The Quran

Commentaries for 9.9

Al Tawba (Immunity) - التوبة

9.9 Abbas - Tanwîr al-Miqbâs min Tafsîr Ibn ‘Abbâs
(They have purchased with the revelations of Allah) i.e. Muhammad (pbuh) and the Qur'an (a little gain) a small profit, (so they debar (men) from His way) from His religion and obedience. (Lo! evil is that which they are wont to do) evil is that which they used to do of concealment and other things. It is also said that this verse was revealed about the Jews.
9.9 Jalal - Al-Jalalayn
They have purchased with the signs of God, the Qur’ān, a small price, of this world, that is, they have refrained from following them in favour of passions and whims, and have barred [people] from His way, His religion. Truly evil is that, deed of theirs, which they are wont to do.
9.9-11 Kathir - Ibn Al Kathir
اشْتَرَوْاْ بِـَايَـتِ اللَّهِ ثَمَنًا قَلِيلاً
(They have purchased with the Ayat of Allah a little gain,) idolators exchanged following the Ayat of Allah with the lower affairs of life that they indulged in,
فَصَدُّواْ عَن سَبِيلِهِ
(and they hindered men from His way), trying to prevent the believers from following the truth,
إِنَّهُمْ سَآءَ مَا كَانُواْ يَعْمَلُونَلاَ يَرْقُبُونَ فِى مُؤْمِنٍ إِلاًّ وَلاَ ذِمَّةً
(evil indeed is that which they used to do. With regard to a believer, they respect not the ties, either of kinship or of covenant!) 9:9-10. We explained these meanings before, as well as, the meaning of,
فَإِن تَابُواْ وَأَقَامُواْ الصَّلَوةَ
(But if they repent, perform the Salah...)
9.9-12 Maududi - Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi - Tafhim al-Qur'an
That is, "When they had to make a choice between the Divine Guidance and the transitory worldly ambitions, they chose the latter, because they did not comprehend the comparative values of the two. Whereas the Revelations of Allah were inviting them to goodness, righteousness and observance of the Divine Law, which lead to eternal bliss, they chose to follow the unbridled lusts of their selves which gained some transitory worldly benefits for them, but consequently led them to eternal perdition.
Those evil-doers "blocked His Way for others", for they not only chose misguidance for themselves but also tried to prevent others from following the right way. They put every kind of obstruction in the way of the invitation to righteousness; nay, they tried their worst to gag the mouths of those who were extending that invitation and make their lives hard for them. In short, they did all they could to prevent the establishment of the righteous system of life that Allah required the people to establish.
Here, too, it has explicitly been stated that those who repent will not become your brethren in faith without the observance of Salat and Zakat.
"Yet if........they shall be your brethren in faith": This means that "if they fulfill those conditions, then not only shall their lives and properties become unlawful for you but also they shall enjoy equal rights with you in the Islamic Community. There shall be no distinction between them and the other Muslims in regard to social, cultural, legal and political rights, and nothing will stand in their way to the progress for which they are otherwise qualified.
"........you should fight with them.....":perhaps the fear of war may force them to desist from breaking oaths and reviling Islam.
In the context,the words, oaths and compacts mean the compact of the acceptance of Islam. Therefore, the question of making a new compact with them does not arise. As regards the old pacts, they had already broken all of them. It is on account of this that the declaration of immunity (from obligations) by Allah and His Messenger has been clearly made. It has also been stated that such people are not worthy of any treaty and they can only be let off if they repent of their disbelief and shirk and establish Salat and pay Zakat dues. This verse states clearly how the renegades should be treated. As a matter of fact,.this verse forestalled the mischief of apostasy that broke out a year and a half after its revelation and Hadrat Abu Bakr followed the guidance given in this verse to crush it. (For further explanation, see my book entitled Murtad ki Saza Islami Qanun men).