9 - Al Tawba (Immunity)

4 Tafsir(s) related to verse 9.28

Al-Jalalayn

O you who believe, the idolaters are indeed unclean, [they are] filth, on account of their inner vileness, so do not let them come near the Sacred Mosque, that is, let them not enter the Sanctuary, after this year of theirs, year 9 of the Hijra. If you fear impoverishment, poverty, as a result of the cessation of their commerce with you, God will surely enrich you from His bounty, if He will: and He indeed enriched them through conquests and [the imposition of] the jizya. God is Knowing, Wise.

Ibn Al Kathir

Idolators are no longer allowed into Al-Masjid Al-Haram

Allah commands His believing servants, who are pure in religion and person, to expel the idolators who are filthy in the religious sense, from Al-Masjid Al-Haram. After the revelation of this Ayah, idolators were no longer allowed to go near the Masjid. This Ayah was revealed in the ninth year of Hijrah. The Messenger of Allah sent `Ali in the company of Abu Bakr that year to publicize to the idolators that no Mushrik will be allowed to perform Hajj after that year, nor a naked person allowed to perform Tawaf around the House. Allah completed this decree, made it a legislative ruling, as well as, a fact of reality. `Abdur-Razzaq recorded that Jabir bin `Abdullah commented on the Ayah,

إِنَّمَا الْمُشْرِكُونَ نَجَسٌ فَلاَ يَقْرَبُواْ الْمَسْجِدَ الْحَرَامَ بَعْدَ عَامِهِمْ هَـذَا

(O you who believe! Verily, the Mushrikin are impure. So let them not come near Al-Masjid Al-Haram after this year) "Unless it was a servant or one of the people of Dhimmah.'' Imam Abu `Amr Al-Awza'i said, "Umar bin `Abdul-`Aziz wrote (to his governors) to prevent Jews and Christians from entering the Masjids of Muslims, and he followed his order with Allah's statement,

إِنَّمَا الْمُشْرِكُونَ نَجَسٌ

(Verily, the Mushrikin are impure.) `Ata' said, "All of the Sacred Area the Haramis considered a Masjid, for Allah said,

فَلاَ يَقْرَبُواْ الْمَسْجِدَ الْحَرَامَ بَعْدَ عَامِهِمْ هَـذَا

(So let them not come near Al-Masjid Al-Haram (at Makkah) after this year.)'' This Ayah indicates that idolators are impure and that the believers are pure. In the Sahih is the following,

«الْمُؤْمِنُ لَا يَنْجُس»

(The believer does not become impure.) Allah said,

وَإِنْ خِفْتُمْ عَيْلَةً فَسَوْفَ يُغْنِيكُمُ اللَّهُ مِن فَضْلِهِ

(and if you fear poverty, Allah will enrich you, out of His bounty.) Muhammad bin Ishaq commented, "The people said, `Our markets will be closed, our commerce disrupted, and what we earned will vanish.' So Allah revealed this verse,

وَإِنْ خِفْتُمْ عَيْلَةً فَسَوْفَ يُغْنِيكُمُ اللَّهُ مِن فَضْلِهِ

(and if you fear poverty, Allah will enrich you, out of His bounty), from other resources,

إِن شَآءَ

(if He wills), until,

وَهُمْ صَـغِرُونَ

(...and feel themselves subdued.) This Ayah means, `this will be your compensation for the closed markets that you feared would result.' Therefore, Allah compensated them for the losses they incurred because they severed ties with idolators, by the Jizyah they earned from the People of the Book.'' Similar statements were reported from Ibn `Abbas, Mujahid, `Ikrimah, Sa`id bin Jubayr, Qatadah and Ad-Dahhak and others. Allah said,

إِنَّ اللَّهَ عَلِيمٌ

(Surely, Allah is All-Knowing), in what benefits you,

حَكِيمٌ

(All-Wise), in His orders and prohibitions, for He is All-Perfect in His actions and statements, All-Just in His creations and decisions, Blessed and Hallowed be He. This is why Allah compensated Muslims for their losses by the amount of Jizyah that they took from the people of Dhimmah.

