Abbas - Tanwîr al-Miqbâs min Tafsîr Ibn ‘Abbâs
When 'Abdullah Ibn Ubayy Ibn Salul heard of the honour Allah had bestowed upon the believers, he went and said to the Prophet (pbuh): “O Messenger of Allah! By Allah, we are just like them, so what do we get?” Allah said: (And may punish the hypocritical men and the hypocritical women, and the idolatrous men and the idolatrous women, who think an evil thought concerning Allah) that He will not help His Messenger against the hypocrites. (For them is the evil turn of fortune) and an evil consequence, (and Allah is wroth against them and hath cursed them) He banished them from all good, (and hath made ready for them) in the Hereafter (hell, a hapless journey's end) what an evil destination they will head for in the Hereafter.
and so that He may chastise the hypocrites, men and women, and the idolaters, men and women, and those who make evil assumptions about God (read al-saw’ or al-sū’, ‘evil’, in all three places); they assumed that He will not assist Muhammad (s) and the believers. For them will be an evil turn of fortune, by way of abasement and chastisement; and God is wroth with them, and He has cursed them, He has banished them [far from His mercy], and has prepared for them Hell — and it is an evil destination!, [an evil] place to return to.
Allah sent down the Sakinah into the Hearts of the Believers
Allah the Exalted said,
هُوَ الَّذِى أَنزَلَ السَّكِينَةَ
(He it is Who sent down As-Sakinah), meaning, tranquility. Qatadah commented, "Grace into the hearts of the believers'', that is, the Companions, may Allah be pleased with them, on the Day of Al-Hudaybiyyah. The companions were they, who accepted the call of Allah and His Messenger and obeyed the decisions of Allah and His Messenger. When their hearts felt content with acceptance and were at peace, Allah increased their faith, joining it to the faith they already had. Al-Bukhari, and other Imams, relied on this Ayah as proof that faith increases and decreases in the hearts. Allah the Exalted said next that had He willed, He would have inflicted defeat on the disbelievers, Allah says;
وَلِلَّهِ جُنُودُ السَّمَـوَتِ وَالاٌّرْضِ
(And to Allah belong the armies of the heavens and the earth) and had He willed to send only one angel to them, that angel would have brought destruction to all what they had. However, Allah the Exalted willed Jihad and fighting to be established for, and by, the believers for great wisdom, clear reasons and unequivocal evidences that He had in all this. This is why Allah the Great said next,
وَكَانَ اللَّهُ عَلِيماً حَكِيماً
(and Allah is Ever All-Knower, All-Wise.) Allah the Exalted and Most Honored said,
(That He may admit the believing men and the believing women to Gardens under which rivers flow to abide therein forever,) We mentioned the Hadith that Anas narrated in which the Companions said, "Congratulations, O Allah's Messenger! This good news is for you, so what good news do we have'' Allah the Exalted sent down this Ayah,
(And that He may punish the hypocrites, men and women, and also the idolators, men and women, who think evil thoughts about Allah,) who question the wisdom in Allah's decisions and think that the Messenger and his Companions, may Allah be pleased with them, might be killed and exterminated. This is why Allah the Exalted said,
(for them is a disgraceful torment. And the anger of Allah is upon them, and He has cursed them) He has cast them away from His mercy,
وَأَعَدَّ لَهُمْ جَهَنَّمَ وَسَآءَتْ مَصِيراً
(and prepared Hell for them -- and worst indeed is that destination.) Allah the Exalted and Most Honored asserted His ability to take revenge from the enemies of Islam and all disbelievers and hypocrites,
(And to Allah belong the armies of the heavens and the earth. And Allah is Ever All-Powerful, All-Wise.)
Maududi - Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi - Tafhim al-Qur'an
When after the treaty of Hudaibiyah this good news of the victory was announced,.the people wondered as to how the treaty could be called a victory. The Muslims did believe in this Divine Revelation as true on the basis of their Faith, but no one could understand what aspect of the victory it had. On hearing this verse, Hadrat 'Umar asked: "Is it a victory, O Messenger of Allah?" The Holy Prophet replied: "Yes." (lbn Jarir) Another Companion came before the Holy Prophet and he also put the same question; whereupon the Holy Prophet replied: "By Him in Whose hand is the life of Muhammad, this indeed is a victory." (Musnad Ahmad, Abu Da'ud) On arriving at Madinah still another person said to his companions: "What sort of a victory is it? We were debarred from the House of Allah; our sacrificial camels also could not go to their right places; the Holy Messenger of Allah had to halt at Hudaibiyah, and in consequence of this truce two of our oppressed brothers (Abu Jandal and Abu Basir) were handed over to their oppressors." When this thing reached the Holy Prophet, he said; "A vary wrong thing has been uttered: it indeed is a great victory. You reached the very home of the polytheists, and they had to persuade you to go back by soliciting you to perform 'Umrah the following year; they themselves expressed the desire to suspend hostilities and have peace with you, whereas-their malice and enmity against you is too well-known. Allah has granted you the upper hand over them. Have you forgotten the day when you were fleeing from Uhud and I was calling you back from behind? Have you forgotten the day when the enemy had descended on us from every side in the Battle of the Trench and the hearts were coming up to the throats?" (Baihaqi on the authority of 'Urwah bin Zubair). But not long after this the truce's being a victory began to become manifest, and everyone realized that the triumph of Islam had begun with the treaty of Hudaibiyah. Almost one and the same thing has been related from Hadrat 'Abdullah bin Mas'ud, Hadrat Jabir bin `Abdullah and Hadrat Bara' bin 'Azib. They are reported to have said: "The people look upon the Conquest of Makkah as the victory, but we regard the truce of Hudaibiyah as the real victory." (Bukhari, Muslim, Musnad Ahmad, Ibn Jarir).
