اُذِنَ لِلَّذِیۡنَ یُقٰتَلُوۡنَ بِاَنَّہُمۡ ظُلِمُوۡا ؕ وَ اِنَّ اللّٰہَ عَلٰی نَصۡرِہِمۡ لَقَدِیۡرُ ۣ ﴿ۙ۴۰﴾
أُذِنَ لِلَّذِينَ يُقَٰتَلُونَ بِأَنَّهُمۡ ظُلِمُواْۚ وَإِنَّ ٱللَّهَ عَلَىٰ نَصۡرِهِمۡ لَقَدِيرٌ
1957. According to consensus of scholarly opinion this is the first verse which gave Muslims the permission to take up arms in self-defence. It lays down principles according to which Muslims can wage a defensive war, and sets forth along with the following verses the reasons which led a handful of Muslims, without arms and other material means, to fight in self-defence after they had suffered at Mecca ceaseless persecution for years and had been pursued with relentless hatred to Medina and were harassed and harried there too. The first reason given in this verse is that they have been wronged. (close)
According to consensus of scholarly opinion this is the first verse which gave Muslims permission to take up arms in self-defence. The verse was revealed very early in Medina. "It is much more reasonable," says Wherry, to suppose with Muir that this command emanated from Medina. Nöldeke also relegated this command to Medina" (Wherry’s Commentary).
The next verse also lends support to this inference. It states that the permission to fight was given after the Muslims had been driven out of their hearths and homes. If, as some commentators of the Quran hold, the verse was revealed at Mecca, it must have been revealed immediately before Hijrah when most of the Muslims had already migrated to Medina and the Holy Prophet with only a very few Muslims had remained behind in Mecca and their cup of hardships and privations had become full to the brim. But the former view seems to be more akin to fact and reality.
The verse lays down principles according to which Muslims can wage a defensive war, and clearly sets forth the reasons which led a handful of Muslims, without arms and other material means, to fight in self-defence after they had suffered at Mecca ceaseless persecution for years and had been pursued with relentless hatred to Medina and were harassed and harried there too. The first and foremost reason given is that "they had been wronged." The Muslims had suffered untold persecution and war was actually forced upon them. The verse incidentally shows that the Muslims were also very weak in numbers, means and material when the permission to fight in self-defence was granted to them as the comforting and encouraging words, "And Allah indeed has power to help them," indicate. These words also implied a prophecy that though the Muslims were weak and their enemy was proud and powerful, yet as they were fighting in the cause of truth God would help them and they would be victorious. (close)
الَّذِیۡنَ اُخۡرِجُوۡا مِنۡ دِیَارِہِمۡ بِغَیۡرِ حَقٍّ اِلَّاۤ اَنۡ یَّقُوۡلُوۡا رَبُّنَا اللّٰہُ ؕ وَ لَوۡ لَا دَفۡعُ اللّٰہِ النَّاسَ بَعۡضَہُمۡ بِبَعۡضٍ لَّہُدِّمَتۡ صَوَامِعُ وَ بِیَعٌ وَّ صَلَوٰتٌ وَّ مَسٰجِدُ یُذۡکَرُ فِیۡہَا اسۡمُ اللّٰہِ کَثِیۡرًا ؕ وَ لَیَنۡصُرَنَّ اللّٰہُ مَنۡ یَّنۡصُرُہٗ ؕ اِنَّ اللّٰہَ لَقَوِیٌّ عَزِیۡزٌ ﴿۴۱﴾
ٱلَّذِينَ أُخۡرِجُواْ مِن دِيَٰرِهِم بِغَيۡرِ حَقٍّ إِلَّآ أَن يَقُولُواْ رَبُّنَا ٱللَّهُۗ وَلَوۡلَا دَفۡعُ ٱللَّهِ ٱلنَّاسَ بَعۡضَهُم بِبَعۡضٖ لَّهُدِّمَتۡ صَوَٰمِعُ وَبِيَعٞ وَصَلَوَٰتٞ وَمَسَٰجِدُ يُذۡكَرُ فِيهَا ٱسۡمُ ٱللَّهِ كَثِيرٗاۗ وَلَيَنصُرَنَّ ٱللَّهُ مَن يَنصُرُهُۥٓۚ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ لَقَوِيٌّ عَزِيزٌ
1958. This verse gives the second reason. It is that Muslims were driven out from their hearths and homes without a just and legitimate cause; their only offence being that they believed in One God. For years the Muslims were persecuted at Mecca, then they were driven out from it and were not left in peace even in their exile at Medina. Islam was threatened with complete extirpation by a combined attack by the Arabian tribes around Medina, among whom the influence of the Quraish, on account of their being the custodians of the Ka‘bah, was very great. Medina itself was honeycombed with sedition and treachery. The Jews, compact and united, were opposed to the Holy Prophet whose difficulties instead of lessening had greatly increased by Emigration. It was under these highly unfavourable circumstances that Muslims had to take up arms to save themselves, their Faith and the Holy Prophet from extermination. If ever a people had a legitimate cause to fight, it were the Holy Prophet Muhammad and his Companions, and yet the unconscionable critics of Islam have accused him of waging aggressive wars to impose his Faith on an unwilling people. (close)