The Order to fight People of the Scriptures until They give the Jizyah

Allah said,

قَـتِلُواْ الَّذِينَ لاَ يُؤْمِنُونَ بِاللَّهِ وَلاَ بِالْيَوْمِ الاٌّخِرِ وَلاَ يُحَرِّمُونَ مَا حَرَّمَ اللَّهُ وَرَسُولُهُ وَلاَ يَدِينُونَ دِينَ الْحَقِّ مِنَ الَّذِينَ أُوتُواْ الْكِتَـبَ حَتَّى يُعْطُواْ الْجِزْيَةَ عَن يَدٍ وَهُمْ صَـغِرُونَ

(Fight against those who believe not in Allah, nor in the Last Day, nor forbid that which has been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, and those who acknowledge not the religion of truth among the People of the Scripture, until they pay the Jizyah with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.) Therefore, when People of the Scriptures disbelieved in Muhammad, they had no beneficial faith in any Messenger or what the Messengers brought. Rather, they followed their religions because this conformed with their ideas, lusts and the ways of their forefathers, not because they are Allah's Law and religion. Had they been true believers in their religions, that faith would have directed them to believe in Muhammad, because all Prophets gave the good news of Muhammad's advent and commanded them to obey and follow him. Yet when he was sent, they disbelieved in him, even though he is the mightiest of all Messengers. Therefore, they do not follow the religion of earlier Prophets because these religions came from Allah, but because these suit their desires and lusts. Therefore, their claimed faith in an earlier Prophet will not benefit them because they disbelieved in the master, the mightiest, the last and most perfect of all Prophets. Hence Allah's statement,

قَـتِلُواْ الَّذِينَ لاَ يُؤْمِنُونَ بِاللَّهِ وَلاَ بِالْيَوْمِ الاٌّخِرِ وَلاَ يُحَرِّمُونَ مَا حَرَّمَ اللَّهُ وَرَسُولُهُ وَلاَ يَدِينُونَ دِينَ الْحَقِّ مِنَ الَّذِينَ أُوتُواْ الْكِتَـبَ

(Fight against those who believe not in Allah, nor in the Last Day, nor forbid that which has been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, and those who acknowledge not the religion of truth among the People of the Scripture,) This honorable Ayah was revealed with the order to fight the People of the Book, after the pagans were defeated, the people entered Allah's religion in large numbers, and the Arabian Peninsula was secured under the Muslims' control. Allah commanded His Messenger to fight the People of the Scriptures, Jews and Christians, on the ninth year of Hijrah, and he prepared his army to fight the Romans and called the people to Jihad announcing his intent and destination. The Messenger sent his intent to various Arab areas around Al-Madinah to gather forces, and he collected an army of thirty thousand. Some people from Al-Madinah and some hypocrites, in and around it, lagged behind, for that year was a year of drought and intense heat. The Messenger of Allah marched, heading towards Ash-Sham to fight the Romans until he reached Tabuk, where he set camp for about twenty days next to its water resources. He then prayed to Allah for a decision and went back to Al-Madinah because it was a hard year and the people were weak, as we will mention, Allah willing.

Paying Jizyah is a Sign of Kufr and Disgrace

Allah said,

حَتَّى يُعْطُواْ الْجِزْيَةَ

(until they pay the Jizyah), if they do not choose to embrace Islam,

عَن يَدٍ

(with willing submission), in defeat and subservience,

وَهُمْ صَـغِرُونَ

(and feel themselves subdued.), disgraced, humiliated and belittled. Therefore, Muslims are not allowed to honor the people of Dhimmah or elevate them above Muslims, for they are miserable, disgraced and humiliated. Muslim recorded from Abu Hurayrah that the Prophet said,

«لَا تَبْدَءُوا الْيَهُودَ وَالنَّصَارَى بِالسَّلَامِ، وَإِذَا لَقِيتُمْ أَحَدَهُمْ فِي طَرِيقٍ فَاضْطَرُّوهُ إِلَى أَضْيَقِه»

(Do not initiate the Salam to the Jews and Christians, and if you meet any of them in a road, force them to its narrowest alley.) This is why the Leader of the faithful `Umar bin Al-Khattab, may Allah be pleased with him, demanded his well-known conditions be met by the Christians, these conditions that ensured their continued humiliation, degradation and disgrace. The scholars of Hadith narrated from `Abdur-Rahman bin Ghanm Al-Ash`ari that he said, "I recorded for `Umar bin Al-Khattab, may Allah be pleased with him, the terms of the treaty of peace he conducted with the Christians of Ash-Sham: `In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful. This is a document to the servant of Allah `Umar, the Leader of the faithful, from the Christians of such and such city. When you (Muslims) came to us we requested safety for ourselves, children, property and followers of our religion. We made a condition on ourselves that we will neither erect in our areas a monastery, church, or a sanctuary for a monk, nor restore any place of worship that needs restoration nor use any of them for the purpose of enmity against Muslims. We will not prevent any Muslim from resting in our churches whether they come by day or night, and we will open the doors of our houses of worshipfor the wayfarer and passerby. Those Muslims who come as guests, will enjoy boarding and food for three days. We will not allow a spy against Muslims into our churches and homes or hide deceit or betrayalagainst Muslims. We will not teach our children the Qur'an, publicize practices of Shirk, invite anyone to Shirk or prevent any of our fellows from embracing Islam, if they choose to do so. We will respect Muslims, move from the places we sit in if they choose to sit in them. We will not imitate their clothing, caps, turbans, sandals, hairstyles, speech, nicknames and title names, or ride on saddles, hang swords on the shoulders, collect weapons of any kind or carry these weapons. We will not encrypt our stamps in Arabic, or sell liquor. We will have the front of our hair cut, wear our customary clothes wherever we are, wear belts around our waist, refrain from erecting crosses on the outside of our churches and demonstrating them and our books in public in Muslim fairways and markets. We will not sound the bells in our churches, except discretely, or raise our voices while reciting our holy books inside our churches in the presence of Muslims, nor raise our voices with prayerat our funerals, or light torches in funeral processions in the fairways of Muslims, or their markets. We will not bury our dead next to Muslim dead, or buy servants who were captured by Muslims. We will be guides for Muslims and refrain from breaching their privacy in their homes.' When I gave this document to `Umar, he added to it, `We will not beat any Muslim. These are the conditions that we set against ourselves and followers of our religion in return for safety and protection. If we break any of these promises that we set for your benefit against ourselves, then our Dhimmah (promise of protection) is broken and you are allowed to do with us what you are allowed of people of defiance and rebellion.'''

Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi - Tafhim al-Qur'an

This prohibition was meant to root out all the vestiges of shirk and ' ignorance'. For the mushriks were prohibited not only from the performance of Haj and attendance at the Masjid-i-Haram but also from entering into its sacred precincts.

They are "unclean" in their creeds, in their morals, in their deeds, and in their ways of `ignorance', and not in their physical bodies by themselves. That is the reason why they have been prohibited from entering the sacred precincts of the Holy Place.

This prohibition has been interpreted in different ways. Imam Abu Hanifah is of the view that it prohibits them only from the performance of Haj and Umrah, and from the observance of the rites of `ignorance' in the Holy Precincts. But Imam Shafi`i is of the opinion that they have been forbidden even to enter the Masjid-i-Haram for any purpose whatsoever. Imam Malik is of the opinion that they are forbidden not only to enter Masjid-i-Haram but any mosque at all. It is, however, obvious that the last opinion is not correct, as the Holy Prophet himself permitted mushriks to enter the Prophet's Mosque at Al-Madinah.

Tanwîr al-Miqbâs min Tafsîr Ibn ‘Abbâs

(O ye who believe! The idolaters only are unclean) impure. (So let them not come near the Inviolable Place of Worship) for pilgrimage and circumambulation (after this their year) the year of freedom from obligation (bara'ah) after the day of immolation. (If ye fear poverty) impoverishment and neediness (Allah shall preserve you of His bounty) of His provision in another way (if He will) when He wills and will make you dispense with trading with Bakr Ibn Wa'il. (Lo! Allah is Knower) of your sustenance, (Wise) in that which He has ordained for you.