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Juz’ 10 – Instruments of Grace

Today’s Juz’ covers Al-Anfal [8]:41 to Al-Tawha [9]:92.
The themes discussed in these ayat include (1) charitable obligations from spoils of war; (2) showing mercy to repentant prisoners of war; (3) the unrivaled oneness of God (4) an indictment on those who refuse to fight for the cause of Islam; and (5) the dire consequences of disbelief.

 

 

Ramadan Mubarak.

The ayat I have chosen for today discuss the triumph of God’s mercy over judgment.

“When the [four] forbidden months are over, wherever you encounter the idolaters, kill them, seize them, besiege them, wait for them at every lookout post; but if they repent, maintain the prayer, and pay the prescribed alms, let them go their way, for God is most forgiving and merciful. If any one of the idolater should seek your protection, grant it to him so that he may hear the word of God, then take him to a place safe for him, for they are people who do not know.” (Al-Tawha [9]:5-6)

 

Similar to the Tawra, the Qur’an is set in a historical time when a religious people are engaged in warfare for the dual purpose of conquest and survival. A number of suras in the Qur’an are written in this context. The above passage is a reminder that God is the ultimate judge, and even if there is a legitimate reason to take a life during warfare, if a former idolater demonstrates signs of repentance, he is to be spared.

 

This martial principle reflects the spiritual reality of a God who “is not willing for any to perish, but for all to come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9) While not in the context of warfare, the biblical prophet Hazqiyal contains a similar teaching to the one contained in Al-Tawha [9]:5-6.

 

Listen: 

“‘Do you think that I like to see wicked people die’? Says the Sovereign LORD. ‘Of course not! I want them to turn from their wicked ways and live…’. And if wicked people turn from their wickedness, obey the law, and do what is just and right, they will save their lives. They will live because they thought it over and decided to turn from their sins. Such people will not die.” (Ezekiel 18:23 & 27-28)

 

Prayer:

In the Name of God the Merciful and Compassionate, I praise You for Your Boundless Mercy and rejoice that Your Grace has the power to transform sinners into saints; may I reflect Your Mercy and Grace to those who may not know You; use me as an instrument to draw them to Your Holiness. In Your Holy Name I pray, amen.