History of surah The Repentance

The Repentance



Revelation Place



At-Taubah and Al-Bara'at are two names for this Surah. Because it explains the nature of taubah (repentance) and lists the prerequisites for accepting it, it is known as At-Taubah. (vv. 102. 118). The first word of the Surah serves as the inspiration for the second name, Bara'at (Release).

Omission of Bismillah
It is the only Surah in the Quran that does not begin with Bismillah. Although several commentators have offered various explanations for this, Imam Razi's explanation—that is, the fact that the Holy Prophet himself did not dictate it at the opening of the Surah—is the correct one. As a result, the Companions and their successors did not prefix it. This is more evidence that the Quran has been preserved with the utmost care in order to maintain its completeness and original form.

Discourses and Periods of Revelation
Three discourses are contained in this Surah:
The first discourse (vv. 1-37) was revealed around the time of Zil-Qa'adah 9 (AH). The Holy Prophet sent Hadrat Ali to follow Hadrat Abu Bakr, who had already left for Makkah as the leader of the Pilgrims to the Ka'abah, because the subject of the discourse demanded its declaration on the occasion of Haj. In order to notify them of the new approach to the mushriks, he gave Hadrat Ali the order to speak in front of the representatives of the various clans of Arabia.
The second discourse (vv. 38-72) was revealed in Rajab 9 of the Islamic calendar or a little before, while the Holy Prophet was busy making preparations for the Tabuk Campaign. In this lecture, the Believers were exhorted to actively engage in Jihad, and the shirkers were harshly chastised for hoarding their wealth and for being reluctant to give their lives as a sacrifice for Allah out of hypocrisy, flimsy faith, or carelessness.
Upon his return from the Tabuk Campaign, the third discourse (vv. 73–129) was made public. This discourse contains several passages that were revealed on various times throughout the same time period and were afterwards combined into the Surah by the Holy Prophet in accordance with inspiration from Allah. However, as they dealt with the same subject and were related to the same sequence of events, this did not produce a break in its continuity. This speech chastises the Believers who remained behind in the Tabuk Campaign and warns the hypocrites of their terrible conduct. After calling them out, Allah then forgives those sincere Muslims who for one reason or another choose not to participate in the Jihad in Allah's Way.
The first speech was put first in the order of compilation even though chronologically it should have been last because it was the most subject of the three in terms of its topic.

Historical Background
Let's now think about the Surah's historical context. After the Hudaibiyah Peace Treaty, the chain of events that have been covered in this Surah took place. By that point, Islam had conquered one-third of Arabia and had created a powerful, well-organized, and advanced Islamic State. This Treaty gave Islam more chances to grow its influence in the comparably calm environment it provided. Following the signing of this Treaty, two things happened that had a major impact:

Conquest of Arabia
The conquest of Arabia came first. For the purpose of spreading Islam, the Holy Prophet was able to dispatch missions among various clans. Its rapid rise to power over the period of just two years caused the old order of ignorance to feel powerless in the face of it. So much so that the Quraish's ardent factions became so enraged that they violated the Treaty in order to engage Islam in a decisive battle. But the Holy Prophet quickly responded to the breach in order to deny them the chance to amass sufficient troops for this. During the Ramadan season in the year 8 A. H., he unexpectedly invaded Makkah and took it over. The order of ignorance was destroyed by this victory, but a further attack on Islam on the Hunain battlefield proved to be its death knell. In an effort to put an end to the reformative Revolution, the clans of Hawazin Thaqif, Naur, Jushm, and others assembled all of their resources on the battlefield, but their nefarious plans were completely unsuccessful. The Hunain victory over "ignorance" cleared the stage for Arabia to become the "Abode of Islam" (Dar-ul-Islam). As a result, the majority of Arabia was converted to Islam not over a year after the Battle of Hunain, and the remaining adherents of the previous system were dispersed throughout different regions of the kingdom.
The Campaign of Tabuk, which was prompted by the provocative actions of the Christians living inside or close to the borders of the Roman Empire to the north of Arabia, was the second event that helped Islam become a serious power. As a result, the Holy Prophet boldly advanced on the Roman Empire with a 30,000-strong force, but the Romans avoided conflict. As a result, the influence of the Holy Prophet and Islam multiplied, and delegations from all across Arabia started to wait for him when he returned from Tabuk to pledge their devotion to the religion and submit to him. In Surah An-Nasr, the Holy Quran describes this victory: "When the succor of Allah arrived and victory was gained, and you saw people joining the fold of Islam in great numbers...

