Surah Ale-Imran (The Family Of Imran ) 3 : 149

يَٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوٓا۟ إِن تُطِيعُوا۟ ٱلَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا۟ يَرُدُّوكُمْ عَلَىٰٓ أَعْقَٰبِكُمْ فَتَنقَلِبُوا۟ خَٰسِرِينَ

Translations

 
 Muhsin Khan
 Pickthall
 Yusuf Ali
Quran Project
O you who have believed, if you obey those who disbelieve, they will turn you back on your heels, and you will [then] become losers.

1. Lessons/Guidance/Reflections/Gems

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Explanatory Note

Hence, God warns the believers against giving heed to those who have rejected the faith, because that obedience will inevitably result in utter loss. Nothing good can come from it. It represents a complete about-turn from a state of disbelief. A believer either continues to fight those who cling to falsehood and reject faith, or turns on his heels — God forbid — thus becoming an unbeliever. It is not possible for a believer to take an in-between attitude, trying to maintain neutrality while at the same time hanging on to his faith. He may harbour some such thoughts in the wake of defeat and under the influence of calamity. He may even imagine that he can withdraw from battle against a mightier power, and establish peace with that enemy, and, at the same time, retain his faith. This, however, is a great delusion. In the whole question of faith, a person who does not move forward can only go backwards. If one does not fight disbelief, evil, falsehood and tyranny, one must beat retreat and turn back on one’s heels to embrace all this evil. A person whose faith does not stop him from obeying unbelievers and having trust in them sacrifices, in fact, his very faith for their sake. He is spiritually defeated when he befriends the enemies of his faith and follows their directives. As he starts with defeat, he cannot escape from it at the end. He is bound to revert to rejection of the faith, although he may not imagine that such would be his end. A believer is satisfied with his faith and leadership to such an extent that he has no need to consult the enemies of his faith. If he listens to them once,  he  actually  begins  the  process  of  turning  back  on  his  heels.  This  is   an elementary and honest truism to which God draws the attentions of the believers: “Believers, if you obey those who have rejected the faith they will cause you to turn back on your heels, and you will be the losers.”
 
What loss is greater than turning back on one’s heels, after one has attained to faith? What benefits may be gained after loss of faith has taken place?
 
If the tendency to obey the unbelievers is motivated by hopes of protection and succour, this is also a great delusion. The Qur’ān does not discuss this delusion, but reminds the believers of where true help, protection and succour come from.

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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