Abbas - Tanwîr al-Miqbâs min Tafsîr Ibn ‘Abbâs
(Nay) it is sufficient to you, (but if you persevere) in war with your Prophet, (and keep from evil) and keep from contravening and disobeying Him, (and) the people of Mecca (attack you suddenly) from the direction of Mecca, (your Lord will help you) against your enemy (with five thousand angels sweeping on) 5,000 marked angels; it is also said this means: 5,000 angels wearing turbans of wool.
Yea, it is sufficient for you. In [sūrat] al-Anfāl [it is stated] with a thousand [Q. 8:9], because at first He reinforced them with this [thousand], then it became three [thousand] then five [thousand], as God says: if you are patient, in encountering the enemy, and fear, God in not contravening [His command], and they, the idolaters, come against you instantly, your Lord will reinforce you with five thousand angels accoutred’ (read musawimmīn or musawammīn), that is to say, distinctively marked [for the battle]. Indeed, they were patient and God fulfilled His promise to them, so that the angels fought together with them riding upon piebald horses wearing yellow or white turbans, let loose down to their shoulders.
Yea, if you are patient and fear, and they come against you … to the end of the verse: to endure with patience the hardship of struggle and to expend the soul in obedience of God and to bear discomfort in pursuit of God's satisfaction can only take place when there is God-consciousness with the support of the Truth and illumination by the light of certainty and its sureness, and by the sending down of the divine peace and reassurance upon that person. But to be conscious of God while contravening the command of the Truth and inclining to profit and gain, fearing the ruination of the soul can only come about when the soul is broken by the subjugating authority of the heart and the spirit. For constancy and dignity are the attributes of the spirit, while inconstancy and restlessness are the attributes of the soul. Once the authority of the spirit has acquired mastery over the heart and takes its seat [there], it protects that [heart] from falling under the mastery of the attributes of the soul and the [soul's] hosts, such that the heart becomes enamoured of it [the spirit] and feels at peace with it because of its luminosity the pleasures of which are beloved. It is able to fortify itself with it [the spirit] against the soul and its faculties, defeating it, breaking it, thwarting its [potential] overpowering and [repelling] its darkness from itself, rendering it instead meek, obedient and reassured so that it is no longer agitated and it [the soul] becomes illumined by its [the heart's] light. Thereupon mercy comes down and the heart corresponds to the heavenly spiritual realm with respect to its [the soul's] luminosity, its capacity to vanquish what is below it and its love and yearning for what is above it. Thus by that correspondence it [the heart] becomes joined to it [the illumined soul] and is able to draw on its [this soul's] faculties and [draw] its attributes into its [the heart's] acts especially when it [the heart] is stirred and spurns the lower aspect and severs itself in exclusive devotion to the higher aspect by the power of certainty and the trust. It is then able to draw upon the faculties of its [the illumined soul's] capacity to vanquish against the one with whom it [the heart] is angry: this is [the moment of] the coming down of the angels. But when it [the heart] is anxious and alarmed, changes and becomes fearful or inclines to this world, it is overpowered by the soul and subjugated by it and ac quires mastery over it, veiling it by the darkness of its attributes from the light, such that that correspondence is no longer there, the reinforcement [from the spiritual realm] is severed and the angels do not come down.
The scholars of Tafsir differ over whether the promise contained in these Ayat referred to the battle of Badr or Uhud. The First View
There are two opinions about this, one of them saying that Allah's statement,
إِذْ تَقُولُ لِلْمُؤْمِنِينَ
((Remember) when you said to the believers) 3:124, is related to His statement,
وَلَقَدْ نَصَرَكُمُ اللَّهُ بِبَدْرٍ
(And Allah has already made you victorious at Badr) 3:123.
This was reported from Al-Hasan Al-Basri, `Amr Ash-Sha`bi, Ar-Rabi` bin Anas and several others, Ibn Jarir also agreed with this opinion. `Abbad bin Mansur said that Al-Hasan said that Allah's statement,
((Remember) when you said to the believers, "Is it not enough for you that your Lord should help you with three thousand angels'') 3:124, is about the battle of Badr; Ibn Abi Hatim also recorded this statement.
