English Translation and Commentary of the Holy Quran (2010)

by Maulana Muhammad Ali

Chapter 9: Al-Taubah / Al-Baraat — The Immunity (Revealed at Madinah: 16 sections, 129 verses)

Section 10 (Verses 9:73–9:80): The Hypocrites


یٰۤاَیُّہَا النَّبِیُّ جَاہِدِ الۡکُفَّارَ وَ الۡمُنٰفِقِیۡنَ وَ اغۡلُظۡ عَلَیۡہِمۡ ؕ وَ مَاۡوٰىہُمۡ جَہَنَّمُ ؕ وَ بِئۡسَ الۡمَصِیۡرُ ﴿۷۳﴾

9:73 O Prophet, strive hard against the disbelievers and the hypocrites and be firm against them.1 And their abode is hell, and evil is the destination.

یَحۡلِفُوۡنَ بِاللّٰہِ مَا قَالُوۡا ؕ وَ لَقَدۡ قَالُوۡا کَلِمَۃَ الۡکُفۡرِ وَ کَفَرُوۡا بَعۡدَ اِسۡلَامِہِمۡ وَ ہَمُّوۡا بِمَا لَمۡ یَنَالُوۡا ۚ وَ مَا نَقَمُوۡۤا اِلَّاۤ اَنۡ اَغۡنٰہُمُ اللّٰہُ وَ رَسُوۡلُہٗ مِنۡ فَضۡلِہٖ ۚ فَاِنۡ یَّتُوۡبُوۡا یَکُ خَیۡرًا لَّہُمۡ ۚ وَ اِنۡ یَّتَوَلَّوۡا یُعَذِّبۡہُمُ اللّٰہُ عَذَابًا اَلِیۡمًا ۙ فِی الدُّنۡیَا وَ الۡاٰخِرَۃِ ۚ وَ مَا لَہُمۡ فِی الۡاَرۡضِ مِنۡ وَّلِیٍّ وَّ لَا نَصِیۡرٍ ﴿۷۴﴾

9:74 They swear by Allah that they said nothing. And certainly they did speak the word of disbelief, and disbelieved after their Islam, and they aimed (to do) what they could not attain.2 And they sought revenge only because Allah — as well as His Messenger — had enriched them out of His grace.3 So if they repent, it will be good for them; and if they turn away, Allah will punish them with a painful punishment in this world and the Hereafter; and they shall have in the earth neither a friend nor a helper.

وَ مِنۡہُمۡ مَّنۡ عٰہَدَ اللّٰہَ لَئِنۡ اٰتٰىنَا مِنۡ فَضۡلِہٖ لَنَصَّدَّقَنَّ وَ لَنَکُوۡنَنَّ مِنَ الصّٰلِحِیۡنَ ﴿۷۵﴾

9:75 And some of them made a covenant with Allah: If He give us out of His grace, we will certainly give in charity and be of the righteous.

فَلَمَّاۤ اٰتٰہُمۡ مِّنۡ فَضۡلِہٖ بَخِلُوۡا بِہٖ وَ تَوَلَّوۡا وَّ ہُمۡ مُّعۡرِضُوۡنَ ﴿۷۶﴾

9:76 But when He gave them out of His grace, they became miserly with it and they turned away and they are averse.

فَاَعۡقَبَہُمۡ نِفَاقًا فِیۡ قُلُوۡبِہِمۡ اِلٰی یَوۡمِ یَلۡقَوۡنَہٗ بِمَاۤ اَخۡلَفُوا اللّٰہَ مَا وَعَدُوۡہُ وَ بِمَا کَانُوۡا یَکۡذِبُوۡنَ ﴿۷۷﴾

9:77 So He repaid them with hypocrisy in their hearts till the day when they meet Him, because they broke their promise with Allah and because they lied.

اَلَمۡ یَعۡلَمُوۡۤا اَنَّ اللّٰہَ یَعۡلَمُ سِرَّہُمۡ وَ نَجۡوٰىہُمۡ وَ اَنَّ اللّٰہَ عَلَّامُ الۡغُیُوۡبِ ﴿ۚ۷۸﴾

9:78 Do they not know that Allah knows their hidden thoughts and their secret counsels, and that Allah is the great Knower of the unseen things?