a. 2:252. (close)
1959. After giving reasons why the Muslims were obliged to take up arms, the verse mentions the object and purpose of the wars of Islam. The object was never to deprive other people of their homes and possessions or to deprive them of national freedom and compel them to submit to foreign yoke, or to explore new markets and get new colonies as the Western Powers do. It was to fight in self-defence and to save Islam from extermination and to establish freedom of conscience and liberty of thought. It was also to defend places of worship belonging to other religions—the churches, the synagogues, the temples, the cloisters, etc. (2:194; 2:257; 8:40 & 8:73). Thus the first and foremost object of the wars of Islam was, and will always be, to establish freedom of belief and worship and to fight in defence of one's country, honour and freedom against an unprovoked attack. Could there be a better cause to fight for than this? (close)
b. 47:8 . (close)
b. 47:8. (close)
2471. Important Words:
صوامع is the plural of صومعة which is derived from صومع. They say صومع الشیء i.e. he collected together the thing. صومع البناء means, he raised the building. صومعة means a mountain; a high place where a monk lives or a holy man worships seeking solitude; a cloister; the cell of a recluse (Aqrab & Lane).
بیع (churches) is the plural of بیعة which means, a church or, as some say, a Jewish place of worship (Aqrab & Lane).
صلوات Places of worship of the Jews (Aqrab).
The verse gives the second reason, which led the poor and weak Muslims to take up arms. It was that they were driven out from their hearths and homes without a just and legitimate cause, their only crime being that they believed in one God. For years the Muslims were persecuted at Mecca, then they were driven out from it and were not left in peace even in their exile at Medina. They continued to be harassed in that place also. Islam was threatened with complete extirpation by a combined attack from the Arabian tribes round Medina, among whom the influence of the Quraish, on account of their being the custodians of the Ka‘bah, was very great. Medina itself was honey-combed with sedition and treachery. The Jews, compact and united, were opposed to the Holy Prophet. ‘Abdullah bin Ubayy, whose designs to become the crowned king of Medina had been upset by the Holy Prophet’s arrival in that city, and the hypocrites were an additional source of great danger to Islam. The Quraish held out a threat to ‘Abdullah bin ‘Ubayy that if the people of Medinah gave shelter to the Holy Prophet and did not make common cause with them against Muslims they would attack Medina with all their powerful hosts and allies and would kill their men and carry their women to Mecca in captivity (Abu Dawud). Thus Islam had to defend itself against much more powerful enemies at Medina than at Mecca. The position of Muslims in the first few years of their life at Medina was decidedly much weaker than at Mecca and the Holy Prophet’s difficulties instead of lessening had greatly increased. It was under these highly unfavourable circumstances that Muslims had to take up arms to save themselves, their faith and their Holy Prophet from extermination. If ever a people had a legitimate cause to fight, it were the Holy Prophet Muhammad and his Companions, and yet the unconscionable critics of Islam have accused him of waging aggressive wars to impose his faith on an unwilling people. See also 9:13.
