The Quran

Commentaries for 2.153

Al Baqara (The cow) - البقرة

2.153 Abbas - Tanwîr al-Miqbâs min Tafsîr Ibn ‘Abbâs
(O ye who believe! Seek help in steadfastness) to fulfil the obligations of Allah and to abstain from contraventions and shameful works (and prayer) and with abundant supererogatory prayers at night and during the day in order to come clean from sin. (Lo! Allah is with the steadfast) He helps, and protects the steadfast from shameful works.
2.153 Jalal - Al-Jalalayn
O you who believe, seek help, regarding the Hereafter, through patience, in obedience and afflictions, and prayer (He singles it out for mention on account of its frequency and its greatness); surely God is with the patient, helping them.
2.153 Kashani - Kashani
O you who have faith, a faith of eyewitnessing, seek help in patience, with Me during the assaults of the self-disclosures of My greatness and grandeur, and [in] prayer, that is, [in] the true witnessing through Me; surely God is with the patient, those who can bear the self-disclosures of My lights.
2.153-154 Kathir - Ibn Al Kathir
The Virtue of Patience and Prayer
After Allah commanded that He be appreciated, He ordained patience and prayer. It is a fact that the servant is either enjoying a bounty that he should be thankful for, or suffering a calamity that he should meet with patience. A Hadith states:
«عَجَبًا لِلْمُؤْمِنِ لَا يَقْضِي اللهُ لَهُ قَضَاءً إلَّا كَانَ خَيْرًا لَهُ: إِنْ أَصَابَتْهُ سَرَّاءُ فَشَكَرَ كَانَ خَيْرًا لَهُ وإنْ أَصَابَتْهُ ضَرَّاءُ فَصَبَرَ كَانَ خَيْرًا لَه»
(Amazing is the believer, for whatever Allah decrees for him, it is better for him! If he is tested with a bounty, he is grateful for it and this is better for him; and if he is afflicted with a hardship, he is patient with it and this is better for him.)
Allah has stated that the best tools to help ease the effects of the afflictions are patience and prayer. Earlier we mentioned Allah's statement:
وَاسْتَعِينُواْ بِالصَّبْرِ وَالصَّلَوةِ وَإِنَّهَا لَكَبِيرَةٌ إِلاَّ عَلَى الْخَـشِعِينَ
(And seek help in patience and As-Salah (the prayer) and truly, it is extremely heavy and hard except for Al-Khashi`in i.e., the true believers in Allah) (2:45)
There are several types of Sabr ـ patience: one for avoiding the prohibitions and sins, one for acts of worship and obedience. The second type carries more rewards than the first type. There is a third type of patience required in the face of the afflictions and hardships, which is mandatory, like repentance.
`Abdur-Rahman bin Zayd bin Aslam said, "Sabr has two parts: patience for the sake of Allah concerning what He is pleased with (i.e., acts of worship and obedience), even if it is hard on the heart and the body, and patience when avoiding what He dislikes, even if it is desired. Those who acquire these qualities will be among the patient persons whom Allah shall greet (when they meet Him in the Hereafter; refer to Surat Al-Ahzab 33:44), Allah willing.''
The Life enjoyed by Martyrs
Allah's statement:
وَلاَ تَقُولُواْ لِمَن يُقْتَلُ فِى سَبيلِ اللَّهِ أَمْوَاتٌ بَلْ أَحْيَاءٌ
(And say not of those who are killed in the way of Allah, "They are dead.'' Nay, they are living,) indicates that the martyrs are alive and receiving their sustenance.
Muslim reported in his Sahih:
«أَنَّ أَرْوَاحَ الشُّهَدَاءِ فِي حَوَاصِلَ طَيْرٍ خُضْرٍ، تَسْرَحُ فِي الْجَنَّة حَيْثُ شَاءَتْ، ثُمَّ تَأْوِي إلَى قَنَادِيلَ مُعَلَّقَةٍ تَحْتَ الْعَرْشِ، فَاطَّلَعَ عَلَيْهِمْ رَبُّكَ اطِّلَاعَةً، فقَالَ: مَاذَا تَبْغُونَ؟ فَقَالُوا: يَا رَبَّنَا وَأَيَّ شَيْءٍ نَبْغِي، وَقَدْ أَعْطَيْتنَا مَا لَمْ تُعْطِ أَحَدًا مِنْ خَلْقِكَ؟ ثُمَّ عَادَ إِلَيْهِمْ بِمِثْلِ هذَا، فَلَمَّا رَأَوْا أَنَّهُم لَا يُتْرَكُون مِنْ أَنْ يُسْأَلُوا، قَالُوا: نُرِيدُ أَنْ تَرُدَّنَا إِلَى الدَّارِ الدُّنْيَا فَنُقَاتِلَ فِي سَبِيلِكَ حَتَّى نُقْتَلَ فِيكَ مَرَّةً أُخْرَى لِمَا يَرَوْنَ مِنْ ثَوابِ الشَّهادَةِ فَيَقُولُ الرَّبُّ جَلَّ جَلَالُهُ: إِنِّي كَتَبْتُ أَنَّهُمْ إلَيْهَا لَا يَرْجِعُون»
