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Surah 'At-Taubah' (Repentence)


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May 30, 2019, 06:15:49 am Zeynab: Alhudulilah, yes sister Ruhi.  Time flies in this fleeting world.  May Allah The Almighty accept our hard work in the permanent world.  That's the real success.
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Our post in this regard @ Zainab's Lounge.
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Zeynab
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« on: October 02, 2006, 02:46:34 am »



An Important Summary of Surah At-Taubah - the 9th Surah of the Glorious Qur'aan.
 
Surah At-Taubah is the only chapter of the Glorious Qur'aan that does not begin with "BismAllah Ar Rehman Ar Raheem."  The reason for this is unknown.  Some people have said that when the Prophet (pbuh) was heard reciting this Surah, he didn't mention "BismAllah .."  while he (pbuh) always mentioned it before reciting other Surahs.  Traditional sources have opined that because of the similarity of contents of Surah Al-Anfal and Surah At-Taubah (Chapters 8 and 9, respectively), it's possible that Surah Taubah might be a continuation of Surah An-Anfal.  However, the exact reason is only known to Allah and there surely is some reason.  It's best not to speculate and it's not a significant point that in any way obstructs the understanding of the Noble Quran.
 
Verses 2 - 14 of Surah At-Taubah (quoted at the end of this article) are often misunderstood by non-Muslims who have scant knowledge about the history and circumstances of the time these verses were revealed.  Thus, they blindly presume that the verses "support violence."   Needless to say, this opinion is totally false and offensive.  The reason why these people come to such strange conclusions is because they have already pre-conditioned their minds.  Hence, they pick verses at random, taking them out of context and breaking the historical chain on the basis of which many verses have been revealed.  It's important to know that various verses of the Qur'aan are a direct reference to specific conditions or incidents of a certain period.

First of all, the word "pagan" in this Surah does not refer to all non-Muslims of all times to come, but only to a certain group of people of the Arabian peninsula after the fall of Makkah who were constantly on the offensive.
 
After the conquest of Makkah when the entire Arabian peninsula embraced Islam, some communities still remained polythiests.  While Islam gave them complete freedom to follow their religion and traditions, they were also required to follow the law of that land which was under Muslim rule by that time.  As we know, even today, it is incumbent upon everyone to abide by the laws of the country they are living in.  E.g.  Muslims living in Canada are expected to respect Canadian laws to the fullest, otherwise they are liable to be punished or even deported to their countries of origin.  Therefore, those pagans who refused to accept Islam were given the freedom to do so, but they were expected to live peacefully as law abiding citizens respecting the laws of the Muslim state.  Otherwise, they were given the choice to leave the land within a certain time frame.  Perfectly civilized and reasonable. 
 
Let's not forget that in this era Europe was tightly under the grip of the authoritarian Catholic church where there was no such concept of living peacefully with a minority following a different faith.  So much so, that it was this amazing intolerance of the Catholic clergy that eventually led to the separation of the state and church in the West during the 19th century or so. 

Coming back to our topic, it is also important to know that majority of these pagans of Makkah and Arabia were not 'peaceful civilians.'  Rather they were the hostile lot who had carried out numerous pre-emptive attacks on Medina in the past and killed many Muslims.  They also tried to harm the Prophet (pbuh) several times.  And now, after the conquest of Makkah, their hearts were still not reconciled.   They would intentionally follow offensive traditions to antagonize the Muslims e.g. perform 'tawaf' around the Kaaba naked as was the pagan custom in pre-islamic era.  They were perpetually scheming against the Muslims and would ambush them whenever they got the opportunity. 
 
Thus, Surah At-Taubah talks about this segment of the Makkan community that was still hostile and combative, carrying out pre-emptive attacks. 
 
Neither Surah Taubah nor any other Surah of the Qur'aan ever says to spread Islam 'by the sword.'  This is nothing beyond a calculated myth, perpetrated intentionally for the purpose of defamation of the Divine Faith.  In the Qur'aan, Allah has made it clear that He guides and changes (for the better) the hearts of only those who want to listen and reflect upon His Message.  Islam does NOT force itself upon people who do not have the desire to reach out to it.  The Qur'aan says it loud and clear that "there is no compulsion in religion."  It goes without saying, any war prescribed in the Qur'aan to the believers is a defensive strategy, NOT an offensive one.

'Turning the other cheek' is only a rhetorical phrase which even those who preach it do not practice .. we surely have ample evidence of that today! 

The Qur'aan teaches love and also a practical way of life.  It doesn't preach anything that's against human nature .. anything that can just be talked about and not practiced.  Having said this, the Qur'aan lays great emphasis on forgiveness which is the best course but at the same also gives the right to those who've been wronged to seek justice.  And if someone's life is in danger because of the aggressive designs of others, they have every right to defend themselves .. and one cannot defend oneself by 'turning the other cheek.'

Last but not least, it's very important to be wise and rational enough to interpret Islam according to the ideology and values of the Noble Quraan, not according to the concoctions of the people.
 
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2. Travel freely in the land four months, and know that ye cannot escape Allah and that Allah will confound the disbelievers (in His Guidance).
 
3. And a proclamation from Allah and His messenger to all men on the day of the Greater Pilgrimage that Allah is free from obligation to the idolaters, and (so is) His messenger. So, if ye repent, it will be better for you; but if ye are averse, then know that ye cannot escape Allah. Give tidings (O Muhammad) of a painful doom to those who disbelieve,
 
4. Excepting those of the idolaters with whom ye (Muslims) have a treaty, and who have since abated nothing of your right nor have supported anyone against you. (As for these), fulfil their treaty to them till their term. Lo! Allah loveth those who keep their duty (unto Him).
 
5. Then, when the sacred months have passed, slay the idolaters wherever ye find them, and take them (captive), and besiege them, and prepare for them each ambush. But if they repent and establish worship and pay the poor-due, then leave their way free. Lo! Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.
 
6. And if anyone of the idolaters seeketh thy protection (O Muhammad), then protect him so that he may hear the Word of Allah, and afterward convey him to his place of safety. That is because they are a folk who know not.
 
7. How can there be a treaty with Allah and with His messenger for the idolaters save those with whom ye made a treaty at the Inviolable Place of Worship ? So long as they are true to you, be true to them. Lo! Allah loveth those who keep their duty.
 
8. How (can there be any treaty for the others) when, if they have the upper hand of you, they regard not pact nor honour in respect of you ? They satisfy you with their mouths the while their hearts refuse. And most of them are wrongdoers.
 
9. They have purchased with the revelations of Allah a little gain, so they debar (men) from His way. Lo! evil is that which they are wont to do.
 
10. And they observe toward a believer neither pact nor honour. These are they who are transgressors.
 
11. But if they repent and establish worship and pay the poor-due, then are they your brethren in religion. We detail Our revelations for a people who have knowledge.
 
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 - Lo! they have no binding oaths - in order that they may desist.
 
13. Will ye not fight a folk who broke their solemn pledges, and purposed to drive out the messenger and did attack you first ? What! Fear ye them ? Now Allah hath more right that ye should fear Him, if ye are believers
 
14. Fight them! Allah will chastise them at your hands, and He will lay them low and give you victory over them, and He will heal the breasts of folk who are believers.


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Ruhi_Rose
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« Reply #1 on: October 12, 2006, 03:36:37 am »

Excellent clarification. 

Also, highlights the importance of studying some good books on Islamic history while studying the Quran.
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N. Truth Seeker
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« Reply #2 on: October 19, 2006, 03:15:02 am »

i agree with sister ruhi.  excellent read.  and this is something that people really need to know.
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