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 8 contains Āyāt / Parts 7
  • Siparah/ Volume 10 & 11


إِنَّمَا الصَّدَقَاتُ لِلْفُقَرَاء وَالْمَسَاكِينِ وَالْعَامِلِينَ عَلَيْهَا وَالْمُؤَلَّفَةِ قُلُوبُهُمْ وَفِي الرِّقَابِ وَالْغَارِمِينَ وَفِي سَبِيلِ اللّهِ وَابْنِ السَّبِيلِ فَرِيضَةً مِّنَ اللّهِ وَاللّهُ عَلِيمٌ حَكِيمٌ

Innama a(l)ssadaqatu lilfuqarai wa(a)lmasakeeni wa(a)lAAamileena AAalayhawa(a)lmuallafati quloobuhum wafee a(l)rriqabi wa(a)lgharimeena wafee sabeeli Allahi wa(i)bni a(l)ssabeeli fareedatan mina Allahi wa(A)llahu AAaleemun hakeemun

The obligatory alms are only for the poor and the needy and the agents employed therein and those whose hearts are to be conciliated and those in bondage and debtors and for expenditure in the way of Allaah-SWT and for the wayfarer: an Ordinance from Allaah-SWT and Allaah-SWT is Knowing, Wise.


وَمِنْهُمُ الَّذِينَ يُؤْذُونَ النَّبِيَّ وَيِقُولُونَ هُوَ أُذُنٌ قُلْ أُذُنُ خَيْرٍ لَّكُمْ يُؤْمِنُ بِاللّهِ وَيُؤْمِنُ لِلْمُؤْمِنِينَ وَرَحْمَةٌ لِّلَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ مِنكُمْ وَالَّذِينَ يُؤْذُونَ رَسُولَ اللّهِ لَهُمْ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ 

Waminhumu allatheena yuthoona a(l)nnabiyya wayaqooloona huwa othunun qul othunu khayrin lakum yuminu bi(A)llahi wayuminu lilmumineena warahmatun lillatheena amanoo minkum wa(a)llatheena yuthoona rasoola Allahi lahum AAathabun aleem(un)

And of them are some who vex the Messenger-SW and say: he is all ears. Say you-SW: he is all ears unto you is good for you, believing in Allaah-SWT and giving credence to the believers and a mercy to those of you who believe. And those who vex the Messenger-SW of Allah-SWT, for them shall be a chastisement afflictive.


يَحْلِفُونَ بِاللّهِ لَكُمْ لِيُرْضُوكُمْ وَاللّهُ وَرَسُولُهُ أَحَقُّ أَن يُرْضُوهُ إِن كَانُواْ مُؤْمِنِينَ

Yahlifoona bi(A)llahi lakum liyurdookum wa(A)llahu warasooluhu ahaqqu an yurdoohu in kanoo mumineen(a)

They swear to you by Allaah-SWT in order that you may be pleased, while worthier are Allaah-SWT and His-SWT Messenger-SW that they should please Him-SWT , if they be believers indeed.


أَلَمْ يَعْلَمُواْ أَنَّهُ مَن يُحَادِدِ اللّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ فَأَنَّ لَهُ نَارَ جَهَنَّمَ خَالِدًا فِيهَا ذَلِكَ الْخِزْيُ الْعَظِيمُ

Alam yaAAlamoo annahu man yuhadidi Allaha warasoolahu faanna lahu nara jahannama khalidan feeha thalika alkhizyu alAAatheem(u)

Do they not know that anyone who will oppose Allaah-SWT and His-SWT Messenger, verily for him shall be Hell-fire in which he shall abide: a mighty humiliation.


يَحْذَرُ الْمُنَافِقُونَ أَن تُنَزَّلَ عَلَيْهِمْ سُورَةٌ تُنَبِّئُهُمْ بِمَا فِي قُلُوبِهِم قُلِ اسْتَهْزِؤُواْ إِنَّ اللّهَ مُخْرِجٌ مَّا تَحْذَرُونَ

Yahtharu almunafiqoona an tunazzala AAalayhim sooratun tunabbiohum bima fee quloobihim quli istahzioo inna Allaha mukhrijun ma tahtharoon(a)

The hypocrites apprehend lest a Surah should be revealed to them declaring to them what is in their hearts. Say you: mock on, truly Allaah-SWT is about to bring out what you apprehend.


