Surah Ale-Imran (The Family Of Imran ) 3 : 154

ثُمَّ أَنزَلَ عَلَيْكُم مِّنۢ بَعْدِ ٱلْغَمِّ أَمَنَةً نُّعَاسًا يَغْشَىٰ طَآئِفَةً مِّنكُمْ ۖ وَطَآئِفَةٌ قَدْ أَهَمَّتْهُمْ أَنفُسُهُمْ يَظُنُّونَ بِٱللَّهِ غَيْرَ ٱلْحَقِّ ظَنَّ ٱلْجَٰهِلِيَّةِ ۖ يَقُولُونَ هَل لَّنَا مِنَ ٱلْأَمْرِ مِن شَىْءٍ ۗ قُلْ إِنَّ ٱلْأَمْرَ كُلَّهُۥ لِلَّهِ ۗ يُخْفُونَ فِىٓ أَنفُسِهِم مَّا لَا يُبْدُونَ لَكَ ۖ يَقُولُونَ لَوْ كَانَ لَنَا مِنَ ٱلْأَمْرِ شَىْءٌ مَّا قُتِلْنَا هَٰهُنَا ۗ قُل لَّوْ كُنتُمْ فِى بُيُوتِكُمْ لَبَرَزَ ٱلَّذِينَ كُتِبَ عَلَيْهِمُ ٱلْقَتْلُ إِلَىٰ مَضَاجِعِهِمْ ۖ وَلِيَبْتَلِىَ ٱللَّهُ مَا فِى صُدُورِكُمْ وَلِيُمَحِّصَ مَا فِى قُلُوبِكُمْ ۗ وَٱللَّهُ عَلِيمٌۢ بِذَاتِ ٱلصُّدُورِ

Translations

 
 Muhsin Khan
 Pickthall
 Yusuf Ali
Quran Project
Then after distress, He sent down upon you security [in the form of] drowsiness, overcoming a faction of you, while another faction worried about themselves, thinking of Allāh other than the truth – the thought of ignorance, saying, "Is there anything for us [to have done] in this matter?" Say, "Indeed, the matter belongs completely to Allāh." They conceal within themselves what they will not reveal to you. They say, "If there was anything we could have done in the matter, we [i.e., some of us] would not have been killed right here." Say, "Even if you had been inside your houses, those decreed to be killed would have come out to their death beds." [It was] so that Allāh might test what is in your breasts and purify what is in your hearts. And Allāh is Knowing of that within the breasts.

Qur'an Dictionary

Click word/image to view Qur'an Dictionary
Word Arabic word
(3:154:1)

(3:154:2)
anzala
He sent down
(3:154:3)

(3:154:4)

(3:154:5)
baʿdi
after
(3:154:6)
l-ghami
the distress
(3:154:7)
amanatan
security
(3:154:8)
nuʿāsan
slumber
(3:154:9)
yaghshā
overcoming
(3:154:10)
ṭāifatan
a group
(3:154:11)

(3:154:12)
waṭāifatun
while a group
(3:154:13)

(3:154:14)
ahammathum
worried [them]
(3:154:15)
anfusuhum
(about) themselves
(3:154:16)
yaẓunnūna
thinking
(3:154:17)
bil-lahi
about Allah
(3:154:18)
ghayra
other than
(3:154:19)
l-ḥaqi
the truth
(3:154:20)
ẓanna
(the) thought
(3:154:21)
l-jāhiliyati
(of) [the] ignorance
(3:154:22)
yaqūlūna
saying
(3:154:23)

(3:154:24)

(3:154:25)

(3:154:26)
l-amri
the matter
(3:154:27)

(3:154:28)
shayin
thing
(3:154:29)
qul
Say
(3:154:30)

(3:154:31)
l-amra
the matter
(3:154:32)
kullahu
all (of) it
(3:154:33)
lillahi
(is) for Allah
(3:154:34)
yukh'fūna
They hide
(3:154:35)

