The faithless Bedouins are severely rebuked thus:—

Some Arabs of the desert came with excuses, praying exemption; and they who had gainsaid God and His Apostle sat at home; a grievous punishment shall light on such of them as believe not. Sura At-Taubah (ix) 91.
The Arabs of the desert are most stout in unbelief and dissimulation . . . .
Of the Arabs of the desert there are some who reckon what they expend in the cause of God as tribute and wait for some change of fortune to befall you; a change for evil shall befall them! God is the Hearer, the Knower. Sura At-Taubah (ix) 98-9.

Thus, all who held back are rebuked, and the Prophet and those who went are highly commended and told that 'all good things' await them, for God hath made for them 'gardens beneath which the rivers flow' where there is bliss for ever.1 Some believers afterwards confessed their fault and were forgiven, but the Prophet was told to take of their substance in order to cleanse and purify them. Some others were kept waiting before a decision was given in their favour, but at last they too were pardoned:—

Others have owned their faults, and with an action that is right they have mixed another that is wrong. God will haply be turned to them, for God is Forgiving, Merciful.
Take alms of their substance, that thou mayest cleanse and purify them thereby and pray for them; for thy prayers shall assure their minds: and God Heareth. Knoweth. Sura At-Taubah (ix) 103-4.

1 Sura At-Taubah (ix) 90.

The tenth verse in the same Sura:—

And others await the decisions of God, whether He will punish them, or whether He will be turned unto them, for God is Knowing, Wise.

is said to have special reference to Ka'b ibn Malik, a warrior, who had received eleven wounds at Uhud. He was also a poet. He and two of his friends had no valid reason for not going to Tabuk and their defection set a bad example. Their conduct could not be passed over in silence. They were excommunicated for fifty days and prohibited from holding any intercourse with their wives or families. Then Muhammad, seeing their miserable condition, relented and this revelation came:—

He hath turned Him unto the three who were left behind, so that the earth, spacious as it is, became too strait for them, and their souls became so straitened within them, that they bethought them that there was no refuge from God but unto Himself. Then was He turned to them, that they might be turned to Him, for God is He that turneth, the Merciful. Sura At-Taubah (ix) 119.

This ninth Sura is the last one, or the last but one, revealed.1 It is fierce and intolerant, and shows how advancing years, instead of mellowing and softening the temper of the Prophet, only developed his warlike spirit which loved to receive the supposed divine injunction:—

O Prophet! contend against the infidels and the

1 It belongs for the most part to the ninth year of the Hijra, though verses 13-16 belong to the previous year. The verses 36-7 belong to the year A.H. 10. The other verses are not arranged in any regular chronological order, but the Sura, as a whole, represents the mind of the Prophet in the eighth and ninth year of his power, and is chiefly remarkable for its arrogant intolerance. See Nöldeke, Geschichte des Qorans, pp. 165-9.