Sūrat al-Tawba, No.9. Revealed in Madinah, 129 verses.
This Sūra talks a lot about repentance and hence is known al-Tawbah. It is also known as al-Bara’at, from the first word of the Sūra.
It is from among the last Sūras to be revealed to the Prophet (s). It came down after the Muslims had established themselves and overcome their enemies. The threat to the Muslims was now mainly from the hypocrites, a topic the Sūra discusses at length.
Merits of reciting the Sūra
Imam al-Sadiq (a) has said; Whoever recites Sūra al-Anfal and Sūra al-Tawbah, hypocrisy will never enter him, and he will be from the true followers of Amir al-Mu’minin (Imam Ali) (a).
Note: This reward is for those who understand and follow the message of the Sūras in their lives.
Sūrat al-Tawba, Part 1, verses 1-37
Synopsis of Contents
- Announcement of disassociation with the polytheists (verses 1-3)
- War with the polytheists (verses 4-17)
- Ranks of service to Allah (verses 18-22)
- Loyalty to faith (verses 23-24)
- Help from Allah (verses 25-27)
- The polytheists and those of other faiths (verses 28-37)
Suggested verses for memorization in Arabic and English
- 9:13 – Do you fear them? But Allah is worthier of being feared by you, if you are believers.
- 9:28 – Should you fear poverty, Allah will enrich you out of His grace, if He wishes. Indeed Allah is all-knowing, all-wise.
- 9:32 – They desire to put out the light of Allah with their mouths, but Allah is intent on perfecting His light though the disbelievers are averse.
Activities for self-study
- This Sūra has some verses which are often used out of context to spread misconceptions about Islam. For a good discussion on understanding these and similar verses on war and fighting, see Book 2 (Peace and Jihad) in the Prophet Muhammad series in this link – https://al-m.ca/downloads/. Pages 8-9 of this book discuss verses from Sūrat al-Tawba.
- Go through verse 24. List the things that human beings can take as priority over Allah.
- Almighty Allah talks about those who wish to put out the light of Allah and how His religion will prevail (verses 32-33). Compare these verses with a similar promise made in 61:8-9 and 48:28.
Āyatullāh Nāsir Makārim Shirazi (Ed.) Tafsir Namūne; https://www.al-islam.org/enlightening-commentary-light-holy-quran-vol-20/surah-shams-chapter-91; Ali Quli Qarai, The Qur’an With a Phrase-by-Phrase English.