وَ الَّذِیۡنَ اِذَا فَعَلُوۡا فَاحِشَۃً اَوۡ ظَلَمُوۡۤا اَنۡفُسَہُمۡ ذَکَرُوا اللّٰہَ فَاسۡتَغۡفَرُوۡا لِذُنُوۡبِہِمۡ ۪ وَ مَنۡ یَّغۡفِرُ الذُّنُوۡبَ اِلَّا اللّٰہُ ۪۟ وَ لَمۡ یُصِرُّوۡا عَلٰی مَا فَعَلُوۡا وَ ہُمۡ یَعۡلَمُوۡنَ ﴿۱۳۶﴾
وَٱلَّذِينَ إِذَا فَعَلُواْ فَٰحِشَةً أَوۡ ظَلَمُوٓاْ أَنفُسَهُمۡ ذَكَرُواْ ٱللَّهَ فَٱسۡتَغۡفَرُواْ لِذُنُوبِهِمۡ وَمَن يَغۡفِرُ ٱلذُّنُوبَ إِلَّا ٱللَّهُ وَلَمۡ يُصِرُّواْ عَلَىٰ مَا فَعَلُواْ وَهُمۡ يَعۡلَمُونَ
a. 7:202. (close)
b. 14:11; 39:54; 61:13. (close)
482. When good men happen to be guilty of a moral lapse, they do not seek to justify their conduct but frankly confess their guilt, and try to reform. (close)
a. 7:202. (close)
b. 14:11; 39:54; 61:13. (close)
This verse embodies a refutation of the Christian doctrine of Atonement. The words remember Allah, mean that righteous persons are at once reminded of Allah whenever they happen to commit a sin. As a matter of fact though even good men may occasionally fall into sin, their hearts are not dead and they are always ready to repent. So if they happen to commit a sin, it is due only to a temporary lapse, and not because they love to indulge in sin. Thus so long as a man "remembers God" immediately after he commits a sin and feels sincere remorse and compunction at his evil deed, there is always time for his repentance to be accepted. But when he goes of sinning until he loses all sense of sin and ceases to feel compunction and remorse at his evil deeds, he loses the power to repent and is doomed, unless God should work some special change in him.
The words, and who can forgive sins except Allah? have been introduced as a parenthetical clause to exhort sinners to repent. They are not made to repent through fear, but by being reminded of Divine forgiveness. When God is Gracious and Forgiving, why should not man repent?
The words, do not persist knowingly, imply that whenever good men happen to commit an error, they do not try to justify their conduct, but frankly admit their mistake and then reform themselves. The verse does not, however, mean that a man should confess his sins to others. What is meant is that one should confess one’s guilt to oneself, i.e. one should feel that one has been in the wrong and should not proceed to defend one’s conduct when someone else, or, for that matter, when one’s own conscience reproaches one for one’s misdeeds. Those truly righteous never try to deceive themselves. (close)
اُولٰٓئِکَ جَزَآؤُہُمۡ مَّغۡفِرَۃٌ مِّنۡ رَّبِّہِمۡ وَ جَنّٰتٌ تَجۡرِیۡ مِنۡ تَحۡتِہَا الۡاَنۡہٰرُ خٰلِدِیۡنَ فِیۡہَا ؕ وَ نِعۡمَ اَجۡرُ الۡعٰمِلِیۡنَ ﴿۱۳۷﴾ؕ
أُوْلَـٰٓئِكَ جَزَآؤُهُم مَّغۡفِرَةٞ مِّن رَّبِّهِمۡ وَجَنَّـٰتٞ تَجۡرِي مِن تَحۡتِهَا ٱلۡأَنۡهَٰرُ خَٰلِدِينَ فِيهَاۚ وَنِعۡمَ أَجۡرُ ٱلۡعَٰمِلِينَ
c. 39:75. (close)
