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Legitimate Excuses for staying away from Jihad

Allah mentions here the valid excuses that permit one to stay away from fighting. He first mentions the excuses that remain with a person, the weakness in the body that disallows one from Jihad, such as blindness, limping, and so forth. He then mentions the excuses that are not permanent, such as an illness that would prevent one from fighting in the cause of Allah, or poverty that prevents preparing for Jihad. There is no sin in these cases if they remain behind, providing that when they remain behind, they do not spread malice or try to discourage Muslims from fighting, but all the while observing good behavior in this state, just as Allah said,

﴿ مَا عَلَى ٱلۡمُحۡسِنِينَ مِن سَبِيلٍ۬‌ۚ وَٱللَّهُ غَفُورٌ۬ رَّحِيمٌ۬

(No means (of complaint) can there be against the doers of good. And Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.) Al-Awza`i said, "The people went out for the Istisqa' (rain) prayer. Bilal bin Sa`d stood up, praised Allah and thanked Him then said, `O those who are present! Do you concur that wrong has been done' They said, `Yes, by Allah!' He said, `O Allah! We hear your statement,

﴿ مَا عَلَى ٱلۡمُحۡسِنِينَ مِن سَبِيلٍ۬‌ۚ

(No means (of complaint) can there be against the doers of good.) O Allah! We admit our errors, so forgive us and give us mercy and rain.' He then raised his hands and the people also raised their hands, and rain was sent down on them.'' Mujahid said about Allah's statement,

﴿ وَلَا عَلَى ٱلَّذِينَ إِذَا مَآ أَتَوۡكَ لِتَحۡمِلَهُمۡ

(Nor (is there blame) on those who came to you to be provided with mounts) Mujahid said; "It was revealed about Bani Muqarrin from the tribe of Muzaynah. '' Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that Al-Hasan said that the Messenger of Allah said,

« لَقَدْ خَلَّفْتُمْ بِالْمَدِينَةِ أَقْوَامًا مَا أَنْفَقْتُمْ مِنْ نَفَقَةٍ وَلَا قَطَعْتُمْ وَادِيًا وَلَا نِلْتُمْ مِنْ عَدُوَ نَيْلًا إِلَّا وَقَدْ شَرَكُوكُمْ فِي الْأَجْر »

(Some people have remained behind you in Al-Madinah; and you never spent anything, crossed a valley, or afflicted hardship on an enemy, but they were sharing the reward with you.) He then recited the Ayah,

﴿ وَلَا عَلَى ٱلَّذِينَ إِذَا مَآ أَتَوۡكَ لِتَحۡمِلَهُمۡ قُلۡتَ لَآ أَجِدُ مَآ أَحۡمِلُڪُمۡ عَلَيۡهِ

(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.'') This Hadith has a basis in the Two Sahihs from Anas, the Messenger of Allah said,

« إِنَّ بِالْمَدِينَةِ أَقْوَامًا مَا قَطَعْتُمْ وَادِيًا وَلَا سِرْتُمْ سَيْرًا إِلَّا وَهُمْ مَعَكُم »

(Some people have remained behind in Al-Madinah and you never crossed a valley or marched forth, but they were with you.) They said, "While they are still at Al-Madinah'' He said,

« نَعَمْ حَبَسَهُمُ الْعُذْر »

(Yes, as they have been held back by a (legal) excuse.) Then, Allah criticized those who seek permission to remain behind while they are rich, admonishing them for wanting to stay behind with women who remained in their homes,

﴿ وَطَبَعَ ٱللَّهُ عَلَىٰ قُلُوبِہِمۡ فَهُمۡ لَا يَعۡلَمُونَ

(and Allah has sealed up their hearts, so that they know not (what they are losing).)

﴿ يَعۡتَذِرُونَ إِلَيۡكُمۡ إِذَا رَجَعۡتُمۡ إِلَيۡہِمۡ‌ۚ قُل لَّا تَعۡتَذِرُواْ لَن نُّؤۡمِنَ لَڪُمۡ قَدۡ نَبَّأَنَا ٱللَّهُ مِنۡ أَخۡبَارِڪُمۡ‌ۚ وَسَيَرَى ٱللَّهُ عَمَلَكُمۡ وَرَسُولُهُ ۥ ثُمَّ تُرَدُّونَ إِلَىٰ عَـٰلِمِ ٱلۡغَيۡبِ وَٱلشَّهَـٰدَةِ فَيُنَبِّئُكُم بِمَا كُنتُمۡ تَعۡمَلُونَ سَيَحۡلِفُونَ بِٱللَّهِ لَڪُمۡ إِذَا ٱنقَلَبۡتُمۡ إِلَيۡہِمۡ لِتُعۡرِضُواْ عَنۡہُمۡ‌ۖ فَأَعۡرِضُواْ عَنۡہُمۡ‌ۖ إِنَّہُمۡ رِجۡسٌ۬‌ۖ وَمَأۡوَٮٰهُمۡ جَهَنَّمُ جَزَآءَۢ بِمَا ڪَانُواْ يَكۡسِبُونَ يَحۡلِفُونَ لَڪُمۡ لِتَرۡضَوۡاْ عَنۡہُمۡ‌ۖ فَإِن تَرۡضَوۡاْ عَنۡہُمۡ فَإِنَّ ٱللَّهَ لَا يَرۡضَىٰ عَنِ ٱلۡقَوۡمِ ٱلۡفَـٰسِقِينَ