اَلَّذِیۡنَ یَلۡمِزُوۡنَ الۡمُطَّوِّعِیۡنَ مِنَ الۡمُؤۡمِنِیۡنَ فِی الصَّدَقٰتِ وَ الَّذِیۡنَ لَا یَجِدُوۡنَ اِلَّا جُہۡدَہُمۡ فَیَسۡخَرُوۡنَ مِنۡہُمۡ ؕ سَخِرَ اللّٰہُ مِنۡہُمۡ ۫ وَ لَہُمۡ عَذَابٌ اَلِیۡمٌ ﴿۷۹﴾

9:79 Those who taunt the free givers of charity among the believers as well as those who cannot find anything (to give) but with their hard labour — they scoff at them. Allah will pay them back their mockery; and for them is a painful punishment.4

اِسۡتَغۡفِرۡ لَہُمۡ اَوۡ لَا تَسۡتَغۡفِرۡ لَہُمۡ ؕ اِنۡ تَسۡتَغۡفِرۡ لَہُمۡ سَبۡعِیۡنَ مَرَّۃً فَلَنۡ یَّغۡفِرَ اللّٰہُ لَہُمۡ ؕ ذٰلِکَ بِاَنَّہُمۡ کَفَرُوۡا بِاللّٰہِ وَ رَسُوۡلِہٖ ؕ وَ اللّٰہُ لَا یَہۡدِی الۡقَوۡمَ الۡفٰسِقِیۡنَ ﴿٪۸۰﴾

9:80 Ask forgiveness for them or do not ask forgiveness for them. Even if you ask forgiveness for them seventy times, Allah will not forgive them. This is because they disbelieve in Allah and His Messenger. And Allah does not guide the transgressing people.5


  1. Jihād signifies striving hard. It is in a secondary sense that the word signifies fighting, and it is repeatedly used in the Quran in its primary signifi­cance. It is a fact that those who professed Islam insincerely were never fought against by the Muslims — as on this occasion and on the occasion of the battle of Uhud. The Holy Prophet is commanded here to carry on a jihad against dis­believers as well as hypocrites. Hence the only significance that can be attached to these words is that he must continue to exert himself hard in preaching both to the disbelievers and the hypocrites.
  2. They did their best to put an end to the life of the Holy Prophet and bring about the extirpation of Islam.
  3. The advent of the Muslims in Madinah had enriched its inhabitants. Was it not, then, a matter for wonder that those men who had gained by Islam should turn against their very benefactors?
  4. When subscriptions were raised for the expedition to Tabūk, the wealthier members of the Muslim community gave large donations, while the poorer ones, the labourers, also paid their mite out of their hard earnings. The hypocrites taunted both, the former as making a show of their wealth, the latter as bringing in their small subscriptions only to be counted among the subscribers.
  5. Spiritual relations with the hypocrites were henceforth cut off. The mention of seventy may not indicate the specific number here. When Abdullah ibn Ubayy, the recognized leader of the hypocrites, died, the Holy Prophet was asked to conduct the burial service. The Holy Prophet got up, but Umar objected on the ground that Abdullah was a hypocrite, and referred to his hostile attitude through­out his life. The Holy Prophet replied that Allah had given him a choice (referring to the words of this verse: Ask forgiveness for them or do not ask for­giveness for them), and that he would ask forgiveness for him for over seventy times, so that forgiveness could be extended to the dead man. Then he offered prayers for him. Verse 84 is said to have been revealed then to stop the offering of prayers for those who were known to be hypocrites (Bukhari, 23:84). The incident shows how kind and forgiving the Holy Prophet was to his severest enemies. Abdullah ibn Ubayy was the man who had led the hypocrite movement against him, and thus was not only one of his worst enemies, but a most dangerous one, because he was aware of all the movements of the Muslims and deceived them at the most critical moments. Yet the Holy Prophet forgave him entirely.