After having given reasons why the Muslims were obliged to take up arms, the verse proceeds to mention the object and purpose of the wars of Islam. The object was never to deprive anybody of his home and possessions or to deprive whole peoples of national freedom or compel them to submit to foreign yoke under the garb of making them civilized as Western nations do, or to explore new markets and get new colonies. It was to fight in self-defence and to save Islam from extermination and to establish freedom of conscience and liberty of thought. It was also to defend places of worship belonging to different religions against desecration or destruction. Having laid down the principle that all religions have their origin in Divine revelation and that the founders of all religions were Divine Messengers and should therefore be equally respected (35:25), the Quran in the present verse has enjoined upon the Muslims to defend, even with their lives, all the places of worship—the churches, the synagogues, the temples, the cloisters, etc. This subject also finds an echo in vv. 2:194; 2:257; 8:40; 8:73. Thus the first and foremost object of the wars of Islam was, and will always be, to establish freedom of belief and worship and to fight in defence of country, honour and freedom against an unprovoked attack. Could there be a better cause to fight for than this? The Islamic injunctions as embodied in the present verse did not remain merely pious principles. They were acted upon by Muslims in daily life. The Muslims in the heyday of their power and glory always allowed complete freedom of belief and worship to people who accepted their protection and guardianship. To show the broad-mindedness and catholicity of Islamic teaching in this respect, we give below only one of several charters of freedom which the Holy Prophet granted to the followers of other faiths:
This is the document which Muhammad, son of ‘Abdullah, God’s Prophet, Warner and Bearer of glad-tidings, has caused to be written so that there should remain no excuse for those coming after. I have caused this document to be written for Christians of the East and the West, for those who live near, and for those of the distant lands, for the Christians living at present and for those who will come after, for those Christians who are known to us and for those as well whom we do not know. Any Muslim violating and abusing what is therein ordered would be regarded as violator of God’s testament and would be the breaker of His promise and would make himself deserving of God’s curse, be he a king or a subject. I promise that any monk or wayfarer, etc. who will seek my help on the mountains, in forests, deserts or habitations, or in places of worship, I will repel his enemies with all my friends and helpers, with all my relatives and with all those who profess to follow me and will defend him, because they are my covenant. And I will defend the covenanted against the persecution, injury and embarrassment by their enemies in lieu of the poll-tax they have promised to pay. If they prefer themselves to defend their properties and persons, they will be allowed to do so and will not be put to any inconvenience on that account. No bishop will be expelled from his bishopric, no monk from his monastery, no priest from his place of worship, and no pilgrim will be detained in his pilgrimage. None of their churches and other places of worship will be desolated or destroyed or demolished. No material of their churches will be used for building mosques or houses for the Muslims, any Muslim so doing will be regarded as recalcitrant to God and His Prophet. Monks and bishops will be subject to no tax or indemnity whether they live in forests or on the rivers, or in the East or West, North or South. I give them my word of honour. They have my promise and covenant and will enjoy perfect immunity from all sorts of inconveniences. Every help shall be given them in the repair of their churches. They shall be absolved from wearing arms. They shall be protected by the Muslims. Let this document be not disobeyed till the Judgement Day (Baladhari).
Similar charters were granted to the followers of other faiths. True Muslims have always tried to follow faithfully the example of their Prophet.
The words, "And Allah will surely help one who helps Him," signify that Muslim armies will receive Divine help because they fight Allah’s own battles and promote the sacred cause which is very dear to Him. (close)
اَلَّذِیۡنَ اِنۡ مَّکَّنّٰہُمۡ فِی الۡاَرۡضِ اَقَامُوا الصَّلٰوۃَ وَ اٰتَوُا الزَّکٰوۃَ وَ اَمَرُوۡا بِالۡمَعۡرُوۡفِ وَ نَہَوۡا عَنِ الۡمُنۡکَرِ ؕ وَ لِلّٰہِ عَاقِبَۃُ الۡاُمُوۡرِ ﴿۴۲﴾
ٱلَّذِينَ إِن مَّكَّنَّـٰهُمۡ فِي ٱلۡأَرۡضِ أَقَامُواْ ٱلصَّلَوٰةَ وَءَاتَوُاْ ٱلزَّكَوٰةَ وَأَمَرُواْ بِٱلۡمَعۡرُوفِ وَنَهَوۡاْ عَنِ ٱلۡمُنكَرِۗ وَلِلَّهِ عَٰقِبَةُ ٱلۡأُمُورِ
1960. The verse implies a commandment for the Muslims that when they get power, they should not use it for the furtherance of their own selfish ends but should employ it to ameliorate the lot of the poor and the down trodden people and to establish peace and security in their dominions, and that they should respect and protect places of worship. (close)
The verse lays down some principles of universal application:
Firstly: Those true servants of God are entitled to receive God’s help, power and authority to use it for the good of humanity who do their duty to God and man, and are devout and God-fearing, who help their fellow beings with all the means at their disposal and not only themselves live righteous lives but exhort others to lead good and useful lives and abstain from evil.
Secondly: Any nation or people who seek to receive Divine help and rise to power and influence should act upon these principles.
Thirdly: a nation or people on whom God confers power and dominion continue to enjoy these blessings so long as they observe these principles. To this sublime principle another verse of the Quran also refers, viz. "Verily, Allah changes not the condition of a people until they change their own condition" (13:12).
