SURAT AL-TAWBA (Repentance)/ BARA’AT (Immunity) 9 – MEDINIAN – AYATS 129  (Except Ayats 128-129 Meccan)  SECTION  THREE –  AYATS FROM  32-42
Category: Art & Culture

SURAT AL-TAWBA (Repentance)/ BARA’AT (Immunity) 9 – MEDINIAN – AYATS 129 (Except Ayats 128-129 Meccan) SECTION THREE – AYATS FROM 32-42

They are feigning fictitiously they would extinguish God’s Light with their mouths, but God will not allow except that His Light should be perfected, even though the Unbelievers detest/hate (it). (32)

يُرِيدُونَ أَنْ يُطْفِئُوا نُورَ اللَّهِ بِأَفْوَاهِهِمْ وَيَأْبَى اللَّهُ إِلَّا أَنْ يُتِمَّ نُورَهُ وَلَوْ كَرِهَ الْكَافِرُونَ (32)

 

It is He Who has sent His Apostle [Muhammad PPBUH] with Guidance and the Religion of Truth, to proclaim and make it superior over all religions, even though the Polytheistic Pagans may hate/ detest (it). (33)

هُوَ الَّذِي أَرْسَلَ رَسُولَهُ بِالْهُدَى وَدِينِ الْحَقِّ لِيُظْهِرَهُ عَلَى الدِّينِ كُلِّهِ وَلَوْ كَرِهَ الْمُشْرِكُونَ (33)

O’ you who believe! Verily, there are indeed many among the rabbis (Jewish) and the monks (Christians) (the priests and anchorites) who – in falsehood- devour the substance and wealth of men and hinder (them) from the Way of God. And there are those who hoard up and bury gold and silver and spend it not in the Way of God: announce to them a most grievous penalty/painful torment. (34)  

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آَمَنُوا إِنَّ كَثِيرًا مِنَ الْأَحْبَارِ وَالرُّهْبَانِ لَيَأْكُلُونَ أَمْوَالَ النَّاسِ بِالْبَاطِلِ وَيَصُدُّونَ عَنْ سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ وَالَّذِينَ يَكْنِزُونَ الذَّهَبَ وَالْفِضَّةَ وَلَا يُنْفِقُونَهَا فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ فَبَشِّرْهُمْ بِعَذَابٍ أَلِيمٍ (34)

On the Day when heat will be produced out of that (wealth-gold and silver) in the Fire of Hell, and with it will be branded their foreheads, their flanks, and their backs, (and will be said to them):”this is the (treasure) which you buried for your selves; now then, you taste the (treasures) you have hoarded and buried”. (35)  

يَوْمَ يُحْمَى عَلَيْهَا فِي نَارِ جَهَنَّمَ فَتُكْوَى بِهَا جِبَاهُهُمْ وَجُنُوبُهُمْ وَظُهُورُهُمْ هَذَا مَا كَنَزْتُمْ لِأَنْفُسِكُمْ فَذُوقُوا مَا كُنْتُمْ تَكْنِزُونَ (35)

THE NUMBER OF MONTHS IN THE SIGHT OF GOD IS TWELVE (IN A YEAR) SO ORDAINED BY HIM. THE DAY HE CREATED THE HEAVENS AND EARTH; OF THEM FOUR ARE SACRED; THAT IS THE STRAIGHT USAGE, SO WRONG NOT YOURSELVES THEREIN, AND FIGHT THE POLYTHEISTIC PAGANS ALTOGETHER AS THEY FIGHT YOU ALL TOGETHER. BUT KNOW THAT GOD IS WITH THOSE WHO RESTRAIN THEMSELVES(THE PIOUS).(36)

إِنَّ عِدَّةَ الشُّهُورِ عِنْدَ اللَّهِ اثْنَا عَشَرَ شَهْرًا فِي كِتَابِ اللَّهِ يَوْمَ خَلَقَ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضَ مِنْهَا أَرْبَعَةٌ حُرُمٌ ذَلِكَ الدِّينُ الْقَيِّمُ فَلَا تَظْلِمُوا فِيهِنَّ أَنْفُسَكُمْ وَقَاتِلُوا الْمُشْرِكِينَ كَافَّةً كَمَا يُقَاتِلُونَكُمْ كَافَّةً وَاعْلَمُوا أَنَّ اللَّهَ مَعَ الْمُتَّقِينَ (36)

