Surah Ale-Imran (The Family Of Imran ) 3 : 117

مَثَلُ مَا يُنفِقُونَ فِى هَٰذِهِ ٱلْحَيَوٰةِ ٱلدُّنْيَا كَمَثَلِ رِيحٍ فِيهَا صِرٌّ أَصَابَتْ حَرْثَ قَوْمٍ ظَلَمُوٓا۟ أَنفُسَهُمْ فَأَهْلَكَتْهُ ۚ وَمَا ظَلَمَهُمُ ٱللَّهُ وَلَٰكِنْ أَنفُسَهُمْ يَظْلِمُونَ

Translations

 
 Muhsin Khan
 Pickthall
 Yusuf Ali
Quran Project
The example of what they spend in this worldly life is like that of a wind containing frost which strikes the harvest of a people who have wronged themselves [i.e., sinned] and destroys it. And Allāh has not wronged them, but they wrong themselves.

1. Lessons/Guidance/Reflections/Gems

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Explanatory Note

When we look up, we find a field ready to yield its crops. It is described as a tilth. But suddenly the wind blows. It is a biting, icy wind. Its strong bite devastates all the tilth. The Arabic word used here sounds like a missile thrown with violence. Its onomatopoeia adds to its meaning. In a single moment, all the crops of that field are destroyed, laid to waste.
 
It is only a moment which changes everything. All this devastation happens before one can even draw one’s breath. Nothing is left. This is the Qur’ānic way of describing what the unbelievers spend on what may seem to be good causes and what they count as their blessings of riches and children. All will be laid to waste giving them no enjoyment and no reward. “It is not God Who does them wrong; they wrong themselves.” It is they who have abandoned the way of life which groups together every single aspect of goodness and righteousness and makes of them a straight, consistent line with a recognised motive and a clear goal. Goodness does not stem from a momentary thought, a vague desire or a sudden impulse.
 
It is they who have chosen to be in error and to break loose from the protection offered by their bond with God. If all their actions are wasted, including what they may spend on seemingly good causes, and if their tilth is devastated and they can benefit nothing by wealth or children, this is not an injustice inflicted on them by God. It is they who are unjust to themselves by virtue of the choice they have made.
 
What we have here, then, is a clear statement that no reward is given for any donation to any cause and no value is attached to any work unless it is clearly linked to the way of life based on faith, and unless it is motivated by faith. It is God Who makes this statement. It cannot be contradicted, then, by any man. No one may argue with this statement except those who argue against God’s revelation.
 
We have examined a long passage of this sūrah, starting with verse 93, which aims at explaining the nature of deviation in the behaviour of the people of earlier revelations. It lays bare their twisted arguments and exposes the evil designs they forge in order to undermine the Muslim community. It also issues directives to the Muslim community to discharge its duties paying no heed to the transgressors and their deviant arguments. At the end of this passage, a warning is issued to the Muslim community against establishing an intimate relationship with its natural enemies, the unbelievers, revealing its secrets to them and trusting them with its interests. This warning is presented in the form of a detailed picture which may be seen in every age and in every community. Today, those who claim to be Muslims and to be the people of the Qur’ān have overlooked this Qur’ānic picture. This has rebounded on them; hence the evil and humiliation they suffer today.

Further points

  • المعاصي سبب المصائب، ﴿ وَمَا ظَلَمَهُمُ ٱللَّهُ وَلَٰكِنْ أَنفُسَهُمْ يَظْلِمُونَ [Be the first to translate this...]

