Surah Al-Imran
سورة آل عمران

Tafsir: Al-Quranul Kareem – Ibn Kathir
Surah: Al-Imran – The Family of Imran |Part Three
Chapter 3: Part Three
Revealed:
 In Madinah

Part One | Part Two | Part Three | Part Four

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Part Three
Surah ‘Al-Imran
The Family of Imran

Chapter |003 – Part Three

Revealed in Madinah

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3:102.| ‘O you who believe! Have Taqwa of Allah as is His due, and die not except as (true) Muslims.

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3:103.| And hold fast, all of you together, to the Rope of Allah, and be not divided among yourselves, and remember Allah’s favor on you, for you were enemies of one another but He joined your hearts together, so that, by His grace, you became brethren, and you were on the brink of a pit of Fire, and He saved you from it. Thus Allah makes His Ayat clear to you, that you may be guided.

Meaning of `Taqwa of Allah

Allah says:

O you who believe! Have Taqwa of Allah as is His due,

Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that Abdullah bin Mas`ud commented on the Ayah,

(Have Taqwa of Allah as is His due),

“That He is obeyed and not defied, remembered and not forgotten and appreciated and not unappreciated.”

This has an authentic chain of narration to Abdullah bin Mas`ud.

Al-Hakim collected this Hadith in his Mustadrak, from Ibn Mas`ud, who related it to the Prophet.

Al-Hakim said, “It is authentic according to the criteria of the Two Sheikhs (Al-Bukhari and Muslim), and they did not record it.”

This is what he said, but it appears that it is only a statement of Abdullah bin Mas`ud, and Allah knows best.

It was also reported that Anas said, “The servant will not have Taqwa of Allah as is His due until he keeps his tongue idle.”

Allah’s statement,

(… and die not except as (true) Muslims.

(… means, preserve your Islam while you are well and safe, so that you die as a Muslim.

The Most Generous Allah has made it His decision that whatever state one lives in, that is what he dies upon and is resurrected upon. We seek refuge from dying on other than Islam.

Imam Ahmad recorded that Mujahid said, “The people were circling around the Sacred House when Ibn Abbas was sitting, holding a bent-handled walking stick. Ibn Abbas said, The Messenger of Allah (recited)

(Have Taqwa of Allah as is His due, die not except as (true) Muslims) then he said;

(‘’Verily, if a drop of Zaqqum (a tree in Hell) falls, it will spoil life for the people of earth. What about those whose food is only from Zaqqum?”

This was recorded by At-Tirmidhi, An-Nasa’i, Ibn Majah, Ibn Hibban in his Sahih and Al-Hakim his Mustadrak.

At-Tirmidhi said, “Hasan Sahih” while Al-Hakim said; “It meets the conditions of the Two Sahihs and they did not record it.”

Imam Ahmad recorded that Jabir said that; three nights before the Messenger of Allah died he heard him saying;

None of you should die except while having sincere trust in Allah, the Exalted and Most Honorable. Muslim also recorded it.

The Two Sahihs record that Abu Hurayrah said that the Messenger of Allah said,

Allah said, “I am as My servant thinks of Me.”

The Necessity of Holding to the Path of Allah and the Community of the Believers.

Allah said next,

And hold fast, all of you together, to the Rope of Allah, and be not divided among yourselves. It was said that, (to the Rope of Allah), refers to Allah’s covenant, just as Allah said in the following Ayah,

(Indignity is put over them wherever they may be, except when under a covenant (of protection) from Allah, and from men); (3:112) in reference to pledges and peace treaties.

Allah’s statement

(and be not divided among yourselves), orders sticking to the community of the believers and forbids division.

There are several Hadiths that require adhering to the Jama`ah (congregation of believers) and prohibit division.

Muslim recorded that Abu Hurayrah said that the Messenger of Allah said, It pleases Allah for you to acquire three qualities and displeases Him that you acquire three characteristics.

It pleases Him that;

  • you worship Him Alone and not associate anything or anyone with Him in worship,
  • that you hold on to the Rope of Allah altogether and do not divide, and
  • that you advise whoever Allah appoints as your Leader.

The three that displease Him are that;

  • you say, `It was said,’ and, `So-and-so said,’
  • asking many unnecessary questions and
  • wasting money.

Allah said,

(… and remember Allah’s favor on you, for you were enemies one to another but He joined your hearts together, so that, by His grace, you became brethren.

This was revealed about the Aws and Khazraj. During the time of Jahiliyyah, the Aws and Khazraj were at war and had great hatred, enmity and ill feelings towards each other, causing long conflicts and battles to occur between them. When Allah brought Islam, those among them who embraced it became brothers who loved each other by Allah’s grace, having good ties for Allah’s sake and helping each other in righteousness and piety.

Allah said,

He it is Who has supported you with His Help and with the believers. And He has united their hearts. If you had spent all that is in the earth, you could not have united their hearts, but Allah has united them. Certainly He is All-Mighty, All-Wise.(8:62-63)

(… and you were on the brink of a pit of Fire, and He saved you from it. Thus Allah makes His Ayat clear to you, that you may be guided.

Before Islam, their disbelief had them standing at the edge of a pit of the Fire, but Allah saved them from it and delivered them to faith. The Messenger of Allah reminded the Ansar (from both Aws and Khazraj) of this bounty when he was dividing the war booty of Hunayn. During that time, some Ansar did not like the way the booty was divided, since they did not get what the others did, although that was what Allah directed His Prophet to do.

The Messenger of Allah gave them a speech, in which he said,

O Ansar! Did I not find you misguided and Allah directed you to guidance because of me!

Were you not divided beforehand and Allah united you around me!

Were you not poor and Allah enriched you because of me!

Whenever the Prophet asked them a question, they would answer, “Indeed, Allah and His Messenger have granted us bounty.”

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3:104.| Let there arise out of you a group of people inviting to all that is good (Islam), enjoining Al-Ma`ruf (all that Islam orders) and forbidding Al-Munkar (all that Islam has forbidden). And it is they who are the successful.

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3:105.| And be not as those who divided and differed among themselves after the clear proofs had come to them. It is they for whom there is an awful torment.

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3:106.| On the Day (i.e. the Day of Resurrection) when some faces will become white and some faces will become black; as for those whose faces will become black (to them will be said): “Did you reject faith after accepting it! Then taste the torment (in Hell) for rejecting faith.”

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3:107.| And for those whose faces will become white, they will be in Allah’s mercy (Paradise), therein they shall dwell forever.

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3:108.| These are the Ayat of Allah. We recite them to you in truth, and Allah wills no injustice to the Alamin.

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3:109.| And to Allah belongs all that is in the heavens and all that is in the earth. And all matters go back (for decision) to Allah.

The Command to Establish
The Invitation to Allah

Allah said:

Let there arise out of you a group of people,

(… inviting to all that is good (Islam), enjoining Al-Ma`ruf (all that Islam orders) and forbidding Al-Munkar (all that Islam has forbidden). that calls to righteousness, enjoins all that is good and forbids evil in the manner Allah commanded.

And it is they who are the successful. Ad-Dahhak said,

“They are a special group of the Companions and a special group of those after them, that is those who perform Jihad and the scholars.”

The objective of this Ayah is that there should be a segment of this Muslim Ummah fulfilling this task, even though it is also an obligation on every member of this Ummah, each according to his ability.

Muslim recorded that Abu Hurayrah said that the Messenger of Allah said,

Whoever among you witnesses an evil,

  • Let him change it with his hand.
  • If he is unable, then let him change it with his tongue.
  • If he is unable, then let him change it with his heart, and this is the weakest faith.

In another narration, The Prophet said,

There is no faith beyond that, not even the weight of a mustard seed.

Imam Ahmad recorded that Hudhayfah bin Al-Yaman said that the Prophet said,

By He in Whose Hand is my soul! You will enjoin righteousness and forbid evil, or Allah shall send down a punishment from Him to you. Then, you will supplicate to Him, but He will not accept your supplication.

At-Tirmidhi also collected this Hadith and said, “Hasan”.

There are many other Hadiths and Ayat on this subject, which will be explained later.

The Prohibition of Division

Allah said:

And be not as those who divided and differed among themselves after the clear proofs had come to them.

In this Ayah, Allah forbids this Ummah from imitating the division and discord of the nations that came before them. These nations also abandoned enjoining righteousness and forbidding evil, although they had proof of its necessity.

It is they for whom there is an awful torment.

