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In the Name of God بسم الله

Tafsir of 9:29

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[Shakir 9:29] Fight those who do not believe in Allah, nor in the latter day, nor do they prohibit what Allah and His Messenger have prohibited, nor follow the religion of truth, out of those who have been given the Book, until they pay the tax in acknowledgment of superiority and they are in a state of subjection.
[Pooya/Ali Commentary 9:29]

Aqa Mahdi Puya says:

According to this verse a disbeliever, or a polytheist, or an infidel (kafir) is he who (i) does not believe in Allah, nor in His oneness and unity, but associates other created beings as partners or co-equals with Him (ii) does not believe in the day of judgement (iii) does not follow what Allah and His Prophet have enjoined (iv) does not accept and submit to the true religion.

As the above noted negations are correlative and interrelated, one is the necessary consequence of the other. Apart from the corrupted and distorted beliefs of the people of the book (described in the succeeding verses) their denial and rejection of the true religion of Allah, Islam, is sufficient to put them in the category of disbelievers. The Jews and the Christians are the people of the book, and according to the jurists of the school of Ahl ul Bayt Zoroastrians are also included in the people of the book, because in verse 17 of al Hajj they have been grouped with the Jews and the Christians, and the Holy Prophet and Imam Ali also treated them in the same manner as the Jews and the Christians were treated.

Allah enjoins upon the believers to fight against the disbelievers and the people of the book until they are subdued and agree to pay jizyah (the root meaning is compensation) with willing submission to live under the protection of Islam, enjoying personal liberty of conscience, free to profess and practice their own faith, not interfering with the preaching and progress of Islam. They were exempted from military service, therefore in effect jizyah was a nominal compensation paid by them in return for the protection of their property and lives for which the Islamic government was responsible .

It was a necessary step that had to be taken in view of the treacherous attitude of the Jews and the pagans who had been harassing and creating chaos all the time during the lifetime of the Holy Prophet. When defeated they readily made pacts to avoid the consequences of the defeat, but always jumped at every opportunity to kill the Holy Prophet and the believers and destroy the progress of Islam by breaking promises and covenants and hatching secret schemes.

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