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faqātil
فَقَٰتِلْ
So fight
فِى
in
sabīli
سَبِيلِ
(the) way
l-lahi
ٱللَّهِ
(of) Allah;
لَا
not
tukallafu
تُكَلَّفُ
are you responsible
illā
إِلَّا
except
nafsaka
نَفْسَكَۚ
(for) yourself.
waḥarriḍi
وَحَرِّضِ
And encourage
l-mu'minīna
ٱلْمُؤْمِنِينَۖ
the believers,
ʿasā
عَسَى
perhaps
l-lahu
ٱللَّهُ
Allah
an
أَن
will
yakuffa
يَكُفَّ
restrain
basa
بَأْسَ
(the) might
alladhīna
ٱلَّذِينَ
(of) those who
kafarū
كَفَرُوا۟ۚ
disbelieved.
wal-lahu
وَٱللَّهُ
And Allah
ashaddu
أَشَدُّ
(is) Stronger
basan
بَأْسًا
(in) Might
wa-ashaddu
وَأَشَدُّ
and Stronger
tankīlan
تَنكِيلًا
(in) punishment.

Faqaatil fee sabeelil laahi laa tukallafu illa nafsaka wa harridil mu'mineena 'asallaahu ai yakuffa baasallazeena kafaroo; wallaahu ashaddu baasanw wa ashaaddu tanakeelaa

Sahih International:

So fight, [O Muhammad], in the cause of Allah; you are not held responsible except for yourself. And encourage the believers [to join you] that perhaps Allah will restrain the [military] might of those who disbelieve. And Allah is greater in might and stronger in [exemplary] punishment.

1 A. J. Arberry

So do thou fight in the way of God; thou art charged only with thyself. And urge on the believers; haply God will restrain the unbelievers' might; God is stronger in might, more terrible in punishing.

2 Abdul Haleem

So [Prophet] fight in God’s way. You are accountable only for yourself. Urge the believers on. God may well curb the power of the disbelievers, for He is stronger in might and more terrible in punishment.

3 Abdul Majid Daryabadi

Fight thou therefore in the way of Allah thou are not tasked except for thy own soul, and persuade the believers; belike Allah will withhold the violence of those who disbelieve. And Allah is stronger in violence and Stronger in chastising.

4 Abdullah Yusuf Ali

Then fight in Allah's cause - Thou art held responsible only for thyself - and rouse the believers. It may be that Allah will restrain the fury of the Unbelievers; for Allah is the strongest in might and in punishment.

5 Abul Ala Maududi

(So, O Messenger!) Fight in the way of Allah -since you are responsible for none except yourself - and rouse the believers to fight, for Allah may well curb the might of the unbelievers. Indeed Allah is strongest in power and most terrible in chastisement.

6 Ahmed Ali

So fight on in the way of God (irrespective of the others). You cannot compel any one except your own self; but urge the believers to fight. It may well be that God will keep back the might of the infidels, for God's might is greater, and severe His punishment.

7 Ahmed Raza Khan

Therefore O dear Prophet, fight in Allah's cause; you will not be burdened except for yourself, and urge the believers (to fight); it is likely that Allah will curb the strength of the disbelievers; and Allah's strike is most stinging and His punishment the most severe.

8 Ali Quli Qarai

So fight in the way of Allah: you are responsible only for yourself, but urge on the faithful [to fight]. Maybe Allah will curb the might of the faithless, for Allah is greatest in might and severest in punishment.

9 Ali Ünal

Fight (therefore, O Messenger) in God’s cause – for (in the same way that every individual is responsible for himself) you are (first of all) responsible for none except yourself. (Even left by yourself alone, fulfill your responsibility) – and urge on the believers (to take their responsibility). It may be that God will (thereby) restrain the force of those who disbelieve. Indeed God is strongest in might and strongest in repressing and punishing.

10 Amatul Rahman Omar

(Prophet!) fight, therefore, in the cause of Allâh, you are made responsible only for your ownself, and urge on the faithful (to fight a war in self-defence). It may be, Allâh will restrain the fury of those who have chosen disbelief. Allâh is mightier in prowess and stronger in inflicting exemplary punishment.

11 English Literal

So fight/kill in God`s sake, you are not burdened/imposed upon except (with) your self, and instigate/urge/encourage the believers, maybe that God prevents/stops those who disbelieved`s might/power, and God (is) stronger power/might, and stronger severe exemplary punishment.

12 Faridul Haque

Therefore O dear Prophet, fight in Allah´s cause; you will not be burdened except for yourself, and urge the believers (to fight); it is likely that Allah will curb the strength of the disbelievers; and Allah´s strike is most stinging and His punishment the most severe.

13 Hamid S. Aziz

And when you are greeted with a good (courteous, friendly, beneficial) salutation, salute with a better one, or return it; verily, Allah takes account of all things.

