Qur’an 9: 29
In this article, I discuss verse 9:29 in the Qur’an. A video by Dr. Jamal Badawi is introduced and analyzed.
Sura 9 of the Qur’an is one of the last Suras chronologically. In Arabic, it is the Tawba (repentance) Sura. Only one Sura came down after it (Sura Annasr “The Victory” or “The Triumph”). I will be using the Arabic text and classical Tafsirs to understand the verse.
Verse 29 in Arabic:
The verse in Arabic is one of the most hateful ugly verses one can find in any book. Here is my accurate translation:
Fight those who do not believe in Allah, nor believe in the last day (of Judgement), nor prohibit what Allah and his messenger (Muhammad) prohibited, nor believe in the religion of truth (Islam) from amongst those who were given the books (Jews and Christians), until they pay the Jizya (special tax for non-Muslims only) willingly, and be subdued (be in a lower level than Muslims).
This is my translation. One of the more accurate translations of the Qur’an is that of “The generous Qur’an”, a translation done by Usama Dakdok. Here is his translation:
Engage in war with those who do not believe in Allah and in the last day. And do not forbid what Allah and his messenger forbid, and do not believe in the religion of the truth (Islam) among those who have been given the book until they pay the jizya out of hand and they are subdued.
The verse itself is a very ugly one indeed for multiplicity of reasons:
- It is a command to go fight others just because they believe different. There is not rational justification for such an evil belief. Why would I have to go make war with someone who happens to believe in a different religion (or non-religion for that matter)
- Muhammad is bidding his value system of “forbid” and “permit” as if it is a superior belief to other convictions of people. There is no rationale for that at all.
- Muhammad is assuming that his created religion, Islam, has truth in it, while other people of the book (Jews and Christians) do not have such a truth. Muhammad dictates such a fact, even though he spent his life trying to convince Jews and Christians of his message. He convinced no one but his gang of marauding band.
- Muhammad’s supremacist belief is shown through getting Jizya money from people just because they believe different. He also wants to get such money in a manner that is humiliating to Jews and Christians
Muhammad dared not bring a revelation like that when he was weak in Mecca. People would have laughed at him. But this was no laughing matter. This was an institutionalizing of classes in society. On top there are the Muslims. A second class citizens are the Jews and Christians. This is not me talking. It is the Qur’anic verse.
Here is what Ibn Kathir says about verse 9:29
(Fight against those who believe not in Allah, nor in the Last Day, nor forbid that which has been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, and those who acknowledge not the religion of truth among the People of the Scripture,) This honorable Ayah was revealed with the order to fight the People of the Book, after the pagans were defeated, the people entered Allah’s religion in large numbers, and the Arabian Peninsula was secured under the Muslims’ control. Allah commanded His Messenger to fight the People of the Scriptures, Jews and Christians, on the ninth year of Hijrah, and he prepared his army to fight the Romans and called the people to Jihad announcing his intent and destination. The Messenger sent his intent to various Arab areas around Al-Madinah to gather forces, and he collected an army of thirty thousand. Some people from Al-Madinah and some hypocrites, in and around it, lagged behind, for that year was a year of drought and intense heat. The Messenger of Allah marched, heading towards Ash-Sham to fight the Romans until he reached Tabuk, where he set camp for about twenty days next to its water resources.
My quote from Ibn Kathir is very important later on when I present the reader with Mr. Badawi’s video.
I hope that the reader can see how ugly this verse is.
Let me move to discuss Taqiyya in the west as presented by Jamal Badawi.
Please observe this video by Dr. Jamal Badawi:
- Historical context: He says “Islam was in great danger”. Not true. This was the end of the 9th Hijra year. Muhammad was pretty much in control of Arabia. The above quote shows that Muhammad was in control.
- There are no attacks coming against the Muslim community. The above quote from Ibn Kathir shows that Muhammad was in control of Arabia. Muhammad was the one who gathered men and went to attack the romans to the north. He was the aggressor.