Campaign to Tabuk
Conflict with the Roman Empire, which had begun even before the conquest of Makkah, led to the Campaign to Tabuk. The tribes that lived in the northern regions close to Syria were visited by one of the missions that was dispatched following the Treaty of Hudaibiyah to various regions of Arabia. Christians, who were influenced by the Roman Empire, made up the bulk of these people. They murdered fifteen members of the delegation close to Zat-u-Talah, in violation of all recognised norms of international law (or Zat-i-Itlah). Only the delegation's leader, Ka'ab bin Umair Ghifari, was able to flee and recount the tragic event. In addition to this, Haritli bin Umair, the Holy Prophet's ambassador who had been sent to him on a similar mission, had also been executed by Shurahbll bin Amr, the Christian governor of Busra who served directly under Roman Caesar.
The Holy Prophet was persuaded by these occurrences that decisive action was required to ensure the safety and security of the Muslims in the Roman Empire's neighboring area. So, in the eighth month of Jamadi-ul-Ula A. H., he deployed a 3,000-person army in the direction of the Syrian border. When this army arrived close to Ma'an, the Muslims discovered that Shurahbil had dispatched an army of 100,000 men to fight alongside them and that Caesar, who was at Hims, had also sent an army of 100,000 warriors led by his brother Theodore. However, in spite of such terrifying news, the valiant little Muslim company persisted without fear and eventually came face to face with the vast Shurahbil army at M'utah. The outcome of the battle, in which the Muslims fought against terrifying odds (1:33 was the ratio of the two armies), was exceedingly advantageous because the enemy completely failed to destroy them. The spread of Islam benefited greatly from this. As a result, thousands of Arabs who were living in semi-independence in Syria and the surrounding areas, as well as the clans of Najd in Iraq and under the control of the Iranian Empire, came to Islam and accepted it. Examples include the simultaneous conversion of the Bani Sulaim (whose leader was Abbas bin Mirdas Sulaimi), Ashja'a, Ghatafan, Zubyan, Fazarah, etc. to Islam. Above all, Farvah bin 'Amral Juzami, the leader of the Arab forces of the Roman Empire, converted to Islam at that time and bravely faced the test of his faith, which astounded the entire region. When the Caesar learned that Farvah had converted to Islam, he commanded that he be detained and brought before his court. Then Caesar instructed him, "You must select one of the two. Either renounce your Islam and keep your freedom and prior position, or do so and risk death. He calmly decided to convert to Islam and gave his life for the sake of the truth.
It is understandable that events like this made Caesar aware of the nature of the threat Arabia posed to his Empire. As a result, he started making military preparations in 9 A.H. to exact revenge for the insult he had received at M'utah. He also started to gather soldiers under the Ghassanid and other Arab kings. The Holy Prophet immediately understood the significance of these preparations when he learned about them since he constantly kept himself informed of even the smallest details that can favorably or unfavorably affect the Islamic Movement. He therefore made the decision to take on the powerful Caesar without even the slightest doubt. He was aware that the Movement, which was at the time facing three major threats, would completely fail if even the smallest sign of weakness were to be displayed. The power of "ignorance," which had been on the verge of extinction on the Hunain battlefield, may first rise once more. Second, the Hypocrites of Al Madinah, who were constantly looking for such a chance, might take full advantage of this to cause it the most damage possible. Because they had previously made plans for this, they secretly communicated their nefarious intentions to the Caesar and the Christian king of Ghassan through a monk by the name of Abu Amir. In addition, they had constructed a mosque next to Al-Madinah where they could hold private meetings for this reason. The third threat was an attack by Caesar himself, who had already routed Iran, the other major force of the period, and instilled fear throughout the neighboring lands.
It is apparent that Islam would have lost the battle it had nearly won if all three of these forces had been given the chance to strike together against Muslims. To prepare for the Campaign against the Roman Empire, one of the two biggest empires in history at the period, the Holy Prophet made an explicit declaration in this instance. Despite the fact that there was famine in the nation and the long-awaited crops were about to ripen, the intense heat of Arabia's scorching summer season was at its peak, and there was not enough money for preparations in general, and for equipment and transportation in particular, the declaration was made. Nevertheless, in spite of these obstacles, the Messenger of Allah conducted this action in order to determine whether the Mission of the Truth would live or die when he grasped the seriousness of the situation. The fact that he publicly stated his intention to prepare for such a campaign in Syria against the Roman Empire, in contrast to his prior behavior, demonstrated how crucial it was. He typically took great care to avoid announcing his destination or the name of the adversary he was going to attack in advance; in fact, he did not leave Al-Madinah, not even for the purpose of the campaign.
