قَاتِلُوا الَّذِیۡنَ لَا یُؤۡمِنُوۡنَ بِاللّٰہِ وَ لَا بِالۡیَوۡمِ الۡاٰخِرِ وَ لَا یُحَرِّمُوۡنَ مَا حَرَّمَ اللّٰہُ وَ رَسُوۡلُہٗ وَ لَا یَدِیۡنُوۡنَ دِیۡنَ الۡحَقِّ مِنَ الَّذِیۡنَ اُوۡتُوا الۡکِتٰبَ حَتّٰی یُعۡطُوا الۡجِزۡیَۃَ عَنۡ یَّدٍ وَّ ہُمۡ صٰغِرُوۡنَ ﴿٪۲۹﴾
قَٰتِلُواْ ٱلَّذِينَ لَا يُؤۡمِنُونَ بِٱللَّهِ وَلَا بِٱلۡيَوۡمِ ٱلۡأٓخِرِ وَلَا يُحَرِّمُونَ مَا حَرَّمَ ٱللَّهُ وَرَسُولُهُۥ وَلَا يَدِينُونَ دِينَ ٱلۡحَقِّ مِنَ ٱلَّذِينَ أُوتُواْ ٱلۡكِتَٰبَ حَتَّىٰ يُعۡطُواْ ٱلۡجِزۡيَةَ عَن يَدٖ وَهُمۡ صَٰغِرُونَ
a. 2:191. (close)
1175. The expression ‘An Yadin means: (1) Willingly and in acknowledgment of the superior power of Muslims. (2) In ready money and not in the form of deferred payment. (3) Considering it as a favour from Muslims; the particle ‘an meaning, on account of, and Yad denoting power and favour (Lane). The verse refers to those People of the Book who lived in Arabia. Like the idolaters they too had been actively hostile to Islam and had planned and plotted to exterminate it. Muslims were, therefore, ordered to fight them unless they agreed to live as loyal and peaceful subjects. The Jizyah was a tax which these non-Muslims had to pay as free subjects of the Muslim State in return for the protection they enjoyed under it. It may be noted that as against Jizyah which was imposed on non-Muslims, a much heavier tax—Zakat was levied on the Muslims, and in addition to Zakat they had to perform military service from which non-Muslims were exempt. Thus the latter in a way fared better, for they had to pay a lighter tax and were also free from military duty. The word Saghirun expresses their subordinate political status; otherwise they enjoyed all social rights equally with Muslims. The idolaters of Arabia and Jews and Christians who lived in their neighbourhood were the principal adversaries of Islam. After having dealt with the believers’ relations with the idolaters, the Surah with this verse proceeds to deal with their relations with the People of the Book, especially with their religious beliefs and doctrines. (close)
a. 2:191. (close)
1189. Important Words:
جزیة (tax) is derived from جزی meaning, he or it paid or gave satisfaction. They say, جزیت فلانا حقه i.e. I paid such a one his right or due. جزاہ کذا means, he repaid, requited, or recompensed him for such a thing. جزیة means, the tax that is taken from the free non-Muslim subjects of a Muslim State in lieu of the protection it ensures them (Lane & Aqrab).
ید (hand) also means favour. See 5:65.
صاغرون (acknowledge their subjection) is the plural of صاغرwhich is derived from صغرwhich means, he was or became small or little in body or in years or in estimation or in rank or dignity (Lane). صاغر which is the active participle from صغرsignifies, one who agrees, and is satisfied, to occupy or remain in a subordinate position (Mufradat).
War with idolaters having been dealt with in previous verses, fighting with the People of the Book is introduced with this verse. The verse refers to those People of the Book who lived in Arabia. Like the idolaters of that country, they too had been actively hostile to Islam and had tried to exterminate it. Muslims were, therefore, ordered to fight them unless they agreed to live as their loyal and peaceful subjects. The Jizyah, referred to in the verse, was the tax which such non-Muslims had to pay as free subjects of the Muslim State in return for the protection they enjoyed under it. Islam has ordained that in Arabia, the birthplace of Islam and its headquarters, only the People of the Book, and not idolaters, could live as subjects by paying the Jizyah, while outside Arabia all non-Muslims could live under a Muslim government on payment of this tax. Arabia, being the cradle and centre of Islam and, as it were, the citadel thereof, was to be kept free from idolaters. It should also be noted that as against Jizyah which was imposed on non-Muslims, the tax imposed on Muslims is called Zakah which is a heavier tax than Jizyah, and Muslims, in addition to this tax, had to perform military service which was very hard in those days and from which non-Muslims were exempt. Thus the latter in a way fared better, for they had to pay a lighter tax and were also free from military service.
