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Section 14: The Faithfuls and Hypocrites in the battle of 'Uhud

Surah 'Ali-Imran, Verse 156

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ لاَ تَكُونُواْ كَالَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ وَقَالُواْ لإِخْوَانِهِمْ إِذَا ضَرَبُواْ فِي الأَرْضِ أَوْ كَانُواْ غُزًّى لَّوْ كَانُواْ عِندَنَا مَا مَاتُواْ وَمَا قُتِلُواْ لِيَجْعَلَ اللّهُ ذَلِكَ حَسْرَةً فِي قُلُوبِهِمْ وَاللّهُ يُحْيِـي وَيُمِيتُ وَاللّهُ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ بَصِيرٌ

156. "O' you who have Faith! be not like those who disbelieved and said of their brethren when they travelled in the earth or engaged in fighting: 'Had they been with us they would not have died and they would not have been killed '; so that Allah may make this a regret in their hearts. And, Allah gives life and causes to die; and Allah sees what you do."

We ought to stand firm against discouraging propagations and inspirations, and gossips should not be retold. We must know that death and life are from the determinations of Allah and are not concerned to fight and journey. So, the enemy cast the evil propagation in the form of sympathy and regret.

"O' you who have Faith! be not like those who disbelieved and said of their brethren when they travelled in the earth or engaged in fighting: 'Had they been with us they would not have died and they would not have been killed '; so that Allah may make this a regret in their hearts. And, Allah gives life and causes to die..."

Thus, Allah is the Clear sighted and the Cognizant. So, be careful of your conditions, thoughts, and deeds.

"... and Allah sees what you do."

Surah 'Ali-Imran, Verse 157

وَلَئِن قُتِلْتُمْ فِي سَبِيلِ اللّهِ أَوْ مُتُّمْ لَمَغْفِرَةٌ مِّنَ اللّهِ وَرَحْمَةٌ خَيْرٌ مِّمَّا يَجْمَعُونَ

157. "And if you be killed in the way of Allah or you die, surely forgiveness and mercy from Allah are far better than all that they amass."

In divine world-view and heavenly theology, the death in the way of Allah (martyrdom) is better than the whole world and its belongings to be compiled.

Mercy and forgiveness have an eternal result, but wealth and property have some temporal effects. What is important is that the affairs be in the way of Allah, whether martyrdom or death.

"And if you be killed in the way of Allah or you die, surely forgiveness and mercy from Allah are far better than all that they amass."

Surah 'Ali-Imran, Verse 158

وَلَئِن مُّتُّمْ أَوْ قُتِلْتُمْ لإِلَى الله تُحْشَرُونَ

158. "And if you die or be killed, certainly to Allah shall you be gathered together."

There is no more than one way and it is going towards Allah. Then, why do we not accept the best kind of passing away contently when we move to that direction?

"And if you die or be killed, certainly to Allah shall you be gathered together."

And, if death and martyrdom is returning to Allah, then why is there anxiety in our mind?

Imam Hussayn (as) has said:

"If bodies are prepared for death, then the death of a man in the way of Allah with sword is the best death."1

Surah 'Ali-Imran, Verse 159

فَبِمَا رَحْمَةٍ مِّنَ اللّهِ لِنتَ لَهُمْ وَلَوْ كُنتَ فَظًّا غَلِيظَ الْقَلْبِ لاَنفَضُّواْ مِنْ حَوْلِكَ فَاعْفُ عَنْهُمْ وَاسْتَغْفِرْ لَهُمْ وَشَاوِرْهُمْ فِي الأَمْرِ فَإِذَا عَزَمْتَ فَتَوَكَّلْ عَلَى اللّهِ إِنَّ اللّهَ يُحِبُّ الْمُتَوَكِّلِينَ

159. "Thus, it is due to the mercy from Allah that you have been lenient with them, and had you been rough, hard hearted, they would certainly have dispersed from around you. Therefore, pardon them and seek forgiveness for them; and consult with them in the affair. So, when you have decided, then trust in Allah; (for) verily Allah loves those who trust (in Him)."