Verily, the transposing/postponing (of the sacred/ prohibited month) is indeed an addition to Unbelief: the Unbelievers are led to wrong thereby; for they make it lawful one year, and forbidden another year, in order to adjust the number of months forbidden by God, and make such forbidden ones lawful. The evil of their course of deeds seems pleasing to them. But God guides not those who reject Faith. (37)    

إِنَّمَا النَّسِيءُ زِيَادَةٌ فِي الْكُفْرِ يُضَلُّ بِهِ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا يُحِلُّونَهُ عَامًا وَيُحَرِّمُونَهُ عَامًا لِيُوَاطِئُوا عِدَّةَ مَا حَرَّمَ اللَّهُ فَيُحِلُّوا مَا حَرَّمَ اللَّهُ زُيِّنَ لَهُمْ سُوءُ أَعْمَالِهِمْ وَاللَّهُ لَا يَهْدِي الْقَوْمَ الْكَافِرِينَ (37)

O’ you who believe! What is the matter with, that –when you are asked to forth in the Cause of God- you cling heavily to the earth? Are you pleased and prefer the life of this world than to the Hereafter? But little is the comfort and enjoyment of the life of this world, as compared with the Hereafter. (38) 

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آَمَنُوا مَا لَكُمْ إِذَا قِيلَ لَكُمُ انْفِرُوا فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ اثَّاقَلْتُمْ إِلَى الْأَرْضِ أَرَضِيتُمْ بِالْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا مِنَ الْآَخِرَةِ فَمَا مَتَاعُ الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا فِي الْآَخِرَةِ إِلَّا قَلِيلٌ (38)

Unless you go forth, He will punish you with a grievous penalty of painful torment, and replace you by putting others in your place; and you cannot harm Him in the least, for God has power over all, and Able to do all things. (39)

إِلَّا تَنْفِرُوا يُعَذِّبْكُمْ عَذَابًا أَلِيمًا وَيَسْتَبْدِلْ قَوْمًا غَيْرَكُمْ وَلَا تَضُرُّوهُ شَيْئًا وَاللَّهُ عَلَى كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ (39)

If you do not help him [your Leader Muhammad PPBUH]-(it is no matter): for God did indeed help him, when the Unbelievers drove out; he had no more than one companion [Abu-Bakr BUH], they the two [Muhammad PPBUH and Abu-Bakr BUH], they the two were in the Cave, and he [Muhammad PBUH] said to his companion [Abu-Bakr BUH]:”have no fear/be not sad or afraid, for God is with us”: then God sent down His peace/tranquility upon him, and strengthened him with forces (angels), which you did see, and humbled to the depth of the lowermost- the word of the Unbelievers, while the word of God became the upper-most , and exalted to the heights, for God is All-Mighty, All-Wise. (40)    

إِلَّا تَنْصُرُوهُ فَقَدْ نَصَرَهُ اللَّهُ إِذْ أَخْرَجَهُ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا ثَانِيَ اثْنَيْنِ إِذْ هُمَا فِي الْغَارِ إِذْ يَقُولُ لِصَاحِبِهِ لَا تَحْزَنْ إِنَّ اللَّهَ مَعَنَا فَأَنْزَلَ اللَّهُ سَكِينَتَهُ عَلَيْهِ وَأَيَّدَهُ بِجُنُودٍ لَمْ تَرَوْهَا وَجَعَلَ كَلِمَةَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا السُّفْلَى وَكَلِمَةُ اللَّهِ هِيَ الْعُلْيَا وَاللَّهُ عَزِيزٌ حَكِيمٌ (40)

Go forth – whether you are equipped lightly- (being healthy, young, and wealthy), or heavily (being ill, old and poor), and strive and struggle –with your wealth and good and your persons and lives in the Cause of God. That is the best for you, if you –only but- know. (41)

انْفِرُوا خِفَافًا وَثِقَالًا وَجَاهِدُوا بِأَمْوَالِكُمْ وَأَنْفُسِكُمْ فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ ذَلِكُمْ خَيْرٌ لَكُمْ إِنْ كُنْتُمْ تَعْلَمُونَ (41)

If there had been an immediate and nearer gain (booty in sight), and the journey is easy, they would (all) –without doubt- have followed you, but the distance was long, and weighed on them (Tabuk Expedition), they would indeed swear by God to you:”if we only could, we should –certainly- have come out with you”. They would destroy their own-selves and souls, for God knows that they certainly are lying and surely are liars. (42)   

