Surah At-Tawbah
التوبة سورة

Surah: At-Tawbah
Asbab An-Nuzul:  سورة التوبة

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Surah At-Tawbah (Arabic:  سورة التوبة Suratu at-Tawbah, “The Repentance”) also known as al-Bara’ah “the Ultimatum” in many hadith is the ninth chapter of the Qur’an, with 129 verses. It is one of the last Madinan Suras. It is the only Sura of the Qur’an that does not begin with the bismillah. This sura was revealed at the time of the Battle of Tabuk.

At-Tawbah | سورة التوبة 

  • Classification: Madinan
  • Meaning of the name: The Repentance
  • Other names: Al-Bara’ah (Dispensation)Center for Muslim-Jewish Engagement

Statistics

  • Sura number: 9
  • Number of verses: 129
  • Juz’ number: 10 to 11
  • Hizb number: 19 to 21
  • Number of Sajdahs: none
  • Previous Sura: Al-Anfal
  • Next Sura: Yunus

Verses | 1-4

Surah At-Tawbah 1-4

“[This is a declaration of] disassociation, from Allah and His Messenger, to those with whom you had made a treaty among the polytheists. So travel freely, [O disbelievers], throughout the land [during] four months but know that you cannot cause failure to Allah and that Allah will disgrace the disbelievers.

And [it is] an announcement from Allah and His Messenger to the people on the day of the greater pilgrimage that Allah is disassociated from the disbelievers, and [so is] His Messenger.

So if you repent, that is best for you; but if you turn away – then know that you will not cause failure to Allah. And give tidings to those who disbelieve of a painful punishment. Excepted are those with whom you made a treaty among the polytheists and then they have not been deficient toward you in anything or supported anyone against you; so complete for them their treaty until their term [has ended]. Indeed, Allah loves the righteous [who fear Him].       ”

The famous Sword verse and the following verses (6-8) read as follows:

“ And when the sacred months have passed, then kill the polytheists wherever you find them and capture them and besiege them and sit in wait for them at every place of ambush. But if they should repent, establish prayer, and give zakah, let them [go] on their way. Indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.

And if any one of the polytheists seeks your protection, then grant him protection so that he may hear the words of Allah. Then deliver him to his place of safety. That is because they are a people who do not know. How can there be for the polytheists a treaty in the sight of Allah and with His Messenger, except for those with whom you made a treaty at al-Masjid al-Haram..?

So as long as they are upright toward you, be upright toward them. Indeed, Allah loves the righteous [who fear Him]. How [can there be a treaty] while, if they gain dominance over you, they do not observe concerning you any pact of kinship or covenant of protection? They satisfy you with their mouths, but their hearts refuse [compliance], and most of them are defiantly disobedient.       ”

Verse | 9-13

“ They have exchanged the signs of Allah for a small price and averted [people] from His way. Indeed, it was evil that they were doing. They do not observe toward a believer any pact of kinship or covenant of protection. And it is they who are the transgressors. But if they repent, establish prayer, and give zakah, then they are your brothers in religion; and We detail the verses for a people who know.

And if they break their oaths after their treaty and defame your religion, then fight the leaders of disbelief, for indeed, there are no oaths [sacred] to them; [fight them that] they might cease. Would you not fight a people who broke their oaths and determined to expel the Messenger, and they had begun [the attack upon] you the first time? Do you fear them? But Allah has more right that you should fear Him, if you are [truly] believers.”

Verse 14 reads as follows:

“ Fight them; Allah will punish them by your hands and will disgrace them and give you victory over them and satisfy the breasts of a believing people.”

Verse 29 reads as follows:

“ Fight against such of those who have been given the Scripture as believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, and forbid not that which Allah hath forbidden by His messenger, and follow not the Religion of Truth, until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.”

The Surah explains how Allah views pagans and also the People of the Book:

“ The Jews call ‘Uzair the son of Allah, and the Christians call Christ the son of Allah. That is a saying from their mouth; (in this) they but imitate what the unbelievers of old used to say. Allah’s curse be on them: how they are deluded away from the Truth!

Verse 37 documents the prohibition of Nasīʾ:

“ Verily the transposing (of a prohibited month) is an addition to Unbelief: The Unbelievers are led to wrong thereby: for they make it lawful one year, and forbidden another year, of months forbidden by Allah and make such forbidden ones lawful. The evil of their course seems pleasing to them. But Allah guideth not those who reject Faith.

This prohibition was repeated by Muhammad during the last sermon on Mount Arafat which was delivered during the Farewell Pilgrimage to Mecca on 9 Dhu al-Hijja 10 AH.

Verse 40 refers to Abu Bakr during migration to Medina, when he and Muhammad took refuge in a cave.

When the Qu’ran was first compiled there was only one person who had the last verse of at-Tawba written down: Abi Khuzaima al-Ansari, although it was known and memorized by all of the companions.

Asbab An-Nuzul | Surah At-Tawbah

By: Alī ibn Ahmad al-Wāhidī

9:12.| And if they break their pledges after their treaty (hath been made with you) and assail your religion, then fight the heads of disbelief…!

[9:12]. Said Ibn ‘Abbas: “This verse was revealed about Abu Sufyan ibn Harb, al-Harith ibn Hisham, Suhayl ibn ‘Amr, ‘Ikrimah ibn Abi Jahl and all the chiefs of Quraysh who broke their pledges, and these are the ones who planned to expel the Messenger of Allah”.

9:17.| It is not for the idolaters to tend Allah’s sanctuaries…

[9:17]. The commentators of the Qur’an said: “When al-‘Abbas [ibn ‘Abd al-Muttalib] was taken prisoner on the Day of Badr, the Muslims went over to him and insulted him for his unbelief as well as for severing his ties of kinship, and ‘Ali [ibn Abi Talib] addressed him in a harsh way.

Al-‘Abbas answered them: ‘How is it that you mention our evil deeds but you do not mention our good deeds?’ ‘Ali retorted: ‘Do you have any good deeds?’ He replied: ‘Yes, we tend to the Sacred Mosque, serve as gatekeepers of the Ka‘bah, provide water for the pilgrims, and relieve the afflicted’.