Imam Ahmad recorded that Abu Amir Abdullah bin Luhay said,

“We performed Hajj with Muawiyah bin Abi Sufyan. When we arrived at Makkah, he stood up after praying Zuhr and said, `The Messenger of Allah said,

The People of the Two Scriptures divided into seventy-two sects. This Ummah will divide into seventy-three sects, all in the Fire except one, that is, the Jama`ah.

Some of my Ummah will be guided by desire, like one who is infected by rabies; no vein or joint will be saved from these desires.

Muawiyah said next:

By Allah, O Arabs! If you do not adhere to what came to you from your Prophet then other people are even more prone not to adhere to it.”

Similar was recorded by Abu Dawud from Ahmad bin Hanbal and Muhammad bin Yahya.

The Benefits of Brotherly Ties and Unity and the Consequence of Division on the Day of the Gathering Allah said next, On the Day when some faces will become white and some faces will become black; on the Day of Resurrection.

This is when the faces of followers of the Sunnah and the Jama`ah will radiate with whiteness, and the faces of followers of Bid`ah (innovation) and division will be darkened, as has been reported from Ibn Abbas.

Allah said,

As for those whose faces will become black (to them will be said): “Did you reject faith after accepting it!”

Al-Hasan Al-Basri said, “They are the hypocrites.”

Then taste the torment (in Hell) for rejecting faith. and this description befits every disbeliever.

And for those whose faces will become white, they will be in Allah’s mercy (Paradise), therein they shall dwell forever. in Paradise, where they will reside for eternity and shall never desire to be removed.

Abu Isa At-Tirmidhi recorded that Abu Ghalib said, “Abu Umamah saw heads (of the Khawarij sect) hanging on the streets of Damascus. He commented, `The Dogs of the Fire and the worst dead people under the cover of the sky. The best dead men are those whom these have killed.’

He then recited,

(On the Day (i.e. the Day of Resurrection) when some faces will become white and some faces will become black), until the end of the Ayah.

I said to Abu Umamah, `Did you hear this from the Messenger of Allah?’

He said, `If I only heard it from the Messenger of Allah once, twice, thrice, four times, or seven times, I would not have narrated it to you.”’

At-Tirmidhi said, “This Hadith is Hasan.”

Ibn Majah and Ahmad recorded similarly.

Allah said,

These are the Ayat of Allah. We recite them to you, meaning, `These are the verses of Allah, His proofs and signs that We reveal to you, O Muhammad.’

(… in truth, making known the true reality of this world and the Hereafter.

(… and Allah wills no injustice to the Alamin. for He never treats them with injustice. Rather, He is the Just Ruler Who is able to do everything and has knowledge of everything. Therefore, He does not need to treat any of His creatures with injustice.

(… this is why He said next,

(… and to Allah belongs all that is in the heavens and all that is in the Earth, they are all His servants and His property.

And all matters go back to Allah. for His is the decision concerning the affairs of this life and the Hereafter, and His is the Supreme Authority in this life and the Hereafter.

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3:110.| You are the best of peoples ever raised up for mankind; you enjoin Al-Ma`ruf (all that Islam has ordained) and forbid Al-Munkar (all that Islam has forbidden), and you believe in Allah. And had the People of the Scripture (Jews and Christians) believed, it would have been better for them; among them are some who have faith, but most of them are Fasiqun (rebellious).

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3:111.| They will do you no harm, barring a trifling annoyance; and if they fight against you, they will show you their backs, and they will not be helped.

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3:112.| They are stricken with humility wherever they may be, except when under a covenant (of protection) from Allah, and a covenant from men; they have drawn on themselves the wrath of Allah, and destitution is put over them. This is because they disbelieved in the Ayat of Allah and killed the Prophets without right. This is because they disobeyed (Allah) and used to transgress (the limits set by Allah).

Virtues of the Ummah of
Muhammad the Best Nation Ever

Allah states that the Ummah of Muhammad is the best nation ever,

You are the best of peoples ever raised up for mankind,

Al-Bukhari recorded that Abu Hurayrah commented on this Ayah, “(You, Muslims, are) the best nation of people for the people, you bring them tied in chains on their necks (capture them in war) and they later embrace Islam.”

Similar was said by Ibn Abbas, Mujahid, Atiyah Al-Awfi, Ikrimah, Ata and Ar-Rabi bin Anas that,

(You are the best of peoples ever raised up for mankind), means, the best of peoples for the people.

The meaning of the Ayah is that the Ummah of Muhammad is the most righteous and beneficial nation for mankind. Hence Allah’s description of them,

(… you enjoin Al-Ma`ruf and forbid Al-Munkar and believe in Allah.

Ahmad, At-Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah, and Al-Hakim recorded that Hakim bin Muawiyah bin Haydah narrated that his father said that the Messenger of Allah said,

You are the final of seventy nations, you are the best and most honored among them to Allah. This is a well-known Hadith about which At-Tirmidhi said, “Hasan”, and which is also narrated from Mu`adh bin Jabal and Abu Sa`id.

The Ummah of Muhammad achieved this virtue because of its Prophet, Muhammad, peace be upon him, the most regarded of Allah’s creation and the most honored Messenger with Allah. Allah sent Muhammad with the perfect and complete Law that was never given to any Prophet or Messenger before him. In Muhammad’s Law, few deeds take the place of the many deeds that other nations performed. For instance, Imam Ahmad recorded that Ali bin Abi Talib said,

“The Messenger of Allah said, I was given what no other Prophet before me was given. We said, `O Messenger of Allah! What is it?’

He said,

  • I was given victory by fear,
  • I was given the keys of the earth,
  • I was called Ahmad,
  • the earth was made a clean place for me (to pray and perform Tayammum with it),
  • and my Ummah was made the best Ummah.”

The chain of narration for this Hadith is Hasan.

There are several Hadiths that we should mention here. The Two Sahihs recorded that Az-Zuhri said that, Sa`id bin Al-Musayyib said that Abu Hurayrah narrated to him, “I heard the Messenger of Allah saying,

A group of seventy thousand from my Ummah will enter Paradise, while their faces are radiating, just like the moon when it is full.’

Ukkashah bin Mihsan Al-Asadi stood up, saying, `O Messenger of Allah! Supplicate to Allah that I am one of them.’

The Messenger of Allah said, `O Allah! Make him one of them.’

A man from the Ansar also stood and said, `O Messenger of Allah! Supplicate to Allah that I am one of them.’

The Messenger said, Ukkashah has beaten you to it.’

Another Hadith that Establishes the Virtues of the Ummah of Muhammad in this Life and the Hereafter Imam Ahmad recorded that Jabir said, “I heard the Messenger of Allah saying,

`I hope that those who follow me will be one-fourth of the residents of Paradise on the Day of Resurrection.’

We said, `Allahu Akbar’.

He then said, `I hope that they will be one-third of the people.’

We said, `Allahu Akbar’.

He then said, `I hope that you will be one-half.”’

Imam Ahmad recorded the same Hadith with another chain of narration, and this Hadith meets the criteria of Muslim in his Sahih.

In the Two Sahihs, it is recorded that Abdullah bin Mas`ud said,

“The Messenger of Allah said to us, ‘’Does it please you that you will be one-fourth of the people of Paradise..?

We said, `Allahu Akbar!’

He added,

‘’Does it please you that you will be one-third of the people of Paradise..?

We said, `Allahu Akbar!’

He said,

I hope that you will be half of the people of Paradise.”

Another Hadith

Imam Ahmad recorded that Buraydah said that; the Prophet said,

‘’The people of Paradise are one hundred and twenty rows, this Ummah takes up eighty of them. Imam Ahmad also collected this Hadith through another chain of narration.

At-Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah also collected this Hadith, and At-Tirmidhi said, this Hadith is Hasan.

Abdur-Razzaq recorded that Abu Hurayrah said that, the Prophet said,

‘’We (Muslims) are the last to come, but the foremost on the Day of Resurrection, and the first people to enter Paradise, although the former nations were given the Scriptures before us and we after them. Allah gave us the guidance of truth that they have been disputing about.

This (Friday) is the Day that they have been disputing about, and all the other people are behind us in this matter: the Jews’ (day of congregation is) tomorrow (Saturday) and the Christians’ is the day after tomorrow (Sunday). Al-Bukhari and Muslim collected this Hadith.

Muslim recorded Abu Hurayrah saying that the Messenger of Allah said,

‘’We (Muslims) are the last (to come), but (will be) the foremost on the Day of Resurrection, and will be the first people to enter Paradise… until the end of the Hadith.

These and other Hadiths conform to the meaning of the Ayah,

(You are the best of peoples ever raised up for mankind; you enjoin Al-Ma`ruf (all that Islam has ordained) and forbid Al-Munkar (all that Islam has forbidden), and you believe in Allah).

Therefore, whoever among this Ummah acquires these qualities, will have a share in this praise.

Qatadah said, “We were told that Umar bin Al-Khattab recited this Ayah (3:110) during a Hajj that he performed, when he saw that the people were rushing. He then said, `Whoever likes to be among this (praised) Ummah, let him fulfill the condition that Allah set in this Ayah.”’

Ibn Jarir recorded this.

Those from this Ummah who do not acquire these qualities will be just like the People of the Scriptures whom Allah criticized, when He said,

(They did not forbid one another from the Munkar which they committed… (5:79).

This is the reason why, after Allah praised the Muslim Ummah with the qualities that He mentioned, He criticized the People of the Scriptures and chastised them, saying,

And had the People of the Scripture (Jews and Christians) believed, in what was sent down to Muhammad.

(… it would have been better for them; among them are some who have faith, but most of them are Fasiqun (rebellious).

Therefore only a few of them believe in Allah and in what was sent down to you and to them. The majority of them follow deviation, disbelief, sin and rebellion.

The Good News that Muslims will Dominate the People of the Book.

While delivering the good news to His believing servants that victory and dominance will be theirs against the disbelieving, atheistic People of the Scriptures, Allah then said,

They will do you no harm, barring a trifling annoyance; and if they fight against you, they will show you their backs, and they will not be helped.

This is what occurred, for at the battle of Khyber, Allah brought humiliation and disgrace to the Jews. Before that, the Jews in Al-Madinah, the tribes of Qaynuqa, Nadir and Qurayzah, were also humiliated by Allah.

Such was the case with the Christians in the area of Ash-Sham later on, when the Companions defeated them in many battles and took over the leadership of Ash-Sham forever.

There shall always be a group of Muslims in Ash-Sham area until `Isa, son of Maryam, descends while they are like this (on the truth, apparent and victorious). `Isa will at that time rule according to the Law of Muhammad, break the cross, kill the swine, banish the Jizyah and only accept Islam from the people.

Allah said next,

Indignity is put over them wherever they may be, except when under a covenant (of protection) from Allah, and a covenant from men; meaning, Allah has placed humiliation and disgrace on them wherever they may be, and they will never be safe,

(except when under a covenant from Allah), under the Dhimmah (covenant of protection) from Allah that requires them to pay the Jizyah (tax, to Muslims,) and makes them subservient to Islamic Law.

(and a covenant from men); meaning, covenant from men, such as pledges of protection and safety offered to them by Muslim men and women, and even a slave, according to one of the sayings of the scholars.

Ibn Abbas said that,

(except when under a covenant from Allah, and a covenant from men); refers to a covenant of protection from Allah and a pledge of safety from people.

Similar was said by Mujahid, Ikrimah, Ata, Ad-Dahhak, Al-Hasan, Qatadah, As-Suddi and Ar-Rabi bin Anas.

Allah’s statement,

(… they have drawn on themselves the wrath of Allah, means, they earned Allah’s anger, which they deserved.

(…and destitution is put over them, meaning they deserve it by decree and legislatively.

Allah said next,

This is because they disbelieved in the Ayat of Allah and killed the Prophets without right. meaning, what drove them to this was their arrogance, transgression and envy, earning them humiliation, degradation and disgrace throughout this life and the Hereafter.

Allah said,

This is because they disobeyed and used to transgress (the limits set by Allah). meaning, what lured them to disbelieve in Allah’s Ayat and kill His Messengers, is the fact that they often disobeyed Allah’s commands, committed His prohibitions and transgressed His set limits.

We seek refuge from this behavior, and Allah Alone is sought for each and every type of help.

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3:113.| Not all of them are alike; a party of the People of the Scripture stand for the right, they recite the verses of Allah during the hours of the night, prostrating themselves in prayer.

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3:114.| They believe in Allah and the Last Day; they enjoin Al-Ma`ruf and forbid Al-Munkar; and they hasten in (all) good works; and they are among the righteous.

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3:115.| And whatever good they do, nothing will be rejected of them; for Allah knows well the Muttaqin (the pious).

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3:116.| Surely, those who disbelieve, neither their properties nor their offspring will avail them against Allah. They are the dwellers of the Fire, therein they will abide.

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3:117.| The parable of what they spend in this world is that of a wind of Sir; it struck the harvest of a people who did wrong against themselves and destroyed it. Allah wronged them not, but they wronged themselves.

Virtues of the People of the
Scriptures Who Embrace Islam

Muhammad bin Ishaq and others, including Al-Awfi who reported it from Ibn Abbas, said; “These Ayat were revealed about the clergy of the People of the Scriptures who embraced the faith. For instance, there is Abdullah bin Salam, Asad bin Ubayd,

Tha`labah bin Sa`yah, Usayd bin Sa`yah, and so forth.

This Ayah means that those among the People of the Book whom Allah rebuked earlier are not at all the same as those among them who embraced Islam.

Hence Allah’s statement,

(‘’Not all of them are alike.’’)

Therefore, these two types of people are not equal, and indeed, there are believers and also criminals among the People of the Book, just as Allah said,

(… a party of the People of the Scripture stand for the right, for they implement the Book of Allah, adhere to His Law and follow His Prophet Muhammad.

Therefore, this type is on the straight path, they recite the verses of Allah during the hours of the night, prostrating themselves in prayer.

They often stand in prayer at night for Tahajjud, and recite the Qur’an in their prayer.

”They believe in Allah and the Last Day; they enjoin Al-Ma`ruf and forbid Al-Munkar; and they hasten in (all) good works; and they are among the righteous.” (3: 114)

This is the same type of people mentioned at the end of the Surah;

‘’And there are, certainly, among the People of the Scripture (Jews and Christians), those who believe in Allah and in that which has been revealed to you, and in that which has been revealed to them, humbling themselves before Allah.’’ (3:199)

Allah said here,

And whatever good they do, nothing will be rejected of them,”

… meaning, their good deeds will not be lost with Allah. Rather, He will award them the best rewards. for Allah knows well the Muttaqin (the pious). for no deed performed by any person ever escapes His knowledge, nor is any reward for those who do good deeds ever lost with Him.

Surely, those who disbelieve, Allah mentions the disbelieving polytheists: neither their properties nor their offspring will avail them against Allah, meaning, nothing can avert Allah’s torment and punishment from striking them.

They are the dwellers of the Fire, therein they will abide.

The Parable of What the
Disbelievers Spend in This Life

Allah gave a parable for what the disbelievers spend in this life, The likeness of what they spend in this world is the likeness of a wind of Sir;

Ibn Abbas, Ikrimah, Sa`id bin Jubayr, Al-Hasan, Qatadah, Ad-Dahhak, Ar-Rabi bin Anas and others have said. a frigid wind.

Ata said that; Sir, means, `cold and snow.’

Ibn Abbas and Mujahid are also reported to have said that; Sir means, `fire’.

This latter meaning does not contradict the meanings we mentioned above, because extreme cold weather, especially when accompanied by snow, burns plants and produce, and has the same effect fire has on such growth.

It struck the harvest of a people who did wrong against themselves and destroyed it, by burning.

This Ayah mentions a calamity that strikes produce that is ready to harvest, destroying it by burning and depriving its owner of it when he needs it the most. Such is the case with the disbelievers, for Allah destroys the rewards for their good deeds in this life, just as He destroyed the produce of the sinner because of his sins.

Both types did not build their work on firm foundations.

And Allah wronged them not, but they wronged themselves.

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3:118.| O you who believe! Take not as (your) Bitanah (advisors, helpers) those other than your own, since they will not fail to do their best to corrupt you. They desire to harm you severely. Hatred has already appeared from their mouths, but what their breasts conceal is far worse. Indeed We have made plain to you the Ayat if you understand.

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3:119.| Lo! You are the ones who love them but they love you not, and you believe in all the Scriptures. And when they meet you, they say, “We believe.” But when they are alone, they bite their Anamil at you in rage. Say: “Perish in your rage. Certainly, Allah knows what is in the breasts (all the secrets). ”

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3:120.| If a good befalls you, it grieves them, but if some evil overtakes you, they rejoice at it. But if you remain patient and have Taqwa, not the least harm will their cunning do to you. Surely, Allah surrounds all that they do.

The Prohibition of Taking Advisors
From Among the Disbelievers

Allah said,

”O you who believe! Take not as (your) Bitanah those other than your own,”

Allah forbids His believing servants from taking the hypocrites as advisors, so that the hypocrites do not have the opportunity to expose the secrets of the believers and their plans against their enemies.

The hypocrites try their very best to confuse, oppose and harm the believers any way they can, and by using any wicked, evil means at their disposal. They wish the very worst and difficult conditions for the believers.

Allah said:

”Take not as (your) Bitanah those other than your own,”

… in reference to taking followers of other religions as consultants and advisors, for advisors of a certain person have access to his most secret affairs.

Al-Bukhari and An-Nasa’i recorded that, Abu Sa`id said that the Messenger of Allah said,

Allah has not sent any Prophet nor was there any Khalifah but they have two types of advisors, one that commands him with righteousness and advises it, and another that commands him with evil and advises him with it. Only those whom Allah gives immunity are immune.

Ibn Abi Hatim reported that Ibn Abi Ad-Dahqanah said, “Umar bin Al-Khattab was told, `There is young man here from the people of Hirah (in Iraq, who were Christians) who is a proficient scribe. Why do you not appoint him as a scribe?’

Umar said, `I would then be taking advisors from among the disbelievers.”’

This Ayah and the story about Umar testify to the fact that Muslims are not allowed to use Ahl Adh-Dhimmah to be scribes in matters that affect the affairs of Muslims and expose their secrets, for they might convey these secrets to combatant disbelievers.

This is why Allah said,

(… since they will not fail to do their best to corrupt you.

They desire to harm you severely.

Allah then said,

Hatred has already appeared from their mouths, but what their breasts conceal is far worse. meaning, enmity appears on their faces and in what they sometimes utter, as well as, the enmity they have against Islam and its people in their hearts.

Since this fact is apparent to every person who has sound comprehension, therefore,

Indeed We have made plain to you the Ayat if you understand.

Allah said next,

O! You are the ones who love them but they love you not, meaning, O believers! You like the hypocrites because you think they are believers, for they pretend to be so, but they do not like you publicly or secretly.

And you believe in all the Scriptures, meaning, you have no doubt in any part of Allah’s Book, while the hypocrites have deep doubts, confusion and reservations about it.

Muhammad bin Ishaq reported that Ibn Abbas said that, (and you believe in all the Scriptures), means, you believe in your Book, their Book, and the previous Books, while the hypocrites disbelieve in your Book, and this is why they deserve that you dislike them instead of them disliking you.

Ibn Jarir collected this statement.

And when they meet you, they say, “We believe.” But when they are alone, they bite their Anamil at you in rage.

Qatadah stated that, Anamil, means the tips of the fingers.

This is the behavior of the hypocrites who pretend to be believers and kind when they are with the believers, all the while concealing the opposite in their hearts in every respect. This is the exact situation that Allah describes,

(But when they are alone, they bite their Anamil at you in rage) and rage is extreme anger and fury.

Allah said to them,

Say: “Perish in your rage. Certainly, Allah knows what is in the breasts (all the secrets).” for no matter how much you envy the believers and feel rage towards them, know that Allah shall perfect His favor on His believing servants, complete His religion, raise high His Word and give dominance to His religion. Therefore, O hypocrites, die in rage.

(Allah knows what is in the breasts), Allah has perfect knowledge of what you conceal in your hearts and chests and in the rage, envy and hatred you have against the believers. Allah will punish you for all this in this life, and they will have the good that you dislike for them. In the Hereafter, you will suffer severe torment in the Fire where you will remain for eternity.

Thereafter, Allah said,

If a good befalls you, it grieves them, but if some evil overtakes you, they rejoice at it.

This only emphasizes the severity of the enmity that the hypocrites feel against the believers. If the believers enjoy fertile years, victories, support and their numbers and following increase, the hypocrites become displeased. When the Muslims suffer a drought or their enemies gain the upper hand against them, by Allah’s decree, just as occurred during the battle of Uhud, the hypocrites become pleased.

Allah said to His believing servants,

(‘’But if you remain patient and have Taqwa, not the least harm will their cunning do to you.’’)

Allah directs the believers to safety from the wickedness of evil people and the plots of the sinners, by recommending them to revert to patience and by having fear of Allah and trusting Him.

‘’Surely, Allah surrounds all that they do.’’

Allah encompasses the enemies of the believers, all the while the believers have no power or strength except from Him. Whatever Allah wills, occurs, and whatever He does not will, does not occur. Nothing happens in His Kingdom except with His decision and according to His decrees.

‘’Verily, whoever relies on Allah, Allah shall suffice for him.’’

Allah then mentions the story of Uhud, the defeat that He tested the believers with, His distinguishing the believers from the hypocrites and their patience.

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3:121.| And (remember) when you left your household in the morning to post the believers at their stations for the battle (of Uhud). And Allah is All-Hearer, All-Knower.

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3:122.| When two parties from among you were about to lose heart, but Allah was their Wali (Supporter and Protector). And in Allah should the believers put their trust.

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3:123.| And Allah has already made you victorious at Badr, when you were a weak little force. So have Taqwa of Allah that you may be grateful.

The Battle of Uhud

According to the majority of scholars, these Ayat are describing the battle of Uhud, as Ibn Abbas, Al-Hasan, Qatadah, As-Suddi and others said.

The battle of Uhud occurred on a Saturday, in the month of Shawwal on the third year of Hijrah. Ikrimah said that Uhud occurred in the middle of the month of Shawwal, and Allah knows best.

The Reason Behind the Battle of Uhud

The idolators suffered many casualties among their noble men at the battle of Badr. The caravan that Abu Sufyan led (before Badr) returned safely to Makkah, prompting the remaining Makkan leaders and the children of those who were killed at Badr to demand from Abu Sufyan to, “Spend this money on fighting Muhammad!”

Consequently, they spent the money from the caravan on warfare expenses and mobilized their forces including the Ahabish tribes (tribes living around the city). They gathered three thousand soldiers and marched until they camped near Uhud facing Al-Madinah.

The Messenger of Allah led the Friday prayer and when he finished with it, he performed the funeral prayer for a man from Bani An-Najjar called Malik bin Amr. The Prophet then asked the Muslims for advice, if they should march to meet the disbelievers, or fortify themselves in Al-Madinah.

Abdullah bin Ubayy (the chief hypocrite) advised that they should remain in Al-Madinah, saying that if the disbelievers lay siege to Al-Madinah, the siege would be greatly disadvantageous to them. He added that if they decide to attack Al-Madinah, its men would face off with them, while women and children could throw rocks at them from above their heads; and if they decide to return to Makkah, they would return with failure.

However, some companions who did not attend the battle of Badr advised that the Muslims should go out to Uhud to meet the disbelievers.

The Messenger of Allah went to his home, put on his shield and came out. The companions were weary then and said to each other, “Did we compel the Messenger of Allah to go out?” They said, “O Messenger of Allah! If you wish, we will remain in Al-Madinah.”

The Messenger of Allah said,

It is not for a Prophet to wear his shield for war then lay down his arms before Allah decides in his favor.

The Messenger of Allah marched with a thousand of his Companions.

When they reached the Shawt area, Abdullah bin Ubayy went back to Al-Madinah with a third of the army, claiming he was angry the Prophet did not listen to his advice. He and his supporters said, “If we knew that you would fight today, we would have accompanied you. However, we do not think that you will fight today.”

The Messenger of Allah marched until he reached the hillside in the area of Uhud, where they camped in the valley with Mount Uhud behind them.

The Messenger of Allah said,

(‘’No one starts fighting until I issue the command to fight.‘’)

The Messenger prepared his forces for battle, and his army was seven hundred men. He appointed Abdullah bin Jubayr, from Bani Amr bin Awf, to lead the archers who were fifty men.

The Prophet said to them,

(‘’Keep the horsemen away from us, and be aware that we might be attacked from your direction. If victory was for or against us, remain in your positions. And even if you see us being picked up by birds, do not abandon your positions.’’)

The Prophet wore two protective shields and gave the flag to Mus`ab bin Umayr of Bani Abd Ad-Dar. The Prophet also allowed some young men to participate in fighting, but not others, whom he allowed to participate in the battle of Al-Khandaq two years later.

The Quraysh mobilized their forces of three thousand men with two hundred horsemen on each flank. They appointed Khalid bin Al-Walid to lead the right side of the horsemen and Ikrimah Ibn Abi Jahl on the left side. They also gave their grand flag to the tribe of Bani Abd Ad-Dar. Allah willing, we will mention the details of this battle later on, if Allah wills.

Allah said here,

(‘’And (remember) when you left your household in the morning to post the believers at their stations for the battle, designating them to various positions, dividing the army to the left and right sides and placing them wherever you command them. And Allah is All-Hearer, All-Knower.’’)