If the context in which this sentence occurs is kept in view, one will certainly feel that the faults referred to here imply those shortcomings and weaknesses that had remained in the struggle that the Muslims had been making for the success and victory of Islam, under the leadership of the Holy Prophet, for the past nineteen years or so. These shortcomings are not known to any one because the intellect is absolutely helpless to find out any weakness in that struggle. But according to the highest standards of perfection in the sight of Allah there had remained some such weakness in it because of which the Muslims could not attain a decisive victory so soon over the pagans of Arabia. What Allah means to say is this: ¦If you had carried on your struggle along with those weaknesses, it would have taken you much longer to subdue Arabia, but We have overlooked all those weaknesses and shortcomings and compensated for them only through Our grace, and opened for you at Hudaibiyah the door to victory and conquest which you could not have achieved only by your ordinary endeavors"
Here, this thing also should be understood well that for the weaknesses that might occur and remain in the struggle and endeavor that a group might be making for an object, the leader and guide of the group only is addressed. This does not mean that the weaknesses are the leader's personal weaknesses. Those are, in fact, the weaknesses of the struggle that the group is making as a whole; but the address is made to the leader to tell him that his work suffers from such and such a weakness.
However, as the address is directed to the Holy Prophet and declared that Allah has forgiven him all his former and latter faults, the general words also give this meaning that Allah pardoned all the shortcomings (which were the shortcomings in view of his high position) of His Holy Messenger. That is why when the Companions saw that he took extraordinary pains over his worship, they would say: `Why do you subject yourself to such hardships when all your former and latter errors and shortcomings have been pardoned?" the Holy Prophet would reply: "Should I not behave as a grateful servant?" (Ahmad, Bukhari, Muslim, Abu Da'ud).
"Perfection of his blessings" implies that the Muslims should become wholly free to live their lives in accordance with Islamic civilization, Islamic law and commandments, secure from every fear, every resistance and every external interference, and they should also be blessed with the power that they may uphold Allah's Word throughout the world. Dominance of disbelief and wickedness which may be a hindrance in the way of Allah's worship and an obstacle in the struggle in propagating Allah's Word, is the greatest calamity for the believers; the Qur'an calls it 'fitnah " (mischief). Delivered and freed from this calamity when they arc able to achieve an abode of Islam (darul-Islam) in which the Divine Religion is enforced in its entirety, and along with that they are also provided with the means and resources by which they may establish faith and righteousness on Allah's earth in place of disbelief and wickedness, this would be the perfection of Allah's blessing on them. As this blessing was achieved by the Muslims only through the Holy Prophet, Allah addressed only him and said: "We willed to complete Our blessing on you; therefore we have granted this victory to you."
“The right way": the way to conquest and success. In other words, it implies that by causing the treaty to be concluded at Hudaibiyah Allah paved the way for and inspired the Holy Prophet with the plan by which he could subdue all the forces that were resisting Islam.
Another translation can be: "Bestow on you an unprecedented victory," for the word aziz in the original may mean mighty as well as unprecedented and unparalleled. According to the first meaning, the sentence means: "By means of this treaty Allah has helped you in a way as to make your enemies helpless"; and according to the second, it means: "Seldom has this novel method ever been adopted to help somebody, that a thing which apparently is a mere peace treaty, and that too a treaty concluded from a weak position, would turn into a decisive victory."