The verse incidentally implies a commandment for the Muslims that when they get power, they should not use it for the furtherance of their own selfish ends but should employ it in ameliorating the lot of poor and downtrodden people and in establishing peace and tranquillity in their dominions and should particularly respect and protect places of worship. It also shows that the Companions of the Holy Prophet were granted power, dominion and wealth because they lived up to the principles enunciated in this verse and that when they attained power and wealth they used it in the service of humanity. (close)
وَ اِنۡ یُّکَذِّبُوۡکَ فَقَدۡ کَذَّبَتۡ قَبۡلَہُمۡ قَوۡمُ نُوۡحٍ وَّ عَادٌ وَّ ثَمُوۡدُ ﴿ۙ۴۳﴾
وَإِن يُكَذِّبُوكَ فَقَدۡ كَذَّبَتۡ قَبۡلَهُمۡ قَوۡمُ نُوحٖ وَعَادٞ وَثَمُودُ
b. 6:35; 35:26; 40:6; 54:10. (close)
a. 6:35; 35:26; 40:6; 54:10. (close)
The verse means to say that those who reject God’s Prophets and do not observe the principles laid down in the preceding verses invite and incur Divine wrath. As an illustration the verse gives the instances of the people of Noah, and of the tribes of ‘Ad and Thamud. These peoples were visited with God’s punishment because they ignored and defied His commandments. (close)
وَ قَوۡمُ اِبۡرٰہِیۡمَ وَ قَوۡمُ لُوۡطٍ ﴿ۙ۴۴﴾
وَقَوۡمُ إِبۡرَٰهِيمَ وَقَوۡمُ لُوطٖ
This and the next verse give the instances of the people of Abraham and Lot and of the inhabitants of Midian and those who rejected Moses.All these peoples had their due share of Divine punishment for their evil deeds. They had been given sufficient time to mend their ways but they did not profit by the respite granted to them. (close)
وَّ اَصۡحٰبُ مَدۡیَنَ ۚ وَ کُذِّبَ مُوۡسٰی فَاَمۡلَیۡتُ لِلۡکٰفِرِیۡنَ ثُمَّ اَخَذۡتُہُمۡ ۚ فَکَیۡفَ کَانَ نَکِیۡرِ ﴿۴۵﴾
وَأَصۡحَٰبُ مَدۡيَنَۖ وَكُذِّبَ مُوسَىٰۖ فَأَمۡلَيۡتُ لِلۡكَٰفِرِينَ ثُمَّ أَخَذۡتُهُمۡۖ فَكَيۡفَ كَانَ نَكِيرِ
فَکَاَیِّنۡ مِّنۡ قَرۡیَۃٍ اَہۡلَکۡنٰہَا وَ ہِیَ ظَالِمَۃٌ فَہِیَ خَاوِیَۃٌ عَلٰی عُرُوۡشِہَا وَ بِئۡرٍ مُّعَطَّلَۃٍ وَّ قَصۡرٍ مَّشِیۡدٍ ﴿۴۶﴾
فَكَأَيِّن مِّن قَرۡيَةٍ أَهۡلَكۡنَٰهَا وَهِيَ ظَالِمَةٞ فَهِيَ خَاوِيَةٌ عَلَىٰ عُرُوشِهَا وَبِئۡرٖ مُّعَطَّلَةٖ وَقَصۡرٖ مَّشِيدٍ
a. 7:5; 21:12; 28:59; 65:9, 10. (close)
a. 7:5; 21:12; 28:59; 65:9-10. (close)
2475. Important Words:
خاویة (fallen) is derived from خوی. They say خوی البیت i.e. (1) the house fell down in ruins; (2) it became empty and untenanted (Aqrab). See also 2:260.
معطلة (deserted) is derived from عطل. They say عطل الشیء (attala) i.e. he rendered the thing untended or neglected. عطل البئرmeans, he gave up going to the well to drink from it. عطل الابل means, the camels went away without a pastor to look after them (Aqrab). واذا العشار عطلت means, and when the she-camels ten-months pregnant are abandoned or are left without a pastor to look after them (81:5).