He hears what you say and knows what you conceal in your hearts.

Allah said next,

When two parties from among you were about to lose heart, but Allah was their Wali (Supporter and Protector). And in Allah should the believers put their trust.

Al-Bukhari recorded that Jabir bin `Abdullah said, “The Ayah,

I(When two parties from among you were about to lose heart) was revealed about us, (the two Muslim tribes of) Bani Harithah and Bani Salamah.

I (or we) would not be pleased if it was not revealed, because Allah said in it, (but Allah was their Wali (Supporter and Protector)).”

Muslim recorded this Hadith from Sufyan bin Uyaynah.

Reminding the Believers
of Their Victory at Badr

Allah said:

”And Allah has already made you victorious at Badr,”

… meaning, during the battle of Badr, which occurred on a Friday, the seventeenth of Ramadan, in the second year of Hijrah.

The day of Badr is known as Yawm Al-Furqan (the Day of the Clarification), by which Allah gave victory and dominance to Islam and its people and disgraced and destroyed Shirk, even though the Muslims were few.

The Muslims numbered three hundred and thirteen men, with two horses and seventy camels. The rest were foot soldiers without enough supplies for the battle. The enemy army consisted of nine hundred to a thousand men, having enough shields and supplies, battle-ready horses and even various adornments.

However, Allah gave victory to His Messenger, supported His revelation, and illuminated success on the faces of the Prophet and his following.

Allah also brought disgrace to Shaytan and his army.

This is why Allah reminded His believing servants and pious party of this favor,

(‘’And Allah has already made you victorious at Badr, when you were a weak little force, when you were few then.’’)

This Ayah reminds them that victory is only from Allah, not because of a large army and adequate supplies. This is why Allah said in another Ayah,

(… and on the day of Hunayn (battle) when you rejoiced at your great number, but it availed you naught… until,

(…and Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.’’) (9:25-27).

Badr is an area between Makkah and Al-Madinah and is known by the well that bears its name, which in turn was so named after Badr bin An-Narayn, the person who dug the well. So have Taqwa of Allah that you may be grateful. means, fulfill the obligations of His obedience.

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3:124.| (Remember) when you said to the believers, “Is it not enough for you that your Lord should help you with three thousand angels sent down!”

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3:125.| “But, if you hold on to patience and have  Taqwa, and the enemy comes rushing at you; your Lord will help you with five thousand angels having marks (of distinction).”

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3:126.| Allah made it not but as a message of good news for you and as an assurance to your hearts. And there is no victory except from Allah, the All-Mighty, the All-Wise.

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3:127.| That He might cut off a part of those who disbelieve, or expose them to infamy, so that they retire frustrated.

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3:128.| Not for you is the decision; whether He turns in mercy to (pardon) them or punishes them; verily, they are the wrongdoers.

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3:129.| And to Allah belongs all that is in the heavens and all that is in the earth. He forgives whom He wills, and punishes whom He wills. And Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.

The Support of the Angels

Allah says:

”(Remember) when you said to the believers, “Is it not enough for you that your Lord should help you with three thousand angels sent down!”

The scholars of Tafsir differ over whether the promise contained in these Ayat referred to the battle of Badr or Uhud.

The First View;

There are two opinions about this,

  • 1) One of them saying that Allah’s statement,

((Remember) when you said to the believers) is related to His statement,

(And Allah has already made you victorious at Badr), (3:123).

This was reported from Al-Hasan Al-Basri, Amr Ash-Sha`bi, Ar-Rabi bin Anas and several others, Ibn Jarir also agreed with this opinion.

Abbad bin Mansur said that Al-Hasan said that;

Allah’s statement,

((Remember) when you said to the believers, “Is it not enough for you that your Lord should help you with three thousand angels”), is about the battle of Badr; Ibn Abi Hatim also recorded this statement.

Ibn Abi Hatim then reported that Amr Ash-Sha`bi said,

“On the day of Badr, the Muslims received information that Kurz bin Jabir (a prominent tribe chief) was aiding the idolators, and this news was hard on them, so Allah revealed;

(“Is it not enough for you that your Lord (Allah) should help you with three thousand angels sent down”), until, (having marks (of distinction)), (3:124,125).

The news of the defeat of the idolators (at Badr) reached Kurz and he did not reinforce them, and thus, Allah did not reinforce the Muslims with the five (thousands of angels).”

As for Ar-Rabi bin Anas, he said, “Allah supported the Muslims with one thousand (angels), then the number reached three thousand, then five thousand.”

If one asks, according to this opinion, how can we combine between this Ayah and Allah’s statement about Badr,

((Remember) when you sought help of your Lord and He answered you (saying): “I will help you with a thousand angels, each behind the other (following one another) in succession.”) until, (Verily! Allah is All-Mighty, All-Wise) (8:9-10), we say that the one thousand mentioned here does not contradict the three thousand mentioned in the above Ayah (3:124).

The word “in succession” means they follow each other and thus indicates that thousands more will follow them.

The two Ayat above (8:9 and 3:124) are similar in meaning and it appears that they both were about the battle of Badr, because the angels did fight in the battle of Badr, as the evidence indicates. Allah knows best.

Allah’s statement,

But if you hold on to patience and have Taqwa, means, if you observe patience while fighting the enemy, all the while fearing Me and obeying My command.

(… and they will come rushing,

Al-Hasan, Qatadah, Ar-Rabi and As-Suddi said that Allah’s statement means, they (angels) will rush to you instantaneously.

Al-Awfi said that Ibn Abbas said that the Ayah means, “All at once.”

It is also said that; it means, before their anger subsides (against the disbelievers).

The Second View;

  • 2) The second opinion stipulates that the promise mentioned here (concerning the angels participating in battle) is related to Allah’s statement,

(And (remember) when you left your household in the morning to post the believers at their stations for the battle) (3:121) of Uhud.

However, we should add, the angels did not come to the aid of Muslims at Uhud, because Allah made it conditional,

(But if you hold on to patience and have Taqwa), (3:125).

The Muslims were not patient at Uhud. Rather, they ran away and, consequently, did not receive the support of even one angel.

Allah’s statement,

(… your Lord will help you with five thousand angels having marks, of distinction.

Abu Ishaq As-Subay`i said; from Harithah bin Mudarrib said that Ali bin Abi Talib said, “The angels were distinguished by wearing white wool at Badr.”

The angels also had special markings distinguishing their horses.

Allah said,

(‘’Allah made it not but as a message of good news for you and as an assurance to your hearts,’’)

This Ayah means, “Allah sent down angels and told you about their descent to encourage you and to comfort and reassure your hearts. You should know that victory only comes from Allah and that if He willed, He would have defeated your enemy without you having to fight them.”

For instance, Allah said after commanding the believers to fight,

(‘’But if it had been Allah’s will, He Himself could certainly have punished them (without you). But (He lets you fight) in order to test some of you with others. But those who are killed in the way of Allah, He will never let their deeds be lost. He will guide them and set right their state. And admit them to Paradise which He has made known to them.’’) (47:4-6)

This is why Allah said here,

Allah made it not but as a message of good news for you and as an assurance to your hearts. And there is no victory except from Allah, the All-Mighty, the All-Wise.

This Ayah means,

“Allah is the Almighty Whose power can never be undermined, and He has the perfect wisdom in His decrees and in all His decisions.”

Allah said,

That He might cut off a part of those who disbelieve, meaning, out of His wisdom, He commands you to perform Jihad and to fight.

Allah then mentions the various consequences of performing Jihad against the disbelievers. For instance, Allah said,

(That He might cut off a part…), meaning, to cause a part of a nation to perish.

(… of those who disbelieve, or expose them to infamy, by disgracing them and forcing them to return with only their rage, having failed in their aim to harm you.

This is why Allah said next,

(… or expose them to infamy, so that they retire, to go back to their land,

(… frustrated.  without achieving their aims.

Allah then mentions a statement that testifies that the decision in this life and the Hereafter is for Him Alone without partners, Not for you is the decision; whether He turns in mercy to (pardon) them or punishes them; verily, they are the wrongdoers.

(Not for you is the decision), meaning, “The matter is all in My Hand.”

Allah also said,

(your duty is only to convey (the Message), and on Us is the reckoning. (13:40) and,

”Not upon you is their guidance, but Allah guides whom He wills.” (2:272) and,

‘’Verily, you guide not whom you like, but Allah guides whom He wills.” (28: 56)

Muhammad bin Ishaq said that Allah’s statement, (Not for you is the decision), means, “No part of the decision regarding My servants is yours, except what I command you.”

Allah then mentions the rest of the consequences of Jihad, (… whether He pardons them, concerning the acts of disbelief that they commit, thus delivering them from misguidance to the guidance.

(… or punishes them; in this life and the Hereafter because of their disbelief and errors.

( … verily, they are the wrongdoers. and thus, they deserve such a fate.

Al-Bukhari recorded that, Salim bin Abdullah said that his father said that he heard the Messenger of Allah saying — when he raised his head from bowing in the second unit of the Fajr prayer:

“O Allah! Curse so-and-so,” after saying; Sami` Allahu Liman Hamidah, Rabbana wa lakal-Hamd. Thereafter,

Allah revealed this Ayah,

(‘’Not for you is the decision’’.)

This was also recorded by An-Nasa’i.

Imam Ahmad recorded that Salim bin Abdullah said that his father said that he heard the Messenger of Allah saying,

  • Allah! Curse so-and-so.
  • Allah! Curse Al-Harith bin Hisham.
  • Allah! Curse Suhayl bin Amr.
  • Allah! Curse Safwan bin Umayyah.

Thereafter, this Ayah was revealed;

(‘’Not for you is the decision; whether He turns in mercy to (pardon) them or punishes them; verily, they are the wrongdoers.’’)

All these persons were pardoned (after they embraced Islam later on).

Al-Bukhari recorded that Abu Hurayrah said that; when Allah’s Messenger would supplicate against or for someone, he would do so when he was finished bowing and saying; Sami` Allahu Liman Hamidah, Rabbana wa lakal-Hamd.

He would then say, (the Qunut)

Allah! Save Al-Walid bin Al-Walid, Salamah bin Hisham, Ayyash bin Abi Rabiah and the weak and the helpless people among the faithful believers.

Allah! Be hard on the tribe of Mudar and let them suffer from years of famine like that of the time of Yusuf.

He would say this supplication aloud.

He sometimes would supplicate during the Dawn prayer, “O Allah! Curse so-and-so (persons),” mentioning some Arab tribes. Thereafter, Allah revealed,

(Not for you is the decision).

Al-Bukhari recorded that Hamid and Thabit said that, Anas bin Malik said that the Prophet was injured during the battle of Uhud and said,

How can a people achieve success after having injured their Prophet..?

Thereafter, (‘’Not for you is the decision.’’) was revealed.

Imam Ahmad recorded that Anas said that, the Prophet’s front tooth was broken during the battle of Uhud and he also sustained injuries on his forehead until blood dripped on his face. The Prophet said,

How can a people achieve success after having done this to their Prophet who is calling them to their Lord, the Exalted and Most Honored? Allah revealed,

(Not for you is the decision; whether He turns in mercy to (pardons) them or punishes them; verily, they are the wrongdoers). Muslim also collected this Hadith.

Allah then said,

”And to Allah belongs all that is in the heavens and all that is in the Earth.”

(… everything is indeed the property of Allah and all are servants in His Hand.

(‘’He forgives whom He wills, and punishes whom He wills. for His is the decision and none can resist His decision. Allah is never asked about what He does, while they will be asked.’’)

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3:130.| O you who believe! Do not consume Riba doubled and multiplied, but fear Allah that you may be successful.

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3:131.| And fear the Fire, which is prepared for the disbelievers.

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3:132.| And obey Allah and the Messenger that you may obtain mercy.

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3:133.| And march forth in the way (which leads to) forgiveness from your Lord, and for Paradise as wide as the heavens and the earth, prepared for the Muttaqin (the pious).

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3:134.| Those who spend (in Allah’s cause) in prosperity and in adversity, who repress anger, and who pardon men; verily, Allah loves the Muhsinin (the good-doers).

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3:135.| And those who, when they have committed Fahishah (immoral sin) or wronged themselves with evil, remember Allah and ask forgiveness for their sins; and none can forgive sins but Allah, and do not persist in what (wrong) they have done, while they know.

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3:136.| For such, the reward is forgiveness from their Lord, and Gardens with rivers flowing underneath (Paradise), wherein they shall abide forever. How excellent is this reward for the doers (of good).

Interest (Riba) is Prohibited

Allah says:

‘’O you who believe! Do not consume Riba doubled and multiplied,’’

Allah prohibits His believing servants from dealing in Riba and from requiring interest on their capital, just as they used to do during the time of Jahiliyyah.

For instance, when the time to pay a loan comes, the creditor would say to the debtor, “Either pay now, or the loan will incur interest.” If the debtor asks for deferment of the loan, the creditor would require interest and this would occur year after year until the little capital becomes multiplied many times.

(‘’… but fear Allah that you may be successful.’’)

Allah commands His servants to have Taqwa of Him so that they may achieve success in this life and the Hereafter.

Allah also threatens them with the Fire and warns them against it, saying,

And fear the Fire, which is prepared for the disbelievers. And obey Allah and the Messenger that you may obtain mercy.

The Encouragment to Do Good for which Paradise is the Result.

Allah encourages His servants to perform righteous deeds and to rush to accomplish the acts of obedience.

Allah said,

(‘’And march forth in the way (which leads to) forgiveness from your Lord, and for Paradise as wide as the heavens and the earth, prepared for the Muttaqin (the pious).’’)

Just as the Fire was prepared for the disbelievers. It was reported that; the meaning of Allah’s statement, (as wide as the heavens and the earth) draws the attention to the spaciousness of Paradise.

For instance, Allah said in another Ayah, while describing the couches of Paradise,
(lined with silk brocade) (55:54) so what about their outer covering.

It was also said that Paradise is as wide as its length, because it is a dome under the Throne. The width and length of a dome or a circle are the same in distance.

This is supported by what is found in the Sahih;

When you ask Allah for Paradise, ask Him for Al-Firdaws which is the highest and best part of Paradise. From it originate the rivers of Paradise, and above it is the Throne of the Most Beneficent (Allah).

This Ayah (3:133 above) is similar to Allah’s statement in Surah Al-Hadid,

Race with one another in hastening towards forgiveness from your Lord (Allah), and Paradise the width whereof is as the width of the heaven and the Earth. (57:21)

Al-Bazzar recorded that Abu Hurayrah said that; a man came to the Messenger of Allah and asked him, about Allah’s statement, (Paradise as wide as the heavens and the Earth); “Where is the Fire then?”

The Prophet said,

When the night comes, it overtakes everything, so where is the day.

The man said, “Where Allah wants it to be.”

The Prophet said,

Similarly, the Fire is where Allah wants it to be.

This Hadith has two possible meanings.

  • First, when we do not see the night during the day, this does not mean that the day is not somewhere else, even though we cannot see it.

Such is the case with Hell-fire, for it is where Allah wants it to be.

  • The second meaning is that when the day overcomes this part of the world, the night overtakes the other part. Such is the case with Paradise, for it is in the utmost heights above the heavens and under the Throne.

The width of Paradise is, as Allah stated,

(whereof is as the width of the heaven and the Earth), (57:21). The Fire, on the other hand, is in the lowest of lows. Therefore, Paradise being as wide as the heavens and Earth does not contradict the fact that the Fire exists wherever Allah wills it to be.

Allah said, while describing the people of Paradise,

Those who spend (in Allah’s cause) in prosperity and in adversity, in hard times and easy times, while active (or enthusiastic) and otherwise, healthy or ill, and in all conditions, just as Allah said in another Ayah,

Those who spend their wealth (in Allah’s cause) by night and day, in secret and in public. (2:274)

These believers are never distracted from obeying Allah, spending on what pleases Him, being kind to His servants and their relatives, and other acts of righteousness.

Allah said,

(… who repress anger, and who pardon men; for when they are angry, they control their anger and do act upon it. Rather, they even forgive those who hurt them.

Imam Ahmad recorded that Abu Hurayrah said that the Prophet said,

(‘’The strong person is not he who is able to physically overcome people. The strong person is he who overcomes his rage when he is angry.’’)

This Hadith is also recorded in the Two Sahihs.

Imam Ahmad recorded that Ibn Abbas said that the Messenger of Allah said,

He who gives time to a debtor or forgives him, then Allah will save him from the heat of Jahannam (Hell-fire).

Behold! The deeds of Paradise are difficult to reach, for they are on top of a hill, while the deeds of the Fire are easy to find in the lowlands. The happy person is he who is saved from the tests.

(‘’Verily, there is no dose of anything better to Allah than a dose of rage that the servant controls, and whenever the servant of Allah controls it, he will be internally filled with faith.’’)

