Indeed, Allah has purchased from the believers their lives and their properties [in exchange] for that they will have Paradise. They fight in the cause of Allah , so they kill and are killed. [It is] a true promise [binding] upon Him in the Torah and the Gospel and the Qur’an. And who is truer to his covenant than Allah ? So rejoice in your transaction which you have contracted. And it is that which is the great attainment.
[Surat at-Tawbah, 9:111]
Allah states that He has compensated His believing servants for their lives and wealth — if they give them up in His cause — with Paradise. This demonstrates Allah’s favor, generosity and bounty, for He has accepted the good that He already owns and bestowed, as a price from His faithful servants.
Al-Hasan Al-Basri and Qatadah commented, “By Allah! Allah has purchased them and raised their worth.”
Shimr bin `Atiyyah said, “There is not a Muslim but has on his neck a sale that he must conduct with Allah; he either fulfills its terms or dies without doing that.”
He then recited this Ayah.
This is why those who fight in the cause of Allah are said to have conducted the sale with Allah, meaning, accepted and fulfilled his covenant. Allah’s statement,
يُقَـتِلُونَ فِى سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ فَيَقْتُلُونَ وَيُقْتَلُونَ
(They fight in Allah’s cause, so they kill and are killed.)
indicates that whether they were killed or they kill the enemy, or both, then Paradise will be theirs.
So what are the traits of those from whom Allah SWT has purchased their lives and wealth (and hence has a binding Promise of Jannah)?
Tafseer ibn Katheer:
This is the description of the believers from whom Allah has purchased their souls and wealth, who have these beautiful and honorable qualities,
[Such believers are] the repentant, the worshippers, the praisers [of Allah ], the travelers/fast [for His cause], those who bow and prostrate [in prayer], those who enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong, and those who observe the limits [set by] Allah . And give good tidings to the believers.
[Surat at Tawbah, 9:112; more tafseer here]
Ust. Taymiyyah Zubayr’s contemplation on the ayahs above:
All words used in ayah 112 are إسم فاعل. What this means is that one who is doing the above actions is doing the action repeatedly. He is constantly improving and growing and is not satisfied with what he’s done. Allah SWT didn’t use the word اليتوبون, instead He has used the word التائبون .
Hasan al Basri (R) has said that:
Allah SWT has given you dunia so that you might use part of it to purchase Jannah. Allah SWT hasn’t given you dunia to buy more dunia from it.
What does it mean to selling your life to Allah SWT? It is to dedicate your life for Allah SWT and those who do it right are willing to such an extent that Allah SWT describes them as such:
يقاتلون في سبيل الله فيقتلون ويقتلون
After a person has sold something, it is no longer his. Once we have given our lives to Allah SWT, it’s not going to be our choice anymore. It means that everything you do will comply with Allah SWT’s Directives.
Everybody is looking for success and there are so many books out there how to be successful. How you have to discover the giant within you, only then you will become successful. If you look at it, this (the ayah) is the path to success. This is the deal Allah SWT is making with you. Accept it and be successful.
That’s the unfortunate part of it. We have more belief in certain books and techniques than the Quraan which is why we spend so much time and energy for looking for other things outside the Quraan. We forget what is Allah SWT is telling us about success and how we can attain it. This is the deal not just being offered to the young but also to the old. It is being offered to everyone!
Know the value of your life!
Jaa’far as-Saadiq RA has said:
I sell my soul to its Lord and there’s no equivalent in the creation of my soul (meaning there’s nothing else in the dunia that can pay the price of my soul. It’s only Allah SWT who can.) It is a valuable item with which Paradise can be bought, the Hereafter can be purchased and owned. If I sell it for less then indeed it would be a great loss!
And Allah SWT knows best.