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Section 12: Perseverance and Patience in Suffering Enjoined

To be steadfast in faith and to be steadfast in suffering - warning to the companions of the Apostle of Allah against giving wave in the events of trials and turning their backs upon their heels.

Surah 'Ali-Imran, Verse 144

وَمَا مُحَمَّدٌ إِلاَّ رَسُولٌ قَدْ خَلَتْ مِن قَبْلِهِ الرُّسُلُ أَفَإِن مَّاتَ أَوْ قُتِلَ انقَلَبْتُمْ عَلَى أَعْقَابِكُمْ وَمَن يَنقَلِبْ عَلَىَ عَقِبَيْهِ فَلَن يَضُرَّ اللّهَ شَيْئًا وَسَيَجْزِي اللّهُ الشَّاكِرِينَ

144. "And Muhammad is not but only a messenger before whom messengers have already passed away. Therefore, if he dies or be killed, will you turn back (in creed) upon your heels? And whoever turns back upon his heels will by no means do harm to Allah in the least; and Allah will reward the grateful. "

In many books from both schools of thought, it is cited that when in the Battle of 'Uhud a stone was thrown towards the teeth of the Prophet (S) by the disbelievers and it bled, someone cried that Muhammad was killed.

Some believers also considered the slain of Mas'ab by mistake as the slain of the Prophet (S). The gossip caused the disbelievers to be happy and encouraged, and a group of the unsettled Muslims ran away.

Some others thought to go to Abi Sufyan, the commander of the disbelievers, to get immunity. On the other hand, there were some Muslims there who shouted loudly:

"Suppose Muhammad (S) does not exist, but the path of Muhammad (S) and the Lord of Muhammad (S) do exist. Then do not escape! "

Explanations

1. The Islamic community should be so firmly formed that even the absence of the leader does not harm it.

2. The Prophet of Islam (S) also follows Allah's way of treatment and the natural laws, and conditions such as death and life.

"And Muhammad is not but only a messenger ..."

3. Did the followers of the former religions returned from their Faith when their Prophets died?

"... before whom messengers have already passed away..."

4. Spreading gossips is one the weapons of the enemy, (regarding the occasion of revelation of the verse).

"... Therefore, if he dies or be killed, will you turn back (in creed) upon your heels? ..."

5. Belief or disbelief of people has neither any gain nor any loss for Allah..

"And whoever turns back upon his heels will by no means do harm to Allah in the least..."

6. Persevering on the path of right is the best kind of the practical gratitude, the reward of which is with Allah.

"... and Allah will reward the grateful."

Surah 'Ali-Imran, Verse 145

وَمَا كَانَ لِنَفْسٍ أَنْ تَمُوتَ إِلاَّ بِإِذْنِ الله كِتَابًا مُّؤَجَّلاً وَمَن يُرِدْ ثَوَابَ الدُّنْيَا نُؤْتِهِ مِنْهَا وَمَن يُرِدْ ثَوَابَ الآخِرَةِ نُؤْتِهِ مِنْهَا وَسَنَجْزِي الشَّاكِرِينَ

145. "And it is not for anyone to die but by Allah's leave at a term appointed; and whoever desires the reward of this world, We give him thereof; and whoever desires the reward of the Hereafter, We give him thereof ! and Allah will reward the grateful."

As it was said before, the vain gossip of the death of the Prophet (S), in the Battle of 'Uhud disturbed a great number of Muslims so that some of them ran away from the Battlefield. It was so terrible that a few of them even wanted to return from Islam, too. In this verse, again to warn and aware that group, it says:

"And it is not for anyone to die but by Allah's leave at a term appointed..."

Thus, if the Prophet of Allah (S) were slain in that battlefield, it would not be anything but the devised performance of Allah's way of treatment.

On the other side, escaping from the battlefield cannot prevent the coming of death of a person, the same as the participation in the Holy war does not hasten in the death of anyone.

At the end of the verse, it indicates that the effort and endeavour of no one will be wasted. Then, if the aim of a person is only the Worldly material profits (and, like those fighters of 'Uhud tries only for obtaining war spoils) the one will finally get a share of it and, however, such people will attain their aim.

".. and whoever desire the reward of the Hereafter, We give him thereof! .."

Therefore, now that obtaining both the worldly merits and those of Hereafter need effort, then why might a person not use the capital of his self along the second path, which is an excellent and constant way?

Another time again, it emphasizes that:

"… and Allah will reward the grateful."

Surah 'Ali-Imran, Verse 146

وَكَأَيِّن مِّن نَّبِيٍّ قَاتَلَ مَعَهُ رِبِّيُّونَ كَثِيرٌ فَمَا وَهَنُواْ لِمَا أَصَابَهُمْ فِي سَبِيلِ اللّهِ وَمَا ضَعُفُواْ وَمَا اسْتَكَانُواْ وَاللّهُ يُحِبُّ الصَّابِرِينَ

146. "And how many a prophet there has been with whom were many Godly men fought; so they did not falter despite what afflicted them in the way of Allah, nor did they weaken, nor did they yield, and Allah loves the patient, (the steadfast)."

Former Strivers

Following the adventures of 'Uhud, this verse refers to the bravery, faith and perseverance of the strivers and followers of the former prophets. It encourages the Muslims to bravery, self-sacrifice and constancy while it scorns those who escaped from the battle of 'Uhud. It says:

"And how many a prophet there has been with whom were many Godly men fought; so they did not falter despite what afflicted them in the way of Allah, nor did they weaken, nor did they yield..."

It is evident that Allah also loves such servants who do not abandon perseverance-

"…and Allah loves the patient, (the steadfast),"

Surah 'Ali-Imran, Verse 147

وَمَا كَانَ قَوْلَهُمْ إِلاَّ أَن قَالُواْ ربَّنَا اغْفِرْ لَنَا ذُنُوبَنَا وَإِسْرَافَنَا فِي أَمْرِنَا وَثَبِّتْ أَقْدَامَنَا وانصُرْنَا عَلَى الْقَوْمِ الْكَافِرِينَ

147. "And their statement was nothing but that they said: ' Our Lord! Forgive us our sins and our prodigality in our affair and make our feet firm and help us against the disbelieving folk '."

When facing with the enemy they entangled with difficulties as a result of some mistakes, or shortcomings they had. So, instead of leaving the battlefield, or yielding to the enemy, or arising the thought of apostasy or returning to infidelity in their mind, they turned to the glory of Allah and:

"And their statement was nothing but that they said: ' Our Lord! forgive us our sins and our prodigality in our affair and make our feet firm and help us against the disbelieving folk '."

Surah 'Ali-Imran, Verse 148

فَآتَاهُمُ اللّهُ ثَوَابَ الدُّنْيَا وَحُسْنَ ثَوَابِ الآخِرَةِ وَاللّهُ يُحِبُّ الْمُحْسِنِينَ

148. "So Allah gave them the reward of the world and the goodness of the reward of the Hereafter; and Allah loves the doers of good."

With that kind of thought and practice, they would get their reward from Allah soon. Thus, Allah, too, gave them both the reward of this world, which was their victory and overcoming against the enemy, and the good reward of the Hereafter.

"So Allah gave them the reward of the world and the goodness of the reward of the Hereafter..."

Then, at the end of the verse, the Qur'an has counted them among the good doers, and says:

"... and Allah loves the doers of good."

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