Qital is stronger than jihad. Nearly every verse that has the word qital is quoted here.
The words qital (noun) or qatala (verb) have a narrower meaning than jihad. It can mean, depending on the context, warring, warfare, killing, fighting (with weapons or otherwise).
Muhammad’s life is divided into two cities, Mecca first and then Medina. The same words take on different nuances depending on those cities.
If you would like to see the historical context of each verse, go to Maududi’s commentary: English Tafsir (Commentary).
The verses are linked to four orthodox Sunni translations, at quranbrowswer.com. It will put the verse in textual context.
When the prophet of Islam lived in Mecca, he didn’t have a military, so the word qital doesn’t have an application in his own context. Instead these verses are about Biblical texts or other stories and incidents. But there is no mistaking that the word still means killing or slaying or fighting.
Thus have their (so-called) partners (of Allah) made the killing of their children to seem fair unto many of the idolaters, that they may ruin them and make their faith obscure for them. Had Allah willed (it otherwise), they had not done so. So leave them alone with their devices.
They are losers who besottedly have slain their children without knowledge, and have forbidden that which Allah bestowed upon them, inventing a lie against Allah. They indeed have gone astray and are not guided.
Say: Come, I will recite unto you that which your Lord hath made a sacred duty for you: That ye ascribe no thing as partner unto Him and that ye do good to parents, and that ye slay not your children because of penury – We provide for you and for them – and that ye draw not nigh to lewd things whether open or concealed. And that ye slay not the life which Allah hath made sacred, save in the course of justice. This He hath command you, in order that ye may discern.
Said the chiefs of Pharaoh’s people: “Wilt thou leave Moses and his people, to spread mischief in the land, and to abandon thee and thy gods?” He said: “Their male children will we slay; (only) their females will we save alive; and we have over them (power) irresistible.”
And remember We rescued you from Pharaoh’s people, who afflicted you with the worst of penalties, who slew your male children and saved alive your females: in that was a momentous trial from your Lord.
When Moses came back to his people, angry and grieved, he said: “Evil it is that ye have done in my place in my absence: did ye make haste to bring on the judgment of your Lord?” He put down the tablets, seized his brother by (the hair of) his head, and dragged him to him. Aaron said: “Son of my mother! the people did indeed reckon me as naught, and went near to slaying me! Make not the enemies rejoice over my misfortune, nor count thou me amongst the people of sin.”
“Slay ye Joseph or cast him out to some (unknown) land, so that the favour of your father may be given to you alone: (there will be time enough) for you to be righteous after that!” Said one of them: “Slay not Joseph, but if ye must do something, throw him down to the bottom of the well: he will be picked up by some caravan of travellers.”
Kill not your children for fear of want: We shall provide sustenance for them as well as for you. Verily the killing of them is a great sin.
And slay not the life which Allah hath forbidden save with right. Whoso is slain wrongfully, We have given power unto his heir, but let him not commit excess in slaying. Lo! he will be helped.
Then they proceeded: until, when they met a young man, he slew him. Moses said: “Hast thou slain an innocent person who had slain none? Truly a foul (unheard of) thing hast thou done!”
When your sister went and said: Shall I direct you to one who will take charge of him? So We brought you back to your mother, that her eye might be cooled and she should not grieve and you killed a man, then We delivered you from the grief, and We tried you with (a severe) trying. Then you stayed for years among the people of Madyan; then you came hither as ordained, O Musa [Moses].
Note: Chapter 22 is often viewed as transitional, from Mecca and Medina. Muhammad seems to have his eye on military fighting, when he got kicked out of Mecca.
Permission (to fight) is given to those upon whom war is made because they are oppressed, and most surely Allah is well able to assist them
Those who fled their homes for the cause of Allah and then were slain or died, Allah verily will provide for them a good provision. Lo! Allah, He verily is Best of all who make provision.
And they who do not call upon another god with Allah and do not slay the soul, which Allah has forbidden except in the requirements of justice, and (who) do not commit fornication and he who does this shall find a requital of sin;
“And they have a charge of crime against me [Moses], and I fear they will kill me.”
The wife of Pharaoh said: “(Here is) joy of the eye, for me and for thee: slay him not. It may be that he will be use to us, or we may adopt him as a son.” And they perceived not (what they were doing)!
