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


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

( READ FIND OUT WHAT THE QUR'AN REALLY TEACHES )


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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ALERT ALERT

Breaking — West Virginia Lawmakers Invite Persecuted Pro-Second Amendment Counties In Virginia To Join Their State

West Virginia lawmakers introduced legislation to invite persecuted pro Second Amendment Counties to join their state.

The West Virginia Senate adopted a resolution to remind Virginia residents from Frederick County that they have a standing invite — from 1862 — to become part of West Virginia.

West Virginia freedom fighters broke away from Virginia Democrat slave owners during the Civil War.

This week West Virginia has once again invited persecuted Virginia pro 2-A counties to come join their state.

Sounds like a winning plan!

Resolution 8 reads as follows:

HOUSE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION 8

(By Delegates Howell, Summers, Shott, Householder, C. Martin, Hott, Graves, Cadle, Barnhart, J. Jeffries, Maynard, Phillips, Foster, Hamrick, Steele, D. Jeffries, Wilson, Waxman, Bartlett, Paynter, Linville, Sypolt, Bibby, Hill, Ellington, Higginbotham, J. Kelly, Mandt, Pack, Dean and P. Martin)

[Introduced January 14, 2020]

Providing for an election to be had, pending approval of the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Virginia, and a majority of qualified citizens voting upon the proposition prior to August 1, 2020, for the admission of certain counties and independent cities of the Commonwealth of Virginia to be admitted to the State of West Virginia as constituent counties, under the provisions of Article VI, Section 11 of the Constitution of West Virginia

Whereas, The Legislature of West Virginia finds that in 1863, due to longstanding perceived attitudes of neglect for the interests of the citizens of Western Virginia, and a studied failure to address the differences which had grown between the counties of Western Virginia and the government at Richmond, the Commonwealth of Virginia was irretrievably divided, and the new State of West Virginia was formed; and

Whereas, Such division occurred as the Trans-Allegheny portions of Virginia perceived that they suffered under an inequitable measure of taxation by which they bore a disproportionate share of the tax burden; and

Whereas, That this perception was further compounded by the effects of a scheme of representation by which Trans-Allegheny Virginia was not allowed to have its proper and equitable share of representation in the government at Richmond; and

Whereas, That this arrangement arguably resulted in the tax dollars of Trans-Allegheny Virginia being used to enrich the Tidewater through internal improvements which did not benefit the people of Western Virginia, while the people of the Trans-Allegheny had little to no say in how their tax dollars were allocated; and

Whereas, Though this course led to an irreconcilable division, and the subsequent formation of West Virginia, yet, the longstanding peaceful cooperation between this State and the Commonwealth of Virginia is a sign that such separation, undertaken even under the most challenging and onerous of circumstances, can, with the passage of time, yield lasting results which are beneficial to both sides; and

Whereas, In the intervening years, the same neglect for the interests of many of the remaining counties of the Commonwealth of Virginia has allegedly been evidenced by the government at Richmond; and

Whereas, Particularly, many citizens of the Southside, the Shenandoah Valley, Southwestern Virginia, and the Piedmont contend that an inequitable measure of taxation exists by which they bear a disproportionate share of the present tax burden of the Commonwealth; and

Whereas, The people of the Southside, the Shenandoah Valley, Southwestern Virginia, and the Piedmont also believe that, currently, a scheme of representation exists by which the citizens of Southside, the Shenandoah Valley, Southwestern Virginia, and the Piedmont do not have a proper share of representation in the government at Richmond; and, consequently

Whereas, The people of the Southside, the Shenandoah Valley, Southwestern Virginia, and the Piedmont believe that their tax dollars are used to enrich the Tidewater and Northern Virginia through internal improvements which do not benefit the people of these other parts of Virginia, while the people of these other parts of Virginia have little to no say in how their tax dollars are allocated; and

Whereas, In recent days, these tensions have been compounded by a perception of contempt on the part of the government at Richmond for the differences in certain fundamental political and societal principles which prevail between the varied counties and cities of that Commonwealth; and

Whereas, In the latest, and most evident, in this string of grievances, the government at Richmond now seeks to place intolerable restraints upon the rights guaranteed under the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution to the citizens of that Commonwealth; and

Whereas, The Legislative body of West Virginia believes that this latest action defies the wise counsel which has come down to us in the august words of our common Virginia Founders: as the government at Richmond now repudiates the counsel of that tribune of liberty, Patrick Henry-who stated to the Virginia Ratifying Convention in 1788 that “The great object is that every man be armed. Everyone who is able might have a gun”; and

Whereas, The government at Richmond now repudiates the counsel of a Signer of the Declaration and premier advocate of American independence, Richard Henry Lee-who stated in The Federal Farmer that “To preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of the people always possess arms”; and

Whereas, The government at Richmond now repudiates the counsel of that zealous guardian of our inherent rights, George Mason-who stated that “To disarm the people…[i]s the most effectual way to enslave them”; and

Whereas, The government at Richmond now repudiates the counsel of the declaimer of our independence and theoretician of our freedoms, Thomas Jefferson-who stated in his first draft of the Virginia Constitution, that “No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms”; and

Whereas, The Boards of Supervisors of many Virginia counties and the Councils of many Virginia cities have recognized this dangerous departure from the doctrine of the Founders on the part of the government at Richmond; and

Whereas, These Boards of Supervisors and Councils have passed resolutions refusing to countenance what they affirm are unwarranted and unconstitutional measures by that government to infringe the firearm rights of Virginians; and

Whereas, The actions of the government at Richmond undertaken since the recent general election have, regrettably, resulted in unproductive contention and escalating a lamentable state of civic tension; and

Whereas, That, as has been proven in numerous instances, such as have been observed internationally in more recent times with the peaceful dissolutions of Czechoslovakia and the Soviet Union, and the creation of South Sudan, or, earlier in Virginia’s own history, with the formation of Kentucky, the peaceful partition of neighboring peoples can occur, and, is often very beneficial to both sides in reducing tensions and improving the tenor of discourse over ongoing political and societal differences; and

Whereas, Article VI, Section 11 of The Constitution of the State of West Virginia explicitly permits additional territory to be admitted into, and become part of this state, with the consent of the Legislature and of a majority of the qualified voters of the state; and

Whereas, In a spirit of conciliation, the Legislature of West Virginia hereby extends an invitation to our fellow Virginians who wish to do so, to join us in our noble experiment of 156 years of separation from the government at Richmond; and, we extend an invitation to any constituent county or city of the Commonwealth of Virginia to be admitted to the body politic of the State of West Virginia, under the conditions set forth in our state Constitution, specifically, with the consent of a majority of the voters of such county or city voting upon such proposition; and we hereby covenant that their many grievances shall be addressed, and, we further covenant with them that their firearms rights shall be protected to the fullest extent possible under our Federal and State Constitutions; and

Whereas, Providing that the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Virginia shall give its assent to any county or independent city presently part of the Commonwealth of Virginia having the opportunity and ability to do so, therefore, be it

Resolved by the Legislature of West Virginia.

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