The content of the verse works as some general instructions, but the revelation of the verse is about the Battle of 'Uhud. The Muslims who had ran away in the Battle of 'Uhud and were defeated, were burning in the fire of regret, remorse and sorrow. They gathered around the Prophet (S) and apologized. Then, the Lord issued the command of their general pardon by this verse.

Explanations

1. Lenience is a gift from Allah. Thus, those who have not lenience are deprived from this bounty.

"Thus, it is due to the mercy from Allah that you have been lenient with them ..."

2. The hard-hearted and strict people cannot have etiquette with people.

"... and had you been rough, hard hearted, they would certainly have dispersed from around you ..."

3. A fruitful and proper leadership and administration ship is always accompanied with attraction and affection.

4. Attract those defeated in war and modest sinners.

"... Therefore, pardon them and seek forgiveness for them; and consult with them in the affair"

5. Inside consultation, there lie: sympathy, development of talents, recognition of friends from enemies, selecting the best attitude, creation of kindness and love, and a practical lesson for others.

6. You may pardon them for the injustice they treated to you, and for the sin they committed with respect to Allah, seek forgiveness from Allah for them and keep them in the scene by consulting with them in the political, social affairs.

7. Beside contemplation and consultation, do not forget to trust in Allah.

"... so, when you have decided, then trust in Allah..."

8. Consultation and reliance in Allah are beloved with Him, whether we attain the aim or not.

"... (for) verily Allah loves those who trust (in Him)."

9. In administration ship once lenience is needed, like this verse:

"... pardon them...",

while in another occasion intensity and severity is necessary:

"... and be hard against them ..."2

Surah 'Ali-Imran, Verse 160

إِن يَنصُرْكُمُ اللّهُ فَلاَ غَالِبَ لَكُمْ وَإِن يَخْذُلْكُمْ فَمَن ذَا الَّذِي يَنصُرُكُم مِّن بَعْدِهِ وَعَلَى اللّهِ فَلْيَتَوَكِّلِ الْمُؤْمِنُونَ

160. "If Allah helps you, none can overcome you. But, if He forsakes you, who if there then that can help you after that? And on Allah should the believers rely."

In the previous verse, trust and reliance in Allah was recommended. In this verse the reason of that reliance is expressed, saying that both honour and abasement are with Allah.

It is narrated in a tradition that the Prophet (S) asked Gabriel: "What if trust in Allah?"
Gabriel answered:

"It if so that you know people do not give you profit nor loss, neither they grant nor restrain; and that you be despair of all human kind. Then, when a servant becomes like this, he will not act for anyone except Allah; he will not be hopeful of or afraid of anyone but Allah; he will not become desirous in anyone save Allah. And, this is the reality of trust, / tawakku /l."3

Explanations

1. Both overcoming against the enemy, or being defeated from the enemy, are in the Will of Allah.

2. Natural victories are usually influenced by other factors, but the divine helps and victories are not like that.

"If Allah helps you, none can overcome you. But, if He forsakes you, who if there then that can help you after that? And on Allah should the believers rely."

Surah 'Ali-Imran, Verse 161

وَمَا كَانَ لِنَبِيٍّ أَن يَغُلَّ وَمَن يَغْلُلْ يَأْتِ بِمَا غَلَّ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ ثُمَّ تُوَفَّى كُلُّ نَفْسٍ مَّا كَسَبَتْ وَهُمْ لاَ يُظْلَمُونَ

161. "And it is not for any prophet to defraud and whoever defrauds shall bring along what he has defrauded on the Day of Resurrection. Then everyone will be repaid for whatever he has earned, and they will not be dealt with unjustly."

This verse, may be as an answer that refers to those who, for the sake of gathering spoils of war, left the protective zone in 'Uhud. Imagining that they would not be deprived from their booty shares, they ignored the warnings of their commander who said that their share was preserved and it would not be far from the view of the Messenger of Allah (S).

Explanations

1. Prophets have always been trustworthy. The one, who wants to train some trustworthy persons, must not himself be treacherous. (Unfortunately, today, there are many treacherous figures among the non-heavenly leaders).

2. Not all the companions had enough Faith. Some of them were so that who might prove treacherous actions unto the Messenger of Allah (S).

