِكِينَ وَلَوْ كَانُوا أُولِي قُرْبَىٰ مِن بَعْدِ مَا تَبَيَّنَ لَهُمْ أَنَّهُمْ أَصْحَابُ الْجَحِيمِ 
( 113 )   It is not for the Prophet and those who have believed to ask forgiveness for the polytheists, even if they were relatives, after it has become clear to them that they are companions of Hellfire.
“That they ask for the forgiveness for the idolaters.” implies two things. First, we love them and sympathize with them. Secondly, we consider their crime to be pardonable. There is no harm to cherish these things for the one who is loyal, though a sinner, but it is absolutely wrong in principle to love and sympathize with a person who is an open rebel and to consider his case as pardonable as it renders our own loyalty doubtful. Besides, it adds to the intensity of the crime, if we pray for the forgiveness of a mushrik, who is our near relative. For it means that we consider our relationships to be more valuable than the fulfillment of the implications of our loyalty to Allah and that our love with Allah. And His Way is not wholly unalloyed and that we desire that Allah should also be influenced by the love we have with His rebels and pardon our criminal kinsmen, even though He should throw the other criminals into the fire of Hell. Obviously, all such things are wrong and are against loyalty and sincerity and the faith demands that our love with Allah and His Way should be absolutely unalloyed and that His friend should be our friend and His enemy our enemy. That is why Allah has not said, “Do not pray for the forgiveness of the mushriks.” But has instead warned, “It is not for the Prophet (peace be upon him), and those who believe, that they ask for the forgiveness for the idolaters”, which implies this: “The right thing for you is that you yourselves should regard it as improper to show sympathy with our rebels and consider their crime as pardonable: nay, you should not wait for any command from Us about this.”

In this connection, it should also be noted well that it is forbidden to show sympathy with the mushriks only in matters of faith. As regards the human relationships that demand the observance of the rights of one’s own relatives, of showing love, sympathy and kindness, and cherishing fellow-feelings with them is not forbidden at all but it is considered to be a virtue. We must fulfill the worldly rights of a relative whether he be a believer or a disbeliever: we should help him in affliction and give support to the needy ones and the orphans and show all possible sympathy with a sick or wounded person, irrespective of whether he is a Muslim or a non-Muslim.

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
This is usually understood to refer to the prayer for the dead, (1) if they died unrepentant after Islam was preached to them, (2) if they actively resisted or opposed the Faith to the last.

Ibn Kathir Explanation:
The Prohibition of supplicating for Polytheists: Imam Ahmad recorded that Ibn Al-Musayyib said that his father Al-Musayyib said, "When Abu Talib was dying, the Prophet went to him and found Abu Jahl and `Abdullah bin Abi Umayyah present. The Prophet said,
(O uncle! Say, `La ilaha illa-llah,' a word concerning which I will plea for you with Allah, the Exalted and Most Honored.) 
Abu Jahl and `Abdullah bin Abi Umayyah said, `O Abu Talib! Would you leave the religion of Abdul-Muttalib' Abu Talib said, `Rather, I will remain on the religion of Abdul-Muttalib.'

The Prophet said:  (I will invoke Allah for forgiveness for you, as long as I am not prohibited from doing so.)

This verse was revealed:  (It is not (proper) for the Prophet and those who believe to ask Allah's forgiveness for the Mushrikin, even though they be of kin, after it has become clear to them that they are the dwellers of the Fire.)

Concerning Abu Talib, this Ayah was revealed: (Verily, you guide not whom you like, but Allah guides whom He wills) [28:56].''

This Hadith is recorded in the Two Sahihs. Ibn Jarir recorded that Sulayman bin Buraydah said that his father said, "When the Prophet came to Makkah, he went to a grave, sat next to it, started talking and then stood up with tears in his eyes. We said, `O Allah's Messenger! We saw what you did.' He said:  (I asked my Lord for permission to visit the grave of my mother and He gave me permission. I asked for His permission to invoke Him for forgiveness for her, but He did not give me permission.)

We never saw him more tearful than on that day.''' Al-`Awfi narrated from Ibn `Abbas about Allah's statement: (It is not (proper) for the Prophet and those who believe to ask Allah's forgiveness for the Mushrikin) "The Prophet wanted to invoke Allah for forgiveness for his mother, but Allah did not allow him.

The Prophet said:  (Ibrahim, Allah's Khalil, invoked Allah for his father.)

Then Allah revealed verse 114:

  وَمَا كَانَ اسْتِغْفَارُ إِبْرَاهِيمَ لِأَبِيهِ إِلَّا عَن مَّوْعِدَةٍ وَعَدَهَا إِيَّاهُ فَلَمَّا تَبَيَّنَ لَهُ أَنَّهُ عَدُوٌّ لِّلَّـهِ تَبَرَّأَ مِنْهُ ۚ إِنَّ إِبْرَاهِيمَ لَأَوَّاهٌ حَلِيمٌ 
( 114 )   And the request of forgiveness of Abraham for his father was only because of a promise he had made to him. But when it became apparent to Abraham that his father was an enemy to Allah, he disassociated himself from him. Indeed was Abraham compassionate and patient.
The reference is to what Prophet Abraham (peace be upon him) said when he broke off all connections with his father:
(1) “Peace be upon you. I will pray to my Lord to forgive you: for He is very kind to me”. (Surah Maryam, Ayat 47).
(2) “And forgive my father: indeed he is of those who have gone astray. And disgrace me not on the Day, when mankind shall be brought back to life; when neither riches nor children shall avail anyone, and none shall obtain salvation except the one who comes before his Lord with a sound and pure heart”. (Ash-Shuara Ayats 86-89).
(3) “I will pray for your forgiveness, but I have no power to rescue you from Allah”. (Al-Mumtahina Ayat 4).
In the first place it should be noted that even the wording and the tone of the prayer for his father were very guarded, but when Prophet Abraham (peace be upon him) realized that the person for whom he was praying was an open rebel against Allah and a bitter enemy of His Way, he refrained himself from saying even such a guarded prayer for him and declared in clear words that he would have nothing to do with him in future, even though the rebel was his father who had brought him up with love and care.

