The Winners (9:71 – 9:72)

The Winners

[9:71] The believing men and women are allies of one another. They advocate righteousness and forbid evil, they observe the Contact Prayers (Salat) and give the obligatory charity(Zakat), and they obey GOD and His messenger. These will be showered by GOD’s mercy. GOD is Almighty, Most Wise.
[9:72] GOD promises the believing men and the believing women gardens with flowing streams, wherein they abide forever, and magnificent mansions in the gardens of Eden. And GOD’s blessings and approval are even greater. This is the greatest triumph. 

What is the approval? Is it in this life or the next life?

[3:173] When the people say to them, “People have mobilized against you; you should fear them,” this only strengthens their faith and they say, “GOD suffices us; He is the best Protector.” [3:174] They have deserved GOD’s blessings and grace. No harm ever touches them, for they have attained GOD’s approval. GOD possesses infinite grace.

The Losers (9:70)

The Losers

[9:70] Have they not learned anything from the previous generations; the people of Noah, ‘Ãd, Thamûd, the people of Abraham, the dwellers of Midyan, and the evildoers (of Sodom and Gomorrah)? Their messengers went to them with clear proofs. GOD never wronged them; they are the ones who wronged their own souls. 

Lion King – What did you do that for – the past can hurt
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dZfGTL2PY3E

 

People have a tendency of wanting to complicate God’s religion.

 The Heifer*

[2:67] Moses said to his people, “GOD commands you to sacrifice a heifer.” They said, “Are you mocking us?” He said, “GOD forbid, that I should behave like the ignorant ones.” Footnote [2:68] They said, “Call upon your Lord to show us which one.” He said, “He says that she is a heifer that is neither too old, nor too young; of an intermediate age. Now, carry out what you are commanded to do.” [2:69] They said, “Call upon your Lord to show us her color.” He said, “He says that she is a yellow heifer, bright colored, pleases the beholders.” [2:70] They said, “Call upon your Lord to show us which one. The heifers look alike to us and, GOD willing, we will be guided.” [2:71] He said, “He says that she is a heifer that was never humiliated in plowing the land or watering the crops; free from any blemish.” They said, “Now you have brought the truth.” They finally sacrificed her, after this lengthy reluctance.

Joseph Tainter: The Collapse of Complex Civilizations
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GzuviYRse3E

3Q Joseph Tainter
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=co858wJdD7Q

God’s System Does Not Change (9:69)

God’s System Does Not Change

[9:69] Some of those before you were stronger than you, and possessed more money and children. They became preoccupied with their material possessions. Similarly, you have become preoccupied with your material possessions, just like those before you have become preoccupied. You have become totally heedless, just as they were heedless. Such are the people who nullify their works, both in this world and in the Hereafter; they are the losers.

Choosing God Before Possessions
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e9KXKe01Z2I

The Hypocrites (9:64 – 9:68)

The Hypocrites

[9:64] The hypocrites worry that a sura may be revealed exposing what is inside their hearts. Say, “Go ahead and mock. GOD will expose exactly what you are afraid of.”
[9:65] If you ask them, they would say, “We were only mocking and kidding.” Say, “Do you realize that you are mocking GOD, and His revelations, and His messenger?”
[9:66] Do not apologize. You have disbelieved after having believed. If we pardon some of you, we will punish others among you, as a consequence of their wickedness.
[9:67] The hypocrite men and the hypocrite women belong with each other—they advocate evil and prohibit righteousness, and they are stingy. They forgot GOD, so He forgot them. The hypocrites are truly wicked.
[9:68] GOD promises the hypocrite men and the hypocrite women, as well as the disbelievers, the fire of Hell, wherein they abide forever. It suffices them. GOD has condemned them; they have incurred an everlasting retribution. 

Hypocrites think that they have found a loop hole in God’s religion that justifies their actions. They worry that a sura will be brought to their attention that nullifies their loophole.