And he went into the city at a time of unvigilance on the part of its people, so he found therein two men fighting, one being of his party and the other of his foes, and he who was of his party cried out to him for help against him who was of his enemies, so Musa [Moses] struck him with his fist and killed him. He said: This is on account of the Shaitan’s [Satan’s] doing; surely he is an enemy, openly leading astray.
Then when he decided to seize the man who was an enemy to both of them, the man said: “O Musa (Moses)! Is it your intention to kill me as you killed a man yesterday? Your aim is nothing but to become a tyrant in the land, and not to be one of those who do right.”
And there came a man, running, from the furthest end of the City. He said: “O Moses! the Chiefs are taking counsel together about thee, to slay thee: so get thee away, for I do give thee sincere advice.”
He said: “O my Lord! I have slain a man among them, and I fear lest they slay me.
So nothing was the answer of [Ibrahim’s (Abraham)] people except that they said: “Kill him or burn him.” Then Allah saved him from the fire. Verily, in this are indeed signs for a people who believe.
Then, when he brought them the Truth from Us, they said: “Kill the sons of those who believe with him and let their women live”, but the plots of disbelievers are nothing but errors!
Said Pharaoh: “Leave me to slay Moses; and let him call on his Lord! What I fear is lest he should change your religion, or lest he should cause mischief to appear in the land!
A believer, a man from among the people of Pharaoh, who had concealed his faith, said: “Will ye slay a man because he says, ‘My Lord is God’? – when he has indeed come to you with Clear (Signs) from your Lord? and if he be a liar, on him is (the sin of) his lie: but, if he is telling the Truth, then will fall on you something of the (calamity) of which he warns you: Truly God guides not one who transgresses and lies!
Surely your Lord knows that you pass in prayer nearly two-thirds of the night, and (sometimes) half of it, and (sometimes) a third of it, and (also) a party of those with you; and Allah measures the night and the day. He knows that you are not able to do it, so He has turned to you (mercifully), therefore read what is easy of the Quran. He knows that there must be among you sick, and others who travel in the land seeking of the bounty of Allah, and others who fight in Allah’s way, therefore read as much of it as is easy (to you), and keep up prayer and pay the poor-rate and offer to Allah a goodly gift, and whatever of good you send on beforehand for yourselves, you will find it with Allah; that is best and greatest in reward; and ask forgiveness of Allah; surely Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.
When he first arrived in Medina, which Chapter 2 covers, he found thriving communities of Jews and pagans, but he could only muster a small band of raiders, so he was not strong militarily. So Allah does not love the “aggressors.” In Chapter 2 he develops strong rhetoric against the Jews, and many verses (below) are about that. Further, he sent a small band of raiders south, and they killed people in a sacred month. Thus, in 2:190-193 he discusses his desire to fight. In 2:216-17 he discusses the killing in the sacred month. He concludes that persecution (i.e. being chased out of Mecca) is worse than killing.
And remember Moses said to his people: “O my people! Ye have indeed wronged yourselves by your worship of the calf: So turn (in repentance) to your Maker, and slay yourselves (the wrong-doers); that will be better for you in the sight of your Maker.” Then He turned towards you (in forgiveness): For He is Oft-Returning, Most Merciful.
… And they were covered with humiliation and misery, and they drew on themselves the Wrath of Allah. That was because they used to disbelieve the Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) of Allah and killed the Prophets wrongfully. That was because they disobeyed and used to transgress the bounds (in their disobedience to Allah, i.e. commit crimes and sins).
[Moses speaking:] And (remember) when you killed a man and fell into dispute among yourselves as to the crime. But Allah brought forth that which you were hiding.
Yet you it is who slay your people and turn a party from among you out of their homes, backing each other up against them unlawfully and exceeding the limits; and if they should come to you, as captives you would ransom them — while their very turning out was unlawful for you. …
And indeed, We gave Musa (Moses) the Book and followed him up with a succession of Messengers. And We gave ‘Iesa (Jesus), the son of Maryam (Mary), clear signs and supported him with Ruh-ul-Qudus [Jibrael (Gabriel)]. Is it that whenever there came to you a Messenger with what you yourselves desired not, you grew arrogant? Some, you disbelieved and some, you killed.
And when it is said to them (the Jews), “Believe in what Allah has sent down,” they say, “We believe in what was sent down to us.” And they disbelieve in that which came after it, while it is the truth confirming what is with them. Say (O Muhammad Peace be upon him to them): “Why then have you killed the Prophets of Allah aforetime, if you indeed have been believers?”
