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Today marks the day of the Battle of Badr – Will we ever learn from our history? (PowerPoint Presentation)

Today is the 17th of Ramadan – a day which marks the anniversary of the Battle of Badr. I’ve taken the liberty of uploading a powerpoint which I delivered a few years ago, to accompany the write up.

The Battle of Badr was fought on the 17 Ramadan 2AH, or March 17 624 CE, and was fought some 80 miles southwest of Medina in modern day Arabia.

This was a key battle in the early days of Islam and proved to be a turning point in Islam’s struggle with its oppressive opponents, amongst them the Quraysh in Makkah. I have also covered the Battle of Badr in my “Understanding The Quran” series – Qur’an Juz’ 9 – Al A’raf 88 – Al Anfal 40

Prophet Muhammed Salla’Al-lahu Alayhi Wa Sallam (Arabic salutation “may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him”) led 313 of the Sahaba (the original companions of the Prophet SAW) against a Pagan Makkan army that stood a thousand men strong.

The Muslims were an “army” in name only and it is said that they were in possession of only two horses and seventy camels. They did not have ample provisions, proper camping facilities, good clothing or arms. Most of them were young men with no military experience. The poorly equipped Muslims, enfeebled by the afflictions they had been enduring till then, presented a pitiful contrast to the Makkan army which consisted of a well drilled war machine. The Makkans, led by the house of Quraysh had 700 camels and 200 cavalry (armoured men on horseback) at their disposal. If that wasn’t enough the pagan Makkan army occupied the higher ground and held the upper hand against the Muslims.

Against such formidable odds, Allah granted victory to the Muslims.

Divine Victory

The victory at Badr was achieved with Divine Help from Almighty Allah. It was a joyous and spiritual victory of Haqq (Truth) over Baatil (Falsehood), achieved with Divine intervention. The Glorious Quran speaks about this battle of Truth over Falsehood:

Persecution Due to Their Beliefs

The importance of the Battle of Badr cannot be over-estimated. In the struggle against the Makkan oppressors it was an event after which the early Muslim community felt itself free to make rapid advances.

Some of our detractors will have us believe that it was the Muslims who went on the offensive. To them we state the facts.

The primary cause of the Battle of Badr lay in the determination of the Quraysh and those that opposed Islam, who wished to destroy the Muslim community simply because they believed in one single God. If this was allowed to continue, the Makkans could foresee that the Muslims would pose a serious threat to their established power base and the prestige of the Quraysh, their gods and goddesses would diminish.

These tyrants not only confined themselves to verbal opposition to the Prophet (SAW), but also chastised the Muslims who followed his message. This was further compounded with trade and personal boycotts on the Prophet (SAW) and his family and the Muslims, leading to deplorable living conditions.

The Prophet (SAW) was publicly ridiculed and humiliated, including frequent throwing of filth on him in the street and while he prayed in the Ka’bah, and even had attempts made on his life. In spite of great hardships and no apparent support, the message of Islam kept all Muslims firm in their belief. The Prophet was asked by God to be patient and to preach the message of Qur’an. He advised Muslims to remain patient because he did not receive any revelation yet to retaliate against their persecutors.

When the persecution became unbearable for most Muslims, the Prophet advised them in the fifth year of his mission (615 CE) to emigrate to Abyssinia (modern Ethiopia) where Ashabah (Negus, a Christian) was the ruler. Eighty people, not counting the small children, emigrated in small groups to avoid detection. No sooner had they left the Arabian coastline, the leaders of Quraysh discovered their flight. They decided to not leave these Muslims in peace and immediately sent two of their envoys to Negus to bring all of them back. However, Negus allowed them to stay under his protection after he investigated Muslim belief and heard the revelations about Jesus and Mary (peace be upon them both), which appears in Chapter 19 of the Qur’an (entitled “Mary”). The emigrants were allowed freedom of worship in Abyssinia.