(3) The Hypocrites

[2:8] Then there are those who say, “We believe in GOD and the Last Day,” while they are not believers. [2:9] In trying to deceive GOD and those who believe, they only deceive themselves without perceiving. [2:10] In their minds there is a disease. Consequently, GOD augments their disease. They have incurred a painful retribution for their lying. [2:11] When they are told, “Do not commit evil,” they say, “But we are righteous!” [2:12] In fact, they are evildoers, but they do not perceive. [2:13] When they are told, “Believe like the people who believed,” they say, “Shall we believe like the fools who believed?” In fact, it is they who are fools, but they do not know. [2:14] When they meet the believers, they say, “We believe,” but when alone with their devils, they say, “We are with you; we were only mocking.” [2:15] GOD mocks them, and leads them on in their transgressions, blundering. [2:16] It is they who bought the straying, at the expense of guidance. Such trade never prospers, nor do they receive any guidance.

Retribution for Opposing God and His Messenger (9:63)

Retribution for Opposing God and His Messenger

[9:63] Did they not know that anyone who opposes GOD and His messenger has incurred the fire of Hell forever? This is the worst humiliation. 

What does it mean by oppose God and His Messenger?

Oppose definition:

  • to disagree with or not approve of a plan or policy…
  • to try to prevent the success of a policy or a government that you disagree with…
  • to speak against a proposal or law in a debate… 

Run For Your Life

[58:22] You will not find people who believe in GOD and the Last Day befriending those who oppose GOD and His messenger, even if they were their parents, or their children, or their siblings, or their tribe. For these, He decrees faith into their hearts, and supports them with inspiration from Him, and admits them into gardens with flowing streams wherein they abide forever. GOD is pleased with them, and they are pleased with Him. These are the party of GOD. Most assuredly, GOD’s party are the winners.

Submission (Islam): Abraham’s Religion*

[2:135] They said, “You have to be Jewish or Christian, to be guided.” Say, “We follow the religion of Abraham—monotheism—he never was an idol worshiper.”

No Distinction Among God’s Messengers

[2:136] Say, “We believe in GOD, and in what was sent down to us, and in what was sent down to Abraham, Ismail, Isaac, Jacob, and the Patriarchs; and in what was given to Moses and Jesus, and all the prophets from their Lord. We make no distinction among any of them. To Him alone we are submitters.”

[2:137] If they believe as you do, then they are guided. But if they turn away, then they are in opposition. GOD will spare you their opposition; He is the Hearer, the Omniscient.

The criteria of people who are part of our religion despite their past:

Repentance: Cleaning the Slate

[9:11] If they repent and observe the Contact Prayers (Salat) and give the obligatory charity (Zakat), then they are your brethren in religion. We thus explain the revelations for people who know. [9:12] If they violate their oaths after pledging to keep their covenants, and attack your religion, you may fight the leaders of paganism—you are no longer bound by your covenant with them—that they may refrain. [9:13] Would you not fight people who violated their treaties, tried to banish the messenger, and they are the ones who started the war in the first place? Are you afraid of them? GOD is the One you are supposed to fear, if you are believers.

The criteria for relations with unbelievers:

Basic Law Regulating Relations With Unbelievers

[60:8] GOD does not enjoin you from befriending those who do not fight you because of religion, and do not evict you from your homes. You may befriend them and be equitable towards them. GOD loves the equitable. [60:9] GOD enjoins you only from befriending those who fight you because of religion, evict you from your homes, and band together with others to banish you. You shall not befriend them. Those who befriend them are the transgressors.

God Guides Not the Liars

[40:28] A believing man among Pharaoh’s people, who was concealing his belief, said, “How can you kill a man just for saying, ‘My Lord is GOD,’ and he has shown you clear proofs from your Lord? If he is a liar, that is his problem, and if he is truthful, you benefit from his promises. Surely, GOD does not guide any transgressor, liar.

Sura 109, The Disbelievers (Al-Kaaferoon)

[109:0] In the name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful [109:1] Say, “O you disbelievers. [109:2] “I do not worship what you worship. [109:3] “Nor do you worship what I worship. [109:4] “Nor will I ever worship what you worship. [109:5] “Nor will you ever worship what I worship. [109:6] “To you is your religion, and to me is my religion.” 

Invitation to All Believers

[3:64] Say, “O followers of the scripture, let us come to a logical agreement between us and you: that we shall not worship except GOD; that we never set up any idols besides Him, nor set up any human beings as lords beside GOD.” If they turn away, say, “Bear witness that we are submitters.”

