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)
یٰۤاَیُّہَا الَّذِیۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡا لَا تَکُوۡنُوۡا کَالَّذِیۡنَ کَفَرُوۡا وَ قَالُوۡا لِاِخۡوَانِہِمۡ اِذَا ضَرَبُوۡا فِی الۡاَرۡضِ اَوۡ کَانُوۡا غُزًّی لَّوۡ کَانُوۡا عِنۡدَنَا مَا مَاتُوۡا وَ مَا قُتِلُوۡا ۚ لِیَجۡعَلَ اللّٰہُ ذٰلِکَ حَسۡرَۃً فِیۡ قُلُوۡبِہِمۡ ؕ وَ اللّٰہُ یُحۡیٖ وَ یُمِیۡتُ ؕ وَ اللّٰہُ بِمَا تَعۡمَلُوۡنَ بَصِیۡرٌ ﴿۱۵۷﴾
يَـٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ لَا تَكُونُواْ كَٱلَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ وَقَالُواْ لِإِخۡوَٰنِهِمۡ إِذَا ضَرَبُواْ فِي ٱلۡأَرۡضِ أَوۡ كَانُواْ غُزّٗى لَّوۡ كَانُواْ عِندَنَا مَا مَاتُواْ وَمَا قُتِلُواْ لِيَجۡعَلَ ٱللَّهُ ذَٰلِكَ حَسۡرَةٗ فِي قُلُوبِهِمۡۗ وَٱللَّهُ يُحۡيِۦ وَيُمِيتُۗ وَٱللَّهُ بِمَا تَعۡمَلُونَ بَصِيرٞ
509. When they travel in the land in the cause of God. (close)
510. The object of disbelievers was to frighten the Muslims in order to make them keep away from fighting, but the Muslims, far from being discouraged by such warnings, became all the more firm in their resolve to fight the disbelievers. This filled the disbelievers with regret for having made the effort which produced a result opposite to that which they had desired. (close)
The expression, when they travel in the land, means, when they travel in the land in the cause of God. This meaning is supported by the context.
The idea contained in the words, so that Allah may make it a cause of regret in their hearts, is that when Muslims refused to act upon the advice of disbelievers not to fight, and instead, came forth in large numbers to fight in the way of God, the disbelievers were naturally grieved at their failure to win them over to their way of thinking.
The interpretation of the clause, and Allah gives life and causes death, would vary according to the different meanings of the words موت (death) and حیاة (life) occurring in it. If the death referred to in the verse is taken in the sense of destruction, the clause would mean that with the death of a few Muslims, Islam would not go to ruin. God has decreed to vouchsafe victory to Muslims and the death in fighting of a number of the victorious army cannot possibly result in their destruction. If, however, death is here taken to mean "disgrace", then the clause would mean that God’s votaries and true servants never meet with disgrace because all honour is in His hands and He gives it to whomsoever He pleases. Truly speaking, he who fights and lays down his life in the cause of truth can in no sense be regarded as dead, because such a one gives his life for the sake of Him Who is the controller of all life and death. Such a person can never die; for though physically he may die, spiritually he lives forever. In this connection, see also 2:155. (close)
وَ لَئِنۡ قُتِلۡتُمۡ فِیۡ سَبِیۡلِ اللّٰہِ اَوۡ مُتُّمۡ لَمَغۡفِرَۃٌ مِّنَ اللّٰہِ وَ رَحۡمَۃٌ خَیۡرٌ مِّمَّا یَجۡمَعُوۡنَ ﴿۱۵۸﴾
وَلَئِن قُتِلۡتُمۡ فِي سَبِيلِ ٱللَّهِ أَوۡ مُتُّمۡ لَمَغۡفِرَةٞ مِّنَ ٱللَّهِ وَرَحۡمَةٌ خَيۡرٞ مِّمَّا يَجۡمَعُونَ
511. He who fights and lays down his life in the cause of Truth should not be regarded as dead, because he gives his life for the sake of Him Who is the Controller of all life. He may be regarded as physically dead; spiritually he lives forever (2:155). (close)
a. 10:59; 43:33. (close)
512. Whereas, hypocrites are afraid of death because of the wealth and property which they have to leave behind, the believers, killed in the cause of Allah, will get what is incomparably greater than what hypocrites are greedily hoarding up, or what Muslims themselves may have collected in the form of wealth and other worldly things. (close)
a. 10:59; 43:33. (close)