And call not those who are slain in the way of Allah “dead.” Nay, they are living, only ye perceive not.
O ye who believe! the law of equality is prescribed to you in cases of murder: the free for the free, the slave for the slave, the woman for the woman. But if any remission is made by the brother of the slain, then grant any reasonable demand, and compensate him with handsome gratitude, this is a concession and a Mercy from your Lord. After this whoever exceeds the limits shall be in grave penalty.
Fight in the way of Allah against those who fight against you, but begin not hostilities. Lo! Allah loveth not aggressors.
And kill them wherever you find them, and turn them out from where they have turned you out. And Al-Fitnah is worse than killing. And fight not with them at Al-Masjid-al-Haram (the sanctuary at Makkah), unless they (first) fight you there. But if they attack you, then kill them. Such is the recompense of the disbelievers.
And fight them until there is no more Fitnah (disbelief and worshipping of others along with Allah) and (all and every kind of) worship is for Allah (Alone). But if they cease, let there be no transgression except against Az-Zalimun (the polytheists, and wrong-doers, etc.)
Warfare is ordained for you, though it is hateful unto you; but it may happen that ye hate a thing which is good for you, and it may happen that ye love a thing which is bad for you. Allah knoweth, ye know not.
They ask you concerning fighting in the Sacred Months (i.e. 1st, 7th, 11th and 12th months of the Islamic calendar). Say, “Fighting therein is a great (transgression) but a greater (transgression) with Allah is to prevent mankind from following the Way of Allah, to disbelieve in Him, to prevent access to Al-Masjid-al-Haram (at Makkah), and to drive out its inhabitants, and Al-Fitnah is worse than killing. And they will never cease fighting you until they turn you back from your religion (Islamic Monotheism) if they can. And whosoever of you turns back from his religion and dies as a disbeliever, then his deeds will be lost in this life and in the Hereafter, and they will be the dwellers of the Fire. They will abide therein forever.”
Fight in the way of Allah, and know that Allah is Hearer, Knower.
Have you not considered the chiefs of the children of Israel after Musa [Moses], when they said to a prophet of theirs: Raise up for us a king, (that) we may fight in the way of Allah. He said: May it not be that you would not fight if fighting is ordained for you? They said: And what reason have we that we should not fight in the way of Allah, and we have indeed been compelled to abandon our homes and our children. But when fighting was ordained for them, they turned back, except a few of them, and Allah knows the unjust.
So they routed them by Allah’s leave and David slew Goliath; and Allah gave him the kingdom and wisdom, and taught him of that which He willeth. And if Allah had not repelled some men by others the earth would have been corrupted. But Allah is a Lord of Kindness to (His) creatures.
Those Messengers! We preferred some to others; to some of them Allah spoke (directly); others He raised to degrees (of honour); and to ‘Iesa (Jesus), the son of Maryam (Mary), We gave clear proofs and evidences, and supported him with Ruh-ul-Qudus [Jibrael (Gabriel)]. If Allah had willed, succeeding generations would not have fought against each other, after clear Verses of Allah had come to them, but they differed – some of them believed and others disbelieved. If Allah had willed, they would not have fought against one another, but Allah does what He likes.
Here he discusses battles, notably two: the Battle of Badr (in 624) and the Battle of Uhud (in 625). He won the first, but lost the second, though the loss was insignificant. He still preaches fighting and possibly dying the the way or cause of Allah. In other word’s it’s a call or encouragement to jihad or qital.
There has already been a sign for you (O Jews) in the two armies that met (in combat i.e. the battle of Badr): One was fighting in the Cause of Allah, and as for the other (they) were disbelievers. They (the believers) saw them (the disbelievers) with their own eyes twice their number (although they were thrice their number). And Allah supports with His Victory whom He pleases. Verily, in this is a lesson for those who understand. (See Verse 8:44). (Tafsir At-Tabari)
Lo! those who disbelieve the revelations of Allah, and slay the prophets wrongfully, and slay those of mankind who enjoin equity: promise them a painful doom.
They will not harm you save a trifling hurt, and if they fight against you they will turn and flee. And afterward they will not be helped.
Shame is pitched over them (Like a tent) wherever they are found, except when under a covenant (of protection) from God and from men; they draw on themselves wrath from God, and pitched over them is (the tent of) destitution. This because they rejected the Signs of God, and slew the prophets in defiance of right; this because they rebelled and transgressed beyond bounds.
