Abbas - Tanwîr al-Miqbâs min Tafsîr Ibn ‘Abbâs
It was also revealed about them: (Those unto whom men said) said to Nu'aym Ibn Mas'ud al-Ashja'i: (Lo! the people) Abu Sufyan and his men (have gathered against you) at the Lutaymah, the latter being a market near Mecca, (therefore fear them) fear going out to fight them. (But) this only (increased the faith of them) emboldened them even more (and they cried: Allah is sufficient for us!) Allah is sufficient to give victory. (Most Excellent is He in Whom we trust!) our trust is in Allah.
Those to whom (alladhīna, substitutes for the previous alladhīna, ‘those who’, or an adjectival qualification [of it]) people, that is, Nu‘aym b. Mas‘ūd al-Ashja‘ī, said, ‘The people, Abū Sufyān and his companions, have gathered, their multitudes, against you, in order to exterminate you, therefore fear them’, and do not go out to [encounter] them; but that, saying, increased them in faith, in their belief in God and in certainty, and they said, ‘God is sufficient for us, He will deal fully for us with their affair; an excellent Guardian is He’, the One to whom the matter is entrusted. They thus set out with the Prophet (s) and arrived at the market-fair of Badr, but God had cast terror into the hearts of Abū Sufyān and his followers and so they did not turn up. They [the believers] had merchandise with them, and so they traded and made profits. God, exalted be He, says:
Those to whom people said, before their arrival at the witnessing, 'The people have gathered against you, therefore fear them', in other words, they have taken into account your existence and reckon with, so you reckon with them; but that, statement, increased them in faith, that is, in certainty and in affirmation of the Oneness by negating any other [than God] and not being concerned by it. By negating what is other than God they attained the very affirmation of God when they said: 'God is sufficient for us. So they witnessed Him before returning to the differentiated mode of the attributes with uprightness, saying: an excellent Guardian is He', which are the words that Abraham, peace be upon him, said when he was cast into the fire and it became coolness and safety for him [cf. Q. 21:69].
Allah states that even though the martyrs were killed in this life, their souls are alive and receiving provisions in the Dwelling of Everlasting Life. In his Sahih, Muslim recorded that Masruq said, "We asked `Abdullah about this Ayah,
(Their souls are inside green birds that have lamps, which are hanging below the Throne (of Allah), and they wander about in Paradise wherever they wish. Then they return to those lamps. Allah looks at them and says, `Do you wish for anything' They say, `What more could we wish for, while we go wherever we wish in Paradise' Allah asked them this question thrice, and when they realize that He will keep asking them until they give an answer, they say, `O Lord! We wish that our souls be returned to our bodies so that we are killed in Your cause again.' Allah knew that they did not have any other wish, so they were left.)''' There are several other similar narrations from Anas and Abu Sa`id.
Imam Ahmad recorded that Anas said that the Messenger of Allah said,
(No soul that has a good standing with Allah and dies would wish to go back to the life of this world, except for the martyr. He would like to be returned to this life so that he could be martyred again, for he tastes the honor achieved from martyrdom.) Muslim collected this Hadith
In addition, Imam Ahmad recorded that, Ibn `Abbas said that the Messenger of Allah said,
(When your brothers were killed in Uhud, Allah placed their souls inside green birds that tend to the rivers of Paradise and eat from its fruits. They then return to golden lamps hanging in the shade of the Throne. When they tasted the delight of their food, drink and dwelling, they said, `We wish that our brothers knew what Allah gave us so that they will not abandon Jihad or warfare.' Allah said, `I will convey the news for you.') Allah revealed these and the following Ayat,
(Think not of those as dead who are killed in the way of Allah. Nay, they are alive, with their Lord, and they have provision.)
Qatadah, Ar-Rabi` and Ad-Dahhak said that these Ayat were revealed about the martyrs of Uhud.
