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 Surah At-Tawbah 9:30-37 [5/16]
  
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وَقَالَتِAnd said
ٱلْيَهُودُthe Jews,
عُزَيْرٌ`Uzair
ٱبْنُ(is) son
ٱللَّهِ(of) Allah.`
وَقَالَتِAnd said
ٱلنَّصَـٰرَىthe Christians,
ٱلْمَسِيحُ`Messiah
ٱبْنُ(is) son
ٱللَّهِ‌ۖ(of) Allah.`
ذَٲلِكَThat
قَوْلُهُم(is) their saying
بِأَفْوَٲهِهِمْ‌ۖwith their mouths,
يُضَـٰهِــُٔونَthey imitate
قَوْلَthe saying
ٱلَّذِينَ(of) those who
كَفَرُواْdisbelieved
مِن قَبْلُ‌ۚbefore.
قَـٰتَلَهُمُ ٱللَّهُ‌ۚ(May) Allah destroy them.
أَنَّىٰHow
يُؤْفَكُونَdeluded are they!
﴿٣٠﴾
ٱتَّخَذُوٓاْThey have taken
أَحْبَارَهُمْtheir rabbis
وَرُهْبَـٰنَهُمْand their monks
أَرْبَابًا(as) Lords
مِّن دُونِbesides
ٱللَّهِAllah
وَٱلْمَسِيحَand the Messiah,
ٱبْنَson
مَرْيَمَ(of) Maryam.
وَمَآAnd not
أُمِرُوٓاْthey were commanded
إِلَّاexcept
لِيَعْبُدُوٓاْthat they worship
إِلَـٰهًا وَٲحِدًا‌ۖOne God.
لَّآ(There) is no
إِلَـٰهَgod
إِلَّاexcept
هُوَ‌ۚHim.
سُبْحَـٰنَهُۥGlory be to Him
عَمَّاfrom what
يُشْرِكُونَthey associate (with Him).
﴿٣١﴾
يُرِيدُونَThey want
أَنto
يُطْفِــُٔواْextinguish
نُورَ ٱللَّهِAllah`s light
بِأَفْوَٲهِهِمْwith their mouths,
وَيَأْبَى ٱللَّهُbut Allah refuses
إِلَّآexcept
أَنto
يُتِمَّperfect
نُورَهُۥHis Light
وَلَوْeven if
كَرِهَ ٱلْكَـٰفِرُونَthe disbelievers dislike (it).
﴿٣٢﴾
هُوَHe
ٱلَّذِىٓ(is) the One Who
أَرْسَلَhas sent
رَسُولَهُۥHis Messenger
بِٱلْهُدَىٰwith the guidance
وَدِينِand the religion
ٱلْحَقِّ(of) [the] truth,
لِيُظْهِرَهُۥto manifest it
عَلَىover
ٱلدِّينِ كُلِّهِۦall religions.
وَلَوْEven if
كَرِهَdislike (it)
ٱلْمُشْرِكُونَthe polytheists.
﴿٣٣﴾
۞ يَـٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوٓاْO you who believe!
إِنَّIndeed,
كَثِيرًاmany
مِّنَof
ٱلْأَحْبَارِthe rabbis
وَٱلرُّهْبَانِand the monks
لَيَأْكُلُونَsurely eat
أَمْوَٲلَ(the) wealth
ٱلنَّاسِ(of) the people
بِٱلْبَـٰطِلِin falsehood,
وَيَصُدُّونَand hinder
عَنfrom
سَبِيلِ(the) way
ٱللَّهِ‌ۗ(of) Allah.