The words, forgiveness from Allah and mercy shall be better than what they hoard, mean that hypocrites are afraid of death because of the wealth and property which they have to leave behind; whereas, if believers are killed in the cause of Allah, they will get what is incomparably greater than what hypocrites are greedily hoarding up, or what Muslims themselves may have collected in the form of wealth and other worldly things. There is thus no reason for true believers to be afraid of death. (close)
وَ لَئِنۡ مُّتُّمۡ اَوۡ قُتِلۡتُمۡ لَاِالَی اللّٰہِ تُحۡشَرُوۡنَ ﴿۱۵۹﴾
وَلَئِن مُّتُّمۡ أَوۡ قُتِلۡتُمۡ لَإِلَى ٱللَّهِ تُحۡشَرُونَ
513. The pronoun "you" includes both hypocrites and believers; for all will be gathered unto God for reward or punishment, as the case may be. (close)
b. 5:97; 6:73; 8:25; 23:80. (close)
The pronoun "you" includes both hypocrites and believers; for all will be gathered unto God for reward or punishment as the case may be. (close)
فَبِمَا رَحۡمَۃٍ مِّنَ اللّٰہِ لِنۡتَ لَہُمۡ ۚ وَ لَوۡ کُنۡتَ فَظًّا غَلِیۡظَ الۡقَلۡبِ لَانۡفَضُّوۡا مِنۡ حَوۡلِکَ ۪ فَاعۡفُ عَنۡہُمۡ وَ اسۡتَغۡفِرۡ لَہُمۡ وَ شَاوِرۡہُمۡ فِی الۡاَمۡرِ ۚ فَاِذَا عَزَمۡتَ فَتَوَکَّلۡ عَلَی اللّٰہِ ؕ اِنَّ اللّٰہَ یُحِبُّ الۡمُتَوَکِّلِیۡنَ ﴿۱۶۰﴾
فَبِمَا رَحۡمَةٖ مِّنَ ٱللَّهِ لِنتَ لَهُمۡۖ وَلَوۡ كُنتَ فَظًّا غَلِيظَ ٱلۡقَلۡبِ لَٱنفَضُّواْ مِنۡ حَوۡلِكَۖ فَٱعۡفُ عَنۡهُمۡ وَٱسۡتَغۡفِرۡ لَهُمۡ وَشَاوِرۡهُمۡ فِي ٱلۡأَمۡرِۖ فَإِذَا عَزَمۡتَ فَتَوَكَّلۡ عَلَى ٱللَّهِۚ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ يُحِبُّ ٱلۡمُتَوَكِّلِينَ
514. The words give an insight into the beautiful character of the Holy Prophet, of which the most effable and prominent trait was his all- comprehensive mercy. He was full of the milk of human kindness and was not only kind towards his Companions and followers but was also full of mercy and sympathy for his enemies who were always on the lookout to stab him in the back. It is on record that he took no action against those treacherous Hypocrites who had deserted him in the Battle of Uhud. He even consulted them in affairs of State. (close)
a. 42:39. (close)
515. Besides other things Islam is unique in this respect that it has included the institution of Mushawarah (consultation) in its basic principles. It has made it binding upon the Head of the Muslim State that he should consult Muslims in all important affairs of the State. The Holy Prophet used to consult his followers in all important matters, as he did before the battles of Badr, Uhud, and Ahzab, and also when a false accusation was brought against his noble wife, ‘A’ishah. Abu Hurairah says: "The Holy Prophet was most solicitous in consulting others in all matters of importance" (Manthur ii. 90). ‘Umar, the Second Successor of the Holy Prophet, is reported to have said: There is no Khilafat without consultation" (Izalatul-Khifa’ ‘an Khilafatil- Khulafa’). Thus the holding of consultation in important matters is a basic injunction of Islam and is binding on both spiritual and temporal Muslim Chiefs. The Khalifah or the Head of the Muslim State must seek the advice of representative Muslims though the final decision may rest with him. The Islamic Shura or Mushawarah is not a parliament in the sense in which the word is understood in the West. The Head of the Muslim State enjoys a certain discretion in rejecting the advice tendered to him. But he should not lightly use this discretion and should respect the advice of the majority. (close)
442. Important Words:
شاور (consult) is derived from شار which means, he gathered or extracted honey from the comb, and separated it from the wax. شار الدابة means, he rode the beast in order to ascertain its true worth. اشار الیه means, he pointed towards him or it. اشار علیه means, he gave him advice; he offered him counsel. شاورہ means, he consulted him; he sought his opinion or advice; he discussed with him in order to find out his opinion. مشورة means, good counsel or consultation. شوری means, mutual consultation (Aqrab).
