top of page

Quran Chapter 9 [part 3] - Repentance - Underhandedness of the Hypocrites, Battle of Tabuk

73 Prophet, strive against the disbelievers and the hypocrites, and be tough with them. Hell is their final home– an evil destination! 74 They swear by God that they did not, but they certainly did speak words of defiance and became defiant after having submitted; they tried to do something, [a] though they did not achieve it, ––being spiteful was their only response to God and His Messenger enriching them out of His bounty. They would be better off turning back [to God]: if they turn away, God will punish them in this world and the Hereafter, and there will be no one on earth to protect or help them.

75 There are some among them who pledged themselves to God, saying, ‘If God gives us some of His bounty, we shall certainly give alms and be righteous,’ 76 yet when He did give them some of His bounty, they became mean and turned obstinately away. 77 Because they broke their promise to God, because of all the lies they told, He made hypocrisy settle in their hearts until the Day they meet Him. 78 Do they not realize that God knows their secrets and their private discussions? That God knows all that is hidden? 79 It is they who criticize the believers who give freely and those who can only give a little with great effort: they scoff at such people, but it is God who scoffs at them– a painful punishment awaits them. 80 It makes no difference [Prophet] whether you ask forgiveness for them or not: God will not forgive them even if you ask seventy times, because they reject God and His Messenger. God does not guide those who rebel against Him.

81 Those who were left behind were happy to stay behind when God’s Messenger set out; they hated the thought of striving in God’s way with their possessions and their persons. They said to one another, ‘Do not go [to war] in this heat.’ Say, ‘Hellfire is hotter.’ If only they understood! 82 Let them laugh a little; they will weep a lot in return for what they have done. 83 So [Prophet], if God brings you back to a group of them, who ask you for permission to go out [to battle], say, ‘You will never go out and fight an enemy with me: you chose to sit at home the first time, so remain with those who stay behind now.’

84 Do not hold prayers for any of them if they die, and do not stand by their graves: they disbelieved in God and His Messenger and died rebellious. 85 Do not let their possessions and their children impress you: God means to punish them through these in this world, and that their souls should depart while they disbelieve. 86 When a sura is revealed [saying], ‘Believe in God and strive hard alongside His Messenger,’ their wealthy ask your permission [to be exempt], saying, ‘Allow us to stay behind with the others’: 87 they prefer to be with those who stay behind. Their hearts have been sealed: they do not comprehend. 88 But the Messenger and those who believe with him strive hard with their possessions and their persons. The best things belong to them; it is they who will prosper. 89 God has prepared Gardens graced with flowing streams for them and there they will stay. That is the supreme triumph.

Those Who Did Not Join in the Battle of Tabuk

90 Some of the desert Arabs, too, came to make excuses, asking to be granted exemption. Those who lied to God and His Messenger stayed behind at home. A painful punishment will afflict those of them who disbelieved, 91 but there is no blame attached to the weak, the sick, and those who have no means to spend, provided they are true to God and His Messenger– there is no reason to reproach those who do good: God is most forgiving and merciful. 92 And there is no blame attached to those who came to you [Prophet] for riding animals and to whom you said, ‘I cannot find a mount for you’: they turned away with their eyes overflowing with tears of grief that they had nothing they could contribute. 93 The ones open to blame are those who asked you for exemption despite their wealth, and who preferred to be with those who stay behind. God has sealed their hearts: they do not understand.

94 When you return from the expedition they will carry on coming to you [believers] with excuses. Say, ‘Do not make excuses. We do not believe you: God has told us about you. God and His Messenger will watch your actions now, and in the end you will be returned to the One who knows the seen and the unseen. He will confront you with what you have done.’ 95 When you return to them, they will swear to you by God in order to make you leave them alone– so leave them alone: they are loathsome, and Hell will be their home as a reward for their actions– 96 they will swear to you in order to make you accept them, but even if you do accept them, God will not accept people who rebel against Him.

97 The desert Arabs are the most stubborn of all peoples in their disbelief and hypocrisy. They are the least likely to recognize the limits that God has sent down to His Messenger. God is all knowing and all wise. 98 Some of the desert Arabs consider what they give to be an imposition; they are waiting for fortune to turn against you, but fortune will turn against them. God is all hearing and all knowing. 99 But there are also some desert Arabs who believe in God and the Last Day and consider their contributions as bringing them nearer to God and the prayers of the Messenger: they will indeed bring them nearer and God will admit them to His mercy. God is most forgiving and merciful.

100 God will be well pleased with the first emigrants and helpers [b] and those who followed them in good deeds, and they will be well pleased with Him: He has prepared Gardens graced with flowing streams for them, there to remain for ever. That is the supreme triumph.

101 Some of the desert Arabs around you are hypocrites, as are some of the people of Medina– they are obstinate in their hypocrisy. You [Prophet] do not know them, but We know them well: We shall punish them twice and then they will be returned to [face] a painful punishment [in the Hereafter]. 102 And there are others who have confessed their wrongdoing, who have done some righteous deeds and some bad ones: God may well accept their repentance, for God is most forgiving and merciful. 103 In order to cleanse and purify them [Prophet], accept [c] a gift out of their property [to make amends] and pray for them– your prayer will be a comfort to them. God is all hearing, all knowing. 104 Do they not know that it is God Himself who accepts repentance from His servants and receives what is given freely for His sake? He is always ready to accept repentance, most merciful. 105 Say [Prophet], ‘Take action! God will see your actions– as will His Messenger and the believers– and then you will be returned to Him who knows what is seen and unseen, and He will tell you what you have been doing. 106 And there are others who are waiting for God’s decree, either to punish them or to show them mercy. God is all knowing and wise.

107 Then there are those who built a mosque [d] ––in an attempt to cause harm, disbelief, and disunity among the believers––as an outpost for those who fought God and His Messenger before: they swear, ‘Our intentions were nothing but good,’ but God bears witness that they are liars. 108 [Prophet], never pray in that mosque. You should rather pray in a mosque founded from its first day on consciousness of God: in this mosque there are men who desire to grow in purity– God loves those who seek to purify themselves. 109 Which is better, the person who founds his building on consciousness of God and desire for His good pleasure, or the person who founds his building on the brink of a crumbling precipice that will tumble down into the Fire of Hell, taking him with it? God does not guide the evildoers: 110 the building they have founded will always be a source of doubt within their hearts, until their hearts are cut to pieces. God is all knowing and wise.


a. To harm the Prophet.

b. The Medinan Muslims who welcomed and supported the emigrants from Mecca.

c. Literally ‘take’.

d. Abu Amir al-Rahib told the hypocrites to build a rival mosque in order to sow dissension in the community.

The Qur'an (Oxford World's Classics)

The Qur'an / a new translation by M. A. S. Abdel Haleem, copyright © 2004 Oxford World's Classics (Oxford University Press). Used by permission. All rights reserved.



bottom of page