Surah At-Tawbah: Chapter 9 (line 1-10) the Repentance

1. A declaration of immunity from God and His Messenger to the polytheists with whom you had made a treaty.

2. So travel the land for four months, and know that you cannot escape God, and that God will disgrace the disbelievers.

3. And a proclamation from God and His Messenger to the people on the day of the Greater Pilgrimage, that God has disowned the polytheists, and so did His Messenger. If you repent, it will be better for you. But if you turn away, know that you cannot escape God. And announce to those who disbelieve a painful punishment.

4. Except for those among the polytheists with whom you had made a treaty, and did not violate any of its terms, nor aided anyone against you. So fulfill the treaty with them to the end of its term. God loves the righteous.

5. When the Sacred Months have passed, kill the polytheists wherever you find them. And capture them, and besiege them, and lie in wait for them at every ambush. But if they repent, and perform the prayers, and pay the alms, then let them go their way. God is Most Forgiving, Most Merciful.

6. And if anyone of the polytheists asks you for protection, give him protection so that he may hear the Word of God; then escort him to his place of safety. That is because they are a people who do not know.

7. How can there be a treaty with the polytheists on the part of God and His Messenger, except for those with whom you made a treaty at the Sacred Mosque? As long as they are upright with you, be upright with them. God loves the pious.

8. How? Whenever they overcome you, they respect neither kinship nor treaty with you. They satisfy you with lip service, but their hearts refuse, and most of them are immoral.

9. They traded away God’s revelations for a cheap price, so they barred others from His path. How evil is what they did.

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


My interpretation:

We are starting to see how Muhammad was being coached to act while Mecca was slowly transitioning to a monotheistic nation from a polytheistic one. The journey towards unity is a difficult one and many people refused to embrace Muhammad’s words.

They are told to travel the land in search of a new home for the four sacred months (no killing, or immorality) and to understand that the disbelievers will be punished while the believers will be rewarded. Just as the Jews were told to wander the desert for 40 days, this is the same for the Muslims. This is a test.

There is a proclamation that Muhammad has to give the people from Gabriel to say that God has disowned those who have disowned God and His messenger. Only if they repent, stop their old worship and start to donate to charity will they  be seen in God’s good graces. This is because they have wandered lost for so long.

Muhammad is told to shelter these refugees from the war and give them the messages of God to teach them. All the people deserve to hear the messages and then make their own choice to follow them or not. If they are sincere and honest with Muhammad then Muhammad is told to be sincere and honest with them back. God loves the sincere.

If there is still attacks on Muhammad and the Muslims, they are to battle back the polytheists who wish to kill them. This is a moment of kill or be killed for the Muslims, so God is commanding Muhammad to fight them if they continue to fight. If they come in peace and keep the treaty then there should be peace.

But Gabriel also warns Muhammad in a soliloquy at line 7 that some of these people will lie and not be earnest so Muhammad needs to be careful of these people who have heard the messages of God before, and decided to follow Satan instead. They followed their own desires for wealth and power in Mecca, so these are people to see they can not be helped further and are transgressors in the eyes of God already. They have made their choices and can not be helped.


Some of the pre-Islamic goddesses worshipped before monotheism came about. Some human and child sacrifice were done for these gods.