فتوکل (then put thy trust). For the meaning of توکل see 3:123.
The verse gives an insight into the beautiful character of the Holy Prophet, of which the most effable and prominent trait was his all-comprehensive mercy. He was full of the milk of human kindness and was not only kind towards his Companions and followers, but was also full of mercy for his enemies who were always on the lookout to stab him in the back. It is on record that he took no action even against those treacherous hypocrites who had deserted him in the Battle of Uhud. He even consulted them in affairs of the State.
The verse also constitutes an effective answer to the charge of the hypocrites that the Holy Prophet attached no importance to their advice and did what he liked. The Quran refutes this charge by saying that if the Holy Prophet had not been kind and gentle towards them, they would have left him long ago. Thus their continuing to remain with him falsified their accusation and proved that the Prophet’s treatment of them was very kind and that in conformity with the divine command (see also 42:39) he used to consult them regarding affairs of State, with the result that many of them afterwards repented of their deeds and became sincere Muslims. The injunction about consultation contained in the present verse, although general in application, refers to the hypocrites of Medina in particular.
It may be noted that Islam stands alone in including the institution of مشورة (consultation) among its fundamental principles. It lays down as a rule that both the Prophet and his Successors should, whenever necessary, consult their followers in important affairs of the State. A religion claiming to be universal is bound to contain such a teaching; for persons of different classes and different communities continue to enter its fold, and if they are consulted in matters of moment, it is calculated not only to add to their experience and practical wisdom, but also to increase and keep alive their interest in the affairs of the State. This is why the Holy Prophet used to consult his followers on all important matters, as he did before the Battles of Badr, Uhud, and Ahzab, and also when a false accusation was brought against his wife, ‘A’ishah. Baihaqi reports: "Certainly Allah and His Messenger did not stand in need of the advice of anybody, but God has made it (the seeking of advice) a source of mercy for men. Those who hold consultation will not stray away from the path of rectitude, while those who do not are liable to do so." Abu Hurairah says: "The Holy Prophet was most solicitous in consulting others in all matters of importance" (Manthur, ii. 90).
‘Umar, the Second Successor of the Holy Prophet is reported to have said: لا خلافة الا بالمشورة i.e. "There is no Khilafat without consultation" (Izalatul-Khifa’ ‘an Khilafatul-Khulafa’). Thus the holding of consultation in matters of consequence is an important injunction of Islam and is binding on both spiritual and temporal chiefs, though they are not bound to accept that consultation as the words, when thou art determined, then put thy trust in Allah, show. The Khalifah must seek the advice of leading Muslims, but the final decision always rests with him. He is not bound to accept, in full or in part, the advice tendered to him by a majority of them. This view has ever been held by the main body of Muslims throughout the centuries and finds ample support in the sayings of the Holy Prophet as well as in his practice and in that of his rightly-guided successors.
