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Tuesday, 17 October 2017
 

Surat Al-Imran 3- Medinian-Ayats 200 – Section Six - Ayats From 156-177

COMMENTARY VERSES 156-177:

(Verse 156)- It is want of faith that makes people afraid: - (1) of meeting death

: (2) of doing their duty when it involves danger, as in travelling in order to earn an honest living, or fighting in a sacred cause. Such fear is part of the punishment for want of faith. If you have faith, there is no fear in meeting death, for it brings you nearer to your goal, nor in meeting danger for a sufficient cause, because you know that the keys of life and death are in God’s hands. Nothing can happen without His Will that you should live, the danger you incur in a just cause brings you glory. Supposing it is His Will that you should lose your life in the danger, there are the considerations that would make you eager to meet it: (1) dying in doing your duty is the best means of reaching God’s Mercy: (2) the man of faith knows that he is not going to an unknown country of which he has no news, but he is going nearer to God: and (3) he is being brought together “unto God”; i.e. he will meet all his dear ones in faith, instead of the separation which the souls without faith fear, he looks forward to a surer reunion than is possible in this life.
(Verses 157-8)- Notice the beautiful little literary touch here. At first sight you would expect the second person here (“You Could Amass”) to match the second person in the earlier clause. But remember that second person in earlier clause refers to the man of faith, and the third person in the last line refers to the Unbelievers; as if it said: “Of course you as a man of faith would not be for hoarding riches: your wealth. - duty and the mercy of God, - is far more precious than anything the Unbelievers can amass in their selfish lives”. 
(Verses 159-160)- The extremely gentle nature of Muhammad [PPBUH] endeared him to all, and it is reckoned as one of the Mercies of God. One of the Apostle’s titles is “A Mercy to all Creation”. At no time was this gentleness, this mercy, this long suffering with human weaknesses, more valuable than after a disaster like that at Uhud. It is a God-like quality, which then –as always- bound and binds the souls of countless men to him.
(*) الغلول -AL-GHULUL = STEALING FROM THE WAR BOOTY BEFORE ITS DISTRIBUTION. NARRATED ABU-HURIRA: “THE PROPHET [PPBUH] GOT UP AMONGST US AND MENTIONED AL-GHULUL, EMPHASIZED ITS MAGNITUDE AND DECLARED THAT IT WAS A GREAT SIN SAYING: “DON’T COMMIT AL-GHULUL FOR I SHOULD NOT LIKE TO SEE ANYONE AMONGST YOU ON THE DAY OF RESURRECTION, CARRYING OVER HIS NECK A SHEEP THAT WILL BE BLEATING, OR CARRYING OVER HIS NECK A HORSE THAT WILL BE NEIGHING. SUCH A MAN WILL BE SAYING: {O’ ALLAH’S MESSENGER! INTERCEDE WITH ALLAH FOR ME. AND I WILL REPLY ‘I CAN’T HELP YOU, FOR I HAVE CONVEYED ALLAH’A MESSAGE TO YOU’- NOR SHOULD I LIKE TO SEE A MAN CARRYING OVER HIS NECK A CAMEL THAT WILL BE GRUNTING, SUH A MAN WILL SAY: “O’ ALLAH’S MESSENGER INTERCEDE WITH ALLAH FOR ME” AND I WILL SAY: “I CAN’T HELP YOU FOR I HAVE CONVEYED ALLAH’S MESSAGE TO YOU= from Sahih Al-Bukhari).          
(Verses 161-2-3)- Besides the gentleness of his nature, Al-Mustafa [PPBUH] was known from his earliest life for his trust-worthiness. Hence his title of Al-Amin= (TRUSTWORTHY-RELIABLE-TRUSTEE-CUSTODIAN-UPRIGHT-HONEST). Un scrupulous people often read their own low motives into other men, and their accusations –which is meant to injure- fastens on the various virtues for which the man they attack is well known. Some of the Hypocrites after Uhud raised some doubts about the division of the spoils, thinking to sow seeds of poison in the hearts of the men who had deserted their posts in their craving for booty. Those low suspicions were never believed in by any sensible people, and they have no interest for it now. But the general principles here declared are of eternal value. (1) Men of God do not act from unworthy motives. (2) Those who act from such motives are spiritually the lowest of creatures, and they will make no profit. (3) A man of God is not to be judged by the same standard as a greedy creature. (4) In God’s eyes there are various grades of men, and we must try to understand and appreciate such grades. If we trust our Leader, we shall not question his honesty without cause. If he is dishonest, then he is not fit to be a Leader. 
(Verse 164)- See verse 151 from Surat Al-Bagara 2 – and commentary.
(Verse 165) – If Uhud was a reverse to the Muslims, they had inflicted a reverse twice as great on the Meccans at Badr. The reverse was not without God’s permission, for He wanted to test and purify the faith of those who followed Islam, and to show them that they must strive and do all in their power to deserve God’s help, so if they disobeyed orders and neglected discipline, they must attribute the disaster to themselves and not to God.    
(Verse 166) – Test= literally mean know. See verse 154 and commentary.
(Verse 167-8)- The testing of the Hypocrites was the searching out of their motives and exposing them to the sight of their brethren, who might otherwise have been taken in. In the first place they gave counsels of caution –in their minds it was nothing but cowardice. In the second place, what they wished was not the good of the community, but it’s being placed in a contemptible position. When others were for self-sacrifice, they were for ease and fair words. Pretending to be Muslims, they were nearer to unbelief. Ironically they pretended to know nothing of fighting, and left their devout brethren to defend their faith and ideals. If that devout spirit did not appeal to them, they might –at least- have defended their city of Medina when it was threatened; they have defended their hearts and homes as good citizens!!
(Verse 169) – A beautiful passage about the Martyrs in the Cause of Truth. They are not dead: they live, and in a far higher and deeper sense than in the life they have left. Even those who have no faith in the Hereafter honor those that die in their cause, with the crown of immortality in the minds and the memories of generations unborn. But in Faith we see a higher, truer, and less relative immortality. Perhaps “immortality” is not the right word in this connection, as it implies a continuation of this life. In their case, through the gateway of death, they enter the true real Life, as opposed to its shadow here. Our carnal life is sustained with carnal food, and its joys and pleasures at their best are those which are projected on the screen of this material world. Their real life is sustained from the ineffable Presence and Nearness of God. See verse 154 – Surat Al-Bagara 2; and see how the idea is further developed here.
(Verse 170-71)- The Martyrs not only rejoice at the bliss they have themselves attained. The dear ones left behind are in their thoughts: it is part of their glory that they have saved their dear ones from fear, sorrow, humiliation, and grief, in this life, even before they come to share in the glories of the Hereafter. Note how the refrain: “on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve”: comes in here with a new and appropriate meaning. Besides other things, it means that the dear ones have no cause to grieve at the death of the Martyrs; rather have they caused to rejoice.
(Verses 172-3-4-5-6-7)- After the confusion at Uhud, men rallied round the Apostle. He was wounded, and they were wounded, but they were all ready to fight again. Abu-Sufiyan with his Meccans withdraws, but left a challenge with them to meet him and his army again at the fair of Badr next year. The challenge was accepted, and a picked band of Muslims under their courageous and intrepid Leader kept the appointed tryst, but the enemy did not come. They returned –not only unharmed- but enriched by the trade at the fair, and (it may be presumed) strengthened by the accession of new adherents to their cause.