All parties in Arabia were fully aware of the serious repercussions of this crucial choice. The surviving adherents of the ancient order of "ignorance" were eagerly awaiting the Campaign's outcome since they had staked their entire future on Rome's victory over Islam. In addition, the 'hypocrites' believed that if the Muslims lost in Syria, it was their last chance to weaken the influence of Islam through internal uprising. Therefore, they had fully utilized the mosque they had constructed for planning schemes and had used all of their tricks to make the Campaign a disaster. On the other hand, the sincere Believers also fully understood that the Movement's future, for which they had been working tirelessly over the last 22 years, now rested in their hands. If they exhibited bravery on that crucial occasion, the Movement's doors to the outside world would be flung open. But if they exhibited weakness or cowardice, everything they had accomplished in Arabia would be for naught.
For this reason, these ardent supporters of Islam started making preparations for the Campaign. Each of them made an effort to outdo the other in contributing to the purchase of the necessary equipment. For this aim, Hadrat Uthman and Hadrat Abdur Rehman bin Auf gave substantial sums of money. Half of Hadrat Umar's life's wages were provided, while all of Hadrat Abu Bakr's were. The poor Companions didn't trail behind and gave all they had saved up from their labor, and the women gave up their jewelry. The Holy Prophet received thousands of volunteers who were eager to join the expedition and were willing to give their lives in the service of Islam. They asked him to make provisions for their transportation and weaponry. As a result of the Holy Prophet's incapacity to arm them, the situation was so pitiful that those who were unable to receive these sobbed tears of grief. In other words, the event served as a litmus test for telling a true believer from a hypocrite. Because falling behind in the Campaign implied that a person's commitment to Islam was in question in and of itself. As a result, anytime someone fell behind on the way to Tabuk, the Holy Prophet would exclaim out of the blue, "Leave him alone. If he has any redeeming qualities, Allah will reunite him with you again; otherwise, praise Allah for relieving you of his bad company.
Basically, in Rajab 9 of the Hijri calendar, the Holy Prophet led 30,000 Muslim warriors toward Syria. The fact that there were so few camels with them that many of them had to walk on foot and wait for their turns as several had to ride at a time on each camel might be used to determine the circumstances of the mission. The desert's scorching heat and the severe water constraint were further factors. However, they received a big reward for their unwavering commitment to the cause, their honest adherence to it, and their persistence in the face of such significant challenges and impediments.
When they got to Tabuk, they discovered that Caesar and his allies had pulled their men back from the border, so there was no one left to fight. Thus, they achieved a moral triumph that greatly boosted their reputation without spilling a single drop of blood.
In this regard, it is important to note that the historical accounts of the Holy Prophet's campaigns generally provide the wrong image of the Campaign of Tabuk. They describe the incident as though the report of the Roman armies gathering close to the Arabian border were untrue in and of itself. The Holy Prophet intervened and arrived on the site before Caesar could fully organize his forces for the invasion, despite the fact that Caesar had started to collect his troops. Therefore, he withdrew his armies from the frontier because he thought that "discretion is the greater part of valor." He remembered that his army of 100,000 men had been rendered powerless at M'utah by the three thousand fighters for Islam. Therefore, even with a 200 000 man army, he could not dare to engage in combat with a 30,000 man army, let alone one led by the Holy Prophet himself.
The Holy Prophet pondered whether it would be better to march into Syrian territory or to stop at Tabuk and use his moral victory for political and strategic gain after discovering that Caesar had withdrawn his men from the border. He chose the latter option and stopped for twenty days in Tabuk. He applied pressure on the tiny states that were at the time influenced by the Romans and were situated between the Roman Empire and the Islamic State during this time, subduing them and turning them into dependents of the Islamic State. For instance, the chiefs of Maqna, Jarba', and Azruh as well as Ukaidir bin Abdul Malik Kindi of Dumatul Jaiidal, Yuhanna bin D'obah of Allah, and these chiefs of Maqna, Jarba', and Azruh all submitted to the Islamic State of Al- Madinah and agreed to pay Jizyah to them. As a result, the Islamic State's borders were expanded all the way to the Roman Empire, and the vast majority of the Arab tribes that Caesar had deployed to fight Arabia now sided with the Muslims against the Romans.
Above all, the Muslims had a fantastic opportunity to increase their control over Arabia before engaging in a protracted war with the Romans thanks to this moral triumph at Tabuk. Because it shattered the backs of those who were still holding out hope that the previous state of "ignorance" would soon return, whether they were open supporters of shirk or hypocrites who were concealing their shirk under the guise of Islam. The majority of these individuals were coerced by circumstance to embrace Islam and, at the very least, provide a pathway for their offspring to become devout Muslims. After that, the supporters of the old order were reduced to a tiny, helpless minority, but they were unable to thwart the Islamic Revolution, whose perfection Allah had sent His Messenger to bring about.

