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 If the Unbelievers should fight you, they would certainly turn their backs; then would they find neither protector nor helper.

(Such has been) the practice (approved) of Allah already in the past: no change wilt thou find in the practice (approved) of Allah.

And it is He Who has restrained their hands from you and your hands from them in the midst of Makka, after that He gave you the victory over them. And Allah sees well all that ye do.

They are the ones who denied Revelation and hindered you from the Sacred Mosque and the sacrificial animals, detained from reaching their place of sacrifice. Had there not been believing men and believing women whom ye did not know that ye were trampling down and on whose account a crime would have accrued to you without (your) knowledge, (Allah would have allowed you to force your way, but He held back your hands) that He may admit to His Mercy whom He will. If they had been apart, We should certainly have punished the Unbelievers among them with a grievous Punishment.

While the Unbelievers got up in their hearts heat and cant – the heat and cant of ignorance,- Allah sent down His Tranquillity to his Messenger and to the Believers, and made them stick close to the command of self-restraint; and well were they entitled to it and worthy of it. And Allah has full knowledge of all things.


Commentary

(…in the valley of Makkah…) The Arabic word used here is
batn which means ‘belly’ and in relation to a city, it refers to its center.
However, in the present context it is used for Hudaibiyah, because of its
close proximity to Makkah. This supports the Hanafi view that some parts
of Hudaibiyah are included in the haram. The relevant details may be
found in our commentary on the verse 2:196.

(and thus an embarrassing situation might have
befallen you because of them unknowingly….48:25): According to some
authorities on lexicology ma’arrah connotes “sin”; according to others it
means “harm”; and other authorities say it denotes “shame” or
“embarrassment”. In this context, apparently the last meaning appears to
be right. There was a nucleus of Muslims in Makkah and if the fight had
broken out, Muslim army would have unwittingly killed their own Muslim
brethren in faith, thereby causing great injury to their own cause, and
incurring obloguy and opprobrium for themselves.

Natural Safeguard of the Noble Companions against Mistakes
Imam Qurtubi says that if a Muslim unknowingly kills another
Muslim, it is not a sin or crime. It is, however, certainly a source of shame,
embarrassment and regret. Since it is a Qatl Khata’, the laws of diyah
[blood-wit] will apply. Allah has protected the noble Companions against
this as well. This shows the noble Companions are not infallible like the
prophets of Allah, but Allah has in general terms safeguarded them in a
natural way against mistakes which would be a cause of embarrassment,
obloquy and opprobrium to them.

(so that Allah may admit to His mercy whom He
wills…48:25): It means that Allah infused patience in Muslims on this
occasion to avoid war, because He knew that many people in future would
embrace Islam on whom His mercy will be showered. Similarly the
nucleus of Muslims who were detained in Makkah will also receive a large
share of His mercy.

(And if they [the believing men and women] had been separate,
[from disbelievers], We would surely have punished those of them who
disbelieved….48:25) Lexically, the word tazayyul denotes ‘separation’’. The
sense is that if Muslims detained in Makkah had been separate and
distinct from the unbelievers, the Muslims coming from Madinah would
have been able to save them in case of war, and Allah would have had
the disbelievers punished then and there, because that was the demand
of their attitude. However, the Makkan society at that time was a mixed
society – helpless Muslim men and women and non-Muslims were living
together. The Muslims were indistinguishable from non-Muslims. If
fighting had broken out, there would have been no way to save the
Muslims. Therefore, Allah averted the war.

(and made them stick to the word of
piety, and they were very much entitled to it, and competent for it –
48:26)”. The construction kalimat-at-taqwa connotes the word of the pious
persons, that is, the Kalimah of Tauhid and Risalah whereby a person
declares his faith in Allah’s Oneness and in the Messengership of
Sayyidna Muhammad ae It is named here as ‘word of piety’ because this
word is the foundation of piety, righteousness and right conduct. The
noble Companions here are said to have better right to it and more
worthy of it, and thus Allah exposed and unmasked those people who
accused them of infidelity and hypocrisy. Allah asserts that the noble
Companions are more worthy of the word of Islam and better entitled to
it, and thus made them adhere to it firmly, whereas the wretched
evil-minded people refuse to acknowledge their value and entitlement.

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