By Badruddoja Razvi Misbahi, New Age Islam
(Translated by New Age Islam)
14 April 2021
The Verse of Jihad (9:123) Out of 26 Verses Presented by Wasim Rizvi in Supreme Court- Meaning and Context
Main Points Discussed in This Part
1. Correct Meaning of Al-Ash-hur al-Hurum Misinterpreted by Wasim Rizvi
2. Kuffar and Mushrikin In The verses of Surah Taubah Refer To The People Of Arab Who Violated Peace-treaty and Inflicted Religious Persecution
3. Kafir Is Used for differentiating between Muslims and Non-Muslims and Not As An Abusive Term
4. Meaning and background of the verse of 123 of Surah At-Tawbah Mentioned in PIL filed by Wasim Rizvi
5. The “Close Infidels” in The Quranic verse 9:123 Either refer to Jews of Madinah or the Romans
6. The mystical interpretation of the Quranic verse (9:123)
Allah Almighty says, “O you who believe! Strive hard against the disbelievers who are near to you, and let them find hardship in you, and know that Allah is with those who are pious.” (The Quran, Surah Tauba 9:123, Translation Kanzul Iman)
Recently, a new video of Wasim Rizvi has gone viral in which he has recited, with great fury and audacity, the wrong translation of six out of twenty-six verses presented in the Supreme Court. In the second part of our article, we have already answered the first verse “Then when the sacred months (al-Ash-hur al-Hurum) have passed……” In this verse, he has translated the phrase “al-Ash-hur al-Hurum” as the month of Ramadan, while the phrase refers to the Islamic months of Dhul Qadah, Dhu'l-Hijjah, Muharram, and Rajab. Surprisingly, the one who does not even know the meaning of the phrase “al-Ash-hur al-Hurum” is challenging the twenty-six verses of the Qur'an in the Supreme Court. By repeating it extensively in the media, he is showing that he belongs to the class of individuals referred to in the following Quranic verse: “Allah has set a seal on their hearts and their hearing and there is a covering over their eyes and there is a great punishment for them” (2:7)
Wasim Rizvi mentioned verse 124 of Surah Taubah in a viral video and included it in his PIL. The readers have been informed that in most of the verses of Surah Taubah, the disbelievers (kuffar) and polytheists (mushrikin) refer to those people of Arab who had not only violated the peace-treaty but also inflicted aggression and religious persecution on the Muslims and compelled them to confront the horrific battles such as Badr, Uhud and Khandaq. They attacked the Prophet of Islam in the battle of Uhud and martyred his holy teeth. Amr Ibn Qumiyah attacked the Prophet’s face (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) with a stone so strongly that his sacred lips and face began to bleed. They demonstrated fierce aggression and martyred 108 companions (Sahaba) including migrants (Muhajirin) and supporters (Ansar). They were not satisfied with this cruelty. According to the traditional reports, they, along with a great force of either ten or twenty thousand battalions, attacked Madinah. The companions defended it by digging a trench (Khandaq). After the peace treaty of Hudaybiyyah was passed, they violated it too. In the verses of Surah Taubah, it was commanded to wage jihad against such evil infidels and polytheistic Arabs and not against the peace-loving citizens of India and the brothers of the native land.
After this necessary explanation, we want to tell you which disbelievers are meant by the verse of 123 of Surah At-Tawbah that commands the believers to wage jihad against “the close infidels”. But before that, we want to explain what is meant by the word "kufr" or its derivatives such as ‘Kafir’, ‘Kuffar’, ‘Kafirin’ or ‘Kafirun’ mentioned in various verses in the Holy Qur'an? Is the word kafir abusive as it is understood and explained by Wasim Rizvi and his likes? So we want to make it clear to the followers of Islam and the brothers of the homeland that kafir is not a word that may be a cause of pain, ridicule, humiliation or suffering, but it is simply a term as compared to Muslim. The one who believes in the oneness of God Almighty, the Prophet (peace and blessings of God be upon him), other Prophets and Messengers and all the fundamental beliefs of Sharia is called Muslim (believer) and whoever denies it and does not believe in it is called a disbeliever as Allah says,
“How can you disbelieve in Allah while you were dead, then He created you?” (2:28- The Quran-Translation Kanzul Iman).