The words awwah and haleem which the Quran uses for Prophet Abraham (peace be upon him) are very comprehensive in meaning. Awwah is the one who is lamenting, humble, weeping, grief-stricken and God fearing. And haleem is the one who can keep control over himself under all circumstances, and is neither beside himself in anger and enmity nor transgresses the proper limits in his affections, friendships, and relationships. Here both the words have been used in their comprehensive senses. Prophet Abraham (peace be upon him) prayed for his father because he was tender-hearted and lamented for him that he would become the fuel for the fire of Hell. As he had full control over himself, and was very forbearing, he prayed even for that father who had persecuted him cruelly in order to hinder him from the way of Islam. Lastly, he was God fearing and did not want to go beyond the limits in his love for his father; so he broke off all his relations with his father when he realized that he was an enemy of Allah.

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
Abraham and his unbelieving father are referred to in vi. 74. Apparently when Abraham was convinced that the conditions mentioned in the last note applied to his father, he gave up praying for him, as the physical bond was cut off by the spiritual hostility. For the promise to pray for his father, see xix. 47.

Abraham was loyal and tender-hearted, and bore with much that he disapproved, being in this a prototype of Al-Mustafa, and it must have gone against his grain to cut off relations in that way. But it would obviously be wrong for a human being to entreat Allah for mercy on people who had finally rejected Allah.

Ibn Kathir Explanation:
(And Ibrahim's invoking (of Allah) for his father's forgiveness was only because of a promise he ﴿Ibrahim﴾ had made to him (his father)). '' `Ali bin Abi Talhah narrated that Ibn `Abbas commented on this Ayah, "They used to invoke Allah for them (pagans) until this Ayah was revealed. They then refrained from invoking Allah to forgive the dead among them, but were not stopped from invoking Allah for the living among them until they die.

Allah sent this Ayah: (And Ibrahim's invoking (of Allah) for his father's forgiveness was only...) [9:114]

Allah said next:
(But when it became clear to him ﴿Ibrahim﴾ that he (his father) is an enemy of Allah, he dissociated himself from him) [9:114].

Ibn `Abbas commented, "Ibrahim kept asking Allah to forgive his father until he died, when he realized that he died as an enemy to Allah, he disassociated himself from him.'' In another narration, he said, "When his father died he realized that he died as an enemy of Allah.'' Similar was said by Mujahid, Ad-Dahhak, Qatadah and several others. `Ubayd bin `Umayr and Sa`id bin Jubayr said, "Ibrahim will disown his father on the Day of Resurrection, but he will meet his father and see dust and fatigue on his face. He will say, `O Ibrahim! I disobeyed you, but today, I will not disobey you.' Ibrahim will say, `O Lord! You promised me that You will not disgrace me on the Day they are resurrected. What more disgrace than witnessing my father being disgraced' He will be told, `Look behind you,' where he will see a bloody hyena -- for his father will have been transformed into that -- and it will be dragged from its feet and thrown in the Fire.'''

Allah's statement: (Verily, Ibrahim was Awwah and was forbearing.) means, he invoked Allah always, according to `Abdullah bin Mas`ud. Several narrations report this from Ibn Mas`ud. It was also said that, `Awwah', means, `who invokes Allah with humility', `merciful', `who believes with certainty', `who praises (Allah)', and so forth.

  وَمَا كَانَ اللَّـهُ لِيُضِلَّ قَوْمًا بَعْدَ إِذْ هَدَاهُمْ حَتَّىٰ يُبَيِّنَ لَهُم مَّا يَتَّقُونَ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّـهَ بِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ عَلِيمٌ 
( 115 )   And Allah would not let a people stray after He has guided them until He makes clear to them what they should avoid. Indeed, Allah is Knowing of all things.
“He has made clear to them” beforehand that they should avoid such and such thoughts, deeds, and ways. But if they take no heed, and persist in wrong thinking and wrongdoing, Allah withholds His guidance from them and lets them follow the wrong way they themselves choose to follow.

This is the general formula that helps understand those passages of the Quran in which Allah ascribes to Himself the guidance and the deviation of the people. Allah’s guidance is that He makes plain to them the right way through His Prophets and Books. Then He enables those who have the intention, to follow the right way. On the other hand, He does not force and compel them to follow the right way, if they themselves intend to persist in the wrong ways in spite of the fact that the right way has been made quite clear to them; He rather enables them to follow the way they themselves intend to follow. As regards the context in which this occurs here, it is plain that it is meant to warn those people who have been mentioned in the preceding passage, and to introduce those who are going to be mentioned in the succeeding passage.

Ibn Kathir Explanation:
Allah describes His Honorable Self and just judgment in that He does not lead a people astray but after the Message comes to them, so that the proof is established against them. For instance, Allah said,
(And as for Thamud, We showed and made clear to them the path of truth ...) [41:17]. 
Mujahid commented on Allah's saying;
(And Allah will never lead a people astray after He has guided them) "Allah the Mighty and Sublime is clarifying to the believers about not seeking forgiveness for the idolaters in particular, and in general, it is an exhortation to beware of disobeying Him, and encouragement to obey Him. So either do or suffer.'' Ibn Jarir commented, "Allah says that He would not direct you to misguidance, so that you invoke Him for forgiveness for your dead idolaters, after He gave you guidance and directed you to believe in Him and in His Messenger ! First, He will inform you of what you should avoid, so that you avoid it. Before He informs you that this action is not allowed, you would not have disobeyed Him and fallen into what He prohibited for you ﴿if you indulge in this action﴾. Therefore, in this case, He will not allow you to be misguided. Verily, guidance or misguidance occurs after commands and prohibitions are established. As for those who were neither commanded nor prohibited, they can neither be obedient nor disobedient in doing what they were neither ordered nor prohibited from doing.''

Then Allah sent the next verse:

  إِنَّ اللَّـهَ لَهُ مُلْكُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ ۖ يُحْيِي وَيُمِيتُ ۚ وَمَا لَكُم مِّن دُونِ اللَّـهِ مِن وَلِيٍّ وَلَا نَصِيرٍ 
( 116 )   Indeed, to Allah belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth; He gives life and causes death. And you have not besides Allah any protector or any helper.
Ibn Kathir Explanation:
(Indeed to Allah belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth, He gives life and He causes death. And besides Allah you have neither any protector nor any helper.) Ibn Jarir commented, "This is an encouragement from Allah for His believing servants to fight the idolators and chiefs of disbelief. It is also a command for them to trust in Allah's aid, for He is the Owner of the heavens and earth, and not to fear His enemies. Verily, they have no protector besides Allah, nor a supporter other than Him.''