لَوْ كَانَ عَرَضًا قَرِيبًا وَسَفَرًا قَاصِدًا لَاتَّبَعُوكَ وَلَكِنْ بَعُدَتْ عَلَيْهِمُ الشُّقَّةُ وَسَيَحْلِفُونَ بِاللَّهِ لَوِ اسْتَطَعْنَا لَخَرَجْنَا مَعَكُمْ يُهْلِكُونَ أَنْفُسَهُمْ وَاللَّهُ يَعْلَمُ إِنَّهُمْ لَكَاذِبُونَ (42)

COMMENTARY:-
(Verse 32)- With their mouths: there is a twofold meaning: (1) the old fashioned open oil lamps were extinguished by blowing with the mouth; the Unbelievers would like to blow out God’s Light as it is a cause of offence to them: (2) false teachers and preachers distort the Message of God by the false words of their mouth. Their wish is to put out the light of Truth for they are people of darkness; but God will perfect His Light, i.e. make it shine all the brighter in the eyes of men. His Light in itself is ever  perfect, but it will penetrate the hearts of men more and more, and so become more and more perfect for them.
(Verse 33)- Every religion which commends itself widely to human beings and lasts through some space of time has a glimpse of Truth in it. But Islam is the perfect light of Truth. As the greater Light –through its own strength- outshines all lesser lights, so will Islam outshine all else, in spite of the displeasure of those to whom light is an offence. See also Surat Al-Fat-h 48 verse 28 which sustain that (The divine disposition of events in the coming of Islam and its promulgation by the holy Prophet [PPBUH] are themselves evidence of the truth of Islam and its all-reaching character; for there is nothing which has not influenced), see also Surat Al-Saff-Battle Array 61 verse 9 which also sustains that (“Over all religion”: in the singular; not over all other religions, in plural. There is really only one true Religion, the Message of God, submission to the Will of God: this is called Islam. It was the religion preached by Moses and Jesus; it was the religion of Abraham, Noah, and all the prophets, by whatever name it may be called. If people corrupt that pure light, and call their religions by different names, we must bear with them, and we may allow the names for convenience. But Truth must prevail over all).
(Verse 34)- A/Bil-batil=??????? :- in falsehood, i.e. by false pretences, or in false or vain things. This was strikingly exemplified in the history of Mediaeval Europe, though the disease is apt to attack all peoples and organizations at all times. Priests got rich by issuing indulgences and dispensations; they made their office a stepping stone to worldly power and possessions. Even the Monastic Orders –which took vows of poverty for individuals- grew rich with corporate property, until their wealth became a scandal, even among their own nations. B/Misuse of wealth, property, and resources is frequently condemned, and in three ways: (1) do not acquire anything wrongly or on false pretences; (2) do not hoard or bury or amass wealth for its own sake, but use it freely for good, whether for yourself, or for your neighbors; and (3) be particularly careful not to waste it for idle purposes, but only so that it may fructify for the good of the people.
(Verse 35)- A/ A very striking metaphor is here used to figure forth the penalty to be suffered by those who misuse wealth, for such misuse is as much spiritual sin as any other kind of disobedience to God’s Will. Such misused wealth will itself become evidence against us. It will be as if the gold and silver will be heated to add to the heat of Hell-Fire; that it will brand our foreheads as reflecting on our intelligence in thinking that wealth was a good thing in itself instead of a mere means of doing good; it will brand our flanks (the idle part of our body, supporting the stomach, the seat of greed), as showing that the greed produced no real satisfaction; and it will brand our backs, the source of our stability and strength, as showing that wealth which might have added to our stability and strength, destroys –by its misuse- our stability and strength. B/The voice enforces the moral: “did you expect satisfaction or salvation from the treasures that you misused? Behold! They add to your torment”.
(Verse 36)- A/This and the following verse must be read together. They condemn the arbitrary and selfish conduct of the Polytheistic Pagan Arabs, who –because there was a long-established custom of observing four months as those in which fighting was forbidden- changed the months about or added or deducted months when it suited them, to get an unfair advantage over the enemy. The four prohibited months were: Zul-qa’da, Zul-Hijja, Muharram, and Rajab. If it suited them they postponed one of these months, and so a prohibited month became an ordinary month, while their opponents might hesitate to fight, they got an undue advantage. It also upset the security of the Month of Pilgrimage. This very ancient usage made for fair dealing all round, and its infraction by the Polytheistic Pagans is condemned. The question of a solar astronomical year as against the lunar ecclesiastical year does not arise here. But it may be noted that the Arab year was roughly lunar-solar like the Hindu year, the months being lunar and the intercalation of a month every three years brought the year nearly but not accurately up to the solar reckoning. From the year of the Farewell Pilgrimage (A.H. 10) the ecclesiastical year was definitely fixed as a purely lunar year of roughly 354 days, the months being calculated by the actual appearance of the moon. After that, every month of the ecclesiastical year came about 11 days earlier in the solar year, and thus the ecclesiastical months travelled all round the seasons and the solar year. The lunar year remains the ecclesiastical year. B/The Muslims were at a disadvantage on account of their scruples about the Prohibited Months. They are told not to wrong themselves in this. If the Polytheistic Pagans fought in all months –on one pretence or another- they were allowed to defend themselves in all months. But self-restrain was (as always) recommended as far as possible.