Allah, glorious and majestic is He, revealed as an answer to al-‘Abbas (It is not for the idolaters to tend Allah’s sanctuaries)”.

9:19.| Count ye the slaking of a pilgrim’s thirst and tendance of the Inviolable Place of Worship as (equal to the worth of) him who believeth in Allah.

[9:19]. Abu Ishaq al-Tha’alibi, may Allah have mercy on him, informed us> ‘Abd Allah ibn Hamid al-Wazzan> Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn Ja’far> ibn ‘Abd Allah al-Munadi> Abu Dawud Sulayman ibn al-Ash’ath> Abu Tubah al-Rabi’ ibn Nafi’ al-Halabi> Mu’awiyah ibn Salam> Zayd ibn Salam> Abu Salam> al-Nu’man ibn Bashir who said:

“I was sitting close to the pulpit of the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, when a man said: ‘I do not care if I ever do any other good works after I quench the thirst of the pilgrims’, another man said: ‘I do not care if I ever do any other work after tending to the Sacred Mosque’, and a third man said: ‘Jihad in the way of Allah is much better than what you have mentioned’.

‘Umar ibn al-Khattab rebuked them, saying: ‘Do not raise your voices so close to the pulpit of the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, (this happened to be a Friday). But what I will do is that, after performing my prayer, I will go in and ask the verdict of the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, concerning that about which you have differed’.

He did, and then Allah, exalted is He, revealed (Count ye the slaking of a pilgrim’s thirst and tendance of the Inviolable Place of Worship) up to His words (Allah guideth not wrongdoing folk…)”.

This was narrated by Muslim from al-Hasan ibn ‘Ali al-Halwani from Abu Tubah.

Said Ibn ‘Abbas, according to the report of al-Walibi: “When he was taken prisoner on the Day of Badr, al-‘Abbas ibn ‘Abd al-Muttalib said: ‘If you have precedence over us through Islam, migration and Jihad, we also used to tend to the Sacred Mosque, quench the thirst of the pilgrims and relieve the afflicted’.

Allah, exalted is He, revealed therefore (Count ye the slaking of a pilgrim’s thirst and tendance of the Inviolable Place of Worship…)”. Al-Hasan, al-Sha’bi and al-Qurazi said: “This verse was revealed about ‘Ali, al-‘Abbas and Talhah ibn Shaybah who boasted to each other. Talhah said: ‘I am the master of the House, its key is in my hand. I could sleep inside it if I wanted to and the apparel of its house belongs to me’.

Al-‘Abbas said: ‘I am in charge of providing water to the pilgrims’. ‘Ali said: ‘I do not know what you are talking about, I have prayed six months before anybody else and I have taken part in Jihad’. And so Allah, exalted is, revealed this verse”. Ibn Sirin and Murrah al-Hamadani said: “’Ali [ibn Abi Talib] said to al-‘Abbas [ibn ‘Abd al-Muttalib]: ‘Are you not going to migrate to join the Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace,,?’

al-‘Abbas said: ‘Am I not doing something much better than migration? Do I not quench the thirst of the pilgrims to the House of Allah and tend to the Sacred Mosque?’ And so, this verse was revealed as were revealed Allah’s words (Those who believe, and have left their homes and striven with their wealth and their lives…) [9:20]”.

9:23-24.| ‘O ye who believe! Choose not your fathers nor your brethren for friends if they take pleasure in disbelief rather than faith.

[9:23-24]. Said al-Kalbi: “When the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, was commanded to migrate to Medina, some men went to their fathers, brothers or wives and said:’We have been commanded to migrate to Medina’. Thus, some people liked the command and hastened to execute it, while the wives, dependents and children of others hung on to some others, saying: ‘We beseech you by Allah not to leave us to no one, causing our waste and peril’.

The hearts of these softened for them and, as a result, they refrained from migrating. These words of Allah, exalted is He, were then revealed to rebuke them (O ye who believe! Choose not your fathers nor your brethren for friends if they take pleasure in disbelief rather than faith…)”. As for those who stayed back in Mecca and did not migrate, Allah, exalted is He, revealed (then wait till Allah bringeth His command to pass…)

[9:24], meaning fighting and the conquest of Mecca.

9:34.| ‘O ye who believe! Lo! many of the (Jewish) rabbis and the (Christian) monks devour the wealth of mankind wantonly.

[9:34]. This was revealed about the scholars and doctors of the people of the Book. They used to accept bribes from the communality of people; these are the gains they used to obtain from the common people.

‘’(They who hoard up gold and silver and spend it not in the way of Allah…’’ [9:34].

Abu Ishaq al-Muqri’ informed us> ‘Abd Allah ibn Hamid> Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn Ibrahim> Muhammad ibn Nusayr> ‘Amr ibn Zurarah> Hushaym> Husayn> Zayd ibn Wahb who said: “I passed by al-Rabadhah where I came across Abu Dharr. I asked him: ‘What brought you here?’ He said: ‘I was in Syria and I had a disagreement with Mu‘awiyah regarding the verse (They who hoard up gold and silver and spend it not in the way of Allah…).

Mu‘awiyah was of the opinion that it was revealed about the people of the Book, while I said to him that it was revealed about them as well as about us. We had an altercation after which he wrote to ‘Uthman to complain about me. ‘Uthman wrote to me asking me to go to Medina. When I went to Medina, a lot of people came to see me, as if they had never seen me before.

I mentioned this to ‘Uthman and he said: ‘If you wish you can move somewhere else and stay close’. This is what has brought me to this place. Had they appointed an Abyssinian slave as my leader, I would have heard and obeyed him’ ”. This was narrated by Bukhari from Qutaybah from Jarir from Husayn; he also narrated it from ‘Ali from Hushaym.

The Commentators of the Qur’an also disagree about the occasion of this verse. Some are of the opinion that it was specifically revealed about the people of the Book. Al-Suddi thought it was revealed about the people of the Qiblah while al-Dahhak was of the opinion that it was about both the people of the Book and the Muslims.