The effects of the three-year boycott left the Prophet with more personal sorrow when he lost his beloved wife Khadijah (Radia Allahu’anha, Arabic salutation, may Allah be pleased with her) and his uncle Abu Talib soon after the ban was lifted.

Right from the inception of the Islamic movement, the Prophet (SAW) and his followers were on the defensive, and they patiently endured all the hardships they faced.

When the Muslims finally migrated enmasse to Madinah, some 280 miles North of Makka, the Prophet (SAW) and Abu-Bakr Al-Siddeeq (Radia Allahu’anhu, Arabic salutation, may Allah be pleased with him) were the last to move.

Even when the Muslims had left their homes, possessions, businesses and livelihoods behind in Makka, the Quraysh and the pagans of Makka would not rest, and soon followed them to Madinah, where they fought the battle of Badr some eighty miles to the Southwest of Madinah.

When you are faced with the over whelming evidence, there is no possible way that anyone can state that it was the Muslims who were on the offensive.

What Lessons Can We Draw Today From This Event?

We have forgotten the lessons that were taught – that we have left behind the Fard (Obligation) of Jihad Fi Sabeel Allah.

The murderous attempts on the life of the Prophet (SAW) were carried out by a coalition. The Muslims were few in number so could never retaliate against all the tribes who had colluded to carry out such a despicable act. Most recently we see the same methods being used with coalition forces launching their illegal invasions and wars against Iraq and Afghanistan.

Looking at the economic and personal boycotts that the Muslims had to suffer, a distinct parallel can be drawn with the plight that the Palestinians currently face. The Palestinians democratically elected a government which for once had the true interests of the Palestinian people above any other. The Palestinian people have had to suffer economic blockades, being cut-off politically from the rest of the world, having their taxation revenue’s frozen and withheld. One can draw a parallel from the collective punishments that are meted out today, to the ones imposed on the Prophet (SAW) and the companions.

History Repeats Itself – Learn From It

You may have noticed a disturbing pattern emerging here. Everything that happens today has happened in centuries gone by. History has repeated itself.

We have abandoned the principle of the Defensive Jihad. We find ourselves attacked on a personal level. Our civil liberties are undermined continually with ever expanding “Anti-terror” legislations. We find ourselves being attacked on an institutional level. Whether it’s our Mosques and the Shaykhs that represent them, our Islamic schools or even bodies such as MPACUK and the MCBs and MABs of this world. Our institutions are incapable of defending themselves, nevermind the Ummah. So is it little wonder we are in the woeful predicament we find ourselves in?

The companions of Prophet Muhammed (SAW) had the privilege to view his conduct in person. They would have observed the way in which he conducted himself, the way he put into practice whatever he taught. The Holy Prophet Muhammed (SAW) was the leader of his house and his people. When the Muslims were commanded to pray, he would pray the most. When mosques were being built, he helped to build them. He didn’t stand back and ask for them to be constructed. There were never any luxuries, lavish palaces or plush residencies for him.

When the Muslims were being persecuted in Makkah, Prophet Muhammed (SAW) kept his composure and stayed amongst the Muslims enduring the same hardship. Whenever the Muslims had to defend themselves in battle he commanded the troops from the front. By comparison it is easy to witness today how many modern leaders act in a contradictory manner to their sayings. Politicians who lie and cheat are commonplace as are leaders of countries who engage in unnecessary wars. None of this was evident from the life of the Holy Prophet Muhammed (SAW).

We rightly hold our Prophet (SAW) as a light for us aspire to, as a true role model, but are we guilty of admiring his actions and not daring to walk in his footsteps?

Are we ready to put aside our minor differences and unite under “La ila-ha ill allah Muhammed-ur Rasoolullah” (There is none worthy of worship except Allah and Muhammed is the messenger of Allah).

The truth of the matter is that me must remain steadfast and never lose hope.

We have the power to change the situation. The question is: will we take the opportunity?

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Oh You Who Believe Strive & Fight With Your Wealth & Persons & Make No Excuses For Why You Sat At Home

It’s always a surprise, but sadly not a shock to see Muslims make every excuse under then sun to not fight Fi’Sabeel’Allah to change the miserable condition that the majority of Muslims live under the world over.

