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The Qurʾan What is This? A current English-language version of the Qur'an, published in 2004
Translation by M.A.S. Abdel Haleem

9. Repentance (101 – 123)

101Some 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]. 102And 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. 103In order to cleanse and purify them [Prophet], acceptb Literally ‘take’. 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. 104Do 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. 105Say [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. 106And 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.

107Then there are those who built a mosquec Abu ‘Amir al-Rahib told the hypocrites to build a rival mosque in order to sow dissension in the community.—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. 109Which 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: 110the 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.

111God has purchased the persons and possessions of the believers in return for the Garden—they fight in God's way: they kill and are killed—this is a true promise given by Him in the Torah, the Gospel, and the Qurʾan. Who could be more faithful to his promise than God? So be happy with the bargain you have made: that is the supreme triumph. 112[The believers are] those who turn to God in repentance; who worship and praise Him; who bow down and prostrate themselves; who order what is good and forbid what is wrong and who observe God's limits. Give glad news to such believers.

113It is not fitting for the Prophet and the believers to ask forgiveness for the idolaters—even if they are related to them—after having been shown that they are the inhabitants of the Blaze: 114Abraham asked forgiveness for his father because he had made a promise to him, but once he realized that his father was an enemy of God, he washed his hands of him. Abraham was tender-hearted and forbearing. 115God would not condemn for going astray those He has already guided [to the faith] before making entirely clear to them what they should avoid.a This reassured the Muslims who had been praying for their disbelieving ancestors that they would not be blamed for having done this. God has knowledge of everything; 116control of the heavens and earth belongs to God; He alone gives life and death; you have no ally or helper other than Him.

117In His mercy God has turned to the Prophet, and the emigrants and helpers who followed him in the hour of adversity when some hearts almost wavered: He has turned to them; He is most kind and merciful to them. 118And to the three men who stayed behind: when the earth, for all its spaciousness, closed in around them, when their very souls closed in around them, when they realized that the only refuge from God was with Him, He turned to them in mercy in order for them to return [to Him]. God is the Ever Relenting, the Most Merciful.

119You who believe, be mindful of God: stand with those who are true. 120The people of Medina and their neighbouring desert Arabs should not have held back from following God's Messenger, nor should they have cared about themselves more than him: if ever they suffer any thirst, weariness, or hunger in God's cause, take any step that angers the disbelievers, or cause any harm to an enemy, a good deed is recorded in their favour on account of it—God never wastes the reward of those who do good—121if they spend a little or a lot for God's cause, if they traverse a mountain pass, all this is recorded to their credit so that God can reward them in accordance with the best of their deeds.

122Yet it is not right for all the believers to go out [to battle] together: out of each community, a group should go out to gain understanding of the religion, so that they can teach their people when they return and so that they can guard themselves against evil. 123You who believe, fight the disbelievers near you and let them find you standing firm: be aware that God is with those who are mindful of Him.

Notes:

b Literally ‘take’.

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

a This reassured the Muslims who had been praying for their disbelieving ancestors that they would not be blamed for having done this.

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