‘Ata’ also reported that Ibn ‘Abbas said regarding the words of Allah (They who hoard up gold and silver and spend it not in the way of Allah…): “He means of the believers”. Abu’l-Hasan Ahmad ibn Ibrahim al-Najjar informed us> Sulayman ibn Ayyub al-Tabarani> Muhammad ibn Dawud ibn Sadaqah> ‘Abd Allah ibn Mu‘afa> Sharik> Muhammad ibn ‘Abd Allah al-Muradi> ‘Amr ibn Murrah> Salim ibn Abi al-Ja‘d> Thawban who said:

“When the verse (They who hoard up gold and silver…) was revealed, the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, said: ‘May gold and silver perish!’ He was asked: ‘O Messenger of Allah, which of the riches should we hoard?’ He said: ‘A heart which is grateful, a tongue which remembers Allah and a righteous wife’ ”.

9:38.| ‘O ye who believe! What aileth you that when it is said unto you: Go forth in the way of Allah…!

[9:38]. This verse was revealed to prompt the believers to take part in the Battle of Tabuk. When the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, returned from al-Ta’if and the Battle of Hunayn, he gave orders to attack the Byzantines. This happened at a time when people were living in straitened circumstances, the land was suffering from drought; it was very hot and it was time to reap the dates which were by then ripe.

People found it very hard to conquer the Byzantines; they preferred to stay at home and enjoy the shade.

The idea of going out to fight was very hard to accept. When Allah knew people’s slackness, He revealed this verse.

9:41.| Go forth, light-armed and heavy-armed…!

[9:41]. This was revealed about those who excused themselves from taking part in fighting because of their farms, work and preoccupations. But Allah, exalted is He, refused to excuse them unless they went forth to fight, despite of what had ensued from them before.

Muhammad ibn Ibrahim ibn Muhammad ibn Yahya informed us> Abu ‘Amr ibn Matar> Ibrahim ibn ‘Ali> Yahya ibn Yahya> Sufyan ibn ‘Uyaynah> Ibn Jad‘an [‘Ali ibn Zayd]> Anas who said: “Abu Talhah recited (Go forth, light-armed and heavy-armed) and then said: ‘I see that Allah has not excused anyone’, and he went to Syria to take part in Jihad and remained there until he died”.

Said al-Suddi: “One day, al-Miqdad ibn al-Aswad, who was a huge, fat man, went to see the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, to complain to him [about his size] and to dispense him from taking part in fighting. (Go forth, light-armed and heavy-armed) was revealed about him. But when this verse was revealed, people found it very hard on them, and so Allah, exalted is He, abrogated it and revealed instead (Not unto the weak nor unto the sick…)

9:91’ 9:42-47.| Had it been a near adventure and an easy journey they had followed thee…!

[9:42-47]. Allah then revealed about those hypocrites who stayed behind and did not take part in the Battle of Tabuk (Had it been a near adventure and an easy journey they had followed thee…). He also revealed (Had they gone forth among you they had added to you naught save trouble…). This is because when the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, set forth, he camped his troops at al-Wada‘ ’s mountain trail while ‘Abd Allah ibn Ubayy camped his troops at a clear trodden path below the mountain trail of al-Wada‘.

His troops were no less than the troops which were with the Prophet. When the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, marched again, ‘Abd Allah ibn Ubayy, the hypocrites and the doubters stayed behind. To consol His Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, Allah, exalted is He, revealed (Had they gone forth among you they had added to you naught save trouble…).

9:49.| Of them is he who saith: Grant me leave (to stay at home) and tempt me not…!

[9:49]. This was revealed about Jadd ibn Qays the hypocrite. This is because when the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, was preparing for the Battle of Tabuk, he said to him: “O Abu Wahb, would you not like to have scores of Byzantine women and men as concubines and servants..?”

He said: “O Messenger of Allah, my people know that I am very fond of women and, if I see the women of the Byzantines, I fear I will not be able to hold back. So do not tempt me by them, and allow me not to join and, instead, I will assist you with my wealth”.

The Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, turned away from him and said: “I allow you”, and so Allah, exalted is He, revealed this verse. When this verse was revealed, the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, asked Banu Salamah, the tribe of al-Jadd: “Who is your master, ‘O Banu Salamah?”

They said: “Al-Jadd ibn Qays except that he is a miser and a coward”.

The Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, responded: “Is there any sickness worse than miserliness? Rather, your master is the fair, curly-haired youth: Bishr ibn al-Bara’ ibn Ma’rur”. Hasan ibn Thabit composed about him the following lines:

And the Messenger of Allah said and truth catches up With him about whom he said: who do you consider as your master. We said: Jadd ibn Qays even though We consider him a miser and a troublesome one.

He said: what is worse than that With which you reproach Jadd and which make a hand needy. And he appointed Bishr ibn al-Bara’ as chief for his magnanimity And it is befitting that Bishr who answers others’ call be appointed as chief.

When a delegation comes to him, he spends his wealth And says: take it for tomorrow it will return. The verses after this one verse and up to Allah’s words (The alms are only for the poor and the needy) [9:60] are about the hypocrites.

9:58.| And of them is he who defameth thee in the matter of the alms…!

[9:58]. Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn Ibrahim al-Tha‘labi informed us> ‘Abd Allah ibn Hamid> Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn al-Hasan al-Hafiz> Muhammad ibn Yahya> ‘Abd al-Razzaq> Ma‘mar> al-Zuhri> Abu Salamah ibn ‘Abd al-Rahman> Abu Sa‘id al-Khudri who said:

“While the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, was dividing alms, Ibn Dhu Khuwaysirah al-Tamimi (Hurqus ibn Zuhayr, the origin of the Kharijites) came to him and said: ‘Be fair with us, ‘O Messenger of Allah!’

The Prophet replied to him: ‘Woe unto you, who is going to be fair if I am not..?’

And then the verse (And of them is he who defameth thee in the matter of the alms…) was revealed”. This was narrated by Bukhari from ‘Abd Allah ibn Muhammad from Hisham from Ma‘mar.

Al-Kalbi said: “This was revealed about those whose hearts are to be reconciled, i.e. the hypocrites. One of them, whose name is al-Jawaz, said to the Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace: ‘You did not divide [the alms] fairly..!’ And so Allah, exalted is He, revealed (And of them is he who defameth thee in the matter of the alms)”.

9:61-62.| And of them are those who vex the Prophet and say: He is only a hearer…!