The Akh is well versed with Muslim attitudes in Britain, but after a recent trip to the confederacy of the United Arab Emirates, I was surprised but not shocked to see the bubble that people live in, totally oblivious to what’s happening literally in their bordering states.

As my Jumma reminder, first and foremost directed to myself before anyone else, I was reading the following passage from Surah At Tauba (Surah 9, Verses 86-99) from the Holy Qu’ran, and felt compelled to share;

86 When a Surah comes down enjoining them to believe in Allah and to strive and fight along with his apostle those with wealth and influence among them ask thee for exemption and say: “Leave us (behind): we would be with those who sit (at home).”

88 But the apostle and those who believe with him strive and fight with their wealth and their persons: for them are (all) good things: and it is they who will prosper. 1340

90 And there were among the desert Arabs (also) Men who made excuses and came to claim exemption; and those who were false to Allah and His apostle (Merely) sat inactive. Soon will a grievous penalty seize the unbelievers among them. 1342

93 The ground (of complaint) is against such as claim exemption while they are rich. They prefer to stay with the (women) who remain behind: Allah hath sealed their hearts; so they know not (what they miss). 1345

94 They will present their excuses to you when ye return to them. Say thou: “Present no excuses: we shall not believe you: Allah hath already informed us of the true state of matters concerning you: it is your actions that Allah and His apostle will observe: in the end will ye be brought back to Him who knoweth what is hidden and what is open: then will He show you the truth of all that ye did.

95 They will swear to you by Allah when ye return to them that ye may leave them alone. So leave them alone: For they are an abomination and Hell is their dwelling place a fitting recompense for the (evil) that they did.

96 They will swear unto you that ye may be pleased with them but if ye are pleased with them Allah is not pleased with those who disobey.

97 The Arabs of the desert are the worst in unbelief and hypocrisy and most fitted to be in ignorance of the command which Allah hath sent down to his apostle: but Allah is All-Knowing All-Wise.

98 Some of the desert Arabs Look upon their payments as a fine and watch for disasters for you: on them be the disaster of evil: for Allah is He that heareth and knoweth (all things). 1346

99 But some of the desert Arabs believe in Allah and The Last Day and look on their payments as pious gifts bringing them nearer to Allah and obtaining the prayers of the apostle. Aye indeed they bring them nearer (to Him): soon will Allah admit them to His Mercy: for Allah is Oft- Forgiving Most Merciful. 1347

Interpretation

1340 “Good things,” and “prosperity,” are to be understood both in the physical and in the highest spiritual sense.

1342 Not only had the Hypocrites a nest in Madinah, but their tactics affected some of the village or desert Bedouins, who loved war and would have followed a standard of war even if no question of Faith or a sacred Cause was involved. But some of them, though professing Islam, were frightened by the hardships of the Tabuk expedition and the prospect of meeting the trained armies of the great Roman (Byzantine) Empire. They made all sorts of lying excuses, but really their want of faith made them ineligible for being enlisted in a sacred Cause. Some came to make excuses: other did not even come , but sat at home, ignoring the summons.

1345 Where similar phrases are used for a similar shirking of duty by towns-folk, while here we are considering the desert folk. It is not only a duty, but a precious privilege, to serve a great Cause by personal self-sacrifice. Those who shirk such an opportunity know not what they miss. (9.93)

1346 The payments refer to the regular Charity established by Islam-the obligatory alms. If you look upon them as a fine or a burden, their virtue is lost. If you rejoice that you have there an opportunity of helping the Community to maintain its standards of public assistance and to suppress the unseemly beggary and loathsome importunity whose relief is only governed by motives of getting rid of awkward obstacles on the way, then your outlook is entirely different. You wish for organised and effective efforts to solve the problems of human poverty and misery. In doing so, you get nearer to Allah, and you earn the good wishes and prayers of godly men, led by our holy Leader Al-Mustafa. (9.98)

1347 The Mercy of Allah is always present, as the sun is always shining. But when we have prepared ourselves to receive it, we come to the full enjoyment of it, as a man who was in a shade comes out by his effort into the open, and basks in sunshine.