483. When a man truly turns to God after having committed a sin, and sincerely repents of his misdeeds, he is not only forgiven by God, but God leads him to higher stages of spiritual progress and promises him Heaven. (close)
a. 39:75. (close)
When a man truly turns to God, after committing a sin, and sincerely repents of his misdeeds, he is forgiven by God. The verse makes it further clear that forgiveness is only the first stage. God leads those who repent to higher stages of spiritual progress and promises them Heaven. (close)
قَدۡ خَلَتۡ مِنۡ قَبۡلِکُمۡ سُنَنٌ ۙ فَسِیۡرُوۡا فِی الۡاَرۡضِ فَانۡظُرُوۡا کَیۡفَ کَانَ عَاقِبَۃُ الۡمُکَذِّبِیۡنَ ﴿۱۳۸﴾
قَدۡ خَلَتۡ مِن قَبۡلِكُمۡ سُنَنٞ فَسِيرُواْ فِي ٱلۡأَرۡضِ فَٱنظُرُواْ كَيۡفَ كَانَ عَٰقِبَةُ ٱلۡمُكَذِّبِينَ
d. 7:39; 13:31; 41:26; 46:19. (close)
484. Sunan is the plural of Sunnah which means, (1) way, course or rule of conduct: (2) way of acting instituted or pursued by a people and followed by others after them; (3) character, conduct, nature or disposition; (4) religious law or dispensation (Taj). (close)
e. 6:12; 12:110; 27:70. (close)
b. 7:39; 13:31; 41:26; 46:19. (close)
c. 6:12; 12:110; 27:70. (close)
421. Important Words:
سنن (dispensations) is the plural of سنة which is derived from سن. They say سنه i.e. he whetted or sharpened it (knife, appetite, etc.). سن العقده means, he undid the knot. سن الامر means, he made known or manifested the matter or the affair or the case. سن الشیء means, he shaped or formed or fashioned the thing. سن الطریقه means, he followed or pursued the way or course. سن علیھم سنة means, he established or instituted or prescribed for them a law or custom or mode of conduct. سنة means, (1) face or form; (2) way or course or rule of conduct; (3) way of acting instituted or pursued by a people and followed by others after them; (4) character or conduct or nature or disposition; (5) law or religious law or dispensation (Aqrab & Taj).
The clause, there have been many dispensations before you, means that there have gone before you men who followed different ways and possessed diverse characters; or there have passed before you many dispensations and many nations following different systems or laws. So you should journey in the earth and see what class of men were saved and who perished and what the end of those who persisted in evil was. (close)
ہٰذَا بَیَانٌ لِّلنَّاسِ وَ ہُدًی وَّ مَوۡعِظَۃٌ لِّلۡمُتَّقِیۡنَ ﴿۱۳۹﴾
هَٰذَا بَيَانٞ لِّلنَّاسِ وَهُدٗى وَمَوۡعِظَةٞ لِّلۡمُتَّقِينَ
485. The pronoun Hadha may refer to the Qur’an, or the verse immediately preceding, or to the subject of repentance discussed in the foregoing verses. (close)
f. 5:16; 36:70. (close)
a. 2:3, 186; 31:4. (close)
b. 24:35. (close)
a. 5:16; 36:70. (close)
b. 2:3, 186; 31:4. (close)
c. 24:35. (close)
The pronoun ھذا (this) may be taken to refer to (1) the Quran, or (2) the verse immediately preceding, or (3) the subject of repentance discussed in the foregoing verses.
