Blogging the Qur’an: Sura 9, “Repentance,” verses 81-129


Blogging the Qur’an: Sura 9, “Repentance,” verses 81-129

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Allah then excoriates Muslims who refused to accompany Muhammad on his expedition to Tabuk, where he had hoped to fight the Byzantines in the year 631 (vv. 81-89). Some begged off because of the scorching heat in Arabia, making an expedition particularly trying — leading Allah to taunt them about the heat of hell, for “they hated to strive and fight,” that is, wage jihad (yujahidoo, يُجَاهِدُوا) “with their goods and their persons, in the cause of Allah” (v. 81). Ibn Kathir explains: “if they have any comprehension or understanding, they would have marched with the Messenger of Allah during the heat, so as to save themselves from the Fire of Jahannam [Hell], which is much more severe.”

Even if the Hypocrites were to change their minds and want to join Muhammad on a future expedition, they are forever barred from doing so (v. 83). Muhammad and the Muslims should not even pray for them when they die (v. 84). They will be punished in this world also (v. 85 — a repeat of v. 55). But Muhammad and the Muslims who do “strive and fight [jahadoo, جَاهَدُواْ] with their wealth and their persons” will enter the gardens of Paradise (vv. 88-89).

Allah singles out for the Bedouin Arabs for especial criticism for not going to Tabuk (vv. 90-105). Ibn Juzayy says that this in itself invalidated their claim to be Muslim: “They were the people who did not go on jihad nor ask excuses to stay behind them, so they lied when they claimed to believe.” This is not to say that no one can be excused from jihad: one may stay behind if he is “infirm, or ill,” or has “no resources to spend (on the cause)” (v. 91). Ibn Kathir explains the conditions: “Allah mentions here the valid excuses that permit one to stay away from fighting. He first mentions the excuses that remain with a person, the weakness in the body that disallows one from Jihad, such as blindness, limping, and so forth. He then mentions the excuses that are not permanent, such as an illness that would prevent one from fighting in the cause of Allah, or poverty that prevents preparing for Jihad. There is no sin in these cases if they remain behind, providing that when they remain behind, they do not spread malice or try to discourage Muslims from fighting, but all the while observing good behavior in this state.”

But the rich claim exemption (v. 93) and present excuses to Muhammad, who is not to accept them (v. 94), for these people are unclean (v. 95). The worst unbelievers and Hypocrites are the Bedouins (v. 97). Allah accused some of them of plotting against Muhammad, and warned that their plots would backfire (v. 98). However, some truly believe (v. 99). Allah may forgive those who repent of their wrongdoings, who have “mixed an act that was good with another that was evil” (v. 102). Ibn Juzayy explains that “this ayat was sent down about Abu Lubaba. His virtuous action was jihad and his bad action consisted of advising the Banu Qurayza” — that is, the Jewish tribe that broke their covenant with the Muslims and that Muhammad subsequently had massacred. Those who repent can seal their repentance by giving alms (vv. 103-104).

Allah contrasts false belief with the genuine article (vv. 106-112). On the way back from Tabuk, Muhammad received news about a mosque that a group of Muslims had built in opposition to his authority. Allah gave him a revelation making clear the malign intent of the builders, despite their protestations of good intentions (v. 107). Muhammad ordered his followers to burn the mosque to the ground. Ibn Kathir says that its builders had “made it an outpost for those who warred against Allah and His Messenger.”

Allah then guarantees of Paradise to those who “kill and are killed” for him (v. 111). This verse has become in the modern age the rationale for suicide bombing. Ibn Kathir explains: “Allah states that He has compensated His believing servants for their lives and wealth — if they give them up in His cause — with Paradise.” Ibn Juzayy adds, significantly: “It is said that it was sent down about the Homage of Aqaba [an early pledge of Muslims’ willingness to wage war for Islam], but its judgment is general to every believer doing jihad in the way of Allah until the Day of Rising.”

So it has been understood. Abu Abdel Aziz, a modern-day jihadist who fought in Afghanistan and Bosnia, said in a 1994 interview: “I have found that the best sacrifice we can offer for the sake of Allah, is our souls, then our possession[s].” Then he quoted v. 111.

The Qur’an says that this promise of Paradise to those who kill and are killed for Allah is also in the Torah and Gospel, but in reality, it isn’t — which is in itself more evidence for pious Muslims that those documents have been tampered with.

Allah emphasizes that loyalty to Allah comes before everything, and that he controls all (vv. 113-129). Muhammad and the Muslims should not pray for pagans, even relatives (v. 113, cf. v. 84). Abraham even dissociated himself from his father when he realized he was an “enemy of Allah” (v. 114). Allah will not mislead a people after he has guided them to the truth (v. 115) — Ibn Juzayy explains: “This ayat was sent down about some Muslims who asked forgiveness for the idolaters without permission and then they feared for themselves on that account and so the ayat was sent down to console them, i.e. Allah would not take you to task for that before it was clear to you that it was forbidden.”

