Umm Sulaym’s Surah Ale ‘Imraan

Asalamoalaykum warahmatullah,

My favourite Surah is Surah Ale ‘Imraan for a number of reasons. Those who have studied comparitive religion or are a fan of Ahmad Deedat’s and Dr. Zakir Naik’s debates, may find this Surah useful because it talks about the common misconceptions of Christians and Allah SWT poses question after question to the Christians in a rhetorical form. And SubhanAllah like most people might know, these are the exact questions Christians ask or have trouble understanding. Actually the Prophet SAW was going to meet a Christian delegation when this Surah was revealed. From verses 121 onwards, Allah SWT talks about in the most beautifully gentle manner about the Battle of Uhud. I can’t even describe how beautiful it is because Allah SWT reminds the believers of their previous blessings, their mistakes in the Battle of Uhud and how Allah SWT comforts them with His Beautiful words is mind-blowing. Now those of you who do not know about Battle of Uhud may need to read about it somewhere but those who know, I will quickly talk about how one can use these verses to help oneself in their daily lives.

Just to set the background for the verses below,the believers were initially winning the battle of Uhud. Prophet Salalahu alayhi wasalam commanded them to guard the mountain from both the sides lest the enemy comes from the back. And that’s exactly what happened. Because some of the Sahaba (may Allah SWT be pleased them all) saw the booties of war(reference: v.152), they couldn’t help but go after it and didn’t follow as they were commanded. What ensued was a bit of a chaos. The Sahaba were distressed and anxious about what they had done, possibly in grief as well since their one act of not conforming to commands of the Prophet SAW led them to such destruction. Also, they were so hopeful that they were winning and things looked pretty good in the beginning. But the tables turned and things did not turn out the way they expected. Notice how in verse 153, Allah SWT comfortingly says, ‘There did Allâh give you one distress after another by way of requital to teach you NOT to grieve for that which had escaped you, nor for that which had befallen you.’

So Allah SWT makes it clear that He SWT wanted to teach the believers through this test and that’s why He SWT made them go through such trials. He SWT did not make them go through the trials to make them  fall into grief. That was not the idea at all. Everything was going good and abruptly things reversed. It was done to point out that there is still some of the Sahaba who desire the dunia and so through this trial, the problem was pointed out. Likewise, we may have blessings pouring from all places and the next minute Allah SWT might turn the tables and now all of a sudden we may find ourselves to be left with nothing at all. At such a  point we must realize that, that state of blessing was a test for us and that Allah SWT wanted to point out the weakness we have in our hearts which we would’ve never otherwise noticed in our lives, had the blessings continued. Because really when we have everything working out fine, we may slide towards the wrong direction despite praying 5 times a day and trying to be a good Muslim like we usually are etc. And that ‘sliding’ towards the wrong direction would obviously lead one to negative consequences because what we go through is what our hands have earned(reference: v.165). The good part is that the seemingly negative consequences make us stop and reverse to the point in the past and make us analyze where we went wrong. Also this way Allah SWT teaches the individual that, that ‘sliding’ towards a wrong direction was due to a defect in his/her level of Eeman. That is, his/her Eeman is probably not strong enough and he/she needs to work on it. And that is the point of the whole trial: to find our mistakes, work on them and move on (references: verse 166). We’d rather have our mistakes pointed out in this dunia than suffer the deficiency in our Eeman in Akhira, right?

The battle of Uhud was very scary because a certain number of Sahaba were killed (martyred). So that could have created the ‘ifs and the buts’ in the sense that, ‘if they hadn’t done so and so, they would’ve been alive.’ Allah SWT negates that mentality (reference: verses 156-157, 168-172) and says that death could not in any way be averted because that is what was written for them. And can’t we all relate to this? I mean whatever has happened to us in our lives in the past, it could not be averted. It just had to happen because it was the Qadr of Allah SWT. And we shouldn’t sit down and think that ‘if I had done so and so in the past’, ‘this wouldn’t have had happened’ because really like I said before, it was just going to happen! One cannot run away from Qadr. We shouldn’t focus on events like if a certain event hadn’t occurred we would’ve been in a better state. Instead we should focus on what sin we might’ve committed in the past that brought us to such a state.

The beautiful thing is that Allah SWT reminds the believers of the past victory they had because when one’s down, one needs a reminder of their good past. And how Allah SWT uplifts the believers in verse 139 encouraging them to be good believers to attain victory and not to be sad. Out of all the beautiful set of verses, I believe the highlight or the most golden verse is verse 140:

‘If a wound (and killing) has touched you, be sure a similar wound (and killing) has touched the others. And so are the days (good and not so good), We give to men by turns, that Allâh may test those who believe, and that He may take martyrs from among you. And Allâh likes not the Zâlimûn (polytheists and wrongdoers).’

Here Allah SWT reassures that you’re not alone and your enemy suffered too. In our daily lives, even if it’s not a ‘battle/war’ kind of a situation, just in our daily interactions, we do experience pain because of what others say at times. In that case, one must remind oneself of verse 140 in that, it is very likely that the person who’s hurt you didn’t enjoy hurting you. They may not show the discomfort but it is fitrah of a human (whether Muslim/non-Muslim) to feel uneasy after hurting another. And so, some days may be good while others may not be so good and Allah SWT gives us turns in our level of what we perceive as good. A few days may turn out to be sunny and others may be a little gloomy. That is the way He SWT tests us and honestly, don’t you think that is the one way to see who is a true believer and who’s the one who just claims falsely so? I mean one who’s a true believer will remain steadfast in his/her partience no matter what happens whereas the one who only believes in Allah SWT when times are good and is in reality a part-time Muslim. He/she is then in essence only a good Muslim when things are working out for him/her. Notice the hypocrisy here?

I highly recommend the reader to go over the verses below and use them to empower themselves in their daily lives because really the words of Allah SWT do heal one’s hearts. Just a very quick write-up so that I can look at it again when I need to. I noticed how many times I used the word ‘beautiful’ and I admit, I do not have the right words to describe the eloquence and beauty of the Quraan at all. So many gems in just a few verses! SubhanAllah! How Allah SWT words comforts one’s soul tells us so much about the Rabb. Allah SWT knows our psychology so well and how He SWT knows what exact words/memories will make us happy is just so amazing. It reminds me of another beautiful (sorry for the redundancy in choice of words) verse in Surah Al Mulk:

Should not He Who has created know? And He is the Most Kind and Courteous (to His slaves) All-Aware (of everything). (14)

Obviously He SWT knows. And so whenever we read about Paradise and Hell and the description of the emotions of the dwellers, we should realize that Allah SWT knows how we will end up behaving and should try to have firm belief in the verses and not just take them lightly.

Have so much more to say but I’ll leave it at that tonight.

Whatever deficiency you may find in this quick write-up is from me. And no doubt Allah SWT knows best and to Him only belongs Perfection.

May Allah SWT forgive me for my shortcomings because I am lacking in anything that constitutes a good Muslim. May Allah SWT forgive me of all my sins and may He SWT help me forgive others because only the possessor of sound/clean heart will be allowed in Jannatin-Na’eem. Also, dear Allah SWT, I want to forgive them because they are Your slave and I wouldn’t want to take away their good deeds on the Day of Judgement just so that the hurt they’ve caused is recompensed. Yet it is so difficult to do this everyday. Please help me! Ya Rabb, make us submissive to You Only and not to our own desires and guide us to the Path of those with whom You have clearly said that You are Pleased with.Ameen.

Wishing everyone an insiprational week inshaa’Allah!

***

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

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

And Allâh has already made you victorious at Badr, when you were a weak little force. So fear Allâh much that you may be grateful. (123)

 (Remember) when you (Muhammad SAW) said to the believers, “Is it not enough for you that your Lord (Allâh) should help you with three thousand angels; sent down?” (124)

Yes, if you hold on to patience and piety, and the enemy comes rushing at you; your Lord will help you with five thousand angels having marks (of distinction).” (125)

 Allâh 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 Allâh, the All-Mighty, the All-Wise. (126)

So do not become weak (against your enemy), nor be sad, and you will be superior (in victory) if you are indeed (true) believers. (139)

If a wound (and killing) has touched you, be sure a similar wound (and killing) has touched the others. And so are the days (good and not so good), We give to men by turns, that Allâh may test those who believe, and that He may take martyrs from among you. And Allâh likes not the Zâlimûn (polytheists and wrong¬doers). (140)

And that Allâh may test (or purify) the believers (from sins) and destroy the disbelievers (141)

Do you think that you will enter Paradise before Allâh tests those of you who fought (in His Cause) and (also) tests those who are As-Sâbirun (the patient)? (142)

You did indeed wish for death (Ash-Shahâdah – martyrdom) before you met it. Now you have seen it openly with your own eyes. (143)

Nay, Allâh is your Maulâ (Patron, Lord, Helper and Protector), and He is the Best of helpers. (150)

And Allâh did indeed fulfil His Promise to you when you were killing them (your enemy) with His Permission; until (the moment) you lost your courage and fell to disputing about the order, and disobeyed after He showed you (of the booty) which you love. Among you are some that desire this world and some that desire the Hereafter. Then He made you flee from them (your enemy), that He might test you. But surely, He forgave you, and Allâh is Most Gracious to the believers. (152)

(And remember) when you ran away (dreadfully) without even casting a side glance at anyone, and the Messenger (Muhammad SAW) was in your rear calling you back. There did Allâh give you one distress after another by way of requital to teach you not to grieve for that which had escaped you, nor for that which had befallen you. And Allâh is Well¬Aware of all that you do. (153)

Then after the distress, He sent down security for you. Slumber overtook a party of you, while another party was thinking about themselves (as how to save their ownselves, ignoring the others and the Prophet SAW) and thought wrongly of Allâh – the thought of ignorance. They said, “Have we any part in the affair?” Say you (O Muhammad SAW): “Indeed the affair belongs wholly to Allâh.” They hide within themselves what they dare not reveal to you, saying: “If we had anything to do with the affair, none of us would have been killed here.” Say: “Even if you had remained in your homes, those for whom death was decreed would certainly have gone forth to the place of their death,” but that Allâh might test what is in your breasts; and to purify that which was in your hearts (sins), and Allâh is All-Knower of what is in (your) breasts. (154)

Those of you who turned back on the day the two hosts met (i.e. the battle of Uhud), it was Shaitân (Satan) who caused them to backslide (run away from the battlefield) because of some (sins) they had earned. But Allâh, indeed, has forgiven them. Surely, Allâh is Oft¬Forgiving, Most Forbearing. (155)

O you who believe! Be not like those who disbelieve (hypocrites) and who say to their brethren when they travel through the earth or go out to fight: “If they had stayed with us, they would not have died or been killed,” so that Allâh may make it a cause of regret in their hearts. It is Allâh that gives life and causes death. And Allâh is All-Seer of what you do. (156)

And if you are killed or die in the Way of Allâh, forgiveness and mercy from Allâh are far better than all that they amass (of worldly wealths). (157)

And whether you die, or are killed, verily, unto Allâh you shall be gathered. (158)

(What is the matter with you?) When a single disaster smites you, although you smote (your enemies) with one twice as great, you say: “From where does this come to us?” Say (to them), “It is from yourselves (because of your evil deeds).” And Allâh has power over all things. (165)

And what you suffered (of the disaster) on the day (of the battle of Uhud when) the two armies met, was by the leave of Allâh, in order that He might test the believers. (166)

(They are) the ones who said about their killed brethren while they themselves sat (at home): “If only they had listened to us, they would not have been killed.” Say: “Avert death from your ownselves, if you speak the truth.” (168)

Think not of those who are killed in the Way of Allâh as dead. Nay, they are alive, with their Lord, and they have provision- (169)

They rejoice in what Allâh has bestowed upon them of His Bounty, rejoice for the sake of those who have not yet joined them, but are left behind (not yet martyred) that on them no fear shall come, nor shall they grieve. (170)

They rejoice in a Grace and a Bounty from Allâh, and that Allâh will not waste the reward of the believers. (171)

Those who answered (the Call of) Allâh and the Messenger (Muhammad SAW) after being wounded; for those of them who did good deeds and feared Allâh, there is a great reward. (172)

Those (i.e. believers) unto whom the people (hypocrites) said, “Verily, the people (pagans) have gathered against you (a great army), therefore, fear them.” But it (only) increased them in Faith, and they said: “Allâh (Alone) is Sufficient for us, and He is the Best Disposer of affairs (for us).” (173)

So they returned with Grace and Bounty from Allâh. No harm touched them; and they followed the good Pleasure of Allâh. And Allâh is the Owner of Great Bounty. (174)

It is only Shaitân (Satan) that suggests to you the fear of his Auliyâ‘ [supporters and friends (polytheists, disbelievers in the Oneness of Allâh and in His Messenger, Muhammad SAW)], so fear them not, but fear Me, if you are (true) believers. (175)

Allâh will not leave the believers in the state in which you are now, until He distinguishes the wicked from the good. Nor will Allâh disclose to you the secrets of the Ghaib (unseen), but Allâh chooses of His Messengers whom He wills. So believe in Allâh and His Messengers. And if you believe and fear Allâh, then for you there is a great reward. (179)

You shall certainly be tried and tested in your wealth and properties and in your personal selves, and you shall certainly hear much that will grieve you from those who received the Scripture before you (Jews and Christians) and from those who ascribe partners to Allâh; but if you persevere patiently, and become Al-Muttaqûn  then verily, that will be a determining factor in all affairs (and that is from the great matters which you must hold on with all your efforts). (186)

***

P.S. Do read Ibn Kathir’s tafseer here and you can click on the ‘>’ sign to go onto the next page. You’ll find it very beneficial and could become experts in the battle of Uhud if someone asks you about it in future…and possibly correct me too.

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