The word متقین (God-fearing or righteous) does not here necessarily apply to Muslims only. It extends to all persons who earnestly desire to guard against things that are fraught with danger to their souls and who take heed of their spiritual good. It is only such persons as are likely to benefit by admonition. (close)
وَ لَا تَہِنُوۡا وَ لَا تَحۡزَنُوۡا وَ اَنۡتُمُ الۡاَعۡلَوۡنَ اِنۡ کُنۡتُمۡ مُّؤۡمِنِیۡنَ ﴿۱۴۰﴾
وَلَا تَهِنُواْ وَلَا تَحۡزَنُواْ وَأَنتُمُ ٱلۡأَعۡلَوۡنَ إِن كُنتُم مُّؤۡمِنِينَ
c. 4:105; 47:36. (close)
486. In means, if; not; verily; because; when; etc. (Lane). (close)
487. The verse embodies a very important principle how a nation or an individual can become and remain strong, the words "slacken not" being related to future dangers and "grieve not" to past errors and misfortunes. Nations decline and fall only when, either through lack of true realization of their responsibilities they begin to slacken in their efforts, or through brooding over the past, they give way to despair. The verse warns against both these dangers. (close)
d. 4:105; 47:36. (close)
423. Important Words:
ان (if) is a common Arabic word giving a number of meanings: (1) if, (2) not, (3) verily, (4) because, (5) when, etc. (Lane).
The expression, Slacken not, nor grieve, embodies a very important principle of national or for that matter, personal strength, the words "slacken not" pertaining to future danger and the words "grieve not" to past errors and misfortunes. Nations fall only when, either through lack of true realization of their respon-sibilities they begin to slacken, or through brooding over the past, they give way to despair. The words warn against both these dangers.
The clause, you shall certainly have the upper hand, means that if Muslims follow the above advice, they will certainly be victorious in the end. Intervening failures are indeed no failures if the final triumph is assured. Muslims had apparently met with a reverse at Uhud, so God exhorts the Faithful to let no sort of weakness get hold of them on account of that reverse, either in body or in actions or in faith.
The Arabic clause rendered as, if you are believers, may also be rendered as "because you are believers". In this case the verse would embody a more positive promise of victory. (close)
اِنۡ یَّمۡسَسۡکُمۡ قَرۡحٌ فَقَدۡ مَسَّ الۡقَوۡمَ قَرۡحٌ مِّثۡلُہٗ ؕ وَ تِلۡکَ الۡاَیَّامُ نُدَاوِلُہَا بَیۡنَ النَّاسِ ۚ وَ لِیَعۡلَمَ اللّٰہُ الَّذِیۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡا وَ یَتَّخِذَ مِنۡکُمۡ شُہَدَآءَ ؕ وَ اللّٰہُ لَا یُحِبُّ الظّٰلِمِیۡنَ ﴿۱۴۱﴾ۙ
إِن يَمۡسَسۡكُمۡ قَرۡحٞ فَقَدۡ مَسَّ ٱلۡقَوۡمَ قَرۡحٞ مِّثۡلُهُۥۚ وَتِلۡكَ ٱلۡأَيَّامُ نُدَاوِلُهَا بَيۡنَ ٱلنَّاسِ وَلِيَعۡلَمَ ٱللَّهُ ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ وَيَتَّخِذَ مِنكُمۡ شُهَدَآءَۗ وَٱللَّهُ لَا يُحِبُّ ٱلظَّـٰلِمِينَ
d. 4:105. (close)
488. Elsewhere (3:166), it is said that Muslims inflicted upon disbelievers an injury double of what they themselves had suffered. This refers to the Battle of Badr, when seventy Meccans were killed and seventy were taken prisoner, thus making a total of 140. In the Battle of Uhud, on the other hand, seventy Muslims were killed, but not one of them was taken prisoner. Thus Muslims had inflicted on the disbelievers a double injury in the Battle of Badr compared with what they themselves suffered in the Battle of Uhud. Taking into account, however, only those killed in the two battles, the loss of Muslims and disbelievers has been spoken of in the present verse as similar. Or the verse might be taken to refer to the nature or quality of the misfortune, which was alike in both cases. In that case verse 166 below might be taken to refer to the quantity and the present verse to the quality of the loss. (close)
488A. "Days of prosperity" or days of misfortune." (close)