The expression عن ید (with their own hand) is used here in a figurative sense, signifying (1) that Jizyah should not be forcibly taken from the People of the Book but that they should pay it with their own hand, i.e. they should agree to pay it willingly and should acknowledge the superior power of the Muslims; or (2) that they should pay it out of hand, i.e. in ready money and not in the form of deferred payment; or (3) that they should pay it considering it as a favour from Muslims, the word, ید (hand) also meaning a favour.
The word صاغرون (acknowledge their subjection) is used here to express the subordinate political status of non-Muslims, i.e. they were to occupy the position of subjects in relation to Muslims. As regards the social relations of Muslims with the dhimmis, as non-Muslim subjects of the Muslim State were called, these may be judged from the fact that the Holy Prophet himself used to stand up in reverence when the bier of a non-Muslim happened to pass by him (Dawud, ch. on Jana’iz), and ‘Ali, the Fourth Caliph, bore on his own shoulders the bier of a Christian who happened to die in the time of his Caliphate. (close)
وَ قَالَتِ الۡیَہُوۡدُ عُزَیۡرُ ۣ ابۡنُ اللّٰہِ وَ قَالَتِ النَّصٰرَی الۡمَسِیۡحُ ابۡنُ اللّٰہِ ؕ ذٰلِکَ قَوۡلُہُمۡ بِاَفۡوَاہِہِمۡ ۚ یُضَاہِـُٔوۡنَ قَوۡلَ الَّذِیۡنَ کَفَرُوۡا مِنۡ قَبۡلُ ؕ قٰتَلَہُمُ اللّٰہُ ۚ۫ اَنّٰی یُؤۡفَکُوۡنَ ﴿۳۰﴾
وَقَالَتِ ٱلۡيَهُودُ عُزَيۡرٌ ٱبۡنُ ٱللَّهِ وَقَالَتِ ٱلنَّصَٰرَى ٱلۡمَسِيحُ ٱبۡنُ ٱللَّهِۖ ذَٰلِكَ قَوۡلُهُم بِأَفۡوَٰهِهِمۡۖ يُضَٰهِـُٔونَ قَوۡلَ ٱلَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ مِن قَبۡلُۚ قَٰتَلَهُمُ ٱللَّهُۖ أَنَّىٰ يُؤۡفَكُونَ
b. 2:117; 5:18; 10:69. (close)
1176. ‘Uzair or Ezra lived in the fifth century B.C. He was a descendant of Seraiah, the high priest, and, being himself a member of the priestly order, was known as Ezra, the Priest. He was one of the most important personages of his day and exercised a far-reaching influence on the development of Judaism. He was especially honoured among the Prophets of Israel. The Jews of Medina and a Jewish sect in Hadramaut believed him to be the son of God. The Rabbis associate his name with several important institutions. Renan has remarked in the preface to his History of the People of Israel that the definite constitution of Judaism may be dated only from the time of Ezra. In Rabbinical literature he was considered worthy of being the vehicle of the Law, had it not been already given through Moses. He worked in collaboration with Nehemiah and died at the age of 120 in Babylonia (Jew. Enc. & Enc. Bib.). (close)
a. 2:117; 5:18; 10:69. (close)
1190. Important Words:
عزیر (‘Uzair or Ezra) may be taken to have been derived in Arabic from عزر. They say عزرہ i.e. he prevented him or forbade him; he taught him the obligatory statutes or ordinances of God; he aided or assisted him; he strengthened him; he treated him with reverence or honour (Lane). Ezra (a Hebrew name), perhaps abbreviated from Azariah, meaning "Yahwe (God) helps," was a descendant of Seraiah, the high priest, and being himself a member of the priestly order, was known also as Ezra the Priest. He was one of the most important personages of his day and had far-reaching influence on the development of Judaism. He was especially honoured among the Prophets of Israel. In fact, he marks the spring time in the national history of Judaism and is regarded and quoted as the type of person most competent and learned in the Law. The Rabbis associate his name with several important institutions. Renan has remarked in the preface to his History of the People of Israel that the definite constitution of Judaism may be dated only from the time of Ezra. In Rabbinical literature Ezra was considered worthy of being, the vehicle of the Law, had it not been given through Moses. According to tradition he died at the age of 120 in Babylonia. He worked in close collaboration with Nehemiah. Ezra lived in the 5th century B.C. (Jew. Enc. & Enc. Bib.).
