سورة التوبة   

Surah Name: At-Taubah Meaning: The Repentance

  • Revealed at Madinah
  • • It is also called Surah Bar'at (freedom from obligation) as it carries the injunctions that absolved the believers of the obligation to honour the Treaty they had with idolaters. Moreover it is called Taubah because it gives the glad tidings of the acceptance to penitence. In a way it is unique, as it does not begin with Bismillah ar Rahman ar Rahim (in the Name of Allah-SWT , the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful).Usually whenever Aayaat from a Surah were revealed at random, their correct place of insertion was also conveyed to the Holy Prophet-SW. He-SW would instruct the Scribes to record these accordingly. And whenever a new Surah was revealed he-SW would instruct them to begin it with Bismillah ar Rahman ar Rahim. Surah Taubah is amongst the last Madni Surahs revealed. It was revealed without the instructions to begin it with Bismillah. The Holy Prophet-SW also did not instruct the Scribes to write Bismillah, hence it is without the usual auspicious words.

    When the task of compiling the Quran was taken up in the era of Hadhrat Uthman-RAU, the question regarding the placement of this Surah arose, for it was quite possible that it may not have been an individual Surah but a part of the preceding one. Therefore, Hadhrat Uthman-RAU instructed the compilers to place it after Al-Anfal. This was the safest thing to do for the Holy Prophet-SW had not commanded to open it with Bismillah nor had he-SW implied that it was a part of Surah Al-Anfal, but had got it recorded contiguous to Anfal. The rules for reciting the Quran indicate that anyone who while reciting Surah Anfal moves on to Surah Taubah need not recite Bismillah. However, if the recitation is initiated from this Surah or from any part of it, Bismillah must be recited. The other opening expressions for Surah Taubah as stated in certain manuscripts of the Quran, such as. A auz Billah min nar wa min Ghadhab al Jabbar etc. (I seek Allah’s-SWT ’ Protection against fire and the fury of the tyrants etc.) have no authentic backing Hadhrat Ali-RAU reports that since the Surah revealed the Divine Command for the cancellation of the Treaty with the infidels, it did not open with Bismillah. This may have been a subtle reason, which has not been discretely told.

  • Total Number of Rukū / Sections 16
  • Total Number of Āyāt / Parts 129
  • Sūrah / Chapter number 9
  • Rukū / Section 4 contains Āyāt / Parts 5
  • Siparah/ Volume 10 & 11


لَقَدْ نَصَرَكُمُ اللّهُ فِي مَوَاطِنَ كَثِيرَةٍ وَيَوْمَ حُنَيْنٍ إِذْ أَعْجَبَتْكُمْ كَثْرَتُكُمْ فَلَمْ تُغْنِ عَنكُمْ شَيْئًا وَضَاقَتْ عَلَيْكُمُ الأَرْضُ بِمَا رَحُبَتْ ثُمَّ وَلَّيْتُم مُّدْبِرِينَ

Laqad nasarakumu Allahu fee mawatina katheeratin wayawma hunaynin ithaAAjabatkum kathratukum falam tughni AAankum shayan wadaqat AAalaykumu alardu bima rahubat thumma wallaytum mudbireen(a)

Assuredly Allaah-SWT has succoured you on many fields and on the day of Hunain, when your number elated you; then it availed you naught, and the earth, wide as it is, straitened unto you; then you turned away in retreat. 


ثُمَّ أَنَزلَ اللّهُ سَكِينَتَهُ عَلَى رَسُولِهِ وَعَلَى الْمُؤْمِنِينَ وَأَنزَلَ جُنُودًا لَّمْ تَرَوْهَا وَعذَّبَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ وَذَلِكَ جَزَاء الْكَافِرِينَ

Thumma anzala Allahu sakeenatahu AAala rasoolihi waAAala almumineena waanzala junoodan lam tarawha waAAaththaba allatheena kafaroo wathalika jazao alkafireen(a)

Thereafter did Allaah-SWT send down His-SWT calm upon His-SWT Messenger-SW and upon the believers; and He-SWT sent down the hosts that you did not see. and chastised them who disbelieved; such is the requital of the infidels.