489. God being Omniscient does not stand in need of adding to His knowledge. It is only the act of distinguishing between two things that is meant here. Knowledge (‘Ilm) is of two kinds. One kind of knowledge consists in knowing a thing before it comes into existence; and the other in knowing when, and as, it actually comes into existence. Here it is the latter kind of knowledge that is meant. (close)
490. The Faithful bear witness to the truth of Islam by their steadfastness and by the noble example they set in time of misfortune. (close)
a. 4:105. (close)
424. Important Words:
یعلم (distinguish) is derived from علم which ordinarily means, he knew, but is also used in the sense of distinguishing. Ibn Jarir says under this verse that the expression لا علم عبد الله من عمر means, لاعرف ھذا من ھذا i.e. that I may distinguish ‘Abdullah from ‘Umar. The word is used in this sense in 2:144 and 2:221 also. In fact, God, being Omniscient, does not stand in need of knowing a thing, for everything is ever known to Him. It is only distinguishing between two things that is meant. Even, however, if علم is taken here in the sense of knowing, the expression may be explained by the fact that knowledge is of two kinds. One kind of knowledge consists of knowing a thing before it comes into existence; and the other kind consists of knowing it when, and as, it actually comes into existence. Here it is the latter kind of knowledge that is meant.
Elsewhere (in 3:166 below) it is said that Muslims inflicted upon disbelievers an injury double of what they themselves suffered. This refers to the Battle of Badr, when seventy Meccans were killed and seventy were taken prisoner, thus making a total of 140. In the Battle of Uhud, on the other hand, seventy Muslims were killed, but none of them were taken prisoner. Thus Muslims had inflicted on the disbelievers a double injury in the Battle of Badr compared with what they themselves suffered in the Battle of Uhud. Counting, however, only those killed in the two battles, the loss to Muslims and disbelievers has been spoken of in the present verse as similar. Or the verse might be taken to refer to the nature or quality of the misfortune, which was alike in both cases. In that case, verse 166 below might be taken to refer to quantity and the present verse to quality.
The word "days" is used both for the "days of success" and the "days of misfortune". Here either of these may be taken, but preferably the latter.
The words, And such days We cause to alternate, mean that even believers sometimes suffer reverses. If it were not so, then there would be little credit in being a believer. No effort is required to find or see the sun, and so one deserves no reward for it. In matters of faith, therefore, there is always present an element of secrecy, and only those who are seriously and earnestly desirous of knowing the truth discern and accept it. Hence, they become deserving of reward in the sight of God. The words also implied a prophecy that the reverse at Uhud was to be followed by victory for the Muslims; and so it actually came to pass.
The words, Allah may distinguish those who believe, signify that misfortunes are also intended to make the faith of true believers evident to all. When believers endure trials with patience and steadfastness and do not swerve from the path of faith, their sincerity becomes evident. Trials also serve to distinguish true believers from hypocrites. If there had been no trials, the hypocrisy of men like ‘Abdullah bin Ubayy and his associates would have remained undetected and unknown.
The word شھداء (witnesses) does not here mean martyrs, for a true Muslim is always a martyr if killed in the cause of God. Moreover, there is no sense in saying that the reverse at Uhud was meant to take martyrs from among Muslims. Here, therefore, the word means witnesses. The Faithful bear witness to the truth of Islam by their steadfastness and by the noble example they set in times of misfortune. They are eloquent witnesses to the truth of Islam.
