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protector. (76) There are some of them who made a covenant with GOD, saying, Verily if he give us of his abundance, we will give alms, and become righteous people. (77) Yet when they had given unto him of his abundance, they became covetous thereof, and turned back, and retired afar off. (78) Wherefore he hath caused hypocrisy to succeed in their hearts, until the day whereon they shall meet him; for that they failed to perform unto GOD that which they had promised him, and for that they prevaricated. (79) Do they not know that GOD knoweth

and in want of most conveniences of life; but on the Prophet's coming among them, they became possessed of large herds of cattle, and money also. Al Baidháwi says that the above-named al Jallás, in particular, having a servant killed, received, by Muhammad's order, no less than ten thousand dirhems, or about three hundred pounds, as a fine for the redemption of his blood."-Sale.

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The predatory expeditions of the Muslims, the plunder of numerous caravans, and the successful wars waged against the wealthy Jewish tribes in the vicinity of Madína, must have resulted in changing the condition of the people from poverty to wealth. Let it be observed that the Qurán here justifies all the means adopted by "his Apostle" for the acquisition of this wealth. It was, in the strictest and most direct sense of the words, a gift from God and Muhammad. (76) If he give we will give, &c. "An instance of this is given in Thalabah Ibn Hátib, who came to Muhammad, and desired him to beg of God that he would bestow riches on him. The Prophet at first advised him rather to be thankful for the little he had than to covet more, which might become a temptation to him; but on Thálabah's repeated request and solemn promise that he would make a good use of his riches, he was at length prevailed on, and preferred the petition to God. Thálabah in a short time grew vastly rich, which Muhammad being acquainted with, sent two collectors to gather the alms; other people readily paid them, but when they came to Thálabah, and read the injunction to him out of the Quran, he told them that it was not alms, but tribute, or next kin to tribute, and bid them go back till he had better considered of it. Upon which this passage was revealed; and when Thálabah came afterwards and brought his alms, Muhammad told him that God had commanded him not to accept it, and threw dust on his head, saying, "This is what thou hast deserved.' He then offered his alms to Abu Baqr, who refused to accept them, as did Omar some years after, when he was Khalifah."-Sale.

I confess this story sounds exceedingly like an invention of the commentators. Its spirit accords better with a later period in the history of the Khalifahs. It is given, however, on the authority of Baidhawi.

(79) This verse clearly teaches that God is omniscient-that all things are open to the gaze of his all-seeing eye.

whatever they conceal, and their private discourses; and that GOD is the knower of secrets? (80) They who traduce such of the believers as are liberal in giving alms beyond what they are obliged, and those who find nothing to give but what they gain by their industry, and therefore scoff at them: GOD shall scoff at them, and they shall suffer a grievous punishment. (81) Ask forgiveness for them, or do not ask forgiveness for them; it will be equal. If thou ask forgiveness for them seventy times, GOD will by no means forgive them. This is the divine pleasure, for

(80) They who traduce believers. "Al Baidháwi relates that Muhammad, exhorting his followers to voluntary alms, among others, Abd-ur-Rahmán Ibn Auf gave four thousand dirhems, which was one-half of what he had; Asim Ibn Adda gave a hundred beasts' loads of dates; and Ábu ́Ukail a saú, which is no more than a sixtieth part of a load, of the same fruit, but was the half of what he had earned by a night's hard work. This Muhammad accepted: whereupon the hypocrites said that Abd-ur-Rahmán and Asim gave what they did out of ostentation, and that God and his Apostle might well have excused Abu Ukail's mite; which occasioned this



"I suppose this collection was made to defray the charge of the expedition of Tabúq, towards which, as another writer tells Ábu Baqr contributed all that he had, and Othmán very largely, viz., as it is said, three hundred camels for slaughter, and a thousand dinûrs of gold."-Sale, Tafsir-i-Raufi.

(81) God will by no means forgive them. "In the last sickness of Abdullah Ibn Ubbái, the hypocrite (who died in the ninth year of the Hijra), his son, named also Abdullah, came and asked Muhammad to beg pardon of God for him, which he did, and thereupon the former part of this verse was revealed. But the Prophet, not taking that for a repulse, said he would pray seventy times for him; upon which the latter part of the verse was revealed, declaring it would be absolutely in vain. It may be observed that the numbers seven, and seventy, and seven hundred, are frequently used by the Eastern writers, to signify not so many precisely, but only an indefinite number, either greater or lesser, several examples of which are to be met with in the Scriptures."-Sale, Baidhawi.

If we are to credit this story, as all Muslims do, it very well illustrates Muhammad's character as an intercessor on behalf of sinners. He may intercede, but there is no certainty he will be heard. According to this story, he does not even know that he will not be heard. Of course the reply of the Muslim is, that his office as intercessor only begins with the judgment-day, and that then it will be effectual. But then it will only be of avail in the case of Muslims who are now assured salvation on the ground of their

that they believe not in GOD and his Apostle; and GOD directeth not the ungodly people.

(82) They who were left at home in the expedition R 17 of Tabúq were glad of their staying behind the Apostle of GOD, and were unwilling to employ their substance and their persons for the advancement of GOD's true religion; and they said, Go not forth in the heat. Say, The fire of hell will be hotter; if they understood this. (83) Wherefore let them laugh little and weep much, as a reward for that which they have done. (84) If GOD bring thee back unto some of them, and they ask thee leave to go forth to war with thee, say, Ye shall not go forth with me for the future, neither shall ye fight an enemy with me; ye were pleased with sitting at home

being Muslims. They therefore require no intercessor. There can be no doubt that the doctrine of Muhammad's intercession is at variance with the teaching of the Qurán. Nevertheless, the faith of Muslims is not only that Muhammad will intercede for them at the judgment-day, but that a multitude of saints can intercede for them even now. This faith testifies against the Qurán, and, so far, attests the doctrine of salvation by atonement and Christ's intercession as taught in the Bible. Muslims feel their need of an intercessor. The Qurán gives them none, whereupon they constitute Muhammad and a host of saints their intercessors.

