اَلَّذِیۡنَ اٰتَیۡنٰہُمُ الۡکِتٰبَ یَعۡرِفُوۡنَہٗ کَمَا یَعۡرِفُوۡنَ اَبۡنَآءَہُمۡ ؕ وَ اِنَّ فَرِیۡقًا مِّنۡہُمۡ لَیَکۡتُمُوۡنَ الۡحَقَّ وَ ہُمۡ یَعۡلَمُوۡنَ ﴿۱۴۷﴾ؔ
ٱلَّذِينَ ءَاتَيۡنَٰهُمُ ٱلۡكِتَٰبَ يَعۡرِفُونَهُۥ كَمَا يَعۡرِفُونَ أَبۡنَآءَهُمۡۖ وَإِنَّ فَرِيقٗا مِّنۡهُمۡ لَيَكۡتُمُونَ ٱلۡحَقَّ وَهُمۡ يَعۡلَمُونَ
c. 6:21. (close)
169. The pronoun it (or him) may be taken as referring either to the change of the Qiblah or to the Holy Prophet. The clause means that the People of the Book know on the basis of the prophecies found in their revealed Scriptures that a Prophet will appear among the Arabs who will have special relation with the Ka‘bah. (close)
170. Ya‘rifuna-hu is derived from ‘Arafa which means, he knew or recognized or perceived a thing. Though the word is also used about such knowledge as is derived through the physical senses, it is particularly used of such knowledge as is obtained by pondering and meditating (Mufradat). (close)
d. 2:175; 5:16, 6:92. (close)
a. 6:21. (close)
b. 2:175; 5:16; 6:92. (close)
153. Important Words:
یعرفون (recognise) is derived from عرف which means, he knew or recognized or perceived a thing. Though the word is also used of such knowledge as is derived through the senses, it is particularly used of such knowledge as is obtained by thinking and meditating (Mufradat & Aqrab).
The pronoun hu (him or it) occurring in the clause "recognise him or it" may be taken as referring either to the change of Qiblah or to the Holy Prophet. The clause means that the People of the Book know, on the basis of the prophecies found in their Scriptures, that a Prophet would appear among the Arabs and that he would be connected with the Ka‘bah.
The sentence, some of them conceal the truth knowingly, refers to the learned men of the Jews who were well versed in their scriptures and knew the prophecies relating to the advent of the Holy Prophet of Islam but deliberately suppressed those prophecies in order to conceal them from the people. (close)
اَلۡحَقُّ مِنۡ رَّبِّکَ فَلَا تَکُوۡنَنَّ مِنَ الۡمُمۡتَرِیۡنَ ﴿۱۴۸﴾٪
ٱلۡحَقُّ مِن رَّبِّكَ فَلَا تَكُونَنَّ مِنَ ٱلۡمُمۡتَرِينَ
a. 3:61; 6:115; 10:95. (close)
a. 3:61; 6:115; 10:95. (close)
154. Important Words:
الحق (truth) means: (1) a truth; (2) a thing foreordained by God; (3) an established fact (4) a right; (5) certainty and conviction (Aqrab).
الممترین (those in doubt) is the plural of الممتر which is derived from امتری which again is derived from مری. They say مری حقهi.e. he contested or refused his right. امتری means: (1) he doubted; (2) he contested or raised objections. Thus ممترین means: (1) those who doubt; (2) those who contest and raise objections (Mufradat & Aqrab).