[9:61-62]. This was revealed about a group of hypocrites who used to harm the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, by saying about him things that should not be said. One of them said: “Do not do this, for we fear that what we say might reach him and he will punish us”.

Al-Julas ibn Suwayd said: “We will say whatever we wish to say and when we go to him he will believe whatever we tell him, for Muhammad is nothing but a hearer”, and so Allah, exalted is He, revealed this verse. Muhammad ibn Ishaq ibn Yasar and others said: “This verse was revealed about one hypocrite whose name is Nabtal ibn al-Harith.

This man was dark-skinned, red-eyed, burned in the cheeks and deformed. It is this man about whom the Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, said: ‘Whoever wants to look at the devil, let him look at Nabtal ibn al-Harith’. This man was a tale bearer; he related the words of the Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, to the hypocrites.

And when he was told to stop doing this, he said: ‘Indeed, Muhammad is but a hearer, he believes everything that people tell him. We say whatever we like and then we go to him and swear that we never said it and he believes us’. And so Allah, exalted is He, revealed this verse”. Al-Suddi said: “A group of hypocrites, including Julas ibn Suwayd ibn al-Samit and Wadi‘ah ibn Thabit, gathered and wanted to speak ill of the Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace.

They had with them a boy from the Helpers by the name of ‘Amir ibn Qays. These hypocrites mocked the Prophet and then spoke and said ‘By Allah, if what Muhammad says is true, then we are worse than asses’. The boy got angry and said: ‘By Allah, what Muhammad says is true and you are worse than asses’. The boy then went to the Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, and informed him about what they said.

The Prophet summoned them and when he asked them they swore that ‘Amir was a liar. ‘Amir also swore that they were liars. ‘Amir then prayed: ‘O Allah, do not make us disperse until you show who is lying and who s telling the truth’. And so this verse was revealed about them (And of them are those who vex the Prophet and say: He is only a hearer) and He also revealed (They swear by Allah to you (Muslims) to please you…) [9:62]”.

9:64.| The hypocrites fear lest a Surah should be revealed concerning them, proclaiming what is in their hearts…!

[9:64]. Al-Suddi said: “One hypocrite said: ‘By Allah, I wish to be flogged one hundred lashes rather than have something revealed about us that exposes us’. Allah, exalted is He, then revealed this verse”. And Mujahid said: “They [the hypocrites] used to say things amongst themselves and then exclaim: ‘Haply, Allah will not reveal our secret!’ ”.

9:65.| And if thou ask them (O Muhammad) they will say: We did but talk and jest…!

[9:65]. Said Qatadah: “As the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, was heading for the Battle of Tabuk, a hypocrite, who was ahead of him, said:

‘Does this man really hope to conquer the castles and fortresses of Syria, far be it! Far be it’. Allah, exalted is He, informed His Prophet about what they said, and so the Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, ordered the troops to stop marching.

He went to those hypocrites and informed them of what they said.

They said to him in reply: ‘O Messenger of Allah, we were just engaging in idle talk and jesting’.

Allah, exalted is He, then revealed this verse”. Zayd ibn Aslam and Muhammad ibn Ka’b said: “One of the hypocrites said at the Battle of Tabuk: ‘I have never seen anyone whose belly is more hungry, whose tongue lies more or who is more cowardly in fighting than these reciters of ours’, meaning the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, and his Companions.

‘Awf ibn Malik said to him: ‘You lie; rather, you are a hypocrite! I will inform the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, of what you have just said’. But ‘Awf found that the Qur’an had already informed him. The man went to the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, when he had already mounted his camel and set off, and said to him:

‘O Messenger of Allah! We were but talking idly and jesting; we were talking the way riders do to make our travelling easy’ ”. Abu Nasr Muhammad ibn Muhammad ibn ‘Abd Allah al-Jawzaqi informed us> Bishr ibn Ahmad ibn Bishr> Abu Ja’far Muhammad ibn Musa al-Halwani> Muhammad ibn Maymun al-Khayyat> Isma’il ibn Dawud al-Mihrajani> Malik ibn Anas> Nafi’> Ibn ‘Umar who said:

“I saw ‘Abd Allah ibn Ubayy walking in front of the Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, while being hit by stones [as a result of the galloping of horses], and saying: ‘O Messenger of Allah, we were only talking idly and jesting’, and the Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, responded: ‘(Was it at Allah and His revelations and His messenger that ye did scoff ?)’ ”.

9:74.| They swear by Allah that they said nothing (wrong)…!

[9:74]. Said al-Dahhak: “The hypocrites set off with the Messenger of Allah for Tabuk. But whenever they met alone with each other, they insulted the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, and his Companions and discredited the religion. Then Hudhayfah reported what they said to the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace.

The Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, said to them: ‘O hypocrites, what is this that I hear you have said?’ They swore to him that they said nothing wrong, and so Allah, exalted is He, revealed this to give them the lie”. Said Qatadah: “It was mentioned to us that a man from Juhaynah had a fight with another man from Ghifar and the latter had the upper hand.

When he saw this, ‘Abd Allah ibn Ubayy cried: ‘O Banu Aws, help your brother for, by Allah, the like of us and the like of Muhammad is as it was said: fatten your dog and he will eat you. By Allah, once we enter Medina, the mighty among us will drive out the lowly’.

A Muslim man heard this and informed the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace. When he sent for ‘Abd Allah ibn Ubayy, the latter swore by Allah that he did not say it. Allah, exalted is He, revealed this to give him the lie”.

(And they purposed that which they could not attain…) [9:74]. Al-Dahhak said:

“They were planning to push the Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, off his mount on the night of the steep road. These were men who agreed to kill the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, while they were with him. They waited for an opportunity to take him by surprise.

Their chance came when the Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, was taking a steep road. Some of them came forward while others stayed behind. It was night time. They said to each other: ‘Once he starts going down this steep road, we will push him off his mount into the ravine’. His guide that night was ‘Ammar ibn Yasir and his navigator was Hudhayfah.

When Hudhayfah heard the sound of camels’ hoofs, he looked behind and saw veiled men. He shouted: ‘Go away, go away, O enemies of Allah!’ They stopped and the Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, proceeded to his destination. Allah, exalted is He, then revealed (And they purposed that which they could not attain…)”.

9:75.| And of them is he who made a covenant with Allah…!

