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Select Translation What is This? Selections include: The Koran Interpreted, a translation by A.J. Arberry, first published 1955; The Qur'an, translated by M.A.S. Abdel Haleem, published 2004; or side-by-side comparison view
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The Qurʾan What is This? A current English-language version of the Qur'an, published in 2004
Translation by M.A.S. Abdel Haleem

9. Repentance (28 – 55)

28Believers, those who ascribe partners to God are truly unclean: do not let them come near the Sacred Mosque after this year. If you are afraid you may become poor, [bear in mind that] God will enrich you out of His bounty if He pleases: God is all knowing and wise. 29Fight those of the People of the Book who do not [truly]c ‘Truly’ is implied, as it is in many other statements in the Qurʾan, e.g. 2: 32; 8: 41; and 65: 3. believe in God and the Last Day, who do not forbid what God and His Messenger have forbidden, who do not obey the rule of justice,d The main meaning of the Arabic dana is ‘he obeyed’. It also means ‘behave’, and ‘follow a way of life or religion’ (Qamus and Lane).suntil they pay the taxe Etymologically, jizya means ‘payment in return’, related to jaza meaning ‘reward’, i.e. in return for the protection of the Muslim state with all the accruing benefits and exemption from military service, and such taxes on Muslims as zakah. This tax was levied only on able-bodied free men who could afford it, and monks were exempted. The amount was generally low (e.g. one dinar per year). and agree to submit.f Commentators in the past generally understood wa hum saghirun to mean they should be humiliated when paying. However, it is clear from the context that they were unwilling to pay, and the clause simply means they should submit to paying this tax. 30The Jews said, ‘Ezra is the son of God,’a Clearly this refers to a certain group who, possibly at the time of the Prophet or earlier, made this claim. and the Christians said, ‘The Messiah is the son of God’: they said this with their own mouths, repeating what earlier disbelievers had said. May God confound them! How far astray they have been led! 31They take their rabbis and their monks as lords, as well as Christ, the son of Mary. But they were commanded to serve only one God: there is no god but Him; He is far above whatever they set up as His partners! 32They try to extinguish God's light with their mouths, but God insists on bringing His light to its fullness, even if the disbelievers hate it. 33It is He who has sent His Messenger with guidance and the religion of truth, to show that it is above all [other] religions, however much the idolaters may hate this. 34Believers, many rabbis and monks wrongfully consume people's possessions and turn people away from God's path. [Prophet], tell those who hoard gold and silver instead of giving in God's cause that they will have a grievous punishment: 35on the Day it is heated up in Hell's Fire and used to brand their foreheads, sides, and backs, they will be told, ‘This is what you hoarded up for yourselves! Now feel the pain of what you hoarded!’

36God decrees that there are twelve months—ordained in God's Book on the Day when He created the heavens and earth—four months of which are sacred:b These are Rajab, Dhu ‘1-Qa’da, Dhu ‘l-Hijjah, and Muharram in the Muslim lunar calendar. Fighting was not allowed during these months (except in self-defence). Cf. 2: 194. this is the correct calculation.c One of the meanings of din is ‘calculation’ or ‘reckoning’. Do not wrong your souls in these months—though you may fight the idolaters at any time,d Another interpretation of kafatan is ‘all together’. if they first fight you—remember that God is with those who are mindful of Him. 37Postponing sacred months is another act of disobedience by which those who disregard [God] are led astray: they will allow it one year and forbid it in another in order outwardly to conform with the number of God's sacred months, but in doing so they permit what God has forbidden. Their evil deeds are made alluring to them: God does not guide those who disregard [Him].

