وَ کَاَیِّنۡ مِّنۡ نَّبِیٍّ قٰتَلَ ۙ مَعَہٗ رِبِّیُّوۡنَ کَثِیۡرٌ ۚ فَمَا وَہَنُوۡا لِمَاۤ اَصَابَہُمۡ فِیۡ سَبِیۡلِ اللّٰہِ وَ مَا ضَعُفُوۡا وَ مَا اسۡتَکَانُوۡا ؕ وَ اللّٰہُ یُحِبُّ الصّٰبِرِیۡنَ ﴿۱۴۷﴾
وَكَأَيِّن مِّن نَّبِيّٖ قَٰتَلَ مَعَهُۥ رِبِّيُّونَ كَثِيرٞ فَمَا وَهَنُواْ لِمَآ أَصَابَهُمۡ فِي سَبِيلِ ٱللَّهِ وَمَا ضَعُفُواْ وَمَا ٱسۡتَكَانُواْۗ وَٱللَّهُ يُحِبُّ ٱلصَّـٰبِرِينَ
495. Ribbiyyun is the plural of Ribbiyy which is derived from Rabba for which see 1:2. Ribbiyy means, one related to Ribbah, i.e. a company or a large company or a numerous company. Thus the word means, those forming a large company or a large body of persons. The word also signifies learned, pious and patient men (Lane). (close)
b. 4:105. (close)
b. 3:146. (close)
430. Important Words:
ربیون (companies of followers) is the plural of ربی (ribbi) which is derived from رب for which see 1:2. ربی means, one related to ربة i.e. company or a large company or a numerous company. Thus ربیون means, those forming a large company or a large body of persons, i.e. followers (Aqrab). It also signifies learned, pious and patient men (Lane).
استکانوا (did humiliate themselves) is derived from سکن which means, he or it became still or stationary; or the word is derived from کان which means, he or it came into existence; or he or it was in a certain condition. استکان means, he was or became lowly, humble, humiliated, or in a state of abasement (Aqrab).
The verse exhorts believers to profit by the good example set by their righteous predecessors. The latter were not found lacking in preparations for fighting in the cause of Allah, nor were they slack in actual fighting or wanting in steadfastness. (close)
وَ مَا کَانَ قَوۡلَہُمۡ اِلَّاۤ اَنۡ قَالُوۡا رَبَّنَا اغۡفِرۡ لَنَا ذُنُوۡبَنَا وَ اِسۡرَافَنَا فِیۡۤ اَمۡرِنَا وَ ثَبِّتۡ اَقۡدَامَنَا وَ انۡصُرۡنَا عَلَی الۡقَوۡمِ الۡکٰفِرِیۡنَ ﴿۱۴۸﴾
وَمَا كَانَ قَوۡلَهُمۡ إِلَّآ أَن قَالُواْ رَبَّنَا ٱغۡفِرۡ لَنَا ذُنُوبَنَا وَإِسۡرَافَنَا فِيٓ أَمۡرِنَا وَثَبِّتۡ أَقۡدَامَنَا وَٱنصُرۡنَا عَلَى ٱلۡقَوۡمِ ٱلۡكَٰفِرِينَ
c. 2:251, 287. (close)
a. 2:251, 287. (close)
Each part of the prayer contained in this verse corresponds to the points mentioned in the previous one. In fact, success comes only by the help and grace of God. Human effort alone is not enough.