"Sakinat" in Arabic is calmness and tranquility and peace of mind. Here Allah calls its being sent into the hearts of the believers an important factor in the victory that Islam and the Muslims achieved at Hudaibiyah. From a study of the conditions of the tuns one comes to know what kind of a Sakinat it was that was sent down into the hearts of the Muslims during that period and how it became a source of victory. If at the time when the Holy Prophet expressed his intention to go for 'Umrah to Makkah, the Muslims had become terror-stricken and started behaving like the hypocrites as if they were going into the very jaws of death, or if at the time when they heard the news on the way that the disbelieving Quraish were coming out in great strength to fight them, they had been alarmed as to how they would face the enemy un-armed, and thus become panic-stricken, obviously no benefits would have resulted from Hudaibiyah at all. Then, if at the time when at Hudaibiyah the disbelievers had stopped the Muslims from going any further, and when they had tried to provoke them by launching against them repeated sudden attacks, and when the rumor of Hadrat 'Uthman's martyrdom had spread, and when Abu Jandal had appeared on the scene as the very image of oppression and persecution, the Muslims had actually become provoked and broken the discipline that the Holy Prophet had instilled in them, the result would have been disastrous. Above all, if at the time when the Holy Prophet was going to conclude the treaty on the conditions which were un-acceptable to the entire party of the Muslims, the Muslims had happened to disobey him, the great victory of Hudaibiyah would have turned into a humiliating defeat. Thus, it was all because of Allah's bounty that on all these critical moments the Muslims were blessed with full peace of mind with regard to the leadership and guidance of the Holy Prophet, the truth of Islam and the truthfulness of their mission. This is why they decided with a cool mind that they would face and accept whatever hardships they would encounter in the way of Allah; that is why they remained safe from fear, confusion, provocation and despair; that is why perfect discipline continues to prevail in the camp; and that is why, in spite of being deeply grieved at the conditions of peace, they submitted to the decision taken by the Holy Prophet. This was the sakinat that Allah had sent down into the hearts of the Muslims, and it was all because of this that the dangerous step of undertaking a journey for performing 'Umrah became the prelude to a unique victory.
That is, "One Faith they already had before they set out on this expedition; they attained the additional Faith when they remained steadfast on the way of sincerity, piety and obedience in every trial that they faced in connection with the expedition. " This verse is one of those verses which show that Faith is not a static state which is incapable of growth, but it develops as well as decays and deteriorates. After embracing Islam till death the believer at every step in his life continues to be confronted with such tests and trials in which he has to take a decision whether in following the Divine Religion he is prepared to sacrifice his life, his wealth, his sentiments, desires, time, comforts and interests or not. If at the time of every such trial he adopts the way of sacrifice, his Faith progresses and develops, and if he turns away his Faith decays and deteriorates till a time may also come when the initial state of the Faith with which he had entered Islam is even endangered to be lost and destroyed. (For further explanation. see E.N. 2 of Surah AI-Anfal and E.N. 38 of AI-Ahzab).
It means this: Allah has such hosts by which He can destroy and exterminate the disbelievers completely whenever He wills, but He has deliberately and by wisdom only placed this responsibility on the believers that they should enter a conflict with the disbelievers and struggle to make the Religion of Allah prevail and prosper in the world. In this way alone does a door to the enhancement of their ranks and successes in the Hereafter open as is being indicated in the following verse'.
In the Qur'an generally mention of the rewards for the believers is made collectively and separate mention is not made of the rewards for the men and the women But here, since the general mention of giving the rewards could cause the doubt that this reward may perhaps be only meant for the men. Allah has made a separate mention of the believing women, saying that they too would be equal partners in this reward with the believing men. The reason is obvious. Those God-fearing women who encouraged their husbands, sons, brothers and fathers to proceed on the dangerous journey instead of stopping them from it and discouraging them by crying and wailing, who looked after their houses, their properties, their honor and children in their absence faithfully, who did not even feel the alarm lest at the sudden departure of 1,400 of the Companions the disbelievers and hypocrites of the surrounding areas would attack the city, should certainly have become equal partners with their men in the reward of Jihad although they stayed behind in their homes.
That is, that He may pardon whatever errors they might have committed because of human weaknesses, remove every trace and mark of the errors from them before admitting them into Paradise so that they may enter Paradise absolutely free from every evil that may cause them embarrassment.
The hypocrites living in the suburbs of Madinah were thinking, as has been stated in verse 12 below, that the Holy Prophet and his Companions would not return alive from that journey. As for the polytheists of Makkah and their pagan companions, they were thinking that they had successfully put to rout the Holy Prophet and his Companions by preventing them from performing `Umrah. In fact, whatever these two groups had thought they had this misunderstanding about Allah that He would not help His Messenger and in the conflict between the Truth and falsehood would allow falsehood to defeat and frustrate the Truth.
That is, "They were encompassed by the same evil fate which they wanted to avoid and against which they had devised all those plans, and their same plans caused the evil fate to be hastened."
Here the theme of verse 4 has been reiterated for another object. There, the object was to state that Allah instead of employing His supernatural hosts to fight the disbelievers had employed the believers for it only because He willed to favor them. Here, the theme has been repeated to say that in order to punish the one whom Allah wills to punish He can employ whichever of His countless hosts He likes for the purpose; no one has the power to avert His punishment by his own plans.