[9:75]. Abu’l-Hasan Muhammad ibn al-Fadl informed us> Abu ‘Amr Muhammad ibn Ja’far ibn Matar> Abu ‘Imran Musa ibn Sahl al-Jawni> Hisham ibn ‘Ammar> Muhammad ibn Shu’ayb> Mu’adh ibn Rifa’ah al-Salami> Abu ‘Abd al-Malik ‘Ali ibn Yazid> al-Qasim ibn ‘Abd al-Rahman> Abu Umamah al-Bahili said:

“One day Tha’labah ibn Hatib al-Ansari went to the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, and said: ‘O Messenger of Allah, pray that Allah provides me with wealth’.

‘’The Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, said: ‘Woe to you..! A little for which you give thanks is better than plenty which you cannot bear.’’

Another time, he said to him: ‘Do you not like to be like the Prophet of Allah. By Him in whose Hand is my soul, if I wanted mountains would flow with gold and silver for me’. Tha’labah said: ‘By Him Who sent you with the truth, if you pray that Allah provides me with wealth, I will give each one his due’.

The Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, then prayed: ‘O Allah, give Tha’labah wealth!’ Tha’labah then acquired some sheep and they multiplied like worms until Medina became too small to contain all his sheep. He left Medina and settled in one of its valleys. At that point, he only prayed Zuhr and ‘Asr in congregation but not the other prescribed prayers.

Then his sheep multiplied even more and he stopped praying in congregation altogether except for the Friday prayer. His sheep kept multiplying like worms until he finally stopped praying even the Friday prayer.

The Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, asked about him and when they told him that his sheep had multiplied so much that he had to leave Medina and stopped praying in congregation, he said: ‘Woe unto Tha’labah’, he said it thrice.

Then Allah, glorious and majestic is He, revealed (Take alms of their wealth, wherewith thou mayst purify them) [9:103] and He also revealed the obligation of Zakah. The Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, sent two men, one from Juhaynah and one from Banu Salim, to collect Zakat, and wrote for them instructions how to collect it.

He also said to them: ‘Go to Tha’labah and so-and-so from Banu Salim and collect their Zakah’. When they reached Tha’labah, read him the letter of the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, and ask him for his Zakah, he said: ‘This is nothing but the exemption tax (Jizyah)..! This is nothing but the sister of the exemption tax! I do not know what this is; go finish your job and then come back to me’.

The two men went to the man from Banu Salim and informed him about their business. The man selected the best of his camels and gave them for Zakah. When they saw this, they said: ‘You are not obligated to do this, nor do we want to take this from you’. He said to them: ‘No, you should take them, for I am happy to give them; they are my camels, after all’.

They took those camels from him and when they finished their collection, they went back to Tha’labah. He said to them: ‘Show me your letter’, and after he read it he said: ‘This is nothing but the sister of the exemption tax. Go back until I think about what I should do’. The two men left and went to see the Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, and the moment he saw them, he said: ‘Woe to Tha’labah’, before even saying a word to them.

And he prayed that Allah bless the man from Banu Salim. The two men informed the Prophet about what Tha’labah and the man from Banu Salim did. Allah, glorious and majestic is He, revealed (And of them is he who made a covenant with Allah (saying): If He give us of His bounty we will give alms and become of the righteous) up to His words (… And because they lied) [9:79].

One of the relatives of Tha’labah was present with the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, and he heard what the Prophet said about him. He went to Tha’labah and said to him: ‘Woe unto you, O Tha’labah, Allah, exalted is He, has revealed about you this and that’. Tha’labah went to see the Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, and begged him to accept from him his Zakah.

But the Prophet said to him: ‘Allah has forbidden me from taking your Zakah’. Tha’labah then began dispersing dust on his head, upon which the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, said to him: ‘This is of your own doing! I commanded you and you did not obey me’. Tha’labah returned to his house.

The Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, died and still did not accept anything from him. When Abu Bakr was sworn in as the new leader, Tha’labah went to see him and said: ‘You know my status with the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, as well as my position amongst the Helpers, so accept my Zakah’.

Abu Bakr said: ‘The Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, did not accept it and you expect me to accept it?’ Abu Bakr died refusing to accept his Zakah. When ‘Umar was selected as the leader of the Muslims, Tha’labah went to him and said: ‘O leader of the believers, accept my Zakah!’

‘Umar replied: ‘The Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, did not accept it nor did Abu Bakr, so how do you expect me to accept it..?’

And he refused to take it from him until he died. When ‘Uthman was chosen as Caliph, Tha’labah asked him to accept his Zakah, but ‘Uthman said to him: ‘The Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, did not accept nor did Abu Bakr and ‘Umar, so how can I accept it from you’. And so ‘Uthman did not accept his Zakah. Tha’labah died during ‘Uthman’s reign”.

9:79.| Those who point at such of the believers as give the alms willingly…!

[9:79]. Sa’id ibn Muhammad ibn Ahmad ibn Ja’far informed us> Abu ‘Ali al-Faqih> Abu ‘Ali Muhammad ibn Sulayman al-Maliki> Abu Musa Muhammad ibn al-Muthanna> Abu’l-Nu’man al-Hakam ibn ‘Abd Allah al-‘Ijli> Shu’bah> Salman> Abu Wa’il> Abu Mas’ud who said: “When the verses of alms were revealed, we used to ask to carry people stuff in exchange for a wage so that we could earn and pay alms from what we had earned.

A man came and gave a lot for alms, some people commented: ‘He is just showing off’. Another man came and gave a measure (sa’) for alms, and they commented: ‘Allah can do without the measure of this man’, and so Allah revealed (Those who point at such of the believers as give the alms willingly and such as can find naught to give but their endeavours…)”.

This is narrated by Bukhari from Abu Qudamah ‘Ubayd Allah ibn Sa’id>> Abu Nu’man. Qatadah and others said: “The Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, encouraged people to give alms. ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn ‘Awf took with him four thousand silver coins and said: ‘O Messenger of Allah, all my wealth consists of eight thousand silver coins, I have kept half of it for my dependents and brought the other half for you to spend it in the way of Allah’.

The Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, said: ‘may Allah bless you for that which you have given and for that which you have withheld’. Allah did indeed bless the wealth of ‘Abd al-Rahman to the extent that when he died he was survived by two wives who inherited one eighth of his fortune.