It should, however, be noted that, corresponding to the last part of the prayer in this verse, there is mentioned no corresponding effort on the part of believers in the preceding verse, thus indicating that final victory and success come solely through the grace of God and are not the result of our actions. (close)
فَاٰتٰٮہُمُ اللّٰہُ ثَوَابَ الدُّنۡیَا وَ حُسۡنَ ثَوَابِ الۡاٰخِرَۃِ ؕ وَ اللّٰہُ یُحِبُّ الۡمُحۡسِنِیۡنَ ﴿۱۴۹﴾٪
فَـَٔاتَىٰهُمُ ٱللَّهُ ثَوَابَ ٱلدُّنۡيَا وَحُسۡنَ ثَوَابِ ٱلۡأٓخِرَةِۗ وَٱللَّهُ يُحِبُّ ٱلۡمُحۡسِنِينَ
a. 3:146. (close)
496. The rewards of the next life are of various degrees, and such believers, as have been described above, will get the best of them. The word Husna rendered as "excellent" does not necessarily indicate superlative degree but is also used to express an intensified sense absolutely. (close)
The rewards of the next life are of various degrees, and such believers as have been described above will get the best of them. The word حسن rendered as "excellent" does not necessarily indicate superlative degree, but is also used to express an intensified sense absolutely. (close)
یٰۤاَیُّہَا الَّذِیۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡۤا اِنۡ تُطِیۡعُوا الَّذِیۡنَ کَفَرُوۡا یَرُدُّوۡکُمۡ عَلٰۤی اَعۡقَابِکُمۡ فَتَنۡقَلِبُوۡا خٰسِرِیۡنَ ﴿۱۵۰﴾
يَـٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوٓاْ إِن تُطِيعُواْ ٱلَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ يَرُدُّوكُمۡ عَلَىٰٓ أَعۡقَٰبِكُمۡ فَتَنقَلِبُواْ خَٰسِرِينَ
b. 2:110; 3:101. (close)
497. Muslims are not enjoined to eschew dealings with all non-Muslims; they are warned against following only such disbelievers as are the active enemies of Islam. (close)
a. 2:110; 3:101. (close)
It should be noted that Muslims are not enjoined here to have no dealings with non-Muslims; they are only warned against following such disbelievers as are enemies of Islam. They should remain on the alert against these, though they need not fear them, because God is on their side, as pointed out in the next verse. (close)
بَلِ اللّٰہُ مَوۡلٰٮکُمۡ ۚ وَ ہُوَ خَیۡرُ النّٰصِرِیۡنَ ﴿۱۵۱﴾
بَلِ ٱللَّهُ مَوۡلَىٰكُمۡۖ وَهُوَ خَيۡرُ ٱلنَّـٰصِرِينَ
c. 8:41; 9:51; 22:79. (close)
b. 8:41; 9:51; 22:79. (close)
سَنُلۡقِیۡ فِیۡ قُلُوۡبِ الَّذِیۡنَ کَفَرُوا الرُّعۡبَ بِمَاۤ اَشۡرَکُوۡا بِاللّٰہِ مَا لَمۡ یُنَزِّلۡ بِہٖ سُلۡطٰنًا ۚ وَ مَاۡوٰٮہُمُ النَّارُ ؕ وَ بِئۡسَ مَثۡوَی الظّٰلِمِیۡنَ ﴿۱۵۲﴾
سَنُلۡقِي فِي قُلُوبِ ٱلَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ ٱلرُّعۡبَ بِمَآ أَشۡرَكُواْ بِٱللَّهِ مَا لَمۡ يُنَزِّلۡ بِهِۦ سُلۡطَٰنٗاۖ وَمَأۡوَىٰهُمُ ٱلنَّارُۖ وَبِئۡسَ مَثۡوَى ٱلظَّـٰلِمِينَ
d. 8:13; 59:3. (close)
498. Idolatry springs from superstition and fear; and one possessed of superstition and fear can never be truly brave. (close)
c. 8:13; 59:3. (close)
The words, because they associate partners with Allah, signify that he who associates gods with Allah can never be truly brave, for he lacks complete devotion to anyone. It is only complete devotion that can inspire a person to make sacrifices. As a believer is completely devoted to the One God, therefore, he is ever ready to make every kind of sacrifice in His cause.
Moreover, it is through lack of perseverance that idolaters go from one god to another, and perseverance is an essential concomitant of bravery. Where there is no perseverance, there is no bravery. Again, idolaters are rebels in setting up gods with Allah and a rebel’s heart is never at rest; and a heart that is not at ease cannot be brave. Yet again, polytheism springs from superstitious fear and one possessed of that sort of fear can never be truly brave.
