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 6 contains Āyāt / Parts 5
  • Siparah/ Volume 10 & 11


يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ مَا لَكُمْ إِذَا قِيلَ لَكُمُ انفِرُواْ فِي

 سَبِيلِ اللّهِ اثَّاقَلْتُمْ إِلَى الأَرْضِ أَرَضِيتُم بِالْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا مِنَ الآخِرَةِ فَمَا مَتَاعُ الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا فِي الآخِرَةِ إِلاَّ قَلِيلٌ

Ya ayyuha allatheena amanoo ma lakum itha qeela lakumu infiroo fee sabeeli Allahi iththaqaltum ila alardi aradeetum bi(a)lhayati a(l)ddunya mina alakhirati famamataAAu alhayati a(l)ddunya fee alakhirati illa qaleel(un)

O’ you who believe! Why is it with you that when it is said to you: march forth in the way of Allah-SWT, you linger slothfully earthward? Are you pleased with the life of the world rather than the Akhirah? Whereas the enjoyment of the life of the world compared to the Akhirah is but little.


إِلاَّ تَنفِرُواْ يُعَذِّبْكُمْ عَذَابًا أَلِيمًا وَيَسْتَبْدِلْ قَوْمًا غَيْرَكُمْ وَلاَ تَضُرُّوهُ شَيْئًا وَاللّهُ عَلَى كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ

Illa tanfiroo yuAAaththibkum AAathaban aleeman wayastabdil qawman ghayrakum wala tadurroohu shayan wa(A)llahu AAala kulli shayin qadeer(un)

If you do not march forward. He-SWT will torment you with a torment afflictive, and will replace you by another people and Him-SWT you cannot harm in anything; and Allaah-SWT is over everything Potent.


إِلاَّ تَنصُرُوهُ فَقَدْ نَصَرَهُ اللّهُ إِذْ أَخْرَجَهُ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ ثَانِيَ اثْنَيْنِ إِذْ هُمَا فِي الْغَارِ إِذْ يَقُولُ لِصَاحِبِهِ لاَ تَحْزَنْ إِنَّ اللّهَ مَعَنَا فَأَنزَلَ اللّهُ سَكِينَتَهُ عَلَيْهِ وَأَيَّدَهُ بِجُنُودٍ لَّمْ تَرَوْهَا وَجَعَلَ كَلِمَةَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ السُّفْلَى وَكَلِمَةُ اللّهِ هِيَ الْعُلْيَا وَاللّهُ عَزِيزٌ حَكِيمٌ

Illa tansuroohu faqad nasarahu Allahu ith akhrajahu allatheena kafaroo thaniya ithnayni ith huma fee alghari ith yaqoolu lisahibihi la tahzan inna Allaha maAAanafaanzala Allahu sakeenatahu AAalayhi waayyadahu bijunoodin lam tarawhawajaAAala kalimata allatheena kafaroo a(l)ssufla wakalimatu Allahi hiya alAAulyawa(A)llahu AAazeezun hakeem(un)

If you do not succour him, then surely Allaah-SWT has succoured him when those who disbelieved banished him: the second of the two; when the twain were in a cave, and when he said to his companion: do not grieve, verily Allaah-SWT is with us. Then Allaah-SWT sent down His-SWT Peace on him and supported him with hosts, which you did not see, and made the word of those who disbelieved the lowest, and the Word of Allaah-SWT is the uppermost. And Allaah-SWT is Mighty, Wise.


انْفِرُواْ خِفَافًا وَثِقَالاً وَجَاهِدُواْ بِأَمْوَالِكُمْ وَأَنفُسِكُمْ فِي سَبِيلِ اللّهِ ذَلِكُمْ خَيْرٌ لَّكُمْ إِن كُنتُمْ تَعْلَمُونَ

Infiroo khifafan wathiqalan wajahidoo biamwalikum waanfusikum fee sabeeli Allahi thalikum khayrun lakum in kuntum taAAlamoon(a)

 March forth, light and heavy, and strive hard with your riches and lives in the way of Allah-SWT; that is the best for you, if you have knowledge.