یضاھئون (they imitate) is derived from ضاھی which is derived from ضھی. They say ضاھاہ or ضاھاہ i.e. he resembled or conformed with him or it; he imitated him; he was or became gentle, tender or courteous to him. The well-known saying of the Holy Prophet اشد الناس عذابا یوم القیامة الذین یضاھئون خلق اللّٰه means, "The most severely punished of mankind on the Day of Judgement will be those who imitate (by what they make) the creation of God," e.g. sculptors, etc. (Lane).
قاتلھم اللّٰه (Allah’s curse be on them). قاتل is from the root قتل. They say قتله i.e. he killed him; or he rendered him as one killed; or he attempted to kill him; or he cut off all connections with him. قاتله means, he fought or warred against him, قاتله اللّٰه means, may God curse him; or may He drive him from His mercy (Lisan & Aqrab), The expression also means, may God make war against him, which cannot result except in such a one being destroyed (Mufradat). See also 2:62.
After having dealt at some length with the idolatrous beliefs and practices of the pagans of Arabia, the Quran proceeds in this verse to deal with the polytheistic beliefs and practices of Jews and Christians. Those of the Jews who lived in Medina looked upon Ezra as the son of God. Similarly, a sect of Jews living at Hadramaut in the south of Arabia believed him to be the son of God. The remnants of this sect continued to linger till the end of the fourth century A.H. (Qastalani & Dawud, Zahiri). As this doctrine of the Jews, which appears to be sectional, was a later innovation and did not subsist long, present Jewish sources make no mention of it, but that does not affect the real situation. Elsewhere the Quran says that the Israelites were rather free in attributing sons to God (5:19).
This verse also shows that these blasphemous doctrines were not taught to Christians and Jews by their Prophets but were later borrowed by them from pagan sources. Incidentally, this claim of the Quran constitutes a proof of its Divine origin, because here it states a fact which was not known to the world even two centuries ago and has been only recently brought to light by modern research. A study of the origins of the Christian Faith has now established the fact that Jews and Christians borrowed their later doctrines from Babylonian and Roman pagan sources.
The words, Allah’s curse be on them, when spoken by man signify only an imprecation but, when spoken by God, they imply a prophecy of the destruction of the person or persons about whom they are uttered. (close)
اِتَّخَذُوۡۤا اَحۡبَارَہُمۡ وَ رُہۡبَانَہُمۡ اَرۡبَابًا مِّنۡ دُوۡنِ اللّٰہِ وَ الۡمَسِیۡحَ ابۡنَ مَرۡیَمَ ۚ وَ مَاۤ اُمِرُوۡۤا اِلَّا لِیَعۡبُدُوۡۤا اِلٰـہًا وَّاحِدًا ۚ لَاۤ اِلٰہَ اِلَّا ہُوَ ؕ سُبۡحٰنَہٗ عَمَّا یُشۡرِکُوۡنَ ﴿۳۱﴾
ٱتَّخَذُوٓاْ أَحۡبَارَهُمۡ وَرُهۡبَٰنَهُمۡ أَرۡبَابٗا مِّن دُونِ ٱللَّهِ وَٱلۡمَسِيحَ ٱبۡنَ مَرۡيَمَ وَمَآ أُمِرُوٓاْ إِلَّا لِيَعۡبُدُوٓاْ إِلَٰهٗا وَٰحِدٗاۖ لَّآ إِلَٰهَ إِلَّا هُوَۚ سُبۡحَٰنَهُۥ عَمَّا يُشۡرِكُونَ
1177. Ahbar are Jewish savants and Ruhban Christian monks. (close)
a. 12:41; 17:24; 98:6. (close)
a. 12:41; 17:24; 98:6. (close)
1191. Important Words:
For احبار (learned men) and رھبان (monks) see 5:45 and 5:83 respectively.