It should, however, be remembered that it is only relative bravery that is meant here; otherwise, even among idolaters and polytheists, there are men who possess bravery and courage, but their courage and bravery is inferior to that of true believers who put faith in One God and believe in His great powers and in the life after death. (close)
وَ لَقَدۡ صَدَقَکُمُ اللّٰہُ وَعۡدَہٗۤ اِذۡ تَحُسُّوۡنَہُمۡ بِاِذۡنِہٖ ۚ حَتّٰۤی اِذَا فَشِلۡتُمۡ وَ تَنَازَعۡتُمۡ فِی الۡاَمۡرِ وَ عَصَیۡتُمۡ مِّنۡۢ بَعۡدِ مَاۤ اَرٰٮکُمۡ مَّا تُحِبُّوۡنَ ؕ مِنۡکُمۡ مَّنۡ یُّرِیۡدُ الدُّنۡیَا وَ مِنۡکُمۡ مَّنۡ یُّرِیۡدُ الۡاٰخِرَۃَ ۚ ثُمَّ صَرَفَکُمۡ عَنۡہُمۡ لِیَبۡتَلِیَکُمۡ ۚ وَ لَقَدۡ عَفَا عَنۡکُمۡ ؕ وَ اللّٰہُ ذُوۡ فَضۡلٍ عَلَی الۡمُؤۡمِنِیۡنَ ﴿۱۵۳﴾
وَلَقَدۡ صَدَقَكُمُ ٱللَّهُ وَعۡدَهُۥٓ إِذۡ تَحُسُّونَهُم بِإِذۡنِهِۦۖ حَتَّىٰٓ إِذَا فَشِلۡتُمۡ وَتَنَٰزَعۡتُمۡ فِي ٱلۡأَمۡرِ وَعَصَيۡتُم مِّنۢ بَعۡدِ مَآ أَرَىٰكُم مَّا تُحِبُّونَۚ مِنكُم مَّن يُرِيدُ ٱلدُّنۡيَا وَمِنكُم مَّن يُرِيدُ ٱلۡأٓخِرَةَۚ ثُمَّ صَرَفَكُمۡ عَنۡهُمۡ لِيَبۡتَلِيَكُمۡۖ وَلَقَدۡ عَفَا عَنكُمۡۗ وَٱللَّهُ ذُو فَضۡلٍ عَلَى ٱلۡمُؤۡمِنِينَ
499. The "promise" refers to the general promise of victory and success repeatedly given to Muslims, particularly in 3:124-126. (close)
500. The verse refers to the party of archers posted in the rear of the Muslim army at Uhud, and points out that they could not resist the temptation of taking part in actual fighting and in sharing the booty, and their failure to control that desire was an act of cowardice on their part. It is indeed the heart which is the seat of true bravery and courage. (close)
501. The "order" may refer either to the order of the Holy Prophet given to the party of archers on the hill not to leave their station without his permission, or to its import and significance, i.e. whether the Holy Prophet had really meant them to stay there even after the battle had been won; some saying that he did mean it and others alleging that he did not. (close)
502. Muslims stationed at the hill paid no heed to their leader, ‘Abdullah b. Jubair, who, in compliance with the order of the Holy Prophet, told them not to quit the place, even if victory was within sight. They could not control themselves, and the result was that their act caused great suffering to Muslims. (close)
503. The words refer to those archers who quitted the place at which they had been stationed. The Arabic clause may also signify that some members of the party desired the present world, i.e. taking part in the fighting and collecting the booty, while others (viz. ‘Abdullah b. Jubair and those of his comrades who did not quit their posts) desired the Hereafter, i.e. they thought of the ultimate consequence of disobeying the command of the Holy Prophet. Some were short-sighted, while others were far-sighted. (close)
The word "promise" occurring in the verse refers to the general promise of victory and success repeatedly given to Muslims.
The clause, when you became lax, refers to the party of archers posted at the rear of the Muslim army at Uhud, and signifies that they could not resist the temptation of taking part in the actual fighting and in collecting the booty, and their failure to control that desire was an act of cowardice on their part. It is indeed the heart which is the seat of true bravery and courage. Says the Holy Prophet: "Strong is not he who overthrows his rival in a wrestling match, but strong is he who controls himself in times of anger" (Bukhari ch. on Adab). The word, order, in the clause, you disagreed among yourselves concerning the order, may refer either to the order of the Holy Prophet given to the party of archers not to leave their station without his permission or to the import of the order, i.e. whether the Holy Prophet really meant them to stay there even after the battle had been won, some saying that he did mean that and others alleging that he did not.
The words, you disobeyed, signify that they paid no heed to their leader, ‘Abdullah bin Jubair, who, in compliance with the order of the Prophet, directed them not to quit the place, in spite of the fact that victory was within sight. They could not control themselves and so brought misfortune for the Muslims.
The words, those who desired the present world etc., refer to the party that abandoned the place at which they had been stationed. The Arabic clause may also be rendered as meaning that some members of the party desired the nearer thing, i.e. taking part in fighting and collecting the booty, while others (viz. ‘Abdullah bin Jubair and those of his comrades who did not quit their post) desired what was farther off, i.e. they thought of the ultimate consequence of disobeying the command of the Holy Prophet. Some were short-sighted, while others were far-sighted.