لَوْ كَانَ عَرَضًا قَرِيبًا وَسَفَرًا قَاصِدًا لاَّتَّبَعُوكَ وَلَـكِن بَعُدَتْ عَلَيْهِمُ الشُّقَّةُ وَسَيَحْلِفُونَ بِاللّهِ لَوِ اسْتَطَعْنَا لَخَرَجْنَا مَعَكُمْ يُهْلِكُونَ أَنفُسَهُمْ وَاللّهُ يَعْلَمُ إِنَّهُمْ لَكَاذِبُونَ

Law kana AAaradan qareeban wasafaran qasidan laittabaAAooka walakin baAAudat AAalayhimu a(l)shshuqqatu wasayahlifoona bi(A)llahi lawi istataAAnalakharajna maAAakum yuhlikoona anfusahum wa(A)llahu yaAAlamu innahum lakathiboon(a)

Were there again nearby and a journey easy, they would have followed you, but the distance was too far to them. Still they will swear by Allaah-SWT saying: if only we could, we would surely have come forth with you. They kill their own souls and Allaah-SWT knows that verily they are liars.


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

The discourse once again reverts to Jihad, as it is the most superior endeavour for the prevalence of Din. If it wasn't for Jihad, no one would be able to worship in peace even under his own roof.


According to the Commentators, these Ayat refer to the Battle of Tabuk. After the Conquest of Makkah when the Holy Prophet-SW reached Madinah he heard of the Roman Army concentrating on the border of the Islamic State. The forces of Hercules had been invited by the Christian tribes of Arabia. The Jews had instigated the Roman Emperor that if he did not take any notice of this Islamic State, it would one day certainly threaten him. So he assembled a strong contingent and paid them a year's salary in advance. This information was given to the Holy Prophet-SW by the oil merchants who often visited Madinah. So he ordered a general mobilization and decided to confront the enemy at the border instead of allowing them to attack Madinah. It was a hot summer of a famine stricken year while the next crop was ready for harvest. Moreover the preceding eight years had been spent in a constant state of war, yet the intrepid Companions-RAU started the preparations without delay. It was for this battle that Hadhrat Abu Bakr Siddiq-RAU had donated all his possessions. When asked by the Holy Prophet-SW what he had left behind for his family, he had replied. Allaah-SWT and the love of His Prophet-SW "Hadhrat Umar-RAU contributed half of his possessions and all the Companions-RAU donated to the best of their ability. Even the ladies gave away their ornaments. Simultanensly it proved to be a grave trial for the hypocrites as they geared up their attempts at spreading misinformation and confusion. The believers remained unaffected and continued their preparations with full zeal. As a result, an army of thirty thousand was raised, which until then was the biggest in the history of Islam. Some people failed to join because of genuine reasons but approximately 82 bedouins sought permission to stay behind because of weakness of their faith. The Holy Prophet-SW neither permitted them to stay nor insisted on their participation. Five of the sincere Companions-RAU stayed back, namely Hadhrat K'ab bin Malik-RAU, Hadhrat Hilal bin Ummayiah-RAU, Hadhrat Mirarah bin al Rab-RAU, Hadhrat Abu Khathima-RAU and Hadhrat Abu Zar Ghafari-RAU. The last two joined up later but the first three failed to participate. The episode of their repentance and forgiveness is recounted in the Quran at another place.


If at all the hypocrites did vacillate some people to an extent, Allaah-SWT blessed them with steadfastness because of their love for the Holy Prophet-SW. It was a time of great trial and hardship. Even Allaah-SWT declared it as S'aal al 'Usrah (the difficult hour) and made a mention of those who were about to stagger, but managed to hold on to the Cause without giving importance temporal thoughts.