 لَّقَد تَّابَ اللَّـهُ عَلَى النَّبِيِّ وَالْمُهَاجِرِينَ وَالْأَنصَارِ الَّذِينَ اتَّبَعُوهُ فِي سَاعَةِ الْعُسْرَةِ مِن بَعْدِ مَا كَادَ يَزِيغُ قُلُوبُ فَرِيقٍ مِّنْهُمْ ثُمَّ تَابَ عَلَيْهِمْ ۚ إِنَّهُ بِهِمْ رَءُوفٌ رَّحِيمٌ 
( 117 )   Allah has already forgiven the Prophet and the Muhajireen and the Ansar who followed him in the hour of difficulty after the hearts of a party of them had almost inclined [to doubt], and then He forgave them. Indeed, He was to them Kind and Merciful.
Allah forgave the Prophet (peace be upon him) and his companions for those inadvertent lapses that had been made in connection with the Tabuk expedition, in view of their excellent services. The inadvertent lapse made by the Prophet (peace be upon him) was that he had given leave to stay behind to those people who were able to take part in the Jihad. (Ayat 43).

This refers to those sincere companions who were at first somewhat unwilling to go to war on that critical occasion, but at last overcame their weakness, for they had true faith in their hearts and loved the right way.

That is, Allah will not take them to account for their wrong inclinations for He does not punish a man for that weakness which he himself has overcome and corrected.

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
Cf. ix. 100. The Muhajirs were the people who originally forsook their homes in Makkah and followed Al-Mustafa in exile to Madinah. The Ansar were the Madinah people who received them with honour and hospitality into their city. Both these groups were staunch supporters of Islam, and proved their Faith by great sacrifices. But in the difficult days of the Tabuk expedition some of them, not perversely, but out of lethargy and human weakness, had failed to follow the standard. They were forgiven, and they afterwards acquitted themselves with zeal.

Note that the "swerving from duty" was merely an inclination due to the weakness of human nature in the face of new difficulties: that it only affected a part of the men for a time: and that it was overcome even in their case by the grace of Allah, so that they all did their duty, and were freely forgiven their incipient weakness, which they conquered.

There were three exceptions, which are referred to in the next verse:

  وَعَلَى الثَّلَاثَةِ الَّذِينَ خُلِّفُوا حَتَّىٰ إِذَا ضَاقَتْ عَلَيْهِمُ الْأَرْضُ بِمَا رَحُبَتْ وَضَاقَتْ عَلَيْهِمْ أَنفُسُهُمْ وَظَنُّوا أَن لَّا مَلْجَأَ مِنَ اللَّـهِ إِلَّا إِلَيْهِ ثُمَّ تَابَ عَلَيْهِمْ لِيَتُوبُوا ۚ إِنَّ اللَّـهَ هُوَ التَّوَّابُ الرَّحِيمُ 
( 118 )   And [He also forgave] the three who were left behind [and regretted their error] to the point that the earth closed in on them in spite of its vastness and their souls confined them and they were certain that there is no refuge from Allah except in Him. Then He turned to them so they could repent. Indeed, Allah is the Accepting of repentance, the Merciful.
These three were among those who came to the Prophet (peace be upon him) to present their excuses for staying behind. More than eighty of them were hypocrites, who put forward lame excuses and the Prophet (peace be upon him) accepted these and let them go. Then came the turn of these three, who were true believers, and they confessed their fault plainly. Therefore the Prophet (peace be upon him) postponed the decision of their case and ordered the Muslims not to have any social relations with them till the decision of their case came from Allah. This verse was sent down to decide their case.

In this connection it should be kept in mind that the case of these three was different from the case of the seven mentioned in verse 105 above. They had inflicted the punishment on themselves before they were called to account for their fault.

The three whose condition has been described in this verse, were Kaab bin Malik, Hilal bin Umayyah and Murarah bin Rubai. They were sincere believers, as has been stated above, and had made many sacrifices and given proofs of their sincerity before this. The last two had taken part in the battle of Badr also, and therefore their faith was above every kind of suspicion. Though Kaab had not taken part in the battle of Badr, he had accompanied the Prophet (peace be upon him) in every other expedition. But in spite of all these services, they were severely punished for the negligence they had shown on the critical occasion of the Tabuk expedition, when all the able-bodied Muslims were commanded to go forth to Jihad.

When the Prophet (peace be upon him) came back from Tabuk, he ordered the Muslims to break away completely from them; so much so that they should not even respond to their greetings. After forty days of this boycott their wives also were ordered to have nothing to do with them. In short, they were reduced at Al-Madinah to the same sad plight which has been described in this verse. At last, after a boycott of fifty days, this verse was sent down to announce their forgiveness.