The words, He turned you away from them, signify that God imposed the reverse in order to make this incident a lesson for the future. (close)
اِذۡ تُصۡعِدُوۡنَ وَ لَا تَلۡوٗنَ عَلٰۤی اَحَدٍ وَّ الرَّسُوۡلُ یَدۡعُوۡکُمۡ فِیۡۤ اُخۡرٰٮکُمۡ فَاَثَابَکُمۡ غَمًّۢا بِغَمٍّ لِّکَیۡلَا تَحۡزَنُوۡا عَلٰی مَا فَاتَکُمۡ وَ لَا مَاۤ اَصَابَکُمۡ ؕ وَ اللّٰہُ خَبِیۡرٌۢ بِمَا تَعۡمَلُوۡنَ ﴿۱۵۴﴾
۞إِذۡ تُصۡعِدُونَ وَلَا تَلۡوُۥنَ عَلَىٰٓ أَحَدٖ وَٱلرَّسُولُ يَدۡعُوكُمۡ فِيٓ أُخۡرَىٰكُمۡ فَأَثَٰبَكُمۡ غَمَّۢا بِغَمّٖ لِّكَيۡلَا تَحۡزَنُواْ عَلَىٰ مَا فَاتَكُمۡ وَلَا مَآ أَصَٰبَكُمۡۗ وَٱللَّهُ خَبِيرُۢ بِمَا تَعۡمَلُونَ
504. The words refer to the incident which happened when in the Battle of Uhud the Muslims were attacked from both the rear and the front and their ranks were broken and many of them fled in confusion in different directions. At first, when they heard that the enemy was coming from behind, they turned back to attack him, but it so happened that at that time a large body of Muslims was also coming from that direction. In the confusion those Muslims were mistaken for the enemy and were attacked. So great was the confusion and the panic that even the voice of the Holy Prophet was not heeded. (close)
505. The Holy Prophet had stationed a party of archers at the hill. They abandoned their positions prematurely, thinking that the battle had been won. Consequently, the victory which was almost within the grasp of the Muslims became converted into a near defeat. It naturally caused a sorrow to them. This was the first sorrow. The second or the later sorrow was that which they felt at the unfounded report of the death of the Holy Prophet. God so designed that the sorrow pertaining to the unfounded report of the Prophet’s death (the later sorrow) should come after the sorrow of the reverse which the Muslims had suffered (the first sorrow), in order that the later sorrow should remove the effect of the former sorrow at seeing that the Holy Prophet was safe. The words Ghammam bi-Ghammin also mean, sorrow upon sorrow. (close)
a. 57:24. (close)
505A. The words "what escaped you" signify, the victory which was almost within the grasp of the Muslims and "what befell you" signify the reverse they suffered and the loss of Muslims killed. (close)
436. Important Words:
تصعدون (you were running away) is derived from اصعد which again is derived from صعد which primarily means, he ascended or climbed a height, etc. اصعد فی العرض means, he went from a low piece of land to one that is high, both physically and figuratively; or adversely, he descended or went down into the land. اصعد فی العدو means, he exerted himself in running. اصعد also means, he went forth or went away in any direction (Lane).
اثاب (gave in recompense) is from the same root as ثواب and مثوبة and مثابة and means, he gave in reward or recompense or return; or he gave as a substitute (Aqrab). See also 2:104 and 2:126.
The words, When you were running away and looked not back at anyone, refer to the incident which happened when in the Battle of Uhud the Muslims were attacked from both the rear and the front and their ranks were broken and many of them were fleeing in different directions. At first, when the Muslims heard that the enemy was coming from behind, they turned back to attack the enemy, but it so happened that a large body of Muslims was also coming from the rear at that time. In the confusion of the hour, these were mistaken for the enemy and attacked. Such was the confusion and the panic that even the voice of the Holy Prophet was not heeded.
The words, gave you a sorrow in recompense for a sorrow, refer to the report of the Holy Prophet’s death in the Battle of Uhud. Thus the first-mentioned "sorrow", which was later in occurring, refers to the false report of the Holy Prophet’s death and the second-mentioned "sorrow", which was first in occurring, refers to the sorrow that the Companions of the Holy Prophet—the archers stationed at the back—caused him by having failed faithfully to follow his order. One sorrow came in recompense of the other. The report of the Holy Prophet’s death referred to above spread when a Muslim, named Mus‘ab bin ‘Umair, the Companion who carried the flag, was killed, being mistaken for the Holy Prophet. The second-mentioned "sorrow" does not obviously refer to the wounds received by the Holy Prophet, for the wounds were received not before, but after the archers left their station and after the above-mentioned erroneous report about the death of the Holy Prophet.