Similarly in another place, He Almighty says:
“And whoever disbelieves in Allah and His angels and His books and His apostles and the last day, he indeed strays off into a remote error.” (4:136, The Quran-Translation Kanzul Iman)
And it is mentioned in a popular Arabic dictionary, “Kafar billahi, or Kafara bene’matihi”. This means, “He denied Allah or He denied His blessings” (Al-Mujam Al-Wasit, p. 956).
I looked up many dictionaries of Arabic, Urdu and English but I could not find any meaning of the word ‘kafir’ that contains the meaning of ‘abusing or humiliation’ from any angle. Therefore, everyone should get rid of the misconception that the word kafir is an insult to the brothers of the homeland. Let me tell you in even simpler words that one word is Muslim and another is non-Muslim, and those who are non-Muslims are called ‘kafir or kuffar’ in the Qur'an as it is mentioned in this verse of Surah Taubah (9:123).
After explaining the meaning and conception of Muslim and Kafir, let us now ponder over verse 123 of Surah Taubah. In this verse, under the formula of proximity, the believers are first commanded to wage jihad against the nearby infidels, as the Prophet was commanded to preach Islam and warn those who were very close to him and on whom he had great trust because whoever is very close, first deserves well-being and reformation.
Now let us see, which people are meant by “the close infidels” in this verse? There are two opinions about it, 1) the close infidels refer to the Jews of Madinah, such as Banu Qurayzah, Banu Nadhir and Banu Qainqa’. 2) In this verse, the close infidels refer to the Romans, because they lived in Shaam now called Syria which was closer to Madinah than Iraq, as it has been stated in the commentary of Abi Saud:
“One statement is that they [the close infidels] were the Jews living around Madinah, such as Bani Quraizah, Al-Nadhir and Khayber. Another statement is that they were the Romans because they lived in Syria, which is close to Madina, more than Iraq and elsewhere.” (Tafsir Abi Saud, V. 4, p.112)
But presumably, the close infidels mentioned in the verse refer to the Jews of Banu Qurayzah, Banu Nadir and Banu Qainqa 'who settled in Madinah and were so economically prosperous that they controlled the trade markets of Madinah and other cities. They were also afflicted with all kinds of moral ailments such as usury, lying, hatching conspiracy day and night, and distorting the divine commandments for achieving nefarious ambitions and personal gains. It had become their nature to hate and envy the Muslims. The tribes of Arab, ‘Aws and Khazraj, who were later known as the supporters (Ansar) of companions, were always suppressed by the Jews, because of their economic downfall. They were often indebted to the Jews, and under the pressure of the debt sometimes they had to mortgage their wives and children to the Jews of Madinah. One of the reasons for the supremacism of the Jews of Madinah was that they were astute and wise, in addition to being the People of the Book.
In Makkah, the Muslims had to confront only one nation that was idolater, ignorant and arrogant, whereas Madinah was the centre of several nations and followers of various religions. Therefore, after migrating to Madinah, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) made a treaty with the Jews of Madina, which is known as ‘Saheefa’ in the books of history and biographies. Its provisions were very comprehensive and of utmost importance for the establishment of peace and order. Its purpose was to save the city from disturbance of internal peace and order of the city. It was agreed that if there was any threat from outside, all the tribes of Madinah would unite and fight that.
This treaty was based on equality. All the civil and religious rights of the people of Madinah, without any discrimination, were protected under the provision of this treaty. But the Jews did not give up their nature and started hatching secret propaganda against Islam and its followers. For instance, the two tribes of Madinah, ‘Aws and Khazraj (Ansar of companions) had been fighting with each other for decades before the migration of the Prophet (peace be upon him). However, when they were reconciled, the Jews tried to incite enmity and restart a fire of civil war between both the groups.
