Surah At-Tawbah: Chapter 9 (line 30-40) the Repentance

30. The Jews said, “Ezra is the son of God,” and the Christians said, “The Messiah is the son of God.” These are their statements, out of their mouths. They emulate the statements of those who blasphemed before. May God assail them! How deceived they are!

31. They have taken their rabbis and their priests as lords instead of God, as well as the Messiah son of Mary. Although they were commanded to worship none but The One God. There is no god except He. Glory be to Him; High above what they associate with Him.

32. They want to extinguish God’s light with their mouths, but God refuses except to complete His light, even though the disbelievers dislike it.

33. It is He who sent His Messenger with the guidance and the religion of truth, in order to make it prevail over all religions, even though the idolaters dislike it.

34. O you who believe! Many of the rabbis and priests consume people’s wealth illicitly, and hinder from God’s path. Those who hoard gold and silver, and do not spend them in God’s cause, inform them of a painful punishment.

35. On the Day when they will be heated in the Fire of Hell, then their foreheads, and their sides, and their backs will be branded with them: “This is what you hoarded for yourselves; so taste what you used to hoard.”

36. The number of months, according to God, is twelve months-in the decree of God-since the Day He created the heavens and the earth, of which four are sacred. This is the correct religion. So do not wrong yourselves during them. And fight the polytheists collectively, as they fight you collectively, and know that God is with the righteous.

37. Postponement is an increase in disbelief-by which those who disbelieve are led astray. They allow it one year, and forbid it another year, in order to conform to the number made sacred by God, thus permitting what God has forbidden. The evil of their deeds seems good to them. God does not guide the disbelieving people.

38. O you who believe! What is the matter with you, when it is said to you, “Mobilize in the cause of God,” you cling heavily to the earth? Do you prefer the present life to the Hereafter? The enjoyment of the present life, compared to the Hereafter, is only a little.

39. Unless you mobilize, He will punish you most painfully, and will replace you with another people, and you will not harm Him at all. God has power over all things.

40. If you do not help him, God has already helped him, when those who disbelieved expelled him, and he was the second of two in the cave. He said to his friend, “Do not worry, God is with us.” And God made His tranquility descend upon him, and supported him with forces you did not see, and made the word of those who disbelieved the lowest, while the Word of God is the Highest. God is Mighty and Wise.

My interpretation: 

Gabriel is telling Muhammad that 600 years after Jesus, religion has been corrupted. The priesthood has missed the point of having messengers and have taken them to worship instead of the one invisible creator that connects us all to each other. They didn’t really believe, they just wanted to use religion as a form of control and to gain wealth.

Line 34, this you can see the angel is passionate about and is telling Muhammad to talk to the believers to not follow the same footsteps as those priests and rabbis who altered the words of God with their mouths. It makes me tear up inside to see how the beautiful messages could be so distorted in order to make a profit and to hoard the wealth and power to themselves. It is not the people’s faults. It is the leaders who lead their people astray. God will judge each according to what they have contributed to the chaos and division in the world.

A powerful image is given to Muhammad where literally the gold and silver will be branded on the backs, sides, and foreheads of the men who used religion as a profit and desired material gain, as they burn in Hell. We get a clear indication of karmic debt where if you hoard money as a leader with responsibility to the people, you will taste the punishment with it. This can be taken in a literal sense, but as we know, the spiritual is far more than physical matter. Perhaps this is why it makes things so painful.

12 months were created by God, in order to establish balance and order of the seasons and things. Only 4 are sacred to observe and reflect on. The four sacred months are: Zul Qa`dah, Zul Hajj, Muharram and Rajab. These months were traditionally fixed for journeys towards the Kabbah for Hajj and Umrah. A month preceding the month of Hajj and a month succeeding it was specifically for the journey for Hajj, while during Rajab a complete ceasefire was observed for those intending to take up Umrah. You can use an Islamic calendar to see when the months fall in the certain year since they change according to celestial bodies. Muhammad is also reminded to fight those who fight the muslims under the law of self defense, but be observant of these peace treaties and months.

Line 37 is very strange indeed, but supposedly there has been a made up tradition that Gabriel is calling out here that allows the forbidden things from God to be allowed one year, then not the next, in a jockeying of spirituality and punishment postponed. That’s not how God works. As we learn, it is all or nothing with God. You can not keep doing something forbidden, that is not repentance, that is called “backsliding” on faith.

Line 38 is what Gabriel is telling Muhammad who will need to tell the people to rouse them to fight for their lives and freedom from oppressors, because this war against Mecca is not over yet. If they do not fight, then God will see these people as not fulfilling their duties as the next chosen people to help spread the message and will no longer choose them to do great humanitarian works through.

We get a glimpse of Muhammad’s history and what may have drove him into the cave in the first place. Not only was the cave a quiet place to contemplate life, but it was also his hiding place from the tyrannical Mecca leaders whose pagan traditions and rites he did not agree with.

There is a possibility that Gabriel showed himself to others or appeared to Muhammad while others were with him.

Line 40 is where we see Gabriel almost talking to the people around Muhammad to show that Muhammad has already been chosen, and if the people do not follow his lead or listen to him, they can not be helped as Muhammad has been. Gabriel is saying that Muhammad has been already filled with faith, when he was in the cave with another man who was his friend who was afraid for some reason, perhaps of being persecuted. Muhammad had faith that God was with them always, and this is possibly when the communication with Gabriel begun, leading him to become the great war general he became to help his people, with the help of the Angels.


Regardless what muslim leaders made Islam to be today based on their own choices, Islam was prescribed to stop THIS excessive wealth hoarded by religious leaders.