This verse refers to the great future of Islam. The revelation sent down to the Holy Prophet had come to stay and all obstacles that stood in its way were doomed to disappear. This is ordained by God, the Controller of man’s destiny, and is as good as an established fact. Therefore, O reader, do not waste your energies in doubting or disputing a thing that must prevail. (close)
وَ لِکُلٍّ وِّجۡہَۃٌ ہُوَ مُوَلِّیۡہَا فَاسۡتَبِقُوا الۡخَیۡرٰتِ ؕ اَیۡنَ مَا تَکُوۡنُوۡا یَاۡتِ بِکُمُ اللّٰہُ جَمِیۡعًا ؕ اِنَّ اللّٰہَ عَلٰی کُلِّ شَیۡءٍ قَدِیۡرٌ ﴿۱۴۹﴾
وَلِكُلّٖ وِجۡهَةٌ هُوَ مُوَلِّيهَاۖ فَٱسۡتَبِقُواْ ٱلۡخَيۡرَٰتِۚ أَيۡنَ مَا تَكُونُواْ يَأۡتِ بِكُمُ ٱللَّهُ جَمِيعًاۚ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَيۡءٖ قَدِيرٞ
b. 3:134; 5:49; 35:33; 57:22. (close)
171. The verse contains, in a few words, all the ingredients of a successful life: A Muslim should first fix for himself a definite goal. Then he should not only devote his whole attention to it and strain every nerve to attain it and vie with other Muslims in a spirit of healthy competition and try to excel them but should also help such of his comrades, as may happen to stumble, to rise up and continue the race. The word Muwalli-ha also means, "which he makes dominant over him," i.e. a man first sets up an objective and then makes it a dominating factor in his life. (close)
b. 3:134; 5:49; 35:33; 57:22. (close)
155. Important Words:
وجھة (goal) is derived from وجه meaning, the face. وجھة therefore, means: (1) a direction to which one turns one’s face; (2) a goal or an object (Aqrab).
استبقوا (vie with one another) is formed from استبق which is derived from سبق which means, he went ahead of him and left him behind; he outstripped him; he excelled him in some quality. استبق means: (1) he tried to go ahead of others so as to reach the goal first; (2) he hastened and employed his full powers to attain or reach an object (Aqrab & Lane).
خیرات (good works) is the plural of خیرة which means (1) anything excessively good; (2) anything superior to other things (Aqrab).
This short verse contains, in a few words, a mighty lesson as to how the Muslims can achieve success in life. First, they should fix for themselves a goal and that goal should not be the attainment of a particular good but of every good. Nay, they should aspire for more than that. They should try to attain such things as are exceedingly good and superior to others. Again, they should not seek these things in a careless and haphazard manner but should hasten towards them, vying with one another in a spirit of healthy emulation to reach the goal before others.
The expression استبقوا (vie with one another) used here in the plural form also points to the fact that in this race for all that is good, Muslims should try to help those who are weak and assist them in the attainment of virtue. A true Muslim should not only himself strive after virtue but should also invite others to attain to the same stage of virtue which he himself has attained. The spiritual race referred to in the verse thus becomes a most peculiar race in which the competitors not only vie with one another but also look towards their comrades and help such of them as may stumble on their way or be lax in other respects.
The clause, Wherever you be, Allah will bring you all together, means that a Muslim should not think of vying with only those who immediately surround him and thus be satisfied by outstripping them, but should also remember the fact that in far-off places there may be those who are running very fast—faster than those who surround him—and as God will judge all together, a Muslim should not be unmindful of the unknown competitors but should try to spend his energies to the fullest possible extent so that he may truly top the list.
The clause is capable of yet another interpretation. It is human nature that when a man comes to know that the result of his works would be announced publicly, he strives all the harder to outdo others in the discharge of his duties. Hence, God calls upon Muslims to bear in mind that on a certain day they will be gathered together with the peoples of all ages and the results of their deeds will be announced before that huge assemblage; so they should exert themselves accordingly.
The clause, Surely, Allah has the power to do all that He wills, is intended to remind Muslims that there is no limit to man’s spiritual progress and development. A man can rise to any stage of progress and yet the All-Powerful God can help and guide him to the attainment of a still higher stage.