احبار (learned men) belonged to Jews and رھبان (monks) to Christians. Both these people virtually looked upon their religious leaders as so many gods besides the true God. (close)
یُرِیۡدُوۡنَ اَنۡ یُّطۡفِـُٔوۡا نُوۡرَ اللّٰہِ بِاَفۡوَاہِہِمۡ وَ یَاۡبَی اللّٰہُ اِلَّاۤ اَنۡ یُّتِمَّ نُوۡرَہٗ وَ لَوۡ کَرِہَ الۡکٰفِرُوۡنَ ﴿۳۲﴾
يُرِيدُونَ أَن يُطۡفِـُٔواْ نُورَ ٱللَّهِ بِأَفۡوَٰهِهِمۡ وَيَأۡبَى ٱللَّهُ إِلَّآ أَن يُتِمَّ نُورَهُۥ وَلَوۡ كَرِهَ ٱلۡكَٰفِرُونَ
b. 61:9. (close)
1178. Christians living in Arabia had incited their powerful co-religionists in Syria, and, by their help, had sought to extinguish the light of Islam that God had kindled in Arabia. The Jews also had made a similar attempt by inciting the Persians against the Holy Prophet. (close)
a. 61:9. (close)
The words, They desire to extinguish the light of Allah with their mouths, signify that they seek to injure the cause of Islam by making false propaganda against it and by inciting others to harm it. As borne out by history, the Christians of Arabia incited their powerful co-religionists in Syria and, by their help, sought to extinguish the light of Islam that God had kindled in Arabia. They are told in this verse that their plots and machinations would in no way succeed in injuring the cause of Islam. The Jews also had made a similar attempt by inciting the Persians against the Holy Prophet. See under 2:103. (close)
ہُوَ الَّذِیۡۤ اَرۡسَلَ رَسُوۡلَہٗ بِالۡہُدٰی وَ دِیۡنِ الۡحَقِّ لِیُظۡہِرَہٗ عَلَی الدِّیۡنِ کُلِّہٖ ۙ وَ لَوۡ کَرِہَ الۡمُشۡرِکُوۡنَ ﴿۳۳﴾
هُوَ ٱلَّذِيٓ أَرۡسَلَ رَسُولَهُۥ بِٱلۡهُدَىٰ وَدِينِ ٱلۡحَقِّ لِيُظۡهِرَهُۥ عَلَى ٱلدِّينِ كُلِّهِۦ وَلَوۡ كَرِهَ ٱلۡمُشۡرِكُونَ
a. 48:29; 61:10. (close)
1179. Commentators of the Qur’an agree that, as stated in a saying of the Holy Prophet, the ultimate triumph of Islam will take place in the time of the Promised Messiah (Jarir) when all the various religions will have appeared and will make their utmost endeavours to propagate their own teachings. The excellence of the ideals and principles of Islam have already begun to be increasingly recognised, and the day is not far off when Islam will triumph over all other Faiths and their followers will enter its fold in large numbers. (close)
b. 48:29; 61:10. (close)
The previous verse ends with the word کافرون (disbelievers), while the present verse ends with the word مشرکون (idolaters). Christians are کافر because they disbelieve in the Holy Prophet of Islam and they are مشرک because they associate co-partners with God. The difference is significant in another way also. The word کافرون (used in the preceding verse) is derived from کفر which literally means "to cover." The Quran has used this word to explain the fact that the "light" of God cannot be extinguished by those who try to cover it. In the present verse the word مشرکون (idolaters) has been used to point to the fact that while in the case of God, Christians do not refrain from associating co-partners with Him (thereby implying that His attributes can be shared by others), in their own case they cannot bear to see the favour of prophethood, which they enjoy, shared by others. They cannot reconcile themselves to the idea that Prophets may be raised among any other people, as they have been raised among them. The verse thus tells them that God has caused others to share the gift of prophethood with them, whether they like it or not.
