Surah Taubah >> Currently viewing Surah Taubah Ayat 17 (9:17)

Surah Taubah Ayat 17 in Arabic Text

مَا كَانَ لِلْمُشْرِكِينَ أَن يَعْمُرُوا۟ مَسَـٰجِدَ ٱللَّهِ شَـٰهِدِينَ عَلَىٰٓ أَنفُسِهِم بِٱلْكُفْرِ ۚ أُو۟لَـٰٓئِكَ حَبِطَتْ أَعْمَـٰلُهُمْ وَفِى ٱلنَّارِ هُمْ خَـٰلِدُونَ
maa kaana lilmushrikeena ai ya’muroo masaajidal laahi shaahideena ‘alaaa anfusihim bilkufr; ulaaa’ika habitat a’maaluhum wa fin naari hum khaalidoon

English Translation

Here you can read various translations of verse 17

Sahih International
It is not for the polytheists to maintain the mosques of Allah [while] witnessing against themselves with disbelief. [For] those, their deeds have become worthless, and in the Fire they will abide eternally.

Yusuf Ali
It is not for such as join gods with Allah, to visit or maintain the mosques of Allah while they witness against their own souls to infidelity. The works of such bear no fruit: In Fire shall they dwell.

Abul Ala Maududi
It does not become those who associate others with Allah in His Divinity to visit and tend Allah’s mosques while they bear witness of unbelief against themselves. All their works have gone to waste. They shall abide in the Fire.

Muhsin Khan
It is not for the Mushrikun (polytheists, idolaters, pagans, disbelievers in the Oneness of Allah), to maintain the Mosques of Allah (i.e. to pray and worship Allah therein, to look after their cleanliness and their building, etc.), while they witness against their ownselves of disbelief. The works of such are in vain and in Fire shall they abide.

Pickthall
It is not for the idolaters to tend Allah’s sanctuaries, bearing witness against themselves of disbelief. As for such, their works are vain and in the Fire they will abide.

Dr. Ghali
In no way should the associators (Those who associate others with Allah) tend the mosques of Allah, witnessing against themselves disbelief; those, their deeds are frustrated, and in the Fire they are eternally (abiding (.

Abdel Haleem
It is not right for the idolaters to tend God’s places of worship while testifying to their own disbelief: the deeds of such people will come to nothing and they will abide in Hell.

Quran 9 Verse 17 Explanation

For those looking for commentary to help with the understanding of Surah Taubah ayat 17, we’ve provided two Tafseer works below. The first is the tafseer of Abul Ala Maududi, the second is of Ibn Kathir.

Ala-Maududi

(9:17) It does not become those who associate others with Allah in His Divinity to visit and tend Allah’s mosques while they bear witness of unbelief against themselves.[19] All their works have gone to waste.[20] They shall abide in the Fire.


19. This lays down the general principle for the guardianship of the places of worship that have been built exclusively for the worship of Allah. Obviously, those people who associate others with Allah in His essence, His rights and His powers cannot be the proper persons to be the guardians, the servants, the managers etc. of such sacred places. And when they themselves reject the invitations to Tauhid, and openly declare that they are not going to dedicate their worship and obedience exclusively o Allah, they automatically forfeit any right they had for the guardianship of such places of worship that had been built for the worship of Allah alone. Though the principle is of a general nature, it has been mentioned here with the particular object of removing the mushriks from the guardianship of the Kaabah and Masjid-i-Haram and establishing permanently the guardianship of the worshipers of one God over them.

20. “Their deeds have become worthless”: including the little real service they did to the house of Allah because they mixed with it shirk and other practices of ignorance. Their little good was destroyed by their far greater evils.

Ibn-Kathir

17. It is not for the Mushrikin, to maintain the Masjids of Allah, while they witness against themselves of disbelief. The works of such are in vain and in Fire shall they abide. 18. The Masjids of Allah shall be maintained only by those who believe in Allah and the Last Day; perform the Salah, and give Zakah and fear none but Allah. It is they who are on true guidance.