- Jizya: Badawi lies to western audience about it. It is a special tax levied against non-Muslims just because they are not Muslims. It is a discriminatory tax against non-Muslims. Muslims collect money from non-Muslims. What Badawi forgot (on purpose!) to mention is that non-Muslims are not allowed to take high leadership political or military positions in the Muslim state. They cannot run for office. Yet, Mr. Badawi paints a picture to western audience to sell his prejudist Islamic beliefs regarding Jizya.
- The Hand: Mr. Badawi ignores the facts of the verse about the hand. The verse says you better give out Jizya money with open hand or else. Feeling “subdued” is related to the “no choice” in having your hand open and giving the Muslims Jizya. How much lies is enough Mr. Badawi?
- He also says “Jizya is not a Must”. Well, in fact, it is if we are to follow the Qur’an’s injunction in 9:29.
- The last word in the verse is “Saghiroon”, or “Subdued” or “Humiliated”. That is what the word means in Arabic. Mr. Badawi gives us another meaning which is “accepting the authority”. This is a flat out twisting of the meaning. I will quote from the Arabic researcher website “Al-Bahith”. Here is a link:
Researching the Arabic word “Saghiroon” should clear any misconceptions we have. It means being “belittled”. It means being ruled by Muslims with no say in the matter. Let me quote from Al-Bahith website:
يقال صَغِرَ فلان يَصْغَرُ صَغَراً وصَغاراً، فهو صاغِر إِذا رَضِيَ بالضَّيْم وأَقَرَّ بِهِ. قال الله تعالى: حتى يُعْطُوا الجزْية عن يَدٍ وهُمْ صاغِرون؛ أَي أَذِلاَّءُ.
وقوله عز وجل: سَيُصِيب الذين أَجْرَمُوا صَغار عند الله؛ أَي هُمْ، وإِن كانوا أَكابر في الدنيا، فسيصيبهم صَغار عند الله أَي مَذَلَّة.
وقال الشافعي، رحمه الله، في قوله عز وجل: عن يَدٍ وهُمْ صاغِرُون؛ أَي يجري عليهم حُكْمُ المسلمين.
The above quote, though in Arabic, shows the meaning of the verse in Arabic. The last part of verse 9:29 is quoted above and showing that “Saghiroon” means humiliated or subdued. After that, Shafi’I is also quoted showing that it also means being ruled by Muslims. It is not one meaning versus the other. Rather, both meanings apply. Non-Muslims better submit to be governed by Muslims, and they better pay the Jizya tax in humiliation. Saghiroon does not just mean accepting the authority of the state. It has a strong meaning of humiliation in Arabic. Badawi knows that, but still lies about it.
Let me show the reader that Qur’anic tafsirs agree with my understanding of the verse, and not with what Badawi is trying to market to western audience:
Fight those who do not believe in God, nor in the Last Day, for, otherwise, they would have believed in the Prophet (s), and who do not forbid what God and His Messenger have forbidden, such as wine, nor do they practise the religion of truth, the firm one, the one that abrogated other religions, namely, the religion of Islam — from among of those who (min, ‘from’, explains [the previous] alladhīna, ‘those who’) have been given the Scripture, namely, the Jews and the Christians, until they pay the jizya tribute, the annual tax imposed them, readily (‘an yadin is a circumstantial qualifier, meaning, ‘compliantly’, or ‘by their own hands’, not delegating it [to others to pay]), being subdued, [being made] submissive and compliant to the authority of Islam.
(Fight against such of those who have been given the Scripture) the Jews and Christians (as believe not in Allah nor the Last Day) nor in the bliss of Paradise, (and forbid not) in the Torah (that which Allah hath forbidden by His messenger, and follow not the religion of truth) do not submit themselves to Allah through confession of Allah’s divine Oneness, (until they pay the tribute readily) standing: from hand to hand, (being brought low) abased.
Verse 9:29 in the Qur’an is very humiliating to non-Muslims. It is an ugly verse that establishes a non-equality of the citizens of the state as per taxes imposed on Muslims versus non-Muslims.
My analysis showed that Badawi was lying in the above video. He knows he is talking to western audience, and has to put a cover of “chumy chumy” on a very ugly Qur’anic verse. Marketing Islam through lies is what Badawi and his elk do best.