ثُمَّ يَتُوبُ اللّهُ مِن بَعْدِ ذَلِكَ عَلَى مَن يَشَاء وَاللّهُ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ

Thumma yatoobu Allahu min baAAdi thalika AAala man yashao wa(A)llahu ghafoorun raheem(un)

Thereafter, Allaah-SWT will relent toward whom He-SWT pleases, and Allaah-SWT is Forgiving, Merciful.


يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ إِنَّمَا الْمُشْرِكُونَ نَجَسٌ فَلاَ يَقْرَبُواْ الْمَسْجِدَ الْحَرَامَ بَعْدَ عَامِهِمْ هَـذَا وَإِنْ خِفْتُمْ عَيْلَةً فَسَوْفَ يُغْنِيكُمُ اللّهُ مِن فَضْلِهِ إِن شَاء إِنَّ اللّهَ عَلِيمٌ حَكِيمٌ

Ya ayyuha allatheena amanoo innama almushrikoona najasun fala yaqraboo almasjida alharama baAAda AAamihim hatha wain khiftum AAaylatan fasawfa yughneekumu Allahu min fadlihi in shaa inna Allaha AAaleemun hakeem(un)

O’ you who believe! The associators are simply filthy; so let them not approach the Sacred Masjid after this year; and if you fear poverty, Allaah-SWT shall presently enrich you out of His-SWT bounty, if He-SWT pleases. Verily Allaah-SWT is Knowing, Wise.


قَاتِلُواْ الَّذِينَ لاَ يُؤْمِنُونَ بِاللّهِ وَلاَ بِالْيَوْمِ الآخِرِ وَلاَ يُحَرِّمُونَ مَا حَرَّمَ اللّهُ وَرَسُولُهُ وَلاَ يَدِينُونَ دِينَ الْحَقِّ مِنَ الَّذِينَ أُوتُواْ الْكِتَابَ حَتَّى يُعْطُواْ الْجِزْيَةَ عَن يَدٍ وَهُمْ صَاغِرُونَ

Qatiloo allatheena la yuminoona bi(A)llahi wala bi(a)lyawmi alakhiri walayuharrimoona ma harrama Allahu warasooluhu wala yadeenoona deena alhaqqi mina allatheena ootoo alkitaba hatta yuAAtoo aljizyata AAan yadin wahumsaghiroon(a)

Fight them who do not believe in Allah-SWT nor in the Last Day and hold not that forbidden which Allah-SWT and His-SWT Messenger-SW have forbidden and do not observe the true faith of those who have been given the Book, until they pay the tribute out of hand, and they are subdued.


In The Name of Allah-SWT the Most Gracious, The Most Merciful

As for the results of Jihad, O’ Muslims! Allaah-SWT has helped you on many occasions leading you to victory inspite of you being few in number and lacking in provisions. Take the Day of Hunain for instance. 

Battle of Hunain

The Battle of Hunain also took place in the 8th year of Hijrah, after the Conquest of Makkah. The invasion by the Banu Hawazan sparked this battle. Hunain is located at a distance of ten miles from Makkah towards Taif. The outskirts of Makkah extending upto Taif were inhabited by various tribes of the Banu Hawazan, who were brave warriors. Informed about the Conquest of Makkah by the Muslims, their chieftains called a meeting to discuss the aftermath of the surrender of Quraish. They feared that the Muslims would next head for them and decided to attack them preemptively. Thus all their tribes, scattered over Makkah and Taif, were summoned. Banu Thaqif of Taif was also a branch of Banu Hawazan. Malik bin Auf who later became a great Muslim General was chosen to lead the army. However, Banu K'ab and Banu Kalab, also off shoots of the same tribe, did not join the conflict. They believed that even if the forces from East and West joined against the Holy Prophet-SW they could bring him no harm. Rather, they would themselves be vanquished as Allaah-SWT was by his side. 