And (remember) when you (Muhammad SAW) left your household in the morning to post the believers at their stations for the battle (of Uhud). And Allah is All-Hearer, All-Knower.
Muhammad is but a messenger, messengers (the like of whom) have passed away before him. Will it be that, when he dieth or is slain, ye will turn back on your heels? He who turneth back on his heels doth no hurt to Allah, and Allah will reward the thankful.
And many a Prophet (i.e. many from amongst the Prophets) fought (in Allah’s Cause) and along with him (fought) large bands of religious learned men. But they never lost heart for that which did befall them in Allah’s Way, nor did they weaken nor degrade themselves. And Allah loves As-Sabirin (the patient ones, etc.).
Then after sorrow He sent down security upon you, a calm coming upon a party of you, and (there was) another party whom their own souls had rendered anxious; they entertained about Allah thoughts of ignorance quite unjustly, saying: We have no hand in the affair. Say: Surely the affair is wholly (in the hands) of Allah. They conceal within their souls what they would not reveal to you. They say: Had we any hand in the affair, we would not have been slain here. Say: Had you remained in your houses, those for whom slaughter was ordained would certainly have gone forth to the places where they would be slain, and that Allah might test what was in your breasts and that He might purge what was in your hearts; and Allah knows what is in the breasts.
O ye who believe! Be not as those who disbelieved and said of their brethren who went abroad in the land or were fighting in the field: If they had been (here) with us they would not have died or been killed: that Allah may make it anguish in their hearts. Allah giveth life and causeth death; and Allah is Seer of what ye do.
And if ye are slain, or die, in the way of God, forgiveness and mercy from God are far better than all they could amass.
And if indeed you die or you are slain, certainly to Allah shall you be gathered together.
And that He might test the hypocrites, it was said to them: “Come, fight in the Way of Allah or (at least) defend yourselves.” They said: “Had we known that fighting will take place, we would certainly have followed you.” They were that day, nearer to disbelief than to Faith, saying with their mouths what was not in their hearts. And Allah has full knowledge of what they conceal.
(They are) the ones who said about their killed brethren while they themselves sat (at home): “If only they had listened to us, they would not have been killed.” Say: “Avert death from your ownselves, if you speak the truth.”
Think not of those, who are slain in the way of Allah, as dead. Nay, they are living. With their Lord they have provision.
Indeed, Allah has heard the statement of those (Jews) who say: “Truly, Allah is poor and we are rich!” We shall record what they have said and their killing of the Prophets unjustly, and We shall say: “Taste you the torment of the burning (Fire).”
Those (Jews) who said: “Verily, Allah has taken our promise not to believe in any Messenger unless he brings to us an offering which the fire (from heaven) shall devour.” Say: “Verily, there came to you Messengers before me, with clear signs and even with what you speak of; why then did you kill them, if you are truthful?”
So their Lord accepted of them (their supplication and answered them), “Never will I allow to be lost the work of any of you, be he male or female. You are (members) one of another, so those who emigrated and were driven out from their homes, and suffered harm in My Cause, and who fought, and were killed (in My Cause), verily, I will remit from them their evil deeds and admit them into Gardens under which rivers flow (in Paradise); a reward from Allah, and with Allah is the best of rewards.”
Here Muhammad is consolidating his Muslim community, by laying down the law. And sometimes he commands them to fight in the way or cause of Allah.
O you who believe! do not devour your property among yourselves falsely, except that it be trading by your mutual consent; and do not kill your people; surely Allah is Merciful to you.
And if We had ordered them (saying), “Kill yourselves (i.e. the innnocent ones kill the guilty ones) or leave your homes,” very few of them would have done it; but if they had done what they were told, it would have been better for them, and would have strengthened their (Faith);
Therefore let those fight in the way of Allah, who sell this world’s life for the hereafter; and whoever fights in the way of Allah, then be he slain or be he victorious, We shall grant him a mighty reward.
And what reason have you that you should not fight in the way of Allah and of the weak among the men and the women and the children, (of) those who say: Our Lord! cause us to go forth from this town, whose people are oppressors, and give us from Thee a guardian and give us from Thee a helper.
Those who believe fight in the way of Allah, and those who disbelieve fight in the way of the Shaitan [Satan]. Fight therefore against the friends of the Shaitan; surely the strategy of the Shaitan is weak.
