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 14 (Verses 9:111–9:118): The Faithful


اِنَّ اللّٰہَ اشۡتَرٰی مِنَ الۡمُؤۡمِنِیۡنَ اَنۡفُسَہُمۡ وَ اَمۡوَالَہُمۡ بِاَنَّ لَہُمُ الۡجَنَّۃَ ؕ یُقَاتِلُوۡنَ فِیۡ سَبِیۡلِ اللّٰہِ فَیَقۡتُلُوۡنَ وَ یُقۡتَلُوۡنَ ۟ وَعۡدًا عَلَیۡہِ حَقًّا فِی التَّوۡرٰىۃِ وَ الۡاِنۡجِیۡلِ وَ الۡقُرۡاٰنِ ؕ وَ مَنۡ اَوۡفٰی بِعَہۡدِہٖ مِنَ اللّٰہِ فَاسۡتَبۡشِرُوۡا بِبَیۡعِکُمُ الَّذِیۡ بَایَعۡتُمۡ بِہٖ ؕ وَ ذٰلِکَ ہُوَ الۡفَوۡزُ الۡعَظِیۡمُ ﴿۱۱۱﴾

9:111 Surely Allah has bought from the believers their persons and their property — theirs (in return) is the Garden. They fight in Allah’s way, so they kill and are killed. It is a promise which is binding on Him in the Torah and the Gospel and the Quran.1 And who is more faithful to his promise than Allah? Rejoice therefore in your bargain which you have made. And that is the mighty achievement.

اَلتَّآئِبُوۡنَ الۡعٰبِدُوۡنَ الۡحٰمِدُوۡنَ السَّآئِحُوۡنَ الرّٰکِعُوۡنَ السّٰجِدُوۡنَ الۡاٰمِرُوۡنَ بِالۡمَعۡرُوۡفِ وَ النَّاہُوۡنَ عَنِ الۡمُنۡکَرِ وَ الۡحٰفِظُوۡنَ لِحُدُوۡدِ اللّٰہِ ؕ وَ بَشِّرِ الۡمُؤۡمِنِیۡنَ ﴿۱۱۲﴾

9:112 They who turn (to Allah), who serve (Him), who praise (Him), who fast, who bow down, who prostrate themselves, who enjoin what is good and forbid what is evil, and who keep the limits of Allah — and give good news to the believers.

مَا کَانَ لِلنَّبِیِّ وَ الَّذِیۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡۤا اَنۡ یَّسۡتَغۡفِرُوۡا لِلۡمُشۡرِکِیۡنَ وَ لَوۡ کَانُوۡۤا اُولِیۡ قُرۡبٰی مِنۡۢ بَعۡدِ مَا تَبَیَّنَ لَہُمۡ اَنَّہُمۡ اَصۡحٰبُ الۡجَحِیۡمِ ﴿۱۱۳﴾

9:113 It is not for the Prophet and those who believe to ask forgiveness for those who set up partners (with Allah), even though they should be near relatives, after it has become clear to them that they are companions of the flaming fire.2

وَ مَا کَانَ اسۡتِغۡفَارُ اِبۡرٰہِیۡمَ لِاَبِیۡہِ اِلَّا عَنۡ مَّوۡعِدَۃٍ وَّعَدَہَاۤ اِیَّاہُ ۚ فَلَمَّا تَبَیَّنَ لَہٗۤ اَنَّہٗ عَدُوٌّ لِّلّٰہِ تَبَرَّاَ مِنۡہُ ؕ اِنَّ اِبۡرٰہِیۡمَ لَاَوَّاہٌ حَلِیۡمٌ ﴿۱۱۴﴾

9:114 And Abraham’s asking forgiveness for his sire was only owing to a promise which he had made to him; but when it became clear to him that he was an enemy of Allah, he dissociated himself from him. Surely Abraham was tender-hearted, forbearing.

وَ مَا کَانَ اللّٰہُ لِیُضِلَّ قَوۡمًۢا بَعۡدَ اِذۡ ہَدٰىہُمۡ حَتّٰی یُبَیِّنَ لَہُمۡ مَّا یَتَّقُوۡنَ ؕ اِنَّ اللّٰہَ بِکُلِّ شَیۡءٍ عَلِیۡمٌ ﴿۱۱۵﴾

9:115 And it is not (attribu-table to) Allah that He should lead a people astray after He has guided them, so far so that He makes clear to them what they should guard against.3 Surely Allah is Knower of all things.

اِنَّ اللّٰہَ لَہٗ مُلۡکُ السَّمٰوٰتِ وَ الۡاَرۡضِ ؕ یُحۡیٖ وَ یُمِیۡتُ ؕ وَ مَا لَکُمۡ مِّنۡ دُوۡنِ اللّٰہِ مِنۡ وَّلِیٍّ وَّ لَا نَصِیۡرٍ ﴿۱۱۶﴾

9:116 Surely Allah’s is the kingdom of the heavens and the earth. He gives life and causes death. And besides Allah you have no friend nor helper.

