إِذْ يَقُولُ الْمُنَافِقُونَ وَالَّذِينَ فِي قُلُوبِهِمْ مَرَضٌ غَرَّ هَٰؤُلَاءِ دِينُهُمْ ۗ وَمَنْ يَتَوَكَّلْ عَلَى اللَّهِ فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ عَزِيزٌ حَكِيمٌ
49. “(Remember) when the hypocrites said, and those in whose hearts were a disease: ‘Their religion has deluded them, But whoever puts his trust in Allah, then Allah is indeed the Mighty, the Wise.”
The persons who apparently express that they have believed in Islam but inwardly they hesitate about it are those who carry a disease in their hearts. The verse says:
Some commentators have said that there were several young men from Quraysh in Mecca who embraced Islam, and then, their fathers put them in prison. They were: Qays-ibn- Walid-ibn-Muqayrah, Ali-ibn-'Ummayit-ibn-Khalf, -ibn- Munbih, Harith-ibn-Zam'ah, and Abu-Qays-ibn-Fakihat-ibn- Muqayrah.
As soon as they saw the small number of the Muslims in war, they said that those people were proud of their religion and, disregard the large crowd of pagans there, they had been deceived by the Prophet (S) and they came to fight.
Then Allah states the following phrase, meaning that they themselves were deluded. The verse says:
That is, whoever delivers his affairs to Allah (s.w.t) and, trusts in Him while he tries to please Him by his good behaviour, Allah (s.w.t) helps him and prepares the means of victory for him. The reason is that Allah is Mighty and Wise, and the one who refuges to Him will be secured by His mightness and wisdom.
وَلَوْ تَرَىٰ إِذْ يَتَوَفَّى الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا ۙ الْمَلَائِكَةُ يَضْرِبُونَ وُجُوهَهُمْ وَأَدْبَارَهُمْ وَذُوقُوا عَذَابَ الْحَرِيقِ
ذَٰلِكَ بِمَا قَدَّمَتْ أَيْدِيكُمْ وَأَنَّ اللَّهَ لَيْسَ بِظَلَّامٍ لِلْعَبِيدِ
50. “And had you seen when the angles take away the souls of those who disbelieve, smiting their faces and their backs (and saying): ‘Taste the punishment of the burning’.
51. “This is for what your hands have sent ahead, and that Allah is not unjust unto the servants.”
The verse indicates that were you to see when the angles take away the infidels, striking their faces and their backs, you would surprise. The objective meaning is the dead bodies of those who were killed in the Battle of Badr. The verse says:
It has been said that a man came to the Prophet of Islam (S) and said that he had seen a trace on the back of Abu Jahl which was like the trace of a horseshoe. The Prophet (S) said that it had been the trace of the smiting of the angles.
Mujahid had narrated that once a man told the Prophet (S) that as soon as he decided to smite one of the polytheists, he fell dead The Prophet (S) said that the angels had attacked the pagan before he started.
The angels tell the infidels that after this punishment there is another chastisement waiting them which is more burning and more blazing.
Some commentators have said that, on the day of the Battle of Badr, the angels had some arms made of iron when they struck them on the polytheists, a fire burned their wounds, and the purpose of the phrase ‘taste the punishment of the burning’ is this very meaning.
This retribution they are involved with is for the evil manner they showed from themselves in this life.
The reason why the verse says ‘This is for what your, hands have sent ahead’, is that most of actions are done by the hands. The purpose here is their crimes, faithlessness, and sins. The verse says
Allah (s.w.t) punishes the servants as much as they are deserving to, not more than that.
However, it is clearly understood from this verse that Allah does not punish anyone without having any sin, or for the sin another person has committed, because it is unjust So, Allah seriously negates cruelty and injustice from Himself, when He, says
كَدَأْبِ آلِ فِرْعَوْنَ ۙ وَالَّذِينَ مِنْ قَبْلِهِمْ ۚ كَفَرُوا بِآيَاتِ اللَّهِ فَأَخَذَهُمُ اللَّهُ بِذُنُوبِهِمْ ۗ إِنَّ اللَّهَ قَوِيٌّ شَدِيدُ الْعِقَابِ
52. “(O' Prophet! the manner of pagans of your time is also) like the manner of Pharaoh's clan and those before them, they disbelieved in Allah's Signs, so Allah seized them for their sins. Verily Allah is strong, severe in retribution.”
In this verse and it’s following couple of verses, the Quran points to a constant Divine way of manner about clans and nations.
At first it addresses the Prophet (S) and implies that the style and the state of the pagans of Quraysh are like that of Pharaoh’s clan and the people who were before them. Those people rejected the Signs of Allah, therefore He punished them for their sins. The verse says:
It is certain that Allah (s.w.t) is Mighty, Omnipotent, and His retribution is severe. The verse says:
Thus, there were not only the Quraysh and polytheists and idolaters of Mecca who rejected the signs of Allah and showed obstinacy before the Truth and disputed with the true leaders of humanity, and then they were involved with the retribution of their sins, but also this is a permanent Divine Law.
ذَٰلِكَ بِأَنَّ اللَّهَ لَمْ يَكُ مُغَيِّرًا نِعْمَةً أَنْعَمَهَا عَلَىٰ قَوْمٍ حَتَّىٰ يُغَيِّرُوا مَا بِأَنْفُسِهِمْ ۙ وَأَنَّ اللَّهَ سَمِيعٌ عَلِيمٌ
53. “That is because Allah does not change a blessing He has bestowed on a people unless they change what is in their own selves, and Allah is All-Hearing, All-Knowing.”