This one eighth was estimated at 160 thousand silver coins. On the same day, ‘Asim ibn ‘Adiyy ibn al-‘Ajlan gave to charity one hundred wasq of dates while Abu ‘Aqil al-Ansari gave one sa’ of dates. Abu ‘Aqil said: ‘O Messenger of Allah, I spent the night drawing water with a rope until I earned two measures (sa’) of dates; I kept one for my family and brought the other’.

The Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, commanded him to spread it among the received alms. The hypocrites defamed ‘Abd al-Rahman and ‘Asim, saying ”Abd al-Rahman and ‘Asim gave alms only to show off. Allah and His Messenger can indeed do without the measure (sa’) of Abu ‘Aqil; he only wished to appear righteous’. And so Allah, exalted is He, revealed this verse”.

9:84.| And never (O Muhammad) pray for one of them who dieth, nor stand by his grave…!

[9:84]. Isma’il ibn ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn Ahmad al-Wa’iz informed us through dictation> ‘Abd Allah ibn Muhammad ibn Nasr> Yusuf ibn ‘Asim al-Razi> al-‘Abbas ibn al-Walid al-Narsi> Yahya ibn Sa’id al-Qattan> ‘Ubayd Allah ibn ‘Umar> Nafi’> Ibn ‘Umar who said:

“When ‘Abd Allah ibn Ubayy died, his son went to the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, and said: ‘Give me your gown to use as a shroud for my father, perform the prayer of the dead on him and seek forgiveness for him’.

The Prophet gave him his gown and then said: ‘Inform me [when you are ready to bury him] so that I may perform the prayer of the dead on him’. When he was informed and He was about to perform the prayer, ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab pulled him and said: ‘Did Allah not forbid praying on the hypocrites..?’

The Prophet said: ‘I have been given the choice to seek forgiveness for them or not to seek it’, and so he performed the prayer of the dead on him. Then this verse was revealed (And never (O Muhammad) pray for one of them who dieth, nor stand by his grave) upon which he stopped praying on them”.

This was narrated by Bukhari from Musaddid and by Muslim from Abu Qudamah ‘Ubayd Allah ibn Sa’id, and both Musaddid and ‘Ubayd Allah ibn Sa’id related it from Yahya ibn Sa’id. Isma’il ibn Ibrahim al-Nasrabadhi informed us> Abu Bakr ibn Malik al-Qati’i> ‘Abd Allah ibn Ahmad ibn Hanbal> Ahmad ibn Hanbal> Ya’qub>> ibn Ibrahim ibn Sa’d> his father> Muhammad ibn Ishaq> al-Zuhri> ‘Ubayd Allah ibn ‘Abd Allah ibn ‘Utbah ibn Mas’ud> Ibn ‘Abbas who said:

“I heard ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab saying: ‘When ‘Abd Allah ibn Ubayy died, the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, was called to pray on him. When he stood up in front of the body to perform the prayer, I moved around until I stood close to his chest and said:

‘O Messenger of Allah, will you pray on the enemy of Allah ‘Abd Allah ibn Ubayy who said such-and-such on such a day and such-and-such on such a day’, and he counted all the things he had said, all while the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, kept smiling.

‘When I went on for too long, he said: Move away, O ‘Umar, I was offered to choose one of two things and I have made my choice; it was said to me (Ask forgiveness for them (O Muhammad), or ask not forgiveness for them; though thou ask forgiveness for them seventy times Allah will not forgive them…) [9:80].

If I knew that Allah will forgive them if I were to add more than seventy one times, I will do so’. The Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, then walked with him and stood there until he prayed on the dead and finished with him. I was amazed that I dared to speak with the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, in that way. And Allah and His Messenger know better’.

‘Umar said: “Then, by Allah, only a short while later, Allah revealed (And never (O Muhammad) pray for one of them who dieth, nor stand by his grave…), after which the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, never prayed on any hypocrite nor did he stand on the grave of any one of them until Allah, exalted is He, took him away to Him”.

The commentators of the Qur’an said: “The Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, was asked about what was done with ‘Abd Allah ibn Ubayy and so he said: ‘My gown will not avail him of anything with Allah. By Allah I did it because I was hoping that a thousand of his people would embrace Islam’ ”.

9:92.| Nor unto those whom, when they came to thee (asking) that thou shouldst mount them, thou didst tell: I cannot find whereon to mount you..!

[9:92]. This verse was revealed about the weepers who were seven in number: Ma‘qil ibn Yasar, Sakhr ibn Khunays, ‘Abd Allah ibn Ka‘b al-Ansari, ‘Utbah ibn Zayd al-Ansari, Salim ibn ‘Umayr, Tha‘labah ibn ‘Anamah and ‘Abd Allah ibn Mughaffal.

These men went to the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, and said: “O Prophet of Allah, Allah, glorious and majestic is He, has recommended that we go out [to fight for His sake], so carry us with you — even though we wear mended slippers and sewed sandals — so that we fight with you”.

He said to them: “I do not have any mounts on which to carry you”, upon which they withdrew crying. Mujahid said: “This verse was revealed about the sons of Muqarrin: Ma‘qil, Suwayd and al-Nu‘man”.

9:97.| The wandering Arabs are more hard in disbelief and hypocrisy…!

[9:97]. This verse was revealed about some Bedouins from the tribes of Asad and Ghatafan as well as about some other Bedouins who settled in Medina.

9:101.| And among those around you of the wandering Arabs there are hypocrites, and among the townspeople of Medina (there are some who) persist in hypocrisy…!

[9:101]. Al-Kalbi said: “This verse was revealed about the tribes of Juhaynah, Muzaynah, Ashja‘, Aslam and Ghifar. As for the townspeople of al-Medina mentioned in the verse, this refers to ‘Abd Allah ibn Ubayy, Jadd ibn Qays, Mu‘attib ibn Qushayr, al-Julas ibn Suwayd and Abu ‘Amir al-Rahib”.

9:102-103.| (And (there are) others who have acknowledged their faults…!