14 Hilali & Khan

Then fight (O Muhammad SAW) in the Cause of Allah, you are not tasked (held responsible) except for yourself, and incite the believers (to fight along with you), it may be that Allah will restrain the evil might of the disbelievers. And Allah is Stronger in Might and Stronger in punishing.

15 Maulana Mohammad Ali

But if any news of security or fear comes to them, they spread it abroad. And if they had referred it to the Messenger and to those in authority among them, those of them who can search out knowledge of it would have known it. And were it not for the grace of Allah upon you and His mercy, you would certainly have followed the devil save a few.

16 Mohammad Habib Shakir

Fight then in Allah's way; this is not imposed on you except In relation to yourself, and rouse the believers to ardor maybe Allah will restrain the fighting of those who disbelieve and Allah is strongest in prowess and strongest to give an exemplary punishment.

17 Mohammed Marmaduke William Pickthall

So fight (O Muhammad) in the way of Allah Thou art not taxed (with the responsibility for anyone) except thyself - and urge on the believers. Peradventure Allah will restrain the might of those who disbelieve. Allah is stronger in might and stronger in inflicting punishment.

18 Muhammad Sarwar

Thus, (Muhammad), fight for the cause of God. You are only responsible for yourself. Rouse the believers and perhaps God will stop the evil designs of the unbelievers. God's punishment and retribution is the most severe.

19 Qaribullah & Darwish

Therefore, fight in the way of Allah. You are only responsible for yourself. Urge the believers on, in order that Allah may restrain the might of those who disbelieve. Allah is stronger in might, and stronger in punishment.

20 Safi-ur-Rahman al-Mubarakpuri

Then fight in the cause of Allah, you are not tasked (held responsible) except for yourself, and incite the believers (to fight along with you), it may be that Allah will restrain the evil might of the disbelievers. And Allah is Stronger in might and Stronger in punishing.

21 Wahiduddin Khan

So fight for the cause of God. You are responsible only for yourself. Urge on the believers. God may fend off the power [violence] of those who deny the truth, for He is stronger in might and stronger in inflicting punishment.

22 Talal Itani

So fight in the cause of God; you are responsible only for yourself. And rouse the believers. Perhaps God will restrain the might of those who disbelieve. God is Stronger in Might, and More Punishing.

23 Tafsir jalalayn

So fight, O Muhammad (s), in the way of God; you are charged only with yourself, so do not be concerned with their failing to join you, the meaning being; fight, even if you are on your own, for you have been promised victory. And urge on the believers, incite them to fight and make them desire it; maybe God will restrain the might, the war, of the disbelievers; God is mightier, than them, and more severe in castigation, in punishment, than them. And so the Messenger of God (s) said; `By Him in Whose Hand is my soul, I shall sally forth [to fight], even if [I go] alone'. Thereupon, he sallied forth with seventy cavalrymen to the first [battle at] Badr, where God restrained the might of the disbelievers by casting terror into their hearts and preventing Ab Sufyn from sallying forth, as has already been mentioned in [srat] l `Imrn [Q. 3;151].

24 Tafseer Ibn Kathir

Allah Commands His Messenger to Perform Jihad

Allah commands;

فَقَاتِلْ فِي سَبِيلِ اللّهِ

Then fight in the cause of Allah,

Allah commands His servant and Messenger, Muhammad , to himself fight in Jihad and not to be concerned about those who do not join Jihad.

Hence Allah's statement,

لَا تُكَلَّفُ إِلااَّ نَفْسَكَ

you are not tasked (held responsible) except for yourself,

Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that Abu Ishaq said,

"I asked Al-Bara bin Azib about a man who meets a hundred enemies and still fights them, would he be one of those referred to in Allah's statement,
وَلَا تُلْقُواْ بِأَيْدِيكُمْ إِلَى التَّهْلُكَةِ
(And do not throw yourselves into destruction (by not spending your wealth in the cause of Allah). (2;195)

He said, `Allah said to His Prophet,

فَقَاتِلْ فِي سَبِيلِ اللّهِ لَا تُكَلَّفُ إِلاَّ نَفْسَكَ

وَحَرِّضِ الْمُوْمِنِينَ
(Then fight in the cause of Allah, you are not tasked (held responsible) except for yourself, and incite the believers (to fight along with you))."

Imam Ahmad recorded Sulayman bin Dawud saying that Abu Bakr bin Ayyash said that Abu Ishaq said,

"I asked Al-Bara, `If a man attacks the lines of the idolators, would he be throwing himself to destruction?'

He said, `No, because Allah has sent His Messenger and commanded him,
فَقَاتِلْ فِي سَبِيلِ اللّهِ لَا تُكَلَّفُ إِلاَّ نَفْسَكَ
(Then fight in the cause of Allah, you are not tasked (held responsible) except for yourself).