Malik bin 'Auf employed a new strategy' in this battle by commanding all the soldiers to keep their families and belongings immediately behind the fighting column in order to ensure that no one would desert the battlefield. There are varying opinions over the number of this army. The most accurate version given by Tafsir-e-Mazhari is 26,000 women, children and the elderly besides 4000 warriors, making a grand total of thirty thousand. 

When the Holy Prophet-SW was informed of the plans of Banu Hawazan, he decided to fight back. An army of twelve thousand men had accompanied him for the Conquest of Makkah. Additionally, two thousand newly converted Muslims joined in from Makkah and its outskirts. This army of fourteen thousand soldiers left Makkah and camped at Khif Bani Kinanah, a place which had once witnessed the Makkans writing the resolution to boycott the Muslims. 

Remembering Past Hardships When in Power is Gratitude

To remember the woes and hardships of the past in times of affluence and power is an act of being grateful to Allaah-SWT . Therefore, the Holy Prophet-SW decided to camp his forces at Khaif bani Kinanah. 

Some polytheist men and women of Makkah also accompanied the Muslim army as spectators. They had come along hoping to rejoice if the believers were defeated and if not they still had nothing to lose. One of these spectators was Hadhrat Shaiba bin Uthman-RAU who later stated; "My father and uncle had been slain at Badr, so I had planned to assassinate the Holy Prophet-SW at Hunain if I got an opportunity."


Effects of Tawajjuh

In the heat of the battle when I moved forward, I found Hadhrat "Abbas and Hadhrat Abu Sufyan ibn HarithRAU by the Holy Prophet-SW's side as guards. I moved behind and was getting ready to attack when the Holy Prophet-SW called out; "Shaiba! Come here". As I went up to him, he put his hand on my bosom and said, 'O Allaah-SWT ! Remove the influence of Satan from him instantly, everything changed for me and I felt the love for the Holy Prophet-SW flowing like blood through my veins. The Holy Prophet-SW then ordered me, to “Go fight the infidels”, and I jumped into the battle forthwith." Many such incidents can be quoted from the lives of the Companions-RAU. Another famous incident also happened during the same journey. The Holy Prophets-SW was resting under a tree when an infidel got hold of a sword and woke him up "Who will now save you from me?" The Holy Prophet-SW replied: "Allaah-SWT ". He was petrified and the sword fell from his hands. The Holy Prophet-SW picked it up and forgave his assailant. 

After arriving at Hunain the army of the believers encamped and sent out patrols to collect information about the strength and the strategy of the enemy. The enemy was arranging its ranks in such a way that the family and possessions of each soldier will follow him in the battlefield, to ensure that no one would desert.


Mistake Brings Worldly Distress Even if Forgiven in the Hereafter

The Companions'-RAU (had the experiences of Badr and Uhad and had freshly conquered Makkah. Some of them unwittingly said that the enemy forces at Hunain were no match for them. Allaah-SWT did not approve of these boastful remarks. It is strange that the higher status one enjoys with Allaah-SWT the more delicate his relationship with Him-SWT becomes. Although it was a casual remark yet it did not befit their status. They should have said that Allaah-SWT would grant them victory once again. As a result of their words, they were taken to task and went through distress. 

The Banu Hawazan struck with all their might. So fierce was the fighting that the dust kicked up as a result obscured the sun and made the day look like night. The women and children riding the camels behind the enemy columns appeared to be a part of the fighting echelons. Some enemy horsemen hidden in the gorges around also jumped into the battle. The Companions'-RAU faced a tough situation and the Muslim Army was flung into a state of utter confusion. This condition is described in this Ayah; "and the earth, wide as it is, was straitened unto you". Even in this critical situation, the Holy Prophet-SW and a group of Companions'-RAU continued to press into the enemy ranks. Tafsir-e-Mazhari quotes Hadhrat Ans-RAU that this group comprised 300 Companions-RAU including all the four subsequent Caliphs-RAU. This is when the Holy Prophet-SW recited this couplet to spark the spirit of Jihad in his soldiers:

