كَيْفَ يَكُونُ لِلْمُشْرِكِينَ عَهْدٌ عِندَ اللّهِ وَعِندَ رَسُولِهِ إِلاَّ الَّذِينَ عَاهَدْتُّمْ عِندَ الْمَسْجِدِ الْحَرَامِ فَمَا اسْتَقَامُوا لَكُمْ فَاسْتَقِيمُوا لَهُمْ إِنَّ اللّهَ يُحِبُّ الْمُتَّقِينَ
7. “How can there be a covenant for the polytheists with Allah and with His Messenger? Except those with whom you made covenant at the Holy Mosque; so long as they stand faithful to you, then be you (too) faithful to them; verily Allah loves the pious ones.”
Through the previous verses, Allah (s.w.t.) commanded the covenants of the pagans to be cancelled. Here, in this verse, it explains that the reason of that commandment was the very perjury which appeared from them. But, concerning those pagans who were faithful to their covenants, the Qur’ān instructs to having perseverance with them. So, it says:
This phrase of the verse means how they may have the covenant of friendship while they have decided in their hearts to breach the covenant. This statement (of interrogation) is said either because of wonder, or as a positive interrogation with a negative sense.
Some commentators have said that this verse means how may Allah instruct that you desist from shedding the blood of pagans? Then, He has exceptioned the following group of pagans, and said:
This part of the verse means that they have covenant with Allah, because they do not intend in their hearts to perform any perjury or treachery against you.
Then the verse continues saying:
That is, so long as they are faithful to their covenant and remain in the straight way with you upon their promise, you should act with the same manner, too.
And, the last phrase of the verse indicates that Allah loves the pious, the ones who avoid perjury. The verse says:
كَيْفَ وإِن يَظْهَرُوا عَلَيْكُمْ لايَرْقُبُوا فِيكُمْ إِلاًّ وَلا ذِمَّةً يُرْضُونَكُم بِاَفْوَاهِهِمْ وَتَأْبَى قُلُوبُهُمْ وَأَكْثَرُهُمْ فَاسِقُونَ
8. “How (can it be?) For if they prevail against you, they will observe towards you neither ties of relationship nor treaty. They please you with their mouths while their hearts do not conscent, and most of them are ungodly.”
The repetition of the word ‘How’ in this verse is for the reason that it seems improbable and rare that pagans stand faithful to their covenant.
Then, it’s meaning (the verb of which has been omitted) is: how there may remain a covenant for them while if they acquire mastery and prevail upon you, knowing the background of your Faith and your covenants, they will observe neither any ties of relationship nor any promise and treaty. The verse says:
The Arabic word: /’ill/ means ‘relationship’ and it has also been used in the sense of ‘oath’.
By the usage of the word / yardūnakum / (they please you) in the verse, Allah has qualified the state of pagans meaning that their inwards are opposite from their outwards. The verse says:
Then, the verse has been continued implying that the grudges and enmities they have in their hearts are different from the nice words they utter through their mouths.
Finally, in the continuation of qualifications of pagans, the verse denotes that most of them excess in infidelity and idolatry and do not have any virtue and manliness to prevent them from these affairs, while there are some pagans who usually show chastity in committing what is disgrace, and refrain from breaching promise and perjury. The verse ends as follows:
اشْتَرَوْا بِاَيَاتِ اللّهِ ثَمَناً قَلِيلاً فَصَدُّوا عَن سَبِيلِهِ إِنَّهُمْ سَآءَ مَاكَانُوا يَعْمَلُونَ
9. “They have sold the signs of Allah for a small price, and have hindered (people) from His way. Surely evil was what they used to do.”
In exchange for losing the signs of Allah, whatever they gain is naught. The verse says:
Human beings are free in action and choosing the way, and all the Divine verses which refer to the bargains of human beings are the signs indicating to his freedom. The holy verse continues saying:
Therefore, selling the pleasure of Allah and the eternal Paradise for the corruptive fleeting world is the worst work, because the whole world, and whatever is found in it, in the face of favours of Allah bestowed to the believers, is a small thing. That is why the verse says:
لايَرْقُبُونَ فِي مُؤْمِنٍ إِلاًّ وَلاَ ذِمَّةً وَاُوْلَئِكَ هُمُ الْمُعْتَدُونَ
10. “They observe towards a believer neither ties of relationship nor treaty, and these are they who are the transgressors.”
