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 3 (Verses 9:17–9:24): Idolaters’ Service of the Sacred House


مَا کَانَ لِلۡمُشۡرِکِیۡنَ اَنۡ یَّعۡمُرُوۡا مَسٰجِدَ اللّٰہِ شٰہِدِیۡنَ عَلٰۤی اَنۡفُسِہِمۡ بِالۡکُفۡرِ ؕ اُولٰٓئِکَ حَبِطَتۡ اَعۡمَالُہُمۡ ۚۖ وَ فِی النَّارِ ہُمۡ خٰلِدُوۡنَ ﴿۱۷﴾

9:17 The idolaters have no right to maintain the mosques of Allah, while bearing witness to disbelief against themselves.1 These it is whose deeds are fruitless; and in the Fire will they abide.

اِنَّمَا یَعۡمُرُ مَسٰجِدَ اللّٰہِ مَنۡ اٰمَنَ بِاللّٰہِ وَ الۡیَوۡمِ الۡاٰخِرِ وَ اَقَامَ الصَّلٰوۃَ وَ اٰتَی الزَّکٰوۃَ وَ لَمۡ یَخۡشَ اِلَّا اللّٰہَ فَعَسٰۤی اُولٰٓئِکَ اَنۡ یَّکُوۡنُوۡا مِنَ الۡمُہۡتَدِیۡنَ ﴿۱۸﴾

9:18 Only he can maintain the mosques of Allah who believes in Allah and the Last Day, and keeps up prayer and gives the due charity and fears none but Allah. So these it is who may be of the guided ones.

اَجَعَلۡتُمۡ سِقَایَۃَ الۡحَآجِّ وَ عِمَارَۃَ الۡمَسۡجِدِ الۡحَرَامِ کَمَنۡ اٰمَنَ بِاللّٰہِ وَ الۡیَوۡمِ الۡاٰخِرِ وَ جٰہَدَ فِیۡ سَبِیۡلِ اللّٰہِ ؕ لَا یَسۡتَوٗنَ عِنۡدَ اللّٰہِ ؕ وَ اللّٰہُ لَا یَہۡدِی الۡقَوۡمَ الظّٰلِمِیۡنَ ﴿ۘ۱۹﴾

9:19 Do you hold the giving of drink to the pilgrims and the maintenance of the Sacred Mosque equal to (the service of) one who believes in Allah and the Last Day and strives hard in Allah’s way? They are not equal in the sight of Allah. And Allah does not guide the wrongdoing people.

اَلَّذِیۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡا وَ ہَاجَرُوۡا وَ جٰہَدُوۡا فِیۡ سَبِیۡلِ اللّٰہِ بِاَمۡوَالِہِمۡ وَ اَنۡفُسِہِمۡ ۙ اَعۡظَمُ دَرَجَۃً عِنۡدَ اللّٰہِ ؕ وَ اُولٰٓئِکَ ہُمُ الۡفَآئِزُوۡنَ ﴿۲۰﴾

9:20 Those who believed and fled (their homes), and strove hard in Allah’s way with their wealth and their lives, are much higher in rank with Allah. And it is these that shall triumph.

یُبَشِّرُہُمۡ رَبُّہُمۡ بِرَحۡمَۃٍ مِّنۡہُ وَ رِضۡوَانٍ وَّ جَنّٰتٍ لَّہُمۡ فِیۡہَا نَعِیۡمٌ مُّقِیۡمٌ ﴿ۙ۲۱﴾

9:21 Their Lord gives them good news of mercy and pleasure, from Himself, and Gardens in which lasting blessings will be theirs,

خٰلِدِیۡنَ فِیۡہَاۤ اَبَدًا ؕ اِنَّ اللّٰہَ عِنۡدَہٗۤ اَجۡرٌ عَظِیۡمٌ ﴿۲۲﴾

9:22 abiding in them forever. Surely Allah has a mighty reward with Him.

یٰۤاَیُّہَا الَّذِیۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡا لَا تَتَّخِذُوۡۤا اٰبَآءَکُمۡ وَ اِخۡوَانَکُمۡ اَوۡلِیَآءَ اِنِ اسۡتَحَبُّوا الۡکُفۡرَ عَلَی الۡاِیۡمَانِ ؕ وَ مَنۡ یَّتَوَلَّہُمۡ مِّنۡکُمۡ فَاُولٰٓئِکَ ہُمُ الظّٰلِمُوۡنَ ﴿۲۳﴾

9:23 O you who believe, do not take your fathers and your brothers for friends if they love disbelief above faith. And whoever of you takes them for friends, such are the wrongdoers.

قُلۡ اِنۡ کَانَ اٰبَآؤُکُمۡ وَ اَبۡنَآؤُکُمۡ وَ اِخۡوَانُکُمۡ وَ اَزۡوَاجُکُمۡ وَ عَشِیۡرَتُکُمۡ وَ اَمۡوَالُۨ اقۡتَرَفۡتُمُوۡہَا وَ تِجَارَۃٌ تَخۡشَوۡنَ کَسَادَہَا وَ مَسٰکِنُ تَرۡضَوۡنَہَاۤ اَحَبَّ اِلَیۡکُمۡ مِّنَ اللّٰہِ وَ رَسُوۡلِہٖ وَ جِہَادٍ فِیۡ سَبِیۡلِہٖ فَتَرَبَّصُوۡا حَتّٰی یَاۡتِیَ اللّٰہُ بِاَمۡرِہٖ ؕ وَ اللّٰہُ لَا یَہۡدِی الۡقَوۡمَ الۡفٰسِقِیۡنَ ﴿٪۲۴﴾

9:24 Say: If your fathers and your sons and your brethren and your wives and your kinsfolk and the wealth you have acquired, and trade whose dullness you fear, and dwellings you love, are dearer to you than Allah and His Messenger and striving in His way, then wait till Allah brings His command to pass. And Allah does not guide the transgressing people.2


  1. By the mosques of Allah is meant particularly the Sacred Mosque at Makkah, as being the centre of all the mosques of the world. This is made clear in v. 19. It had long remained in the hands of the idolaters, who visited and repaired it, having placed a large number of idols within it. With the conquest of Makkah the Sacred Mosque was denuded of all idols, and was now as pure an emblem of monotheism as in the time of Abraham. Hence the idol-worshippers had nothing to do with it now.
  2. A true Muslim may have wealth, may carry on trade, may have mag­nificent houses, but these should not be dearer to him than Allah and exertion in His path. He should be ready to sacrifice all these interests for a higher pur­pose, before which all these sink into insignificance. The Quran does not require one actually to hate riches, but rather not to be obsessed by wealth to the neglect of one’s higher duties. The acquisition of wealth is not harmful so long as it is not made the real aim of life, but has its proper place as the means to an end.