38Believers, why, when it is said to you, ‘Go and fight in God's way,’ do you feel weighed down to the ground? Do you prefer this world to the life to come? How small the enjoyment of this world is, compared with the life to come! 39If you do not go out and fight, God will punish you severely and put others in your place, but you cannot harm Him in any way: God has power over all things. 40Even if you do not help the Prophet, God helped him when the disbelievers drove him out: when the two of thema The Prophet and his companion Abu Bakr. were in the cave, he [Muhammad] said to his companion, ‘Do not worry, God is with us,’ and God sent His calm down to him, aided him with forces invisible to you, and brought down the disbelievers’ plan. God's plan is higher: God is almighty and wise. 41So go out, no matter whether you are lightly or heavily armed, and struggle in God's way with your possessions and your persons: this is better for you, if you only knew. 42They would certainly have followed you [Prophet] if the benefit was within sight and the journey short, but the distance seemed too great for them. They will swear by God, ‘If we could, we certainly would go out [to battle] with you,’ but they ruin themselves, for God knows that they are lying.

43God forgive you [Prophet]! Why did you give them permission to stay at home before it had become clear to you which of them spoke the truth and which were liars? 44Those who have faith in God and the Last Day do not ask you for exemption from struggle with their possessions and their persons—God knows exactly who is mindful of Him—45only those who do not have faith in God and the Last Day ask your permission to stay at home: they have doubt in their hearts and so they waver. 46If they had really wanted to go out [to battle] with you, they would have made preparations, but God was loath to let them rise up and made them hold back. It was said, ‘Stay with those who stay behind.’ 47They would only have given you trouble if they had gone out [to battle] with you: they would have scurried around, trying to sow discord among you, and some of you would willingly have listened to them—God knows exactly who does evil. 48Indeed, they had tried before that to stir up discord: they devised plots against you [Prophet] until the truth was exposed and God's will triumphed, much to their disgust. 49Some of them said, ‘Give me permission to stay at home: do not trouble me.’ They are already in trouble: Hell will engulf the disbelievers. 50If you [Prophet] have good fortune, it will grieve them, but if misfortune comes your way, they will say to themselves, ‘We took precautions for this,’ and go away rejoicing. 51Say, ‘Only what God has decreed will happen to us. He is our Master: let the believers put their trust in God.’ 52Say, ‘Do you expect something other than one of the two best things to happen to us?a Victory or reward in the next world. Well, we expect God to inflict punishment on you, either from Himself or at our hands. So wait; we too are waiting.’ 53Say, ‘Whether you give willingly or unwillingly, what you give will not be accepted, for you are disobedient people.’ 54The only thing that prevents what they give from being accepted is the fact that they defy God and His Messenger, perform the prayer only lazily, and give only grudgingly. 55So [Prophet] do not let their possessions or their children impress you: through these God intends to punish them in this world and for their souls to depart while they disbelieve.

Notes:

c ‘Truly’ is implied, as it is in many other statements in the Qurʾan, e.g. 2: 32; 8: 41; and 65: 3.

d The main meaning of the Arabic dana is ‘he obeyed’. It also means ‘behave’, and ‘follow a way of life or religion’ (Qamus and Lane).

e Etymologically, jizya means ‘payment in return’, related to jaza meaning ‘reward’, i.e. in return for the protection of the Muslim state with all the accruing benefits and exemption from military service, and such taxes on Muslims as zakah. This tax was levied only on able-bodied free men who could afford it, and monks were exempted. The amount was generally low (e.g. one dinar per year).

f Commentators in the past generally understood wa hum saghirun to mean they should be humiliated when paying. However, it is clear from the context that they were unwilling to pay, and the clause simply means they should submit to paying this tax.

a Clearly this refers to a certain group who, possibly at the time of the Prophet or earlier, made this claim.

b These are Rajab, Dhu ‘1-Qa’da, Dhu ‘l-Hijjah, and Muharram in the Muslim lunar calendar. Fighting was not allowed during these months (except in self-defence). Cf. 2: 194.

c One of the meanings of din is ‘calculation’ or ‘reckoning’.

d Another interpretation of kafatan is ‘all together’.

a The Prophet and his companion Abu Bakr.

a Victory or reward in the next world.

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