The Wisdom Behind the Losses Muslims Suffered During Uhud
Allah states to His believing servants who suffered losses in the battle of Uhud, including seventy dead,
قَدْ خَلَتْ مِن قَبْلِكُمْ سُنَنٌ
(137... Many similar ways (and mishaps of life) were faced before you), for the previous nations who followed their Prophets before you, they too suffered losses. However, the good end was theirs, and the ultimate defeat was for the disbelievers. This is why Allah said,
(And Allah likes not the wrongdoers. And that Allah may test those who believe) 3:140,141, by forgiving them their sins if they have any. Otherwise, Allah will raise their grades according to the losses they suffered. Allah's statement,
(and destroy the disbelievers), for it is their conduct that if they gain the upper hand, they transgress and commit aggression. However, this conduct only leads to ultimate destruction, extermination, perishing and dying out...(3:141 end...)
(Or think you that you will enter Paradise without such (trials) as came to those who passed away before you They were afflicted with severe poverty and ailments and were so shaken...) 2:214. Allah said,
(Do you think that you will enter Paradise before Allah knows (tests) those of you who will perform Jihad and (also) knows (tests) those who are the patient) 3:142 meaning, you will not earn Paradise until you are tested and thus Allah knows who among you are the ones who struggle and fight in His cause and are patient in the face of the enemy. Allah said,
(Do not wish to encounter the enemy, and ask Allah for your well-being. However, if you do encounter them, then observe patience and know that Paradise is under the shade of swords.)
This is why Allah said here,
(Now you have seen it): death, you saw it when the swords appeared, the blades were sharpened, the spears crisscrossed and men stood in lines for battle. This part of the Ayah contains a figure of speech that mentions imagining what can be felt but not seen.
Maududi - Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi - Tafhim al-Qur'an
God is encouraging the Muslims by mentioning the victory in the battle of Badr, saying, "When the disbelievers did not lose heart by the blow at Badr, why should you, the believers, lose heart by the blow at Uhd?"
The original Arabic text may imply either of the two things: "Allah desired to give some of you the honour of martyrdom. " Or it may mean, "He willed to winnow the Believers from the hypocrites so that the true witnesses of the Truth, who may really be worthy of performing the mission that has been assigned to the Muslim Community, may be distinguished from the false ones."
This alludes to those who were so desirous of martyrdom that they had persuaded the Holy Prophet against his wish to go out of Al-Madinah to fight with the enemy.
And that God may prove the believers and efface the disbelievers. The tests of the unseen are a kind of smelting for the servant. Through various stages He purifies him from faults so that he becomes like pure gold without any dross. In this way one becomes clear of defects and purified for God. And efface the disbelievers in the wadis of dispersion tafriqa. As for the scum it passes away as dross [13:17].
And that God may prove the believers…This means their being purified (takhlīṣ) from the blemishes of sins, just as they devoted themselves purely to Him (akhlaṣū lahu) in deed, which was [their] striving (jihād) in the way of God; …and efface the disbelievers. This means the destruction of the disbelievers through the affliction brought on by their sins.His words: