Introduction of Muhammad
(Revealed after Hijrah)
The Surah takes its title from its third verse. It is also known as قتال (war) because it devotes a large portion of its text to the subject of war—its causes, ethics and consequences. The fact that the Surah deals mainly with the fighting which took place after the Holy Prophet had Migrated to Medina and that it makes repeated mention of the hypocrites with whom the Muslims came in contact at that place, lends powerful support to the view held by Baidawi, Zamakhshari, Suyuti, and others that the Surah was revealed after the Hijrah—a large part of it having been revealed probably before the Battle of Badr, in the early days of the life at Medina.
Towards the end of the previous Surah, it was unambiguously and emphatically stated that opposition to the Divine Message, however powerful, organized, and persistent, can never succeed and that Truth must prevail. The subject assumes a certain definiteness in this Surah, and disbelievers are told that in conformity with the unalterable divine law that Truth must ultimately triumph over falsehood, the Holy Prophet and his followers, though in a weak state in the beginning and though their cause seemingly hopeless, will, after overcoming all difficulties and impediments, succeed in the long run, their weakness progressively giving place to strength.
The Surah opens with the challenging statement that all the efforts of disbelievers to retard and arrest the progress of Islam will come to naught and the condition of the Prophet’s followers will improve day by day. It then proceeds to say that since disbelievers have drawn the sword against the Prophet they shall perish by the sword. After holding out to Muslims a definite promise of success against their enemies, it briefly lays down important rules of war, as for instance, prisoners can be taken only after regular fighting in which the enemy is decisively beaten (v. 5), but after the war is over, they are to be set free either as an act of favour, or, after taking proper ransom. Thus the Surah, in a little verse, strikes effectively at the evil practice of slavery.
It is further stated that falsehood, though in a position of strength and power against Truth in the beginning, eventually must suffer defeat. This is a lesson writ large on the pages of history, and the evil fate of peoples nearer home such as ‘Ad, Thamud, Midian and the people of Lot should open the eyes of the Meccans. Next, the Surah says a few words of comfort and good cheer to the Holy Prophet, telling him that though he is being hounded out of his native place, friendless and apparently helpless, to seek refuge in a distant place among alien people, yet this very fact will lay the foundation of a great future for his Faith and his followers. His opponents seem to be very powerful but "there have been towns, more powerful than the town which has driven thee out," and yet God destroyed them and so will He destroy the enemies of the Prophet. They are satisfied with having driven him out of Mecca and seem to have a false sense of complacency that thereby they have nipped the tender plant of Islam in the bud, but in fact they have laid the foundation of their own ruin if they could but read the writing on the wall.
Next, the Surah briefly mentions the aims and objects of war according to Islam. Since it requires very sincere and honest adherence to a cause to imperil one’s life, honour, or property for it, war, which puts to test one’s sincerity or true adherence to a cause, was enjoined upon Muslims in self-defence so that true and sincere believers might be distinguished from the hypocrites and those weak of faith. Whereas, says the Surah, the believers welcome a revelation enjoining them to fight in the way of Allah, for it is in fighting that the real mettle of a man is tested, the disbelievers, and the hypocrites feel as if they are being driven to death. Thus true believers are separated and sifted out from those who are insincere or false in the profession of their faith. The Surah closes with a further exhortation to Muslims to be prepared to spend whatever they possess for the cause they hold so dear, because to be stingy and niggardly when the cause requires its votaries to spend with both hands, is calculated not only to injure the cause but also the individual himself.
یہ سورت مدنی ہے اور بسم اللہ سمیت اس کی انتالیس آیات ہیں۔
اس سورت میں جو اگرچہ آیات کی گنتی کے لحاظ سے بہت چھوٹی ہے عملاً قرآن کی گزشتہ تمام سورتوں کا خلاصہ بیان فرما دیا گیا ہے جیسا کہ حضرت محمد رسول اللہ صلی اللہ علیہ و سلم تمام انبیاء کے مظہر تھے۔ اس کی آیتِ کریمہ نمبر ۱۹ میں یہ فرمایا گیا ہے کہ آنحضور صلی اللہ علیہ و سلم جس عظیم روحانی قیامت کے لئے مبعوث فرمائے گئے اس کے قرب کی تمام علامات ظاہر ہوچکی ہیں۔ پس اُس وقت ان کا نصیحت پکڑنا کس کام آئے گا جب وہ برپا ہو جائے گی۔
بِسۡمِ اللّٰہِ الرَّحۡمٰنِ الرَّحِیۡمِ﴿۱﴾
بِسۡمِ ٱللَّهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ
a. 1:1. (close)
a. See 1:1. (close)
See 1:1. (close)
اَلَّذِیۡنَ کَفَرُوۡا وَ صَدُّوۡا عَنۡ سَبِیۡلِ اللّٰہِ اَضَلَّ اَعۡمَالَہُمۡ ﴿۲﴾
ٱلَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ وَصَدُّواْ عَن سَبِيلِ ٱللَّهِ أَضَلَّ أَعۡمَٰلَهُمۡ
b. 4:168; 16:89. (close)
2737. Works of disbelievers are rendered vain in that their efforts to arrest the progress of Islam produce no results. (close)
b. 4:168; 16:89. (close)
Works of disbelievers are rendered vain in that their efforts to arrest the progress of the cause of Truth produce no results. The cause of Truth triumphs and prevails. (close)
وَ الَّذِیۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡا وَ عَمِلُوا الصّٰلِحٰتِ وَ اٰمَنُوۡا بِمَا نُزِّلَ عَلٰی مُحَمَّدٍ وَّ ہُوَ الۡحَقُّ مِنۡ رَّبِّہِمۡ ۙ کَفَّرَ عَنۡہُمۡ سَیِّاٰتِہِمۡ وَ اَصۡلَحَ بَالَہُمۡ ﴿۳﴾
وَٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ وَعَمِلُواْ ٱلصَّـٰلِحَٰتِ وَءَامَنُواْ بِمَا نُزِّلَ عَلَىٰ مُحَمَّدٖ وَهُوَ ٱلۡحَقُّ مِن رَّبِّهِمۡ كَفَّرَ عَنۡهُمۡ سَيِّـَٔاتِهِمۡ وَأَصۡلَحَ بَالَهُمۡ
c. 13:20; 22:55; 34:7. (close)
3790. Important Words:
بالھم (their affairs) is substantive noun from بال (bala) which means, it (fat) melted or dissolved. البال means, a state, condition or case (12:51). ھو فی البال means: (1) he is in ample and easy circumstances or condition. (2) A thing or affair to which one devotes his special care. They say لیس ھذا من بالی i.e. this is not of the things for which I care. (3) The heart or mind. خطر ببالی means, it occurred to me. (4) Attention. An Arab would say أعطنی بالک i.e. give me thy attention (Lane & Aqrab).
الحق (truth) means, an established fact which is undeniable; a right, equity or justice; a thing that is decreed; a thing suitable to the requirements of justice; truth; wisdom; what is binding; obligatory, just, proper; right; genuine, authentic, real; prudence (Lane, Aqrab & Mufradat).
Because belief in the Holy Prophet, as in all Divine Messengers, is included in the words "those who believe and do good works," the expression "and believe in what has been revealed to Muhammad" seems to be redundant. But nothing in the Quran is redundant or superfluous, the expression serves a definite purpose. It removes a possible misconception, that belief in God and belief in life after death alone are the two fundamental articles of Faith (2:63). The verse leaves no doubt about the indispensability of belief in the Holy Prophet by saying that what has been revealed to him is الحق i.e. it is the whole truth and nothing but the truth; it agrees with the requirements of justice, truth and wisdom, and fully meets the exigencies and circumstances of time and the varying human needs, and by it moral lapses of those who believe in him are obliterated, their difficulties removed and their condition progressively bettered. (close)
ذٰلِکَ بِاَنَّ الَّذِیۡنَ کَفَرُوا اتَّبَعُوا الۡبَاطِلَ وَ اَنَّ الَّذِیۡنَ اٰمَنُوا اتَّبَعُوا الۡحَقَّ مِنۡ رَّبِّہِمۡ ؕ کَذٰلِکَ یَضۡرِبُ اللّٰہُ لِلنَّاسِ اَمۡثَالَہُمۡ ﴿۴﴾
ذَٰلِكَ بِأَنَّ ٱلَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ ٱتَّبَعُواْ ٱلۡبَٰطِلَ وَأَنَّ ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ ٱتَّبَعُواْ ٱلۡحَقَّ مِن رَّبِّهِمۡۚ كَذَٰلِكَ يَضۡرِبُ ٱللَّهُ لِلنَّاسِ أَمۡثَٰلَهُمۡ
فَاِذَا لَقِیۡتُمُ الَّذِیۡنَ کَفَرُوۡا فَضَرۡبَ الرِّقَابِ ؕ حَتّٰۤی اِذَاۤ اَثۡخَنۡتُمُوۡہُمۡ فَشُدُّوا الۡوَثَاقَ ٭ۙ فَاِمَّا مَنًّۢا بَعۡدُ وَ اِمَّا فِدَآءً حَتّٰی تَضَعَ الۡحَرۡبُ اَوۡزَارَہَا ۬ۚ۟ۛ ذٰؔلِکَ ؕۛ وَ لَوۡ یَشَآءُ اللّٰہُ لَانۡتَصَرَ مِنۡہُمۡ وَ لٰکِنۡ لِّیَبۡلُوَا۠ بَعۡضَکُمۡ بِبَعۡضٍ ؕ وَ الَّذِیۡنَ قُتِلُوۡا فِیۡ سَبِیۡلِ اللّٰہِ فَلَنۡ یُّضِلَّ اَعۡمَالَہُمۡ ﴿۵﴾
فَإِذَا لَقِيتُمُ ٱلَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ فَضَرۡبَ ٱلرِّقَابِ حَتَّىٰٓ إِذَآ أَثۡخَنتُمُوهُمۡ فَشُدُّواْ ٱلۡوَثَاقَ فَإِمَّا مَنَّۢا بَعۡدُ وَإِمَّا فِدَآءً حَتَّىٰ تَضَعَ ٱلۡحَرۡبُ أَوۡزَارَهَاۚ ذَٰلِكَۖ وَلَوۡ يَشَآءُ ٱللَّهُ لَٱنتَصَرَ مِنۡهُمۡ وَلَٰكِن لِّيَبۡلُوَاْ بَعۡضَكُم بِبَعۡضٖۗ وَٱلَّذِينَ قُتِلُواْ فِي سَبِيلِ ٱللَّهِ فَلَن يُضِلَّ أَعۡمَٰلَهُمۡ
c. 8:46, 68. (close)
2738. Athkhana fil Ardi means, he caused much slaughter in the land. (close)
2739. The verse, in a nutshell, lays down some important rules about the ethics of war and its conduct and incidentally deals a deathblow to slavery. Briefly, these are: (a) When they are engaged in regular battle in defence of their faith, honour, lives or property, Muslims are enjoined to fight bravely and relentlessly (8:13-17). (b) When war is once started, it should continue till peace is established and freedom of conscience secured (8:40). (c) Prisoners are to be taken from the enemy only after regular and pitched battle has been fought, and the enemy is decidedly and positively beaten. Thus regular war is declared to be the only reason for taking prisoners; for no other reason free men can be deprived of their liberty. (d) When war is over, prisoners should be released, either as an act of favour, or on taking ransom from them or by negotiating mutual exchange. They should not be held permanently in captivity or treated as slaves. The Holy Prophet set at liberty about a hundred families of Bani Mustaliq and several thousand prisoners of Hawazin after both these tribes had been decisively beaten in battle. After the Battle of Badr ransom was accepted from the prisoners, and those who could not pay their ransom in money but were literate, were required to teach reading and writing to Muslims. The verse thus has struck very effectively at the roots of slavery, abolishing it completely and for ever. (close)
2740. Allah got the believers engaged in fighting with disbelievers so that on the one hand their own good qualities of character should have an opportunity to come into play, and on the other, the bad qualities of disbelievers should become exposed. Perhaps in no other aspect of life was the moral superiority of the Companions of the Holy Prophet so clearly demonstrated as in their treatment of their fallen foes. (close)
2741. The sacrifice of Muslims slain in the field of battle will not be wasted. In fact, it was their sacrifice that firmly laid the foundation of Islam in Arabia. (close)
a. 8:46, 68. (close)
3791. Important Words:
أثخنتموھم (you have overcome them). أثخن is transitive from ثخن (thakhuna or thakhana) which means, it was or became thick or coarse. أثخنه means, he rendered him heavy or languid or enervated; or he overcame him after inflicting many wounds on him. أثخن فی العدو means, he made a great slaughter among the enemy or inflicted heavy wounds upon him. أثخن فی الارض means, he caused much slaughter in the land; or he fought vehemently in the land (Lane & Aqrab).