Abu Bakr Ibn Marduwyah recorded that Jabir bin `Abdullah said, "The Messenger of Allah looked at me one day and said, `O Jabir! Why do I see you sad' I said, `O Messenger of Allah! My father was martyred and left behind debts and children.' He said,
(Should I tell you that Allah never spoke to anyone except from behind a veil However, He spoke to your father directly. He said, `Ask Me and I will give you.' He said, `I ask that I am returned to life so that I am killed in Your cause again.' The Lord, Exalted He be, said, `I have spoken the word that they shall not be returned back to it (this life). ' He said, `O Lord! Then convey the news to those I left behind.') Allah revealed,
(The martyrs convene at the shore of a river close to the door of Paradise, in a green tent, where their provisions are brought to them from Paradise day and night.)
Ahmad and Ibn Jarir collected this Hadith, which has a good chain of narration. It appears that the martyrs are of different types, some of them wander in Paradise, and some remain close to this river by the door of Paradise. It is also possible that the river is where all the souls of the martyrs convene and where they are provided with their provision day and night, and Allah knows best. UImam Ahmad narrated a Hadith that contains good news for every believer that his soul will be wandering in Paradise, as well, eating from its fruits, enjoying its delights and happiness and tasting the honor that Allah has prepared in it for him. This Hadith has a unique, authentic chain of narration that includes three of the Four Imams. Imam Ahmad narrated this Hadith from Muhammad bin Idris Ash-Shafi`i who narrated it from Malik bin Anas Al-Asbuhi, from Az-Zuhri, from `Abdur-Rahman bin Ka`b bin Malik that his father said that the Messenger of Allah said,
(The soul of the believer becomes a bird that feeds on the trees of Paradise, until Allah sends him back to his body when He resurrects him.)
This Hadith states that the souls of the believers are in the shape of a bird in Paradise. As for the souls of martyrs, they are inside green birds, like the stars to the rest of the believing souls. We ask Allah the Most Generous that He makes us firm on the faith.
فَرِحِينَ بِمَآ ءَاتَـهُمُ اللَّهُ
(They rejoice in what Allah has bestowed upon them) indicates that the martyrs who were killed in Allah's cause are alive with Allah, delighted because of the bounty and happiness they are enjoying. They are also awaiting their brethren, who will die in Allah's cause after them, for they will be meeting them soon. These martyrs do not have fear about the future or sorrow for what they left behind. We ask Allah to grant us Paradise. The Two Sahihs record from Anas, the story of the seventy Ansar Companions who were murdered at Bir Ma`unah in one night. In this Hadith, Anas reported that the Prophet used to supplicate to Allah in Qunut in prayer against those who killed them. Anas said, "A part of the Qur'an was revealed about them, but was later abrogated, `Convey to our people that we met Allah and He was pleased with us and made us pleased.'''
(They rejoice in a grace and a bounty from Allah, and that Allah will not waste the reward of the believers) 3:171.
Muhammad bin Ishaq commented, "They were delighted and pleased because of Allah's promise that was fulfilled for them, and for the tremendous rewards they earned.'' `Abdur-Rahman bin Zayd bin Aslam said, "This Ayah encompasses all the believers, martyrs and otherwise. Rarely does Allah mention a bounty and a reward that He granted to the Prophets, without following that with what He has granted the believers after them.''
(Those who answered (the Call of) Allah and the Messenger after being wounded) 3:172.
This occurred on the day of Hamra' Al-Asad. After the idolators defeated the Muslims (at Uhud), they started on their way back home, but soon they were concerned because they did not finish off the Muslims in Al-Madinah, so they set out to make that battle the final one. When the Messenger of Allah got news of this, he commanded the Muslims to march to meet the disbelievers, to bring fear to their hearts and to demonstrate that the Muslims still had strength to fight. The Prophet only allowed those who were present during Uhud to accompany him, except for Jabir bin `Abdullah Al-Ansari, as we will mention. The Muslims mobilized, even though they were still suffering from their injuries, in obedience to Allah and His Messenger.
Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that `Ikrimah said, "When the idolators returned towards Makkah after Uhud, they said, `You neither killed Muhammad nor collected female captives. Woe to you for what you did. Let us go back.' When the Messenger of Allah heard this news, he mobilized the Muslim forces, and they marched until they reached Hamra Al-Asad. The idolators said, `Rather, we will meet next year', and the Messenger of Allah went back to Al-Madinah, and this was considered a Ghazwah (battle). Allah sent down,
(Those who answered (the Call of) Allah and the Messenger after being wounded; for those of them who did good deeds and feared Allah, there is a great reward.)
Al-Bukhari recorded that `A'ishah said to `Urwah about the Ayah;
الَّذِينَ اسْتَجَابُواْ لِلَّهِ وَالرَّسُولِ
(Those who answered (the Call of) Allah and the Messenger)
"My nephew! Your fathers Az-Zubayr and Abu Bakr were among them. After the Prophet suffered the calamity at Uhud and the idolators went back, he feared that the idolators might try to come back and he said, `Who would follow them' Seventy men, including Az-Zubayr and Abu Bakr, volunteered.'' This was recorded by Al-Bukhari alone.
(Those unto whom the people said, "Verily, the people have gathered against you, therefore, fear them.'' But it (only) increased them in faith) 3:173, it means, those who threatened the people, saying that the disbelievers have amassed against them, in order to instill fear in them, but this did not worry them, rather, they trusted in Allah and sought His help,
وَقَالُواْ حَسْبُنَا اللَّهُ وَنِعْمَ الْوَكِيلُ
(and they said: "Allah is Sufficient for us, and He is the Best Disposer of affairs.'')
Al-Bukhari recorded that Ibn `Abbas said,
حَسْبُنَا اللَّهُ وَنِعْمَ الْوَكِيلُ
("Allah Alone is Sufficient for us and He is the Best Disposer of affairs for us.'')
"Ibrahim said it when he was thrown in fire. Muhammad said it when the people said, `Verily, the people have gathered against you, therefore, fear them.' But it only increased them in faith, and they said, `Allah is Sufficient for us and He is the Best Disposer of affairs for us.''' Abu Bakr Ibn Marduwyah recorded that Anas bin Malik said that the Prophet was told on the day of Uhud, "Verily, the people have gathered against you, therefore, fear them.'' Thereafter, Allah sent down this Ayah 3:173.
(So they returned with grace and bounty from Allah. No harm touched them;) for when they relied on Allah, Allah took care of their worries, He confounded the plots of their enemies, and the Muslims returned to their land,
(and they followed the pleasure of Allah. And Allah is the Owner of great bounty.)
Al-Bayhaqi recorded that Ibn `Abbas said about Allah's statement,
فَانْقَلَبُواْ بِنِعْمَةٍ مِّنَ اللَّهِ وَفَضْلٍ
(So they returned with grace and bounty from Allah,) "The `Grace' was that they were saved. The `Bounty' was that a caravan passed by, and those days were Hajj season days. Thus the Messenger of Allah bought and sold and made a profit, which he divided between his Companions.''
(so fear them not, but fear Me, if you are indeed believers.) meaning, "If Shaytan brings these thoughts to you, then depend on Me and seek refuge with Me. Indeed, I shall suffice you and make you prevail over them.'' Similarly, Allah said,
(Verily, We will indeed make victorious Our Messengers and those who believe, in this world's life and on the Day when the witnesses will stand forth. The Day when their excuses will be of no profit to wrongdoers. Theirs will be the curse, and theirs will be the evil abode.) 40:51,52
Maududi - Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi - Tafhim al-Qur'an
This verse alludes to those devoted servants of Islam who willingly accompanied the Holy Prophet in his pursuit of the Quraish at that critical juncture.