The words ھو مولیھا (which dominates him) literally mean, which he makes dominant over him, i.e. a man first sets up an objective and then makes it a dominating factor in his life. The expression ھومولیھا also means, to which he turns his face. In both these senses the underlying idea is that of engrossment and devotion. (close)
وَ مِنۡ حَیۡثُ خَرَجۡتَ فَوَلِّ وَجۡہَکَ شَطۡرَ الۡمَسۡجِدِ الۡحَرَامِ ؕ وَ اِنَّہٗ لَلۡحَقُّ مِنۡ رَّبِّکَ ؕ وَ مَا اللّٰہُ بِغَافِلٍ عَمَّا تَعۡمَلُوۡنَ ﴿۱۵۰﴾
وَمِنۡ حَيۡثُ خَرَجۡتَ فَوَلِّ وَجۡهَكَ شَطۡرَ ٱلۡمَسۡجِدِ ٱلۡحَرَامِۖ وَإِنَّهُۥ لَلۡحَقُّ مِن رَّبِّكَۗ وَمَا ٱللَّهُ بِغَٰفِلٍ عَمَّا تَعۡمَلُونَ
c. See 2:145. (close)
172. When the Ka‘bah was made the Qiblah it became essential for Muslims that they should have Mecca, in which it was situated, in their possession. They are enjoined in this verse to bend all their energies to its conquest and the Holy Prophet is commanded to keep his attention centred on this objective in all his campaigns, the word Kharajta also meaning "thou goest out for battle" (Lane). The word also signifies that the conquest of Mecca was the personal responsibility of the Holy Prophet. Moreover, whereas in v.145 the command pertains to the change of the Qiblah, in 150, 151 it refers to the conquest of Mecca, the infinitive Khuruj particularly meaning, to issue forth for battle. (close)
173. The words imply that Mecca was sure to fall one day into the hands of the Muslims. Its conquest by the Muslims had also been predicted in the Qur’an in 17:81, and 28:86. The prophecy contained in Deut. 33:2 was also fulfilled when the Holy Prophet entered Mecca as a conqueror at the head of ten thousand Muslims. (close)
a. See 2:145. (close)
156. Important Words:
خرجت (thou comest forth) is from خرج which means: (1) he came forth; (2) he went forth; (3) he came forth or went forth for a battle (Aqrab).
Now when the Ka‘bah had been appointed the Qiblah of Muslims, it became necessary that Mecca should come under their control. The verse under comment suitably refers to that matter. Muslims are bidden henceforward to direct all their energies to the conquest of Mecca. In all his campaigns, the Holy Prophet was commanded to keep in view the taking of Mecca, which had now become the centre of Islam. This is borne out by the expression خرجت (thou comest forth) which also means "thou goest forth for a battle". The word خرجت "thou comest forth or goest forth" has thus nothing to do with the turning of the face to the Ka‘bah, at the time of Prayers; for Prayers are not performed walking. Obviously the commandment cannot mean that one should, while walking, pray with one’s face turned toward the Ka‘bah.
The words, for that is indeed the truth from thy Lord, evidently imply that Mecca was sure to fall one day into the hands of the Holy Prophet. As considering the then helpless condition of the Muslims, such an achievement appeared to be almost impossible, so God gave His Messenger the assurance that the promise was a true one and its fulfilment was absolutely certain.
The expression, and Allah is not unmindful of what you do, provides a reason for the above promise. God was well aware of the deeds of the Muslims, knowing full well how they were striving to win His favour; so He could not let their labours go unrewarded. Just as He had established their connection with the Ka‘bah spiritually, so would He make them its masters physically. (close)
وَ مِنۡ حَیۡثُ خَرَجۡتَ فَوَلِّ وَجۡہَکَ شَطۡرَ الۡمَسۡجِدِ الۡحَرَامِ ؕ وَ حَیۡثُ مَا کُنۡتُمۡ فَوَلُّوۡا وُجُوۡہَکُمۡ شَطۡرَہٗ ۙ لِئَلَّا یَکُوۡنَ لِلنَّاسِ عَلَیۡکُمۡ حُجَّۃٌ ٭ۙ اِلَّا الَّذِیۡنَ ظَلَمُوۡا مِنۡہُمۡ ٭ فَلَا تَخۡشَوۡہُمۡ وَ اخۡشَوۡنِیۡ ٭ وَ لِاُتِمَّ نِعۡمَتِیۡ عَلَیۡکُمۡ وَ لَعَلَّکُمۡ تَہۡتَدُوۡنَ ﴿۱۵۱﴾ۙۛ
وَمِنۡ حَيۡثُ خَرَجۡتَ فَوَلِّ وَجۡهَكَ شَطۡرَ ٱلۡمَسۡجِدِ ٱلۡحَرَامِۚ وَحَيۡثُ مَا كُنتُمۡ فَوَلُّواْ وُجُوهَكُمۡ شَطۡرَهُۥ لِئَلَّا يَكُونَ لِلنَّاسِ عَلَيۡكُمۡ حُجَّةٌ إِلَّا ٱلَّذِينَ ظَلَمُواْ مِنۡهُمۡ فَلَا تَخۡشَوۡهُمۡ وَٱخۡشَوۡنِي وَلِأُتِمَّ نِعۡمَتِي عَلَيۡكُمۡ وَلَعَلَّكُمۡ تَهۡتَدُونَ
a. 2:145, 150. (close)
174. The Muslims were also enjoined never to lose sight of the supreme objective of conquering Mecca. (close)
