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he will give you better than what hath been taken from you; and he will forgive you, for GOD is gracious and merciful. (72) But if they seek to deceive thee, verily they have deceived GOD; wherefore he hath given thee power over them: and GOD is knowing and wise. (73) Moreover, they who have believed, and have fled their country, and employed their substance and their persons in fighting for the religion of GOD, and they who have given the Prophet a refuge among them, and have assisted him, these shall be deemed the one nearest of kin to the

He will give you better, &c. "That is, if ye repent and believe, God will make you abundant retribution for the ransom ye have now paid. It is said that this passage was revealed on the particular account of al Abbás, who being obliged by Muhammad, though his uncle, to ransom both himself and his two nephews, Okail and Naufal Ibn al Hárith, complained that he should be reduced to beg alms of the Quraish as long as he lived. Whereupon Muhammad asked him what was become of the gold which he delivered to Omm al Fadhl when he left Makkah, telling her that he knew not what might befall him in the expedition, and therefore, if he lost his life, she might keep it herself for the use of her and her children. Abbás demanded who told him this; to which Muhammad replied that God had revealed it to him. And upon this al Abbás immediately professed Islám, declaring that none could know of that affair except God, because he gave her the money at midnight. Some years after, al Abbás reflecting on this passage, confessed it to be fulfilled; for he was then not only possessed of a large substance, but had the custody of the well Zamzam, which, he said, he preferred to all the riches of Makkah."-Sale, Baidhawi.


(72) If they seek to deceive thee. Of this passage Muir says:"This is explained to mean 'deceit in not paying the ransom agreed upon;' but it seems an unlikely interpretation, as the ransom was ordinarily paid down on the spot. It may be a significant intimation that those who came over to Islám would be released without ransom-the deceit contemplated being a treacherous confession of faith followed by desertion to Makkah."-Life of Mahomet, vol. iii. P. 119, note.

The same thing is probably intended by the statement of the previous verse, "He will forgive you," &c.


He hath given thee power over them. The prophet-general of Madina speaks in different terms from those of the warner" of Makkah. Comp. chap. lxxxviii. 21, 22.

(73) Who... have fled, &c. The Muhájjirín, or refugees, a term at first applicable only to those who fled from Makkah, but afterwards to all who fled to the Prophet's standard.

They who have assisted, i.e., the Ansárs, or Helpers. This term at

other. But they who have believed, but have not fled their country, shall have no right of kindred at all with you, until they also fly. Yet if they ask assistance of you on account of religion, it belongeth unto you to give them assistance; except against a people between whom and yourselves there shall be a league subsisting: and GOD seeth that which ye do. (74) And as to the infidels, let them be deemed of kin the one to the other. Unless ye do this, there will be a sedition in the earth, and grievous corruption. (75) But as for them who have believed, and left their country, and have fought for GOD's true religion, and who have allowed the Prophet a retreat among them, and have assisted him, these are really believers; they shall receive mercy and an honourable provision. (76) And they who have believed since, and have fled their

first applied only to those of Madína who identified themselves with Islám, but other people from the neighbouring tribes having put themselves under the leadership of Muhammad, and having helped him repeatedly, the term was applied to all who allied themselves to Muhammad.

Nearest of kin. "And shall consequently inherit one another's substance, preferably to their relations by blood. And this, they say, was practised for some time, the Muhájjirín and Ansárs being judged heirs to one another, exclusive of the deceased's other kindred, till this passage was abrogated by the following:-Those who are related by blood shall be deemed the nearest of kin to each other."– Sale.

Abdul Qadir thinks the relationships of Muslims referred to here to pertain to faith only and to the future life, and thus reconciles this verse with ver. 76. But there is nothing in the language to warrant such an interpretation. As a matter of policy this law was inaugurated in order to bind the Muslims together in the earlier days of the Hijra, but it could not long bear the pressure of its own weight, and hence was abrogated by the law of ver. 76.

(74) This verse illustrates the political sagacity of Muhammad. He dívides all Arabs into two classes, and unites all his following, from whatever quarter they might come, against the fragmentary elements of the opposition.

