Alhamdulillah we have reached Surah At-Taubah. This is the only Surah of
the Qur'an to which Bismillah is not prefixed. Though different scholars
have given different reasons for this, but the simple reason for omitting
Bismillah is that the Holy Prophet (s.a.w) himself did not read it at the
beginning of the Surah. Therefore the Companions who used to write the
revelations did not add it either.
This is a very powerful Surah and the western media have used its certain
verses to create a false image of Islam, as a terrorist, extremist religion,
and even Muslims themselves are not very clear on this. Therefore, it is our
duty that we should have at least some basic knowledge of the actual
context of its revelation, so that we might understand and absorb the actual
message in this magnificent Surah.
In the famous pact of Hudabiya, it was agreed that there would be no war
between the Muslims and the disbelievers for ten years. The Quraish
violated this pact and the allies of Muslims were brutally murdered. As a
result an army of ten thousand Muslims marched upon Makkah and conquered
it in a bloodless victory. One year after the conquest of Makkah, the verses
of Surah At-Taubah were revealed, in which a clear declaration was made
that all the treaties with the disbelievers were abolished and the Muslims
would be released from the treaty obligations with them after a respite of
four months. This declaration was necessary for uprooting completely the
system of life based on shirk and to make Arabia exclusively the center of
(This is a declaration of) immunity by Allah and His Messenger towards those of the
idolaters with whom you made an agreement.
So go about in the land for four months and know that you cannot weaken Allah and that
Allah will bring disgrace to the unbelievers.
And an announcement from Allah and His Messenger to the people on the day of the
greater pilgrimage that Allah and His Messenger are free from liability to the idolaters;
therefore if you repent, it will be better for you, and if you turn back, then know that you
will not weaken Allah; and announce painful punishment to those who disbelieve.
Islam teaches us justice……….courage should not be confused with
unjustified aggression……..Allah tells us in these words
So as long as they are true to you, be true to them; surely Allah loves those who are
careful (of their duty).
But for those who break their promise,
And if they break their oaths after their agreement and (openly) revile your religion,
then fight the leaders of unbelief-- surely their oaths are nothing-- so that they may
What! Will you not fight a people, who broke their oaths and aimed at the expulsion of
the Messenger, and they attacked you first; do you fear them? But Allah is most
deserving that you should fear Him, if you are believers.
Fight them, Allah will punish them by your hands and bring them to disgrace, and assist
you against them and heal the hearts of a believing people.
Ponder over these Ayaat and consider the atrocities that are being
committed against the Muslims world wide. Do we care? We shed one tear
and then we forget about it. Allah asks, “Atakhshaunahum?” Do you fear
them…is that it??” But Allah is more deserving that we should fear Him if we
How can we be such hypocrites? And then we complain that why does not
Allah show any mercy on us. But look into our own hearts and do we find any
care, any thought, any mercy for anyone except our own over-pampered
And selfishness leads to cowardice, and so Allah asks, do you fear people?
Next Allah says that the guardianship of the Kaaba will now be in the hands
of the believers.
Only he shall visit the mosques of Allah who believes in Allah and the latter day, and
keeps up prayer and pays the poor-rate and fears none but Allah; so (as for) these, it
may be that they are of the followers of the right course.
For Allah, the expression of faith is Jihad, not just rituals or speeches but
doing something to prove that you really believe.
What! Do you make (one who undertakes) the giving of drink to the pilgrims and the
guarding of the Sacred Mosque like him who believes in Allah and the latter day and
strives hard in Allah's way? They are not equal with Allah; and Allah does not guide the
And if you feel that there are other things more worthy of your time and
energy then hear these words of the most powerful and important Ayat of
the Quran which throws back all the excuses that we please ourselves with
and which we use, to put to sleep our conscience, if it dares to awaken and
make us uncomfortable with its true warnings. Allah says
O you who believe! Do not take your fathers and your brothers for guardians if they love
unbelief more than belief; and whoever of you takes them for a guardian, these it is that
are the unjust.
Say: If your fathers and your sons and your brethren and your mates and your kinsfolk
and property which you have acquired, and the slackness of trade which you fear and
dwellings which you like, are dearer to you than Allah and His Messenger and striving in
His way, then wait till Allah brings about His command: and Allah does not guide the
We are so busy in all these things that we don’t have time to even learn the
ONE book that Allah has sent to us, what to talk of doing anything else. It’s
not enough to say that we love Allah and the prophet; Get up and do
something. All of us should analyze our potentials and then use it for the
sake of Allah.
For the negative propaganda against Islam, Allah says:
They desire to put out the light of Allah with their mouths, and Allah will not consent
save to perfect His light, though the unbelievers are averse.