Though active service in person or by contributing resources is expected of every person who believes in the Cause, there are some who must necessarily be exempted without the least blame attaching to them. Such would be those who are weak in body on account of age, sex, infirmity, or illness. Personal service in their case is out of the question, but they could contribute towards expenses if they are able. But if they are too poor to afford even such assistance, they are excused.

In all cases the motive must be sincere, and there should be a desire to serve and do such duty as they can.

With such motives people are doing good or right in whatever form they express their service: sometimes, in Milton’s words, “they also serve who only stand and wait.” In any case their purity of motive would get Allah’s grace and forgiveness.

As always may you and yours have a safe weekend and remember this Ummah in your duah’s and let those prayers translate into moving your limbs into action Fi’Sabeel’Allah, for prayer without an action to back it up becomes insincere.

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It Is Allah You Should Justly Fear – If You Truly Believed

There is nothing to fear apart from fear itself.

Fear can either paralyse (most people) or can act as a catalyst (the remaining few) – fear manifests itself as anger and as a destructive force – that is the fear of man.

If you fear the one who should be feared – then that will drive you to battle against those who use fear as a tool to crush your mind.

As my Jumma reminder, first and foremost directed to myself before anyone else, I was reading the following passage from Surah At-Tauba (Surah 9, Verses 9-16) from the Holy Qu’ran, and felt compelled to share;

9 The signs of Allah have they sold for a miserable price and (many) have they hindered from His way: evil indeed are the deeds they have done.

10 In a believer they respect not the ties either of kinship or of covenant! It is they who have transgressed all bounds. 1258

11 But (even so) if they repent establish regular prayers and practice regular charity they are your brethren in faith: (thus) do We explain signs in detail for those who understand. 1259

12 But if they violate their oaths after their covenant and taunt you for your faith fight ye the chiefs of unfaith: for their oaths are nothing to them: that thus they may be restrained. 1260

13 Will ye not fight people who violated their oaths plotted to expel the apostle and took the aggressive by being the first (to assault) you? Do ye fear them? Nay it is Allah whom ye should more justly fear if ye believe! 1261

14 Fight them and Allah will punish them by your hands cover them with shame help you (to victory) over them heal the breasts of believers. 1262

15 And still the indignation of their hearts. For Allah will turn (in mercy) To whom He will; and Allah is All-Knowing All-Wise. 1263 1264

16 Or think ye that ye Shall be abandoned as though Allah did not know those among you who strive with might and main and take none for friends and protectors except Allah His apostle and the (community of) believers? But Allah is well-acquainted with (all) that ye do. 1265

Interpretation:

Among the Arabs the ties of kinship were so strong as to be almost unbreakable. The Pagan Arabs went out of their way to break them in the case of the Muslims, who were kith and kin to them. Besides the bond of kinship there was the further bond of their plighted oath in the Treaty. They broke that oath because the other parties were Muslims!

1258 The catalogue of their sins being set out, it is clear that they were aggressors in the worst possible ways; and war became inevitable. (9.10)

1259 The chance of repentance and mercy to the worst enemies is again emphasised, in order that people with any understanding may not be misled into thinking that war was an easy or light matter. This emphasis is balanced by the emphasis in the next verse on the causes which made war inevitable for those with any self-respect. (9.11)

1260 Not only did the enemies break their oaths shamelessly, but they even taunted the Muslims on their Faith and the “simple-minded” way in which they continued to respect their part of the treaty, as if they were afraid to fight! (9.12)