The story of the above-mentioned boycott has been described in detail by Kaab bin Malik, who was one of the three. When he became old and blind, he himself told his story to his son, Abdullah, who used to accompany him everywhere. As this story is an excellent lesson for all, it is given below in Kaab’s own words:
“When the Prophet (peace be upon him) urged upon the people to get ready for Jihad, I made up my mind to make preparations for this. But when I went home, I became negligent, saying to myself, “There is no hurry. When the time comes I will readily make preparations and start forthwith”. In this way I went on putting off my preparations till the time came when the army was going to start on the expedition. As I had made no preparations for the journey, I said to myself, “It does not matter. I will be able to join the army in a couple of days during the journey”. But again the same negligence prevented me from putting my intention into practice. At last no occasion was left for me to join the army. To add to my misery my conscience pricked me over and over again that the people with whom I had stayed behind in Al-Madinah were either the hypocrites or those Muslims who were old or otherwise unfit for Jihad.
When the Prophet (peace be upon him) came back from Tabuk, he, as usual, said two rakats of prayer in the mosque. Then he sat there to meet the people. At first, the hypocrites, whose number was a little more than eighty, came to him and offered lame excuses on solemn oaths. The Prophet (peace be upon him) listened to the false story of each of them and accepted their apparent excuses and left the decision about their hearts to Allah, saying, “May Allah forgive you”. Then it was my turn to put forward my excuse. I went forward and uttered my salutations. He smiled and said, “Well, what kept you behind?” I hesitated for a moment. By God, I would have invented one excuse or the other to satisfy any man of the world, for I am well versed in the art of conversation. But here was the Prophet (peace be upon him) who was demanding an explanation from me. I believed that even if I succeeded in satisfying him by making a false excuse, Allah will inform him of the truth of the case and I shall again incur his displeasure. On the other hand, if I told the truth, I expected that Allah would forgive me, even though I were to incur his displeasure for the time being. So I replied, “I have no excuse for staying behind. I was in every way able to go forth (to Tabuk)”. At this the Prophet (peace be upon him) remarked, “This is the man who has told the truth”. Then turning to me, he said, “Go and wait till Allah decides your case”.
I rose from there and took my seat among the people of my own clan. They at once began to tease and reprove me because I had made no excuse. At this, I was tempted to go and make some false excuse. But when I came to know that there were also two good people (Murarah bin Rubai and Hilal bin Umayyah), who had told the same thing that I had, I felt satisfied and stuck to the truth.
After this the Prophet (peace be upon him) issued a general order that no one should have any kind of talk with us. The other two confined themselves to their houses but I used to go out of my house and say my prayers in congregation and walk through the bazaars. As nobody spoke to me, it appeared to me that I was a foreigner in some strange city where I had no acquaintances. When I attended the mosque, I would utter the usual salutations and wait in vain for a response from the Prophet (peace be upon him). I would turn stealthy looks at him to read his thoughts in regard to me, but he would turn his eyes away from me, though he had been looking at me while I was engaged in prayer. As this condition became intolerable for me, one day I went to see Abu Qatadah who was a cousin of mine and a friend from childhood. I climbed over the wall of his garden and uttered my salutations, but even he did not make any response to it. Then I said, “O Abu Qatadah! I ask you to tell me on oath whether I love or do not love Allah and His Messenger”. But he remained silent. Again I repeated the question but he kept silent. I asked him on oath to answer my question. Then he merely replied, “Allah and His Messenger know best”. At this my eyes were filled with tears, and I came back.
Another incident happened during those days. Once I was passing through the bazaar, when a Syrian came to me and gave me a letter wrapped in silk. This was from the king of Ghassan and read like this: We have come to know that your leader is persecuting you these days. As you are not an ignoble person, we will not leave you to rot there. Therefore come to us and we will honor you (as you deserve). I said to myself, “Here is another hard trial for me”. Then I threw the letter into the burning oven.
The boycott continued for forty days, when a man brought this message from the Prophet (peace be upon him) that I should separate from my wife. I asked whether I should divorce her but was told that I should only separate from her. Accordingly I said to my wife, “Go to your parental home and wait till a decision comes from Allah.”
On the fiftieth day, when after the morning prayers, I was sitting in a state of utter despair on the top of my house, all of a sudden someone cried aloud, “O Kaab bin Malik! please accept my congratulations.” Hearing this, I fell prostrate to the ground before Allah, for I understood that the command of my forgiveness had come. After this, people began to pour in, each trying to forestall the other in congratulating me on the acceptance of my repentance. I rose and went directly to the Mosque. I noticed that the face of the Prophet (peace be upon him) was glowing with happiness and in response to my salutations, he said, “I congratulate you on this: it is the best day of your life.” I said, “Is this forgiveness from you or from Allah?” He replied, “It is from Allah.” Then he recited these verses (117-118). I asked, “O Messenger of Allah! Does my repentance require that I should give the whole of my property in charity?” He replied, “Keep a part of it, for it will be better for you.” Accordingly, I kept my property at Khaibar for myself and gave all the rest in charity. Then I solemnly pledged that I would stick to the truth throughout rest of my life, for Allah had forgiven me in return for the truth I had told. That is why I have never uttered a word against reality intentionally up to this time and hope and expect that Allah will protect me from lies in future as well.
This story contains many lessons, and every believer should impress these on his mind and heart.
The first and foremost lesson we learn from this story is that the matter of the conflict between Islam and kufr is so important and delicate that we should take the greatest possible care to be on our guard in regard to this. Not to mention the case of one who takes active part on the side of kufr, if a Muslim shows the least negligence even inadvertently in taking part on the side of Islam once in his life; and that, too, not with any evil intention, he is liable to lose all the lifelong services and devotions rendered by him in the cause of Islam. That was why such a severe action was taken even against those worthy people who had done great deeds of valor in the battles of Badr, Uhd, Ahzab and Hunain, and whose sincerity and faith were absolutely above suspicion.
The second thing, which is as important as the first, is that one should never consider lightly any negligence in the performance of a duty, for this often misleads one to commit an offense that is counted among heinous sins. The fact that one did not commit the offense with any evil intention cannot save one from punishment.
Lastly, this story presents the true spirit of the society that had been evolved out under the leadership of the Prophet (peace be upon him). On the one side, there were the hypocrites whose treacherous deeds were quite well known to all. They offered lame excuses which were accepted without demur for nothing better could be expected from them. On the other side, let us take the case of Kaab bin Malik, who was a tried believer, and whose sacrifices were above every kind of suspicion. He did not invent any false story to justify himself but confessed his fault quite plainly and clearly. But in contrast to the hypocrites, a severe chastisement was inflicted on him, not because there was any suspicion about his faith but because a sincere believer like him had behaved in a way in which only a hypocrite could behave. Thus the chastisement was meant to remind them: “You are the salt of the earth. But if you, too, become tasteless, from where will then salt be obtained?”
There is another noteworthy side of the matter. The part played by the leader and the follower and the Muslim society in this incident is unique. The leader inflicts the most severe punishment but with the feelings of affection and without any tinge of anger or hatred in it. It is like the punishment which a father gives to his son. It is always understood that the punishment is given for the good of the son, who knows that as soon as he mends his ways, he will regain the fatherly love. And the follower sets an excellent example of obedience under very trying circumstances. He suffers hard from the severity of the chastisement but never thinks of rebelling against the leader because of any false personal or clannish pride; nay, he does not cherish in his heart any complaint against his beloved leader, but begins to love him even more than before. During this saddest period of his life the only thing he yearns for is a look of affection from his leader. For he is like a famine-stricken farmer whose only hope is the piece of cloud which he sees floating in the sky.

Now let us have a glimpse of the Muslim society, which displayed the greatest discipline and the highest moral spirit that had ever been shown by any society. No sooner does the leader order the boycott than the whole community becomes a stranger to the follower not only in public but also in private. So much so that his nearest relatives and closest friends do not even speak to him; nay, his own wife leaves him alone. He implores them on oath to tell him if they suspected his sincerity, but even his lifelong companions make a point-blank refusal, saying that he should ask Allah and His Messenger for that testimony. But in spite of the show of this strict discipline, the moral spirit of the community is so high and so pure that not a single person tries to take advantage of the position of the fallen brother by adding insult to his injury; nay, everyone feels sorry for his brother in disgrace, and is important to embrace him as soon as he is forgiven. That is why the people run in haste to tell him the good news.