He it is Who sent His Messenger with guidance and the religion of truth, that He might
cause it to prevail over all religions, though the polytheists may be averse
Apart from fear of influential people, the other major factor which deviates
a person from the true way of life is the love of this world. Allah knows us so
O you who believe! What (excuse) have you that when it is said to you: Go forth in
Allah's way, you should incline heavily to earth; are you contented with this world's life
instead of the hereafter? But the provision of this world's life compared with the
hereafter is but little.
Allah is all powerful. He doesn’t need our help to uphold His religion. Allah
reminds us of the dangerous journey of Hijrah that the Prophet (s.a.w) made
in the company of his best friend, Abu Bakar (r.a) as an example of the
miraculous support of Allah…….
If you will not aid him, Allah certainly aided him when those who disbelieved expelled
him, he being the second of the two, when they were both in the cave, when he said to
his companion: Grieve not, surely Allah is with us. So Allah sent down His tranquility
upon him and strengthened him with hosts which you did not see, and made lowest the
word of those who disbelieved; and the word of Allah, that is the highest; and Allah is
The next Ayaat are about the Tabuk Expedition. Because of the danger of
an attack by the Caesar of Rome, the Holy Prophet (s.a.w) made an open
declaration for making preparations for the Campaign against the Roman
Empire, which was one of the two greatest empires of the world of that
period. all the apparent circumstances were against it because, there was
famine in the country and the long awaited crops were about to ripen: the
burning heat of the scorching summer season of Arabia was at its height and
there was not enough money for preparations in general, and for equipment
and conveyance in particular. The believers made unforgettable sacrifices
and on the other hand the Hypocrites did their best to discourage them
openly and by making excuses that they should be allowed to stay behind. In
short, the occasion became the touchstone for discriminating a true believer
from a hypocrite.
Allah’s command is clear
Go forth light and heavy, and strive hard in Allah's way with your property and your
persons; this is better for you, if you know.
And about the hypocrites, Allah says:
Had it been a near advantage and a short journey, they would certainly have followed
you, but the tedious journey was too long for them; and they swear by Allah: If we had
been able, we would certainly have gone forth with you; they cause their own souls to
perish, and Allah knows that they are most surely liars.
Allah says even if the Hypocrites had gone with you they would have caused
more harm than good
Had they gone forth with you, they would not have added to you aught save corruption,
and they would certainly have hurried about among you seeking (to sow) dissension
among you, and among you there are those who hearken for their sake; and Allah knows
Look at how Allah points them out
If good befalls you, it grieves them, and if hardship afflicts you, they say: Indeed we had
taken care of our affair before; and they turn back and are glad.
We see around us people living like kings and we wonder why Allah is so
Rahim upon those who transgress every limit of the religion. Quran gives the
Let not then their property and their children excite your admiration; Allah only wishes
to chastise them with these in this world's life and (that) their souls may depart while
they are unbelievers.
Do they not know that whoever acts in opposition to Allah and His Messenger, he shall
surely have the fire of hell to abide in it? That is the grievous abasement.
And for the true believers there are gardens of delight and eternal bliss!!
Allah has promised to the believing men and the believing women gardens, beneath
which rivers flow, to abide in them, and goodly dwellings in gardens of perpetual abode;
and best of all is Allah's goodly pleasure; that is the grand achievement.
Now we see that during the Tabuk expedition, the hypocrites in Madinah
were in a fix……..one one hand they were not prepared to make any sacrifice
for the sake of Allah, because they did not believe in the truth of the
religion which they had apparently accepted; and on the other hand they
were afraid to expose their disbelief so they made all sorts of excuses as to
why it was not possible for them to go with the Prophet (s.a.w).
Here Allah is cautioning the Prophet (s.a.w) that upon his return from the
expedition, the hypocrites would come to him trying to win his heart by
further excuses to avoid any reproach.
Look at the contempt in Allah’s words,
They will swear to you by Allah when you return to them so that you may turn aside from
them; so do turn aside from them; surely they are unclean and their abode is hell; a
recompense for what they earned.
Hypocrisy is more detestable to Allah than even the open rejection of Islam
because a hypocrite has more potential to harm the inner strength of
Muslims, through his deceit and mischief.
The main characteristic of a hypocrite is that he tries to impress people by
portraying a false image. Allah says even if they succeed in pleasing you that
is not going to save them from Allah’s punishment.
They will swear to you that you may be pleased with them; but if you are pleased with
them, yet surely Allah is not pleased with the transgressing people.
Now it’s very important to understand, what it is, which actually
differentiates a Momin from a Munafiq. Because apparently both of them
could be standing in the same mosque, shoulder to shoulder, offering
prayers, going on Hajj, give charities. What is it that earns one the
splendors of Jannah and the other one the lowest rank of jahannum? It’s
that very small yet the most significant thing called Niyat or intention and it
relates to our level of faith. When we do something to win Allah’s pleasure it
becomes Ibaadah and the same thing becomes deceit and treachery when
it’s done only to look good or acceptable in the eyes of people. This is so
accurately stated in the following two Ayaat,
And of the dwellers of the desert are those who take what they spend to be a fine, and
they wait (the befalling of) calamities to you; on them (will be) the evil calamity; and
Allah is Hearing, Knowing.