1261 The argument now takes a new turn. An appeal is made to the Muslims on various grounds:

(1) the shameless disregard of treaties by the enemy
(2) the under-hand plots to discredit the Holy Prophet, and turn him out of Madinah as he had been turned out of Makkah
(3) the aggressive stance taken by the Quraish and their confederates in Madinah after the treaty of Hudaibiya (A.H. 6, Zul-qa’dah. Feb. 628)
(4) the manly attitude that fears Allah rather than men
(5) the need to prove our sincere faith by test and trial and struggle and sacrifice (9.13)

1262 Heal the breasts of believers, i.e., of wounds that they may have sustained from the assaults, taunts, and cruelty of the enemy. (9.14)

1263 When the victory comes and the wounds are healed, a great peace comes to the hearts of those who have suffered, striven, and struggled. The fighting was necessity forced by injustice and oppression. When Allah’s Law is established, the fire of indignation is quelled, and the true Peace of Islam is attained. (9.15)

1264 Allah’s mercy is unlimited. When evil is destroyed, many of those who were enticed by evil will come into the fold of truth and righteousness, and the cessation of war and conflict will bring peace, certainly to those who fought for the right, but also possibly to those whose eyes have been opened to the working of Allah’s Law and who in healing reconciliation become members of the Brotherhood of Peace in Islam. (9.15)

1265 We must all be tested and tried, but Allah knows our inmost hearts, and He will support those who strive in His way, out of sincere love for Him, His Prophet, and the body of the true men of faith. (9.16)

As always may you and yours have a safe weekend and remember this Ummah in your duah’s and let those prayers translate into moving your limbs into action Fi’Sabeel’Allah, for prayer without an action to back it up becomes insincere.

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Between the Good Fight Fi’Sabeel’Allah & Peace

At all times we must pray to Allah and give thanks for allowing us to be Muslims and the union, understanding, the pure and sincere affection between all those who take Allah’s name. With it there is strength and success. Without it there is humiliation, slavery, and moral degradation. There may be many causes of difference and dispute, but reconciliation can only come from the glory and wisdom of Allah.

As my Jumma reminder, first and foremost directed to myself before anyone else, I was reading the following passage from Surah Al Anfal (Surah 8, Verses 59-63) from the Holy Qu’ran, and felt compelled to share;

59 Let not the unbelievers think that they can get the better (of Allah): they will never frustrate (them).

60 Against them make ready your strength to the utmost of your power including steeds of war to strike terror into (the hearts of) the enemies of Allah and your enemies and others besides whom ye may not know but whom Allah doth know. Whatever ye shall spend in the cause of Allah shall be repaid unto you and ye shall not be treated unjustly.

61 But if the enemy incline towards peace do thou (also) incline towards peace and trust in Allah: for He is the one that heareth and knoweth (all things).

62 Should they intend to deceive thee verily Allah sufficeth thee: He it is that hath strengthened thee with his aid and with (the company of) the believers.

63 And (moreover) He hath put affection between their hearts: not if thou hadst spent all that is in the earth couldst thou have produced that affection but Allah hath done it: for He is Exalted in might Wise.

Interpretation:

(8.59) The immediate occasion of this injunction was the weakness of cavalry and appointments of war in the early fights of Islam. But the general meaning follows. In every fight, physical, moral, or spiritual, arm yourself with the best weapons and the best arms against your enemy, so as to instil wholesome respect into him for you and the Cause you stand for.

(8.60) There are always lurking enemies whom you may not know, but whom Allah knows. It is your duty to be ready against all, for the sacred Cause under whose banner you are fighting.

(8.60) Be always ready and put all your resources into your Cause. You do not do so in vain. Allah’s reward will come in various forms. He knows all, and His reward will always be more generous than you can possibly think of.

(8.61) While we must always be ready for the good fight lest it be forced on us, even in the midst of the fight we must always be ready for peace if there is any inclination towards peace on the other side. There is no merit merely in a fight by itself. It should be a joyful duty not for itself, but to establish the reign of peace and righteousness and Allah’s Law.

(8.62) In working for peace there may be a certain risk of treachery on the other side. We must take that risk: because the men of Faith have Allah’s aid to count upon and the strength of the united body of the righteous.

