وَ اِذۡ یَعِدُکُمُ اللّٰہُ اِحۡدَی الطَّآئِفَتَیۡنِ اَنَّہَا لَکُمۡ وَ تَوَدُّوۡنَ اَنَّ غَیۡرَ ذَاتِ الشَّوۡکَۃِ تَکُوۡنُ لَکُمۡ وَ یُرِیۡدُ اللّٰہُ اَنۡ یُّحِقَّ الۡحَقَّ بِکَلِمٰتِہٖ وَ یَقۡطَعَ دَابِرَ الۡکٰفِرِیۡنَ ۙ﴿۸﴾
وَإِذۡ يَعِدُكُمُ ٱللَّهُ إِحۡدَى ٱلطَّآئِفَتَيۡنِ أَنَّهَا لَكُمۡ وَتَوَدُّونَ أَنَّ غَيۡرَ ذَاتِ ٱلشَّوۡكَةِ تَكُونُ لَكُمۡ وَيُرِيدُ ٱللَّهُ أَن يُحِقَّ ٱلۡحَقَّ بِكَلِمَٰتِهِۦ وَيَقۡطَعَ دَابِرَ ٱلۡكَٰفِرِينَ
a. 8:43. (close)
1097. The "two parties" refer to (1) the well-equipped Meccan army that had come fully prepared to fight the Muslims, and (2) the Meccan caravan which was returning from the north and proceeding to Mecca and was lightly armed. (close)
1098. The Muslims naturally wanted to meet the caravan which was lightly armed but God’s design was to bring about an encounter with the fully equipped Meccan army. His object in doing so was to establish the Truth by His words and to cut off the root of the disbelievers. See also 3:14 and 8:42-45. (close)
1098. Important Words:
الشوکة (sting) is derived from شاك. They say شاکنی الشوك i.e. the thorn hurt or wounded me or it pierced my body. الشوکة is both the noun-infinitive from شاك and the singular of الشوك (thorns, spines, etc.). الشوکة means, thorn; sting; point of a spear, etc.; any weapon or weapons; sharpness of weapons; strength or might or vehemence thereof in war and fighting (Lane & Aqrab).
The "two parties" mentioned in the verse refer to (1) the Meccan army that had come forth to fight the Muslims, and (2) the Meccan caravan that was returning from the north and proceeding home. The former, besides being much larger in number, was heavily armed and very well-equipped; while the caravan was only lightly armed. Both belonged to Mecca and were equally hostile to Islam.
The verse signifies that as Allah had already made a promise to the Holy Prophet that He would give victory to Muslims over one of the two Meccan parties, viz. the caravan or the army, so against all hope He granted them victory in fulfilment of His promise. This shows that while yet at Medina, the Holy Prophet had been informed by God of the possible attack by the Meccan army, for without this Allah could not refer to "one of the two parties," but that the Holy Prophet kept the matter secret. The words, thy Lord Who rightfully brought thee forth from thy house, while a party of the believers were averse (8:6 above), also show that at Medina the Holy Prophet had undoubtedly received Divine revelation informing him of the coming attack by the enemy and that it was God Who had ordered the Holy Prophet to come forth. The above-quoted words also hint that the Holy Prophet kept this information secret, revealing it to only a few of his chosen comrades.
