Surah Tawbah, verses 90 – 93
وَجَآءَ ٱلۡمُعَذِّرُونَ مِنَ ٱلۡأَعۡرَابِ لِيُؤۡذَنَ لَهُمۡ وَقَعَدَ ٱلَّذِينَ كَذَبُواْ ٱللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ ۥۚ سَيُصِيبُ ٱلَّذِينَ ڪَفَرُواْ مِنۡہُمۡ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ۬ (٩٠) لَّيۡسَ عَلَى ٱلضُّعَفَآءِ وَلَا عَلَى ٱلۡمَرۡضَىٰ وَلَا عَلَى ٱلَّذِينَ لَا يَجِدُونَ مَا يُنفِقُونَ حَرَجٌ إِذَا نَصَحُواْ لِلَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِۦۚ مَا عَلَى ٱلۡمُحۡسِنِينَ مِن سَبِيلٍ۬ۚ وَٱللَّهُ غَفُورٌ۬ رَّحِيمٌ۬ (٩١) وَلَا عَلَى ٱلَّذِينَ إِذَا مَآ أَتَوۡكَ لِتَحۡمِلَهُمۡ قُلۡتَ لَآ أَجِدُ مَآ أَحۡمِلُڪُمۡ عَلَيۡهِ تَوَلَّواْ وَّأَعۡيُنُهُمۡ تَفِيضُ مِنَ ٱلدَّمۡعِ حَزَنًا أَلَّا يَجِدُواْ مَا يُنفِقُونَ (٩٢) ۞ إِنَّمَا ٱلسَّبِيلُ عَلَى ٱلَّذِينَ يَسۡتَـٔۡذِنُونَكَ وَهُمۡ أَغۡنِيَآءُۚ رَضُواْ بِأَن يَكُونُواْ مَعَ ٱلۡخَوَالِفِ وَطَبَعَ ٱللَّهُ عَلَىٰ قُلُوبِہِمۡ فَهُمۡ لَا يَعۡلَمُونَ (٩٣)
And those who made excuses from the bedouins came (to you, O Prophet SAW) asking your permission to exempt them (from the battle), and those who had lied to Allâh and His Messenger sat at home (without asking the permission for it); a painful torment will seize those of them who disbelieve. (90) There is no blame on those who are weak or ill or who find no resources to spend [in holy fighting (Jihâd)], if they are sincere and true (in duty) to Allâh and His Messenger. No ground (of complaint) can there be against the Muhsinûn (good-doers – see the footnote of V.9:120). And Allâh is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful. (91) Nor (is there blame) on those who came to you to be provided with mounts, when you said: “I can find no mounts for you,” they turned back, while their eyes overflowing with tears of grief that they could not find anything to spend (for Jihâd). (92) The ground (of complaint) is only against those who are rich, and yet ask exemption. They are content to be with (the women) who sit behind (at home) and Allâh has sealed up their hearts (from all kinds of goodness and right guidance) so that they know not (what they are losing). (93)
- Talking about the people who stayed behind in the battle of Tabook
- Those who just stayed behind – in trouble
- No sin upon those who had a legitimate excuse to stay back if they were sincere
- No sin upon those who wanted to go but couldn’t because there was no ride for them
- Blame and punishment upon those who seeked to be excused from this battle even though they were completely able to go
- They were content with staying back with the women – and didn’t realize the great loss
- One particular concept: Allah swt has NOT demanded that we be perfect
- He has demanded from His slaves an effort – sincerety, a true yearning desire to do good.
- We’re not held accountable for results because that’s not in our control
- We’re held accountable if we never even made an effort to begin with – if we didn’t even try
- Excuses people make to not even make an effort or put your foot forward
- Allah is extremely just and benevolent so we’re not held accountable for the end result.
- We’re held accountable for what is in our hearts
- Tabook was a very hard journey – they had to travel in extreme heat away from their harvest. They heard there was a huge Roman army waiting for them – extremely difficult.
- There were those who didn’t want to go – either made elaborate excuses so the Prophet (S) – bad habit is contagious – so he gave them permission to say back. Another group who didn’t even bother to make an excuse – just stayed behind – no courtesy.
- Some people who physically weren’t able to go because they were very poor individuals – they are absolved of any guilt. They have been excused by Allah Himself.
- Condition: Granted that they are sincere to Allah and His Prophet (S) – that they truly desired to go from their hearts, and if they can’t go, do whatever else they can. Ie can still help in the preparation or if sick, give money, or motivate others to go.
- A person should explore all avenues to see if they can still do something – they still went to P (S) to try and do something. That’s sincerity – they’re exploring all avenues of trying to go.
- One story when a sahabi couldn’t go because no mount so they came back and tried again and someone had donated a mount so they go one. ‘Uthman, also, after donating so much, saw how sincere they were, and donated more to help them go.
- What did they do – the ones who couldn’t go? They were grieving, they were shedding tears, crying profusely – shows sincerity.
- Blame upon those who just wanted to stay home – they were ghaniyy – physically capable and financially able – but still, didn’t want to. They qualified to go but still tried to find a way out. Their hearts are completely sealed for their insolence – for not even giving it a try.
- Allah doesn’t demand perfection from us – He wants us to be sincere, to try, to do our best. We need to critique ourselves and see if we’re doing all that we’re capable of doing.
- If we do that, we will see the Help of Allah, the Guidance of Allah, and His mercy and Blessings inshaAllah.