The word unjust at the end of the verse signifies that in view of the facts stated above, it is unjust to find fault with Islam on the basis of such reverses. (close)
وَ لِیُمَحِّصَ اللّٰہُ الَّذِیۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡا وَ یَمۡحَقَ الۡکٰفِرِیۡنَ ﴿۱۴۲﴾
وَلِيُمَحِّصَ ٱللَّهُ ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ وَيَمۡحَقَ ٱلۡكَٰفِرِينَ
491. The reverse suffered by Muslims at Uhud served as a sort of atonement for their lapse. Besides, the battle made some disbelievers realize that Islam was God’s own religion. The very Meccans who took a leading part against the Muslims in that battle converted to Islam not long after the battle. Islam had conquered their hearts, "destroying" their erstwhile disbelief. (close)
The reverse suffered at Uhud cleansed Muslims of their sins. It served as a sort of atonement for their sins. Moreover, the Battle of Uhud made some disbelievers realize that Islam was God’s religion. The very Meccans who took a leading part against the Muslims in that battle ultimately converted to Islam. Their hearts were conquered and disbelief was thereby destroyed. (close)
اَمۡ حَسِبۡتُمۡ اَنۡ تَدۡخُلُوا الۡجَنَّۃَ وَ لَمَّا یَعۡلَمِ اللّٰہُ الَّذِیۡنَ جٰہَدُوۡا مِنۡکُمۡ وَ یَعۡلَمَ الصّٰبِرِیۡنَ ﴿۱۴۳﴾
أَمۡ حَسِبۡتُمۡ أَن تَدۡخُلُواْ ٱلۡجَنَّةَ وَلَمَّا يَعۡلَمِ ٱللَّهُ ٱلَّذِينَ جَٰهَدُواْ مِنكُمۡ وَيَعۡلَمَ ٱلصَّـٰبِرِينَ
a. 2:215; 9:16. (close)
492. It is trials and afflictions which test the mettle of a man; and there can be no spiritual advance or purification without them. (close)
It is trials and afflictions which prove the worth of man; and there can be no advance or spiritual purification without them. (close)
وَ لَقَدۡ کُنۡتُمۡ تَمَنَّوۡنَ الۡمَوۡتَ مِنۡ قَبۡلِ اَنۡ تَلۡقَوۡہُ ۪ فَقَدۡ رَاَیۡتُمُوۡہُ وَ اَنۡتُمۡ تَنۡظُرُوۡنَ ﴿۱۴۴﴾٪
وَلَقَدۡ كُنتُمۡ تَمَنَّوۡنَ ٱلۡمَوۡتَ مِن قَبۡلِ أَن تَلۡقَوۡهُ فَقَدۡ رَأَيۡتُمُوهُ وَأَنتُمۡ تَنظُرُونَ
493. "Death" here stands for war, for the result of war is death. War, as it were, meant death for the Muslims, who were extremely weak, both in equipment and numbers compared with their powerful enemy. In the Battle of Uhud the Holy Prophet proposed to fight the enemy from inside Medina, but some of his Companions, particularly those, who had not taken part in the Battle of Badr, said, "We had longed for this day. Let us go out to fight our enemies, lest they think we are cowards" (Zurqani, i. 22). It is to this desire of the Muslims that reference is made in the words, you used to wish for such a death. (close)
427. Important Words:
تنظرون (looking for) is derived fromنظر which ordinarily means, he saw or he looked. نظرہ or نظر الیه means, he looked at, or he looked towards, him in order to see him; or he extended or stretched his sight towards him whether he saw him or not. نظرہ also means, he waited for him or it. داری تنظر دارہ means, my house faces his house (Aqrab & Lane).
The word موت (death) here stands for war, for the result of war is death. War was death particularly for the Muslims, who were extremely weak, both in equipment and numbers compared with their powerful enemy. In Zurqani، we read that when, before the Battle of Uhud, the Holy Prophet proposed to fight the enemy from inside Medina, some of his Companions, particularly those who had not taken part in the Battle of Badr, said, "We had longed for this day. So go out with us to our enemies, so that they may not think that we have played the coward" (Zurqani, i. 22). It is to this longing of the Muslims that reference is made in the words, you used to wish for this death. This longing meant that the Muslims wished to achieve something in the way of God, but God here reprimands them by saying that now they have seen that they could do nothing by themselves. This is why Islam teaches that one should never desire encounter with the enemy; but that if and when the occasion actually comes, one should be brave and steadfast. The Holy Prophet says: "Do not desire encounter with the enemy; rather ask for peace and security from Allah. But when you meet the enemy, then be steadfast and patient and know that Paradise lies under the shadow of the swords, i.e. if you die fighting in the cause of God, He will surely grant you bliss and happiness in the life to come (Muslim, ch. on Jihad).