وَٱلَّذِينَAnd those who
يَكْنِزُونَhoard
ٱلذَّهَبَthe gold
وَٱلْفِضَّةَand the silver,
وَلَاand (do) not
يُنفِقُونَهَاspend it
فِىin
سَبِيلِ(the) way
ٱللَّهِ(of) Allah,
فَبَشِّرْهُم[so] give them tidings
بِعَذَابٍof a punishment
أَلِيمٍpainful.
﴿٣٤﴾
يَوْمَ(The) Day
يُحْمَىٰ عَلَيْهَاit will be heated [on it]
فِىin
نَارِthe Fire
جَهَنَّمَ(of) Hell,
فَتُكْوَىٰand will be branded
بِهَاwith it
جِبَاهُهُمْtheir foreheads
وَجُنُوبُهُمْand their flanks
وَظُهُورُهُمْ‌ۖand their backs,
هَـٰذَا`This
مَا(is) what
كَنَزْتُمْyou hoarded
لِأَنفُسِكُمْfor yourselves,
فَذُوقُواْso taste
مَاwhat
كُنتُمْyou used to
تَكْنِزُونَhoard.`
﴿٣٥﴾
إِنَّIndeed,
عِدَّةَ(the) number
ٱلشُّهُورِ(of) the months
عِندَwith
ٱللَّهِAllah
ٱثْنَا عَشَرَ(is) twelve
شَهْرًاmonths
فِىin
كِتَـٰبِ(the) ordinance
ٱللَّهِ(of) Allah
يَوْمَ(from the) Day
خَلَقَHe created
ٱلسَّمَـٰوَٲتِthe heavens
وَٱلْأَرْضَand the earth;
مِنْهَآof them,
أَرْبَعَةٌfour
حُرُمٌ‌ۚ(are) sacred.
ذَٲلِكَThat
ٱلدِّينُ(is) the religion
ٱلْقَيِّمُ‌ۚthe upright,
فَلَاso (do) not
تَظْلِمُواْwrong
فِيهِنَّtherein
أَنفُسَكُمْ‌ۚyourselves.
وَقَـٰتِلُواْAnd fight
ٱلْمُشْرِكِينَthe polytheists
كَآفَّةًall together,
كَمَاas
يُقَـٰتِلُونَكُمْthey fight you
كَآفَّةً‌ۚall together.
وَٱعْلَمُوٓاْAnd know
أَنَّthat
ٱللَّهَAllah
مَعَ(is) with
ٱلْمُتَّقِينَthe righteous.
﴿٣٦﴾
إِنَّمَاIndeed,
ٱلنَّسِىٓءُthe postponing
زِيَادَةٌ(is) an increase
فِىin
ٱلْكُفْرِ‌ۖthe disbelief,
يُضَلُّare led astray
بِهِby it
ٱلَّذِينَthose who
كَفَرُواْdisbelieve.
يُحِلُّونَهُۥThey make it lawful
عَامًاone year
وَيُحَرِّمُونَهُۥand make it unlawful
عَامًا(another) year,
لِّيُوَاطِــُٔواْto adjust
عِدَّةَthe number
مَاwhich
حَرَّمَ ٱللَّهُAllah has made unlawful
فَيُحِلُّواْand making lawful
مَاwhat
حَرَّمَ ٱللَّهُ‌ۚAllah has made unlawful.
زُيِّنَIs made fair-seeming
لَهُمْto them
سُوٓءُ(the) evil
أَعْمَـٰلِهِمْ‌ۗ(of) their deeds.
وَٱللَّهُAnd Allah
لَا(does) not
يَهْدِىguide
ٱلْقَوْمَthe people -
ٱلْكَـٰفِرِينَthe disbelievers.
﴿٣٧﴾


