Surah At-Tawbah: Chapter 9 (line 10-20) the Repentance

10. Towards a believer they respect neither kinship nor treaty. These are the transgressors.

11. But if they repent, and perform the prayers, and give the obligatory charity, then they are your brethren in faith. We detail the revelations for a people who know.

12. But if they violate their oaths after their pledge, and attack your religion, then fight the leaders of disbelief-they have no faith-so that they may desist.

13. Will you not fight a people who violated their oaths, and planned to exile the Messenger, and initiated hostilities against you? Do you fear them? It is God you should fear, if you are believers.

14. Fight them. God will punish them at your hands, and humiliate them, and help you against them, and heal the hearts of a believing people.

15. And He will remove the anger of their hearts. God redeems whomever He wills. God is Knowledgeable and Wise.

16. Or do you think that you will be left alone, without God identifying which of you will strive, and take no supporters apart from God, His Messenger, and the believers? God is well Aware of what you do.

17. It is not for the polytheists to attend God’s places of worship while professing their disbelief. These-their works are in vain, and in the Fire they will abide.

18. The only people to attend God’s places of worship are those who believe in God and the Last Day, and pray regularly, and practice regular charity, and fear none but God. These are most likely to be guided.

19. Do you consider giving water to pilgrims and maintaining the Sacred Mosque the same as believing in God and the Last Day and striving in God’s path? They are not equal in God’s sight. God does not guide the unjust people.

20. Those who believe, and emigrate, and strive in God’s path with their possessions and their persons, are of a higher rank with God. These are the winners.

My interpretation: 

Gabriel has talked about the people who come to Islam, and to Muhammad with sincerity to learn in their hearts. Repentance will be accepted from them as they start a new life in Islam. Now it is time to talk about the ones who have made their personal choice to not believe in the Abrahamic God or follow the Quran revelations.

Muhammad is told to attack the Mecca leaders who attack the religion or muslims, they have a terrible punishment awaiting them. God will work through the people to exact justice and dole out punishment to those who disbelieve. But there is always Mercy given to those who become believers and the anger and pain will be removed from their hearts as they enter into Islam.

Line 16 shows that humans are not alone, and they are not to alone make judgements. God knows what is each in our hearts. All Muhammad can do is test people and use his common sense to know if someone is a true believer or not.

The Kabbah which once was the place of pagan idolatry by the people of Mecca has now become what you see today. An empty place of worship to reflect upon the marvels of God, but not to worship any idols or the building itself. The polytheists are not allowed to worship their gods and goddesses anymore at this holy site, Muhammad is told. So at this point in time we can be assured that Mecca has started the transition to Islam and the Kabbah brought back to it’s original purpose of worship.

Line 19 is to say that giving the pilgrims that come there for water for their thirst, and maintaining the Sacred Mosque is not the only acts needed to be done to be a true muslim. Religion is never half way, and so Muhammad is to remind the people that good deeds towards one another is good, but it is best to live God’s path of righteousness with faith and prayer daily, consistently.

Those who have left their homes and previous lives, based on faith alone, have received a high ranking place in heaven in terms of level of connection to God and devotedness to Him. They are the achievers of paradise to not be afraid to jump having a strong faith that God will always be there for them.

Moving towards positive change will always bring you to it.

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