(3:154:36)
anfusihim
themselves
(3:154:37)

(3:154:38)

(3:154:39)
yub'dūna
they reveal
(3:154:40)

(3:154:41)
yaqūlūna
They say
(3:154:42)

(3:154:43)
kāna
was
(3:154:44)

(3:154:45)

(3:154:46)
l-amri
the matter
(3:154:47)
shayon
anything
(3:154:48)

(3:154:49)
qutil'nā
we would have been killed
(3:154:50)

(3:154:51)
qul
Say
(3:154:52)

(3:154:53)
kuntum
you were
(3:154:54)

(3:154:55)
buyūtikum
your houses
(3:154:56)
labaraza
surely (would have) come out
(3:154:57)
alladhīna
those who
(3:154:58)
kutiba
was decreed
(3:154:59)

(3:154:60)
l-qatlu
[the] death
(3:154:61)
ilā
towards
(3:154:62)
maḍājiʿihim
their places of death
(3:154:63)
waliyabtaliya
And that might test
(3:154:64)
l-lahu
Allah
(3:154:65)

(3:154:66)

(3:154:67)
ṣudūrikum
your breasts
(3:154:68)
waliyumaḥḥiṣa
and that He may purge
(3:154:69)

(3:154:70)

(3:154:71)
qulūbikum
your hearts
(3:154:72)
wal-lahu
And Allah
(3:154:73)
ʿalīmun
(is) All-Aware
(3:154:74)

(3:154:75)
l-ṣudūri
(is in) the breasts

1. Lessons/Guidance/Reflections/Gems

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Explanatory Note

All the chaos, confusion and panic which the defeat spread among the Muslim soldiers was followed by a remarkable sense of peace and security among the believers who came back and rallied to the Prophet’s side. They were overtaken by a gentle  slumber  which  gave  them  personal  reassurance.  This  exceptional phenomenon is described in fine and gentle words: “Then, after sorrow, He let peace fall upon you in the shape of a slumber which overtook some of you.’’

There is no doubt that this was a remarkable phenomenon, a manifestation of God’s grace when it is bestowed upon His servants. When slumber overtakes people who are tired, exhausted and panicking, even for a brief moment, it brings about remarkable results. It gives them reassurance and comfort in a way which we cannot fathom and it makes of them different people altogether. I say this because I have experienced it in a situation of extreme distress. I felt God’s grace in a way which no human language can describe.

Abū Ţalĥah reports: “I lifted my head on the day of Uĥud to look around me. Everyone  of  them  was  hanging down  his  head  because  of  his  drowsiness.”  In another version, also reported by Abū. Ţalĥah: “We were overtaken by slumber in our position on the day of Uĥud. My sword kept falling from my hand and I would pick it up before it fell again and I picked it up a second time.”
 
Of the others, the group with shaky faith, their main preoccupation was their own interest. These had not purged their minds from ignorant concepts and they had not submitted themselves totally to God. They did not experience the certitude that what had befallen them was a test which did not represent an abandonment by God of His servants, leaving them alone to face the might of His eminence. Nor was it a verdict that he had passed to allow the non-Muslims and their evil to have final victory: “While others, who cared mainly for themselves, entertained wrong thoughts about God — thoughts of pagan ignorance. They ask: Have we any say in the matter?’ “
 
Islam teaches its followers, among other things, that they have no say whatsoever over themselves. They belong to God. When they go out on a campaign of jihad for His cause, they dedicate themselves to God and fight for Him, having no personal ambition whatsoever. What He has predestined for them is bound to happen and they accept it with satisfaction and total submission.
 
Those who care only for themselves, to the extent that they are totally preoccupied with their own interest and well-being, do not feel the true nature of faith deep at heart. The Qur’ān describes them as worried, lost and confused. They think that they have been pushed into the battle without having any say in it. Rather, they were put to a severe test and had to pay a very heavy price. They did not truly know God, and they entertained such thoughts about Him that they had carried with them from the days of their pagan, ignorant past. These false notions included the idea that they were pushed into the battle only in order to be killed, and that God did not intervene to save them from their enemies. Hence they ask: “Have we any say in the matter?” This statement implies objection to the battle plan. Perhaps they were of the view that the Muslims should have stayed in Madinah and never gone out to fight. Although they did not desert with Abdullāh ibn Ubayy and his followers, they, nevertheless, did not have the reassurance of true believers.
 
Before this long verse continues with its accounts of their worries and thoughts, it states the proper view with regard to what they questioned. It answers them with: “Say: ‘All power of decision rests with God.’” Neither they, nor anyone else, has any say in the matter. Prior to this, God said to the Prophet: “You have no say in the matter.” Islam and the fighting for its establishment and the implementation of its way of life on earth, or guiding people’s hearts to accept it, are matters which belong totally to God. Human beings have nothing to do with them, except to fulfil their duties and to leave their destiny in God’s hands.
 
The Qur’ān also reveals what they tried to conceal in their hearts: “They conceal in their minds what they do not disclose to you.” They entertain all sorts of thoughts which imply objection and protest. Indeed their question: “Have we any say in the matter?” implies a protest that they have been pushed into a catastrophe which was not of their own making and that they were the victims of unsound leadership. Had they been conducting the battle, they would not have so suffered. “They say: ‘Had we had any say in the matter, we should not have been slaughtered here.’”
 
This is the type of thought which those who have not dedicated themselves to their faith feel when they face defeat in battle. When they find out that the price they had to pay is much greater than they had imagined and that the effort is more painful than they had expected. When they look deep into their hearts, they do not have a clear vision and they imagine that the action taken by their leadership was responsible for their defeat, which could have been averted had they had any power of  decision.  With  such  a  confused  view,  they  cannot  see  that   it  is  God  Who determines events and they cannot understand God’s purpose in exposing them to such a test. To them, the whole matter is nothing but utter loss.
 
At this point, the Qur’ān states the correct concept of life and death, and the purpose behind testing the believers: “Say: ‘Had you stayed in your homes, those of you who were destined to be killed would have gone to their deathbeds.’ For it was God’s will to put to the test all that you entertain in your minds and to render pure what you may have in your hearts. God is fully aware of what is in people’s bosoms.” Had you stayed at home without responding to the battle cry, had you taken your own decisions concerning the battle, those of you who were destined to be killed would certainly have met their death, because death only takes place at the appointed time.

There is a bed to which every person must retire. At the appointed moment, the person  concerned  walks  to  his  or  her  deathbed  without  the  need  for  force  or direction from anyone.

The  remarkable  Arabic  expression  used  here  speaks,  literally,  of  “beds”.  The graves in which people rest, and at which all endeavours end, is only a bed to which they come with a subtle motive which they cannot fathom. That motive overtakes them and determines their fate. It is far better and more comfortable for them to submit totally to it, because it is God’s predestination. He has a purpose behind it: “It was God’s will to put to the test all that you entertain in your minds and to render pure what you may have in your hearts.”
 

There is nothing like a trial to reveal what is in people’s minds and to purge the falsehood that is in their hearts. God wants the hearts of the believers to be purged so that they entertain no false notions. All their concerns will be clear, with no trace of confusion, “God is fully aware of what is in people’s bosoms.” That which is in a person’s bosom is a secret which is never allowed to see the light. However, God knows everything that people may conceal in their hearts and He wants to reveal it to all who harbour them. They themselves may  not know those secrets until they are shaken by events and laid bare for them to see.