The sorrow which certain Muslims caused the Holy Prophet by paying no heed to his voice when at the ensuing disorder he called out to them from the rear, was also recompensed. When the Muslims did not pay heed to the call of the Prophet, God caused them to think for a while that he was dead, which was to them a punishment similar to their offence. If they did not pay heed to the voice of the Divine Messenger, of what use to them was his existence in this world? Thus when they heard of the reported death of the Holy Prophet, their thoughts naturally and immediately turned to the great benefits which they had received and were receiving through him and they were at once made to realize not only the greatness of his rank but also the magnitude of their own mistake.
The Arabic words غما بغم rendered as a sorrow in recompense for a sorrow, may also be rendered as "a sorrow in addition to another sorrow", i.e. one sorrow coming after another. In that case, the words would mean that God so designed that the sorrow pertaining to the unfounded report of the Holy Prophet’s death should come immediately after the sorrow of a reverse so that the latter sorrow, which later proved to be unfounded, should obliterate the effect of the former sorrow, thus effacing the harmful effects of the defeat.
The clause, what escaped you, refers to the victory which the Muslims lost after they had almost gained it. So great was the joy of the Muslims at the safety of the Holy Prophet that they actually forgot their sorrow at the loss of victory. Similarly, the clause, what befell you, refers to the loss of their men in the battlefield. The Muslims lost 70, while the Meccans lost only about 20. The words may also refer to the wounds received by the Muslims on that occasion.
The words, that you might not grieve, may also signify that, having received some punishment then and there for the offence committed, the Muslims might feel secure from punishment in the Hereafter. (close)
ثُمَّ اَنۡزَلَ عَلَیۡکُمۡ مِّنۡۢ بَعۡدِ الۡغَمِّ اَمَنَۃً نُّعَاسًا یَّغۡشٰی طَآئِفَۃً مِّنۡکُمۡ ۙ وَ طَآئِفَۃٌ قَدۡ اَہَمَّتۡہُمۡ اَنۡفُسُہُمۡ یَظُنُّوۡنَ بِاللّٰہِ غَیۡرَ الۡحَقِّ ظَنَّ الۡجَاہِلِیَّۃِ ؕ یَقُوۡلُوۡنَ ہَلۡ لَّنَا مِنَ الۡاَمۡرِ مِنۡ شَیۡءٍ ؕ قُلۡ اِنَّ الۡاَمۡرَ کُلَّہٗ لِلّٰہِ ؕ یُخۡفُوۡنَ فِیۡۤ اَنۡفُسِہِمۡ مَّا لَا یُبۡدُوۡنَ لَکَ ؕ یَقُوۡلُوۡنَ لَوۡ کَانَ لَنَا مِنَ الۡاَمۡرِ شَیۡءٌ مَّا قُتِلۡنَا ہٰہُنَا ؕ قُلۡ لَّوۡ کُنۡتُمۡ فِیۡ بُیُوۡتِکُمۡ لَبَرَزَ الَّذِیۡنَ کُتِبَ عَلَیۡہِمُ الۡقَتۡلُ اِلٰی مَضَاجِعِہِمۡ ۚ وَ لِیَبۡتَلِیَ اللّٰہُ مَا فِیۡ صُدُوۡرِکُمۡ وَ لِیُمَحِّصَ مَا فِیۡ قُلُوۡبِکُمۡ ؕ وَ اللّٰہُ عَلِیۡمٌۢ بِذَاتِ الصُّدُوۡرِ ﴿۱۵۵﴾
ثُمَّ أَنزَلَ عَلَيۡكُم مِّنۢ بَعۡدِ ٱلۡغَمِّ أَمَنَةٗ نُّعَاسٗا يَغۡشَىٰ طَآئِفَةٗ مِّنكُمۡۖ وَطَآئِفَةٞ قَدۡ أَهَمَّتۡهُمۡ أَنفُسُهُمۡ يَظُنُّونَ بِٱللَّهِ غَيۡرَ ٱلۡحَقِّ ظَنَّ ٱلۡجَٰهِلِيَّةِۖ يَقُولُونَ هَل لَّنَا مِنَ ٱلۡأَمۡرِ مِن شَيۡءٖۗ قُلۡ إِنَّ ٱلۡأَمۡرَ كُلَّهُۥ لِلَّهِۗ يُخۡفُونَ فِيٓ أَنفُسِهِم مَّا لَا يُبۡدُونَ لَكَۖ يَقُولُونَ لَوۡ كَانَ لَنَا مِنَ ٱلۡأَمۡرِ شَيۡءٞ مَّا قُتِلۡنَا هَٰهُنَاۗ قُل لَّوۡ كُنتُمۡ فِي بُيُوتِكُمۡ لَبَرَزَ ٱلَّذِينَ كُتِبَ عَلَيۡهِمُ ٱلۡقَتۡلُ إِلَىٰ مَضَاجِعِهِمۡۖ وَلِيَبۡتَلِيَ ٱللَّهُ مَا فِي صُدُورِكُمۡ وَلِيُمَحِّصَ مَا فِي قُلُوبِكُمۡۚ وَٱللَّهُ عَلِيمُۢ بِذَاتِ ٱلصُّدُورِ
b. 8:12. (close)
506. The reference in the verse is again to the Battle of Uhud. Abu Talhah says, "I lifted my head on the day of Uhud and began to look about, and saw that there was none among us on that day whose head had not bent down on account of slumber" (Kathir ii. 303). As sleep or slumber is a sign of mental peace and tranquillity, the Qur’an refers to the incident as a Divine favour. The incident evidently occurred when the battle was practically over and the Muslims had returned to the neighbouring hill. (close)