3. None is safe from the suspicion of people.

4. Taking the property of others today (in this world) and returning them on that Day (in the Hereafter) is a kind of punishment. And, what a grievous state is that, that a person be brought with the wealth he had proved treacherous in before Prophets, martyrs and all human beings on the Day of Judgment.

"... and whoever defrauds shall bring along what he has defrauded ..."

Fraud; deceit, usurpation and treachery are from among the instances of /qall/ 'defraud'.

At the time of the Prophet (S), it happened that the man who was in charge of collecting alms came to the Messenger of Allah (S) and said:

"This quantity of wealth have collected is alms and belongs to you, and this separate quantity is the gifts of people to myself."

Then, the Prophet (S) went up the pulpit and asked the audience:

'If this person remained at home, would any one give him a gift ? By Allah he will be raised in Hereafter with these unlawful properties.'

5. Remembrance of Hereafter restrains a person from treachery-

"... then everyone will be repaid for whatever he has earned ..."

6. Allah is just. (He both gives the reward completely and never goes to extremes, even for a dot).

"... and they will not be dealt with unjustly."

7. Defend the rights of pure servants and the saints of Allah.

"And it is not for any prophet to defraud ..."

8. The weakness of faith, from one side, and the love of the world, from another side, set men to suspect against the prophets.

9. Hereafter is a scene where the righteous will bring their good deeds and the treacherous ones will bring their own treacheries:

"... and whoever defrauds shall bring along what he has defrauded on the Day of Resurrection"

10. The rank of prophet hood never fits with treachery.

Surah 'Ali-Imran, Verse 162

أَفَمَنِ اتَّبَعَ رِضْوَانَ اللّهِ كَمَن بَاء بِسَخْطٍ مِّنَ اللّهِ وَمَأْوَاهُ جَهَنَّمُ وَبِئْسَ الْمَصِيرُ

162. "Is one who follows the pleasure of Allah like him who incurs wrath from Allah, and whose abode will be Hell? And an evil destination it is.! "

Upon the occasion of revelation of this verse, it is cited in books from both great sects of Islam that: When the Messenger of Allah issued the command of setting to 'Uhud the hypocrites stayed in Medina under the pretext that they were not sure of the occurrence of fight and conflict.

At the same time some Muslims whose faith was weak followed them and did not attend at the battle. This verse illustrates the feature of this group.

In a few former verses (verse 155) it said that Allah has pardoned those who ran away from the battle and after that they regretted, But, regarding to the occasion of revelation of the verse, He does not forgive the wealthy ones and the hypocrites who seek excuses.

Explanations

1. In an Islamic society, strivers and those who sit still at home should not be treated the same, (regarding to the occasion of revelation).

2. The aim of the true strivers is gaining the good pleasure of Allah.

"Is one who follows the pleasure of Allah…"

3. Returning face from battle-field is returning to the Wrath of Allah.

"…like him who incurs wrath from Allah…"
"… and whose abode will be Hell?..."
"…And it is an evil destination."

Surah 'Ali-Imran, Verse 163

هُمْ دَرَجَاتٌ عِندَ اللّهِ واللّهُ بَصِيرٌ بِمَا يَعْمَلُونَ

163. "They are of (varying) ranks with Allah; and Allah sees what they do."

Some verses of the Qur'an indicate that there are different degrees for the people. For example, Surah Al-Anfal, No.8, verse 4 says:

"... they shall have from their Lord exalted grades..."

Or, Surah Taha, No 20, verse 75 says:

"... these it is who shall have the high ranks."

In this verse the persons themselves are rendered into 'ranks'. It is similar to the meaning that a human being should act according to the scale, but later he himself becomes a scale.

Or, another example is that: at first man is 'praiser of Allah', /Ŏakir/, but later he himself becomes 'reminder', /Ŏikr/, in a way that his remembrance causes hearts to be in peace. At first, he turns around the axis, but, later, he himself becomes the axis of the Truth.

"They are of (varying) ranks with Allah; and Allah sees what they do."