This Hadith was recorded by Imam Ahmad, its chain of narration is good, it does not contain any disparaged narrators, and the meaning is good.

Imam Ahmad recorded that Sahl bin Mu`adh bin Anas said that his father said that the Messenger of Allah said,

(‘’Whoever controlled rage while able to act upon it, then Allah will call him while all creation is a witness, until He gives him the choice of any of the Huris (fair females with wide, lovely eyes – as mates for the pious) he wishes.’’)

Abu Dawud, At-Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah collected this Hadith, which At-Tirmidhi said was “Hasan Gharib”.

Ibn Marduwyah recorded that Ibn Umar said that the Messenger of Allah said,

(‘’There is not a dose of anything that the servant takes which is better than a dose of control of rage that he feels, when he does it seeking Allah’s ace.’’) Ibn Jarir and Ibn Majah also collected this Hadith.

Allah said,

(… who repress anger, meaning, they do not satisfy their rage upon people. Rather, they refrain from harming them and await their rewards with Allah, the Exalted and Most Honored.

Allah then said,

(… and who pardon men; They forgive those who treat them with injustice.

Therefore, they do not hold any ill feelings about anyone in their hearts, and this is the most excellent conduct in this regard.

This is why Allah said,

(… verily, Allah loves the Muhsinin (the good-doers).

This good conduct is a type of Ihsan (excellence in the religion).

There is a Hadith that reads,

I swear regarding three matters:

  • no charity shall ever decrease the wealth;
  • whenever one forgives people, then Allah will magnify his honor;
  • and he who is humble for Allah, then Allah will raise his rank.

Allah said,

(‘’And those who, when they have committed Fahishah or wronged themselves with evil, remember Allah and ask forgiveness for their sins.’’)

Therefore, if they commit an error they follow it with repentance and ask forgiveness.

Imam Ahmad recorded that Abu Hurayrah said that the Prophet said,

(‘’A man once committed an error and said, `O Lord! I committed an error, so forgive me.‘’)

Allah said,

(‘`My servant committed an error and knew that he has a Lord Who forgives or punishes for the error. I have forgiven My servant.’’)

The man committed another error and said, `O Lord! I committed an error, so forgive me.’

Allah said,

”My servant knew that he has a Lord Who forgives or punishes for the sin. I have forgiven My servant.’’

The man committed another error and said, `O Lord! I committed an error, so forgive me.’

Allah said,

(‘`My servant knew that he has a Lord Who forgives or punishes for the error. I have forgiven my servant.’’) He then committed another error and said, `O Lord! I committed an error, so forgive me.’

Allah said,

(‘`My servant knew that he has a Lord Who forgives or punishes for the error. Bear witness that I have forgiven My servant, so let him do whatever he likes.’’)

A similar narration was collected in the Sahih.

Abdur-Razzaq recorded that Anas bin Malik said, “I was told that when the Ayah,

(‘’And those who, when they have committed Fahishah or wronged themselves with evil, remember Allah and ask forgiveness for their sins), was revealed, Iblis (Shaytan) cried.”)

Allah’s statement,

(… and none can forgive sins but Allah, means that none except Allah forgives sins.

Allah said,

”And do not persist in what (wrong) they have done, while they know. for they repent from their error, return to Allah before death, do not insist on error, and if they err again, they repent from it.”

Allah said here,

(While they know), Mujahid and Abdullah bin Ubayd bin Umayr commented,

(“Whoever repents, then Allah will forgive him.”)

Similarly, Allah said,

(‘’Know they not that Allah accepts repentance from His servants.’’) (9:104) and,

(‘’And whoever does evil or wrongs himself but afterwards seeks Allah’s forgiveness, he will find Allah Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful. (4: 110) and there are several examples similar to this Ayah.’’)

Next, Allah said after this description,

(‘’For such, the reward is forgiveness from their Lord, as a reward for these qualities.’’)

(… forgiveness from their Lord, and Gardens with rivers flowing underneath (Paradise), carrying all kinds of drinks,

(… wherein they shall abide forever, and ever,

How excellent is this reward for the doers. Allah praises Paradise in this part of the Ayah.

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3:137.| Many similar ways (and mishaps of life) were faced (by nations (believers and disbelievers) that have passed away) before you, so travel through the earth, and see what was the end of those who denied.

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3:138.| This is a plain statement for mankind, a guidance and instruction for the Muttaqin.

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3:139.| So do not become weak, nor be sad, and you will be triumphant if you are indeed believers.

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3:140.| If a wound has touched you, be sure a similar wound has touched the others. And so are the days, that We give to men by turns, that Allah may know (test) those who believe, and that He may take martyrs from among you. And Allah likes not the wrongdoers.

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3:141.| And that Allah may test those who believe and destroy the disbelievers.

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3:142.| Do you think that you will enter Paradise before Allah knows (tests) those of you who performed Jihad and knows (tests) those who are patient!

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3:143.| You did indeed wish for death before you met it. Now you have seen it openly with your own eyes.

The Wisdom Behind the Losses
Muslims Suffered During Uhud

Allah states to His believing servants who suffered losses in the battle of Uhud, including seventy dead.

Many similar ways (and mishaps of life) were faced before you, for the previous nations who followed their Prophets before you, they too suffered losses.

However, the good end was theirs, and the ultimate defeat was for the disbelievers.

This is why Allah said,

(… so travel through the earth, and see what was the end of those who denied.

Allah said next,

(‘’This is a plain statement for mankind,’’)

(… meaning, the Qur’an explains the true reality of things and narrates how the previous nations suffered by the hands of their enemies.

(‘’And a guidance and instruction, for the Qur’an contains the news of the past, and, (guidance) for your hearts.’’)

( … and instruction for the Muttaqin.) to discourage committing the prohibited and forbidden matters.

Allah comforts the believers by saying,

So do not become weak, because of what you suffered.

(… nor be sad, and you will be triumphant if you are indeed believers.) for surely, the ultimate victory and triumph will be yours, O believers.)

If a wound has touched you, be sure a similar wound has touched the others, Therefore, the Ayah says, if you suffered injuries and some of you were killed, then your enemies also suffered injuries and fatalities. And so are the days, that We give to men by turns, and at times — out of wisdom — We allow the enemy to overcome you, although the final good end will be yours.

(… and that Allah may know (test) those who believe, According to Ibn Abbas, meaning, “So that We find out who would be patient while fighting the enemies.”

(… and that He may take martyrs from among you. those who would be killed in Allah’s cause and gladly offer their lives seeking His pleasure.)

(‘’And Allah likes not the wrongdoers. And that Allah may test those who believe, by forgiving them their sins if they have any.’’)

Otherwise, Allah will raise their grades according to the losses they suffered.

Allah’s statement,

(… and destroy the disbelievers. for it is their conduct that if they gain the upper hand, they transgress and commit aggression.

However, this conduct only leads to ultimate destruction, extermination, perishing and dying out.

Allah then said,

(‘’Do you think that you will enter Paradise before Allah knows (tests) those of you who will perform Jihad and (also) knows (tests) those who are the patient..!)

The Ayah asks, do you think that you will enter Paradise without being tested with warfare and hardships.

Allah said in Surah Al-Baqarah,

(‘’Or think you that you will enter Paradise without such (trials) as came to those who passed away before you! They were afflicted with severe poverty and ailments and were so shaken… (2:214)

Allah said,

(‘’Do people think that they will be left alone because they say: “We believe,” and will not be tested.’’) (29:2)

This is why He said here,

(Do you think that you will enter Paradise before Allah knows (tests) those of you who will perform Jihad and (also) knows (tests) those who are the patient),

(…meaning, you will not earn Paradise until you are tested and thus Allah knows who among you are the ones who struggle and fight in His cause and are patient in the face of the enemy.

Allah said,

(‘’You did indeed wish for death (martyrdom) before you met it. Now you have seen it openly with your own eyes.’’)

The Ayah proclaims,

(‘’O believers! Before today, you wished that you could meet the enemy and were eager to fight them. What you wished has occurred, so fight them and be patient.’’)

In the Two Sahihs it is recorded that the Messenger of Allah said,

(‘’Do not wish to encounter the enemy, and ask Allah for your well-being. However, if you do encounter them, then observe patience and know that Paradise is under the shade of swords.’’)

This is why Allah said here,

(Now you have seen it): death, you saw it when the swords appeared, the blades were sharpened, the spears crisscrossed and men stood in lines for battle.

This part of the Ayah contains a figure of speech that mentions imagining what can be felt but not seen.