انتصر منھم (He would have punished them) is derived from نصر. They say نصرہ اللّٰه علی عدوہ i.e. God helped, aided or assisted him against his enemy or made him victorious. انتصر means, he defended himself against his injurer. انتصر منه means, he exacted his right or due completely from him; he avenged himself upon him; he punished him (Lane & Aqrab).
The verse, in a nutshell, lays down some important rules about the ethics of war and its conduct and incidentally deals a death blow to slavery. Briefly these are: (a) When they are engaged in regular battle in the defence of their faith, honour, lives or property, the Muslims are enjoined to fight bravely and relentlessly, giving no quarter, and expecting none from the enemy; and not to flee from the field of battle under lame or weak excuses. They must either win or die. "He who turns his back to the enemy", says the Quran, "draws upon himself the wrath of Allah" (8:13-17). (b) When war is once started, it should continue till peace is established and freedom of conscience secured (8:40). (c) Prisoners are to be taken from the enemy, only after regular and pitched battle has been fought, and the enemy is decidedly and positively beaten. Thus regular war is declared to be the only reason for taking prisoners for no other cause free men are to be deprived of their liberty. (d) When war is over, prisoners should be released, either as an act of favour, or on taking ransom or by negotiating mutual exchange. They should not be held permanently in captivity or treated as slaves. The Holy Prophet carried this Divine commandment into actual practice by setting at liberty about a hundred families of Banu Mustaliq and several thousand prisoners of Hawazin after both these tribes had been decisively beaten in battle. It was after the Battle of Badr that ransom was accepted for the prisoners who were set free. This was perhaps, because Islam was then in a very weak state. But, on this occasion too, those of them who could not pay their ransom in money but were literate, were required to teach reading and writing to some of the Muslims. The verse thus has struck very effectively at the roots of slavery, abolishing it completely and forever. (Muir, Zurqani & Hisham).
The words "And if Allah had so pleased, he could have punished them Himself, but He has willed that He may try some of you by others," signify that God possessed the power to punish the enemies of Truth without the instrumentality of Muslims but He got the latter engaged in fighting with disbelievers so that on the one hand their own good qualities of character should have an opportunity to come into play and on the other the bad qualities of disbelievers should become exposed. Perhaps in no other aspect of life was the moral superiority of the Companions of the Holy Prophet so clearly demonstrated as in their treatment of their fallen foes.
