Surah Taubah Ayat 37 in Arabic Text
Here you can read various translations of verse 37
Indeed, the postponing [of restriction within sacred months] is an increase in disbelief by which those who have disbelieved are led [further] astray. They make it lawful one year and unlawful another year to correspond to the number made unlawful by Allah and [thus] make lawful what Allah has made unlawful. Made pleasing to them is the evil of their deeds; and Allah does not guide the disbelieving people.
Verily the transposing (of a prohibited month) is an addition to Unbelief: the Unbelievers are led to wrong thereby: for they make it lawful one year, and forbidden another year, in order to adjust the number of months forbidden by Allah and make such forbidden ones lawful. The evil of their course seems pleasing to them. But Allah guideth not those who reject Faith.
The intercalation (of sacred months) is an act of gross infidelity which causes the unbelievers to be led further astray. They declare a month to be lawful in one year and forbidden in another year in order that they may conform to the number of months that Allah has declared as sacred, and at the same time make lawful what Allah has forbidden. Their foul acts seem fair to them. Allah does not direct those who deny the Truth to the Right Way.
The postponing (of a Sacred Month) is indeed an addition to disbelief: thereby the disbelievers are led astray, for they make it lawful one year and forbid it another year in order to adjust the number of months forbidden by Allah, and make such forbidden ones lawful. The evil of their deeds seems pleasing to them. And Allah guides not the people, who disbelieve.
Postponement (of a sacred month) is only an excess of disbelief whereby those who disbelieve are misled; they allow it one year and forbid it (another) year, that they may make up the number of the months which Allah hath hallowed, so that they allow that which Allah hath forbidden. The evil of their deeds is made fairseeming unto them. Allah guideth not the disbelieving folk.
Surely the month postponed is only an increase in disbelief whereby the ones who have disbelieved are led into error; one season they make it lawful, (i.e., they make fighting in it lawful) and keep it prohibited (i.e. they make fighting in it unlawful) (another) season to make it coincide with the (right) number that ة Allah has prohibited, so make lawful what Allah has prohibited. Their odious deeds have been adorned for them; (i.e., made attractive to them) and Allah does not guide the disbelieving people.
Postponing sacred months is another act of disobedience by which those who disregard [God] are led astray: they will allow it one year and forbid it in another in order outwardly to conform with the number of God’s sacred months, but in doing so they permit what God has forbidden. Their evil deeds are made alluring to them: God does not guide those who disregard [Him].
Quran 9 Verse 37 Explanation
For those looking for commentary to help with the understanding of Surah Taubah ayat 37, we’ve provided two Tafseer works below. The first is the tafseer of Abul Ala Maududi, the second is of Ibn Kathir.
(9:37) The intercalation (of sacred months) is an act of gross infidelity which causes the unbelievers to be led further astray. They declare a month to be lawful in one year and forbidden in another year in order that they may conform to the number of months that Allah has declared as sacred, and at the same time make lawful what Allah has forbidden. Their foul acts seem fair to them. Allah does not direct those who deny the Truth to the Right Way.
37. The pagan Arabs practiced nasi in two ways. Whenever it suited them, they would declare a prohibited month to be an ordinary month in which fighting, robbery and murder in retaliation were lawful for them. Then they would declare an ordinary month to be a prohibited month instead of this month in order to make up for the deficiency caused in the number of the prohibited months.
The other way of nasi was the addition of a month in order to harmonize the lunar with the solar year so that the Hajj should always fall in the same season and they should be saved from the bother and inconvenience that are experienced by its observance according to the lunar year. In this way Hajj was observed for 36 years on dates other than the actual dates. Then in the thirty seventh year it was again observed on the 9th and 10th of Zil-Hajjah, as they should have actually fallen according to the lunar calendar. It so happened that on the occasion when the Prophet (peace be upon him) performed Hajja-tul-Widaa (his last Hajj). these dates by rotation coincided with the actual dates of Hajj according to the lunar calendar. So he declared during the course of his historic address at Arafat: “This year the dates of Hajj have again occurred exactly at their natural and proper time after a long period of circulation.” Accordingly, since that last Hajj of A.H. 9, it is being observed up to this day according to the correct dates of the lunar year.
By making nasi unlawful and forbidding it, the law declared that the two objects for which it was practiced were also sinful. First, they not only made lawful what Allah had made unlawful but also tried to practice deception on Allah by the seeming observance of the law. As regards the second object of making the season of Hajj fixed permanently according to the solar calendar, this too, was in fact the worst kind of rebellion against the divine law, although it appeared to be a harmless thing done for public good. But it defeated the very object of the divine law which prescribed the lunar calendar instead of the solar calendar for the observance of obligatory duties. Allah did this to ensure many good things for the Muslims, one of which is that His servants should be so trained as to obey His commandments at all times of the year and under all circumstances. For instance, the month of Ramadan circulates among all the seasons of the year and the Muslims get used to obeying His commandments whether it be summer or winter, dry or rainy season. This gives them that excellent moral training which is the real object of all the obligatory duties imposed by the divine law. Likewise, the dates of Hajj according to the lunar calendar, fall during different seasons: therefore the servants of Allah have to travel during all the seasons, favorable and unfavorable. Thus they come out successful in the divine test under all the circumstances and learn to be steadfast in their obedience.