Reflections

  • This is the longest Ayat of Surah ale-Imran with 75 words. 
  • من إكرام الله تعالى لأوليائه أن ينزل الأمان في قلوبهم عند الحاجة، ﴿ ثُمَّ أَنزَلَ عَلَيْكُم مِّنۢ بَعْدِ ٱلْغَمِّ أَمَنَةً نُّعَاسًا يَغْشَىٰ طَآئِفَةً مِّنكُمْ  [Be the first to translate this....]
  • ذكِّر بعض أهل الابتلاء بحسن الظن بالله تعالى، وأنهم سيعلمون غدًاً أن الله سبحانه قد أراد بهم خيراًً، ﴿ يَظُنُّونَ بِٱللَّهِ غَيْرَ ٱلْحَقِّ ظَنَّ ٱلْجَٰهِلِيَّةِ ۖ  [Be the first to translate this....]
  • استغفر اليوم سبعين مرة، واسأل الله حسن الخاتمة؛ فالموت قد يأتي فجأة، وفي مكان وزمان لا تتوقعه، ﴿ ۗ قُل لَّوْ كُنتُمْ فِى بُيُوتِكُمْ لَبَرَزَ ٱلَّذِينَ كُتِبَ عَلَيْهِمُ ٱلْقَتْلُ إِلَىٰ مَضَاجِعِهِمْ ۖ  [Be the first to translate this....]

 

2. Linguistic Analysis

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  • Ayat (3:154) is the longest Ayat of Surah Ale-Imran with 75 words,

    ثُمَّ أَنزَلَ عَلَيْكُم مِّن بَعْدِ الْغَمِّ أَمَنَةً نُّعَاسًا يَغْشَىٰ طَائِفَةً مِّنكُمْ ۖ وَطَائِفَةٌ قَدْ أَهَمَّتْهُمْ أَنفُسُهُمْ يَظُنُّونَ بِاللَّـهِ غَيْرَ الْحَقِّ ظَنَّ الْجَاهِلِيَّةِ ۖ يَقُولُونَ هَل لَّنَا مِنَ الْأَمْرِ مِن شَيْءٍ ۗ قُلْ إِنَّ الْأَمْرَ كُلَّهُ لِلَّـهِ ۗ يُخْفُونَ فِي أَنفُسِهِم مَّا لَا يُبْدُونَ لَكَ ۖ يَقُولُونَ لَوْ كَانَ لَنَا مِنَ الْأَمْرِ شَيْءٌ مَّا قُتِلْنَا هَاهُنَا ۗ قُل لَّوْ كُنتُمْ فِي بُيُوتِكُمْ لَبَرَزَ الَّذِينَ كُتِبَ عَلَيْهِمُ الْقَتْلُ إِلَىٰ مَضَاجِعِهِمْ ۖ وَلِيَبْتَلِيَ اللَّـهُ مَا فِي صُدُورِكُمْ وَلِيُمَحِّصَ مَا فِي قُلُوبِكُمْ ۗ وَاللَّـهُ عَلِيمٌ بِذَاتِ الصُّدُورِ "Then after distress, He sent down upon you security [in the form of] drowsiness, overcoming a faction of you, while another faction worried about themselves, thinking of Allah other than the truth - the thought of ignorance, saying, "Is there anything for us [to have done] in this matter?" Say, "Indeed, the matter belongs completely to Allah." They conceal within themselves what they will not reveal to you. They say, "If there was anything we could have done in the matter, some of us would not have been killed right here." Say, "Even if you had been inside your houses, those decreed to be killed would have come out to their death beds." [It was] so that Allah might test what is in your breasts and purify what is in your hearts. And Allah is Knowing of that within the breasts. " (3:154)


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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  • The word نُّعَاسًا [drowsiness, slumber] is used with respect to Battle of Badr also in Surah al-Anfal 8:11 

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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  • Anas said that, Abu Talhah said, "I was among those who were overcome by slumber during the battle of Uhud. My sword fell from my hand several times and I would pick it up, then it would fall and I would pick it up again.'' [Bukhari]

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…

11. Tafsir Zone

 

12. External Links

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