Problems of the Period
The issues that the Community was facing at the time are easily discernible if we bear in mind the previous context. As follows:

  • to transform all of Arabia into the ideal Dar-ul-Islam,
  • to spread Islam's influence to the neighboring nations,
  • to put an end to the hypocrites' shenanigans, and
  • to train Muslims for jihad against the world's non-Muslims.

It was vital to make a clear proclamation of the strategy that would be used to transform Arabia into the ideal Dar-ul-Islam now that control of the entire region had passed into the hands of the Believers and all opposing powers had been rendered useless. As a result, the following actions were taken:

  • All treaties with the Muhammadans were explicitly declared to be null and void, and the Muslims were liberated from their contractual duties with them after a four-month break.(vv. 1-3). This pronouncement was necessary to entirely remove the shirk-based way of life and to make Arabia the only center of Islam, preventing Arabia from in any way interfering with the religion's essence or posing a threat to it from inside.
  • The guardianship of the Ka'abah, which played a crucial role in all of Arabia's affairs, was ordered to be permanently transferred from the Mushriks to the Believers (vv. 12–18). All shirk customs and practices from the time of "ignorance" were also ordered to be forcibly abolished, and the Mushriks were forbidden from entering the "House" (v. 28). The "House," which was devoted solely to the worship of Allah, was to be purified of any traces of shirk.
  • In the days of "ignorance," the bad practice of Nasi, which involved interfering with the holy months, was outlawed as an act of kufr (v. 37). This was also done to provide a good example for Muslims to follow in removing all traces of ignorance-based customs from Arabian life (and afterwards from the lives of the Muslims everywhere).