The words غیر ذات الشوکة (without sting) imply that the Muslims wanted to meet the party that was without sting, (i.e. the caravan) which they could easily overcome but that God desired to bring about an encounter with the army which could not be easily conquered, and His object in doing so was to establish the truth by His words and to cut off the root of the disbelievers, so that the prophecies with regard to the destruction of the enemy might be fulfilled that day, and their fulfilment against all hope might become the means of establishing the truth of Islam. For a more detailed account of the Battle of Badr see notes on 3:14 & 8:42-45. (close)
لِیُحِقَّ الۡحَقَّ وَ یُبۡطِلَ الۡبَاطِلَ وَ لَوۡ کَرِہَ الۡمُجۡرِمُوۡنَ ۚ﴿۹﴾
لِيُحِقَّ ٱلۡحَقَّ وَيُبۡطِلَ ٱلۡبَٰطِلَ وَلَوۡ كَرِهَ ٱلۡمُجۡرِمُونَ
b. 10:83. (close)
a. 10:83. (close)
The words, establish the truth, used in the preceding verse have been repeated here for the sake of emphasis and for vividly contrasting the idea contained in these words with that of those that follow, i.e. bring to naught that which is false. (close)
اِذۡ تَسۡتَغِیۡثُوۡنَ رَبَّکُمۡ فَاسۡتَجَابَ لَکُمۡ اَنِّیۡ مُمِدُّکُمۡ بِاَلۡفٍ مِّنَ الۡمَلٰٓئِکَۃِ مُرۡدِفِیۡنَ ﴿۱۰﴾
إِذۡ تَسۡتَغِيثُونَ رَبَّكُمۡ فَٱسۡتَجَابَ لَكُمۡ أَنِّي مُمِدُّكُم بِأَلۡفٖ مِّنَ ٱلۡمَلَـٰٓئِكَةِ مُرۡدِفِينَ
1099. See 934. (close)
1099A. Following one another. (close)
b. 3:124. (close)
1100. Important Words:
تستغیثون (you implored the assistance) is derived from غاث. They say غاثه, or اغاثه i.e. he helped, assisted or succoured him; He (God) removed from him trouble or affliction. غوث or غواث means, a cry for aid or succour. غیاث means, aid or succour; deliverance from difficulty or distress. استغاثه means, he sought or desired aid or succour of him; or he called for his aid or succour or assistance (Lane & Aqrab).
مردفین (following one another) is derived from اردف which is derived from ردف. They say اردفه i.e. he rode behind him on the same beast; or it followed or came after him or it. اردف signifies the same as ردف. They say اردفه امر i.e. an event happened to him afterwards; or an event came upon him suddenly and unexpectedly so as to overwhelm him. اردف الشیء بشیء means, he made the thing follow another thing. ردیف means, one who rides behind another on the same beast; a star which is rising when its opposite star is setting or vice versa. ردف means, sequence or consequence of a thing or event; followers or assistants or auxiliaries; night and day following each other; the star that follows another star. So مردفین means, following one another (Lane & Aqrab).
For the advent of angels, see 3:125-127 and 6:159. Also see 2:31. (close)
وَ مَا جَعَلَہُ اللّٰہُ اِلَّا بُشۡرٰی وَ لِتَطۡمَئِنَّ بِہٖ قُلُوۡبُکُمۡ ۚ وَ مَا النَّصۡرُ اِلَّا مِنۡ عِنۡدِ اللّٰہِ ؕ اِنَّ اللّٰہَ عَزِیۡزٌ حَکِیۡمٌ ﴿٪۱۱﴾
وَمَا جَعَلَهُ ٱللَّهُ إِلَّا بُشۡرَىٰ وَلِتَطۡمَئِنَّ بِهِۦ قُلُوبُكُمۡۚ وَمَا ٱلنَّصۡرُ إِلَّا مِنۡ عِندِ ٱللَّهِۚ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ عَزِيزٌ حَكِيمٌ
d. 3:127. (close)
1100. See 474. (close)
a. 3:127. (close)
See note on 3:127. As an intermediary means is sometimes likely to be confused with the real source of help which is God Almighty, the Quran takes particular care to remind Muslims that the real source of all help and all power is God alone. (close)
اِذۡ یُغَشِّیۡکُمُ النُّعَاسَ اَمَنَۃً مِّنۡہُ وَ یُنَزِّلُ عَلَیۡکُمۡ مِّنَ السَّمَآءِ مَآءً لِّیُطَہِّرَکُمۡ بِہٖ وَ یُذۡہِبَ عَنۡکُمۡ رِجۡزَ الشَّیۡطٰنِ وَ لِیَرۡبِطَ عَلٰی قُلُوۡبِکُمۡ وَ یُثَبِّتَ بِہِ الۡاَقۡدَامَ ﴿ؕ۱۲﴾
إِذۡ يُغَشِّيكُمُ ٱلنُّعَاسَ أَمَنَةٗ مِّنۡهُ وَيُنَزِّلُ عَلَيۡكُم مِّنَ ٱلسَّمَآءِ مَآءٗ لِّيُطَهِّرَكُم بِهِۦ وَيُذۡهِبَ عَنكُمۡ رِجۡزَ ٱلشَّيۡطَٰنِ وَلِيَرۡبِطَ عَلَىٰ قُلُوبِكُمۡ وَيُثَبِّتَ بِهِ ٱلۡأَقۡدَامَ
a. 3:155. (close)
1101. The reference in the verse is to the Battle of Badr. (close)
1102. The word Shaitan may also signify pangs of thirst and is called Shaitanul-Falat, i.e. devil of the desert. See 2535. The enemy had taken possession of water and the Muslims naturally feared that lack of it might prove a source of great hardship for them. The word may also signify the friends and associates of Satan. (close)
1103. The Muslims had encamped at a sandy place and the Meccan army on hard ground. Timely rain made the former place firm and the latter slippery. (close)
b. 3:155. (close)
1102. Important Words:
رجز (filth) is derived from رجز. They say رجز الناقة i.e. the she-camel had the disease of convulsive motion in the legs or thighs. رجزت الریح means, the wind was continuous or lasting. رجز means, commotion or agitation or convulsion; consecutiveness of motion; punishment that agitates by its vehemence and occasions vehement consecutive commotions; conduct that leads to punishment; sin; uncleanness or filth; polytheism or worship of idols; the Devil and his suggestions; plague or pestilence (Lane).