Introduction to Quran – Rashad Khalifa

All Believers Constitute the One Acceptable Religion

As expected from the Creator’s final message, one of the prominent themes in the Quran is the call for unity among all believers, and the repeated prohibition of making any distinction among God’s messengers. If the object of worship is one and the same, there will be absolute unity among all believers. It is the human factor, i.e., devotion and prejudice to such powerless humans as Jesus, Muhammad, and the saints that causes division, hatred, and bitter wars among the misguided believers. A guided believer is devoted to God ALONE, and rejoices in seeing any other believer who is devoted to God ALONE, regardless of the name such a believer calls his or her religion.

Surely, those who believe, 
those who are Jewish, 
the Christians, 
and the converts;   
anyone who 
(1) believes in God, 
(2) believes in the Last Day, and  
(3) leads a righteous life,   
will receive their recompense from their Lord; 
they have nothing to fear, nor will they grieve. [2:62, 5:69]

 

Distribution System for Charities (9:60 – 9:62)

Distribution System for Charities

[9:60] Charities shall go to the poor, the needy, the workers who collect them, the new converts, to free the slaves, to those burdened by sudden expenses, in the cause of GOD, and to the traveling alien. Such is GOD’s commandment. GOD is Omniscient, Most Wise.
[9:61] Some of them hurt the prophet by saying, “He is all ears!” Say, “It is better for you that he listens to you. He believes in GOD, and trusts the believers. He is a mercy for those among you who believe.” Those who hurt GOD’s messenger have incurred a painful retribution.
[9:62] They swear by GOD to you, to please you, when GOD and His messenger are more worthy of pleasing, if they are really believers.

One of the blessings of having the Quran translated in English is that punctuations provides clarity that could be misunderstood otherwise. In 9:60 it could be read without the “,” and we would not have the right understanding:

“…to those burdened by sudden expenses, in the cause of GOD” 

“…to those burdened by sudden expenses in the cause of GOD”

Why does money need to go to the new converts?

New converts can be abandoned by a lot of friends and family when they switch religions/beliefs.

What does it mean by traveling alien?

People who travel from outside of their home country is called an alien (i.e. immigrants)

How is 9:60 different than 2:215 for distribution of charity

Recipients of Charity

[2:215] They ask you about giving: say, “The charity you give shall go to the parents, the relatives, the orphans, the poor, and the traveling alien.” Any good you do, GOD is fully aware thereof.

2:215 is specifically about Zakat

The Obligatory Charity (Zakat) – Appendix 15

Zakat must be given away “on the day of harvest” (6:141). Whenever we receive “net income,” we must set aside 2.5% and give it to the specified recipients – the parents, relatives, orphans, the poor, and the traveling alien, in this order (2:215). The vital importance of Zakat is reflected in God’s law: “My mercy encompasses all things, but I will specify it for the righteous who give Zakat” (7:156).

Zakat must be carefully calculated and given away on a regular basis whenever we receive any income. Government taxes should be deducted, but not other expenses such as debts, mortgages, and living expenses. If one does not know needy persons, he or she may give the Zakat to a mosque or charitable organization with the distinct purpose of helping poor people. Charities given to mosques or hospitals or organizations cannot be considered Zakat.

What is the significance of Muhammad listening, and why is that better?

[49:7] And know that GOD’s messenger has come in your midst. Had he listened to you in many things, you would have made things difficult for yourselves. But GOD made you love faith and adorned it in your hearts, and He made you abhor disbelief, wickedness, and disobedience. These are the guided ones.

The power of listening | William Ury | TEDxSanDiego
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=saXfavo1OQo

9:62 distinguishes between Muhammad the man and the messenger, the hypocrites want to please the man and the believers want to please God.

Throughout chapter 9 the hypocrites swear to try to gain credibility:
9:42, 56, 62, 74, 95, 96, 107

The believers swear for serious matters
24:6 (adultery), 5:107, 21:57

[2:224] Do not subject GOD’s name to your casual swearing, that you may appear righteous, pious, or to attain credibility among the people. GOD is Hearer, Knower.