(8.63) On the immediate occasion, the greatest miracle and most wonderful working of Allah’s grace was the union of hearts produced among the jarring, war-like, excitable clements of Arabia under the gentle, firm, and wise guidance of Muhammad, the Messenger of Allah.

Have a safe weekend and remember this Ummah in your duah’s and let those prayers translate into moving your limbs into action Fi’Sabeel’Allah, for prayer without an action to back it up becomes insincere.

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Refusal to spend for the cause – amounting to disbelief?

If you refuse to struggle Fi’Sabeel’Allah, does your refusal take you away from Islam?

As my Jumma reminder, first and foremost directed to myself before anyone else, I was reading the following passage from Surah At-Tauba (Surah 9, Verses 53-55) from the Holy Qu’ran, and felt compelled to share;

53 Say: “Spend (for the cause) willingly or unwillingly: not from you will it be accepted: for ye are indeed a people rebellious and wicked.”

54 The only reasons why their contributions are not accepted are: that they reject Allah and His apostle; that they come to prayer without earnestness; and that they offer contributions unwillingly.

55 Let not their wealth nor their (following in) sons dazzle thee: in reality Allah’s plan is to punish them with these things in this life and that their souls may perish in their (very) denial of Allah.

The Hypocrites, who secretly plotted against Islam, might sometimes (and they did) make a show of making some contribution to the Cause in order to keep up their pretence. Their contributions were not acceptable, whether they seemed to give willingly or unwillingly, because rebellion and disobedience were in their hearts. Three reasons are specifically given for their rejection, in the next verse:

(1) they did not believe;
(2) their prayers were not earnest, but for mere show: and
(3) in reality their hearts were not behind the contributions which they offered.

Nothing is acceptable to Allah which does not proceed from a pure and sincere heart.

If they appeared to be prosperous, with their purses and their quivers full (metaphorically), they were not to be envied. In reality their wealth and their sons might themselves be a snare. On particular occasions this was proved to the hilt. The wealth of the Pagans filled them with pride, darkened their understanding, and led to their destruction. Their sons and followers adopted the Faith which their fathers had fought against, much to the chagrin of the fathers, whose spiritual death was even worse than their discomfiture in this world.

The context of the revelation was sent down in Rajab A.H. 9 or a little before this, when the Holy Prophet SAW was engaged in making preparations for the Ghazwa of Tabuk.

In this discourse, the Believers were urged to take active part in jihad, and the shirkers were severely rebuked for holding back their wealth and for hesitation to sacrifice their lives in the way of Allah because of their hypocrisy, weak faith or negligence.

Have a safe weekend and remember this Ummah in your duah’s and let those words translate into moving your limbs into action Fi’Sabeel’Allah.

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Why it’s Fardh – Obligatory to protect Muslims & strive in Allah’s way

I’m sick and tired of the pitiful excuses Muslims make of not fighting against the tide of Islamophobia that demonises close to two billion people on this planet.

As my Jumma reminder, first and foremost directed to myself before anyone else, I was reading the following passage from Surah An Nisaa (Surah 4, Verses 95-96) from the Holy Qu’ran, and felt compelled to share;

v.95 Not equal are those believers who sit (at home) and receive no hurt and those who strive and fight in the cause of Allah with their goods and their persons. Allah hath granted a grade higher to those who strive and fight with their goods and persons than to those who sit (at home): unto all (in faith) hath Allah promised good: but those who strive and fight hath He distinguished above those who sit (at home) by a special reward.

v.96 Ranks specially bestowed by Him and Forgiveness and Mercy. For Allah is Oft-Forgiving Most Merciful.

Interpretation

Allah’s goodness is promised to all people of Faith.

But there are different degrees of e’maan (faith) amongst individuals.

There are people with natural inertia: they do the minimum that is required of them, but no more. There are people who are weak in will: they are easily frightened.