After the Battle of Uhd, the Quraish marched back towards Makkah. When they had covered a good deal of distance from Al-Madinah, they realized that they had not utilised the golden opportunity of crushing the power of Muhammad (Allah's peace be upon him) and they began to regret: what a folly have we committed by losing that excellent chance! Accordingly, they halted and held a council of war. Though they were in favour of returning to Al-Madinah and making a sudden attack, yet they could not muster up courage and continued their march towards Makkah. At the same time, the Holy Prophet surmised an attack from the enemy; so he assembled the Muslims on the next day after the battle of Uhd and said, "Let us go in pursuit of the Quraish." Although that was a very critical situation, yet the believers and the devoted servants of Allah responded to the call and willingly marched with the Holy Prophet to Hamra-ul-Asad, a place at a distance of 8 miles from Al-Madinah.
VV. 173-175 were sent down a year after the Battle of Uhd, but have been included in this discourse because they deal with the events which are connected with the same.
This refers to the terrifying rumours which were being spread in Al-Madinah. On the occasion of his return from Uhd, Abu Sufyan had challenged the Muslims to a fight the following year at Badr. But when the time approached, he could not fmd courage on account of the famine that was raging in Makkah. So in order to save face, he tried to shift on to the Muslims the responsibility for the postponement. Accordingly, he sent a special spy to Al-Madinah to terrify them by spreading rumours that the Quraish were making great preparations for war and collecting such a large army as could defeat any army in Arabia. This device of Abu Sufyan succeeded in producing the desired panic. When the Holy Prophet made an appeal to the Muslims to meet the Quraish in combat at Badr, it failed to produce any encouraging response. So much so that the Messenger of Allah had to declare before the gathered assembly, "I will go to the combat all alone, if none else is willing to go." It was then that 1,500 devotees volunteered to accompany him, and he reached Badr with them. From the other side,Abu Sufyan left Makkah with an army of 2,000 men. But after two days' journey, he told his men that it did not appear to suit them to have a fight that year, and that they would come next year for it. Accordingly, he returned to Makkah with his men. The Holy Prophet, however, waited for him at Badr for eight days. During these days, his Companions did profitable business with a trading party. Then he came to know that the disbelievers had gone back to Makkah, and he returned to Al Madinah.
Those to whom people said “The people have gathered against you therefore fear them”; but that increased them in faith and they said “God is sufficient for us an excellent Guardian is He.” [Whenever] events in the present world confused them outwardly the gleams from unveilings Ṭawāliʿ min al-kushūfāt opened up for them in their innermost selves asrār and they increased in one level of certainty after another. Among the signs of certainty is the reliance of hearts in God alone with the severing of any hope of imagined aid and support from created beings.
…God is sufficient for us; an excellent guardian is He.That is, He is the best guarantor of our provisions, and the best Lord. This is as in His words, Exalted is He, Do not take any guardian beside Me [17:2], that is, [do not take any] Lord [beside Me].His words:
(Those unto whom men said: Lo! the people have gathered against you, therefor fear them…) [3:173]. Abu Ishaq al-Tha'alibi informed us> Abu Salih Shu'ayb ibn Muhammad> Abu Hatim al-Tamimi> Ahmad ibn al-Azhar> Rawh ibn 'Ubadah> Sa'id> Qatadah who said: “This refers to the day of Uhud, following the deaths and wounds that the Muslims had suffered and after the idolaters, Abu Sufyan and his company, had left. The Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, said to his Companions: 'Would a group gather for war for Allah's sake and seek their enemy, for this is more prone to cause damage to the enemy and more likely to drive them away for a distance?' A group set off, despite of what Allah knew of their extreme exhaustion. When they reached Dhu'l-Hulayfah, the Bedouins and other people came to them, saying: 'Abu Sufyan is going to attack you', but they only said: 'Allah is Sufficient for us! Most Excellent is He in Whom we trust!' And so Allah, exalted is He revealed about them (Those unto whom men said: Lo! the people have gathered against you, therefor fear them) [3:173] up to His saying (… and Allah is of Infinite Bounty) [3:174]”.