The above is the model of the righteous community that the Quran aims.

This background makes it plain why Allah not only forgave them but also manifested His kindness; gentleness and compassion in His forgiveness to these people. It was because of their sincerity which they proved during the fifty days of their chastisement. Had they shown arrogance after the commission of their offense and retaliated by taking angry and hostile actions as does every self-worshiper whose pride is wounded: had they behaved during their boycott in a manner as if they would break away from the community but never bow down before it: had they passed this period in spreading dissatisfaction in the community and gathering around them all the disgruntled people in order to organize a strong opposition against the leader, then they would have most certainly been expelled from the community, as if to say, “Go you now and worship the idol of yourself, for henceforth you will never be given any opportunity for exerting to raise the word of Allah”. But these three did not adopt this way though it was open to them. On the contrary, they took a different way, as has been seen, and proved that God worship had destroyed every idol that might have remained hidden in their hearts: that they had dedicated themselves entirely to the exertion in the Way of Allah: that while joining the Islamic community they had burnt their boats to make it impossible for themselves to go back anywhere: that they would put up with every kind of treatment but would remain in the community and die as a member of it and would scornfully reject any offer of an honorable place outside it; and would rather bear disgrace in it. That was why they were again taken in the community with the same honor as before. This is the explanation of the kind words of forgiveness: “Then He turned to them, that they might repent.” In these concise words, the Quran has depicted the true picture of the matter. The Master had at first turned away His attention from His three servants but when He saw that they had not left His door but had remained there with broken hearts, He again turned to them in appreciation of their fidelity so as to bring them back into the fold.

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
Left behind: i.e., the acceptance of their repentance was delayed. Among the Faithful, the largest number consisted of those who were perfectly staunch and ever ready to do their duty. They obtained the love and good pleasure of Allah. Next came a few who wavered because their will was weak and they were daunted by the dangers and difficulties that faced them; Allah's saving grace protected them and they conquered their weakness, and did not fail in their duty; Allah forgave them and accepted their repentance. Lastly, in the illustration taken from the Tabuk affair, there were some who actually failed in their duty, not from contumacy or ill-will, but from thoughtlessness, slackness, and human weakness: they actually failed to obey the Holy Prophet's summons, and were naturally called on to explain, and were excluded from the life of the Community. Their mental state is here described graphically. Though the earth is spacious, to them it was constrained. In their own souls they had a feeling of constraint. In worldly affluence they felt poor in spirit. They realized that they could not flee from Allah, but could only find solace and refuge in coming back to Him. They freely repented and showed it in their deeds, and Allah freely forgave them and took them to His grace. Though illustrated by the particular examples of Ka'b, Mararah and Hilal, the lesson is perfectly general and is good for all times.

Ruku / Section 15 [Verses 119-122]

Verses 119 - 127: In the concluding portion, general instructions have been given to the Believers for their guidance. 

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اتَّقُوا اللَّـهَ وَكُونُوا مَعَ الصَّادِقِينَ 
( 119 )   O you who have believed, fear Allah and be with those who are true.

 مَا كَانَ لِأَهْلِ الْمَدِينَةِ وَمَنْ حَوْلَهُم مِّنَ الْأَعْرَابِ أَن يَتَخَلَّفُوا عَن رَّسُولِ اللَّـهِ وَلَا يَرْغَبُوا بِأَنفُسِهِمْ عَن نَّفْسِهِ ۚ ذَٰلِكَ بِأَنَّهُمْ لَا يُصِيبُهُمْ ظَمَأٌ وَلَا نَصَبٌ وَلَا مَخْمَصَةٌ فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّـهِ وَلَا يَطَئُونَ مَوْطِئًا يَغِيظُ الْكُفَّارَ وَلَا يَنَالُونَ مِنْ عَدُوٍّ نَّيْلًا إِلَّا كُتِبَ لَهُم بِهِ عَمَلٌ صَالِحٌ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّـهَ لَا يُضِيعُ أَجْرَ الْمُحْسِنِينَ 
( 120 )   It was not [proper] for the people of Madinah and those surrounding them of the Bedouins that they remain behind after [the departure of] the Messenger of Allah or that they prefer themselves over his self. That is because they are not afflicted by thirst or fatigue or hunger in the cause of Allah, nor do they tread on any ground that enrages the disbelievers, nor do they inflict upon an enemy any infliction but that is registered for them as a righteous deed. Indeed, Allah does not allow to be lost the reward of the doers of good.
Yusuf Ali Explanation:
Again, the illustration is that of Tabuk, but the lesson is general. We must not hold our own comfort or lives dearer than that of our leader, nor desert him in the hour of danger. If we have true devotion, we shall hold our own lives or comfort cheap in comparison to his. But whatever service we render to the Cause of Allah, and whatever sufferings, hardships, or injuries we endure, or whatever resources we spend for the Cause,-all goes to raise our degree in the spiritual world. Nothing is lost. Our reward is far greater in worth than any little service we can render, or any little hardship we can suffer, or any little contributions we can make to the Cause. We "painfully attain to joy".

  وَلَا يُنفِقُونَ نَفَقَةً صَغِيرَةً وَلَا كَبِيرَةً وَلَا يَقْطَعُونَ وَادِيًا إِلَّا كُتِبَ لَهُمْ لِيَجْزِيَهُمُ اللَّـهُ أَحْسَنَ مَا كَانُوا يَعْمَلُونَ 
( 121 )   Nor do they spend an expenditure, small or large, or cross a valley but that it is registered for them that Allah may reward them for the best of what they were doing.
Yusuf Ali Explanation:
Cut across a valley: this is specially mentioned, as denoting an individual act of heroism, dash, or bravery. To march with the troops along valleys, tread paths of danger along with our Comrades, is good and praiseworthy: Notice that both the things mentioned in this verse,- the spending of resources and the dashing across a valley-are individual acts, while those mentioned in the last verse are collective acts, which are in some ways easier. The individual acts having been mentioned, the next verse follows naturally.