Surah 'Ali-Imran, Verse 164

لَقَدْ مَنَّ اللّهُ عَلَى الْمُؤمِنِينَ إِذْ بَعَثَ فِيهِمْ رَسُولاً مِّنْ أَنفُسِهِمْ يَتْلُو عَلَيْهِمْ آيَاتِهِ وَيُزَكِّيهِمْ وَيُعَلِّمُهُمُ الْكِتَابَ وَالْحِكْمَةَ وَإِن كَانُواْ مِن قَبْلُ لَفِي ضَلالٍ مُّبِينٍ

164. "Indeed Allah conferred a favour upon the believers when He raised up among them a messenger of their own selves to recite His verses unto them and purify them and to teach them the Book and the Wisdom; although earlier they had surely been in manifest error."

The Arabic term /minnah/ is derived from the root /manna/ with the sense of a stone by which things may be weighed. Thus, every weighty and valuable bounty is called /minnah/. But showing some slight bounties as some heavy and magnificent ones is disagreeable. Therefore, donating a great bounty is good, but representing an ordinary bounty in a great shape is reprobated.

Explanations

1. The appointment of Prophets to prophecy is the greatest heavenly gift and the greatest bounty of Allah.

"Indeed Allah conferred a favour..."

2. Prophets were chosen from among people themselves.

"…when He raised up among them a messenger from among themselves..."

(See also the following complementary explanation, No.1)

3. Purification is prior to teaching. (Purification and instruction have been at the top of the training programs of prophets).

4. The mission of prophets envelops all human kind, yet only the believers are gratitude unto this bounty and enjoy of the light of guidance.

"Indeed Allah conferred a favour upon the believers ..."

5. Self-improvement and rectitude should be performed under the light of the prophets' school of thought and the verses of Allah.

"... to recite His verses unto them and to purify them ..."

The austerities and monasticisms whose origin is not verses of Allah and whose teachers are not divine prophets, themselves are deviation.

6. In order to recognize the bounty of appointment of prophets better, we should refer to the history concerning before their times.

"... although before this they had surely been in manifest error."

7. In corruptive dark and very gloomy environments it is possible to work, too.

8. In the manner of prophets, spiritual training and teaching both are accompanied with wisdom.

"... and to purify them and to teach them the Book and the Wisdom..."

Complementary Explanations

1. The appointment of prophets from among people has some favours in itself:

a) People know the background of such a prophet and trust in him.

b) People are Pioneers in executing the commands of Allah.

c) Prophets are acquainted with the pains of people and they sympathetically have a share in their joys and sorrows.

d) Prophets are always available for people.

2. There is a popular proverb in the Arabic Language which says: Things are known by their opposites.

As it is understood from the statements of Hadrat Ali (as) in Nahjul-Balagha, in the Age of Ignorance, People had neither a sound culture nor a good hygiene.4

When Hadrat Ja'far Tayyar, Hadrat Ali's brother, was in Abyssinia, he illustrated the situation of the Age of Ignorance for Najashi as such:

"We were worshipping idols (but now we are worshippers of Allah). At that time, we consumed corpses; we were of corruptives; we used to break off connections with our kindred, we had ill treatments with our neighbours, the strong members of us often devoured the rights of the weak."

Surah 'Ali-Imran, Verse 165

أَوَلَمَّا أَصَابَتْكُم مُّصِيبَةٌ قَدْ أَصَبْتُم مِّثْلَيْهَا قُلْتُمْ أَنَّى هَـذَا قُلْ هُوَ مِنْ عِندِ أَنْفُسِكُمْ إِنَّ اللّهَ عَلَى كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ

165. "Yet, when a disaster befalls you while you have certainly afflicted (the fow) with twice as much, you say: ' Whence is this?' Say: 'It if from your own selves'. Surely Allah is All-Powerful over all things."

When seventy persons from Muslim troop were killed in the Battle of 'Uhud and Muslims were defeated, they asked each other why they were defeated. The Lord tells them they had afflicted the enemy with twice as many in the Battle of Badr the previous year.

They killed seventy people of them and captured seventy men from them, too. Besides that, the failure of that year was for their own disunity and inactivity, and that they did not obey their commander.

Explanations

1. When judging, consider both the bitter and sweet aspects. (Do not think of the failure of 'Uhud alone and forget the triumph of Badr).

"Yet, when a disaster befalls you while you have certainly afflicted (the fow) with twice as much..."