The words "And those who are killed in the way of Allah—He will never render their works vain," mean that the sacrifice of Muslims slain in the field of battle would not be wasted. It was their sacrifice that firmly laid the foundation of a bright future for Islam. (close)
سَیَہۡدِیۡہِمۡ وَ یُصۡلِحُ بَالَہُمۡ ۚ﴿۶﴾
سَيَهۡدِيهِمۡ وَيُصۡلِحُ بَالَهُمۡ
2742. Since Hidayah means, to follow the right path till one reaches one’s destination and achieves the object of one’s quest (Lane), the verse purports to say that by their death the martyred Muslims achieved the object for which they gave their lives which was the triumph of the cause of Islam. (close)
3792. Important Words:
Since one of the meanings of ھدایة is to follow the right path till one reaches one’s destination and achieves the object of one’s quest (Lane), the verse purports to say that the martyred Muslims have achieved, by their death, the object for which they gave their lives which was to attain God’s pleasure and to make Islam secure and strong. (close)
وَ یُدۡخِلُہُمُ الۡجَنَّۃَ عَرَّفَہَا لَہُمۡ ﴿۷﴾
وَيُدۡخِلُهُمُ ٱلۡجَنَّةَ عَرَّفَهَا لَهُمۡ
a. 3:196; 9:111. (close)
2743. The believers had a foretaste of the blessings of Paradise in this life in the sense that they enjoyed in their physical form all those spiritual blessings and favours which are mentioned in the Qur’an as having been promised to them in the next world. Or the verse may mean that the believers had a spiritual foretaste of "the Garden" because they saw with their own eyes the promise made to them in the Qur’an about Paradise being fulfilled in this very life. (close)
a. 3:196; 9:111. (close)
3793. Important Words:
عرف (made known) is transitive verb from عرف(‘arafa) which means, he knew it or became acquainted with it; he knew it by means of one of the senses and also by mental perception. عرفه الامر (‘arrafa) means, he acquainted him with the affair. عرف also means, rendering a thing fragrant, and adorning, decorating or embellishing it (Lane).
The verse means that the Muslims slain in the way of Allah will be admitted into gardens of Paradise of which they had a foretaste in the present life. They had a foretaste of them in the sense that they enjoyed in their physical form all those spiritual blessings and favours which are mentioned in the Quran as having been promised to them in the next world. Or the verse may signify that Muslims had a spiritual foretaste of "the Garden" because they saw with their own eyes promises, made to them in the Quran about Paradise, being fulfilled in this very life. (close)
یٰۤاَیُّہَا الَّذِیۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡۤا اِنۡ تَنۡصُرُوا اللّٰہَ یَنۡصُرۡکُمۡ وَ یُثَبِّتۡ اَقۡدَامَکُمۡ ﴿۸﴾
يَـٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوٓاْ إِن تَنصُرُواْ ٱللَّهَ يَنصُرۡكُمۡ وَيُثَبِّتۡ أَقۡدَامَكُمۡ
وَ الَّذِیۡنَ کَفَرُوۡا فَتَعۡسًا لَّہُمۡ وَ اَضَلَّ اَعۡمَالَہُمۡ ﴿۹﴾
وَٱلَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ فَتَعۡسٗا لَّهُمۡ وَأَضَلَّ أَعۡمَٰلَهُمۡ
2744. Three times in the few previous verses it is stated that 'God has made the works of disbelievers vain.' This signifies that disbelievers had bent all their energies of mind and body to the achievement of one supreme desire—to see Islam fail and come to naught. But Islam triumphed. It progressed and prospered and the disbelievers failed to see their desire fulfilled. (close)
3794. Important Words:
تعساً (perdition) is inf. noun from تعس (ta’sa) which means, he stumbled and fell upon his face; he missed his proof in litigation and the object of his search in seeking; he became far- removed; he became degraded. تعسه اللّٰه means, God destroyed him; degraded him; made him fall on his face. تعساً له means, may he fall never to rise; may he perish; may ruin cleave to him or may he be degraded. تعس means, ruin, degradation, mischief, evil (Lane & Aqrab). (close)
ذٰلِکَ بِاَنَّہُمۡ کَرِہُوۡا مَاۤ اَنۡزَلَ اللّٰہُ فَاَحۡبَطَ اَعۡمَالَہُمۡ ﴿۱۰﴾
ذَٰلِكَ بِأَنَّهُمۡ كَرِهُواْ مَآ أَنزَلَ ٱللَّهُ فَأَحۡبَطَ أَعۡمَٰلَهُمۡ
Three times in the few verses that have gone before is it stated that "God has made the works of disbelievers vain." This signifies that disbelievers had bent all their energies of mind and body, to the achievement of one supreme desire—to see Islam fail and come to naught. But Islam triumphed. It progressed and prospered and the disbelievers failed to have their desire fulfilled. (close)