175. The words, that people may have no argument against you, mean that if the Muslims failed to conquer Mecca, the objection would quite legitimately be raised by the enemies of Islam that the Holy Prophet had not fulfilled the prayer of Abraham (2:130), and, therefore, he could not claim to be the Promised Prophet. Moreover, the House to which the Muslims were commanded to turn their faces in Prayers was, while under the control of the heathen Meccans, full of idols. If the idols had remained in the Ka‘bah, the Muslims would have been accused of worshipping them. This objection could only be effectively answered if the Holy House, which had been originally dedicated to the worship of One God, had been cleared of idols. Hence the commandment to substitute the Ka‘bah for the Temple of Jerusalem as the Qiblah was naturally followed by the injunction about the conquest of Mecca. (close)
b. 5:4. (close)
c. 5:4; 12:7. (close)
176. The words mean that with the taking of Mecca God’s favour on the Muslims would become complete, for it would mean the subjugation of all Arabia and the entering of thousands of men into the fold of Islam. The result amply justified the above prophecy; for the conquest of Mecca was rapidly followed by the conversion to Islam of thousands of Arabs. Another reason why the conquest of Mecca was followed by a general influx of Arabs into Islam was that although the Arabs followed no revealed Book, yet the prophecy of Abraham that Mecca would not be conquered by the followers of any false Prophet, and any people attempting it would meet with destruction, was known to them. They had only recently seen a remarkable illustration of the fulfilment of that prophecy in the miraculous destruction of the Abyssinian invader, Abraha, and his powerful army. (close)
a. 2:145, 150. (close)
b. 5:4. (close)
The singular person in خرجت (thou comest forth) is used to emphasize the fact that the conquest of Mecca was the personal responsibility of the Holy Prophet. If he could persuade others to help him, well and good; if not, he alone stood responsible before God—a mighty responsibility indeed which also strikes at the very root of the objection that Islam waited for a declaration of the defensive war till it was strong enough to hit back.
The plural person in حیث ماکنتم (wherever you be) is used so as to include the Muslims of all places. Next to the Holy Prophet, they are also commanded to keep the same object in view, i.e. the conquest of Mecca. This verse and the preceding one should afford no ground for inferring that Islam bids its followers to wage an aggressive war. For, as amply borne out by history, by the time these verses were revealed, war had already commenced with the Meccans and it was they that had forced it upon the unwilling Muslims.
The words, that people may have no argument against you, mean that if the Muslims failed to conquer Mecca, the objection would quite legitimately be raised by the enemies of Islam, that the Holy Prophet had not fulfilled the prayer of Abraham, contained in 2:130, and therefore, could not claim to be the Promised Prophet. Moreover, the House to which the Muslims were commanded to turn their faces during Prayers was, while under the control of the heathen Meccans, full of idols. If the idols had continued to remain in the Ka‘bah, the Muslims might have been accused of worshipping idols. This objection could be effectively answered, if the Holy House, which had been originally dedicated to the worship of One God, had been cleared of idols. Hence the commandment to substitute the Ka‘bah for the Temple at Jerusalem as Qiblah was naturally followed by the injunction about the conquest of Mecca.
It may be added here that the conquest of Mecca by the Muslims had also been predicted in the Quran in 28:86, and 17:81. The prophecy contained in Deut. 33:2 was also fulfilled when the Holy Prophet entered Mecca as a conqueror at the head of ten thousand Muslims.
The clause, that I may perfect My favour upon you, provides yet another argument in favour of the commandment relating to the conquest of Mecca. God means to say that, with the taking of Mecca, God’s favour on the Muslims would begin to be perfected; for it would mean the subjugation of all Arabia and the influx of thousands of men into the fold of Islam. The result amply justified the prophecy; for the conquest of Mecca was rapidly followed by the conversion to Islam of thousands of Arabs. Most of the Arabs, at heart victims of the beauty of Islam, had deferred their acceptance of the new faith till the issue of the struggle between Muslims and Meccans had been finally settled, and now they virtually came forward in "troops" to join it.
