Surah At-Tawbah: Chapter 9 (line 100-110) the Repentance

100. The Pioneers-The first of the Migrants and the Supporters, and those who followed them in righteousness. God is pleased with them, and they are pleased with Him. He has prepared for them Gardens beneath which rivers flow, where they will abide forever. That is the sublime triumph.

101. Among the Desert-Arabs around you there are some hypocrites, and among the inhabitants of Medina too. They have become adamant in hypocrisy. You do not know them, but We know them. We will punish them twice; then they will be returned to a severe torment.

102. Others have confessed their sins, having mixed good deeds with bad deeds. Perhaps God will redeem them. God is Forgiving and Merciful.

103. Receive contributions from their wealth, to purify them and sanctify them with it; and pray for them. Your prayer is comfort for them. God is Hearing and Knowing.

104. Do they not know that God accepts the repentance of His servants, and that He receives the contributions, and that God is the Acceptor of Repentance, the Merciful?

105. Say, “Work. God will see your work, and so will His Messenger, and the believers. Then you will be returned to the Knower of secrets and declarations, and He will inform you of what you used to do.”

106. Others are held in suspense, awaiting God’s decree, as to whether He will punish them, or accept their repentance. God is Aware and Wise.

107. Then there are those who establish a mosque to cause harm, and disbelief, and disunity among the believers, and as an outpost for those who fight God and His Messenger. They will swear: “Our intentions are nothing but good.” But God bears witness that they are liars.

108. Do not stand in it, ever. A mosque founded upon piety from the first day is worthier of your standing in it. In it are men who love to be purified. God loves those who purify themselves.

109. Is he who founds his structure upon piety and acceptance from God better, or he who founds his structure on the brink of a cliff that is about to tumble, so it tumbles with him into the Fire of Hell? God does not guide the unjust people.

110. The structure which they built will remain questionable in their hearts, until their hearts are stopped. God is Knowing and Wise.

My interpretation: 

Gabriel is telling Muhammad that the pioneers are people who are part of the first group of followers in the desert, amongst the desert people. They are the ones that were courageous and good in their heart enough to believe and trust in Muhammad’s messages that have been given to him.

Gabriel tells Muhammad that in both Mecca and Medina (where he is from) there are people who are hypocrites, and they lie to his face. Muhammad does not know them but the Angels and God do. So he is being warned to watch out for their plots. Punishing them twice means to have them suffer in life, because they will cause their own negative reality, and then in death, their consciousness will not reach a state of bliss because they did not believe while alive.

Line 102, shows that some people are half and half between doing good deeds, and confessing past sins. God is the only one to judge them based on individual accounts of their soul.

Muhammad is also told that when he receives contribution from people to the poor, he can pray for them not as a substitution of what they do, but a plea to ask God to show them mercy since they have changed their ways and have given up some of their wealth to people in need in the society.

Gabriel reminds Muhammad that God is accepting of the repentance of his servants and any one who comes to him humbly. Muhammad needs to tell them to work hard at being a good person until death, when God will reveal all that they have done, both good and bad.

Line 106 suggests the ones who are nervous about being punished, but don’t really love and accept God as their creator are thinking they hold these thoughts on their own, but they are visible to God.

Also God informs Muhammad that some create churches, mosques, and temples in order to preach hate and sway the public to certain opinion. So God sees this as well and will judge those accordingly. Gabriel uses the cliff metaphor to show that a place of worship established for the right intent to worship and come to God together as a people is much better than one that was created out of weak human desires and intent.

God will put doubt in their hearts until the day they die if they built a mosque to preach hate and unrest in the world. They will be punished and Muhammad and his followers are not to step a foot in them.

 Real muslims don’t preach hate in mosques. They go to sit and pray and just be with God.