The promise that God would make Islam prevail over every other religion stands for all time. The promise was fulfilled when in its early history Islam triumphed over all peoples, including Christians and the fulfilment of this promise is going to be repeated in the present age, when God has raised the Promised Messiah, Holy Founder of the Ahmadiyya Movement, to serve and help the cause of Islam. This triumph is going to be complete and permanent. In fact, most commentators (e.g. Bayan), agree that the final and perfect fulfilment of this promise, as made in the present verse, is to take place at the time of the second advent of Jesus. (close)
یٰۤاَیُّہَا الَّذِیۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡۤا اِنَّ کَثِیۡرًا مِّنَ الۡاَحۡبَارِ وَ الرُّہۡبَانِ لَیَاۡکُلُوۡنَ اَمۡوَالَ النَّاسِ بِالۡبَاطِلِ وَ یَصُدُّوۡنَ عَنۡ سَبِیۡلِ اللّٰہِ ؕ وَ الَّذِیۡنَ یَکۡنِزُوۡنَ الذَّہَبَ وَ الۡفِضَّۃَ وَ لَا یُنۡفِقُوۡنَہَا فِیۡ سَبِیۡلِ اللّٰہِ ۙ فَبَشِّرۡہُمۡ بِعَذَابٍ اَلِیۡمٍ ﴿ۙ۳۴﴾
۞يَـٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوٓاْ إِنَّ كَثِيرٗا مِّنَ ٱلۡأَحۡبَارِ وَٱلرُّهۡبَانِ لَيَأۡكُلُونَ أَمۡوَٰلَ ٱلنَّاسِ بِٱلۡبَٰطِلِ وَيَصُدُّونَ عَن سَبِيلِ ٱللَّهِۗ وَٱلَّذِينَ يَكۡنِزُونَ ٱلذَّهَبَ وَٱلۡفِضَّةَ وَلَا يُنفِقُونَهَا فِي سَبِيلِ ٱللَّهِ فَبَشِّرۡهُم بِعَذَابٍ أَلِيمٖ
b. 4:162. (close)
c. 4:161. (close)
a. 4:162. (close)
b. 4:161. (close)
This verse sheds some light on the moral degradation of the Jewish and Christian religious leaders who were opposed to the Holy Prophet. Their moral depravity and spiritual degeneration was itself evidence of the truth of Islam, because when the leaders of a religion themselves become corrupt and depraved, reformation can come only through a heavenly Messenger. Jewish and Christian leaders opposed the Holy Prophet, but their own depravity testified to the fact that he had appeared at a time when his advent was urgently needed.
The words, those who hoard up gold and silver and spend it not in the way of Allah—give to them the tidings of a painful punishment, give a graphic picture of Jews and Christians. They hoard up wealth and do not spend it in the cause of God, i.e. in propagating truth and helping the poor and needy. They are threatened with a painful punishment. (close)
یَّوۡمَ یُحۡمٰی عَلَیۡہَا فِیۡ نَارِ جَہَنَّمَ فَتُکۡوٰی بِہَا جِبَاہُہُمۡ وَ جُنُوۡبُہُمۡ وَ ظُہُوۡرُہُمۡ ؕ ہٰذَا مَا کَنَزۡتُمۡ لِاَنۡفُسِکُمۡ فَذُوۡقُوۡا مَا کُنۡتُمۡ تَکۡنِزُوۡنَ ﴿۳۵﴾
يَوۡمَ يُحۡمَىٰ عَلَيۡهَا فِي نَارِ جَهَنَّمَ فَتُكۡوَىٰ بِهَا جِبَاهُهُمۡ وَجُنُوبُهُمۡ وَظُهُورُهُمۡۖ هَٰذَا مَا كَنَزۡتُمۡ لِأَنفُسِكُمۡ فَذُوقُواْ مَا كُنتُمۡ تَكۡنِزُونَ
1180. The expression seems to be figurative. When a rich man, out of miserliness or pride, refuses to help a needy person, his forehead becomes contracted into a frown. Then he turns aside and finally disdainfully shows his back to the man seeking his help. Quite appropriately, it is mentioned that the foreheads, the sides and the backs will be branded. (close)
1195. Important Words:
تکوی (branded) is formed from کوی. They say کواہ i.e. he cauterized him or it; he burnt his or its skin with a piece of iron or the like (Lane). کویت الدابة means, I cauterized or branded the beast with a piece of hot iron (Mufradat). کوت العقرب فلانا means, the scorpion stung such a one. الکی which is the noun-infinitive from کوی means, the act of cauterizing or branding with a piece of hot iron (whether for the purpose of putting a mark or for curing a disease). The Arabs say آخر الدواء الکی i.e. the last remedy (in certain diseases) is cauterizing (Aqrab).