Due to this civil war taking place before the Prophet’s migration, both the tribes had become the vassals of the Jews. Despite the treaty, the Jews considered polytheism and idolatry to be better and preferred it to monotheism, while they were the People of the Book. They were also ready to apostatize after accepting Islam, as is the case with Wasim Rizvi today. They secretly plotted against the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). The Prophet and his companions were facing the danger of losing their lives because of these Jews. An example is thus given that when the lifetime of Hazrat Talhah ibn Bara '(may Allah be pleased with him) was about to end, he made a will in front of the companions (Sahaba) that “If I pass away in the night, do not inform the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him), lest he come to the funeral and the Jews attack him”. (see Asad ul Ghaba Fi Marfa Al Sahaba, Vol: 3, p.81)
The hypocrites of Madinah were also at the forefront to hatch this conspiracy. Their leader was Abdullah b. Ubay. The Jews were his allies. The polytheists of Makkah constantly incited them to fight against our beloved Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), otherwise, they would do such and such. Ka'ab b. Ashraf was another headache. In short, The Jews of Madinah could not keep their agreement for a long time. When a Muslim woman went to sell milk in the neighbourhood of Banu Qainqa’, the Jews harassed and stripped her naked in front of the people in the market and when the Prophet (peace be upon him) summoned them to discuss the ongoing issue, they returned the treaty paper and agreed to fight.
Their cunning and mischief increased to such an extent that they even planned to secretly assassinate the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). However, through the divine revelation, the Prophet was informed of their deadly plan.
Under such causes, reasons and circumstances, the believers were commanded in this verse (9:123) to take notice of the infidels dwelling around you and then deal with those who live in remote places, because there is a famous Hindi proverb “Ghar Ka bhedi Lanka Dhaye” (meaning, The one who is very close to you can blow your secrets to the world and ruin your life) and if compared, those who are close to you are more dangerous than those who are far away from you.
This is the meaning of this verse that the believers should first fight against the Jews who live near them, such as Banu Nadir and Banu Quraiza (The Jews of Madinah). This verse does not mean that Muslims unnecessarily line up against non-Muslim brothers living in their neighbourhoods, localities, villages, towns and cities with guns, and AK 47, and shoot their human brothers with bullets, as Wasim Rizvi is creating such illusion and wants both the parties to line up against each other by provoking the Indian brothers.
As for the mystical interpretation of verse 123 of Surah Taubah 9, this suggests that the believers should first fight and do jihad against the close disbelievers i.e. their lower self (nafs-e-ammara), then think of the distant disbelievers. The reason is that the lower self is more dangerous and Jihad against this lower self is easier than that against the distant infidels. So you should always be ready to overcome your lower self, lust and evil desire. This is the reason that Jihad against infidels is reported to be a lesser Jihad (Jihad-e-Asghar) and Jihad against the lower self is considered to be a greater Jihad (Jihad-e-Akbar). For Jihad-e-Asghar, the arrows and swords can be bought from the bazaar, but weapons to fight the lower self are not sold in the streets and bazaars. For fighting against the lower self, one is required to kindle the candle of love to the Prophet in one’s heart and has to go through extreme struggle which is a very difficult task.
Maulana Badruddoja Razvi Misbahi, Principal of Madrasa Arabia Ashrafia Zia-ul-Uloom Khairabad, District Mau, UP (India) is a Sufi-minded, well-mannered, classical Islamic scholar, an expert teacher, an excellent writer, a good poet and orator. He has authored numerous books, some of which are as follows: 1) Fazilat-e-Ramazan, 2) Zad-ul-Haramain, 3) Mukhzin-e-Tib, 4) Tauzeehat-e-Ahsan, the commentary on the well-known logical book “Mulla Hasan” 5) Muhazarat fi Halle Qutbi Tasawwurat, 6) Tahzib al-Faraid commentary on “Sharh al-Aqaid”, 7)Atayib al-Tahani fi Halle Mukhtasar al-Ma’ani, 8) Commentary on Sahih Muslim
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