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This Surah is addressed to:
The polytheists have been warned in a forceful manner to this effect: “You have obdurately and impudently persisted in your ideas of ignorance and trusted in your deities instead of God though they possess no power at all and you have repudiated the Divine Messenger. Now you will meet the same end as has been the doom of those like you before. You have only harmed yourselves by rejecting Our Prophet and by persecuting the best element of your own community; now your false deities shall not be able to save you from the wrath of God.” At the same time they have been admonished time and again for their creed of polytheism (Shirk) and sound arguments have been given in favour of Monotheism (Tawhid) and the Hereafter. The wavering Muslims who had embraced Islam but were not prepared to endure any hardship in its way have been admonished to this effect: “What is this faith of yours? On the one hand you are ready to believe in God and become His servants provided you are given peace and prosperity but on the other if you meet with afflictions and hardships in His Way you discard your God and cease to remain His servant. You should bear in mind that this wavering attitude of yours cannot avert those misfortunes and losses which God has ordained for you.”
As regards the true Believers they have been addressed in two ways:
The Believers have been told that the polytheists of Makkah had no right to debar them from visiting the Holy Mosque. They had no right to prevent anyone from performing Hajj because the Holy Mosque was not their private property. This objection was not only justified but it also acted as an effective political weapon against the Quraysh. For it posed this question to the other clans of Arabia: Were the Quraysh mere attendants of the Holy Mosque or its owners? It implied that if they succeeded in debarring the Muslims from Hajj without any protest from others, they would feel encouraged in future to debar from Hajj and Umrah the people of any other clan, who happened to have strained relations with the Quraysh. In order to emphasize this point, the history of the construction of the Holy Mosque has been cited to show that it was built by Prophet Abraham by the Command of God and he had invited all the peoples to perform Hajj there. That is why those coming from outside had enjoyed equal rights by the local people from the very beginning. It has also been made clear that that House had not been built for the rituals of polytheism (shirk) but for the worship of One God. Thus it was sheer tyranny that the worship of God was being forbidden there while the worship of idols enjoyed full licence
In order to counteract the tyranny of the Quraysh, the Muslims were allowed to fight with them. They were also given instructions to adopt the right and just attitude as and when they acquired power to rule in the land. Moreover, the Believers have been officially given the name of “Muslims” saying, “You are the real heirs to Abraham and you have been chosen to become witnesses of the Truth before mankind. Therefore you should establish prayer (salat) and pay the financial obligation (zakah) in order to become the best models of righteous life and perform Jihad for propagating the Word of God (v. 41,77, 78.) It will be worthwhile to keep in view the introductions to Surah 2: al-Baqarah (The Cow) and Surah 8: al-Anfal (The Spoils of War).