Surah Ale-Imran (The Family Of Imran ) 3 : 142

أَمْ حَسِبْتُمْ أَن تَدْخُلُوا۟ ٱلْجَنَّةَ وَلَمَّا يَعْلَمِ ٱللَّهُ ٱلَّذِينَ جَٰهَدُوا۟ مِنكُمْ وَيَعْلَمَ ٱلصَّٰبِرِينَ


 Muhsin Khan
 Yusuf Ali
Quran Project
Or do you think that you will enter Paradise while Allāh has not yet made evident those of you who fight in His cause and made evident those who are steadfast?

1. Lessons/Guidance/Reflections/Gems

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Explanatory Note

These verses start with a rhetorical question, the purpose of which is to correct the concepts formed by Muslims on the patterns established by God for the advocacy of His faith: how victory is achieved and defeat suffered; the importance of action and what reward it merits, etc. The Qur’ān makes it clear that/ the road to heaven is attended by many difficulties and undesirable things. The best equipment for a believer is patience in adversity. This is totally different from hollow wishes and claims which any test may prove to be futile. “Do you reckon that you can enter paradise unless God has identified those among you who strive hard [in His cause] and who are patient in adversity?” 

The rhetoric mode is employed in this question so as to make it clear that the whole concept is wrong. It is certainly a mistake for any man to think that it is sufficient for him to only say that he has accepted Islam and be ready to die for it in order to fulfil the duties which are required of him as one of the believers. It is important to remember here that the fulfilment of such duties earns that person the greatest prize of all, namely, admission to heaven. What is needed for the fulfilment of such duties is to go through a practical test of jihād, to face up to difficulties and to be patient in adversity.
The phraseology of the Qur’ānic text is particularly significant: “ unless God has identified those among you who strive hard [in His cause], and who are patient in adversity.” It is not sufficient that believers should strive hard in God’s cause. They have to demonstrate their patience and fulfil the continuous and varied tasks imposed on them by their faith. Fighting on the battlefield may be one of the lightest of these tasks which demand patience and prove the strength of faith. There is, in addition, the never-ending, uphill task of maintaining the standards of behaviour commensurate with faith, developing a set of values which are not only based on the principles of faith but are also reflected in one’s feelings and attitudes. There is also the need for perseverance which helps people overcome their weaknesses, whether these be within themselves or in others with whom they deal in the course of daily life. Patience and perseverance have to be demonstrated in a variety of situations, especially when to give up appears to be far more appealing. Examples of this include when falsehood appears to be
victorious, and stronger than the truth; when the way ahead appears to be too long, too hard and full of difficulties; when a moment of relaxation appears to be all that one can care for after a long period of hard struggle. Fighting on the battlefield is no more than one aspect of striving for God’s cause, which is the only way to heaven. Certainly, heaven is not won  by  wishful   thinking  or  by  paying  lip-service  to  the  requirements  of  faith.

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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12. External Links

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