Have you not seen those to whom it was said: Withhold your hands, and keep up prayer and pay the poor-rate; but when fighting is prescribed for them, lo! a party of them fear men as they ought to have feared Allah, or (even) with a greater fear, and say: Our Lord! why hast Thou ordained fighting for us? Wherefore didst Thou not grant us a delay to a near end? Say: The provision of this world is short, and the hereafter is better for him who guards (against evil); and you shall not be wronged the husk of a date stone.
Fight then in Allah’s way; this is not imposed on you except In relation to yourself, and rouse the believers to ardor maybe Allah will restrain the fighting of those who disbelieve and Allah is strongest in prowess and strongest to give an exemplary punishment.
They desire that you should disbelieve as they have disbelieved, so that you might be (all) alike; therefore take not from among them friends until they fly (their homes) in Allah’s way; but if they turn back, then seize them and kill them wherever you find them, and take not from among them a friend or a helper.
Except those who reach a people between whom and you there is an alliance, or who come to you, their hearts shrinking from fighting you or fighting their own people; and if Allah had pleased, He would have given them power over you, so that they should have certainly fought you; therefore if they withdraw from you and do not fight you and offer you peace, then Allah has not given you a way against them.
You will find others who desire that they should be safe from you and secure from their own people; as often as they are sent back to the mischief they get thrown into it headlong; therefore if they do not withdraw from you, and (do not) offer you peace and restrain their hands, then seize them and kill them wherever you find them; and against these We have given you a clear authority.
And it does not behoove a believer to kill a believer except by mistake, and whoever kills a believer by mistake, he should free a believing slave, and blood-money should be paid to his people unless they remit it as alms; but if he be from a tribe hostile to you and he is a believer, the freeing of a believing slave (suffices), and if he is from a tribe between whom and you there is a covenant, the blood-money should be paid to his people along with the freeing of a believing slave; but he who cannot find (a slave) should fast for two months successively: a penance from Allah, and Allah is Knowing, Wise.
And whoever kills a believer intentionally, his punishment is hell; he shall abide in it, and Allah will send His wrath on him and curse him and prepare for him a painful chastisement.
Therefore, for their breaking their covenant and their disbelief in the communications of Allah and their killing the prophets wrongfully and their saying: Our hearts are covered; nay! Allah set a seal upon them owing to their unbelief, so they shall not believe except a few.
And their saying: Surely we have killed the Messiah, Isa [Jesus] son of Marium [Mary], the apostle of Allah; and they did not kill him nor did they crucify him, but it appeared to them so (like Isa) and most surely those who differ therein are only in a doubt about it; they have no knowledge respecting it, but only follow a conjecture, and they killed him not for sure.
This chapter come somewhere in the middle of Muhammad’s career in Medina, probably after the Treaty of Hudaibiyah in 628 that allowed him to go on a pilgrimage to the pagan shrine in Mecca, the following year. Islam is developing a military and a state. As usual, though, he refers to the Bible also.
They said: “O Musa (Moses)! We shall never enter it as long as they are there. So go you and your Lord and fight you two, we are sitting right here.”
And relate to them the story of the two sons of Adam with truth when they both offered an offering, but it was accepted from one of them and was not accepted from the other. He said: I I will most certainly slay you. (The other) said: Allah only accepts from those who guard (against evil).
If you will stretch forth your hand towards me to slay me, I am not one to stretch forth my hand towards you to slay you surely I fear Allah, the Lord of the worlds:
Then his mind facilitated to him the slaying of his brother so he slew him; then he became one of the losers
For this reason did We prescribe to the children of Israel that whoever slays a soul, unless it be for manslaughter or for mischief in the land, it is as though he slew all men [a Talmudic reference]; and whoever keeps it alive, it is as though he kept alive all men; and certainly Our apostles came to them with clear arguments, but even after that many of them certainly act extravagantly in the land.
Verily, We took the covenant of the Children of Israel and sent them Messengers. Whenever there came to them a Messenger with what they themselves desired not – a group of them they called liars, and others among them they killed.
O you who believe! do not kill game while you are on pilgrimage ….
This chapter refers only to the Battle of Badr, in 624, which the Muslims won, even though they were outnumbered.
And whoever shall turn his back to them on that day — unless he turn aside for the sake of fighting or withdraws to a company — then he, indeed, becomes deserving of Allah’s wrath, and his abode is hell; and an evil destination shall it be.
So you did not slay them, but it was Allah Who slew them, and you did not smite when you smote (the enemy), but it was Allah Who smote, and that He might confer upon the believers a good gift from Himself; surely Allah is Hearing, Knowing.