وَقَالَتِ الۡيَهُوۡدُ عُزَيۡرُ ۨابۡنُ اللّٰهِ وَقَالَتِ النَّصٰرَى الۡمَسِيۡحُ ابۡنُ اللّٰهِ​ؕ ذٰ لِكَ قَوۡلُهُمۡ بِاَ فۡوَاهِهِمۡ​ ۚ يُضَاهِـُٔوۡنَ قَوۡلَ الَّذِيۡنَ كَفَرُوۡا مِنۡ قَبۡلُ​ ؕ قَاتَلَهُمُ اللّٰهُ ​ۚ  اَنّٰى يُؤۡفَكُوۡنَ‏  اِتَّخَذُوۡۤا اَحۡبَارَهُمۡ وَرُهۡبَانَهُمۡ اَرۡبَابًا مِّنۡ دُوۡنِ اللّٰهِ وَالۡمَسِيۡحَ ابۡنَ مَرۡيَمَ​ ۚ وَمَاۤ اُمِرُوۡۤا اِلَّا لِيَـعۡبُدُوۡۤا اِلٰهًا وَّاحِدًا​ ۚ لَاۤ اِلٰهَ اِلَّا هُوَ​ ؕ سُبۡحٰنَهٗ عَمَّا يُشۡرِكُوۡنَ‏  يُرِيۡدُوۡنَ اَنۡ يُّطۡفِـُٔـوۡا نُوۡرَ اللّٰهِ بِاَ فۡوَاهِهِمۡ وَيَاۡبَى اللّٰهُ اِلَّاۤ اَنۡ يُّتِمَّ نُوۡرَهٗ وَلَوۡ كَرِهَ الۡـكٰفِرُوۡنَ‏  هُوَ الَّذِىۡۤ اَرۡسَلَ رَسُوۡلَهٗ بِالۡهُدٰى وَدِيۡنِ الۡحَـقِّ لِيُظۡهِرَهٗ عَلَى الدِّيۡنِ كُلِّهٖۙ وَلَوۡ كَرِهَ الۡمُشۡرِكُوۡنَ‏  يٰۤاَيُّهَا الَّذِيۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡۤا اِنَّ كَثِيۡرًا مِّنَ الۡاَحۡبَارِ وَالرُّهۡبَانِ لَيَاۡكُلُوۡنَ اَمۡوَالَ النَّاسِ بِالۡبَاطِلِ وَيَصُدُّوۡنَ عَنۡ سَبِيۡلِ اللّٰهِ​ؕ وَالَّذِيۡنَ يَكۡنِزُوۡنَ الذَّهَبَ وَالۡفِضَّةَ وَلَا يُنۡفِقُوۡنَهَا فِىۡ سَبِيۡلِ اللّٰهِۙ فَبَشِّرۡهُمۡ بِعَذَابٍ اَلِيۡمٍۙ‏  يَّومَ يُحۡمٰى عَلَيۡهَا فِىۡ نَارِ جَهَـنَّمَ فَتُكۡوٰى بِهَا جِبَاهُهُمۡ وَجُنُوۡبُهُمۡ وَظُهُوۡرُهُمۡ​ؕ هٰذَا مَا كَنَزۡتُمۡ لِاَنۡفُسِكُمۡ فَذُوۡقُوۡا مَا كُنۡتُمۡ تَكۡنِزُوۡنَ‏  اِنَّ عِدَّةَ الشُّهُوۡرِ عِنۡدَ اللّٰهِ اثۡنَا عَشَرَ شَهۡرًا فِىۡ كِتٰبِ اللّٰهِ يَوۡمَ خَلَقَ السَّمٰوٰتِ وَالۡاَرۡضَ مِنۡهَاۤ اَرۡبَعَةٌ حُرُمٌ​ ؕ ذٰ لِكَ الدِّيۡنُ الۡقَيِّمُ ۙ فَلَا تَظۡلِمُوۡا فِيۡهِنَّ اَنۡفُسَكُمۡ​ ؕ وَقَاتِلُوا الۡمُشۡرِكِيۡنَ كَآفَّةً كَمَا يُقَاتِلُوۡنَكُمۡ كَآفَّةً​  ؕ وَاعۡلَمُوۡۤا اَنَّ اللّٰهَ مَعَ الۡمُتَّقِيۡنَ‏  اِنَّمَا النَّسِىۡٓءُ زِيَادَةٌ فِى الۡكُفۡرِ​ يُضَلُّ بِهِ الَّذِيۡنَ كَفَرُوۡا يُحِلُّوۡنَهٗ عَامًا وَّيُحَرِّمُوۡنَهٗ عَامًا لِّيُوَاطِـُٔـوۡا عِدَّةَ مَا حَرَّمَ اللّٰهُ فَيُحِلُّوۡا مَا حَرَّمَ اللّٰهُ​ ؕ زُيِّنَ لَهُمۡ سُوۡۤءُ اَعۡمَالِهِمۡ​ ؕ وَاللّٰهُ لَا يَهۡدِى الۡقَوۡمَ الۡـكٰفِرِيۡنَ‏ 
[9:30] The Jews say: "Ezra ('Uzayr) is Allah's son,"29 and the Christians say: "The Messiah is the son of Allah." These are merely verbal assertions in imitation of the sayings of those unbelievers who preceded them.30 May Allah ruin them. How do they turn away from the Truth? [9:31] They take their rabbis and their monks for their lords apart from Allah,31 and also the Messiah, son of Mary, whereas they were commanded to worship none but the One True God. There is no god but He. Exalted be He above those whom they associate with Him in His Divinity. [9:32] They seek to extinguish the light of Allah by blowing through their mouths; but Allah refuses everything except that He will perfect His light howsoever the unbelievers might abhor it. [9:33] He it is Who has sent His Messenger with the guidance and the True Religion that He may make it prevail over all religions,32 howsoever those who associate others with Allah in His Divinity might detest it. [9:34] Believers! Many of the rabbis and monks wrongfully devour mankind's possessions and hinder people from the Way of Allah.33 And there are those who amass gold and silver and do not spend it in the Way of Allah. Announce to them the tidings of a painful chastisement [9:35] on a Day when they shall be heated up in the Fire of Hell, and their foreheads and their sides and their backs shall be branded with it, (and they shall be told): "This is the treasure which you hoarded for yourselves. Taste, then, the punishment for what you have hoarded." [9:36] Surely the reckoning of months, in the sight of Allah, is twelve months,34 laid down in Allah's decree on the day when He created the heavens and the earth; and out of these months four are sacred. That is the true ordainment. Do not, therefore, wrong yourselves, with respect to these months.35 And fight all together against those who associate others with Allah in His Divinity in the manner that they fight against you all together,36 and know well that Allah is with the God-fearing. [9:37] The intercalation (of sacred months) is an act of gross infidelity which causes the unbelievers to be led further astray. They declare a month to be lawful in one year and forbidden in another year in order that they may conform to the number of months that Allah has declared as sacred, and at the same time make lawful what Allah has forbidden.37 Their foul acts seem fair to them. Allah does not direct those who deny the Truth to the Right Way.

