(Allah will bring a people whom He will love and they will love Him; humble towards the believers, stern towards the disbelievers.)(5:54) This is the description of the believers; harsh with the disbelievers, merciful and kind to the believers, angry without smiling before the disbelievers, smiling and beaming with pleasure before his believing brother. Allah the Exalted said in another Ayah,
(The parable of the believers in their kindness and mercy for each other, is that of the body: when one of its organs falls ill, the rest of the body responds with fever and sleeplessness.) The Prophet also said,
(A believer to another believer is like a building whose different parts enforce each other.) Then he clasped his hands with his fingers interlaced. Both of these Hadiths were collected in the Sahih. Allah the Exalted and Most Honored said,
(You see them bowing and falling down prostrate, seeking reward from Allah and acceptance.) Allah describes the believers as active in performing righteous deeds and in praying, which is the best action there is, all the while being sincere to Allah the Exalted and Most Honored in the prayer, awaiting His generous reward alone. Allah's best reward is Paradise that contains His bounties and favors, abundant provisions, as well as, earning His good pleasure that is greater than the former reward. Allah said,
وَرِضْوَنٌ مِّنَ اللَّهِ أَكْبَرُ
(But the greatest bliss is the acceptance by Allah) (9: 72) The statement of Allah the Exalted next,
(The mark of them is on their faces from the traces of prostration.) refers to graceful appearance, according to Ibn `Abbas as reported from him by `Ali bin Abi Talhah. Mujahid and several others explained: "It means, humbleness and reverence.'' Some said, "The righteous good deed brings light to the heart, brightness to the face, ampleness in provisions, and love in people's hearts.'' The Leader of the faithful, `Uthman bin `Affan said, "Everyone who hides a secret, then Allah the Exalted will either show on his face what he's done or by the words that accidentally slip from his mouth.'' Imam Ahmad recorded that `Abdullah bin `Abbas said that the Prophet said,
(Verily, good conduct, graceful appearance and moderation are one part out of twenty-five parts of prophethood.) Abu Dawud also collected this Hadith. Therefore, since the Companions, may Allah be pleased with them all, had sincere intentions and righteous good deeds, all those who looked at them liked their appearance and conduct. Imam Malik said, "I was told that when the Christians saw the Companions, who conquered Ash-Sham, they commented, `These people are, by Allah, better than the Disciples (of `Isa) according to what has been conveyed to us.''' They indeed said the truth, for this Ummah was mentioned in an honorable way in previously revealed Scriptures. The best and most honored members of this Ummah are the Companions of the Messenger of Allah. Allah, the Exalted and Most Honored, praised them in previous Books and Revelations, and this is why He said here,
ذَلِكَ مَثَلُهُمْ فِى التَّوْرَاةِ
(This is their description in the Tawrah), then said,
(But their description in the Injil is like a seed which sends forth its shoot (Shat`ah,)) its shoot or branch,
(then makes it strong,) able to stand on its own,
(and becomes thick), youthful and long,
فَاسْتَوَى عَلَى سُوقِهِ يُعْجِبُ الزُّرَّاعَ
(and it stands straight on its stem, delighting the sowers,) Such is the parable that describes the Companions of Allah's Messenger. They gave the Messenger aid, support and victory, just as the shoot hardens the plant,
لِيَغِيظَ بِهِمُ الْكُفَّارَ
(that He may enrage the disbelievers with them. ) Relying on this Ayah, Imam Malik stated that the Rawafid are disbelievers because they hate the Companions, may Allah be pleased with them all. Malik said, "The Companions enrage them, and according to this Ayah, he who is enraged by the Companions is a disbeliever.'' Several scholars agreed with Malik's opinion, may Allah be pleased with them. There are numerous Hadiths mentioning the virtues of the Companions and prohibiting the criticism on their mistakes. It is sufficient that Allah the Exalted has praised them and declared that He is pleased with them. Allah the Exalted and Most Honored said,
(Allah has promised those among them who believe and do righteous deeds, forgiveness) for their sins,
(and a mighty reward.) a generous reward and honorable provisions. Certainly, Allah's promise is true and shall come to pass and will never be broken or changed. Surely, all those who follow the guidance of the Companions, may Allah be pleased with them all, will be similar to them. However, the Companions have the better virtue, the obvious lead and the perfection in character, on account of which none among this Ummah will be able to attain their level. May Allah be pleased with them and make them pleased. May He place them in the gardens of Al-Firdaws, and make it their abode, and He indeed has done all of that. In his Sahih, Muslim recorded that Abu Hurayrah said that the Messenger of Allah said,
(Do not abuse my Companions, for by the One in Whose Hand is my soul! If one of you spends the amount of Uhud in gold, that amount will never reach the level of one of them spending a Mudd half of it.) This is the end of the Tafsir of Surat Al-Fath; all praise and thanks is due to Allah.