  وَمَا كَانَ الْمُؤْمِنُونَ لِيَنفِرُوا كَافَّةً ۚ فَلَوْلَا نَفَرَ مِن كُلِّ فِرْقَةٍ مِّنْهُمْ طَائِفَةٌ لِّيَتَفَقَّهُوا فِي الدِّينِ وَلِيُنذِرُوا قَوْمَهُمْ إِذَا رَجَعُوا إِلَيْهِمْ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَحْذَرُونَ 
( 122 )   And it is not for the believers to go forth [to battle] all at once. For there should separate from every division of them a group [remaining] to obtain understanding in the religion and warn their people when they return to them that they might be cautious.
In order to comprehend the meaning of this verse, Ayat 97 with which it is connected, should be kept in view:

These Bedouins are most stubborn in unbelief and hypocrisy, and, in all probability, will remain ignorant of the laws of the way which Allah has sent down to His Messenger.

In Ayat 97, the Quran merely diagnosed the disease and pointed out its symptoms. The Bedouins were suffering from the disease of hypocrisy because of their ignorance of the laws of the Way of Allah. This was so because they had not had any connections with the center of that knowledge. Here in this concluding portion of the Surah, the remedy of that disease has been prescribed so that they should have an understanding of Islam and its implications. It is not necessary that for this purpose all of them should leave their homes and come to Al-Madinah to learn that knowledge, but some of them should come from each habitation, clan and region to the centers of the knowledge (Al-Madinah, Makkah and the like) and understand Islam. Then they should go back to their own habitations and create its understanding among the common people.

This was a very important instruction that was given at the opportune moment to strengthen the Islamic movement. For, at that time, the people were entering into the fold of Islam in large numbers without its proper understanding. Obviously, this instruction was not needed in the initial stages of the movement, for at that time everyone who embraced Islam did so with its full understanding. No one would think of becoming a Muslim without this as this was an invitation to persecution. When the movement became successful and won power in the land, the clans and the habitations began to enter en bloc into the fold of Islam. Naturally very few of them understood the full implications of the faith before accepting it, but the majority of them were being carried into the fold, as it were, by the strong current that had been generated by the movement. Outwardly this immense increase in numbers appeared to be a source of strength to Islam, but in reality such people as had no true understanding of Islam and were, therefore, not prepared to fulfill its moral obligations, were not only useless for the Islamic system but were actually harmful to it.

This side of the matter became quite apparent during the preparations for the Tabuk expedition. That is why Allah sent down the instruction that necessary steps should be taken for the integration of the Islamic community so that it may keep pace with the immense increase in its number. Therefore some people should be brought out from every habitation and taught and trained in the requirements of Islam and these in their turn should teach and train their own people so that the whole Muslim population should understand Islam and obtain the knowledge of the limits prescribed by Allah. In this connection, it should also be clearly understood that the command about mass education given in this verse is not merely about literacy but it had the definite aim of imparting the understanding of the way of Islam among the masses and enabling them to refrain from unIslamic ways. This is the real and permanent aim of education that has been set before the Muslims by Allah himself. Therefore every system of their education shall be judged by this criterion and shall be regarded Islamic only to the extent it fulfills this aim. It does not, however, mean that Islam is against the spreading of literacy and teaching of the purely mundane subjects to the masses, but it simply means that the primary aim of the Islamic education should be the achievement of the objective which has been mentioned above in italics. Without this, it does not consider any education to be education at all, even if it were to produce Einsteins and Freuds of the age.

It will be worthwhile to consider the true significance of the words used in the context, for they created a strange misunderstanding among the people of the later period, and produced lasting poisonous effects on the religious education of the Muslims, nay, on their whole religious life in general. It is obvious that Allah used these words in order to lay down the objective of education before the Muslims, which was this: to understand the Islamic way of life and have an insight into its system: to be familiar with its true nature and spirit so as to be able to judge and differentiate between the Islamic and the un-Islamic ways of thought and conduct in every aspect of life. But later on when the knowledge of the Muslim law was given the technical name of fiqh, it gradually developed into the science of the details of external form (as opposed to the spiritual aspect of the Islamic law). As the word fiqh is of the same root as used in this verse, a misunderstanding was created that this command of the Quran was about acquiring the knowledge of fiqh in the above-mentioned sense. It is true that this knowledge is of great importance in the Islamic system of life, but it is not all that is required by the Quran but only a part of the objective. It is not possible to recount here all the damages that the Muslim community has suffered because of this misunderstanding, but suffice it to say that this is the thing, which is responsible for reducing the religious education of the Muslims to the knowledge and interpretation of the external form of Islam without paying any attention to the spirit of Islam. This inevitably resulted in making lifeless formalism the ultimate goal of the life of the Muslims.

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
Fighting may be inevitable, and where a call is made by the ruler of an Islamic State, it should be obeyed. But fighting is not to be glorified to the exclusion of all else. Even among those who are able to go forth, a party should remain behind-for purposes of study, so that when the fighters return home, their minds may be attuned again to the more normal interests of religious life, under properly instructed teachers. The students and teachers are soldiers of the Jiha4d in their spirit of obedience and discipline.

Ruku / Section 16 [Verses 123-129]

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا قَاتِلُوا الَّذِينَ يَلُونَكُم مِّنَ الْكُفَّارِ وَلْيَجِدُوا فِيكُمْ غِلْظَةً ۚ وَاعْلَمُوا أَنَّ اللَّـهَ مَعَ الْمُتَّقِينَ 
( 123 )   O you who have believed, fight those adjacent to you of the disbelievers and let them find in you harshness. And know that Allah is with the righteous.
From the apparent wording of this verse, it may be inferred that only those Muslims have at first been held responsible to fight with those enemies of Islam who live near their territory. But if we read this verse along with the succeeding passage, it becomes clear that here disbelievers who are near you refers to those hypocrites who were doing great harm to the Islamic society by mixing up with the sincere Muslims. This very thing was stated in Ayat 73 at the beginning of this discourse. The command has been repeated at its end in order to impress on the Muslims the importance of the matter and to urge them to do Jihad and crush these internal enemies, without paying the least regard to the racial, family and social relations that had been proving a binding force with them. The only difference between the two commands is that in Ayat 73, the Muslims were asked to do Jihad with them, while in this verse stronger words “fight those” have been used, which were meant to impress on them that they should crush the hypocrites thoroughly and completely. Another difference in the wordings is that in Ayat 73, two different words, “disbelievers and hypocrites” have been used, while in this verse only one word, “disbelievers” has been used so that the hypocrites should forfeit all their claims as Muslims. For there was room for this concession in the word hypocrite.