Another reason why the conquest of Mecca was followed by a general influx of Arabs into Islam was that although the Arabs followed no revealed Book, yet the prophecy of Abraham that Mecca would not be conquered by the followers of any false Prophet, and any people attempting it would meet with destruction was well known to them. They had only recently seen a remarkable illustration of the fulfilment of this prophecy in the miraculous destruction of the Abyssinian invader Abraha and his powerful army. Thus when Mecca fell into the hands of the Holy Prophet, they were at once convinced of his truth and thousands of them hastened to embrace Islam.
In this and the preceding verses (vv. 145 and 150), the command to turn to the Ka‘bah has been mentioned thrice. This is not a repetition; for the first command, i.e. in v. 145, pertains to the change of the Qiblah, while the second and the third, i.e. in vv. 150 and 151, refer to the conquest of Mecca. But here, too, there is truly speaking no repetition, for the command about the conquest of Mecca contained in each of these two verses serves a different purpose. In v. 150 Muslims are asked to turn their attention to the conquest of Mecca because God wished them to do so. So they were duty bound to carry it out undeterred by any fear of failure; whereas in the verse under comment, i.e. v. 151, the benefits which were to accrue to Muslims on their carrying out the command relating to the conquest of Mecca have been mentioned. Those benefits briefly are: (1) refutation of the objections and criticism of the enemy; (2) conversion to Islam of hundreds of thousands of Arabs, including the kith and kin of the Muslims; and (3) enlargement of the political power of Islam. (close)
کَمَاۤ اَرۡسَلۡنَا فِیۡکُمۡ رَسُوۡلًا مِّنۡکُمۡ یَتۡلُوۡا عَلَیۡکُمۡ اٰیٰتِنَا وَ یُزَکِّیۡکُمۡ وَ یُعَلِّمُکُمُ الۡکِتٰبَ وَ الۡحِکۡمَۃَ وَ یُعَلِّمُکُمۡ مَّا لَمۡ تَکُوۡنُوۡا تَعۡلَمُوۡنَ ﴿۱۵۲﴾ؕۛ
كَمَآ أَرۡسَلۡنَا فِيكُمۡ رَسُولٗا مِّنكُمۡ يَتۡلُواْ عَلَيۡكُمۡ ءَايَٰتِنَا وَيُزَكِّيكُمۡ وَيُعَلِّمُكُمُ ٱلۡكِتَٰبَ وَٱلۡحِكۡمَةَ وَيُعَلِّمُكُم مَّا لَمۡ تَكُونُواْ تَعۡلَمُونَ
a. See 2:130. (close)
177. With a slight change in the arrangement of the words this verse refers to the work of the Holy Prophet in exactly the same words in which Abraham prayed to God about the appearance of a Prophet among the Meccans (2:130), which clearly shows that Abraham’s prayer had found fulfilment in the person of the Holy Prophet. (close)
a. 2:204; 8:46; 62:11. (close)
The word کما meaning "even as" has been used to connect this verse with the preceding one by pointing out that God will bestow upon the believers the favours mentioned in the preceding verse even as, or just as, He has favoured them with a Prophet.
With a slight change in the arrangement of the words this verse refers to the work of the Holy Prophet in exactly the same words in which Abraham prayed to God about the appearance of a Prophet among the Meccans (2:130), which clearly shows that Abraham’s prayer had found fulfilment in the person of the Holy Prophet. The change in arrangement is that, while recounting the favours of God, this verse, unlike verse 2:130, mentions the work of purification before that of the teaching of the Book and Wisdom, because though in theory the teaching of the Book may come first, in actual practice purification is more important than the teaching of the Book and Wisdom; for whereas the former is the end, the latter is simply the means to that end.