Apparent Worldly Success (9:55 – 9:59)

Apparent Worldly Success

[9:55] Do not be impressed by their money, or their children. GOD causes these to be sources of retribution for them in this life, and (when they die) their souls depart while they are disbelievers.
[9:56] They swear by GOD that they belong with you, while they do not belong with you; they are divisive people.
[9:57] If they could find a refuge, or caves, or a hiding place, they would go to it, rushing.
[9:58] Some of them criticize your distribution of the charities; if they are given therefrom, they become satisfied, but if they are not given therefrom, they become objectors.
[9:59] They should be satisfied with what GOD and His messenger have given them. They should have said, “GOD suffices us. GOD will provide for us from His bounties, and so will His messenger. We are seeking only GOD.” 

Is the Pursuit of Happiness Making Us Miserable? – Petrea King
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nTLW-3Z_Kts

The Contact Prayer Existed Before Muhammad (9:54)

The Contact Prayer Existed Before Muhammad*

[9:54] What prevented the acceptance of their spending is that they disbelieved in GOD and His messenger, and when they observed the Contact Prayers (Salat),* they observed them lazily, and when they gave to charity, they did so grudgingly.
*9:54 This is another proof that the Contact Prayers (Salat) existed before the Quran, and were handed down from Abraham (see 21:73). Also, it stumps those who challenge God’s assertion that the Quran is complete and fully detailed when they ask, “Where can we find the details of the Contact Prayers in the Quran?” (6:19, 38, 114). 

JEWISH PRAYER (Amida: translated & transliterated)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YCIqv03NQ6k

The Sedentary (9:42 – 9:53)

The Sedentary

[9:42] If there were a quick material gain, and a short journey, they would have followed you. But the striving is just too much for them. They will swear by GOD: “If we could, we would have mobilized with you.” They thus hurt themselves, and GOD knows that they are liars.
[9:43] GOD has pardoned you: why did you give them permission (to stay behind), before you could distinguish those who are truthful from the liars?
[9:44] Those who truly believe in GOD and the Last Day do not ask your permission to evade the opportunity to strive with their money and their lives. GOD is fully aware of the righteous.
[9:45] The only people who wish to be excused are those who do not really believe in GOD and the Last Day. Their hearts are full of doubt, and their doubts cause them to waver.
[9:46] Had they really wanted to mobilize, they would have prepared for it thoroughly. But GOD disliked their participation, so He discouraged them; they were told, “Stay behind with those who are staying behind.”
[9:47] Had they mobilized with you, they would have created confusion, and would have caused disputes and divisions among you. Some of you were apt to listen to them. GOD is fully aware of the transgressors.
[9:48] They sought to spread confusion among you in the past, and confounded the matters for you. However, the truth ultimately prevails, and GOD’s plan is carried out, in spite of them.
[9:49] Some of them would say, “Give me permission (to stay behind); do not impose such a hardship on me.” In fact, they have thus incurred a terrible hardship; Hell is surrounding the disbelievers.
[9:50] If something good happens to you, they hurt, and if an affliction befalls you, they say, “We told you so,” as they turn away rejoicing.
[9:51] Say, “Nothing happens to us, except what GOD has decreed for us. He is our Lord and Master. In GOD the believers shall trust.”
[9:52] Say, “You can only expect for us one of two good things (victory or martyrdom), while we expect for you condemnation from GOD and retribution from Him, or at our hands. Therefore, wait, and we will wait along with you.”
[9:53] Say, “Spend, willingly or unwillingly. Nothing will be accepted from you, for you are evil people.”

How does this apply in today’s context for finding excuses from striving?

If we have an opportunity to strive in the cause of God and we don’t follow through then we are falling in the same predicament.

Do these verses apply to striving aside from the times of war?

Moment of Death Predetermined

[3:154] After the setback, He sent down upon you peaceful slumber that pacified some of you. Others among you were selfishly concerned about themselves. They harbored thoughts about GOD that were not right— the same thoughts they had harbored during the days of ignorance. Thus, they said, “Is anything up to us?” Say, “Everything is up to GOD.” They concealed inside themselves what they did not reveal to you. They said, “If it was up to us, none of us would have been killed in this battle.” Say, “Had you stayed in your homes, those destined to be killed would have crawled into their death beds.” GOD thus puts you to the test to bring out your true convictions, and to test what is in your hearts. GOD is fully aware of the innermost thoughts.

In 9:51 when it says that “if something good happens to you, they hurt” is that from ego?

Can you commit evil without ego?