Before a battle, especially an important one, begins, there is generally great uneasiness and disquietude among the contestants; their hearts throb with anxiety, and sleep vanishes. So the verse mentions the coming of sleep on the battlefield of Badr as a sign of God’s favour. God caused sleep to come upon Muslims with the result that their anxiety was removed, that they were inspired with a feeling of confidence and security and that it had a soothing effect on their minds. This mental state proved highly helpful and materially contributed to their success.
The second favour mentioned in the verse pertains to the falling of rain. God caused rain to fall, which, as the verse points out, served four useful purposes: Firstly, it purified the Muslims because, seeing this token of God’s help, their faith in God was strengthened, with the result that their hearts, being filled with faith, were purified. Secondly, it dispelled from them the filth of Satan, i.e. thirst. In the Quran, thirst has been figuratively described as a pang due to Satan or the Devil; for instance, it is related that when Job was stricken with the pangs of thirst, he prayed to God, saying: Satan has smitten me with affliction and torment (38:42), whereupon God accepted his prayer, saying: Strike thy riding beast with thy foot. Here is cool water to wash with and a drink (38:43). So the removal of “the filth of Satan” signifies removal of thirst or the pangs of extreme thirst. The word "Satan" may also signify "those who are of Satan," i.e. the friends or associates of Satan. Taken in this sense, the clause would mean: "God dispelled from you the attack of the wicked people," the hint being that the rain proved a means of dispelling the attack of the Quraish, inasmuch as it rendered the hard ground occupied by the Meccan army slippery, thus preventing the enemy from making a successful attack on the Muslims. Thirdly, the rain strengthened the hearts of the Faithful. This was due to their faith being reinforced by witnessing signs of God’s special assistance. Fourthly, the rain helped to make the steps of the Muslims firm for, as mentioned in books of history, the ground occupied by the Muslims was sandy, so the rain made it hard, and the Muslims were able to tread it with firm steps. All these factors contributed to the success of the Muslims.
The reader should note the beautiful order in the words of this verse. It begins with the purification of the heart (the first purpose served by the rain) and ends with the establishing of the steps and making them firm (the fourth purpose served by the rain), i.e. the favour of God descended on the heart and then, as it were, travelled down to the feet. (close)
اِذۡ یُوۡحِیۡ رَبُّکَ اِلَی الۡمَلٰٓئِکَۃِ اَنِّیۡ مَعَکُمۡ فَثَبِّتُوا الَّذِیۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡا ؕ سَاُلۡقِیۡ فِیۡ قُلُوۡبِ الَّذِیۡنَ کَفَرُوا الرُّعۡبَ فَاضۡرِبُوۡا فَوۡقَ الۡاَعۡنَاقِ وَ اضۡرِبُوۡا مِنۡہُمۡ کُلَّ بَنَانٍ ﴿ؕ۱۳﴾
إِذۡ يُوحِي رَبُّكَ إِلَى ٱلۡمَلَـٰٓئِكَةِ أَنِّي مَعَكُمۡ فَثَبِّتُواْ ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْۚ سَأُلۡقِي فِي قُلُوبِ ٱلَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ ٱلرُّعۡبَ فَٱضۡرِبُواْ فَوۡقَ ٱلۡأَعۡنَاقِ وَٱضۡرِبُواْ مِنۡهُمۡ كُلَّ بَنَانٖ
1104. The upper part of the neck which is just below the head and is considered to be most vulnerable for dealing an effective blow with the sword. (close)
1103. Important Words:
فوق (upper part) is derived from فاق. They say فاقھم i.e. he was or became above them. So فوق means, the location or place that is above or over a person or a thing. They say فوقه رأسه i.e. his upper part is his head (Lane).