It is obvious that such a training will make them stand good in many other fields in which one has to fight the battle for the truth.
Now it would have become quite clear why nasi was made unlawful and forbidden. It was designed to fix the season of Hajj in order to suit their own conveniences though it defeated the divine purpose of Hajj and of the forbidden months. It meant that they had rebelled against Allah and become independent of Him; this is kufr. Besides this, Islam is a universal religion and for all human beings. It is obvious that the periods of fasting and performing Hajj cannot satisfy all if they be fixed in accordance with the months of the solar year. For if they are performed in fixed months according to the solar year, the one and the same month will not equally suit all for the simple reason that it will fall during the same seasons in different places, summer or winter or very hot or very cold or rainy or dry or harvesting or sowing, year after year.
In this connection it may also be kept in view that the proclamation about the prohibition of nasi was made on the occasion of Hajj in A.H. 9 and next year the Hajj was performed on right dates which were in accordance with the
37. The postponing (of a Sacred Month) is indeed an addition to disbelief: thereby the disbelievers are led astray, for they make it lawful one year and forbid it another year in order to adjust the number of months forbidden by Allah, and make such forbidden ones lawful. The evil of their deeds is made fair-seeming to them. And Allah guides not the people who disbelieve.
Allah admonishes the idolators for choosing their wicked opinions over Allah’s Law. They changed Allah’s legislation based upon their vain desires, allowing what Allah prohibited and prohibiting what Allah allowed. They thought that three consecutive sacred months were rather long for them to remain without fighting, for they were full of anger and rage. This is why before Islam they innovated a change in the Sacred Month of Muharram, delaying it to the month of Safar! Therefore, they allowed fighting in the Sacred Month and made the non-sacred month sacred, to make the Sacred Months in a year four, as Allah decided! `Ali bin Abi Talhah said that Ibn `Abbas commented on Allah’s statement,
(The postponing (of a Sacred Month) is indeed an addition to disbelief), “Junadah bin `Awf bin Umayyah Al-Kinani, known as Abu Thumamah, used to attend the Hajj season every year and declare, `Abu Thumamah is never rejected nor refuted!,’ and he used to treat Safar as sacred for people one year ﴿and un-sanctify Muharram﴾ and treat Muharram as sacred another year ﴿and un-sanctify Safar in that year﴾. This is why Allah said,
(The postponing (of a Sacred Month) is indeed an addition to disbelief. ) nAllah says, `They allow Muharram one year and make it sacred another year.”’ Al-`Awfi narrated a similar statement from Ibn `Abbas. Layth bin Abi Sulaym narrated that Mujahid said, “There was a man from Bani Kinanah who would attend the Hajj season every year riding his donkey. He would proclaim, `O people! I am never rejected, denied or refuted in what I say. We made this coming Muharram sacred, and Safar not!’ The following year he would come again and declare the same words then say, `We made this coming Safar sacred and delayed Muharram (revoked its sanctity).’ This is the meaning of Allah’s statement,
(in order to adjust the number of months forbidden by Allah), to four months. Allah says, `They allow what Allah disallowed by delaying the Sacred Month.”’ The idolators used to allow Muharram one year and sanctify Safar in its place. They would continue the months of the year according to their normal count and names. The next year they would sanctify Muharram and continue the year, Safar, Rabi`, until the end of the year.
(They make it lawful one year and forbid it another year in order to adjust the number of months forbidden by Allah, and make such forbidden ones lawful.) Therefore, they would still sanctify four months every year, but would one year sanctify the third from the three consecutive Sacred Months, Muharram, and postpone and delay it another year to Safar. In his book of Sirah, Imam Muhammad bin Ishaq presented a very useful beneficial discussion on this matter. He said; “The first to start the practice of overlooking the sanctity of months for the Arabs, thus allowing what Allah sanctified of them and sanctifying what Allah allowed of them, was “Al-Qalammas”. He was Hudhayfah bin `Abd Fuqaym bin `Adi bin `Amr bin Tha`labah bin Al-Harith bin Malik bin Kinanah bin Khuzaymah bin Mudrikah bin Ilyas bin Mudar bin Nizar bin Ma`dd bin `Adnan. His son `Abbad maintained this practice, then after him his son Qala` bin `Abbad did the same, Then his son Umayyah bin Qala`, then his son `Awf bin Umayyah, then his son Abu Thumamah Junadah bin `Awf. He was the last one of his sons (to continue this practice) before Islam. The Arabs used to gather around him when Hajj finished, and he would stand and give them a speech in which he sanctifies Rajab, Dhul-Qa`dah and Dhul-Hijjah. He would defer the sanctity of Muharram to Safar one year and uphold its sanctity another year, so as to appear upholding the number (of Sacred Months) Allah made sacred. Therefore, he would allow what Allah prohibited and prohibit what Allah allowed.” Allah knows best.
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