Ibn Abi Hatim then reported that `Amr Ash-Sha`bi said, "On the day of Badr, the Muslims received information that Kurz bin Jabir (a prominent tribe chief) was aiding the idolators, and this news was hard on them, so Allah revealed;
("Is it not enough for you that your Lord (Allah) should help you with three thousand angels sent down''), until,
(having marks (of distinction)) 3:124,125.
The news of the defeat of the idolators at Badr reached Kurz and he did not reinforce them, and thus, Allah did not reinforce the Muslims with the five (thousands of angels).''
As for Ar-Rabi` bin Anas, he said, "Allah supported the Muslims with one thousand (angels), then the number reached three thousand, then five thousand.'' If one asks, according to this opinion, how can we combine between this Ayah and Allah's statement about Badr,
((Remember) when you sought help of your Lord and He answered you (saying): "I will help you with a thousand angels, each behind the other (following one another) in succession.'') 8:9, until,
أَنَّ اللَّهَ عَزِيزٌ حَكِيمٌ
(Verily! Allah is All-Mighty, All-Wise) We say that the one thousand mentioned here does not contradict the three thousand mentioned in the above Ayah 3:124. The word "in succession'' means they follow each other and thus indicates that thousands more will follow them. The two Ayat above 8:9 and 3:124 are similar in meaning and it appears that they both were about the battle of Badr, because the angels did fight in the battle of Badr, as the evidence indicates. Allah knows best. Allah's statement,
بَلَى إِن تَصْبِرُواْ وَتَتَّقُواْ
(But if you hold on to patience and have Taqwa,) 3:125 means, if you observe patience while fighting the enemy, all the while fearing Me and obeying My command. Al-Hasan, Qatadah, Ar-Rabi` and As-Suddi said that Allah's statement,
وَيَأْتُوكُمْ مِّن فَوْرِهِمْ هَـذَا
(and they will come rushing) means, they (angels) will rush to you instantaneously. Al-`Awfi said that Ibn `Abbas said that the Ayah means, "All at once''. It is also said that it means, before their anger subsides (against the disbelievers). The Second View
The second opinion stipulates that the promise mentioned here concerning the angels participating in battle is related to Allah's statement,
(And (remember) when you left your household in the morning to post the believers at their stations for the battle) of Uhud. However, we should add, the angels did not come to the aid of Muslims at Uhud, because Allah made it conditional,
بَلَى إِن تَصْبِرُواْ وَتَتَّقُواْ
(But if you hold on to patience and have Taqwa) 3: 125.
The Muslims were not patient at Uhud. Rather, they ran away and, consequently, did not receive the support of even one angel.
(your Lord will help you with five thousand angels having marks), of distinction.
Abu Ishaq As-Subay`i said; from Harithah bin Mudarrib said that `Ali bin Abi Talib said, "The angels were distinguished by wearing white wool at Badr.'' The angels also had special markings distinguishing their horses.
Maududi - Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi - Tafhim al-Qur'an
The Holy Prophet heartened the Muslims with this promise when they were disheartened to confront an army of 3,000 men with a small army of 1,000 which was further reduced to 700 men by the desertion of 300 hypocrites.
were saying to the believers “Is it not sufficient for you that your Lord should reinforce you with three thousand angels sent downḍ Yea if you are patient and fear and they come against you instantly your Lord will reinforce you with five thousand angels accoutred.” The tranquility sent by the Real سبحانه to the heart of MuṣṬafā ﷺ was from God سبحانه without intermediary while the strengthening of the hearts of the believers was through the intermediary of the Messenger ﷺ. If not for [the doubt that] remained in them he would not have replied to them telling [them] of the help [that would] be sent in the angel malak. Why tell of the angel when the affair is entirely in the hand of the King malikḍ