The reward and punishment of the life to come will not be of a physical nature, but will be the spiritual representation of the actions of man in the present life. This is clear from the verse under comment, which states that only three parts of the body—the forehead, the side and the back—will be branded.
The expression is clearly figurative. When a rich man, out of miserliness or pride, refuses to help a beggar, the first sign that appears on his person is that his forehead contracts into a frown. Then he turns on his side, and finally he disdainfully shows his back to the man seeking his help. Fittingly, therefore, the forehead, the side and the back have been spoken of here as being branded, i.e. in the afterlife these parts will appear to be branded with a hot iron, as if bearing testimony against themselves.
The verse also signifies that even in the present life the hoarded treasures of Jews and Christians will become a source of grievous punishment for them. In this case, the threatened punishment might be taken to refer to devastating wars such as the present one, in which hot metal in various forms is destroying the western peoples. They receive it on their foreheads, sides and backs, i.e. whether facing the enemy or making a flank movement or turning their backs; and, curiously enough, Jews are as much hit by these wars as are Christians. (close)
اِنَّ عِدَّۃَ الشُّہُوۡرِ عِنۡدَ اللّٰہِ اثۡنَا عَشَرَ شَہۡرًا فِیۡ کِتٰبِ اللّٰہِ یَوۡمَ خَلَقَ السَّمٰوٰتِ وَ الۡاَرۡضَ مِنۡہَاۤ اَرۡبَعَۃٌ حُرُمٌ ؕ ذٰلِکَ الدِّیۡنُ الۡقَیِّمُ ۬ۙ فَلَا تَظۡلِمُوۡا فِیۡہِنَّ اَنۡفُسَکُمۡ وَ قَاتِلُوا الۡمُشۡرِکِیۡنَ کَآفَّۃً کَمَا یُقَاتِلُوۡنَکُمۡ کَآفَّۃً ؕ وَ اعۡلَمُوۡۤا اَنَّ اللّٰہَ مَعَ الۡمُتَّقِیۡنَ ﴿۳۶﴾
إِنَّ عِدَّةَ ٱلشُّهُورِ عِندَ ٱللَّهِ ٱثۡنَا عَشَرَ شَهۡرٗا فِي كِتَٰبِ ٱللَّهِ يَوۡمَ خَلَقَ ٱلسَّمَٰوَٰتِ وَٱلۡأَرۡضَ مِنۡهَآ أَرۡبَعَةٌ حُرُمٞۚ ذَٰلِكَ ٱلدِّينُ ٱلۡقَيِّمُۚ فَلَا تَظۡلِمُواْ فِيهِنَّ أَنفُسَكُمۡۚ وَقَٰتِلُواْ ٱلۡمُشۡرِكِينَ كَآفَّةٗ كَمَا يُقَٰتِلُونَكُمۡ كَآفَّةٗۚ وَٱعۡلَمُوٓاْ أَنَّ ٱللَّهَ مَعَ ٱلۡمُتَّقِينَ
1181. Both the lunar and the solar years comprise 12 months. (close)
1182. The four Sacred Months are Dhul-Qa‘dah, Dhul-Hijjah, Muharram and Rajab. (close)
1196. Important Words:
کتاب (ordinance) is derived from کتب i.e. (1) he wrote; (2) he prescribed or ordained. کتاب means, a book or a writing; Divine prescript or ordinance or decree (Lane). See also 2:54 & 2:130.
The words فی کتاب اللّٰه (by Allah’s ordinance) mean that God so ordained on the day when He created the heavens and the earth that the number of months should be twelve, i.e. the law of nature determines that number, which holds true both in the solar and the lunar system.
The four sacred months are Dhul-Qa‘dah, Dhul-Hijjah, Muharram, and Rajab. These months have been held sacred by the Arabs, who are mostly descended from Abraham, from time immemorial and Islam confirmed their sacredness. It is considered unlawful to wage war or, for that matter, to continue a state of war in these four months unless, as the Quran points out, the enemy is the first to violate their sanctity. See also note on 2:218. (close)
اِنَّمَا النَّسِیۡٓءُ زِیَادَۃٌ فِی الۡکُفۡرِ یُضَلُّ بِہِ الَّذِیۡنَ کَفَرُوۡا یُحِلُّوۡنَہٗ عَامًا وَّ یُحَرِّمُوۡنَہٗ عَامًا لِّیُوَاطِـُٔوۡا عِدَّۃَ مَا حَرَّمَ اللّٰہُ فَیُحِلُّوۡا مَا حَرَّمَ اللّٰہُ ؕ زُیِّنَ لَہُمۡ سُوۡٓءُ اَعۡمَالِہِمۡ ؕ وَ اللّٰہُ لَا یَہۡدِی الۡقَوۡمَ الۡکٰفِرِیۡنَ ﴿٪۳۷﴾
إِنَّمَا ٱلنَّسِيٓءُ زِيَادَةٞ فِي ٱلۡكُفۡرِۖ يُضَلُّ بِهِ ٱلَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ يُحِلُّونَهُۥ عَامٗا وَيُحَرِّمُونَهُۥ عَامٗا لِّيُوَاطِـُٔواْ عِدَّةَ مَا حَرَّمَ ٱللَّهُ فَيُحِلُّواْ مَا حَرَّمَ ٱللَّهُۚ زُيِّنَ لَهُمۡ سُوٓءُ أَعۡمَٰلِهِمۡۗ وَٱللَّهُ لَا يَهۡدِي ٱلۡقَوۡمَ ٱلۡكَٰفِرِينَ
1183. The reference in this verse is to a long-standing Arab custom. The three successive Sacred Months—Dhul-Qa‘dah, Dhul-Hijjah, Muharram sometimes seemed to them too long a time to refrain from their predatory expeditions. In order, therefore, to free themselves from the restrictions of the Sacred Months, they sometimes would treat a Sacred Month like an ordinary month and an ordinary month like a Sacred One. (close)
a. 6:44; 13:34; 16:64; 27:25; 29:49; 35:9. (close)
1197. Important Words:
النسیء (the postponement) is the noun-substantive from نسأ meaning, he postponed or delayed a thing. They say انسأ اللّٰه اجلهi.e. God postponed the end of his life, viz. He prolonged his life. An Arab would say بایعه بنسیئة i.e. he sold it on credit, i.e. the payment was to be made at a future period. نسی therefore means, postponement; or the postponement of a month, i.e. the transfer of the sanctity of one month to a later month, a custom of the Arabs in their days of ignorance; the month which the Arabs so postponed; the postponement of the time of Pilgrimage, another custom of the Arabs; a postponement of the time of payment of a debt or of the price of a thing sold (Lane & Aqrab).
لیواطئوا (that they may agree in) is derived from واطا which is again derived from وطئی meaning, he trod upon it; he trampledupon it. They say, واطاہ علی الامر i.e. he agreed with him respecting the matter. تواطا القوم علی الامر means the people agreed with each other respecting the affair (Lane & Aqrab).