Eternal Gain is More Important than Worldly Benefit

It is enjoined upon the believers that when they are summoned for Jihad, inspite of all the hardships they must not even think of staying back, for all the inhibitions are only worldly concerns. For instance, in this Jihad the believers were facing a well trained Royal Army whereas in all the preceding conflicts they had fought their own kind. The shortage of food supply, the hot sizzling summer and a long journey were also the hurdles. And finally the crop was just ready to be harvested. If the call of Jihad was neglected the worldly benefit could have been realised but this world itself is mortal and even if it is safeguarded it will be left behind one day. And participation in Jihad will ensure eternal success, which will never be lost.


Punishment for Giving up Jihad

A tormenting punishment would be inflicted for giving up Jihad. Consequently, in this world power and authority will be handed over to the non believers, while the Muslims will suffer deprivation and helplessness. If only this clear injunction is understood by the Muslim of today, the entire Ummah could be delivered from the hold of non-believers in no time.


Those who had failed to join the forces for Tabuk had not given up their worships, but mere voluntary Salat and propagation of religion cannot serve as a substitute of Jihad. That is why a law has been laid that no matter how devout and virtuous the Muslims might be but if they fail to participate in Jihad they will certainly be thrown under the sway of the non-believers. This injunction is a warning for those worshippers who preach that Jihad is a political issue, so there is no need to pray for the success of the Mujahidin. Some prefer not to interfere in the change of government or the ruler. But they must remember that personal worships cannot protect the Muslim Ummah. Indeed the true pleasure derived from worship and Azkar is under the shadow of the sword, provided it is drawn in defence of truth and to fight the falsehood. Allaah-SWT is all Powerful; He has made subjugation the fate for those who refrain from Jihad. Now the decision rests with the Muslims as to what they choose.


If only the pious segment of Pakistani nation could understand this important point, the authority will pass into their hands because the righteous have always been in majority in this country. But unfortunately they do not bother to think beyond voluntary Salat, Zikr and religious propagation missions. Whereas to strive for establishing the rule of virtuous leadership is a higher degree of Jihad and is even more arduous than fighting in the battlefield.


It is further decreed that if the believers do not extend their help to the Holy Prophet-SW it would not really matter, for Allaah-SWT undoubtedly suffices for him. Islam shall last forever, so all those who exert to uphold and safeguard its supremacy will indeed be exerting for their own salvation.


The Second of the Two

There was a time when the infidels had forced the Holy Prophet-SW to flee from his home in Makkah. He-SW along with "the second of the two" had taken refuge in the Cave Thaur, with Allah-SWT's Help. He-SW had told his-SW Companion-RAU not to worry for him-SW, for Allaah-SWT was with both of them. It must be remembered that Hadhrat Abu Bakr Siddiq-RAU enjoys certain unique distinctions. For instance, his four generations have the honour of Companionship. His father, he himself, his sons and daughters and his grandchildren were Companions-RAU of the Holy Prophet-SW. Then to be "the second of the two" is an honour enjoyed only by him. Obviously the first is the Holy Prophet-SW whose superiority over the entire creation is a well-established fact. And to be second amongst the two is indeed an honour no one shares with Hadhrat Abu Bakr Siddiq-RAU in the entire Ummah. According to a poet:

To our Holy Prophet-SW,

He-SW was the most gracious

For the Ummah he-SW was,

Indeed very precious

He-SW did for us, what

Rainfall to crops can do

Second amongst the two!

In Cave, at Badr, in grave too.