Another difference between this verse and 2:130 is that whereas the latter ends with the words, Thou art the Mighty, the Wise, the former concludes with the words, And (he) teaches you that which you did not know. The reason for this change is not far to seek. Abraham had used the words, Surely, Thou art the Mighty, the Wise, in his prayer, meaning that God being Mighty, it was not difficult for Him to accept his prayer; and as He was also Wise, He knew best what the requirements of his posterity would be. But when God spoke of the actual fulfilment of this prayer, it was quite unnecessary to repeat these words. So in place of the above-quoted words, the words, (he) teaches you that which you did not know, have been added to signify: firstly, that, while accepting the prayer God had granted even more than Abraham had prayed for; and secondly, that the teachings of the Holy Prophet were far in advance of the teachings of the former Prophets and were such as the world really needed but had not so far known. (close)
فَاذۡکُرُوۡنِیۡۤ اَذۡکُرۡکُمۡ وَ اشۡکُرُوۡا لِیۡ وَ لَا تَکۡفُرُوۡنِ ﴿۱۵۳﴾٪
فَٱذۡكُرُونِيٓ أَذۡكُرۡكُمۡ وَٱشۡكُرُواْ لِي وَلَا تَكۡفُرُونِ
b. 2:204; 8:46; 62:11. (close)
178. Remembrance of God on the part of man means, to remember Him with love and devotion, to carry out His commands, to bear in mind His attributes, to glorify Him and offer prayers to Him. And remembrance of man on the part of God signifies, God’s drawing man near to Himself, bestowing favours upon him and making provision for his welfare. (close)
159. Important Words:
فاذکرونی اذکرکم (so remember Me, I will remember you). The verb ذکرہ means, he remembered him; he bore it or him in mind; he spoke or talked of him. ذکر الله means, he remembered God; he glorified God and extolled His greatness; he prayed to Him or offered prayers to Him. ذکرہ الله means, God bestowed His favours on him; He called him to His presence to do him honour. The noun ذکر means, remembrance; mentioning or speaking of; eminence; honour; good name (Aqrab, Mufradat & Lane).
اشکروا (render thanks) is from شکر i.e. he thanked; he was grateful. شکر الله means, he acknowledged the beneficence of God, rendering Him obedience and abstaining from disobedience (Lane).
Remembrance of God on the part of man means, to remember Him with love and devotion, to carry out His behests, to bear in mind His attributes, to glorify Him and offer prayers to Him; and remembrance of man on the part of God signifies, God’s drawing him near to Himself, bestowing favours on him and making provision for his welfare. Thus we are here told that if we seek nearness to God, He will certainly draw us near to Himself. According to yet another meaning of the word ذکر i.e. honour and eminence, the verse would mean that if the Muslims will remember God, He will make them honoured and eminent in the world.
The expression, remember Me, I will remember you, can also mean that one who truly loves God will eventually attract the love of God. Remembrance is really born of love and is in a way synonymous with it. Indeed, nobody can remember an object more than a lover does the object of his love. (close)
یٰۤاَیُّہَا الَّذِیۡنَ اٰمَنُوا اسۡتَعِیۡنُوۡا بِالصَّبۡرِ وَ الصَّلٰوۃِ ؕ اِنَّ اللّٰہَ مَعَ الصّٰبِرِیۡنَ ﴿۱۵۴﴾
يَـٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ ٱسۡتَعِينُواْ بِٱلصَّبۡرِ وَٱلصَّلَوٰةِۚ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ مَعَ ٱلصَّـٰبِرِينَ
c. See 2:46. (close)
179. Sabr means, (1) to persevere in something; (2) to endure afflictions with fortitude and without complaint or murmur; (3) to hold fast to the Divine Law and the dictates of reason; (4) to refrain from doing what the Divine Law and reason forbid (Mufradat). (close)
180. The verse contains a golden principle of success. First, a Muslim should patiently persevere in his endeavours, never relaxing his efforts to achieve his object and never losing heart, at the same time avoiding what is harmful, and sticking fast to all that is good. Secondly, he should pray to God for success; for He alone is the Source of all good. The word Sabr (patient, perseverance) precedes the word Salat (Prayer) in the verse in order to emphasize the importance of observing the laws of God which are sometimes flouted in ignorance. Ordinarily, Prayer can be effective only when it is accompanied by the use of all the necessary means created by God for the attainment of an object. (close)
a. See 2:46. (close)
160. Important Words:
صبر (patience) means: (1) to be steadfast and constant in something; (2) to endure afflictions with fortitude and without complaint or murmur; (3) to hold fast to the divine law and the dictates of reason; (4) to refrain from doing what the divine law and reason forbid (Mufradat).