(The souls of the martyrs are inside green birds and move about in Paradise wherever they wish. Then, they take refuge in lamps that are hanging under the Throne (of Allah). Your Lord looked at them and asked them, `What do you wish for' They said, `What more could we wish for while You have favored us with what You have not favored any other of your creation' He repeated the question again. When they realize that they will be asked (until they answer), they said, `We wish that You send us back to the earthly life, so that we fight in Your cause until we are killed in Your cause again,' (because of what they enjoy of the rewards of martyrdom). The Lord then said, `I have written that they will not be returned to it (earthly life) again.)
Imam Ahmad reported that `Abdur-Rahman bin Ka`b bin Malik narrated from his father that Allah's Messenger said:
«نَسَمَةُ الْمُؤْمِنِ طَائِرٌ تَعْلَقُ فِي شَجَرِ الْجَنَّةِ حَتَّى يَرْجِعَهُ اللهُ إِلَى جَسَدهِ يَوْمَ يَبْعَثُه»
(The believer's soul is a bird that feeds on the trees of Paradise until Allah sends it back to its body when the person is resurrected.)
This Hadith includes all the believers in its general meaning. Thus, the fact that the Qur'an mentions the martyrs in particular in the above Ayah serves to honor, glorify and favor them (although the other believers share the rewards they enjoy).
2.153-157 Maududi - Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi - Tafhim al-Qur'an
After their appointment to leadership, the Believers from hereon are given such instructions and directions as are essential for training and enabling them to discharge the duties of that position of responsibility. They are first of all warned that leadership is not a bed of roses but a bed of thorns. They will be confronted with difficulties, hardships, and trials at the very outset and will have to undergo untold sufferings and losses. But if they went Through all those ordeals with fortitude and proceeded on in the way of Allah, they would be blessed with countless blessings and rewards by Him.
That is, "Fortitude and Prayer will generate in you the power which is required to bear that burden of responsibility with which you have been entrusted. Fortitude will give you that patience and courage under the afflictions, privations and temptations which you are bound to encounter and that moral strength and endurance which will be sorely needed in Allah's way, which is full of dangers. The Prayer will train you in discipline and other moral qualities which are essential for the right type of leadership.
It is forbidden to refer to those who are martyred for Allah's sake as "dead" because the very word "death" and its thought are very discouraging, and kill the spirit of self-sacrifice and the urge to fight in the way of Allah. Instead, the Muslims are told to believe that those who fall martyrs in the way of Allah in fact enjoy eternal life. And this is a reality which revitalises and keeps alive the spirit of courage and valour.
These words are to be uttered merely with the tongue, but we whould believe sincerely from the core of our hearts that "We belong to Allah and to none else." Thus, if anything is sacrificed in the way of Allah, if is spent rightly because it has gone to His service to Whom it really belonged."
"We shall certainly return to Him" :"We shall not live here for ever but shall have to leave this world one day. Thus, sooner or later we must die and go to Allah. It is, therefore, far better to fight in His way and lay down our lives for His sake than to pass our lives in self-seeking and self-worship and then die of some disease or accident."
2.153 Qushairi - Al-Qushairi
O you who believe seek help through patience and prayer; surely God is with the patient. “Seek the help of [God's] blessing ṣalāt through patience.”That is to say “your being worthy of your Lord's blessing ṣalāt [comes] by your patience at the flow of the decrees of the Real over you.” For that reason God most high said yet give good tidings to the patient [2:155] followed by Upon those rest blessings ṣalawāt and mercy from their Lord [2:157]. It is said that the patient are entitled to the ultimate treasures and the highest ranks inasmuch as they have attained the company maʿiyya of God most high who said “Surely God is with maʿa the patient.”