This is meant to impress that they should not, in future, show the lenient treatment they had been meting out to them up to that time. This has already been commanded in Ayat 73 as be firm and stern with them.

This warning has two-fold meanings and both are implied here. First, If you show any kind of leniency towards them because of your personal or family or economic connections with them, you should know that such a thing shall be against the fear of God. For the fear of God and friendly relations with the enemies of Allah are contradictory things. Therefore, you should give these up if you desire to obtain Allah’s help. Secondly, You should scrupulously observe the moral and humane limits in doing Jihad, and in fighting against them. For you should always keep yourselves within the prescribed limits in everything. If you transgress these in any way, you should know that Allah will forsake you for He helps only those who are God fearing.

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
When conflict becomes inevitable, the first thing is to clear our surroundings of all evil, for it is only evil that we can rightly fight. To evil we must put up a stout and stiff resistance. Mealy-mouthed compromises are not right for soldiers of truth and righteousness. They are often a compound of cowardice, weariness, greed, and corruptibility.

  وَإِذَا مَا أُنزِلَتْ سُورَةٌ فَمِنْهُم مَّن يَقُولُ أَيُّكُمْ زَادَتْهُ هَـٰذِهِ إِيمَانًا ۚ فَأَمَّا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا فَزَادَتْهُمْ إِيمَانًا وَهُمْ يَسْتَبْشِرُونَ 
( 124 )   And whenever a surah is revealed, there are among the hypocrites those who say, "Which of you has this increased faith?" As for those who believed, it has increased them in faith, while they are rejoicing.
Yusuf Ali Explanation:
The incompatibility of Unfaith and Faith are contrasted in this section in respect of revelation and the divine teacher. The Unbelievers laugh at revelation, and say to each other mockingly: "Does this increase your faith?" To the Believer every new aspect of Allah's truth as revealed increases his faith, and wonder, and gratitude. He rejoices, because he gets added strength for life and achievement.

  وَأَمَّا الَّذِينَ فِي قُلُوبِهِم مَّرَضٌ فَزَادَتْهُمْ رِجْسًا إِلَىٰ رِجْسِهِمْ وَمَاتُوا وَهُمْ كَافِرُونَ 
( 125 )   But as for those in whose hearts is disease, it has [only] increased them in evil [in addition] to their evil. And they will have died while they are disbelievers.
As regards the increase and decrease in faith, disbelief and hypocrisy, please refer to explanation of verse 2 of Surah Al-Anfal.

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
Cf. ii. 10 and several similar passages. Just as the light, which to healthy eyes gives enlightenment, causes pain to the diseased eye, which emits unclean matter, so to those spiritually diseased. Allah's grace is unwelcome, and they put forth more doubts to cover their disease. And they die in their disease, and of their discase. Note the aptness of the metaphor.

  أَوَلَا يَرَوْنَ أَنَّهُمْ يُفْتَنُونَ فِي كُلِّ عَامٍ مَّرَّةً أَوْ مَرَّتَيْنِ ثُمَّ لَا يَتُوبُونَ وَلَا هُمْ يَذَّكَّرُونَ 
( 126 )   Do they not see that they are tried every year once or twice but then they do not repent nor do they remember?
That is, during the course of every year such circumstances are created as put to test once or twice their claim to the faith, and these disclose that their profession of Islam was like a counterfeit coin. For instance, some time their faith is tested by: (a) A commandment of the Quran which lays some new restriction on their lust or by; (b) A demand of the faith that hits hard at their self interests or by; (c) an internal dispute which discloses their preference for worldly interests and for their personal, family and clannish relations to Allah, His Messenger and the faith or by; (d) A war that requires the sacrifice of their lives, wealth, time and energies. All these tests help bring to the open that filth of hypocrisy that lay hidden in their hearts under the garb of the profession of Islam. Besides, these things increase that filth which had already gathered in their hearts because of their deviations from the implications of the faith.

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
Yet, in spite of their infidelity, one or two chances are given them every year. The door is not closed to them. Yet they deliberately turn away, and take no heed of all the warnings which their own nature and the teaching and example of good men should give them.

  وَإِذَا مَا أُنزِلَتْ سُورَةٌ نَّظَرَ بَعْضُهُمْ إِلَىٰ بَعْضٍ هَلْ يَرَاكُم مِّنْ أَحَدٍ ثُمَّ انصَرَفُوا ۚ صَرَفَ اللَّـهُ قُلُوبَهُم بِأَنَّهُمْ قَوْمٌ لَّا يَفْقَهُونَ 
( 127 )   And whenever a surah is revealed, they look at each other, [saying], "Does anyone see you?" and then they dismiss themselves. Allah has dismissed their hearts because they are a people who do not understand.
This happened when the hypocrites had to attend a meeting that was specially held for the recital of some new Surah. The Prophet (peace be upon him) used to recite as an address every new Surah before the assembly. The true believers would listen to it very attentively and respectfully. But the hypocrites, who had to attend the meeting to show that they were Muslims, would sit listlessly in the meeting for they had no interest in the recital. But when they would be assured that their attendance had been marked, they would look for an opportune moment to slip away without being seen and noticed.

Allah has turned away their hearts from the Quran, because they do not understand that it is in their own interest to listen to the Quran and to act upon its teachings. These foolish people do not realize that by ignoring the Quran and the Prophet (peace be upon him), they in fact deprive themselves of a great blessing. As they are deeply engaged in their own narrow interests, they do not see that the great knowledge of the Quran and the right guidance of the Prophet (peace be upon him) has the potentiality of making them the leaders of this world, and of bringing salvation to them in the next world. As a result of their folly and neglect of the great blessing, Allah has, in accordance with His law, deprived them of the capacity of making use of this blessing and turned away their hearts from it. That is why these unfortunate, people do not even feel the great loss they are suffering, while the blessed people are taking full advantage of this great fountainhead of power and strength and are preparing themselves for achieving the greatest success that human beings could ever achieve.

Yusuf Ali Explanation:
Even the Unbelievers, in their heart and conscience, feel uncomfortable when they turn away from Faith and Truth, and therefore their turning aside is figured by furtive glances, such as we may suppose literally to have been cast by the Hypocrites in the assemblies of the Holy Prophet. Then they slink away, feeling superior in their minds. And yet, if they only knew it, their contumacy deprives them of Allah's grace and light. They are turning Grace away, and when Allah withdraws it altogether, they perish utterly.

