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the Jews, who were then a source of danger, it was only a temporary expedient and Muslim authorities do not consider it binding on them now that the 'verse of killing' has been revealed.

Muhammad did not go to Mecca at the usual time of the annual pilgrimage, for heathen people were still present; 1 so in the ninth year of the Hijra he sent Abu Bakr with a small body of pilgrims. Still this condition of things could not be allowed to go on, and so a revelation came releasing the Prophet from any obligation to respect the heathen Arabs. This revelation was given by Muhammad to 'Ali, who, starting after Abu Bakr and the pilgrims had left, joined him and his party at Mecca. Towards the close of the pilgrimage, 'Ali read out the revelation, which Muhammad had given him as God's message, to a large multitude of the Arabs assembled for the pilgrimage.2 The opening words are:—

An immunity from God and His Apostle to those polytheists with whom ye have made a league among the polytheist Arabs.
Go ye, therefore, at large in the land four months; but know that God ye shall not weaken,3 and that God will put to shame the infidels.

1 'As it had reached the august hearing of his lordship that the idolaters were in the habit of circumambulating the house of Allah in the same manner as in the time of ignorance (i.e., pre-Islamic days) and in a state of perfect nudity, he was so disgusted that he felt disinclined to come in contact with them himself.' Raudatu'-Safa, part ii, vol. ii, p. 673.
2 'It is said that 'Ali made it clear to them that between unbelievers and believers, idolaters and worshippers of the Unity, there could be no treaty and no peace and that in Paradise there would be none except Muslims. Khalasatu't-Tafasir, vol. ii, p. 215.
3 Literally, 'that ye cannot weaken God,' that is, hinder Him in this His purpose.

And a proclamation on the part of God and His Apostle to the people on the day of the greater Pilgrimage,1 that God and His Apostle are free from any engagement with the polytheists.2 If therefore ye turn to God it will be better for you; but if ye turn back, then know that ye shall not weaken God, and to those who believe not announce a grievous punishment.
But this concerneth not those polytheists with whom ye are in league, and who shall afterwards have in no way failed you, nor aided any one against you. Observe, therefore, engagement with them through the whole time of their treaty, for God loveth those who fear Him.
And when the sacred months are past, kill those who join other gods with God wherever ye shall find them, and seize them, besiege them, and lay wait for them with every kind of ambush; but if they repent and observe the prayers, and pay the obligatory alms, then let them go their way, for God is Gracious, Merciful. Sura At-Taubah (ix) 1-5.

There is apparent contradiction between the first verse which declares Muhammad's immunity and freedom from the observance of treaties and the fourth verse which speaks of a league with friendly polytheists. The explanation probably is that, whilst as polytheists they could not be allowed to come to the pilgrimage, the treaty with them would, in other respects, be observed. The pilgrims who

1 The Hajj, not the 'Umra, or Lesser Pilgrimage. 
Husain translates the clause
وَالله بَرِئْ مّمِنْ آلمُشرِكِيْنَ
خدا بيزار است از مشركين وعهود ايشان و بيغمبر است
'God is absolved from, or free from any treaty with the polytheists, and so is His Apostle also.' Tafsir-i-Husaini, vol. i, p. 247.

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