The “three who were left behind” who are forgiven in v. 118 were three Muslims who, according to Ibn Juzayy, “stayed behind the Tabuk expedition without excuse and without hypocrisy nor intention to stay behind.” The believers must “Fear Allah and be with those who are true,” which means, according to as-Suyuti, “to be truthful in everything and in every situation.” However, Muhammad is said to have allowed for lying “in battle, for bringing reconciliation amongst persons and the narration of the words of the husband to his wife, and the narration of the words of a wife to her husband (in a twisted form in order to bring reconciliation between them).”

The people of Medina and the Bedouins should not have hesitated to follow Muhammad, because anything they suffered in that adventure would have been credited to them as a deed of righteousness. Nothing that infuriates the unbelievers will go unrewarded (v. 120). However, all the Muslims need not go forth to wage jihad warfare (v. 122). Ibn Abbas says, “it is not necessary for all the Muslims to go on raids.” This is a foundation for the Islamic legal principle that jihad is fard kifaya — that is, a community obligation from which some are freed if others take it up. Jihad becomes fard ayn, or obligatory on every believer, when a Muslim land is attacked. In general, Muslims must fight against the unbelievers, and be harsh toward them (v. 123).

The suras of the Qur’an increase the Muslims’ faith (v. 124), but only add to the doubts of the disbelievers (vv. 125-127).

(Revised May 2015)

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ONE NATION UNDER GOD

ALERT ALERT

 After Years Of Stagnation Under Obama 
Household Income Hits 50-Year High

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Former President Barack Obama got plenty of praise for shepherding us through the recovery from the 2008 economic crisis. However, those on Main Street, USA, knew the truth — things weren’t any better than they had been when George W. Bush left office.

As The Weekly Standard reported in 2016, median household income when Obama came into office in 2009 was $56,731. In 2015, six years into his presidency, that number was $56,516 — a decrease of just over $200.

By the time he left office, it’s true that media household income had risen to $59,471 — but that was essentially the same as it had been in December, 2007, at the end of the “Great Recession” and just a few weeks before Obama took office, when it was $59,549.

So, how’s The Donald doing?

Well, as Investor’s Business Daily reported, a new study from Sentier Research found that the median household income in April was $61,483 — a 50-year high.

That’s up from $59,471 in January of 2017.

The firm tracks income using census data and adjusts for inflation — so even a slightly weaker dollar doesn’t account for the increase.

Donald Trump Jr.   @DonaldJTrumpJr  

Bad News For Dems: Household Income Hits All-Time High Under Trump … And He's Getting Credit For It!!! 

Household Income Hits All-Time High Under Trump, And He's Getting Credit For It

A new report shows that the median household income has climbed 3% since President Trump took office. It's another sign of a strong economy, and at least one poll shows the public credits Trump for...

That’s great news for the country, but maybe not the best news for Democrats.

“This is just another indication that the economy has notably strengthened under Trump. And polls show that the public’s mood has brightened considerably as a result,” Investor’s Business Daily reported.

“The latest IBD/TIPP Economic Optimism Index is 53.6. This index has been in positive territory (anything over 50 is optimistic) since Trump took office. The Quality of Life Index, meanwhile, hit a 14-year high in May and the Financial Stress Index is at an all-time low.”

That economic data is followed by a lot of polls that seem to show that the “blue wave” expected in the November midterms breaking and rolling back into the sea.

A new Reuters poll found that a generic Republican would beat a generic Democrat by six points. Back in March, the Democrats were up by nine points. A CBS poll found that Democrats had a two-point advantage on the generic ballot — hardly “wave” material.

The CBS poll also found that 68 percent of Americans believed Trump’s policies deserved at least some of the credit for the economic situation, with 35 percent saying he deserved a “great deal” of the credit.

Sixty-four percent of respondents rated the economy as “somewhat good” or “very good.” In a CNN poll, 57 percent of voters said that “things are going well in the U.S.” In February, that was 49 percent.

Perhaps the most important figure: Under Obama, when Gallup asked whether it was a good time to find “a quality job in the U.S.,” the highest number that administration ever achieved was 45 percent. Under Trump, that number is 67 percent — the highest number in the 17-year history of the poll.

While Trump’s personal numbers haven’t seen the same bounce, they’re still up — and that’s the important thing. Thanks to the relentless campaign of personal attacks against him, Trump’s stated approval rating has always been a lot lower than it probably is.

Don’t believe me? Just ask Hillary Clinton. For all of the personal barbs and attacks, 2016 ultimately came down to the economy. So will 2018 — and that’s not good news for the Democrats.

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