The Arabs of the desert9 say, “We believe.” Say thou: Ye believe not; but rather say, “We profess Islam;” for the faith hath not yet found its way into your hearts. But if ye obey God and His Apostle, he will not allow you to lose any of your actions: for God is Indulgent, Merciful.
The true believers are those only who believe in God and His Apostle, and afterwards doubt not; and who contend with their substance and their persons on the path of God. These are the sincere.
Say: Will ye teach God about your religion? when God knoweth whatever is in the Heavens and on the Earth: yea, God hath knowledge of all things.
They taunt thee with their having embraced Islam.10 Say: Taunt me not with your having embraced Islam: God rather taunteth you with His having guided you to the faith: acknowledge this if ye are sincere.
Verily, God knoweth the secrets of the Heavens and of the Earth: and God beholdeth what ye do.
1 Or anticipate not, take not the lead of God and His Apostle.
2 All the ancient Interpreters (as His. 933 ff., Ibn Sa’d. 320, Tab. Agâní. 116 f.-comp. also Weil 244 ff., Caussin, iii. 271) refer from 1-5 to the disrespectful demeanour, in Muhammad’s presence, of the envoys of the Banu Tamim in Hej. 9 or 10.
3 Lit. from without.
4 The commentators mentioned in the last note, as well as others, explain this verse of Al Walid ben Uqba, who had brought a false report of the refusal of the Banu’lmustaliq to pay certain alms which Muhammad had sent him to demand. This Al Walid became governor of Kufa under Othman. He probably was never really converted to Islam.
5 Upon this passage 91-2, die Muslimen, says Nöldeke, verschiedene Geschichten erzählen, so dass sich Nichts sicher bestimmen Iässt, p. 164. This remark applies to the great mass of Muhammadan comment.
6 Said to refer to Safia, one of Muhammad’s wives. who had been taunted by his other wives with being a Jewess.
7 Lit. Bad the name, wickedness, after faith.
8 That is, not the most nobly born, like the Koreisch. This verse is said to have been revealed in Mecca on the day of its conquest. See Weil, Leben, p.372, and n.
9 The Banû Asad had come to Medina in a year of famine to seek support for themselves and families, and made profession of Islamism. Beidh.-Thus, also Ibn Sad. Tabari. Wah.
10 As if by so doing they had conferred a favour on the Prophet.
An immunity from God and His Apostle to those with whom ye are in league, among the Polytheist Arabs! (those who join gods with God).
Go ye, therefore, at large in the land four months: but know that God ye shall not weaken;2 and that those who believe not, God will put to shame-