(Verse 37)- A/To meddle with an old-established custom of close time for warfare during Prohibited or Sacred Months was not only a demonstration of the Unbelievers against Muslims on account of their Faith, but was wrong and unjust in itself, as it abolished a wholesome check on unregulated warfare, and prejudiced the law-abiding side by arbitrary decisions. B/See Surat Al-An’am 6 verse 122. The lawless man thinks he is doing a great thing in getting the better of those who are careful to observe a law they believe in. but the lawless man loses the guidance of Faith, which is a symbol of his being guided by God; he will therefore lose in the end.
(Verse 38)-A/Hadeeth Sharif: Narrated Anas Bin Malik: The Prophet [PPBUH] said:” Nobody who dies and finds good from God –in the Hereafter- would wish to come back to this world, even if he were given the whole world and whatever is in it, except the Martyr who –on seeing the superiority of Martyrdom- would like to come back to the world and get killed again in the Cause of God”. B/The immediate reference is to the expedition to Tabuk (A.H. 9), for which see the introduction of this Sura. But the lesson is perfectly general. When a call is made on behalf of a great cause, the fortunate ones are those who have the privilege  of responding to the cal. The unfortunate ones are those who are so engrossed in their parochial affairs that they turn a deaf ear to the appeal. They are suffering from a spiritual disease. C/ The choice between two courses: will you choose a noble adventure and the glorious privilege of following your spiritual leader, or grovel in the earth for some small worldly gain, or for fear of worldly loss? The people who hesitated to follow the call of Tabuk were deterred by: (1) the heat of the summer, in which the expedition was undertaken on account of the threat to the existence of the little community, and (2) the fear of losing the fruit harvest, which was ripe for gathering.
(Verse 39)- Tanfiru=?????? : go forth, march onward, be ready to strive and suffer. For this is the condition of all progress in the spiritual and moral –as well as in the physical- world. According to the homely English proverb {god helps those who help themselves}. Inactivity and lethargy are fatal. No one can rest on his oars. Man is not necessary to God, but God is necessary to man. If a nation receives favors and fails to deserve them, it will be replaced by another: as has so often happened in history. We may take this as a special warning to Islamic nations.
(Verse 40)- A/The Tabuk expedition was not a failure. Though many hesitated, many more joined in. but a more striking example was when the Apostle [PPBUH] was hunted out of Mecca and performed his famous Hijra. His enemies plotted for his life. He had already sent his followers on to Al-Medina. Ali had volunteered to face his enemies in his house. His single companion was Abu-Bakr. They, the two concealed themselves in the Cave of Thaur, three miles from Mecca, for three nights, with the enemy prowling around in great numbers in fruitless search for them. “We are but two”, said Abu-Bakr. “Nay”, said Muhammad [PPBUH], “for God is with us”. Faith gave their minds peace, and God gave them safety. They reached Al-Medina, and a glorious chapter opened for Islam. The forces that helped them were not seen, but their power was irresistible. B/Literally: “the second of two”, which afterwards became Abu-Bakr’s proud title. B/ as in verse 26= Sakina: calmness, peace, security, tranquility. C/The superlatives in the Arabic I have rendered by the periphrases, “humbled to the depths” and “Exalted to the heights”, as they accord better with the genius of the English language. The enemies of Islam had boasted that they would root it out: and the result showed them up as ridiculous and despicable.
(Verse 41)- Whether equipped lightly or heavily: to be taken both literally and metaphorically. All were invited, and they were to bring such resources as they had,- light-armed, on foot or mounted, experienced men for posts of danger, raw men for duties for which they were fit. All would and should help. Even those who were too old or feeble to go could contribute such money or resources as they had.
(Verse 42)- The arts and excuses of the Hypocrites are here exposed. If there had been booty in sight or an easy walk-over, they would have come. All their oaths are false, and in taking the false oaths they are destroying their spiritual life. Indeed the backsliders are jeopardizing their own physical lives in hanging-back. If the enemy succeeded, they would all suffer.

 

 

Share