Surah Ale-Imran (The Family Of Imran ) 3 : 139

وَلَا تَهِنُوا۟ وَلَا تَحْزَنُوا۟ وَأَنتُمُ ٱلْأَعْلَوْنَ إِن كُنتُم مُّؤْمِنِينَ

Translations

 
 Muhsin Khan
 Pickthall
 Yusuf Ali
Quran Project
So do not weaken and do not grieve, and you will be superior if you are [true] Believers.

1. Lessons/Guidance/Reflections/Gems

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Explanatory Note

Believers  must  not  lose  heart,  nor  should  they  allow  grief  to overtake  them because of what may happen. They will gain the upper hand, because they have a superior faith. Believers prostrate themselves only to God, while others prostrate before one, or more, of His creatures. This sūrah makes it plain to the believers that they are indeed superior and far more exalted than other people. It tells them: You have a superior way of life, because you follow a method established by God while the  methods  followed  by  other  groups have  been  devised  by   His  creatures. Moreover, your role is superior, because you have been selected for a position of trust, to convey God’s guidance to all mankind. Other people are unaware of this guidance, and have gone astray. Your place on earth is superior, because God has promised you to inherit the earth, while they will sink into oblivion. If you are truly believers, then you are superior. Therefore, you have to demonstrate the strength of your faith by not losing heart and you must not grieve. The rules determined by God make it possible that you may score a victory or suffer a defeat, but the ultimate end after enduring the test and striving hard for God’s cause, will be in your favour.

  • Ibn Qayyim said the word (الحزن) – (sadness) does not appear in the Quran only in the form of forbidding it (ولا تهنو ولاتحزنوا) or in the form of negating it (فلاخوف عليهم ولا هم يحزنون). And the reason for this is because there is no benefit for having sadness in the heart. The most beloved thing to the shaytan is to make the believing slave sad by taking him off track. The Prophet (ﷺ) sought refuge in Allah (swt) from sadness (اللهم إني أعوذ بك من الهم والحزن). Sadness weakens the heart and diminishes determination and wanting to go forward. And there is nothing more beloved to the shaitan than sadness of a believer. For this reason, be happy, optimistic and think good about Allah (swt). Have trust in what Allah (swt) is able to do and   depend on Him. You will find happiness and pleasure in all situations. Don’t ruin your happiness with worry, and don’t ruin your mind with pessimism.​ A moment when the Prophet and the Companions were beaten, bloodied, and some were demoralized. It addressed two natural feelings they were experiencing – weakness and fear – and forbade them from exhibiting either. It taught them that because they had held tight to their beliefs, their Iman, they had actually won despite their military loss, and therefore had no grounds to feel either weak or sad. It is as of the verse is being revealed to use anew today. It is teaching us that despite our state of disarray and external weakness, we should not think of ourselves as truly weak. The true battlefield is that of the heart and mind, and so long as there are enough among us who maintain their beliefs pure and unadulterated, we are not weak, regardless of our external physical condition. 

Lessons from Battle of Uhud

In his book, Zad al-Ma`ad, Ibn al-Qayyim cited many of the rulings and noble lessons derived from the battle of Uhud, among them:

1. The believers learned the negative consequence of disobedience, loss of courage and dispute, and that what occurred was the result of it. As Allah(Almighty) said: And Allah had certainly fulfilled His promise to you when you were killing them, with His permission, until when you lost courage and fell to disputing about the [Prophet's] order and disobeyed after He had shown you that which you love. Among you are some who desire this world, and among you are some who desire the Hereafter. Then He turned you back from them [defeated] that He might test you. And He has forgiven you. (3:152) 

When they experienced the consequence of their disobedience to the Messenger (Peace and blessings of Allah upon him), their weakening and their arguments, they became more careful and aware thereafter.

2. Allah's wisdom and method required that His messengers and their followers triumphed at times and are defeated at times, but the outcome was always in their favour. Because if they were continually victorious, non-believers as well as believers would join them, so believers could not be distinguished from others.

3. Sincere believers were distinguished from hypocrites, for when Allah (Almighty) gave the Muslims victory over their enemies on the day of Badr some entered Islam whose motives were not as they appeared. So, the wisdom of Allah (Almighty) necessitated a test to differentiate between the believer and the hypocrite. In this battle, the hypocrites showed their true colours and spoke of what they had previously concealed. So, the believers realized that they had an enemy from within and thus could be cautious of them and prepared for them.

4. Allah (Almighty) tests His servants in both good times and bad through that which they like and which they dislike, in victory and defeat. When they show firm obedience and servitude in what they like and what they dislike, then they are true servants of his.

5. If Allah (Almighty) had always given them victory in every circumstance and had always subdued their enemies, they would have become oppressive and arrogant. His servants are only kept righteous and balanced through good times and bad, hardship and ease.

6. When Allah (Almighty) afflicts them with setbacks, loss and defeat, they become humble and submissive, making them deserving of His might and victory.

7. Allah (Almighty) has prepared for His believing servants positions in His Paradise which they cannot reach through their deeds; they will reach them only through difficulties and trials. So, He gives them the means to reach those positions in the form of problems and ordeals.

8. When enjoying continuous health, wealth and ascendancy, human souls acquire an oppressive and impatient nature. This is a disease that hinders one on his journey to Allah (Almighty) and the Hereafter. So, when Allah (Almighty) intends to honour a soul, He gives it difficulties and hardships which serve as treatment for that disease, like a doctor who makes a patient drink a bitter medicine or removes diseased parts from him. And if he left him to his own wishes and inclinations, they would destroy him.

9. Martyrdom in the sight of Allah (Almighty) is among the highest ranks earned by His allies. The martyrs are His privileged servants who are nearest to Him. In fact, after the rank of siddeeq (the intimate and fervent supporter of a prophet) comes that of the shaheed (martyr). The only way to attain this rank is through the circumstances leading to it, i.e., being overcome by an enemy.

10. When Allah (Almighty) intends to destroy His enemies he provides them with the causes of their destruction. The greatest of these causes after unbelief is their oppression, tyranny and abuse of His sincere allies, their waging war against them and overpowering them. In this way, He (Almighty) purifies His servants of their sins and faults. And thereby, He increases the causes of His enemies' destruction.

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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  • The Messenger of Allah said "Do not wish to encounter the enemy, and ask Allah for your well-being. However, if you do encounter them, then observe patience and know that Paradise is under the shade of swords". [Bukhari & Muslim]

 

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