And when those who disbelieved devised plans against you that they might confine you or slay you or drive you away; and they devised plans and Allah too had arranged a plan; and Allah is the best of planners.
And fight them until there is no more Fitnah (disbelief and polytheism: i.e. worshipping others besides Allah) and the religion (worship) will all be for Allah Alone [in the whole of the world]. But if they cease (worshipping others besides Allah), then certainly, Allah is All-Seer of what they do.
O Prophet (Muhammad SAW)! Urge the believers to fight. If there are twenty steadfast persons amongst you, they will overcome two hundred, and if there be a hundred steadfast persons they will overcome a thousand of those who disbelieve, because they (the disbelievers) are people who do not understand.
Here is the last chapter to be revealed. It has the sharpest and strongest verses on qital. Muhammad is powerful militarily. In early 630 he conquered Mecca, and in late 630 he even led 20,000 jihadists or qitalists north to Tabuk because he had heard that the Byzantines were going to attack. The rumor was wrong, but while there he encountered various Jewish and Christian tribes. So in verse 29 (below) he tells them and everyone else their choices. Verse 5 is about pagans who, he claims, violated their oaths. Truthfully, however, he didn’t want them to go near the shrine in Mecca, which he had conquered.
So when the sacred months have passed away, then slay the idolaters wherever you find them, and take them captives and besiege them and lie in wait for them in every ambush, then if they repent and keep up prayer and pay the poor-rate, leave their way free to them; surely Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.
But if they violate their oaths after their covenant, and attack your religion with disapproval and criticism then fight (you) the leaders of disbelief (chiefs of Quraish – pagans of Makkah) – for surely their oaths are nothing to them – so that they may stop (evil actions).
Will you not fight a people who have violated their oaths (pagans of Makkah) and intended to expel the Messenger, while they did attack you first? Do you fear them? Allah has more right that you should fear Him, if you are believers.
Fight against them so that Allah will punish them by your hands and disgrace them and give you victory over them and heal the breasts of a believing people,
9:29 (never-ending application)
Fight against those who (1) believe not in Allah, (2) nor in the Last Day, (3) nor forbid that which has been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger (4) and those who acknowledge not the religion of truth (i.e. Islam) among the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians), until they pay the Jizyah with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.
And the Jews say: Ezra is the son of Allah, and the Christians say: The Messiah is the son of Allah. That is their saying with their mouths. They imitate the saying of those who disbelieved of old. Allah (Himself) fighteth against them. How perverse are they!
Verily, the number of months with Allah is twelve months (in a year), so was it ordained by Allah on the Day when He created the heavens and the earth; of them four are Sacred, (i.e. the 1st, the 7th, the 11th and the 12th months of the Islamic calendar). That is the right religion, so wrong not yourselves therein, and fight against the Mushrikun (polytheists, pagans, idolaters, disbelievers in the Oneness of Allah) collectively as they fight against you collectively. But know that Allah is with those who are Al-Muttaqun (the pious – see V.2:2).
If Allah brings you back to a party of them (the hypocrites), and they ask your permission to go out (to fight), say: “Never shall you go out with me, nor fight an enemy with me; you agreed to sit inactive on the first occasion, then you sit (now) with those who lag behind.”
Verily, Allah has purchased of the believers their lives and their properties; for the price that theirs shall be the Paradise. They fight in Allah’s Cause, so they kill (others) and are killed. It is a promise in truth which is binding on Him in the Taurat (Torah) and the Injeel (Gospel) and the Qur’an. And who is truer to his covenant than Allah? Then rejoice in the bargain which you have concluded. That is the supreme success.
O you who believe! fight those of the unbelievers who are near to you and let them find in you hardness; and know that Allah is with those who guard (against evil).
This chapter is about the Battle of the Trench, in 627, outside Medina. Muhammad won it, but he claims the Jews betrayed him. Verses 25-26 deal with it. He got a revelation that he should chop off the heads of the males over puberty and enslave the women and children.
Say (O Muhammad SAW to these hypocrites who ask your permission to run away from you): “Flight will not avail you if you flee from death or killing, and then you will enjoy no more than a little while!”
They think that Al-Ahzab (the Confederates) have not yet withdrawn, and if Al-Ahzab (the Confederates) should come (again), they would wish they were in the deserts (wandering) among the bedouins, seeking news about you (from a far place); and if they (happen) to be among you, they would not fight but little.