The verse contains a golden principle of success. Firstly, a man should be constant in his endeavours, never relaxing his efforts and never losing heart, at the same time avoiding what is harmful and sticking fast to all that is good. Secondly, he should pray to God for success; for He alone is the source of all good.
The word صبر (patience) precedes the word صلوة (prayer) in the verse to emphasize the importance of observing the laws of God which are sometimes flouted in ignorance. Ordinarily, a prayer can be effective only when it is accompanied by the use of all the necessary means created by God for the attainment of an object. This fact, however, does not minimize the importance of prayer, nor does it impose any limit on the omnipotence of God. If God so wills it, prayer can work wonders even where all earthly means fail.
Islam does not teach utter and blind dependence on material means. Prayer indeed is the essence of Islam. Man is neither omniscient nor omnipotent, and if he does not seek divine guidance and assistance, he can neither see all good nor can he secure it for himself.
As explained under Important Words, the word صبر also signifies, enduring afflictions with fortitude and without complaint and murmur. In this sense the verse would mean that, the present being the time of war and bloodshed, Muslims should bear these hardships with perfect patience and fortitude and that if they did so, God would succour them in their trails.
The concluding portion of the verse, i.e. Allah is with the steadfast, seems to confine itself to صبر only, excluding the element of صلوة. But it is not so really, for صبر in its wider sense includes prayer also. What is meant is that Allah is with those who are steadfast in their endeavours and are steadfast in their prayers. The principle provides a wonderful key to success. (close)
وَ لَا تَقُوۡلُوۡا لِمَنۡ یُّقۡتَلُ فِیۡ سَبِیۡلِ اللّٰہِ اَمۡوَاتٌ ؕ بَلۡ اَحۡیَآءٌ وَّ لٰکِنۡ لَّا تَشۡعُرُوۡنَ ﴿۱۵۵﴾
وَلَا تَقُولُواْ لِمَن يُقۡتَلُ فِي سَبِيلِ ٱللَّهِ أَمۡوَٰتُۢۚ بَلۡ أَحۡيَآءٞ وَلَٰكِن لَّا تَشۡعُرُونَ
a. 3:170. (close)
181. Ahya’ is the plural of Hayy which, among other things, means: (1) One whose lifework does not go in vain; (2) one whose death is avenged. The verse comprises a great psychological truth which is calculated to exercise tremendous influence on the life and progress of a people. A people, who do not properly honour the memory of their martyrs and do not take steps to remove the fear of death from their hearts, seal their own fate. (close)
161. Important Words:
احیاء (living) is the plural of حی which, among other things, means: (1) one whose life work does not go in vain; (2) one whose death is avenged. A well-known pre-Islamic poet, Harith ibn Hillizah, author of the seventh Mu‘allaqah, says:
إن نبشتم مابین ملحة فالصا قب فیھا الاموات والاحیاء i.e. If you dig the graves between Milhah and Saqib, you will find some who are dead, and others who are living. In this couplet by the "living", the poet means such persons as were slain in battle but whose blood was avenged, and by the "dead" he means those whose blood was not avenged.
The teaching about صبر (steadfastness) naturally brings in the question of sacrifices that Muslims were making in the cause of Islam. Therefore the Quran suitably refers here to the subject of martyrdom. Death is not the end of life, and in this respect believers and unbelievers stand on the same footing and the martyrs too enjoy no distinction. Nor would it be wrong to speak of them as dead in the ordinary sense of the word. But the word احیاء (living) has been used here about martyrs in a special sense.
As explained under Important Words above, the word حی (living) is also applied to him whose work, or, more properly speaking, the cause for which he lays down his life, does not come to an end with his death. The verse, therefore, points out that those who lay down their lives for Islam should not be regarded as dead, because the cause for which they give their lives still stands and is all the more strongly upheld by others who take their places.
Again, according to the Arabic idiom, حی (living) is also one whose blood is avenged. The verse, therefore, implies that as full satisfaction is taken for the blood of Muslims killed in the way of God, not only in the sense that far more non-Muslims join the fold of Islam than those killed in the wars but also in the sense that the number of non-Muslims killed is much larger than those killed among the Muslims, therefore Muslim martyrs are not really dead.