2. In searching for the factors of failure, begin with the innate, spiritual and mental factors; and then go to follow other factors.

"….you say: ' Whence is this?' Say: 'It if from your own selves.'…"

3. Allah is powerful over all things, but we must obtain the necessary conditions and eligibilities of enjoying it.

"... Surely Allah is All-Powerful over all things'."

4. Do not imagine that to be only Muslim is enough for winning the battle and, consequently, in every failure use the question of 'why' and how, "Whence is this?", but beside Faith, it is necessary that the military rules, and divine way be paid attention to.

Surah 'Ali-Imran, Verse 166

وَمَا أَصَابَكُمْ يَوْمَ الْتَقَى الْجَمْعَانِ فَبِإِذْنِ اللّهِ وَلِيَعْلَمَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ

166. "And what befell you on tie day when both troops met was by Allah's leave and that He might distinguish the believers."

Allah has set a cause or causes for any effect, and then either failure or victory has some secrets. Your failure in the Battle of 'Uhud related to the law of causation. It was you who relaxed your efforts in the battle and did not come into agreement with other strivers, and were greedy to gather the spoils of war. This is Allah's way of treatment and the Divine Law is found in all fights.

"And what befell you on the day when both troops met was by Allah's leave..."

Explanations

1. Failures and triumphs take place under the Will of Allah, and His leave is the same as Allah's way of treatment.

"... by Allah's leave ..."

2. Bitter and sweet happenings are the site of trial and recognition of human beings.

"... and that He might distinguish the believers."

Surah 'Ali-Imran, Verse 167

وَلْيَعْلَمَ الَّذِينَ نَافَقُواْ وَقِيلَ لَهُمْ تَعَالَوْاْ قَاتِلُواْ فِي سَبِيلِ اللّهِ أَوِ ادْفَعُواْ قَالُواْ لَوْ نَعْلَمُ قِتَالاً لاَّتَّبَعْنَاكُمْ هُمْ لِلْكُفْرِ يَوْمَئِذٍ أَقْرَبُ مِنْهُمْ لِلإِيمَانِ يَقُولُونَ بِأَفْوَاهِهِم مَّا لَيْسَ فِي قُلُوبِهِمْ وَاللّهُ أَعْلَمُ بِمَا يَكْتُمُونَ

167. "And that He might distinguish those who treated hypocritically; and it was said to them; 'Come! Fight in the way of Allah, or (at least) defend yourselves '. They said: ' lf we knew fighting, we would certainly have followed you '. That time they were much nearer to the infidelity than to Faith. They utter with their mouths what is not in their hearts, and Allah knows best what they conceal."

In this holy verse, another fact is referred to. It says:

"And that He might distinguish those who treated hypocritically..."

Then the Qur'an points to the debates that some Muslims and hypocrites had before the battle as such that: One of the Muslims (by the name of' Abdillah-ibn-' Amr-ibn-Hazzam, as Ibn-' Abbas has reported), observing that 'Abdullah-ibn- 'Abi Salul and his friends separated from the troop of Islam and decided to return to Medina, told them:

"... and it was said to them: 'Come! Fight in the way of Allah; or (at least) defend yourselves. '... "

But they brought forth a vain excuse and said:

"... they said: ' If we knew fighting, we would certainly have followed you '."

It was not more than a pretext. Both the occurrence of war was certain, and Muslims were winning the war at the beginning. If a failure came upon them, it was because of their own faults and offences Allah says that they told a lie.

"... that time they were much nearer to the infidelity than to Faith "

It is understood from the above statement that infidelity and Faith have some degrees which depend on the notion and the way of treatment of the individual.

"… they utter with their mouths what is not in their hearts,.."

They refrained from going to the battle-field as a result of their obstinacy upon their suggestion that they would fight in Medina, and because of fear from the hard blows of the enemy, or for the lack of love in Islam, But:

"…and Allah knows best what they conceal."

It is in such a case that He both manifests their evil feature for Muslims in this world, and will reckon their account in the Hereafter.