This verse shows that the angels are, as it were, intermediaries between God and men. It is through them that God’sassistance comes to men.
The verse also hints that there are some angels whose function is to strengthen the hearts of good men and make them firm, while there are others who are deputed to cast terror into the hearts of wicked men. So God bade the former class of angels to strengthen the hearts of the believers and told them that He would cast terror into the hearts of the disbelievers through the other class of angels.
God instructed the believers to strike the disbelievers at "the upper parts of their necks" because the upper part of the neck, i.e. that which is just below the head, is considered to be the best point for dealing an effective blow with the sword. This order related to such of the enemy as deserved to be killed and without killing whom the Muslims could not defend themselves. The striking on the “finger-tips” was meant to incapacitate the enemy and make them unfit for fighting. This order thus related to those of the enemy who, so far as possible, were to be spared with the infliction of minimum injury. Both these orders were faithfully carried out, for although the Muslims were very weak at Badr, they were able to kill seventy of the disbelievers, mostly leaders, and take as many prisoners, while the enemy could kill only fourteen of them. (close)
ذٰلِکَ بِاَنَّہُمۡ شَآقُّوا اللّٰہَ وَ رَسُوۡلَہٗ ۚ وَ مَنۡ یُّشَاقِقِ اللّٰہَ وَ رَسُوۡلَہٗ فَاِنَّ اللّٰہَ شَدِیۡدُ الۡعِقَابِ ﴿۱۴﴾
ذَٰلِكَ بِأَنَّهُمۡ شَآقُّواْ ٱللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُۥۚ وَمَن يُشَاقِقِ ٱللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُۥ فَإِنَّ ٱللَّهَ شَدِيدُ ٱلۡعِقَابِ
b. 8:46; 47:5. (close)
a. 4:116; 47:33; 59:5. (close)
ذٰلِکُمۡ فَذُوۡقُوۡہُ وَ اَنَّ لِلۡکٰفِرِیۡنَ عَذَابَ النَّارِ ﴿۱۵﴾
ذَٰلِكُمۡ فَذُوقُوهُ وَأَنَّ لِلۡكَٰفِرِينَ عَذَابَ ٱلنَّارِ
a. 22:23; 34:43. (close)
In this verse God refers to two punishments for disbelievers, one in this life, and the other in the life to come. When the threat with regard to the punishment of this life had come to pass, it was quite reasonable to expect that the threat with regard to the punishment in the next life would also come to pass. Similarly, God had made two promises to believers: firstly, the promise of victory and success in this life; secondly, the promise of bliss in the life to come. When the former had been fulfilled in a most amazing manner, the latter would also be similarly fulfilled. (close)
یٰۤاَیُّہَا الَّذِیۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡۤا اِذَا لَقِیۡتُمُ الَّذِیۡنَ کَفَرُوۡا زَحۡفًا فَلَا تُوَلُّوۡہُمُ الۡاَدۡبَارَ ﴿ۚ۱۶﴾
يَـٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوٓاْ إِذَا لَقِيتُمُ ٱلَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ زَحۡفٗا فَلَا تُوَلُّوهُمُ ٱلۡأَدۡبَارَ
b. 8:46; 47:5 (close)
1105. The Muslims must fight to the bitter end. They must win or die; there is no third course open to them. (close)
1105. Important Words:
زحفا (advancing in force) is derived from زحف i.e. he walked, marched or went on foot little by little; he crept or crawled along; or he went leisurely or heavily; or he walked or moved with an effort; or he dragged himself along upon the ground. They say زحف العسکر meaning, the army moved heavily on account of its great numbers. زحف means, an army or military force marching slowly or heavily by reason of their multitude; a numerous army (Lane & Aqrab).