[9:102-103]. Ibn al-Walibi reported that Ibn ‘Abbas said: “This verse was revealed about some people who failed to join the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, at the Battle of Tabuk and then regretted it, saying: ‘We are enjoying shelter and shade with the women while the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, and his Companions are engaging in Jihad. By Allah, we shall tie ourselves to the columns [of the mosque] and remain tied until the Messenger himself unties and pardons us’.

And they tied themselves to the columns of the mosque. When the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, returned from the battle, he passed by them and asked about who they were. He was told: ‘These are the people who failed to join you.

They vowed to remain in their position until you untie them yourself’. The Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, said: ‘And I swear that I will not set them free until I am commanded to do so nor will I pardon them unless it is Allah Who pardons them first.

They have failed to join me and shunned fighting alongside the Muslims’. And so Allah, exalted is He, revealed this verse. When it was revealed, the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, sent for them, freed them and pardoned them. When they were freed, they said: ‘O Messenger of Allah, these are our riches which caused us to fail to join you, spend them on charity on our behalves to purify us and ask forgiveness for us’.

He said: ‘I was not commanded to take anything from your riches’. Allah, glorious and majestic is He, then revealed (Take alms of their wealth, wherewith thou mayst purify them and mayst make them grow…) [9:103]”. Said Ibn ‘Abbas: “They were ten men”.

9:106.| And (there are) others who await Allah’s decree…!

[9:106]. This verse was revealed about Ka’b ibn Malik, Murarah ibn al-Rabi’, from the Banu ‘Amr ibn ‘Awf and Hilal ibn Umayyah, from the Banu Waqif. The three failed join the Muslim army at the Battle of Tabuk. They are the ones referred to in Allah’s saying (And to the three (did He turn in mercy) who were left behind…) [9:118].

9:107-108.| And as for those who chose a place of worship out of opposition and disbelief, and in order to cause dissent among the believers, and as an outpost for those who warred against Allah and His messenger aforetime, they will surely swear: We purposed naught save good. Allah beareth witness that they verily are liars. Never stand (to pray) there…!

[9:107-108]. The commentators of the Qur’an said: “The Banu ‘Amr ibn ‘Awf built a mosque at Quba’ and sent for the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, to come to them. He went there and prayed in that mosque.

Their brothers from the Banu Ghunm ibn ‘Awf envied them resentfully and said: ‘Let us built a mosque and send for the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, to pray in it as he prayed in the mosque of our brothers, and let Abu ‘Amir al-Rahib (the monk) also pray in it when he comes back from Syria’.

This Abu ‘Amir had embraced Christianity and became a monk in the pre-Islamic period. But when the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, moved to Medina, Abu ‘Amir rejected the religion of Islam and showed enmity toward it. The Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, called him then Abu ‘Amir al-Fasiq (the corrupt) [instead of Abu ‘Amir al-Rahib (the monk)].

Abu ‘Amir left to Syria and then sent a letter to the hypocrites in which he wrote: ‘Prepare yourselves and make ready whatever you can of force and weapons. Built a mosque for me, for I am going to the Caesar to request him to send with me Byzantine soldiers so that I drive out Muhammad and his Companions’. And so, they built for him a mosque by the Quba’ mosque.

Those who built this mosque were 12 men: Khidham ibn Khalid (this mosque of opposition was an extension of his house), Tha’labah ibn Hatib, Mu’attib ibn Qushayr, Abu Habibah ibn al-Az’ar, ‘Abbad ibn Hunayf, Jariyah ibn ‘Amir, his two sons Majma’ and Zayd, Nabtal ibn Harith, Bahzaj ibn ‘Uthman, Bijad ibn ‘Uthman and Wadi’ah ibn Thabit.

When they finished building this mosque, they went to the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, and said: ‘We have built a mosque for the sick and the needy and also for use in rainy and wintry nights, and we would like you to come and pray in it’.

He called for his gown, intending to wear it and go with them when the Qur’an was revealed to him and Allah, glorious and majestic is He, informed him about the mosque of opposition and what they were about to do.

The Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, called Malik ibn al-Dukhshum, Ma’n ibn ‘Adiyy, ‘Amir ibn al-Sakan and Wahshiyy, the killer of Hamzah and said to them: ‘Go to this mosque whose builders have transgressed, destroy it and burn it down’.

Malik proceeded with enflamed palm leaves, entered the mosque while its people were inside it, burnt it down and destroyed it. Its people dispersed [to avoid being burnt]. Then the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, commanded that that place be used as a garbage spot where carrion, dirt and refuse are thrown”. Abu ‘Amir died in Syria alone, a stranger.

Muhammad ibn Ibrahim ibn Muhammad ibn Yahya informed us> Abu’l-‘Abbas ibn Isma’il ibn ‘Abd Allah ibn Mikal> ‘Abd Allah ibn Ahmad ibn Musa al-Ahwazi> Isma’il ibn Zakariyya> Dawud ibn al-Zibriqan> Sakhr ibn Juwayriyah> ‘A’ishah bint Sa’d ibn Abi Waqqas> Sa’d ibn Abi Waqqas who said:

“The hypocrites built a mosque so that it stands comparable to the mosque of Quba’ which was close to it and wanted Abu ‘Amir al-Rahib to be their Imam once he came back [from Syria].

When they finished building it, they went to the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, and said: ‘O Messenger of Allah, we have built a mosque, so come and pray in it so that we take it as a place of prayer’. He grabbed his gown, intending to leave with them, when this verse (Never stand (to pray) there…) was revealed”.

9:111.| Lo! Allah hath bought from the believers their lives and their wealth because the Garden will be theirs…!

[9:111]. Muhammad ibn Ka‘b al-Qurazi said: “When the Helpers — seventy in number — swore allegiance to the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, at al-‘Aqabah in Mecca, ‘Abd Allah ibn Rawahah said: ‘O Messenger of Allah, stipulate anything you wish with regard to your Lord and to yourself’.

He said: ‘As for my Lord, I stipulate that you worship Him and not associate anything with him; and I stipulate for myself that you defend me from that which you would defend yourselves’. They said: ‘What do we get if we were to do this?’ He said: ‘The Garden!’ they exclaimed: ‘This is a prosperous transaction; we will not revoke it nor will we resign it’. And so this verse was revealed”.

9:113-114.| It is not for the Prophet, and those who believe, to pray for the forgiveness of idolaters…!