Verses 128 - 129: This is the conclusion: "Follow the Messenger who is gentle and compassionate and your greatest well-wisher, and trust in Allah, the Lord of the Universe". 

لَقَدْ جَاءَكُمْ رَسُولٌ مِّنْ أَنفُسِكُمْ عَزِيزٌ عَلَيْهِ مَا عَنِتُّمْ حَرِيصٌ عَلَيْكُم بِالْمُؤْمِنِينَ رَءُوفٌ رَّحِيمٌ 
( 128 )   There has certainly come to you a Messenger from among yourselves. Grievous to him is what you suffer; [he is] concerned over you and to the believers is kind and merciful.
Yusuf Ali Explanation:
The tender heart of the Teacher is grieved that any among his flock should rush headlong to ruin. He watches ardently over them, and whenever any of them show signs of Faith, his kindness and mercy surround him and rejoice over him.

Ibn Kathir Explanation:
(I was sent with the easy Hanifiyah [monotheism] (way.) An authentic Hadith mentions: (Verily, this religion is easy) and its Law is all easy, lenient and perfect. It is easy for those whom Allah the Exalted makes it easy.)

(He is eager for you), that you gain guidance and acquire benefits in this life and the Hereafter. Imam Ahmad recorded that `Abdullah bin Mas`ud said that the Messenger of Allah said:

«إِنَّ اللهَ لَمْ يُحَرِّمْ حُرْمَةً إِلَّا وَقَدْ عَلِمَ أَنَّهُ سَيَطَّلِعُهَا مِنْكُمْ مُطَّلِعٌ، أَلَا وَإِنِّي آخِذٌ بِحُجَزِكُمْ أَنْ تَهَافَتُوا فِي النَّارِ كَتَهَافُتِ الْفَرَاشِ أَوِ الذُّبَاب»
(Verily, every matter that Allah has prohibited, He knows that some among you will breach it; but I am indeed holding you by the waist so that you do not fall in the Fire, just like butterflies and flies.)

Allah's statement next: (for the believers (he is) full of pity, kind, and merciful.) is similar to His other statement:
(And be kind and humble to the believers who follow you. Then if they disobey you, say: "I am innocent of what you do.'' And put your trust in the All-Mighty, the Most Merciful) [26:215-217]. 
Allah the Exalted commanded His Messenger in this honorable Ayah [129]:

  فَإِن تَوَلَّوْا فَقُلْ حَسْبِيَ اللَّـهُ لَا إِلَـٰهَ إِلَّا هُوَ ۖ عَلَيْهِ تَوَكَّلْتُ ۖ وَهُوَ رَبُّ الْعَرْشِ الْعَظِيمِ
( 129 )   But if they turn away, [O Muhammad], say, "Sufficient for me is Allah; there is no deity except Him. On Him I have relied, and He is the Lord of the Great Throne."
Yusuf Ali Explanation:
But if the Message is rejected, he still proclaims the burning Faith of his heart, which is unquenchable. Allah is sufficient to all. To trust Him is to find the accomplishment of all spiritual desire. His grandeur is figured by a lofty Throne, supreme in glory! Thus have we been led, through a notable incident in Al-Mustafa's earthly career, to truths of the highest spiritual import. 

Ibn Kathir Explanation:
(But if they turn away), from the glorious, pure, perfect and encompassing Law that you -- O Muhammad -- brought them,

(then say: "Allah is sufficient for me. There is no God but He,) Allah is sufficient for me, there is no deity worthy of worship except Him, and in Him I put my trust.
Similarly, Allah said: ((He alone is) the Lord of the east and the west; there is no God but He. So take Him alone as a guardian.) [73:9]. 
Allah said next: (Verily, there has come unto you a Messenger from among yourselves ...) [9:128]'' 
Until the end of the Surah It is recorded in the Sahih that Zayd bin Thabit said, "I found the last Ayah in Surah Bara'ah with Khuzaymah bin Thabit.'' This is the end of Surah Bara'ah, all praise is due to Allah.

(and He is the Lord of the Mighty Throne) [9:129]. He is the King and Creator of all things, and He is the Lord of the Mighty Throne (`Arsh), which is above all creation; all that is in and between the heavens and earths is under the Throne (`Arsh) and subservient to Allah's power. His knowledge encompasses all things, and His decision will certainly come to pass over all matters. He is the guardian of all things.

Imam Ahmad recorded that Ibn `Abbas said that Ubayy bin Ka`b said, "The last Ayah revealed from the Qur'an was this Ayah: (Verily, there has come unto you a Messenger from among yourselves .. ) until the end of the Surah It is recorded in the Sahih that Zayd bin Thabit said, "I found the last Ayah in Surah Bara'ah with Khuzaymah bin Thabit . '' This is the end of Surah Bara'ah, all praise is due to Allah.

You may now like to listen to Arabic recitation of Sūrat At Tawbah with English subtitles:

You may refer to our post "114 Chapters (Sūrahs) of the Holy Qur'an" for translation, meaning and summary / exegesis of other chapters (Though not complete but building up from 30th Juzʼ / Part backwards for chapters in 30th Juzʼ / Part are shorter and easier to understand). 

You may also refer to our Reference Pages for knowing more about Islam and Quran.
Photo | References: | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 |
Reading the Holy Quran should be a daily obligation of a Muslim - Reading it with translation will make it meaningful. But reading its Exegesis / Tafsir will make you understand it fully.

An effort has been made to gather explanation / exegesis of the surahs of the Holy Qur'an from authentic sources and then present a least possible condensed explanation of the surah. In that:
  • The plain translation has been taken from the Holy Quran officially published by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. [1]
  • The exegesis of the chapters of the Holy Quran is mainly based on the "Tafhim al-Qur'an - The Meaning of the Qur'an" by one of the most enlightened scholars of the Muslim World Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi.  [2]
In order to augment and add more explanation as already provided by [2], additional input has been interjected from following sources: 
In addition the references of  other sources which have been explored have also been given above. Those desirous of detailed explanations and tafsir (exegesis), may refer to these sites.

If you like Islam: My Ultimate Decision, and to keep yourself updated on all our latest posts to know more about Islam, follow us on Facebook

Please share this page to your friends and family members through Facebook, WhatsApp or any means on Social Media so that they can also be benefited by it and better understand Islam and the Holy Qur'an - Insha Allah (Allah Willing) you shall be blessed with the best of both worlds.

Twitter Delicious Facebook Digg Stumbleupon Favorites More