The word زحفا (advancing in force) qualifies and refers to the believers and not the disbelievers, as supposed by some commentators. The following verse, as well as the wording of the present one, makes the reference positively clear.
When a Muslim army (not a small detachment) meets the enemy, they are strictly forbidden to flee from the field of battle. They must fight and go on fighting till they win or die; there is no third course open to them. This command constitutes a great secret of success, besides being a sure source of self-discipline. (close)
وَ مَنۡ یُّوَلِّہِمۡ یَوۡمَئِذٍ دُبُرَہٗۤ اِلَّا مُتَحَرِّفًا لِّقِتَالٍ اَوۡ مُتَحَیِّزًا اِلٰی فِئَۃٍ فَقَدۡ بَآءَ بِغَضَبٍ مِّنَ اللّٰہِ وَ مَاۡوٰٮہُ جَہَنَّمُ ؕ وَ بِئۡسَ الۡمَصِیۡرُ ﴿۱۷﴾
وَمَن يُوَلِّهِمۡ يَوۡمَئِذٖ دُبُرَهُۥٓ إِلَّا مُتَحَرِّفٗا لِّقِتَالٍ أَوۡ مُتَحَيِّزًا إِلَىٰ فِئَةٖ فَقَدۡ بَآءَ بِغَضَبٖ مِّنَ ٱللَّهِ وَمَأۡوَىٰهُ جَهَنَّمُۖ وَبِئۡسَ ٱلۡمَصِيرُ
1106. The verse defines and describes the circumstances in which an apparent retreat or withdrawal of a Muslim force against the enemy is permitted: (a) As war strategy or battle manoeuvre when a fighting force shifts its position to beguile the enemy or to occupy a better position; (b) when a part of the army decides to fall back to join the main body or another Muslim force before giving battle to the enemy. (close)
1106. Important Words:
متحیزا (turning) is derived from تحیز which is derived from حاز. They say حازہ i.e. he drew, collected or gathered it together. حاز الابل means, he drove the camels. تحیز or تحوز means, he or it writhed or twisted about and turned over and over; or he or it was restless, not remaining still on the ground; or he withdrew or retired to a distance; or he drew back. تحیز الیھم means, he turned or withdrew or retired or joined himself to them (company of men). تحیز also means, he turned aside or withdrew to his place or his proper place. حیز means, a place in which a thing is; the proper or natural place of a thing; the container or receptacle of anything (Lane).
فئة (company) is derived either from فاو i.e. he struck or smote or clove, or from فاء i.e. he returned, or he returned to a good state or condition. The word فئة means, a party, division or distinct body; or a company or congregated body of men; or a party or division of men; or a company of soldiers who fight in the rear of another party or company and to whom the latter has recourse in the case of fear or defeat; or a company of men who (in war) have recourse for aid, one to another (Lane).
The verse is important inasmuch as it defines and describes the circumstances in which an apparent retreat or withdrawal of a Muslim force against an enemy force is allowable. Such a retreat is allowed only on two distinct conditions: firstly, as a war strategy or a battle manoeuvre when a fighting force shifts its position not to fly but to hoodwink the enemy or to occupy a better position; secondly, when a force decides to fall back to join the main army or another Muslim force before giving battle to the enemy. No other retreat or withdrawal is allowed. Muslims must either win or die. Those who turn their backs incur the wrath of God and "Hell shall be their abode."
The words, and Hell shall be his abode, have a double significance: (1) that those who turn back from the battlefield, except in the circumstances stated above, shall be awarded the punishment of Hellfire in the Hereafter; (2) that although such runaways think that by turning back from the field of battle they will find security from danger, the truth is that they will thereby be running into the very jaws of fire, for such ignom-inious defeat will embolden the enemy against them and will open the doors of their persecution wider still.
A fight that begins with a single individual, (a Divine Messenger), arrayed against the entire forces of the world, cannot possibly allow at a later stage the retreat of a believing party against a disbelieving host on the basis of disparity in numbers. Where true faith comes in, numbers do not and indeed cannot count. It must be a fight to the finish, for what does a believer await except one of the two good things—victory or martyrdom (9:52)? (close)