The objection, that if the Khalifah is not bound to act upon the advice of the majority what is the use of his seeking advice, or of others offering it, is unwise and beside the point. The verse gives to the Khalifah the right to reject advice if he is convinced that it is in the interest of religion or the community to do so. Normally, he respects the view of the majority, but the Islamic شوری or مشاورة (Shura or Mushawarat) is not parliament in the sense in which the word is generally understood in the west. Islam enjoins only consultation and not decision by votes, which are two different things. Consultation is meant to help the Khalifah to know the views of his followers and to enable him to respect them as far as possible. It is not at all intended to tie his hands. It is on record that the Holy Prophet rejected the advice of the majority of his followers on certain occasions, and on others he even refused to accept their unanimous opinion. For instance, regarding the treatment of the prisoners of Badr he accepted the advice of Abu Bakr and rejected that of ‘Umar, ‘Abdullah bin Rawahah and Sa‘d bin Mu‘adh (Musnad, i. 283). At Hudaibiyyah, he signed the treaty in clear opposition to the advice of his Companions (Bukhari, ch. on Shurut). Similarly, Abu Bakr discarded the almost unanimous advice of the Muslims by sending the expedition to Syria under Usamah, immediately after the death of the Holy Prophet (Athir, ii. 139). In contrast to this, it is also on record that the Holy Prophet sometimes sacrificed his own view to that of his followers as he did in marching out of Medina for the Battle of Uhud.
The context of the verse, however, shows that here the injunction was primarily meant with regard to the hypocrites, and nobody could say that the Holy Prophet was bound to do what the hypocrites advised him.
The advantages of consultation are: (1) The Khalifah or Amir comes to know the views of his followers. (2) He is helped in arriving at a correct decision. (3) Representative Muslims get an opportunity to think about, and take personal interest in, important state affairs, thus receiving most useful training in matters of administration. (4) The Khalifah is enabled to judge the mental and administrative capabilities of different individuals, which help him to assign the right work to the right man. (5) It enables him to know the aptitudes, aspirations and tendencies as well as the moral and spiritual condition of the different members of his community, and thus he becomes able to effect an improvement, wherever necessary, in his people.
The meaning of expressions like, put thy trust in Allah, is generally misunderstood. In the language of the Quran, توکل(trusting in God) does not consist in disregarding the material means of doing a thing. On the contrary, توکل as taught by Islam means that a person should first make use of all the resources at his command and then place his trust in God to bless his efforts with success, believing all the time that the means can be successful only if and when God wills it and that the true cause and the real source of all success is God alone.
The words, put thy trust in Allah, as used in the present context, also hint that if the Prophet or the Khalifah were to be bound to accept the counsel of his followers, it would be against the spirit of توکل (trusting in God). In fact, one who is bound to act in accordance with the advice of another cannot be said to be trusting in God so far as acting on that advice is concerned. (close)
اِنۡ یَّنۡصُرۡکُمُ اللّٰہُ فَلَا غَالِبَ لَکُمۡ ۚ وَ اِنۡ یَّخۡذُلۡکُمۡ فَمَنۡ ذَا الَّذِیۡ یَنۡصُرُکُمۡ مِّنۡۢ بَعۡدِہٖ ؕ وَ عَلَی اللّٰہِ فَلۡیَتَوَکَّلِ الۡمُؤۡمِنُوۡنَ ﴿۱۶۱﴾
إِن يَنصُرۡكُمُ ٱللَّهُ فَلَا غَالِبَ لَكُمۡۖ وَإِن يَخۡذُلۡكُمۡ فَمَن ذَا ٱلَّذِي يَنصُرُكُم مِّنۢ بَعۡدِهِۦۗ وَعَلَى ٱللَّهِ فَلۡيَتَوَكَّلِ ٱلۡمُؤۡمِنُونَ
516. The expression, Min Ba‘dihi, translated as, "beside Him," literally means, "after Him" and may be rendered as "in opposition to Him." (close)
The words من بعدہ translated as, beside Him, literally mean "after Him" and may also be rendered as "in opposition to Him". The verse throws further light on the philosophy of توکل (trust in God). In spite of making use of the necessary means, a true believer should, and in fact does, put his trust in God alone. (close)