That Ayah is about spending (in Allah's cause)."
Inciting the Believers to Fight

Allah said,

وَحَرِّضِ الْمُوْمِنِينَ

and incite the believers,

to fight, by encouraging them and strengthening their resolve in this regard.

For instance, the Prophet said to the believers at the battle of Badr, while organizing their lines,

قُومُوا إِلى جَنَّةٍ عَرْضُهَا السَّموَاتُ وَالاَْرْض

Stand up and march forth to a Paradise, as wide as the heavens and Earth.

There are many Hadiths that encourage Jihad.

Al-Bukhari recorded that Abu Hurayrah said that the Messenger of Allah said,

مَنْ امَنَ بِاللهِ وَرَسُولِهِ وَأَقَامَ الصَّلَةَ وَاتَى الزَّكَاةَ وَصَامَ رَمَضَانَ كَانَ حَقًّا عَلَى اللهِ أَنْ يُدْخِلَهُ الْجَنَّـةَ هَاجَرَ فِي سَبِيلِ اللهِ أَوْ جَلَسَ فِي أَرْضِهِ الَّتِي وُلِدَ فِيهَا

Whoever believes in Allah and His Messenger, offers prayer, pays the Zakah and fasts the month of Ramadan, will rightfully be granted Paradise by Allah, no matter whether he migrates in Allah's cause or remains in the land where he is born.

The people said, `O Allah's Messenger! Shall we acquaint the people with this good news!'

He said,

إِنَّ فِي الْجَنَّـةِ مِايَةَ دَرَجَةٍ أَعَدَّهَا اللهُ لِلْمُجَاهِدِينَ فِي سَبِيلِ اللهِ بَيْنَ كُلِّ دَرَجَتَيْنِ كَمَا بَيْنَ السَّمَاءِ وَالاَْرْضِ فَإِذَا سَأَلْتُمُ اللهَ فَاسْأَلُوهُ الْفِرْدَوْسَ فَإِنَّهُ وَسَطُ الْجَنَّةِ وَأَعْلَى الْجَنَّةِ وَفَوْقَهُ عَرْشُ الرَّحْمنِ وَمِنْهُ تَفَجَّرُ أَنْهَارُ الْجَنَّة

Paradise has one hundred grades which Allah has reserved for the Mujahidin who fight in His cause, the distance between each two grades is like the distance between the heaven and the Earth. So, when you ask Allah, ask for Al-Firdaws, which is the best and highest part of Paradise, above it is the Throne of the Most Beneficent (Allah) and from it originate the rivers of Paradise.

There are various narrations for this Hadith from Ubadah, Mu`adh, and Abu Ad-Darda'.

Abu Sa`id Al-Khudri narrated that the Messenger of Allah said,

يَا أَبَا سَعِيدٍ مَنْ رَضِيَ بِاللهِ رَبًّا وَبِالاْاِسْلَامِ دِينًا وَبِمُحَمَّدٍصلى الله عليه وسلّم نَبِيًّا وَجَبَتْ لَهُ الْجَنَّـة

O Abu Sa`id! Whoever accepts Allah as his Lord, Islam as his religion and Muhammad as the Prophet, then he would rightfully acquire Paradise.

Abu Sa`id liked these words and said, "O Allah's Messenger! Repeat them for me."

The Prophet repeated his words, then said,

وَأُخْرَى يَرْفَعُ اللهُ الْعَبْدَبِهَا مِايَةَ دَرَجَةٍ فِي الْجَنَّـةِ مَا بَيْنَ كُلِّ دَرَجَتَيْنِ كَمَا بَيْنَ السَّمَاءِ وَالاْأَرْض

And (there is) another deed for which Allah raises the servant a hundred grades in Paradise, between each two grades is the distance between heaven and Earth.

Abu Sa`id said, "What is it, O Allah's Messenger!"

He said,

الْجِهَادُ فِي سَبِيلِ الله
Jihad in Allah's cause.

This Hadith was collected by Muslim.

Allah's statement,

عَسَى اللّهُ أَن يَكُفَّ بَأْسَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ

it may be that Allah will restrain the evil might of the disbelievers.

means, by your encouraging them to fight, their resolve will be strengthened to meet the enemy in battle, to defend Islam and its people and to endure and be patient against the enemy.

Allah's statement,

وَاللّهُ أَشَدُّ بَأْسًا وَأَشَدُّ تَنكِيلً




And Allah is Stronger in might and Stronger in punishing.

means, He is able over them in this life and the Hereafter, just as He said in another Ayah,

ذَلِكَ وَلَوْ يَشَأءُ اللَّهُ لَانْتَصَرَ مِنْهُمْ وَلَـكِن لِّيَبْلُوَ بَعْضَكُمْ بِبَعْضٍ

But if it had been Allah's will, He Himself could certainly have punished them (without you). But (He lets you fight) in order to test some of you with others. (47;4)
Interceding for a Good or an Evil Cause

Allah said