Maududi - Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi - Tafhim al-Qur'an
The reason why this thing has been mentioned here is that when at Hudaibiyah the peace treaty was going to be written down, the disbelievers had objected to the use of the words Rasul-Allah (Messenger of Allah) with the name of the Holy Prophet, and on their insistence the Holy Prophet himself had wiped off these words from the document. At this Allah says: "Our Messenger's being a Messenger is a reality which remains unaffected whether someone believes in it or not. If some people do not believe in it, they may not, for "Allah is enough for a witness" over it. Their denial will not change the reality, but the Guidance and the true Faith which this Messenger has brought from Us, shall prevail over all religion, no matter how hard the deniers try to obstruct its progress."
"All religion" implies all those ways of life which include the nature of din (religion). We have explained it fully in E.N. 3 of Surah Az-Zumar and E.N. 20 of Surah Ash-Shura above. Here what Allah has stated in clear words is: The purpose of the Holy Prophet's appointment as a Prophet was not merely to preach this Religion but to make it prevail over all others. In other words, he did not bring this Religion so that it might survive in a limited compartment of life which is allowed it by the dominant religion, while the rest of the spheres of life, by and large, should remain under the relentless control of some false religion. But he had brought it so that it should be the dominant Religion of life and any other religion should survive, if at all it survives, only within the limits in which it allows it to survive. (For further explanation, sec E.N. 48 of Surah Az-Zumar).
"The Companions (of the Holy Prophet) are hard on the disbelievers" : they are not "wax that the disbelievers may mold them as they like; they can neither be cowed nor. purchased by any inducement. The disbelievers have no power to turn them away from the great objective for the sake of which they have joined and followed the Holy Prophet even at the cost of their lives."
That is, "Whatever their hardness and severity, it is only for the disbelievers, not for the believers. As regards the believers they are soft, merciful, affectionate, sympathetic and compassionate. Their unity of aim and object has produced in them love and harmony and complete accord among themselves."
This does not imply the mark that appears on the forehead of some people on account of prostrations, but it implies the marks and traces of the fear of God, munificence, nobility and goodness of manner that naturally appears on the face of a person on account of bowing down before God. Man's face is an open book on the pages of which different states of a man's self can be seen easily. A vain and arrogant person's face is different from the face of a humble, modest and unassuming person; an immoral person's face is clearly distinguished from the face of a righteous and well-mannered person; and there is a marked difference between the facial appearance of a wicked man and of a noble and virtuous man. What Allah means to say is: "The Companions of Muhammad (upon whom be Allah's peace) are such that one can recognize them on first sight to be the best of mankind, because their faces shine forth with the light of God-worship and God -consciousness." This is the same thing about which Imam Malik has said that when the armies of the Companions entered Syria, the Syrian Christians remarked: "These people possess the very same qualities and characteristics of the disciples of the Prophet Jesus Christ."
The allusion probably is to Deuteronomy, 33: 2-3, in which the Holy Prophet's advent has been foretold and the word "saints" has been used for his Companions. Apart from this, if some other quality of the Companions has been mentioned in the Torah, it is not found in the existing, corrupted Torah.
This parable is found in a sermon of the Prophet Jesus that has been reported in the New Testament, thus:
"And he said, So is the kingdom of God, as if a man should east seed into the ground: And should sleep, and rise night and day, and the seed should spring and grow up, he knoweth not how. For the earth bringeth forth fruit of herself; first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear. But when the fruit is brought forth, immediately he putteth in the sickle, because the harvest is come. And he said, Where unto shall we liken the kingdom of God? or with what comparison shall we compare it? It is like a grain of mustard seed, which, when it is sewn in the earth, is less than all the seeds that be in the earth: Hut when it is sown, it groweth up, and becometh greater than all herbs, and shouted out great branches; so that the fowls of the air may lodge under the shadow of it."
The last portion of this sermon is also found in Matthew, 13: 31-32.
A section of the Muslims translates this verse, thus: "Allah has promised forgiveness and a great reward to those from among these people who have believed and done good works." Thus, they invent a way to vilify and slander the Companions, and claim that according to this verse many people among the Companions were not believers and righteous. But this commentary goes against vv. 4, 5, 18 and 26 of this very Sarah, and does not even accord with the initial sentences of this verse itself. In vv. 4-5, Allah has made mention of sending down sakinat (tranquillity) and of effecting increase in the Faith of all those Companions who were present with the Holy Prophet at Hudaibiyah, and given them without any exception the good news of admission into Paradise. In verse 18, Allah has expressed His good pleasure for all those who took the pledge to the Holy Prophet, and in this also there is no exception. In verse 26 also Allah has used the word mu 'minin (believers) for all the Companions, has made mention of sending down His sakinat to there, and obliged them to be righteous and pious, for they were most worthy and deserving of all mankind. Here also it was not said that the news was being given only abut those who were believers among them. Then in the initial sentences also of this verse itself the characteristics mentioned arc of all those people who were with the Holy Prophet Muhammad (upon whom be Allah's peace and blessings). The words are to the effect that all the people who are with him have this and this quality and characteristic. After this, suddenly in the last sentence there could be no excuse to say that some of them were the believers and others were not.