(94. They (the hypocrites) will present their excuses to you (Muslims), when you return to them. Say "Present no excuses, we shall not believe you. Allah has already informed us of the news concerning you. Allah and His Messenger will observe your deeds. In the end you will be brought back to the All-Knower of the unseen and the seen, then He (Allah) will inform you of what you used to do.'') (95. They will swear by Allah to you (Muslims) when you return to them, that you may turn away from them. So turn away from them. Surely, they are Rijs (impure), and Hell is their dwelling place -- a recompense for that which they used to earn.) (96. They (the hypocrites) swear to you (Muslims) that you may be pleased with them, but if you are pleased with them, certainly Allah is not pleased with the people who are Fasiqin (rebellious).)

Exposing the Deceitful Ways of Hypocrites

Allah said that when the believers go back to Al-Madinah, the hypocrites will begin apologizing to them.

﴿ قُل لَّا تَعۡتَذِرُواْ لَن نُّؤۡمِنَ لَڪُمۡ

(Say "Present no excuses, we shall not believe you.''), we shall not believe what you say,

﴿ قَدۡ نَبَّأَنَا ٱللَّهُ مِنۡ أَخۡبَارِڪُمۡ‌ۚ

(Allah has already informed us of the news concerning you.) Allah has exposed your news to us,

﴿ وَسَيَرَى ٱللَّهُ عَمَلَكُمۡ وَرَسُولُهُ ۥ

(Allah and His Messenger will observe your deeds.) your actions will be made public to people in this life,

﴿ ثُمَّ تُرَدُّونَ إِلَىٰ عَـٰلِمِ ٱلۡغَيۡبِ وَٱلشَّهَـٰدَةِ فَيُنَبِّئُكُم بِمَا كُنتُمۡ تَعۡمَلُونَ

(In the end you will be brought back to the All-Knower of the unseen and the seen, then He (Allah) will inform you of what you used to do.) Allah will inform you of your deeds, whether they were good or evil, and will recompense you for them. Allah said that the hypocrites will swear to the believers in apology, so that the believers turn away from them without admonishing them. Therefore, Allah ordered disgracing them by turning away from them, for they are,

﴿ رِجۡسٌ۬‌ۖ

(Rijs) meaning, impure inwardly and in their creed. Their destination in the end will be Jahannam,

﴿ جَزَآءَۢ بِمَا كَانُواْ يَكۡسِبُونَ

(a recompense for that which they used to earn.) of sins and evil deeds. Allah said that if the believers forgive the hypocrites when they swear to them,

﴿ فَإِنَّ ٱللَّهَ لَا يَرۡضَىٰ عَنِ ٱلۡقَوۡمِ ٱلۡفَـٰسِقِينَ

(certainly Allah is not pleased with the people who are Fasiqin.) who rebel against the obedience of Allah and His Messenger . `Fisq', means, `deviation'.

﴿ ٱلۡأَعۡرَابُ أَشَدُّ ڪُفۡرً۬ا وَنِفَاقً۬ا وَأَجۡدَرُ أَلَّا يَعۡلَمُواْ حُدُودَ مَآ أَنزَلَ ٱللَّهُ عَلَىٰ رَسُولِهِۦ‌ۗ وَٱللَّهُ عَلِيمٌ حَكِيمٌ۬ وَمِنَ ٱلۡأَعۡرَابِ مَن يَتَّخِذُ مَا يُنفِقُ مَغۡرَمً۬ا وَيَتَرَبَّصُ بِكُمُ ٱلدَّوَآٮِٕرَ‌ۚ عَلَيۡهِمۡ دَآٮِٕرَةُ ٱلسَّوۡءِ‌ۗ وَٱللَّهُ سَمِيعٌ عَلِيمٌ۬ وَمِنَ ٱلۡأَعۡرَابِ مَن يُؤۡمِنُ بِٱللَّهِ وَٱلۡيَوۡمِ ٱلۡأَخِرِ وَيَتَّخِذُ مَا يُنفِقُ قُرُبَـٰتٍ عِندَ ٱللَّهِ وَصَلَوَٲتِ ٱلرَّسُولِ‌ۚ أَلَآ إِنَّہَا قُرۡبَةٌ۬ لَّهُمۡ‌ۚ سَيُدۡخِلُهُمُ ٱللَّهُ فِى رَحۡمَتِهِۦۤ‌ۗ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ غَفُورٌ۬ رَّحِيمٌ۬

(97. The bedouins are the worst in disbelief and hypocrisy, and more likely to not know the limits which Allah has revealed to His Messenger. And Allah is All-Knower, All-Wise.) (98. And of the bedouins there are some who look upon what they spend (in Allah's cause) as a fine and watch for calamities for you, on them be the calamity of evil. And Allah is All-Hearer, All-Knower.) (99. And of the bedouins there are some who believe in Allah and the Last Day, and look upon what they spend (in Allah's cause) as means of nearness to Allah, and a cause of receiving the Messenger's invocations. Indeed these (expenditures) are a means of nearness for them. Allah will admit them to His mercy. Certainly Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.)