This verse is again upon the statement of Allah’s Wisdom due to His severe command instructing to quitting pagans.
In the previous couple of verses, the meaning was about the lack of observing treaty towards the Muslims; “…they will not observe towards you any ties of relationship or treaty…”, while, here, the meaning of: “They observe towards a believer neither ties of relationship nor Treaty…” has been pointed out, which is a statement of their quarrelsomeness towards any believer.
Thus, pagans have enmity against the believers, then, never be in any doubt that you should struggle severely against them. In the opinion of infidels, the greatest fault of Muslims is the very Faith they have in Allah, and the same thing is the pretext of their hostility towards them. The verse says:
However, perjury is the same as transgression. So the verse says:
فإِن تَابُوا وَأَقَامُوا الصَّلاَةَ وَءَاتَوُا الزَّكَاةَ فَإِخْوَانُكُمْ فِي الدِّينِ وَنُفَصِّلُ الاَيَاتِ لِقَوْمٍ يَعْلَمُونَ
11. “But if they repent and perform the prayer and pay the alms (zakāt), then they are your brethren in faith; and We explain the signs for the people who know.”
In the former verses of this Surah, Allah’s commandment was: “…But if they repent and perform the prayer and pay the alms, then leave their way free to them...” (verse 5), while in this verse, He instructs that not only you should not bother them, but also do forget the past and treat them as if they are your brothers. The verse says:
1. In confronting them, observe the style of graduality and proceed step by step. At first, there is the lack of opposition: “…then leave their way free to them…” and then:
2. A true repentance is accompanied with action:
3. Those who do not perform the prayer and do not pay the alms are not our brethren in faith, as the verse says:
4. The basis of a Muslim’s relations, and love and enmity, is the religion, as in the verse next to the above mentioned verse, it is said:
5. The condition of entering into the circle of ‘brethren in faith’ is prayer and alms.
6. You should have a brotherly treatment with a repenter.
7. Those who were deserving death formerly, now, under the light of repentance, prayer, and alms are equal in rights with Muslims.
وَإِن نَكَثُوا أَيْمَانَهُم مِن بَعْدِ عَهْدِهِمْ وَطَعَنُوا فِي دِينِكُمْ فَقَاتِلُوا أَئِمَّةَ الْكُفْرِ إِنَّهُمْ لآ أَيْمَانَ لَهُمْ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَنتَهُونَ
12. “But if they break their oaths after their covenant and revile your religion, then fight the leaders of infidelity. Verily there is no oath for them, so that they may desist.”
Once Ali-ibn-Abi Tālib (as) was asked why the fugitives of the Battle of Seffin were persued, but in the Battle of Camel the fugitives were left free.
He (as) said that in Seffin the leader of infidelity was alive and the fugitives would gather around him. And, after being formed, they might attack. But in the Battle of Camel, where their leader was killed, there was not any pivot around which they could be formed and organized again.
Imam Sadiq (as) said:
“Whoever makes sarcastic remarks to your religion, he will surely become infidel.” Then he (as) recited this verse.1
1. Since the origin of perjury and deriding the religion is often from the side of the chiefs of infidelity, then struggle hard against them. The verse says:
2. The Islamic Holy Struggle is for the defend of the religion. The verse says:
3. Apostasy is one of the kinds of perjury and deriding the religion.
4. Oppose seriously against those who blaspheme.
5. When striving for the religion, make inquires of the chiefs of plotters, the central office of commanders, and organization, and destroy them.
6. Not any oath should beguile you; the oaths of the breachers of covenant are invalid. The verse says:
7. The aim of the Islamic Holy Struggle is to prevent the enemy’s plot. The verse says:
أَلاَ تُقَاتِلُونَ قَوْماً نَكَثُوا أَيْمَانَهُمْ وَهَمُّوا بِاِخْرَاجِ الرَّسُولِ وَهُم بَدَءُوكُمْ أَوَّلَ مَرَّةٍ أَتَخْشَوْنَهُمْ فَاللّهُ أَحَقُّ أَن تَخْشَوْهُ إِن كُنتُم مُؤْمِنِينَ
13. “Will you not fight a people who broke their oaths and aimed at the expulsion of the Messenger, and they did attack you first? Do you fear them? But Allah is most deserving that you should fear Him, if you are believers.”