The pronoun in the words, seen it, refers to fighting. It signifies that you have now seen fighting and have, as a result of that, realized that without the help of God you possess no power to fight the enemy and can achieve nothing. The closing words, while you were actually looking for it, are intended to cheer up the spirits of believers. The reverse only brought about the very thing they were looking for. (close)
وَ مَا مُحَمَّدٌ اِلَّا رَسُوۡلٌ ۚ قَدۡ خَلَتۡ مِنۡ قَبۡلِہِ الرُّسُلُ ؕ اَفَا۠ئِنۡ مَّاتَ اَوۡ قُتِلَ انۡقَلَبۡتُمۡ عَلٰۤی اَعۡقَابِکُمۡ ؕ وَ مَنۡ یَّنۡقَلِبۡ عَلٰی عَقِبَیۡہِ فَلَنۡ یَّضُرَّ اللّٰہَ شَیۡئًا ؕ وَ سَیَجۡزِی اللّٰہُ الشّٰکِرِیۡنَ ﴿۱۴۵﴾
وَمَا مُحَمَّدٌ إِلَّا رَسُولٞ قَدۡ خَلَتۡ مِن قَبۡلِهِ ٱلرُّسُلُۚ أَفَإِيْن مَّاتَ أَوۡ قُتِلَ ٱنقَلَبۡتُمۡ عَلَىٰٓ أَعۡقَٰبِكُمۡۚ وَمَن يَنقَلِبۡ عَلَىٰ عَقِبَيۡهِ فَلَن يَضُرَّ ٱللَّهَ شَيۡـٔٗاۚ وَسَيَجۡزِي ٱللَّهُ ٱلشَّـٰكِرِينَ
a. 5:76. (close)
b. 2:144, 218; 5:55; 47:39. (close)
494. A false report was spread at Uhud that the Holy Prophet had been killed. The verse refers to that incident and purports to say that although the report was untrue, yet even if it had been true and the Prophet had in fact been killed, that should not have made the Faithful waver in their faith. Muhammad was only a Prophet; and as other Prophets before him had died, so would he. But the God of Islam is Ever Living. It is on record that when the Holy Prophet died, ‘Umar stood up in the Mosque at Medina with a drawn sword in his hand and said, "Whoever will say that the Prophet of God is dead, I will cut off his head. He is not dead, but has gone to his Lord (he has ascended to heaven), even as Moses had gone to his Lord, and he would come back and punish the Hypocrites." Abu Bakr coming on the scene firmly told ‘Umar to sit down and addressing the Muslims who had gathered in the Mosque, recited this very verse which convinced them that the Prophet was really dead and so they were overwhelmed with grief. The verse incidentally establishes the fact that all the Prophets before the Holy Prophet, had died; for if any of them had been alive, the verse could not have been quoted as proof of the Holy Prophet’s death. In fact, Islam does not depend for its life on any individual, however great. God is its Revealer and its Protector and Guardian. But the verse should not be understood to mean that the Holy Prophet could ever be killed in war or at the hand of an assassin. He was promised Divine protection from all harm to his life (5:68). The enemy had rejoiced when the false report went round that the Prophet was dead. But it proved a blessing in disguise for Muslims. It prepared them for the great strain which his actual death was to bring upon them later. But for this experience, it would have proved unbearable for them. (close)
a. 5:76. (close)
As already mentioned (3:122), the false report was spread at Uhud that the Holy Prophet was killed. The verse refers to this incident and purports to say that although the report about the death of the Prophet was untrue, yet even if it had been true, that should not have made the Faithful waver in their faith. Muhammad was only a Prophet; and as other Prophets before him had died, so would he. But the God of Islam ever lives.