The reference in this verse, as shown under Important Words, is to a long-standing Arab custom. The three successive sacred months of Dhul-Qa‘dah, Dhul-Hijjah, and Muharram sometimes seemed to them too long a time to refrain from their predatory expeditions. In order, therefore, to free themselves from the restrictions of the sacred months, they sometimes treated a sacred month as an ordinary month and an ordinary month as sacred. This practice is denounced here because it involved fraud and interfered with the security of life guaranteed in these months. The procedure adopted for postponing the observance of a sacred month was generally something like this. When in the month of Dhul-Hijjah, the pilgrims returned from Mina, after having performed the ceremonies of Hajj, an influential man would arise from among the assembly and, according to Arab custom, would say, "I am he whose decree is not to be rejected." Thereupon, the assembly would request him to transfer the sanctity of the next month of Muharram to the following month (Safar). Thus, the sanctity of a month which God had made inviolable was violated with impunity. This artifice, however, was not resorted to every year, but only when it suited their interests or convenience, The Quran has condemned it as an impious innovation, and as evidence of the untrustworthiness of the pagan Arabs, implying that as they could not keep the ordinances of God, they could not be expected to remain true to their engagements with Muslims. (close)
یٰۤاَیُّہَا الَّذِیۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡا مَا لَکُمۡ اِذَا قِیۡلَ لَکُمُ انۡفِرُوۡا فِیۡ سَبِیۡلِ اللّٰہِ اثَّاقَلۡتُمۡ اِلَی الۡاَرۡضِ ؕ اَرَضِیۡتُمۡ بِالۡحَیٰوۃِ الدُّنۡیَا مِنَ الۡاٰخِرَۃِ ۚ فَمَا مَتَاعُ الۡحَیٰوۃِ الدُّنۡیَا فِی الۡاٰخِرَۃِ اِلَّا قَلِیۡلٌ ﴿۳۸﴾
يَـٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ مَا لَكُمۡ إِذَا قِيلَ لَكُمُ ٱنفِرُواْ فِي سَبِيلِ ٱللَّهِ ٱثَّاقَلۡتُمۡ إِلَى ٱلۡأَرۡضِۚ أَرَضِيتُم بِٱلۡحَيَوٰةِ ٱلدُّنۡيَا مِنَ ٱلۡأٓخِرَةِۚ فَمَا مَتَٰعُ ٱلۡحَيَوٰةِ ٱلدُّنۡيَا فِي ٱلۡأٓخِرَةِ إِلَّا قَلِيلٌ
1184. The reference is to the expedition to Tabuk, a town situated about halfway between Medina and Damascus. News was brought to the Holy Prophet that the Greeks of the Eastern Roman Empire, popularly known as the Romans, had amassed on the Syrian frontier. At the head of an army about 30,000 strong the Holy Prophet left Medina in the 9th year of the Hijrah. On account of great hardships the Muslim army had to suffer in the long and difficult journey, it came to be known as Jaishul-‘Usrah, i.e. the distressed army. (close)
b. 13:27. (close)
c. See 3:15. (close)
a. 13:27. (close)
b. 3:15. (close)
Just as true Muslims should always be prepared to desist from war, whenever they are required to do so, (see preceding verse), they should also be ever ready to march forth in the cause of Allah whenever called upon. It is to this great truth that the present verse draws our attention. Indeed, with this verse the Quran begins to throw light on such residents of Medina as were weak of faith, including the hypocrites, and exposes the attitude they adopted to evade the obligations that devolved on them as members of the Muslim community. The hypocrites are particularly addressed, the reference being to the expedition to Tabuk, a town situated about halfway between Medina and Damascus. News was brought to the Holy Prophet that the Greeks of the Eastern Roman Empire were assembling their forces on the Syrian frontier. As the Greeks, popularly known as Romans, possessed a regular and well-disciplined army, the Holy Prophet thought it necessary to make thorough preparations to meet them. Contrary to his usual practice, he even announced his objective making no secret of his destination, so that those, who took part in it, should do so in full consciousness of the length and hardships of the journey. It was a time of great trial. The long and arduous journey through the desert was undertaken in the midst of the hot weather. The season promised drought and scarcity for those who took part in the expedition and the ripeness of the harvest for those who stayed behind. Pious Muslims, however, in their devotion to the cause of Islam, promptly responded to the Prophet’s call. Of those who stayed behind without permission only three were true believers,
the rest being all hypocrites. Thus at the head of an army about 30,000 strong the Holy Prophet left Medina in the 9th year of Hijrah. On account of the great hardships the Muslim army had to suffer in the long journey, it came to be called جیش العسرة i.e. the distressed army. (close)