In order to encourage Muslims and to banish any kind of listlessness, fear, and hesitation concerning this vital affair from their minds and their selves, the Qur’ān says:
You were not the beginners of attack and perjury to be worried and anxious about it, but the fight and perjury was started form their own side. The verse says:
So, if some of you hesitate fighting against them because of fear, this fright is quietly improper. The verse continues saying:
قَاتِلُوهُمْ يُعَذِّبْهُمُ اللّهُ بِاَيْدِيكُمْ وَيُخْزِهِمْ وَيَنصُرْكُمْ عَلَيْهِمْ وَيَشْفِ صُدُورَ قَوْمٍ مُؤْمِنِينَ
14. “Fight them, (and) Allah will punish them at your hands and degrade them, and He will help you (to victory) over them and heal the (injured) breasts of a people (who) believe.”
There may be asked how it is that here, in this holy verse, the statement is upon the chastisement of people while in Surah Al-‘Anfāl, No. 8, verse 32 the Qur’ān, addressing the Prophet (S) says:
The answer of this question is that the objective meaning of that verse is the heavenly chastisements which are destructive, like the chastisements of the People of ‘Ād and Thamūd. In this verse, the words are about the hardship and punishment of fight. The verse says:
1- Presence in the scene and Holy Struggle should be shown from your side, and then help and assistance come from Allah.
2- Strivers of Holy Struggles are Allah’s arms and His executive factors.
3- The normatic customs of Allah are executed through the natural ways, causes and means.
4- Next to the martial defeat of the enemy, there comes the turn of a spiritual and political knock.
5- The aim of an Islamic war is to efface infidelity, to disgrace infidels, and to bring peace for the believers.
6- It is necessary to have encouragement and preaching before war.
7- It is true that in war there will some people be martyred and some others become remorseful, but the Islamic community will continue to live in peace and honour.
8- In social affairs, the fate of the believers relates to each other. Thus, your victory is the remedy of the injured hearts of other believers.
وَيُذْهِبْ غَيْظَ قُلُوبِهِمْ وَيَتُوبُ اللّهُ عَلَى مَن يَشَآءُ وَاللّهُ عَلِيمٌ حَكِيمٌ
15. “And He removes the rage of their hearts, and Allah turns (mercifully) to whomever He pleases, and Allah is All-Knowing, All-Wise.”
Finally, in the conflict between right and wrong, after bearing the bitterness of troubles, the sweetness of triumph is for the believers. The verse says:
After gaining victory, you ought to receive those who come to you to join you, and you should not tell them where they were until then. The abovementioned verse, in this regard, says:
You must never repel those who come to you because of the fear of their plot. Allah is aware of the true repentance or a hypocritic one but, according to the Divine Wisdom, with keeping the principles of security, whoever expresses Islam it should be accepted from him.
أَمْ حَسِبْتُمْ أَن تُتْرَكُوا وَلَمَّا يَعْلَمِ اللّهُ الَّذِينَ جَاهَدُوا مِنكُمْ وَلَمْ يَتَّخِذُوا مِن دُونِ اللّهِ وَلا رَسُولِهِ وَلا الْمُؤْمِنِينَ وَلِيجَةً وَاللّهُ خَبِيرٌ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ
16. “Or did you think (only with claim of Faith) you would be left (in peace) while Allah has not yet known those of you who have struggled hard and have not taken any one as an intimate friend besides Allah and His Messenger and the believers? And Allah is aware of what you do.”
In this verse, the Muslims are encouraged to the Holy Struggle in another way. It attracts their attention to their heavy responsibility that they have in this regard.
It implies that they must not consider that only by claiming Faith everything will be arranged all right, but the truthfulness of their intention and the uprightness of their speech, and the reality of their belief will be made manifest when they confront the enemies, confronting them sincerely and free from any hypocrisy.
At first, the Qur’ān inquires whether they imagine that they will be left in peace and they will not be put in the course of examination. It is in this case that their strivers, and those of them who have not taken any one as confidant except Allah and the Prophet (S) and the believers, have not yet been known. The verse says:
In fact, the abovementioned part of the verse reminds Muslims two subjects. These subjects are as that only with the bare claim of Faith the work is not completed, and the personality of people will not be made clear, but they will be examined by two means:
The first is Holly Struggle in the way of Allah with the purpose of effacing the effects of paganism and idolatry. And the second is the abandonment of any relation and cooporation with hypocrites. The former dismisses the foreign enemies, and the latter expels the internal enemies.
Then, as a warning and emphasis, at the end of the verse, it says: