The Quran

Commentaries for 9.55

Al Tawba (Immunity) - التوبة

9.55 Abbas - Tanwîr al-Miqbâs min Tafsîr Ibn ‘Abbâs
(So let not) O Muhammad (their riches) the abundance of their riches (nor their children) the abundance of their children (please thee. Allah thereby intendeth but to punish them) in the Hereafter (and that their souls shall pass away) shall expire (in the life of the world while they are disbelievers).
9.55 Jalal - Al-Jalalayn
So do not let their wealth or their children please you, that is, do not deem fair Our graces to them, for this is a [way of] drawing [them] on by degrees [to punish them]: God only desires thereby to chastise them in the life of this world, by way of the hardship that they encounter in amassing such [wealth and children] and the calamities [they suffer] as a result thereof; and that their souls should depart while they are disbelievers, so He punishes them in the Hereafter with the worst punishment.
9.55 Kathir - Ibn Al Kathir
فَلاَ تُعْجِبْكَ أَمْوَلُهُمْ وَلاَ أَوْلَـدُهُمْ
(So let not their wealth nor their children amaze you...) In similar Ayat, Allah said,
وَلاَ تَمُدَّنَّ عَيْنَيْكَ إِلَى مَا مَتَّعْنَا بِهِ أَزْوَجاً مِّنْهُمْ زَهْرَةَ الْحَيَوةِ الدُّنْيَا لِنَفْتِنَهُمْ فِيهِ وَرِزْقُ رَبِّكَ خَيْرٌ وَأَبْقَى
(And strain not your eyes in longing for the things We have given for enjoyment to various groups of them, the splendor of the life of this world, that We may test them thereby. But the provision (good reward in the Hereafter) of your Lord is better and more lasting) 20:131, and,
أَيَحْسَبُونَ أَنَّمَا نُمِدُّهُمْ بِهِ مِن مَّالٍ وَبَنِينَ - نُسَارِعُ لَهُمْ فِى الْخَيْرَتِ بَل لاَّ يَشْعُرُونَ
(Do they think that in wealth and children with which We enlarge them. We hasten unto them with good things. Nay, but they perceive not.) 23:55-56. Allah said next,
إِنَّمَا يُرِيدُ اللَّهُ لِيُعَذِّبَهُمْ بِهَا فِي الْحَيَوةِ الدُّنْيَا
(in reality Allah's plan is to punish them with these things in the life of this world,) by taking the Zakah due on their money from them and spending it in Allah's cause, according to the meaning given by Al-Hasan Al-Basri. Allah's statement,
وَتَزْهَقَ أَنفُسُهُمْ وَهُمْ كَـفِرُونَ
(and that their souls shall depart while they are disbelievers) means, so that when Allah brings death to them, they will still be disbelievers, to make matters worse for them and the torment more severe. We seek refuge from such an end, which includes being led astray gradually by these things which they have.
9.53-55 Maududi - Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi - Tafhim al-Qur'an
V. 53 is a sharp retort to those hypocrites who desired exemption froth Jihad but, at the same time, wanted to make some monetary contributions in order to avoid the exposure of their hypocrisy, They said, "Please grant us leave from military service because we are unable to do this, but we are ready to make monetary contributions towards it." To this Allah retorted, saying, "Whatever you may contribute, it shall not be accepted".
"Allah wills to chastise them by means of these things in this world", because of their great love for their children and wealth as these misled them to adopt the hypocritical attitude which, in turn, degraded them in the Muslim society. Consequently, in the Islamic System they would lose the respect, tire reputation and the prestige they enjoyed in the pre-lslamic society. On the contrary, even the Muslim slaves and the sons of slaves, the farmers and the shepherds, who proved the sincerity of their Faith would win honor in the new system, and the big hereditary chiefs, who refrained from this because of their love of the world, would lose their fame, honor and prestige.
In order to illustrate the above we cite an incident that happened during the Caliphate of Hadrat `Umar. Once some big chiefs of the Quraish including Suhail-bin-`Amr and Harith-bin-Hisham, went to see Caliph Umar and took their seats near him. Soon after this some humble people from among the Muhajirin and the Ansar came there. The Caliph asked those chiefs to make room for them, and seated these humble people near his own seat. This went on for some time till these chiefs reached the remotest corner in the assembly. When they came out, Harith-bin-Hisham said to his companions, "You have noticed what a humiliating treatment has been meted out to us today!" Suhail-bin-`Amr replied, "It is no fault of `Umar but it is our own fault. When we were invited to Islam, we turned away from it, but these humble people accepted it and made sacrifices for it. " Then both of them returned to the meeting and said "Today we have noticed your treatment and we feel that it is all due to our own shortcomings, but tell us if there is a way for us to make atonements for our past failures". The Caliph did not make any reply but merely pointed towards the Roman territory, which meant that the only way of regaining their prestige was to expend their lives and wealths in doing Jihad there.
"They would die in a state of unbelief" because of their hypocrisy, which would not let them attain sincere Faith till they die. Thus after ruining their moral and spiritual lives in this world, they would leave it in the state of unbelief, which will ruin their lives in the Hereafter in a far worse way.