It is probable that the story given by Sale misrepresents the feelings of Muhammad toward Abdullah Ibn Ubbái at the time of his death. "Muhammad prayed over his corpse, thereby professing to recognise Abdullah as having been a faithful Moslem; he walked behind the bier to the grave, and waited there till the ceremonies of the funeral were ended."-Muir's Life of Mahomet, vol. iv. p. 200. (82) They who were left behind, i.e., the hypocrites, under the leadership of Abdullah Ibn Ubbái.

Go forth in the heat. "This they spoke in a scoffing manner to one another, because, as has been observed, the expedition of Tabúq was undertaken in a very hot and dry season."-Sale.

(84) And they ask thee. "That is, if thou return in safety to Madína to the hypocrites, who are here called some of them who stayed behind, because they were not all hypocrites. The whole number is said to have been twelve."-Sale, Baidhawi.

A careful perusal of this whole passage will convince almost any one but a Muslim that this revelation was delivered after the return from Tabúq to Madína. Note the passive forms in the verses preceding this. Here, however, the revelation purports to have emanated while still absent on the expedition. The resolution of



the first time; sit ye at home therefore with those who stay behind. (85) Neither do thou ever pray over any of them who shall die, neither stand at his grave, for that they believed not in GOD and his Apostle, and die in their wickedness. (86) Let not their riches or their children cause thee to marvel; for GOD intendeth only to punish them therewith in this world, and that their souls may depart while they are infidels. (87) When a Sura is sent down, wherein it is said, Believe in GOD, and go forth to

the Prophet concerning the disaffected is here presented as a revelation from God.

With those who stay behind, viz., the women and children, the sick and infirm.

(85) Neither do thou ever pray over any of them. "This passage was also revealed on account of Abdullah Ibn Ubbai. In his last illness he desired to see Muhammad, and, when he was come, asked him to beg forgiveness of God for him, and requested that his corpse might be wrapped up in the garment that was next his body (which might have the same efficacy with the habit of a Franciscan), and that he would pray over him when dead. Accordingly, when he was dead, the Prophet sent his shirt, or inner vestment, to shroud the corpse, and was going to pray over it, but was forbidden by these words. Some say they were not revealed till he had actually prayed for him."-Sale, Baidhawi.

But see note above on ver. 81. This command is rigidly observed by all Muslims. All who profess belief "in God and his Apostle" are regarded as orthodox, notwithstanding their immoral character. But those who reject Islám, however holy their lives, are so wicked that even the vilest Muslim may not sully his character for piety by being present at his burial. The words "neither stand at his grave are understood to prohibit all attendance at the funerals of unbelievers.


Observe that Muhammad practised the old heathen Arab custom of praying for the dead, a practice still current among Muslims, but limited by this verse to prayers for the faithful. The practice is utterly at variance with the teaching of the Qurán and the principles of Islám, but having the example of the Prophet, Muslims feel justified in the practice, as they do in kissing the black stone at Makkah. See note on chap. ii. 196.

(86) To punish them therewith, i.e., by inflicting upon them the care and anxiety which their riches and children bring with them.— Tafsir-i-Raufi.

A better interpretation would be that by these very blessings the infidels are wedded to their infidelity, and their final condemnation thereby ensured.

(87) A Sura. See introduction to chap. i., and note above on ver. 65. The word here is used as equivalent to any portion of the Qurán containing a message or revelation for the people.

war with his Apostle; those who are in plentiful circum-
stances among them ask leave of thee to stay behind, and
say, Suffer us to be of the number of those who sit at home.
(88) They are well pleased to be with those who stay
behind, and their hearts are sealed up; wherefore they do
not understand. (89) But the Apostle, and those who
have believed with him, expose their fortunes and their
lives for God's service; they shall enjoy the good things
of either life, and they shall be happy. (90) God hath
prepared for them gardens through which rivers flow;
they shall remain therein for ever.
This will be great

|| (91) And certain Arabs of the desert came to excuse R2. themselves, praying that they might be permitted to stay behind; and they sat at home who had renounced GOD and his Apostle. But a painful punishment shall be inflicted on such of them as believe not. (92) In those who are weak, or are afflicted with sickness, or in those who find not wherewith to contribute to the war, it shall be no crime if they stay at home, provided they behave themselves faithfully towards GOD and his Apostle. There is no room to lay blame on the righteous; for GOD is gracious and merciful: (93) nor on those unto whom,

Suffer us, &c. See above on vers. 82-84.

(90) They shall remain, &c. Warring for the faith is here made the reason and ground of salvation, being the test of faith and obedience.

(91) Certain Arabs of the desert. "These were the tribes of Asad and Ghatfán, who excused themselves on account of the necessities of their families, which their industry only maintained. But some write they were the family of Amar Ibn al Tufail, who said that if they went with the army, the tribe of Tay would take advantage of their absence, and fall upon their wives and children, and their cattle."-Sale, Baidhawi.

(92) This verse defines the classes of Muslims exempt from military service in a holy war or crusade.

Weak, by reason of age or health.

Who find not wherewith to contribute, on account of "their extreme poverty," as those of Juhaina, Muzaina, and Banu Udhra."-Sale. Provided they behave themselves, &c., i.e., do not show contempt for their undertakings, and thus sympathise with their enemies.

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