29. Uzair (Ezra) lived during the period around 450 B.C. The Jews regarded him with great reverence as the revivalist of their Scriptures which had been lost during their captivity in Babylon after the death of prophet Solomon. So much so that they had lost all the knowledge of their law, their traditions and of Hebrew, their national language. Then it was Ezra who re-wrote the Old Testament and revived the law. That is why they used very exaggerated language in his reverence which misled some of the Jewish sects to make him ‘the son of God’. The Quran, however, does not assert that all the Jews were unanimous in declaring Ezra as the son of God. What it intends to say is that the perversion in the articles of faith of the Jews concerning Allah had degenerated to such an extent that there were some amongst them who considered Ezra as the son of God.

30. “Those who disbelieved before” were the Egyptians, the Greeks, the Romans, the Persians, etc. The Jews and the Christians were so influenced by their philosophies, their superstitions and fancies that they also invented erroneous creeds like theirs. (See E.N. 101 of Al-Maidah).

31. “They have taken their rabbis and monks as their lords”. The Prophet (peace be upon him) himself explained its true significance. According to a tradition, when Adi bin Hatim (may Allah be pleased with him), who was formerly a Christian, came to the Prophet (peace be upon him) with the intention of understanding Islam, he asked several questions in order to remove his doubts. One of these was: “This verse accuses us of taking our scholars and monks as our lords. What is its real meaning. For we do not take them as our lords.”

As a reply to this, the Prophet (peace be upon him) put him a counter question: “Is it not a fact that you accept as unlawful what they declare to be unlawful, and lawful what they declare to be lawful?” Adi confessed, “Yes, it is so.” The Prophet (peace be upon him) replied, “This amounts to making them your lords.” Incidentally, this tradition shows that those who themselves set limits to the lawful and the unlawful without the authority of Allah’s Book, assume for themselves the rank of godhead, and those who acknowledge their right of making laws take them as their lords.

It should be noted that they have been charged with (a) attributing sons to Allah, and (b) giving the right of making laws to others than Allah. These are to prove that their claim that they believed in Allah is false, even though they should believe in His existence. But such a wrong conception of Allah makes their belief in Allah meaningless.

32. The Arabic word ad-din has been translated into ‘ways’. For the word deen, as has already been explained in E.N. 204, Al-Baqarah, is used for the ‘way of life’ or the ‘system of life’, which is followed in obedience to the supreme authority.

Now let us try to understand the significance of this verse. The object of the mission of the Messenger is to make the guidance and the right way he has brought from Allah dominant over all the other ways and systems of life. In other words, the Messenger is not sent to allow Allah’s Way to remain subordinate to other ways in order to enjoy concessions from them. He is sent by the Sovereign of the earth and the heavens to make His Way dominant over all other ways. And if a wrong way is at all allowed to remain on the earth, it should be tolerated only under its own protection by the payment of jizyah under the limits conferred by the divine system as in the cast of the system of life of the zimmis who pay jizyah.