"For sure I am Allah-SWT's Prophet-SW, not an impostor

I am the grandson of'Abdul Mutallib"


He-SW directed Hadhrat Abbas-RAU to call out aloud where his Companions"-RAU were, who had pledged their allegiance under the tree, and those mentioned in Surah Al Baqarah, and the ready to die Ansar? Let it be known to them all where Allah-SWT's Prophet-SW is, so they should gather around him-SW ' .This call rejuvenated the hearts of the believers and they spun around to strike again. All this trouble was caused by only one sentence, which Allaah-SWT knows who uttered. It did not escape Allah-SWT's Notice as illustrated by the Ayah: "when your number elated you"! 

Descent of Spiritual States

So when the believers flung back into action, Allaah-SWT sent down peace and tranquillity unto their hearts. This peace was indeed a spiritual state, a condition whereby the hearts of the believers became steadfast. Those who were already firm became firmer while those who were losing heart became composed. These spiritual states are the source of perseverance and strength in the Cause of Allaah-SWT . Hence all those who were perturbed by the strength of the enemy could now visualise victory. Allaah-SWT at the same time deputed a contingent of angels. The Ayah "and sent down hosts which you could see not" refers to the general inability of human beings to behold angels under normal circumstances. However, there are accounts which speak of beholding the angels by His-SWT chosen souls. After blessing the believers with perseverance Allaah-SWT punished the infidels at the hands of His-SWT Angels and the enemy deserted leaving their possessions and families behind. So much so that even Malik bin Auf fled from the battlefield deserting his wife and children. This humiliation was in fact a punishment for their infidelity.


Adherence to Din Also Brings Worldly Benefits

This also highlights another fact that if disbelief and sin invoke defeat in this worldly life, devotion and sincerity in Din serves as a source of worldly success. In this battle the believers got hold of a tremendous booty, comprising 6000 prisoners, 24,000 camels, more than 40,000 goats and approximately four mounds of silver.

After the initial rout, the Banu Hawazan attempted to resist at many places but suffered defeat after defeat until they were pushed into Taif, which they turned into a fortress. The Holy Prophet-SW besieged the fort for twenty long days.


The Aim of Jihad

Even at this point the Holy Prophet-SW prayed for the guidance of Banu Hawazan, which signifies that the aim of Jihad is to eradicate evil, establish justice and promote virtue and not to massacre people and conquer territory or acquire wealth. War, on the other hand, is fought because of some worldly considerations. On his way back the Holy Prophet-SW camped at Jur'ana. Just when the booty was about to be distributed, a delegation of the chieftains of Hawazan arrived. They embraced Islam and requested the Holy Prophet-SW to show kindness, for they were related to him through fosterage, and the Holy Prophet's-SW foster uncle was accompanying them.


The Importance of Rights

The Holy Prophet-SW said that had the booty been his possession, he would have certainly returned it all. Since the Mujahidln had the right over it, the chieftains must choose between their belongings and their prisoners of war. They opted for the latter. So the Holy Prophet-SW addressed his troops and informed them that Banu Hawazan had accepted Islam, so whoever agreed to forgo his share of the captives would indeed be generous. But if someone did not wish to do so gratis, he would be duly compensated, but their captives must be returned. All the Companions-RAU agreed but the Holy Prophet-SW still advised the chieftains to seek the consent of each believer individually, so as to ensure that no one was under any compulsion. Everyone was asked separately if he had willingly foregone his right or not.


Allah-SWT may grant guidance to and accept the repentance of anyone He-SWT pleases, for He-SWT is Forgiving and Gracious. The Banu Hawazan were sincere but had opposed Islam out of ignorance and lack of knowledge about its truthfulness and the noble disposition of the Holy Prophet-SW. But once the truth dawned on them, they repented and embraced Islam. Surely, Islam enjoins Jihad not to destroy mankind but to guide it onto the straight path. 