مشید (lofty) means, lofty, strongly or firmly built. See also 4:79. (close)
اَفَلَمۡ یَسِیۡرُوۡا فِی الۡاَرۡضِ فَتَکُوۡنَ لَہُمۡ قُلُوۡبٌ یَّعۡقِلُوۡنَ بِہَاۤ اَوۡ اٰذَانٌ یَّسۡمَعُوۡنَ بِہَا ۚ فَاِنَّہَا لَا تَعۡمَی الۡاَبۡصَارُ وَ لٰکِنۡ تَعۡمَی الۡقُلُوۡبُ الَّتِیۡ فِی الصُّدُوۡرِ ﴿۴۷﴾
أَفَلَمۡ يَسِيرُواْ فِي ٱلۡأَرۡضِ فَتَكُونَ لَهُمۡ قُلُوبٞ يَعۡقِلُونَ بِهَآ أَوۡ ءَاذَانٞ يَسۡمَعُونَ بِهَاۖ فَإِنَّهَا لَا تَعۡمَى ٱلۡأَبۡصَٰرُ وَلَٰكِن تَعۡمَى ٱلۡقُلُوبُ ٱلَّتِي فِي ٱلصُّدُورِ
b. 12:110; 30:10; 35:45; 40:22; 47:11. (close)
1961. It is clear from this verse that the dead, the blind and the deaf spoken of here and elsewhere in the Qur’an are the spiritually dead, blind and deaf. (close)
The verse exhorts disbelievers to study the histories of and to learn a lesson from the fate of those people who rejected the former Prophets. It is also clear from this verse that the dead, the blind and the deaf spoken of here and elsewhere in the Quran are the spiritually blind, deaf and dead. See also 17:73. (close)
وَ یَسۡتَعۡجِلُوۡنَکَ بِالۡعَذَابِ وَ لَنۡ یُّخۡلِفَ اللّٰہُ وَعۡدَہٗ ؕ وَ اِنَّ یَوۡمًا عِنۡدَ رَبِّکَ کَاَلۡفِ سَنَۃٍ مِّمَّا تَعُدُّوۡنَ ﴿۴۸﴾
وَيَسۡتَعۡجِلُونَكَ بِٱلۡعَذَابِ وَلَن يُخۡلِفَ ٱللَّهُ وَعۡدَهُۥۚ وَإِنَّ يَوۡمًا عِندَ رَبِّكَ كَأَلۡفِ سَنَةٖ مِّمَّا تَعُدُّونَ
c. 26:205; 27:72; 29:54, 55; 37:177; 51:15. (close)
1961A. The Holy Prophet is reported to have said that the first three centuries of Islam would be its best period after which falsehood would spread and a period of darkness would set in which would extend to over a thousand years (Tirmidhi). This period of a thousand years is likened to one day (32:6). In this period a people, having blue eyes would arise and spread all over the earth (20:103, 104). It is these people having blue eyes who in their conceit and arrogance, born of their material glory and political power, are depicted as challenging the Holy Prophet to hasten on the punishment which, he said, would overtake them at the appointed and promised time. (close)
c. 26:205; 27:72; 29:54-55; 37:177; 51:15. (close)
The reference in this verse is to a mighty event in the history of Islam. The Holy Prophet is reported to have said that the first three centuries of Islam would be its best period after which falsehood would spread and a period of darkness would come and this period of darkness would extend to over a thousand years (Tirmidhi). This period is likened to one day in the present verse and in 32:6. In this period of moral and spiritual decadence of Muslims a people having blue eyes were to arise who were to spread all over the earth and at whose hands Islam was destined to receive a serious setback (20:103-104). This period of political decadence of Islam and moral degeneration of Muslims in which they faced defeat and discomfiture at the hands of western Christian nations having blue eyes, began after the expiry of the third century of Hijrah and lasted up to the dawn of the 14th century when the Promised Messiah made his appearance. It is to these western people that the reference has been made in the words "And they ask thee to hasten on the punishment." In their conceit and arrogance born of material glory and political power, the western peoples came to labour under the misconception that their progress and glory would last forever. So they are depicted in the verse under comment as challenging the Holy Prophet to hasten on the punishment which he said would overtake them. To their implied taunt and gibe, the verse makes a reply that God had already made a promise that these western nations would be granted respite for one thousand years after which a terrible tribulation would overtake them and all their greatness and glory would become a thing of the past. Divine punishment would descend on their houses and the very soil on which they would be living would be rendered bleak and barren. They are warned that the punishment would be so severe, overwhelming and enveloping that one day of it would appear to them as a thousand years. See also 18:9 & 32:6. (close)
وَ کَاَیِّنۡ مِّنۡ قَرۡیَۃٍ اَمۡلَیۡتُ لَہَا وَ ہِیَ ظَالِمَۃٌ ثُمَّ اَخَذۡتُہَا ۚ وَ اِلَیَّ الۡمَصِیۡرُ ﴿٪۴۹﴾
وَكَأَيِّن مِّن قَرۡيَةٍ أَمۡلَيۡتُ لَهَا وَهِيَ ظَالِمَةٞ ثُمَّ أَخَذۡتُهَا وَإِلَيَّ ٱلۡمَصِيرُ
The verse is of general application but it specially alludes to the punishment in store for the peoples mentioned in the preceding verses. (close)