It is not for Idolators to maintain the Masjids of Allah

Allah says that it is not fitting that those who associate others with Allah in worship should maintain the Masjids of Allah that were built in His Name alone without partners. Those who read the Ayah, “Masjid Allah”, said that it refers to Al-Masjid Al-Haram, the most honored Masjid on the earth, which was built, from the first day, for the purpose of worshipping Allah alone without partners. It was built by Khalil Ar-Rahman (the Prophet Ibrahim) peace be upon him. The idolators do this while they themselves testify to their disbelief with their statements and actions. As-Suddi said, “If you ask a Christian, `What is your religion’, He will tell you he is a Christian. If you ask a Jew about his religion, he will say he is a Jew, and the same for a Sabi’ and a Mushrik!”’

﴿أُوْلَـئِكَ حَبِطَتْ أَعْمَـلُهُمْ﴾

(The works of such are in vain), because of their Shirk,

﴿وَفِى النَّارِ هُمْ خَـلِدُونَ﴾

(and in Fire shall they abide.) Allah said in another Ayah,

﴿وَمَا لَهُمْ أَلاَّ يُعَذِّبَهُمُ اللَّهُ وَهُمْ يَصُدُّونَ عَنِ الْمَسْجِدِ الْحَرَامِ وَمَا كَانُواْ أَوْلِيَآءَهُ إِنْ أَوْلِيَآؤُهُ إِلاَّ الْمُتَّقُونَ وَلَـكِنَّ أَكْثَرَهُمْ لاَ يَعْلَمُونَ ﴾

(And why should not Allah punish them while they hinder (men) from Al-Masjid Al-Haram, and they are not its guardians None can be its guardians except those with Taqwa, but most of them know not.)﴿8:34﴾.

Believers are the True Maintainers of the Masjids

Allah said,

﴿إِنَّمَا يَعْمُرُ مَسَـجِدَ اللَّهِ مَنْ ءَامَنَ بِاللَّهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الاٌّخِرِ﴾

(The Masjids of Allah shall be maintained only by those who believe in Allah and the Last Day.) Therefore, Allah testifies to the faith of those who maintain the Masjids. `Abdur-Razzaq narrated that `Amr bin Maymun Al-Awdi said, “I met the Companions of the Prophet and they were saying, `The Masjids are the Houses of Allah on the earth. It is a promise from Allah that He is generous to those who visit Him in the Masjids.,” Allah said next,

﴿وَأَقَامَ الصَّلَوةَ﴾

(perform the Salah), one of the major acts of worship practiced by the body,

﴿وَءَاتَى الزَّكَوةَ﴾

(and give the Zakah), which is the best act that benefits other people,

﴿وَلَمْ يَخْشَ إِلاَّ اللَّهَ﴾

(and fear none but Allah), they fear only Allah, the Exalted, and none else,

﴿فَعَسَى أُوْلَـئِكَ أَن يَكُونُواْ مِنَ الْمُهْتَدِينَ﴾

(It is they who are on true guidance.) `Ali bin Abi Talhah said that Ibn `Abbas said about Allah’s statement,

﴿إِنَّمَا يَعْمُرُ مَسَـجِدَ اللَّهِ مَنْ ءَامَنَ بِاللَّهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الاٌّخِرِ﴾

(The Masjids of Allah shall be maintained only by those who believe in Allah and the Last Day;) “He who singles out Allah (in worship), has faith in the Last Day.” ﴿And he said﴾; “He who believes in what Allah has revealed,

﴿وَأَقَامَ الصَّلَوةَ﴾

(perform the Salah), establishes the five daily prayers,

﴿وَلَمْ يَخْشَ إِلاَّ اللَّهَ﴾

(and fear none but Allah.), worships Allah alone,

﴿فَعَسَى أُوْلَـئِكَ أَن يَكُونُواْ مِنَ الْمُهْتَدِينَ﴾

(it may be they who are on true guidance.) Allah says, `It is they who are the successful ones in truth.’ Similarly, Allah said to His Prophet ,

﴿عَسَى أَن يَبْعَثَكَ رَبُّكَ مَقَاماً مَّحْمُودًا﴾

(It may be that your Lord will raise you to Maqam Mahmud)﴿17:79﴾. Allah says here, `Your Lord (O Muhammad) shall grant you a station of praise, that is, the intercession (on the Day of Resurrection).’ Every `might’ in the Qur’an means `shall’.”

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