And Allah drove back those who disbelieved in their rage, they gained no advantage (booty, etc.). Allah sufficed for the believers in the fighting (by sending against the disbelievers a severe wind and troops of angels). And Allah is Ever AllStrong, AllMighty.
And those of the people of the Scripture who backed them (the disbelievers) Allah brought them down from their forts and cast terror into their hearts, (so that) a group (of them) you killed, and a group (of them) you made captives.
Accursed, wherever found, they [the hypocrites, ones with evil desires and spread rumors around] shall be seized and killed with a (terrible) slaughter.
This chapter can be titled either Muhammad or Qital. Appropriate.
So when you meet in battle those who disbelieve, then smite the necks until when you have overcome them, then make (them) prisoners, and afterwards either set them free as a favor or let them ransom (themselves) until the war terminates. That (shall be so); and if Allah had pleased He would certainly have exacted what is due from them, but that He may try some of you by means of others; and (as for) those who are slain in the way of Allah, He will by no means allow their deeds to perish.
Those who believe say: “Why is not a Surah (chapter of the Qur’an) sent down (for us)? But when a decisive Surah (explaining and ordering things) is sent down, and fighting (Jihad holy fighting in Allah’s Cause) is mentioned (i.e. ordained) therein, you will see those in whose hearts is a disease (of hypocrisy) looking at you with a look of one fainting to death. But it was better for them (hypocrites, to listen to Allah and to obey Him).
It deals with the victory that Islam got with the Treaty of Hudaibiyah in 628 that allowed Muslims to take a pilgrimage to the pagan shrine in Mecca.
Say to those of the dwellers of the desert who were left behind: You shall soon be invited (to fight) against a people possessing mighty prowess; you will fight against them until they submit; then if you obey, Allah will grant you a good reward; and if you turn back as you turned back before, He will punish you with a painful punishment.
This is a collection of commandments “sent down” on various occasions.
And if two parties of the believers quarrel, make peace between them; but if one of them acts wrongfully towards the other, fight that which acts wrongfully until it returns to Allah’s command; then if it returns, make peace between them with justice and act equitably; surely Allah loves those who act equitably.
It was “revealed” between the Battle of Uhud (625) and the Treaty of Hudaibiyah (628) that allowed Muslims to go on a pilgrimage to Mecca. So it deals with various matters.
And what is the matter with you that you spend not in the Cause of Allah? And to Allah belongs the heritage of the heavens and the earth. Not equal among you are those who spent and fought before the conquering (of Makkah) (with those among you who did so later). Such are higher in degree than those who spent and fought afterwards. But to all, Allah has promised the best (reward). And Allah is All-Aware of what you do.
This chapter is about the banishment of a Jewish tribe (followers of the Book), in 625.
Have you not seen those who have become hypocrites? They say to those of their brethren who disbelieve from among the followers of the Book: If you are driven forth, we shall certainly go forth with you, and we will never obey any one concerning you, and if you are fought against, we will certainly help you, and Allah bears witness that they are most surely liars.
Certainly if these are driven forth, they will not go forth with them, and if they are fought against, they will not help them, and even if they help them, they will certainly turn (their) backs, then they shall not be helped.
This chapter covers the years between the Treaty of Hudaibiyah in 628 and the Conquest of Mecca in early 630.
Allah does not forbid you to deal justly and kindly with those who fought not against you on account of religion and did not drive you out of your homes. Verily, Allah loves those who deal with equity.
Allah only forbids you respecting those who made war upon you on account of (your) religion, and drove you forth from your homes and backed up (others) in your expulsion, that you make friends with them, and whoever makes friends with them, these are the unjust.
It’s not clear when it was written, but perhaps after the Battle of Uhud in 625, which Muslims lost, but the loss was insignificant in the bigger picture of the growth of Islam.
Surely Allah loves those who fight in His way in ranks as if they were a firm and compact wall.
This chapter was “revealed” after he got back from a battle in 627, and the so-called “hypocrites” refused to participate in his qital and stayed home. They were bad Muslims or near-Muslims.
And when you see them, their persons will please you, and If they speak, you will listen to their speech; (they are) as if they were big pieces of wood clad with garments; they think every cry to be against them. They are the enemy, therefore beware of them; may Allah destroy them, whence are they turned back?
This post has a companion piece:
Source: Hannah E. Kassis, A Concordance of the Quran (Los Angeles: UCP, 1982), 587-88; 928-33.