وَلَئِن سَأَلْتَهُمْ لَيَقُولُنَّ إِنَّمَا كُنَّا نَخُوضُ وَنَلْعَبُ قُلْ أَبِاللّهِ وَآيَاتِهِ وَرَسُولِهِ كُنتُمْ تَسْتَهْزِؤُونَ 

Walain saaltahum layaqoolunna innama kunna nakhoodu wanalAAabu qul abi(A)llahi waayatihi warasoolihi kuntum tastahzioon(a)

Should you question them, they will surely say: we were only plunging about and playing. Say you-SW: was it Allaah-SWT and His-SWT Signs and His-SWT Messenger-SW that you have been mocking?


لاَ تَعْتَذِرُواْ قَدْ كَفَرْتُم بَعْدَ إِيمَانِكُمْ إِن نَّعْفُ عَن طَآئِفَةٍ مِّنكُمْ نُعَذِّبْ طَآئِفَةً بِأَنَّهُمْ كَانُواْ مُجْرِمِينَ

La taAAtathiroo qad kafartum baAAda eemanikum in naAAfu AAan taifatin minkum nuAAaththib taifatan biannahum kanoo mujrimeen(a)

Make no excuse. Of a surety you are disbelieving after declaring your faith. If a section of you We-SWT will pardon, another section We-SWT will chastise, for they have remained sinners.


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

Allah-SWT has laid down clear cut instructions for the distribution of obligatory alms. They will not be distributed at will rather, Allaah-SWT has assigned portions to the various categories of destitute Muslims. According to a Hadith the authority to distribute Zakat has not been delegated to any Prophet-AS. Allaah-SWT has pronounced it Himself. However, voluntary alms can also be given to non believers at one's discretion, including those given on Eid al Fitr, as Islam aims at the welfare of the entire mankind. In this world of causes and effects, the distribution of wealth is indeed a great trial for mankind. Some people are blessed with more than the others, which is a test for both to see how they fulfill their duty towards Allaah-SWT . Every socio-economic system of the world, be it monarchy, or dictatorship, communism or democracy, makes the rich richer and the poor poorer. The monarchy distributes offices amongst the royal families like inheritance, while dictatorship is not much different. Communism impoverishes and subjugates the masses while making the ruling lot so rich and giving them such privileges that even the monarchs cannot dream of. As for the democracy, its greatest champion is the United States, where a person once elected as Senator, sticks there for generations together. All matters are directly or indirectly referred to him and he constantly maintains his hold over people. Islam has the distinction that it has enjoined upon its followers to spend one fortieth of their annual savings on the less privileged and has encouraged voluntary alms. It suggests spending on the poor for atonement of sins. These measures are indeed for discouraging the concentration of wealth in few hands. An obligatory alm, that is, Zakat has to be collected from the Muslims and given to those Muslims who deserve to receive it. However, voluntary alms can be given to anyone.


The Disbursement of Zakat

Zakat can be spent on eight categories of deserving Muslims namely:

  1. The destitute having no means of livelihood, no home or possessions.
  2. The poor who has a place to live in and possessions but so inadequate that he cannot make both ends meet.
  3. The collectors; i.e. those assigned the task to collect Zakat. Their salary can be paid from Zakat. The Commentators have discussed this at length. The point at issue is that when remuneration is forbidden for any other act of worship, why are the collectors given a salary from Zakat? A very simple answer given is that since all their time is spent in collection of Zakat, the wages they receive are not for the task of collecting Zakat but for their time. Relying on this plea the wages of a tutor of the Quran or the Imam of a masjid have been justified. Secondly, it is the duty of the Muslim ruler to collect Zakat as against the prevailing custom of giving it individually due to the absence of an Islamic System of State. Otherwise it is the responsibility of the head of the Islamic State to appoint Zakat Collectors as clearly enjoined by the Ayah: "Take from their wealth obligatory alms." Since the ruler himself is the defender of the rights of all the poor and helpless citizens, the collectors appointed by him collect Zakat as supporters of the poor. They receive their salary through the ruler as representatives of the poor. The author of Mu’arif al Quran, Mufti Muhammad Shafi does not approve of paying remuneration from the Zakat to the envoys of the religious schools, because they are not appointed by the Muslim ruler. Therefore, they should be paid from other sources.
  4. The newly converted Muslims who face financial difficulties because of their conversion. To encourage them it is appropriate to help them from Zakat.
  5. Freeing of the slaves. Bondage is indeed a curse and if a human being can be freed of its yoke by giving money, it must be done.
  6. On those who do not have the resources to pay back their debts.
  7. In the Cause of Allaah-SWT . This term is very general and may create the misunderstanding that spending on any good cause is justified. Had this been the case, Allaah-SWT would certainly not have spelled out categories of the deserving, as the general term "in His-SWT Cause" would have sufficed. The scope of the term is indeed determined by the Sunnah of the Holy Prophet-SW and the practice of our noble ancestors. The Sunnah authenticates spending on the pilgrims, especially those on whom pilgrimage has become obligatory but they are hindered by a shortage of funds or need help during their journey, and in furtherance of objectives of Jihad. The social welfare institutions like charity hospitals or religious schools, however, do not qualify to receive Zakat under this general term.
  8. The wayfarer, who may have had no financial worries at home but deserves to be helped during the journey. These are the decrees of Allah-SWT, the Wisest and all Knowing.