Surah 'Ali-Imran, Verse 168

الَّذِينَ قَالُواْ لإِخْوَانِهِمْ وَقَعَدُواْ لَوْ أَطَاعُونَا مَا قُتِلُوا قُلْ فَادْرَؤُوا عَنْ أَنفُسِكُمُ الْمَوْتَ إِن كُنتُمْ صَادِقِينَ

168. "those who said about their brethren while themselves sat (at home): 'Had they obeyed us, they would not have been killed '. Say: ' Avert death .from yourselves then, if you are truthful."

Besides that the hypocrites themselves refrained from going to the Battle of 'Uhud, when the strivers were returning back from fight, they reproached them. The Qur'an answers their groundless speech in this verse. It says:

"those who said about their brethren while themselves sat (at home): 'Had they obeyed us, they would not have been killed '. Say: ' Avert death from yourselves then, if you are truthful."

Surah 'Ali-Imran, Verse 169

وَلاَ تَحْسَبَنَّ الَّذِينَ قُتِلُواْ فِي سَبِيلِ اللّهِ أَمْوَاتًا بَلْ أَحْيَاء عِندَ رَبِّهِمْ يُرْزَقُونَ

169. "Do not think of those who were killed in the way of Allah to be dead. Nay, they are alive, being provided sustenance with their Lord."

The Alive in Eternal!

This verse and two verses next to it were revealed after the incident of 'Uhud. But its meaning and its content is general, so that it involves all the martyrs of 'Uhud. The number of the martyrs there was fourteen the high rank of whom, as well as all martyrs, is referred to in this verse. It says:

"Do not think of those who were killed in the way of Allah to be dead..."

Here, the addressee is only the Prophet (S) in order that others reckon their account.

"... Nay, they are alive, being provided sustenance with their Lord."

The purpose of life here is the very purgatorial life which souls have in the world after death. This does not belong to only the martyrs. But, in view of the fact that martyrs are so involved the merits of the spiritual life that as if the life of other people in the intermediate state is rather slight in comparison with it, so only they are named.

Surah 'Ali-Imran, Verse 170

فَرِحِينَ بِمَا آتَاهُمُ اللّهُ مِن فَضْلِهِ وَيَسْتَبْشِرُونَ بِالَّذِينَ لَمْ يَلْحَقُواْ بِهِم مِّنْ خَلْفِهِمْ أَلاَّ خَوْفٌ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلاَ هُمْ يَحْزَنُونَ

170. "They are happy with what Allah has given them out of His Grace, and rejoicing for those who have not yet joined them from behind them. No fear shall be upon them nor shall they grieve."

A part of the advantages and abundant bounties of the purgatory life of martyrs are pointed out in this verse. It says:

"They are happy with what Allah has given them out of His Grace ..."

Their second happiness is for their brothers who are strivers, but they have not joined them yet. The strivers, the future martyrs, are also happy because they see the high rank of martyrs in the next world and know that there will be no fear nor any grief upon them on the Resurrection Day, and for its terrible happenings as well. It says:

"... and rejoicing for those who have not yet joined them from behind them. No fear shall be upon them nor shall they grieve."

Surah 'Ali-Imran, Verse 171

يَسْتَبْشِرُونَ بِنِعْمَةٍ مِّنَ اللّهِ وَفَضْلٍ وَأَنَّ اللّهَ لاَ يُضِيعُ أَجْرَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ

171. "They rejoice because of favour from Allah and (His) grace, and that Allah does not waste the reward of the believers."

This verse, in fact, is as an emphasis and as a more explanation upon the glad tidings that martyrs receive after their slain. They will be happy because of two matters. The first is for that they receive the bounties of Allah, -not only His bounties but His Grace, too, (which is the increase and repetition of His merits). It says:

"They rejoice because of favour from Allah and (His) grace ..."

Another matter is that they see that Allah does not waste the reward of the believers, neither the reward of the martyrs nor the reward of these true believing strivers who have not obtained the rank of martyrdom yet. It says:

"... and that Allah does not waste the reward of the believers"
  • 1. Bihar-ul 'Anwar, vol. 44, p. 374
  • 2. Surah Al- Tahrim, No.66, verse 9
  • 3. Bihar-al-Anwar, vol. 71, p. 138
  • 4. Nahjul Balagha, sermon 26

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