It is also on record that when, seven years later, the Holy Prophet died, ‘Umar stood up in the Mosque at Medina with a drawn sword in his hand, and said, "Whoever will say that the Prophet of God is dead, I will cut off his head. He is not dead, but has gone to his Lord, (i.e. he has ascended to heaven) even as Moses had gone to his Lord, and he would come back and punish the hypocrites." At this stage, Abu Bakr, who happened to be away at the time of the Prophet’s death, hurriedly came back, went straight into the Prophet’s chamber and, seeing that he was really dead, kissed his forehead, saying, "Sweet art thou in death as thou wert in life, and surely God will not bring on thee two deaths." Then he came out, strong and firm, asked ‘Umar to sit down and, addressing the Companions, who were gathered in the Mosque, recited to them this very verse, i.e. Muhammad is only a Messenger; verily all Messengers have passed away before him; if then he die or be slain, will you turn back on your heels? meaning, that in the circumstances it was no wonder that the Holy Prophet also had passed away. Hearing this timely recital, ‘Umar, and all others, were convinced of the death of the Holy Prophet and were overpowered with grief. Thus, the verse incidentally proves that the Prophets that lived before the Holy Prophet had all died; for if any of them had been alive, the verse could not have been quoted as proof of the Holy Prophet’s death.
The verse also negates the idea that any Prophet has risen to heaven; for it was used to falsify ‘Umar’s contention to the effect that the Holy Prophet was not dead but had risen to heaven. The verse thus proves, without a shadow of doubt, that Jesus too, who was one of the Prophets that had appeared before the Holy Prophet, is not physically alive in the heavens, as some present-day Muslims, following the Christian belief, erroneously think. He is certainly dead, as proved by this verse and the consensus of the Companions’ opinion on the occasion of the death of the Holy Prophet.
In fact, religion does not depend on any personality. It belongs to God alone. That is why the Quran says that if the Holy Prophet dies or is killed, it will be no ground for Muslims to turn away from Islam; for the Prophet is only a Messenger and the religion is God’s. Elsewhere, however, the Quran clearly says: And Allah will protect thee from men(5:68). These two verses are not at variance with each other. What the Quran intends to emphasize in the verse is the fundamental truth of Islamic teachings. Muslims had seen how pure and true these teachings were. Their truth was evident and they could not have become false even if the Holy Prophet had been slain. For instance, the fundamental teaching of Islam is the Unity of God. Now, this truth could not become an untruth if the Prophet were killed. But apart from this announcement in principle, the Prophet could not be killed, for God had definitely promised to protect him.
It should also be remembered that immunity from being murdered is not given in the Quran as a criterion of a Prophet’s truth. People are required to accept a Prophet in his lifetime, and, therefore, they must have proofs of his truth in his lifetime, so that, by witnessing them, they may believe in him. They cannot wait till the time of his death in order to know whether he is a true or a false claimant.
Once a Prophet has furnished clear proofs of his truth in his lifetime, his claim is established and nothing can undo those proofs. Only if a Prophet were murdered before he had been able to give any proof of his truth could we conclude that he had proved a failure and was not a true claimant. But such a thing has never happened.
The enemy rejoiced when the report went round that the Prophet had been slain, but that supposed death of the Prophet turned out to be the veritable "life" of Islam. It fulfilled a great purpose. It prepared Muslims for the actual passing of the Holy Prophet. If this event had not occurred, the death of the Holy Prophet would have proved an unbearable trial for Muslims. In fact, this painful experience brought in disguise many blessings for Islam. At the Battle of Uhud, it brought to light the unshakable faith of the believers; at the time of his death it served to save Islam from going to pieces; and now that Islam is to all appearances dead, it is serving as a means of breathing new life into it, by proving that Jesus, whom Christians have deified, is dead, like all other Prophets that lived before Islam. (close)