Then, by mentioning the basic root of the subject, the, Qur'an makes this matter more clear. It implies that all of these are for that Allah does not alter whatever blessing He bestows on a people unless those people themselves alter their own conditions, and, of course Allah is aware of everything. The verse says:
In other words, the graces and blessings of Allah (s.w.t) are infinite, common, and general, but they reach people due to their eligibilities, suitability and competencies.
When people utilize the blessings of Allah (s.w.t) as a means for reaching unto their perfection, and show gratitude for them, which is the correct usage of them, Allah makes His blessings fixed and increased.
But, when these blessings are used as a means for disobedience, injustice, mischief, and ingratitude, He may take them back or changes them into some afflictions and calamities.
Thus, alteration of the bounties and blessings always depend on our own selves, else the blessings and merits of Allah are ceaseless.
An Islamic tradition indicates that nothing can change the Divine blessings like what injustice does, since Allah hears the complaints of the oppressed.1
كَدَأْبِ آلِ فِرْعَوْنَ ۙ وَالَّذِينَ مِنْ قَبْلِهِمْ ۚ كَذَّبُوا بِآيَاتِ رَبِّهِمْ فَأَهْلَكْنَاهُمْ بِذُنُوبِهِمْ وَأَغْرَقْنَا آلَ فِرْعَوْنَ ۚ وَكُلٌّ كَانُوا ظَالِمِينَ
54. “Like the manner of Pharaoh's clan and those before them, they denied the Signs of their Lord, so We destroyed them for their sins, and We drowned pharaoh's 'clan, and all of them were unjust.”
Following this aim, the Qur'an refers again to the state of some rich persons like the clan of Pharaoh and some groups of people from among former nations. It implies that the manner and worship of idolaters, concerning the change of blessings and facing with the severe retributions, is like the manner and circumstances of the people of Pharaoh and the people before them. The verse says:
They also rejected the Signs of their Lord which were sent down with the aim of their guidance, reinforcement, and felicity
Therefore, the Lord destroyed them, too, for their own sins. The verse continues saying:
And Allah drowned Pharaoh's clan in the waves of the sea. The verse remarks:
All of those people were unjust and cruel, both to themselves and to others. The verse concludes:
إِنَّ شَرَّ الدَّوَابِّ عِنْدَ اللَّهِ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا فَهُمْ لَا يُؤْمِنُونَ
55. “Verily the worst of animals in Allah's sight are those who disbelieve, so they will not have faith.”
In verse No. 22 from the current Surah, the meaning of the Qur'anic phrase /sarr-ad-dawabb/ (the worst of animals) was introduced as ‘those who do not contemplate’, while here, in this verse, they are defined as ‘those who disbelieve’. The verse says:
So, the origin of infidelity is the absence of right intellect. The Qur’an considers the feature of humanity of man in wisdom and belief, so that if he does not contemplate or paves the way of infidelity, he will be out of the circle of humanity. Thus, a true human, indeed, is the one who is wise and has Faith.
It is possible that a disbeliever has a title and rank with the people of his society, but he is ‘the worst of animals’ in the sight of Allah.
It is cited in some commentary books that the referent of a concept of this verse is the Jews, but this idea does not harm the generality of the concept of the verse.
However, those who hear the call and invitation of prophets, and do not show any positive reflection to it, are ‘the worst of animals’.
الَّذِينَ عَاهَدْتَ مِنْهُمْ ثُمَّ يَنْقُضُونَ عَهْدَهُمْ فِي كُلِّ مَرَّةٍ وَهُمْ لَا يَتَّقُونَ
56. “Those with whom you made a covenant, then they break their covenant every time, and they are not pious.”
The agreement of the Jews with the Prophet (S) was that they should not help pagans and not try to hurt the Muslims. But those groups of the Jews broke their promise and for the Battle of Khandaq they helped pagans by selling them arms.
Therefore, breach of promise is not consistent with humanity.
But breach of promise is the style of infidels. Faithfulness and chivalry are necessary to piety. The verse says:
Some Islamic traditions indicate that he who breaks promise is a hypocrite, although he establishes prayers and observes the fast.2
فَإِمَّا تَثْقَفَنَّهُمْ فِي الْحَرْبِ فَشَرِّدْ بِهِمْ مَنْ خَلْفَهُمْ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَذَّكَّرُونَ
57. “So, when you confront them in war, (by punishing them) scatter the ones behind them so that they might be admonished.”
The Qur’anic term /taθqafannahum/ is derived from the Arabic word /θaqifa/ which means ‘to understand something quickly and carefully’. Then the word mentioned in the above-mentioned verse means that ‘when you encounter infidels in war, you should face them very vigilantly in order not to be seized unawares’.
The Arabic word /tasrid/ means ‘to cause insecurity, anxiety’ and ‘to disperse’. Thus, the phrase means that you should attack the enemy in a manner and with a martial plan that their supporters out of the scene, and the forces behind them, become so terrified that they do not think of invasion and continuation of supporting them anymore.
The verse says:
Islam is a religion of kindness and mercy, yet it does not tolerate treachery, breach of promise, and disturbance of the regularity and security. Then, infidels should be punished so violently that they relinquish attacking you again.