Quran 9:123 – ‘Fight Those Of The Unbelievers Who Are Near To You…’

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Quran 9:123 – “O you who believe! fight those of the unbelievers who are near to you and let them find in you hardness.”

Commentary on the Quran, Tanwir al-Miqbas min Tafsir Ibn Abbas mentions (below) that the above verse was revealed in order to fight the enemy, Banu Qurayza, a Jewish tribe who lived in Medina. They allied with the pagan Arabs of Makkah in order to exterminate the Muslim community. In short, they were the aggressors.


Tanwir al-Miqbas min Tafsir Ibn ‘Abbas

(O ye who believe!) in Muhammad (pbuh) and in the Qur’an (Fight those of the disbelievers who are near to you) the Banu Qurayzah, Banu’l-Nadir, Fadak and Khaybar, (and let them find harshness in you) toughness from you, (and know) O believers (that Allah is with those who keep their duty (unto Him)) Allah helps the believers: Muhammad (pbuh) and his Companions, by making them victorious over their enemies. [1]

Mualana Muhammad Ali

Because it was they who persecuted the Muslims. The object was to stop persecutions.
123b. So that you do not yield. [2]

Muhammad Asad

163 I.e., uncompromising with regard to ethical principles. For the general circumstances in which war is permitted, see 2:190-194, 22:39, 60:8-9, and the corresponding notes, as well as notes 7 and 9 on verse 5 of this surah.
The reference to ‘those deniers of the truth who are near you’ may arise from the fact that only ‘those who are near’ can be dangerous in a physical sense or, alternatively, that – having come from afar – they have already approached the Muslim country with an aggressive intent. [3]

Yusuf Ali commentary

C1374. When conflict becomes inevitable, the first thing is to clear our surroundings of all evil, for it is only evil that we can rightly fight. To evil we must put up a stout and stiff resisitance. Mealy-mouthed compromises are not right for soldiers of truth and righteousness. They are often a compound of cowardice, weariness, greed, and corruptibility. [4]


[2] The Holy Quran Arabic Text with English Translation, Commentary and comprehensive Introduction [Year 2002 Edition] by Maulana Muhammad Ali page 429
[3] The Message of The Quran translated and explained by Muhammad Asad page 412
[4] Yusuf Ali commentary http://www.quran4u.com/Tafsiraya/009%20Tawbah.pdf

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8 Responses »


    The most popular proof-text in support of infant baptism is Acts 16:33. The problem is you have ignore other verses, such as Acts 16:31, 32, and 34.

    THE PROOF-TEXT: Acts 16:33 And he took them the same hour of the night and washed their stripes. And immediately he and all his family were baptized. (NKJV)

    Does that prove that infants were baptized? No it does not.

    The Jailer asked Paul and Silas what he needed to do to be saved. (Acts 16:30) The answer was: Acts 16:31 So they said “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.(NKJV)

    The Jailer could not believe for his household. Salvation is an individual choice.

    Acts 16:32 Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all who were in the house.(NKJV)

    Paul and Silas preached to all the household. Infants do understand the gospel. There were no infants hearing and believing the gospel.

    Acts 16:34 Now when he had brought them into the house, he set food before them; and he rejoiced, having believed in God with all his household.(NKJV)

    The Jailer and all of his household believed before they were baptized. Infants are not capable of believing in God. Infants cannot understand the gospel message. Infants cannot believe in the Lord Jesus Christ.

    The fact that the jailer and all of his household believed, eliminates the possibility of any infants being baptized that night.

    Jesus said in Mark 16:16 “He who believes and is baptized will be saved…”(NKJV)

    Paul and Silas did not the change the words of Jesus. Belief is required in order to be saved, as is baptism, and belief precedes immersion in water. There are no cases found in the Bible where an unbeliever is baptized. Infants are unbelievers.

    If God approves of baptizing unbelieving infants; then why not baptize unbelieving adults???

    You are invited to follow my blog.http://steve-finnell.blogspot.com

  2. Thank you, brother, for the series of articles dispelling the Islamophobic polemics that Islam teaches offensive violence.

    They quite viciously launch thier Islamophobic campaign against Islam and all Muslims based on total disregard of the contexts of Islamic texts, as you are soundly pointing out.

    I could not think of people more terroristic than those that distort another people’s scriptures to claim that they are in general violent and terroristic (citing as examples what a few fringes that claim to be Muslims do against the general main body of the peaceful Muslims world over) and then advocate real violence gainst them (as a supposed measure against thier violent nature that never actually existed) !!

  3. Hello writer of the article and Mujahid,

    I am a devout Orthodox Christian and I am continuously defending your faith and redirecting people to the correct interpretation of your scriptures. I am glad to have found this site and will use it extensively. Blessings to you.

  4. JajakAllahu khair for the article.

    And God bless you too brother Ken Palmer for your efforts. I wish there were more christians like you!

  5. Assalam,

    As detailed in this article, this verse was a strategy from heaven to our approach towards facing the enemy in a Battle-Like and hostile situation.

    If Quran claims to be a book from heaven then it will guide mankind through all situations. You will be surprised to know that the Creator instructs us on not only big issues but also on small issues in the Quran. The fight between truth and falsehood is indeed not a small matter and God teaches us lessons even here.

    you may also find in-dept explanation of this verse 9:123 here.


  6. Asalamu alaikum warehmatallah. Dear DTT writers, I believe you are bending the truth. I love all you do, truly but I believe you are not telling the truth here. Surah 9 was revealed when banu qurayza had already been fought. This article makes no sense.



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