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Friday, 28 April 2017

Surat Al-Imran 3- Medinian-Ayats 200 – Section Six - Ayats From 118-136

(Verses 118-19-20)- (v 23- a portion of the Book) I conceive that God’s revelation as a whole throughout the ages is “The Book”. The Law of Moses and the Gospel of Jesus were portions of the Book. The Qur’an completes the revelation and is par excellence the Book of God; because Islam gives you the complete revelation “The whole of the Book”, though partial revelations have come in all ages. 
(Verses 121-148) God’s help comes to those who strive with fitness, as it did at Badr. Much can be learnt from the misfortunes at Uhud. It is not for us to question God’ Plan, which is full of wisdom and mercy for all. Our duty is to stand firm and unswerving; to obey, and in steadfast courage to preserve, to retrieve our mistakes –not in grief and despair- but in firm hope in God and in contempt of pain and death. 
(Verse 121) The battle of Uhud was a great testing time for the young Muslim community. Their mettle and the wisdom and strength of the Leader were shown in the battle of Badr (see verse 13), in which the Mecca’s Pagans suffered a crushing defeat. The Mecca’s Pagans were determined to wipe of their disgrace and to annihilate the Muslims in Medina. To this end they collected a large force and marched to Medina. They numbered some 3,000 fighting men under Abu Sufiyan, and they were so confident of victory that their women-folk came with them, and showed the most shameful savagery after the battle. To meet the threatened danger, the Muslims Leader [Muhammad Al-Mustafa PPBUH] with his usual foresight, courage, and initiative, resolved to take his station at the foot of Mount Uhud, which dominates the city of Medina some three miles to the north. Early in the morning, on the 7th of Shauwal, A.H.3 (January, 625), he made his dispositions for battle. Medina winters are notoriously rigorous, but the warriors of Islam (700 to 1000 in number) were up early. A torrent bed was to their south, and the oases in the hills at their back were filled with 50 archers to prevent the enemy attack from the rear. In the beginning the battle went well for the Muslims. The enemy wavered, but the Muslim archers –in disobedience of their orders- left their posts to join in the pursuit and share in the booty. There was also treachery on the part of the 300 {Hypocrites} led by Abdulla Ibn Ubai, who deserted. The enemy took advantage of the opening left by the archers, and there was severe hand-to-hand fighting, in which numbers tells in favor of the enemy. Many of the companions and helpers were killed. But there was no rout. Among the Muslim martyrs was the gallant Hamza, a brother of the Apostle’s father. The graves of the martyrs are still shown at Uhud. The Apostle himself was wounded in his head and face, and one of his font teeth was knocked off. Had it not been for firmness, courage, and coolness, all would have been lost. As it was, the Apostle, in spite of his wounds, and many of the wounded Muslims, inspired by his example, returned to the field next day, and Abu Sufiyan and his Mecca’s Pagans army thought it most prudent to withdraw. Medina was saved, but a lesson in faith, constancy, firmness, and steadfastness was learnt by the Muslims.
(Verse 122) The two parties wavering in their minds were probably the Banu Salma Khazraji and Banu Haritha, but they rallied under the Apostle’s inspiration. The incident shows that man may be weak, but if he allows his weak-will to be governed by the example of men of God, he may yet retrieve his weakness.
(Verse 123) Gratitude to God is not to be measured by words. It should show itself in conduct and life. If all Muslims had learnt the true lesson from the victory at Badr, their archers would not have left the posts appointed for them, nor the two tribes mentioned in the last note ever wavered in their face.
(Verse 124-25-26)Musawuimin=مسّومين: characterized/distinguished. Whatever happens, whether there is a miracle or not, all help proceeds from God. Man should not be so arrogant as to suppose that his own resources will change the current of the world plan. God helps those who show constancy, courage, and discipline, and use all human means at their disposal, not those who fold their hands and have no faith. But God’s help is determined on considerations exalted far above our petty human motive, and by perfect wisdom, of which we can have only faint glimpses.
(Verse 127) A FRINGE OF THE UNBELIEVERS: an extremity, and end, either upper or lower. Here it may mean that the chiefs of the Mecca’s Pagans, who had come to exterminate the Muslims with such confidence, went back, frustrated in their purpose. The shameless cruelty with which such confidence went back frustrated in their purpose. The shameless cruelty with which they and their women mutilated the Muslim corpses on the battle-field will stand recorded to their eternal infamy. Perhaps it also exposed their real nature to some of those who fought for them, e.g. Khalid Ibn Al-Waleed, who not only accepted Islam, but became one of the most notable champions of Islam. He was with the Muslims in the conquest of Mecca, and later on, he won distinguished honors in Syria and Iraq.
(Verse 128-129) Uhud is as much a sign-post for Islam as Badr. For us in these latter days it carries an ever greater lesson. Indeed God’s help will come if we have faith, obedience, discipline, unity, and the spirit of acting in righteousness and justice. If we fail, His mercy is always open to us. But it is also open to our enemies, and those who seem to us His enemies. His Plan may be to bring sinners to repentance, and to teach us righteousness and wisdom through those who seem in our eyes to be rebellious or even defiant. There may be good in them that He sees and we do not; a humbling thought that must lead to our own self-examination and self-improvement.
(Verses 130-131-132) See verse 275 from A-Bagara 2 and comments. The last verse spoke of forgiveness – even to enemies. If such mercy is granted by God to erring sinners, how much more is it incumbent on us? Poor sinners refrain from oppressing our fellow-beings in need, in matters of mere material and ephemeral wealth? Usury is the opposite extreme of charity, unselfishness, striving, and giving of ourselves in the service of God and of our fellow-men.                                                                 Real prosperity consists –not in greed- but in giving; - the giving of ourselves and of our substance in the Cause of God and God’s Truth and in the service of God’s creatures.
(Verse 133) The Fire [v 131] is –as always- contrasted with the Garden/Paradise in spiritual sense, in other words, Hell contrasted with Heaven. Lest we should think that heaven is a sort of enclosed material Garden somewhere in the skies, we are told that its width alone is that of the whole of the heavens and earth; then all the creation we can imagine! In other words our spiritual felicity covers not merely this or that part of our being, but all life and existence. Who can measure its width, or length, or depth?
(Verse 134-135-136) Another definition of the righteous, so far from grasping material wealth, they give freely, of themselves and their substance, not only when they are well-off and it is easy for them to do so, but also when they are in difficulties, for other people may be in difficulties at the same time. They do not get ruffled in adversity, or get angry when other people behave badly, or their own good plans fail. On the contrary they redouble their efforts. For the charity -or good deed- is all the more necessary in adversity. And they do not throw the blame on others. Even where such blame is due and correction is necessary, their own mind is free from a sense of grievance, for they forgive and cover other men’s faults; this as far as other people are concerned. But we may be ourselves at fault, and perhaps we brought some calamity on ourselves.                                                                                            The righteous man is not necessarily perfect.
 The righteous man, when he finds he has fallen into sin or error, he doesn’t whine or despair, but asks for God’s forgiveness, and his fault gives him hope. If he is sincere, it means that he has abandoned his wrong conduct and makes amends.
Sin is a sort of oppression of one’s self by himself. This follows from the doctrine of personal responsibility, as opposed to that of blind fate or of an angry God or gods lying in wait for revenge or injury to mankind.