[47:37] If He asked you for money, to the extent of creating a hardship for you, you might have become stingy, and your hidden evil might be exposed. 

[40:56] Surely, those who argue against GOD’s revelations without proof are exposing the arrogance that is hidden inside their chests, and they are not even aware of it. Therefore, seek refuge in GOD; He is the Hearer, the Seer.

Introduction to Quran:

(3) The Humans

The hard-core rebels – humans and jinns – refused to denounce their crime, and opted for witnessing a demonstration of Satan’s claim. These egotistic creatures who failed to submit to God’s absolute authority, even when offered a chance to do so, were divided in half. The half that were less convinced of Satan’s point of view became classified as humans. Although they harbored doubts about Satan’s claim, they failed to make a firm stand regarding God’s absolute authority. It is the ego that prevented these creatures from appreciating God’s omnipotence, it is the ego that prevented them from submitting when such an opportunity was offered to them (33:72), and it is the ego that stands between most of us and redemption to God’s kingdom (25:43). This is why “Kill your ego” is one of the first commandments in the Quran (2:54).

If you have ego does that make someone evil?

Does choosing to have freewill mean that we chose to have ego?

Freedom of Choice

[33:72] We have offered the responsibility (freedom of choice) to the heavens and the earth, and the mountains, but they refused to bear it, and were afraid of it. But the human being accepted it; he was transgressing, ignorant.*

The Man in the Arena – Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mm4epcGApnY

Tim Ballard Risks His Life to Save Children Around the World
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XUUnclKiSjI

Glenn Beck: Operation Underground Railroad
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-wTVZ53DTLc

Scent of a Women Final Speech
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ypx1Stz8zN0

the-man-in-the-arena2

God’s Invisible Soldiers (9:40)

God’s Invisible Soldiers

[9:40] If you fail to support him (the messenger), GOD has already supported him. Thus, when the disbelievers chased him, and he was one of two in the cave, he said to his friend, “Do not worry; GOD is with us.” GOD then sent down contentment and security upon him, and supported him with invisible soldiers. He made the word of the disbelievers lowly. GOD’s word reigns supreme. GOD is Almighty, Most Wise.

When we make a stand with God, God sends his assurances and protects them.

[18:14] We strengthened their hearts when they stood up and proclaimed: “Our only Lord is the Lord of the heavens and the earth. We will never worship any other god beside Him. Otherwise, we would be far astray.

God Saves Man From Shark
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E6SdDdTWVSQ

God Sends Guardian Angel To Save Wife From Being Hit On Bike.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JKuQD9xelhU

Cat Saves Little Boy From Being Attacked by Neighbor’s Dog
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LSG_wBiTEE8

How did God make the word of the disbeliever lowly in 9:40?

Truth vs Falsehood

[14:24] Do you not see that GOD has cited the example of the good word as a good tree whose root is firmly fixed, and its branches are high in the sky? [14:25] It produces its crop every season, as designed by its Lord. GOD thus cites the examples for the people, that they may take heed. [14:26] And the example of the bad word is that of a bad tree chopped at the soil level; it has no roots to keep it standing. [14:27] GOD strengthens those who believe with the proven word, in this life and in the Hereafter. And GOD sends the transgressors astray. Everything is in accordance with GOD’s will. 

The Truth vs Falsehood

[13:17] He sends down water from the sky, causing the valleys to overflow, then the rapids produce abundant foam. Similarly, when they use fire to refine metals for their jewelry or equipment, foam is produced. GOD thus cites analogies for the truth and falsehood. As for the foam, it goes to waste, while that which benefits the people stays close to the ground. GOD thus cites the analogies. [13:18] Those who respond to their Lord deserve the good rewards. As for those who failed to respond to Him, if they possessed everything on earth—even twice as much—they would readily give it up as ransom. They have incurred the worst reckoning, and their final abode is Hell; what a miserable destiny.

The Flimsy Idols

[53:19] Compare this with the female idols Allaat and Al-‘Uzzah. [53:20] And Manaat, the third one. [53:21] Do you have sons, while He has these as daughters? [53:22] What a disgraceful distribution! [53:23] These are but names that you made up, you and your forefathers. GOD never authorized such a blasphemy. They follow conjecture, and personal desire, when the true guidance has come to them herein from their Lord.