Further details of the disbursement of Zakat may be seen in Mu'arif al Quran. Now since Allaah-SWT has determined the expenditure of Zakat so there is no room for any objections by anyone. It is indeed the fruit of hypocricy that objections are raised against Allaah-SWT and His-SWT Prophets-AS.


Annoying the Holy Prophet-SW

There are some amongst the hypocrites who annoy the Holy Prophet-SW. They think that since he-SW believes in whatever is told to him-SW, they may revile him-SW and Islam and if it is reported, they can simply refute. Their pretext will also be easily accepted like others. Even today a person who deliberately, for some personal gain, makes a false statement with reference to Islam is guilty of vexing the Holy Prophet-SW  


So the hypocrites must know that it is only because of the Holy Prophet-SW‘s graciousness and patience that he-SW despite listening to their false claims he does not contradict them on their faces. Otherwise it is not that he is unaware of the facts. The Holy Prophet-SW is blessed with Divine Revelation, which exposes the hypocrites, and it is not easy to deceive him-SW. He-SW also listens carefully to the sincere and devoted believers who keep him-SW informed over the activities of the hypocrites. However, it is his-SW generosity that he-SW does not openly denounce the hypocrites and keeps quiet so that they are not embarrassed.


Tawajjuh-a Source of Spiritual Progress

To get the Tawajjuh of the Holy Prophet-SW is nothing ordinary, but a special Divine Favour. It cannot be attained by just anyone but is the lot of the truly devoted and sincere believers. When he-SW listens carefully to any one of them, he-SW is actually giving him-SW Tawajjuh, which is a source of elevating the devotee's spiritual status. A hypocrite on the other hand, can never imagine such favour. In other words, a hypocrite is deprived of the Holy Prophet-SW ‘s Tawajjuh. This is also true of a Shaikh's Tawajjuh, because it also elevates the spiritual status of a seeker. The hypocrites should rather wait for a doom from Allah-SWT, for all those who tease the Holy Prophet-SW will be subjected to a very painful punishment.


O' Muslims! These hypocrites also try to delude and please you by swearing that they did not say anything bad or could not carry out a certain task because of some unavoidable circumstances. They should have tried to please Allaah-SWT instead Who-SWT has the Knowledge of the Unseen. Pleasing the Holy Prophet-SW through obedience is indeed pleasing Allaah-SWT and is the essence of faith. Without obedience the declaration of faith is impossible to prove.


Have the hypocrites not yet discerned that being at war with Allaah-SWT will abase them not only in this world but also-in the Hereafter? In fact it amounts to opposing the Holy Prophet-SW and all those who opposed him-SW have been disgraced and destroyed. Is this not an admonition for them? The hypocrites only fear an exposure of their true feelings by the Divine Revelation. Today also some people obtain verdicts to suit their purpose through bribe and by concealing the actual facts, knowing fully well that they are wrong, only to deceive the masses. This indeed is hypocrisy and an affront to Allah-SWT's Greatness. The Holy Prophet-SW must inform them that Allaah-SWT shall expose their intentions and tricks in this life and shall abase them in the Akhirah in front of the entire creation.


Making Fun of Islamic Doctrines is Infidelity

When the Holy Prophet-SW asks the hypocrites about their improper acts, they plead that they were merely joking. How dare they mock at Allah-SWT, His-SWT Commandments and His-SWT Prophet-SW, which besides being a serious crime, is plain disbelief? This excuse itself is weightless, for even if they had been believers, this conduct has stripped them of faith, as they themselves confess that they had been joking about Islam. It is infidelity to make fun of the Almighty and His-SWT exalted Prophet-SW, or to mock at His-SWT Commandments. Some may be blessed with the chance to repent after this crime. They are those who have not personally mocked His-SWT Commandments but were only a part of the group indulging in such behaviour. However, those who make fun shall never be given an opportunity to repent and will certainly be punished. Verily, it is a crime which deprives a person of even the capacity to repent.