لَقَدۡ تَّابَ اللّٰہُ عَلَی النَّبِیِّ وَ الۡمُہٰجِرِیۡنَ وَ الۡاَنۡصَارِ الَّذِیۡنَ اتَّبَعُوۡہُ فِیۡ سَاعَۃِ الۡعُسۡرَۃِ مِنۡۢ بَعۡدِ مَا کَادَ یَزِیۡغُ قُلُوۡبُ فَرِیۡقٍ مِّنۡہُمۡ ثُمَّ تَابَ عَلَیۡہِمۡ ؕ اِنَّہٗ بِہِمۡ رَءُوۡفٌ رَّحِیۡمٌ ﴿۱۱۷﴾ۙ

9:117 Certainly Allah has turned in mercy to the Prophet and the Emigrants and the Helpers who followed him in the hour of hardship, after the hearts of a group of them were about to deviate; then He turned to them in mercy.4 Surely to them He is Compassionate, Merciful;

وَّ عَلَی الثَّلٰثَۃِ الَّذِیۡنَ خُلِّفُوۡا ؕ حَتّٰۤی اِذَا ضَاقَتۡ عَلَیۡہِمُ الۡاَرۡضُ بِمَا رَحُبَتۡ وَ ضَاقَتۡ عَلَیۡہِمۡ اَنۡفُسُہُمۡ وَ ظَنُّوۡۤا اَنۡ لَّا مَلۡجَاَ مِنَ اللّٰہِ اِلَّاۤ اِلَیۡہِ ؕ ثُمَّ تَابَ عَلَیۡہِمۡ لِیَتُوۡبُوۡا ؕ اِنَّ اللّٰہَ ہُوَ التَّوَّابُ الرَّحِیۡمُ ﴿۱۱۸﴾٪

9:118 and (He turned in mercy) to the three who were left behind; until the earth, vast as it is, became narrow to them and their souls were also narrowed to them; and they knew that there was no refuge from Allah but in Him. Then He turned to them in mercy that they might turn (to Him). Surely Allah — He is the Oft-returning to mercy, the Merciful.5


  1. The promise binding on Allah is that Allah will grant the believers His blessings, if they exert themselves with their persons and their property in His way. The Gospels give the same promise: “If you want to be perfect”, said Jesus to a wealthy man, “go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me” (Matthew, 19:21). To Peter he said: “everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for my name’s sake, shall receive a hundredfold, and inherit eternal life” (Matthew, 19:29). Moses’ teaching contains similar promises. For instance, the promise of “a land flowing with milk and honey” is made condi­tional on “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength” (Deuteronomy, 6:3–5), which is the same as exer­t­­ing oneself to the utmost in the way of God with one’s person and property. It should be borne in mind that the words, they fight in Allah’s way, so they kill and are killed, are not a part of the promise, but are expressive of the condi­tion of the Companions, and show that they were true to their promise. The promise to spend one’s person and property may be carried out in various ways under different circumstances, and the Companions of the Holy Prophet were as true to this promise during the thirteen years at Makkah as during the ten years at Madinah.
  2. This verse does not prohibit praying for the forgiveness of the dis­believers in general, but only such disbelievers about whom it became clear that they were doomed to the Fire. When the Holy Prophet was asked to pray for the destruction of a people who were fighting against him, he prayed thus: “My Lord, forgive them because they do not know”. So long as a man is alive, how­ever hard he may be in his disbelief, it is not forbidden to pray for his forgiveness or gui­dance. But when he is dead, God will deal with him as He pleases, and He is the most Merciful of all merciful ones. According to a hadith, after all inter­cessions have taken place, the most Merciful of all will take a handful — and the handful with God is as vast as the heavens and the earth (39:67) — out of hell and throw them into the river of Life, and these would be the people who never did any good (Bukhari, 98:24). But under this verse the burial service, which is a prayer for forgiveness, is held only for Muslims, and not for those who die in disbelief.
  3. This verse establishes in clear words that Allah never leads a people astray; and how could He lead astray, says the Quran, when He it is Who gives them guidance, and makes clear to them the evils they should guard against?
  4. Taubah on the part of Allah means His turning to His servant and changing one state to another which is higher than it. Allah’s turning mercifully is in relation to the Prophet and those sincere believers who are plainly stated to have followed the Prophet in the hour of difficulty. The group whose hearts were about to deviate is referred to in the next verse.
  5. These were three men from among the Anṣār, referred to in v. 106. The words were left behind may mean left behind with respect to the command­ment of Allah concerning them, as v. 106 speaks of them as being “made to await Allah’s command”. They remained cut off from all relations with the Muslims for fifty days. Ka‘b ibn Mālik, one of the three men, was a man of importance, and when he received a letter from the king of Ghassān, offering him a position under him if he deserted the Prophet, he burned the letter, showing his contempt for the offer, and gave no reply.