An Impudent is Denied Repentance

The real aim of Jihad was achieved when Banu Hawazan embraced Islam. However, those who had been arrogant and had cherished their impudence towards the Holy Prophet-SW were not given the capacity to repent and died as infidels. The same rule applies to one's behaviour towards the Aulia. Even if one does not learn anything he must refrain from insulting them, otherwise he will have to face two types of consequences. Firstly, he will not be able to derive any beneficence from them and secondly there is a possibility that he would die a non believer. 

The next Ayah Commands that when Allaah-SWT has granted the believers control of the Sacred Masjid, and it has been cleansed of the idols, they should not allow the polytheists to enter it any more. The reason is their filthiness, which is of varying categories. For example, the outward filthiness for not having a ceremonial bath after coitus, or the inward impurity because of infidelity and ungodly beliefs, or of the Qalb such as low moral values. A non believer bears all these forms of filth simultaneously. In a state of outward impurity the believers, too, are denied entry into the Sacred Masjid, like in a state of ceremonial impurity or menstruation. Therefore, the filthiness mentioned here extends to the impurity of disbelief and ungodly rituals. The announcement was made in the year 9th AH and the non-believers were given the dead line till the year 10th AH to completely evacuate the Haram. Thereafter no non believer could ever enter it. 

Admission of Infidels in Masaajid

Within the Haram specifically and in all other masaajid generally, the non believes are not allowed to enter. However, except Haram, a non believer may enter a masjid under specific circumstances. For instance after the Conquest of Makkah, a delegation from Thaqif, was lodged in a masjid on the Holy Prophet-SW‘s instructions. The scholars have taken this as an authority that the non-believers can, in specific matters and occasions, be allowed to enter a masjid. However, they cannot use any masjid to practise their ungodly rituals. 

A Non Believer Member of Assembly

According to Imam Shafi the injunction prohibiting entrance into masaajid applies to the polytheists, infidels and People of the Book alike. Besides, masaajid are the most suitable places for holding consultations over important matters. Therefore, the infidel's entry may also be politically damaging and is prohibited. Similarly, appointing them on any advisory panel, or commissioning them in the Armed Forces is not permissible Nor will it be proper to elect them as Members of the Assembly. Rather, safeguarding the rights of the minorities is the responsibility of the Muslim members.


Earning Livelihood a Religious Expediencies

The frequent excursions of the infidels into Makkah also provided lucrative trade and was a major source of livelihood for the Arabs. If their entry was to be prohibited, the Arabs were likely to face a major set back in business. Thus it was enjoined that the source of earning, which thwarted the Din must be sacrificed over religious expediencies. 

Livelihood can be sought through other avenues which do not imperil Din in any way. Allaah-SWT is Omnipotent and does not rely on causes. Rather, He is the Creator of all causes and effects so He-SWT Alone should be relied upon. He-SWT is capable of providing affluence and riches without employing any means at all, for He-SWT is the Wisest and the All Knowing. This is an admonition for those who flee to the West for a few pennies and eventually lose their Din. 

The Importance of Hadith

Those who do not believe in Allaah-SWT nor in the Akhirah, and do not accept the true faith must not be taken as friends. They are those who do not submit to what has been forbidden by Allaah-SWT and His-SWT Prophet-SW Here, the prohibitions by Allaah-SWT and by the Holy Prophet'-SW have been given the same status. This is because the commands of Holy Prophet-SW are indeed the Injunctions of Allaah-SWT and a denier of these Injunctions will be dealt with through Jihad. The People of the Book, because of their denial of certain aspects of Islam, also fall in the same category. Jihad will be waged against all such repudiators, until they surrender and accept to live in subjugation in the Islamic State, paying Jizyah.


The Reasons for Jihad

Four aspects have been mentioned here (1) belief in Allah-SWT, (2) belief in the Akhirah, (3) acceptance of the Divine categorisation of the Forbidden and the Permissible and (4) acceptance of Islam as the Din. Where any one of these four aspects is missing, such people will be obliged to pay Jizyah and live as subordinates in an Islamic State. Otherwise Jihad will be waged against them, in order to rid the State of this wickedness.