The word حی (living) may possess yet another significance. As a rule, life after death does not fully begin immediately after death. The soul of man continues in a state of torpor for sometime after death. This period varies with different persons according to the degree of their spiritual purity. As martyrs sacrifice their lives for the sake of God, their souls do not remain long in torpor but are quickly revived into a new life. This is one of the reasons why martyrs are called living, not dead.
The verse comprises a great psychological truth which is calculated to exercise immense influence on the life and progress of a people. A community that does not duly honour those of its members who lay down their lives for the cause for which the community stands, sows the seed of its own ruin. Again, a community which does not arrange to remove the fear of death from the hearts of its members, seals its own fate. The verse under comment provides an effective safeguard against both these dangers. (close)
وَ لَنَبۡلُوَنَّکُمۡ بِشَیۡءٍ مِّنَ الۡخَوۡفِ وَ الۡجُوۡعِ وَ نَقۡصٍ مِّنَ الۡاَمۡوَالِ وَ الۡاَنۡفُسِ وَ الثَّمَرٰتِ ؕ وَ بَشِّرِ الصّٰبِرِیۡنَ ﴿۱۵۶﴾ۙ
وَلَنَبۡلُوَنَّكُم بِشَيۡءٖ مِّنَ ٱلۡخَوۡفِ وَٱلۡجُوعِ وَنَقۡصٖ مِّنَ ٱلۡأَمۡوَٰلِ وَٱلۡأَنفُسِ وَٱلثَّمَرَٰتِۗ وَبَشِّرِ ٱلصَّـٰبِرِينَ
b. 3:187. (close)
182. This verse constitutes fitting sequel to the preceding one. Muslims should be prepared not only to lay down their lives in the cause of Islam but should also be prepared to suffer all sorts of afflictions which will be imposed on them as a trial. (close)
a. 3:187. (close)
162. Important Words:
لنبلونکم (and We will try you). لنبلون is derived from بلاء which has two meanings: (1) learning the state or condition of a person by means of a trial or test whether through favours or afflictions; (2) manifesting the goodness or badness of an object by a similar means. ابتلاء also means, a trial or a test imposed on a person with a view to learning or manifesting his true condition (Aqrab & Lane). See also 2:50.
This verse comes as a fitting sequel to the preceding one. Muslims should be prepared not only to lay down their lives in the cause of Islam but also to suffer diverse forms of affliction which will be imposed on them as a trial. According to the Quran, God has generally two purposes in "proving" men. He "proves" or tries those who have attained to a high stage of spiritual advancement, as was the case with Abraham (2:125); and He also tries those who have not yet attained to thatstage (29:3). His object in "proving" the former is to bring them to the notice of the people and make them shine as models of virtue and purity; while in the case of the latter, the purpose is to make them acquainted with their own weaknesses so that they may try to improve their condition. Though misfortunes and afflictions involve a certain amount of pain, they also afford a good opportunity for spiritual reformation and purification. Thus afflictions and calamities have their use. They serve to strengthen the faith. Those who remain steadfast under trials, despite afflictions, become entitled to a great reward from God. A trial also sometimes becomes a means of exposing the weakness of a person and of his downfall; for after all it is an examination which, though held with the object of promoting a student, sometimes results in his failure. See 7:177.
The tests by means of which God intended to "prove" the faithful are, as stated in this verse: (1) Fear, i.e. a state or condition in which fear will dominate them, the enemy surrounding them with diverse dangers. (2) Hunger, i.e. shortage of food; the enemy will not only cut off their means of communication but will also completely boycott them, leaving them stranded without food or provision. The word "hunger" may also signify a state of famine. (3) Loss of wealth and property. The enemy will raid Muslims repeatedly and inflict heavy losses on them. (4) Loss of lives, i.e. the cruel war inflicted on them by the enemy will also cause loss of life. (5) Loss of fruits. The action of the enemy will not be confined to inflicting loss of lives and property only but will extend to inflicting loss of crops as well. As ثمرة (fruit) also means the fruit of one’s labour or the profit accruing to a man from any source, loss of fruits also signifies disorganization of trade and industry.
All these losses coming together constituted indeed a very heavy burden; but they were borne by the Muslims with such patience and fortitude as is unrivalled in all history. God tried them and found them truly patient. (close)