وَ مَا کَانَ لِنَبِیٍّ اَنۡ یَّغُلَّ ؕ وَ مَنۡ یَّغۡلُلۡ یَاۡتِ بِمَا غَلَّ یَوۡمَ الۡقِیٰمَۃِ ۚ ثُمَّ تُوَفّٰی کُلُّ نَفۡسٍ مَّا کَسَبَتۡ وَ ہُمۡ لَا یُظۡلَمُوۡنَ ﴿۱۶۲﴾
وَمَا كَانَ لِنَبِيٍّ أَن يَغُلَّۚ وَمَن يَغۡلُلۡ يَأۡتِ بِمَا غَلَّ يَوۡمَ ٱلۡقِيَٰمَةِۚ ثُمَّ تُوَفَّىٰ كُلُّ نَفۡسٖ مَّا كَسَبَتۡ وَهُمۡ لَا يُظۡلَمُونَ
517. The archers stationed by the Holy Prophet at the hill of Uhud to protect the rear of the Muslim army left their posts (not all of them) when they saw the Meccan army in full flight. They thought that by leaving the hill at that stage they were not contravening the spirit of the Prophet’s orders, which were to the effect that they were not to leave their posts in any circumstances. They further thought that as, according to Arab custom a soldier was entitled to the possession of the booty he laid his hand on during the fight they might be deprived of their share of the spoils of war if they stuck to their posts. This precipitate action of the archers implied an apprehension on their part that the Holy Prophet might ignore their right to the booty. It is this apprehension that is condemned here. But no imputation of actual faithlessness to the Holy Prophet is implied. The verse simply purports to say that it was far from the Holy Prophet to ignore the rights to the booty of those whom he himself had stationed at a certain place. (close)
a. 3:26; 14:52; 40:18. (close)
a. 3:26; 14:52; 40:18. (close)
The verse can be interpreted in two ways. The archers stationed by the Holy Prophet at the mount of Uhud to protect the rear of the Muslim army left their post when they saw the Meccan army in full flight. They thought that by leaving the mount at that stage they would not be contravening the spirit of the Prophet’s orders, which were to the effect that they were not to leave their post in any circumstances. They further thought that as, according to Arab custom, a soldier was entitled to the possession of the booty he laid his hand on during the fight, they might be deprived of their share of the spoils of war if they stuck to their post. This precipitate action of the archers implied an apprehension on their part that the Prophet might ignore their right to the booty and might thus prove faithless to them. It is this apprehension that the verse condemns in the words, And it is not possible for a Prophet to act dishonestly. But no imputation of actual faithlessness to the Holy Prophet is implied. The verse simply purports to say that it was far from the Prophet to ignore the rights to the booty of those whom he himself had stationed at a certain place.
The verse may also be taken as a rebuke to the hypocrites who deserted the Holy Prophet in the Battle of Uhud. In this case, the implication would be that while the hypocrites had proved faithless to the Prophet by leaving him in the lurch, the Prophet would not prove faithless to God by refusing to fight in His cause even when weak and deserted. This meaning is also supported by the context. (close)
اَفَمَنِ اتَّبَعَ رِضۡوَانَ اللّٰہِ کَمَنۡۢ بَآءَ بِسَخَطٍ مِّنَ اللّٰہِ وَ مَاۡوٰٮہُ جَہَنَّمُ ؕ وَ بِئۡسَ الۡمَصِیۡرُ ﴿۱۶۳﴾
أَفَمَنِ ٱتَّبَعَ رِضۡوَٰنَ ٱللَّهِ كَمَنۢ بَآءَ بِسَخَطٖ مِّنَ ٱللَّهِ وَمَأۡوَىٰهُ جَهَنَّمُۖ وَبِئۡسَ ٱلۡمَصِيرُ
b. 2:208, 266; 3:16; 5:3, 17; 9:72. (close)
518. Undaunted by the defection of the Hypocrites at Uhud, which considerably weakened the ranks of Muslims, the Holy Prophet proceeded to fight the enemies of Islam. The Hypocrites, on the other hand, by their act of desertion, drew upon themselves the wrath of God. (close)
a. 2:208, 266; 3:16; 5:3, 17; 9:72. (close)
The words, who follows the pleasure of Allah, apply to the Holy Prophet and his true followers who, undaunted by the defection of the hypocrites at Uhud, which considerably weakened their ranks, proceeded to fight the enemies of Islam. The hypocrites, on the other hand, by their act of desertion, drew upon themselves the wrath of God. They turned away from the fire of war, but a much worse fire awaited them in Hell. They retreated from the battlefield in order to seek security, but their retreat proved to be the gate of Gehenna for them.
The expression کمن باء بسخط من الله rendered as, like him who draws on himself the wrath of Allah, may also be translated as "like him who turns (or returns) with the wrath of Allah". The latter rendering would help further to clarify the explanation given above. (close)