2. Linguistic Analysis

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Frequency of Root words in this Ayat used in this Surah *


3. Surah Overview

4. Miscellaneous Information

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5. Connected/Related Ayat

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6. Frequency of the word

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7. Period of Revelation

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“This Surah consists of four discourses:

  • The first discourse (v. 1-32) was probably revealed soon after the Battle of Badr.
  • The second discourse (v. 33-63) was revealed in 9 A.H. (After Hijrah - migration from Makkah to Madinah) on the occasion of the visit of the deputation from the Christians of Najran.
  • The third discourse (v. 64-120) appears to have been revealed immediately after the first one.
  • The fourth discourse (v. 121-200) was revealed after the Battle of Uhud.” [Mawdudi]

8. Reasons for Revelation

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1. The Believers had met with all sorts of trials and hardships about which they had been forewarned in Al-Baqarah. Though they had come out victorious in the Battle of Badr they were not out of danger yet. Their victory had aroused the enmity of all those powers in Arabia which were opposed to the islamic Movement. Signs of threatening storms had begun to appear on all sides and the Muslims were in a perpetual state of fear and anxiety. It looked as if the whole Arabian world around the tiny state of Madinah - which was no more than a village state at that time - was bent upon blotting out its very existence. This state of war was also adversely affecting its economy which had already been badly disturbed by the influx of the Muslim refugees from Makkah.

2. Then there was the disturbing problem of the Jewish clans who lived in the suburbs of Madinah. They were discarding the treaties of alliance they had made with the Prophet after his migration from Makkah. So much so that on the occasion of the Battle of Badr these people of the Book sympathized with the evil aims of the idolaters in spite of the fact that their fundamental articles of Faith - Monotheism, Prophethood and Life-after-death - were the same as those of the Muslims. After the Battle of Badr they openly began to incite the Quraysh and other Arab clans to wreak their vengeance on the Muslims. Thus those Jewish clans set aside their centuries-old friendly and neighbourly relations with the people of Madinah. At last when their mischievous actions and breaches of treaties became unbearable the Prophet attacked the Bani-Qaynuqah, the most mischievous of all the other Jewish clans who had conspired with the hypocrites of Madinah and the idolatrous Arab clans to encircle the Believers on all sides. The magnitude of the peril might be judged from the fact that even the life of the Prophet himself was always in danger. Therefore his Companions slept in their armours during that period and kept watch at night to guard against any sudden attack and whenever the Prophet happened to be out of sight even for a short while they would at once set out in search of him.

3. This incitement by the Jews added fuel to the fire which was burning in the hearts of the Quraysh and they began to make preparations to avenge the defeat they had suffered at Badr. A year after this an army of 3000 strong marched out of Makkah to invade Madinah and a battle took place at the foot of Mount Uhud. The Prophet came out of Madinah with one thousand men to meet the enemy. While they were marching to the battlefield three hundred hypocrites deserted the army and returned to Madinah but there still remained a small band of hypocrites among the seven hundred who accompanied the Prophet. They played their part and did their utmost to create mischief and chaos in the ranks of the Believers during the Battle. This was the first clear indication of the fact that within the fold of the Muslim Community there was quite a large number of saboteurs who were always ready to conspire with the external enemies to harm their own brethren.

4. Though the devices of the hypocrites had played a great part in the set-back at Uhud, the weaknesses of the Muslims themselves contributed no less to it. And it was but natural that the Muslims should show signs of moral weakness for they were a new community which had only recently been formed on a new ideology and had not as yet got a thorough moral training. Naturally in this second hard test of their physical and moral strength some weaknesses came to the surface. That is why a detailed review of the Battle of Uhud was needed to warn the Muslims of their shortcomings and to issue instructions for their reform. It should also be noted that this review of the Battle is quite different from the reviews that are usually made by generals on similar occasions.

9. Relevant Hadith

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  • Messenger of Allah said  "Allah has not sent any Prophet nor was there any Khalifah but they have two types of allies, one that commands him with righteousness and advises it, and another that commands him with evil and advises him with it. Only those whom Allah gives immunity are immune".[Bukhari & An-Nasa'i]

10. Wiki Forum

Comments in this section are statements made by general users – these are not necessarily explanations of the Ayah – rather a place to share personal thoughts and stories…

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12. External Links

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