As-salaam wa-alaikum, brothers and sisters.
Today’s selection is from Surah 9, At-Tauba or the Repentance, verses 1-16. These verses contain a proclamation to dissolve treaties with Pagans who have broken their terms but four months is given for adjustments or repentance.
Tafseer contains an explanation regarding the treatment of unbelievers, or Pagans, as well as a reveal on something you might miss during the recitation. Can you guess what it is?
A declaration of immunity from Allah and His Messenger is hereby made to those of the mushrikïn (those who associate others with Allah) with whom you have made a treaty: “You have four months to go around in the land unmolested; but you should know that you cannot frustrate the will of Allah, and that Allah will humiliate the unbelievers.” This is a public proclamation from Allah and His Messenger to the people on the day of the Great Hajj (Pilgrimage) that Allah and His Messenger do hereby dissolve treaty obligations with the mushrikïn. Therefore, if you repent, it will be better for you but if you turn away, then you should know that you cannot frustrate the Will of Allah. O Prophet, proclaim a painful punishment to those who are unbelievers. Except (this proclamation does not apply to) those mushrikïn who honored their treaties with you in every detail and aided none against you. So fulfill your treaties with them to the end of their term; for Allah loves the righteous. When the forbidden months (10,11,12 & 1 of the Islamic calendar) are over, then fight the mushrikïn wherever you find them, seize them, besiege them, and lie in ambush for them in every stratagem of war, but if they repent, establish Prayers and pay Charity, then let them go their way: surely Allah is Forgiving, Merciful. If anyone from the mushrikïn asks you for asylum, grant it to him so that he may hear the Word of Allah, and then escort him to his place of safety: this should be done because these people do not know the truth. 9:[1-6]
How can there be a treaty with the mushrikïn on the part of Allah and His Messenger – except for those with whom you ratified a treaty at the Masjid-al-Harãm? So long as they honor it, you also honor: for Allah loves the righteous. How can you trust them? If they prevail against you, they respect neither treaty nor ties of relationship. They just flatter you with their tongues, but their hearts reject you, and most of them are transgressors. They have sold the revelations of Allah for paltry worldly gain and they have hindered others from His way; indeed evil are the deeds that they have done. They neither honor the ties of relationship nor observe the obligations of treaties with the believers; it is they who are the transgressors. However, if they repent, establish Prayer and pay Charity, then they shall be your brethren in Deen (faith and way of life based on Divine guidance): thus do We spell out Our revelations for people of understanding. 9:[7-11]
But if they violate their treaty once they have sworn it and insult your Deen, then fight with the ringleaders of the unbelief – for their oaths are nothing to them – so that they may be stopped. Will you not fight against those people who have broken their oaths, conspired to expel the Messenger and were the first to attack you? Do you fear them? Nay, it is Allah Who is more deserving of your fear, if you are true believers. Fight them; Allah will punish them by your hands and humiliate them. He will grant you victory over them and soothe the hearts of a believing people. He will take away all rancor from their hearts. Allah shows mercy to whom He pleases, and Allah is All-Knowledgeable, All-Wise. Do you think that you will be left alone (without trial)? While Allah has not yet demonstrated which of you had exerted your utmost struggle (in the path of Allah) and did not take any intimate friends other than Allah, His Messenger and the believers? Allah is well aware of all your actions. 9:[12-16]
Did you notice what’s missing? There is no Bismillah in this Surah!
[This Surah] was among the last of the Surahs revealed, and though the Prophet had directed that it should follow Surah 8, it was not clear whether it was to form a separate Surah or only a part of Surah 8. It is now treated as a separate Surah 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.
Concerning Verse 6, which talks about those unbelievers who ask for asylum:
Even among the enemies of Islam, actively fighting against Islam, there may be individuals who may be in a position to require protection. Full asylum is to be given to them, and opportunities provided for hearing the Word of Allah. If they accept the Word, they become Muslims and brethren, and no further question arises. If they do not see their way to accept Islam, they will require double protection: (1) from the Islamic forces openly fighting against their people, and (2) from their own people, as they detached themselves from them. Both kinds of protection should be ensured for them, and they should be safely escorted to a place where they can be safe. Such persons only err through ignorance, and there may be much good in them.
This concludes today’s episode of the 17 Verses Podcast. I hope that this selection has helped increase your understanding of the holy Qur’an just a little bit.
Thank you and be well.