Muslims were commanded to slay with sword the non-Muslim forces and force them to recognize the Islamic State's authority in order to allow Muslims to spread the influence of Islam outside of Arabia. A war with the powerful Roman and Iranian Empires was unavoidable because they were the biggest obstacles in the path. Jihad's goal was to stop people from forcibly imposing their deviations on others and the next generation rather than forcing them to adopt Islam—they had the choice to do so or not. The Muslims were instructed to put up with their misguidance as long as it gave them the freedom to stay that way if they so desired, as long as they paid Jizyah (v. 29) as a symbol of their submission to the Islamic State.
The third significant issue was to put an end to the mischief of the hypocrites, who had previously been accepted despite their egregious misdeeds. The Muslims were instructed to treat them openly as unbelievers now that there was essentially no pressure coming from the outside (v. 73). In order to discourage people from joining the expedition to Tabuk, the Holy Prophet set fire to the home of Swailim, where the hypocrites used to congregate for talks. On his return from Tabuk, he also gave the order to demolish and burn the "Mosque" that had been erected as a cover for the hypocrites to plan attacks against the sincere believers.
It was vital to cure the Muslims of even that minor deficiency of faith from which they were still suffering in order to prepare them for Jihad against the entirety of the non-Muslim world. Because the Islamic Community could not face a larger internal threat than a lack of faith, particularly if it intended to engage the entire non-Muslim world on its own. Because of this, individuals who had fallen behind in the Campaign to Tabuk or had displayed the slightest neglect were severely reprimanded and, if they could not provide a good reason, were labeled as hypocrites. Furthermore, it was explicitly stated that going forward, a Muslim's faith would only be judged by his efforts to advance Allah's Word and his participation in the struggle between Islam and kufr. Therefore, if anyone demonstrates any reluctance to give up their lives, money, time, or energy, their religion will not be considered to be sincere. (vv. 81-96).
The comprehension of this Surah's contents will be made easier if the aforementioned significant factors are kept in mind when studying it.

Subject: Peace and War Problems
In continuation of Surah Al-Anfal, this Surah also deals with the problems of peace and war and bases the theme on the Tabuk Expedition.

Topics and their Interconnection
In case the other party does not honestly observe them, this section addresses the sanctity of treaties and lays out the principles, laws, and regulations that must be borne in mind before breaking them. vv. 1-12
The Muslims are exhorted in this passage to fight in Allah's Cause alongside the mushrik Arabs, Jews, and Christians, who have been appropriately warned of the repercussions of their naughty and hostile behavior. 13-37
The Muslims have been made aware in this discourse that they will only receive the benefits promised by Allah if they actively combat kufr, as this is the standard by which true Muslims can be distinguished from hypocrites. Therefore, sincere Muslims ought to actively participate in Jihad, disregarding risks, challenges, difficulties, temptations, and the like. 38-72
This section addresses the issues of hypocrites, lays forth guidelines for how they should be treated, and lists the characteristics that set them apart from authentic Muslims. 73-90
This section focuses on the situation of people who stayed behind and didn't accompany the Holy Prophet on his journey to Tabuk for Jihad. The disabled, the ill, the poor, the hypocrites, the believers who discovered their sin and punished themselves prior to the Holy Prophet's return from Tabuk, and those who admitted their error have all been divided into different categories for this reason. Their cases have been handled in light of the type and severity of their offense. 91-110
The traits of the Believers have been described, and they have been reassured that Allah, the Sovereign of the Universe, is their helper and guardian, in order to make their good qualities look all the more noticeable and dignified by contrast. He has therefore pardoned the Three Believers who opted out of the voyage as a result of their honesty. 111-118
General guidelines have been provided to the Believers for their guidance in the final section. 119-127
Follow the Messenger, who is kind and considerate and your biggest supporter, and have faith in Allah, the Creator of the universe, is the message's conclusion. 128-129