And of the dwellers of the desert are those who believe in Allah and the latter day and
take what they spend to be (means of) the nearness of Allah and the Messenger's
prayers; surely it shall be means of nearness for them; Allah will make them enter into
His mercy; surely Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.
And next I would like to quote the most beautiful Ayat, in which Allah
speaks of the rewards He has prepared for His most beloved people,
And (as for) the foremost, the first of the Muhajirs and the Ansars, and those who
followed them with excellence, Allah is well pleased with them and they are well pleased
with Him, and He has prepared for them gardens beneath which rivers flow, to abide in
them forever; that is the mighty achievement.
SubhaanAllah!! What kind of extraordinary people they were,
First who gave up their lives, their wealth, their homes, their time, their
energies, EVERYTHING, to uphold the Religion.
And those in Madinah, who helped them by opening the doors, not only to
their homes but their hearts as well. How generously they made them a part
of their lives.
Finally those who follow them with EHSAAN……….. What does it mean?
Ehsaan means to do everything on the level of excellence, not just half
heartedly or grudgingly. The Prophet S.A.W. defined Ehsaan as “doing
Ibaadah as if you can see Allah” Just think how would we stand in prayer if
we could see Allah?
Whenever we read about these companions of the Prophet, we sigh and give
up with these words “Oh, how can we compare with those people…….they
were the chosen ones” But this third category is open for all who wish to
stand with the “saabiqoon al awwaloon” (the first and foremost) And all it
requires, is for us to be really committed in following the Prophet and His
companions. To follow we have to know which way they went and how? So this
Ramadan lets commit ourselves to the task of getting to know about these
wonderful people. Instead of buying two dresses for Eid, let’s buy just one
and get a book in place of the other. Educate yourself and follow ………..with
excellence!! That’s the key word, so inscribe it in your heart……excellence!!
Next Allah mentions about the mosque that the munafiqs had built to hold
their secret meetings and to plot against the Prophet s.a.w. and His
followers. To project it as being harmless, they invited the Prophet s.a.w. to
pray in it. Allah warned the Prophet
Never stand in it; certainly a masjid founded on piety from the very first day is more
deserving that you should stand in it; in it are men who love that they should be purified;
and Allah loves those who purify themselves.
What was the reason? Again the same thing, Intention, which is the basis of
Is he, therefore, better who lays his foundation on fear of Allah and (His) good pleasure,
or he who lays his foundation on the edge of a cracking hollowed bank, so it broke down
with him into the fire of hell; and Allah does not guide the unjust people.
One of the most magnificent ayat is the one in which Allah says he has
bought the souls of the believers in return for Jannat………what does it
mean…….we have sold ourselves………so when you sell something then do you
have any right over it…… no ! It belongs to the buyer…….so who do we really
belong to? To Allah Subhaanahu wa Taala!!
Isn’t it awesome?
Surely Allah has bought of the believers their persons and their property for this, that
they shall have the garden; they fight in Allah's way, so they slay and are slain; a
promise which is binding on Him in the Taurat and the Injeel and the Quran; and who is
more faithful to his covenant than Allah? Rejoice therefore in the pledge which you have
made; and that is the mighty achievement.
Obviously we would all like to be in this category. So Allah has given us a
criterion in the next Ayat
They who turn (to Allah), who serve (Him), who praise (Him), who fast, who bow down,
who prostrate themselves, who enjoin what is good and forbid what is evil, and who
keep the limits of Allah; and give good news to the believers.
Allah encourages the Believers who sacrificed for the campaign of Tabuk
there afflicts them not thirst or fatigue or hunger in Allah's way, nor do they tread a path
which enrages the unbelievers, nor do they attain from the enemy what they attain, but
a good work is written down to them on account of it; surely Allah does not waste the
reward of the doers of good;
Nor do they spend anything that may be spent, small or great, nor do they traverse a
valley, but it is written down to their credit, that Allah may reward them with the best of
what they have done.
At the end of this awesome Surah Allah fills us with love for our Beloved
Prophet s.a.w. by these beautiful words
Certainly a Messenger has come to you from among yourselves; grievous to him is your
falling into distress, excessively solicitous respecting you; to the believers (he is)
and finally this Ayat which the Prophet recommended to recite seven times
each in the morning and evening to ward off all sorts of worries and to put
our hearts at ease.
But if they turn back, say: Allah is sufficient for me, there is no god but He; on Him do I
rely, and He is the Lord of mighty power.
Thus ends this magnificent Surah, reminding us that there is no other being
that can make anything happen without the help of Allah. So instead of
relying on people our expectations should be associated only with Allah. Only
for Him is our worship and only His help we seek……..