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3:144.| Muhammad is no more than a Messenger, and indeed Messengers have passed away before him. If he dies or is killed, will you then turn back on your heels! And he who turns back on his heels, not the least harm will he do to Allah; and Allah will reward the grateful.

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3:145.| And no person can ever die except by Allah’s leave and at an appointed term. And whoever desires a reward in the world, We shall give him of it; and whoever desires a reward in the Hereafter, We shall give him thereof. And We shall reward the grateful.

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3:146.| And many a Prophet fought and along with him many Ribbiyyun. But they never lost heart for that which befall them in Allah’s way, nor did they weaken nor degrade themselves. And Allah loves the patient.

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3:147.| And they said nothing but: “Our Lord! Forgive us our sins and our transgressions, establish our feet firmly, and give us victory over the disbelieving folk.”

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3:148.| So Allah gave them the reward of this world, and the excellent reward of the Hereafter. And Allah loves the good-doers.

The Rumor that;
The Prophet was Killed at Uhud

When Muslims suffered defeat in battle at Uhud and some of them were killed, Shaytan shouted, “Muhammad has been killed.”

Ibn Qami’ah went back to the idolators and claimed, “I have killed Muhammad.”

Some Muslims believed this rumor and thought that the Messenger of Allah had been killed, claiming that this could happen, for Allah narrated that this occurred to many Prophets before. Therefore, the Muslims’ resolve was weakened and they did not actively participate in battle.

This is why Allah sent down to His Messenger His statement,

Muhammad is no more than a Messenger, and indeed Messengers have passed away before him. he is to deliver Allah’s Message and may be killed in the process, just as what happened to many Prophets before.

Ibn Abi Najih said that his father said that; a man from the Muhajirin passed by an Ansari man who was bleeding (during Uhud) and said to him, “O fellow! Did you know that Muhammad was killed?”

The Ansari man said, “Even if Muhammad was killed, he has indeed conveyed the Message. Therefore, defend your religion.”

The Ayah,

(‘’Muhammad is no more than a Messenger, and indeed (many) Messengers have passed away before him), was revealed.’’)

This story was collected by Al-Hafiz Abu Bakr Al-Bayhaqi in Dala’il An-Nubuwwah.

Allah said next,

(‘’while chastising those who became weak, If he dies or is killed, will you then turn back on your heels, become disbelievers.’’)

(‘’And he who turns back on his heels, not the least harm will he do to Allah; and Allah will give reward to those who are grateful. those who obeyed Allah, defended His religion and followed His Messenger whether he was alive or dead.’’)

The Sahih, Musnad and Sunan collections gathered various chains of narration stating that Abu Bakr recited this Ayah when the Messenger of Allah died.

Al-Bukhari recorded that Aishah said that;

Abu Bakr came riding his horse from his dwelling in As-Sunh. He dismounted, entered the Masjid and did not speak to anyone until he came to her (in her room) and went directly to the Prophet, who was covered with a marked blanket. Abu Bakr uncovered his face, knelt down and kissed him, then started weeping and proclaimed, “My father and my mother be sacrificed for you!

Allah will not combine two deaths on you. You have died the death, which was written for you.”

Ibn Abbas narrated that;

Abu Bakr then came out, while Umar was addressing the people, and Abu Bakr told him to sit down but Umar refused, and the people attended to Abu Bakr and left Umar.

Abu Bakr said, “To proceed; whoever among you worshipped Muhammad, then Muhammad is dead, but whoever worshipped Allah, Allah is alive and will never die.

Allah said,

(‘’Muhammad is no more than a Messenger and indeed (many) Messengers have passed away before him. If he dies or is killed, will you then turn back on your heels And he who turns back on his heels, not the least harm will he do to Allah; and Allah will reward the grateful.”)

The narrator added,

“By Allah, it was as if the people never knew that Allah had revealed this verse before until Abu Bakr recited it, and then whoever heard it, started reciting it.”

Sa`id bin Al-Musayyib said that Umar said, “By Allah! When I heard Abu Bakr recite this Ayah, my feet could not hold me, and I fell to the ground.”

Allah said,

(‘’And no person can ever die except by Allah’s leave and at an appointed term.’’)

(…meaning, no one dies except by Allah’s decision, after he has finished the term that Allah has destined for him. This is why Allah said, (at an appointed term) which is similar to His statements,

(‘’And no aged man is granted a length of life nor is a part cut off from his life, but it is in a Book.’’) (35:11)

(‘’He it is Who has created you from clay, and then has decreed a (stated) term (for you to die). And there is with Him another determined term (for you to be resurrected.’’) (6:2)

This Ayah (3:145) encourages cowards to participate in battle; for doing so, or avoiding battle neither decreases, nor increases the life term.

Ibn Abi Hatim narrated that, Habib bin Suhban said that a Muslim man, Hujr bin Adi, said in a battle, “What prevents you from crossing this river (the Euphrates) to the enemy, (And no person can ever die except by Allah’s leave and at an appointed term).”

He then crossed the river riding his horse, and when he did, the Muslims followed him. When the enemy saw them, they started shouting, “Diwan (Persian; crazy),” and they ran away.

Allah said next,

And whoever desires a reward in the world, We shall give him of it; and whoever desires a reward in the Hereafter, We shall give him thereof.

Therefore, the Ayah proclaims, whoever works for the sake of this life, will only earn what Allah decides he will earn. However, he will not have a share in the Hereafter. Whoever works for the sake of the Hereafter, Allah will give him a share in the Hereafter, along with what He decides for him in this life.

In similar statements, Allah said,

Whosoever desires (by his deeds) the reward of the Hereafter, We give him increase in his reward, and whosoever desires the reward of this world (by his deeds), We give him thereof (what is decreed for him), and he has no portion in the Hereafter. (42:20)

Whoever desires the quick-passing (transitory enjoyment of this world), We readily grant him what We will for whom We like. Then, afterwards, We have appointed for him Hell; he will burn therein disgraced and despised. And whoever desires the Hereafter and strives for it, with the necessary effort due for it while he is a believer, then such are the ones whose striving shall be appreciated. (17:18-19)

In this Ayah (3:145) Allah said,

And We shall reward the grateful.

(… meaning, We shall award them with Our favor and mercy in this life and the Hereafter, according to the degree of their appreciation (of Allah) and their good deeds.

Allah then comforts the believers because of what they suffered in Uhud,

And many a Prophet fought and along with him many Ribbiyyun.

It was said that; this Ayah means that many Prophets and their companions were killed in earlier times, as is the view chosen by Ibn Jarir.

It was also said that; the Ayah means that many Prophets witnessed their companions’ death before their eyes.

However, Ibn Ishaq mentioned another explanation in his Sirah, saying that this Ayah means, “Many a Prophet was killed, and he had many companions whose resolve did not weaken after their Prophet died, and they did not become feeble in the face of the enemy. What they suffered in Jihad in Allah’s cause and for the sake of their religion did not make them lose heart.

This is patience, (and Allah loves the patient).”

As-Suhayli agreed with this explanation and defended it vigorously.

This view is supported by Allah saying; (And along with him many Ribbiyyun).

In his book about the battles, Al-Amawi mentioned only this explanation for the Ayah.

Sufyan Ath-Thawri reported that, Ibn Mas`ud said that, (many Ribbiyyun) means, thousands.

Ibn Abbas, Mujahid, Sa`id bin Jubayr, Ikrimah, Al-Hasan, Qatadah, As-Suddi, Ar-Rabi and Ata Al-Khurasani said that; the word Ribbiyyun means, `large bands’.

Abdur-Razzaq narrated that Ma`mmar said that Al-Hasan said that, (many Ribbiyyun) means, many scholars.

He also said that it means patient and pious scholars.

But they never lost heart for that which befell them in Allah’s way, nor did they weaken nor degrade themselves.

Qatadah and Ar-Rabi bin Anas said that: (nor did they weaken), (..means, after their Prophet was killed.

(nor degrade themselves), by reverting from the true guidance and religion. Rather, they fought on the path that Allah’s Prophet fought on until they met Allah.

Ibn Abbas said that, (nor degrade themselves) means, nor became humiliated, while As-Suddi and Ibn Zayd said that it means, they did not give in to the enemy.

And Allah loves the patient.

(‘’And they said nothing but: “Our Lord! Forgive us our sins and our transgressions, establish our feet firmly, and give us victory over the disbelieving folk.” and this was the statement that they kept repeating.

Therefore,

So Allah gave them the reward of this world, victory, triumph and the good end.

(… and the excellent reward of the Hereafter. added to the gains in this life.

And Allah loves the good-doers.