Surah Ale-Imran (The Family Of Imran ) 3 : 156

يَٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوا۟ لَا تَكُونُوا۟ كَٱلَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا۟ وَقَالُوا۟ لِإِخْوَٰنِهِمْ إِذَا ضَرَبُوا۟ فِى ٱلْأَرْضِ أَوْ كَانُوا۟ غُزًّى لَّوْ كَانُوا۟ عِندَنَا مَا مَاتُوا۟ وَمَا قُتِلُوا۟ لِيَجْعَلَ ٱللَّهُ ذَٰلِكَ حَسْرَةً فِى قُلُوبِهِمْ ۗ وَٱللَّهُ يُحْىِۦ وَيُمِيتُ ۗ وَٱللَّهُ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ بَصِيرٌ

Translations

 
 Muhsin Khan
 Pickthall
 Yusuf Ali
Quran Project
O you who have believed, do not be like those who disbelieved and said about their brothers when they travelled through the land or went out to fight, "If they had been with us, they would not have died or have been killed," so Allāh makes that [misconception] a regret within their hearts. And it is Allāh who gives life and causes death, and Allāh is Seeing of what you do.

1. Lessons/Guidance/Reflections/Gems

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Explanatory Note

The sūrah follows this with a statement of God’s determination of life and death. It exposes the false concepts of the unbelievers and warns them against entertaining the same thoughts. It then speaks of values which encourage the believers to be ready and willing to make any sacrifices required of them.
 
The fact that these verses are included at this point in the sūrah’s account of the events  of  the  battle,  makes  it  clear  that  the  hypocrites  who  withdrew  from  the Muslim army before the battle and the idolaters living in Madinah who continued to maintain ties and relations with the Muslims were the ones who expressed sorrow at the loss of Muslim martyrs at Uĥud. Furthermore, they tried to make use of their deaths,  in  order  to  whip  up  feelings  of  despair  among  their  families  and  to exaggerate the sense of loss which they maintained was the direct result of their going forth to fight. There is no doubt that speaking in these terms when the sense of loss among the Muslims was still acute was bound to increase confusion among the Muslims. Hence, the Qur’ān dispels all confusion and provides the right criteria and the correct concepts and values.
 
The unbelievers said of those who were killed in the Battle of Uĥud: “Had they stayed with us they would not have died, nor would they have been killed.” Their statement, however, shows the great gulf between the concepts of those who have faith and those deprived of it and the laws governing human life, whether pleasant or unpleasant. A believer is aware of these laws and God’s will, and he accepts it with reassurance because he knows that he will only get what God has determined for him, and that what happens to him was bound to happen and what he may have missed, he could never have achieved anyway. Therefore, he neither panics in a calamity, nor is he overwhelmed with joy when good fortunes smiles on him. He does not regret not having done so and so in order to avoid something or to ensure another. Any alternatives should be considered before taking action. Once action is taken, after full consideration, and according to one’s best knowledge and within the framework of what God sanctions, the believer accepts any results with satisfaction and  reassurance.  In  other  words,
whatever  happens  must  take  place according to God’s will. There was no way it could have been avoided, although it was he himself who provided its causes. There is a perfect equilibrium between action and acceptance of the results, between positiveness and reliance on God. A person who does not have this type of straightforward faith in God will always remain worried and hesitant, and will always say: “If only ...”, “Had it not been for...”, “I wish that ...” and “How sorrowful it is that...”
 
As God cultivates the Muslim community and points to the lessons they must learn from the Battle of Uĥud and what the Muslims suffered in it, He warns the believers against doing the same thing as the unbelievers. Their sorrow borders on despair every time a relative of theirs dies at work away from home or fighting for God’s cause: “Believers, be not like those who disbelieve and say of their brethren, when they travel on earth or go forth to war, ‘Had they stayed with us, they would not have died, nor would they have been killed.’” They say this because they have a false concept of what takes place in the universe and of the power behind it. They only see superficial circumstances and reasons because they have removed themselves from God.
 
“So that God places a source of despair in their hearts.” They see their brethren travelling abroad in order to earn their living and they die, and they see them going forth to war and they are killed. They feel that in both cases, it was their setting out that had brought about their death or caused them to be killed. They experience a profound sense of sorrow that they did not prevent them from setting forth. They did not appreciate the real reason, namely, that the life span of those who die was over, their deathbeds beckoned them, and that everyone dies by God’s will. Had they realised this, they would not have felt such immense sorrow. They would have accepted what God has determined. “It is God alone Who grants life and causes death.” He grants life and takes it back at the time He has appointed, whether people are at their homes, with their families, or working to earn their living, or fighting for their faith. He rewards people according to what He knows of them: “God sees all that you do.”

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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