506A. The reference is to the Hypocrites who had remained behind at Medina. They were more concerned about their own security than about the honour of Islam and the security of the Holy Prophet and the Muslims. The words, we should not have been killed here, occurring a few lines further, mean, "If we had any voice in the determination of affairs and if our advice had been accepted, we, i.e. our brethren, would not have been killed in the battle," the insinuation being that the Muslims were foolish enough to march to the battlefield against heavy odds, while they (the Hypocrites) had wisely refrained from going with them. According to Quranic idiom the slaying of one’s self sometimes signifies the slaying of one’s brethren or companions (2:55, 2:86). (close)
a. 3:169. (close)
506B. Qatl has been used here in the sense of, Qital, i.e. fighting (Muhit & Kashshaf). See 2:192 and Jarir under 3:155. (close)
506C. The word "death-beds" has been used in order to point to the abject cowardice of the Hypocrites on the one hand, and the steadfast devotion of the believers on the other. It reminds the Hypocrites that while they had deserted and returned to Medina, thinking that fighting in the circumstances was sure death, such was the firm faith of the believers that even if they (the Hypocrites) had kept back from the very beginning they (the believers) would have cheerfully gone forth to the battlefield—or the place of death, as it was thought to be. All this happened that God might purify the Faithful. (close)
a. 8:12. (close)
b. 3:169. (close)
437. Important Words:
امر (government) means: (1) order or command; (2) matter or affair; (3) state or condition; (4) authority, government or management. اولوا الامر means, those who hold command or exercise authority (Aqrab).
قتل (fighting) being noun-infinitive means both to kill and to be killed. Another reading of the word قتل here is قتال(Muhit iii. 90 & Kashshaf) which shows that the word قتل (qatl) has been used here in the sense of fighting and not killing. The word has been used elsewhere also in the Quran in the sense of fighting (see 2:192). See also Jarir under 3:155.
The words, a slumber that overcame a party of you, refer to an incident connected with the Battle of Uhud. AbuTalhah says, "I lifted my head on the day of Uhud and began to look about, and there was none among us on that day but was bending down his head with slumber." This incident has been narrated by Tirmidhi, Nasa’i and others (see Kathir, ii. 303). As sleep or slumber is a symbol of a peaceful condition, being a sign of hearts that are calm and at rest, the Quran refers to this incident as a sort of favour. The incident evidently occurred when the battle was practically over and the Muslims had returned to the neighbouring height.
The reference in the words, the other party, is to the hypocrites who were at Medina and who had not taken part in the battle. When they heard of the reverse which overtook the Muslims and of the reported death of the Holy Prophet, they, in spite of rejoicing at the misfortune that had befallen the Muslims, became anxious about their own lives and feared what would happen to them in case the Meccans should attack Medina. The words cannot apply to the party of Muslims that took part in the battle, of whom the Quran says, He has surely pardoned you and Allah is gracious to the believers (3:153 above).