(75) This verse corresponds with ver. 73, except in so far as the change of law required a change in the language. I think it very probable that this verse gives the revised reading of ver. 73, and was intended to take its place in the Qurán.

(76) See notes on ver. 73, also notes on chap. iv. 6–13.

country, and have fought with you, these also are of you. And those who are related by consanguinity shall be deemed the nearest of kin to each other preferably to strangers according to the book of GOD: GOD knoweth all things.



Revealed at Madina.


Or the many titles given to this chapter, those of Immunity and Repentance are most commonly known. The former title is based on the first verse, the latter on the third verse, or, perhaps better still, upon the spirit of the whole chapter, which is a call to repentance to a multitude of disaffected and lukewarm Muslims and Arabs who declined to accompany Muhammad in his expedition to Tabúq. Sale says:—“It is observable that this chapter alone has not the auspiciatory form, In the name of the most merciful God, prefixed to it; the reason of which omission, as some think, was, because these words imply a concession of security, which is utterly taken away by this chapter after a fixed time; wherefore some have called it the chapter of Punishment; others say that Muhammad (who died soon after he had received this chapter), having given no direction where it should be placed, nor for the prefixing the Bismillah to it, as had been done to the other chapters, and the argument of this chapter bearing a near resemblance to that of the preceding, his companions differed about it, some saying that both chapters were but one, and together made the seventh of the seven long ones, and others that they were two distinct chapters; whereupon, to accommodate the dispute, they left a space between them, but did not interpose the distinction of the Bismillah.

"It is agreed that this chapter was the last which was revealed, and the only one, as Muhammad declared, which was revealed entire and at once, except the one hundred and tenth.

"Some will have the two last verses to have been revealed at Makkah."

The statement that this chapter was the last revealed is based VOL. II.


upon the testimony of tradition, but the internal evidence fixes the date of most of the revelations within the ninth year of the Hijra. With this also Muslim tradition agrees. It would therefore appear that during one whole year no revelation was vouchsafed to Muhammad, which is contrary to other traditions, which assign portions of chapters ii., v., &c., to the time of the farewell pilgrimage in the end

of A.H. IO.

The statement that this whole chapter was revealed at one time is also unfounded, as will be seen by reference to the date of the revelations given below.

Probable Date of the Revelations.

Following Noeldeke for the most part, vers. 1-12 belong to the latter part of A.H. 9, when Muhammad sent Ali to Makkah to notify to the tribes assembled there that henceforth the Holy Temple would be closed against idolaters. Vers. 13-16, however, belong to an earlier period, viz., A.H. 8, when Muhammad planned his expedition for the capture of Makkah. To these may be added vers. 17-24, which, however, mark the time when Muhammed first thought of conquering his native city. Some would place vers. 23 and 24 among the revelations enunciated previous to the expedition to Tabúq in A.H. 9.

Vers. 25-27 mention the victory at Hunain (Shawál, A.H. 8), and belong to the period immediately following the siege of Tayif, i.e., Dzu'l Qáada, A.H. 8.

Ver. 28 seems to be connected with vers. 1-12, and therefore belongs to the latter part of A.H. 9.

Vers. 29-128 refer to the events connected with the expedition to Tabúq, which occurred in Rajab of A.H. 9. They were not, however, all enunciated at one time, but partly before the expedition, partly on the march, and partly after the return.

Vers. 29-35 may be referred to the time of arrival at Tabúq, when the Christian prince, John of Aylah, tendered his submission to Muhammad, paying tribute (Jazya).

Vers. 36 and 37, referring to the abolition of the intercalary year and the fixing the time of the pilgrimage in accordance with the changes of the lunar year, must be assigned to the Dzu'l Hajja of

A.H. IO.

The remaining verses Noeldeke distributes as follows :—Previous to the expedition, vers. 38-41 (of which, according to Ibn Hishám, 924, ver. 41 is the oldest of the whole Sura), and 49-73. On the march, vers. 42-48 and 82-97 (of which ver. 85, if it refers to the death of Abdullah Ibn Ubbai, must have been added later on). After the

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