[9:113-114]. Abu ‘Abd Allah Muhammad ibn ‘Abd Allah al-Shirazi informed us> Muhammad ibn ‘Abd Allah ibn Khamirawayh al-Harawi> Abu’l-Hasan ‘Ali ibn Muhammad al-Khuza’i> Abu’l-Yaman> Shu’ayb> al-Zuhri> Sa’id ibn al-Musayyab> his father who said: “When Abu Talib was about to die, the Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, entered in on him while Abu Jahl and ‘Abd Allah ibn Abi Umayyah were present.

He said: ‘O uncle, say with me, ‘’There is no god but Allah’’, so that I can plead with Allah in your favour’. Abu Jahl and Ibn Abi Umayyah said: ‘O Abu Talib, will you shun the religion of ‘Abd al-Muttalib?’ And they kept talking to him such that the last thing he uttered was: ‘I follow the religion of ‘Abd al-Muttalib’. The Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, then said: ‘I will pray for your forgiveness as long as I am not forbidden from doing it’.

This verse was then revealed (It is not for the Prophet, and those who believe, to pray for the forgiveness of idolaters even though they may be near of kin (to them) after it hath become clear that they are people of hell-fire)”. This was narrated by Bukhari from Ishaq ibn Ibrahim> ‘Abd al-Razzaq> Ma’mar, and also by Muslim from Harmalah> Ibn Wahb> Yunus; both Ma’mar and Yunus related it from al-Zuhri.

Abu Sa’id ibn Abi ‘Amr al-Naysaburi informed us> al-Hasan ibn ‘Ali ibn Mu’ammil> ‘Amr ibn ‘Abd Allah al-Basri> Muhammad ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhab> Ja’far ibn ‘Awn> Musa ibn ‘Ubaydah> Muhammad ibn Ka’b al-Qurazi who said: “I heard that when Abu Talib fell ill to the illness that led to his death, the Quraysh said to him: ‘O Abu Talib, send for your nephew to send you something to cure you from the Garden he mentions’.

The emissary went to find the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace. He found him sitting with Abu Bakr. He said to him: ‘O Muhammad, your uncle says to you that he is old and weak and he wants you to send him some of the food and drink of the Garden you mention so that he regains health’. Abu Bakr replied: ‘Allah, exalted is He, has made it forbidden for the unbelievers’.

The emissary went back to them and said: ‘I conveyed to Muhammad that with which you have sent me. He did not give me any answer, but Abu Bakr told me that Allah has made the Garden forbidden for the unbelievers’. They pressured Abu Talib until he sent his own emissary to the Messenger, Allah bless him and give him peace. He found him sitting in the same place and conveyed to him the same message.

The Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, said to him: ‘Allah, exalted is He, has made the food and drink of the Garden forbidden for the unbelievers’. He then followed the emissary to the house of Abu Talib. He found it full of men and so he said: ‘Could you leave me alone with my uncle?’ They replied: ‘We will not leave you alone; you do not have a better right to him than us; if you are related to him, we are also related to him..!’

He sat close to his uncle and said: ‘May you be rewarded with good, O uncle; you have adopted me when I was small and looked after me when I grew up. Help me with one sentence by means of which I will intercede to Allah on your behalf on the Day of Judgement’.

Abu Talib asked: ‘And what is it, son of my brother..?’ He said: ‘Say: there is no god but Allah, alone without any partners’. Abu Talib said: ‘You have advised me; by Allah, were it not for the fear that Quraysh will slander me, saying ‘Your uncle is afraid of death’, I would please you by saying it’.

The people around him shouted: ‘O Abu Talib, you are the head of the primordial religion (Hanifiyyah), the religion of the elders’. Abu Talib said: ‘I do not want the women to relate that your uncle was scared at the moment of death’. The Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, said: ‘I will keep praying for your forgiveness until my Lord stops me from doing so’.

After Abu Talib died, the Prophet kept praying for his forgiveness, and so the Muslims said: ‘What prevents us from praying for the forgiveness of our fathers and relatives? Abraham prayed for the forgiveness of his father, and here is Muhammad, Allah bless him and give him peace, praying for the forgiveness of his uncle’. And so they prayed for the forgiveness of the idolaters until the verse (It is not for the Prophet, and those who believe, to pray for the forgiveness of idolaters)”.

Abu’l-Qasim ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn Ahmad al-Harrani informed us> Muhammad ibn ‘Abd Allah ibn Nu’aym> Muhammad ibn Ya’qub al-Umawi> Bahr ibn Nasr> Ibn Wahb> Ibn Jurayj> Ayyub ibn Hani’> Masruq ibn al-Ajda’> ‘Abd Allah ibn Mas’ud> who said: “The Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, went out one day to look at the graveyards and we went out with him.

He ordered us to sit and then proceeded across until he stopped at one particular grave. He spoke to it for a long time and then the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, wept loudly and we wept for his weeping. After a while, he came toward us and was met by ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab who asked him: ‘O Messenger of Allah, what has made you cry, for we also cried and we were also scared..?’

He came toward us, sat with us and then said: ‘My weeping made you scared..?’

We said: ‘Yes, ‘O Messenger of Allah!’

He said: ‘The grave you saw me talking to is the grave of Aminah bint Wahb. I sought permission from my Lord to visit her and He allowed me to do so. Then, I asked His permission to pray for her forgiveness and He did not grant it.

The words of Allah, exalted is He (It is not for the Prophet, and those who believe, to pray for the forgiveness of idolaters even though they may be near of kin (to them) after it hath become clear that they are people of hell-fire. The prayer of Abraham for the forgiveness of his father was only because of a promise he had promised him…) were revealed and I was seized by the tenderness which a son has toward his mother. This is the reason why I wept”.

9:122.| And the believers should not all go out to fight…!

[9:122]. Al-Kalbi reported that Ibn ‘Abbas said: “When Allah, exalted is He, revealed the defects of the hypocrites due to their failure to join Jihad, the believers said: ‘By Allah, we will never fail to join any military conquest or expedition undertaken by the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace’.

So when the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, ordered the march of military expeditions to fight the enemy, all the Muslims went out to fight and left the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, alone in Medina. Allah, exalted is He, then revealed this verse”.