33. These religious leaders are guilty of two sins. First, they devour the wealth of the common people by selling false decrees, and by taking bribes, gifts and presents on different pretexts. They invent religious regulations and rituals as tempt people to buy their salvations and fortunes in life from them and make deaths and marriages dependent on the payment of due price to these monopolists of Paradise. To add to this another sin, they debar the people from the Way of Allah by involving them into different sorts of deviations and by obstructing the way of every righteous mission with the obstacles of learned doubts and pious suspicions.

34. This means that ever since Allah created the sun, the moon and the earth, the new moon takes place only once in a month; thus the year has always been of twelve months.

This has been mentioned to refute the practice of nasi (Ayat 37) whereby the pagan Arabs increased the number of the months of a year to 13 or 14 to enable them to interpose in the calendar the forbidden month which had been made lawful by them.

35. “So do not wrong yourselves in them.” Do not let go waste the good things for which fighting has been made unlawful during these months by creating disorder in them that will ultimately be harmful to you also. The four forbidden months are Zil-Qadah, Zil-Hajjah and Muharram for Hajj and Rajab for Umrah.

36. That is, “If the mushriks do not desist from fighting during these months, you should also fight them and present a united front against them, just as they put up a united front against you”. This verse has been explained by Ayat 194 of Al-Baqarah.

37. The pagan Arabs practiced nasi in two ways. Whenever it suited them, they would declare a prohibited month to be an ordinary month in which fighting, robbery and murder in retaliation were lawful for them. Then they would declare an ordinary month to be a prohibited month instead of this month in order to make up for the deficiency caused in the number of the prohibited months.

The other way of nasi was the addition of a month in order to harmonize the lunar with the solar year so that the Hajj should always fall in the same season and they should be saved from the bother and inconvenience that are experienced by its observance according to the lunar year. In this way Hajj was observed for 36 years on dates other than the actual dates. Then in the thirty seventh year it was again observed on the 9th and 10th of Zil-Hajjah, as they should have actually fallen according to the lunar calendar. It so happened that on the occasion when the Prophet (peace be upon him) performed Hajja-tul-Widaa (his last Hajj). these dates by rotation coincided with the actual dates of Hajj according to the lunar calendar. So he declared during the course of his historic address at Arafat: “This year the dates of Hajj have again occurred exactly at their natural and proper time after a long period of circulation.” Accordingly, since that last Hajj of A.H. 9, it is being observed up to this day according to the correct dates of the lunar year.

By making nasi unlawful and forbidding it, the law declared that the two objects for which it was practiced were also sinful. First, they not only made lawful what Allah had made unlawful but also tried to practice deception on Allah by the seeming observance of the law. As regards the second object of making the season of Hajj fixed permanently according to the solar calendar, this too, was in fact the worst kind of rebellion against the divine law, although it appeared to be a harmless thing done for public good. But it defeated the very object of the divine law which prescribed the lunar calendar instead of the solar calendar for the observance of obligatory duties. Allah did this to ensure many good things for the Muslims, one of which is that His servants should be so trained as to obey His commandments at all times of the year and under all circumstances. For instance, the month of Ramadan circulates among all the seasons of the year and the Muslims get used to obeying His commandments whether it be summer or winter, dry or rainy season. This gives them that excellent moral training which is the real object of all the obligatory duties imposed by the divine law. Likewise, the dates of Hajj according to the lunar calendar, fall during different seasons: therefore the servants of Allah have to travel during all the seasons, favorable and unfavorable. Thus they come out successful in the divine test under all the circumstances and learn to be steadfast in their obedience.

It is obvious that such a training will make them stand good in many other fields in which one has to fight the battle for the truth.

Now it would have become quite clear why nasi was made unlawful and forbidden. It was designed to fix the season of Hajj in order to suit their own conveniences though it defeated the divine purpose of Hajj and of the forbidden months. It meant that they had rebelled against Allah and become independent of Him; this is kufr. Besides this, Islam is a universal religion and for all human beings. It is obvious that the periods of fasting and performing Hajj cannot satisfy all if they be fixed in accordance with the months of the solar year. For if they are performed in fixed months according to the solar year, the one and the same month will not equally suit all for the simple reason that it will fall during the same seasons in different places, summer or winter or very hot or very cold or rainy or dry or harvesting or sowing, year after year.

In this connection it may also be kept in view that the proclamation about the prohibition of nasi was made on the occasion of Hajj in A.H. 9 and next year the Hajj was performed on right dates which were in accordance with the lunar year. Since that time Hajj is being performed according to exact dates.