The words, Is there for us any part in the government of affairs? uttered by the hypocrites mean, "nobody listens to our opinion in matters of administration; we had advised the Muslims not to go out of Medina to fight, but our advice was ignored, with the result that they were defeated." The sentence might also mean, "now, (i.e. after this reverse) real government and power have gone into the hands of the idolaters and nothing has been left for us."
The words, All government belongs to Allah, signify that the decision in all matters rests with God; or that whatever might happen in the intervening period, God has ordained that eventually power and government shall be vouchsafed to Muslims, who will have dominion in the land.
The words, we should not have been killed here, mean, "If we had any voice in the management of affairs and if our advice had been accepted, our brethren would not have been killed in the battle," it being insinuated that while they were wise, the Muslims were simply foolish. The words may also be understood to mean, "if we were to have any government (as the Prophet had promised), we should not have been defeated in the battle." By saying so, the hypocrites hinted that the prophecies of the Holy Prophet regarding the triumph of Islam had turned out to be false.
It may be noted here that by saying, we should not have been killed here, the hypocrites did not evidently mean that they themselves would not have been killed. What they meant was that their brethren or comrades who were killed would not have been killed. This shows that by the slaying of one’s self is sometimes meant the slaying of one’s brethren or companions. This explains the words اقتلوا انفسکم in 2:55, and تقتلون انفسکم in 2:86. See also note on 2:55.
The Divine Words, If you had remained in your homes, refer to the hypocrites; and by the words, those on whom fighting had been enjoined, are meant the true believers. The injunction referred to is contained in 2:191.
In the clause, would have gone forth to their deathbeds, the word مضاجع (deathbeds) has been used in order to point to the abject cowardice of the hypocrites on the one hand, and the steadfast devotion of the true believers on the other. It reminds the hypocrites that whereas they returned to Medina, thinking that fighting in the existing circumstances was sure death, such was the faith of the true believers that even if the hypocrites had kept back from the very beginning they would have cheerfully gone forth to the battlefield, or the place of death, as it was commonly thought to be. All this happened that God might purify and ennoble the Faithful. (close)
اِنَّ الَّذِیۡنَ تَوَلَّوۡا مِنۡکُمۡ یَوۡمَ الۡتَقَی الۡجَمۡعٰنِ ۙ اِنَّمَا اسۡتَزَلَّہُمُ الشَّیۡطٰنُ بِبَعۡضِ مَا کَسَبُوۡا ۚ وَ لَقَدۡ عَفَا اللّٰہُ عَنۡہُمۡ ؕ اِنَّ اللّٰہَ غَفُوۡرٌ حَلِیۡمٌ ﴿۱۵۶﴾٪
إِنَّ ٱلَّذِينَ تَوَلَّوۡاْ مِنكُمۡ يَوۡمَ ٱلۡتَقَى ٱلۡجَمۡعَانِ إِنَّمَا ٱسۡتَزَلَّهُمُ ٱلشَّيۡطَٰنُ بِبَعۡضِ مَا كَسَبُواْۖ وَلَقَدۡ عَفَا ٱللَّهُ عَنۡهُمۡۗ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ غَفُورٌ حَلِيمٞ
507. The reference is again to the Battle of Uhud. (close)
507A. The word "stumble," mentioned in the verse, refers to the disobeying of the orders given to the party stationed at the hill or the running away of some Muslims from the battlefield. (close)
508. The words seem to contain an implied praise for the archers at the hill who misinterpreting the Holy Prophet’s orders left their post, meaning that only "certain" of their misdeeds had brought them this temporary disgrace, otherwise they were really loyal and obedient to the Holy Prophet. (close)
The "slipping" spoken of in the verse refers to the disobeying of the order given to the party stationed on the hill at the back of the main body of the Faithful. It may also refer to the running away of some Muslims from the battlefield. But God, out of His great mercy, and considering all the attending circumstances, pardoned them all.
The words, because of certain doings of theirs, contain an implied praise. These men were truly righteous people. It was only "some" of their misdeeds that brought them this temporary disgrace. All their doings were not bad; only some were bad. The words also embody a warning that a true believer should not rest satisfied even if most of his deeds are righteous. He is never quite out of danger unless all of his deeds are good. He can, however, hope for forgiveness, if he manages to make the majority of his deeds good. (close)