Hadhrat Abu Bakr Siddiq-RAU and Divine Company

This excellence pertains to Divine Company as revealed in the Ayah under reference. That the entire universe owes its existence to the Divine Attribute of Providence, which is a branch and a type of Divine Company. The Divine Company by itself is a branch of Divine Mercy. Now the Divine Company is of many kinds, like creating and sustaining, which is the most common form enjoyed by all the creations. A higher level is for the mankind because it can acquire the Cognition of Allah-SWT, but here the decision to choose lies with every human being. If he opts to seek Allah-SWT's Cognition with sincerity His-SWT Company reaches out to him. Yet a higher level is enjoyed by the pious and the Aulia. A Wall is blessed with His-SWT Company but this kind of Company depends on the human qualities. For instance, "Allaah-SWT is with those who persevere", means that the quality of perseverance makes them eligible for Allah-SWT's Company. Now if perseverance is lost the honour of Divine Company is automatically lost. The highest level of Divine Company is enjoyed by the Prophets-AS. For them Prophethood is a personal attribute since none of their qualities can ever be lost. However, the Divine Company changes into Attributive form as in the case of Prophets Musa-AS and Haroon-AS. Allaah-SWT reassured them "Fear not! I am with you two, Hearing and Seeing." (46:20)


Here both the qualities of Prophethood and the Divine Company are eternal but the latter is attributive. But the Cave of Thaur it is lit up with the Splendor of Allah-SWT's Personal Company blessed to the Holy Prophet-SW and Hadhrat Abu Bakr Siddiq-RAU. The Holy Prophet-SW says: "Allaah-SWT is with us". There is no mention of any Attributive Name but of the Personal Name i.e. Allaah-SWT . Nor is there any mention of a condition of any quality upon which this company depends. In other words, amongst all the Prophets-AS this honour has been conferred only upon the Holy Prophet-SW and amongst others besides the Prophets-AS only upon Hadhrat Abu Bakr Siddiq-RAU. Hence in the entire universe there are only these two noble souls blessed with Allah-SWT's Personal Company.


Grieve Not!

Therefore, the Holy Prophet-SW said: La Tahzan (Grieve not) for me. Huzn (grief) is that fear or concern which is felt for the other. For example. Prophet Ya'qub-AS was overwhelmed by the grief for his son Prophet Yusuf-AS: "and his eyes were whitened with grief (84:12), similarly the Holy Prophet-SW advised Hadhrat Abu Bakr Siddiq-RAU not to grieve for him at a time when the latter could see the enemy standing at the entrance of the Cave. What would happen if the enemy knelt down and peeped through the crevice? It gave him the shudders, for he knew that once spotted he would not be able to defend the Holy Prophet-SW alone against a host of enemies. The depth of this concern can only be gauged by the one whose love is like that of Abu Bakr Siddiq-RAU and whose beloved is like the Holy Prophet-SW, while the enemy is like Abu Jahl. And he is stranded in the wilderness alone with his beloved in the bleakness of a small cave with the enemy at its door!


So Allaah-SWT sent peace unto His-SWT Beloved-SW, a state in which the nearness to Allaah-SWT was experienced and His-SWT Splendour beheld, leaving the heart so tranquil in that it rendered him oblivious of everything else. He who was being showered with peace rested in the lap of Hadhrat Abu Bakr Siddiq-RAU. Allaah-SWT sent His armies invisible to the human eye for their assistance. The two travellers apparently treaded the desert guided by a bedouin, but in fact they were escorted by armies of angels. Thus all the plans of the infidels were out witted and their tall claims humiliated. It must be remembered that success and honour is for Allah-SWT's Word, Who is all Powerful and it is only His Wisdom that He gives man a chance to prove his worth.


Therefore, set forth for Jihad, for Allah-SWT's Word shall prevail and all those who sit behind will indeed deprive themselves. So whatever supplies are available, move on with them in the Cause of Allah. Faith demands that a believer must offer his life, riches, time, comfort and all that he has for Allah-SWT's Cause. However, had there been greater chances of booty and lesser impediments, even the hypocrites wouldn't have stayed back, for they always sought worldly gains. But now they could see the perils of the expedition and were intimidated. So they would swear upon Allaah-SWT that they would have certainly accompanied the Holy Prophet-SW if it was within their power. Allaah-SWT declares that they are inviting further trouble for themselves by making lame excuses. Already guilty of renouncing Jihad, they are now lying to cover it up, while Allaah-SWT is well Aware of their falsehood.