There are people who are so strong in will and so firm in faith that they are determined to conquer every obstacle, whether in their own physical or other infirmities or in the external world around them. In a time of jihad fi sabeel Allah, when people give their all, and even their lives, for the common cause, they must be accounted more glorious than those who sit at home, even though they have good will to the cause and carry out minor duties in aid.

The special reward of such self-sacrifice is special forgiveness and mercy, as proceeding from the direct approbation and love of Allah.

I have provided an in-depth study of Surah An-Nisaa here so do have a read.

Have a safe weekend and remember this Ummah in your duah’s and let your duah’s move your limbs into action fi sabeel Allah.

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Muslims, Sincerity, Faith & Struggle

Muslims have to be sincere in their E’maan (faith) and to struggle with their lives in the cause of Allah. As believers we have been warned to the effect that Allah indeed hates those people who say one thing and do another, and He indeed loves those who fight in the cause of the Truth, standing like a solid structure, against the enemies of Allah.

The believers have been exhorted to the effect that just as the disciples of Eesa Alayhis’Salaam (Prophet Jesus may Allah’s Peace be upon him) had helped him in the cause of Allah, so should they also become “helpers of Allah”, so that they too are blessed with the same kind of good pleasure and approval of Allah as had been the believers before them against the disbelievers.

As my Jumma reminder, first and foremost directed to myself before anyone else, I was reading the following passage from Surah As-Saff (S.61) from the Holy Qu’ran, and felt compelled to share;

v.10 O ye who believe! shall I lead you to a bargain that will save you from a grievous Penalty?

v.11 That ye believe in Allah and His Apostle and that ye strive (your utmost) in the Cause of Allah with your property and your persons: that will be best for you if ye but knew!

v.12 He will forgive you your sins and admit you to Gardens beneath which rivers flow and to beautiful mansions in Gardens of Eternity: that is indeed the supreme Achievement.

v.13 And another (favour will He bestow) which ye do love help from Allah and a speedy victory: so give the Glad Tidings to the Believers.

v.14 O ye who believe! be ye helpers of Allah: as said Jesus the son of Mary to the Disciples “Who will be my helpers to (the work of) Allah?” Said the Disciples “We are Allah’s helpers!” Then a portion of the Children of Israel believed and a portion disbelieved: but We gave power to those who believed against their enemies and they became the ones that prevailed.

Interpretation

(61.10) Tijarat: bargain, trade, traffic, transaction: something given or done, in return for something which we desire to get. What we give or do on our part is described in verse 11 below, and what we get is described in verse 12. It is truly a wonderful bargain: what we are asked to give is so little; what we are promised in return is so much. There comes Allah’s unbounded Bounty and Munificence. Cf. also ix. 111, where the bargain is stated in another way.

(61.11) It would indeed be a great and wonderful bargain to give so little and get so much, if we only knew and understood the comparative value of things-the sacrifice of our fleeting advantages for forgiveness, the love of Allah, and eternal bliss.

(61.13) The supreme Achievement has already been mentioned viz.; the Gardens of Eternity with Allah. But lest that seem too remote or abstract for the understanding of men not strong in faith, another good news is mentioned which the men who first heard this Message could at once understand and appreciate-“which ye do love”: viz.: Help and Victory. For all striving in a righteous Cause we get Allah’s help: and however much the odds against us may be, we are sure of victory with Allah’s help. But all life is a striving or struggle,-the spiritual life even more than any other; and the final victory there is the same as the Garden of Eternity.

(61.14) If we seek Allah’s help, we must first help Allah’s Cause, i.e., dedicate ourselves to Him entirely and without reserve. This was also the teaching of Jesus, as mentioned in this verse.

See iii. 52, and n. 392; and for the Biblical reference, see the last note. The names of the twelve Disciples will be found in Matt. x. 2-4.

A portion of the Children of Israel-the one that really cared for Truth-believed in Jesus and followed his guidance. But the greater portion of them were hard hearted, and remained in their beaten track of formalism and false racial pride. The majority seemed at first to have the upper hand when they thought they had crucified Jesus and killed his Message. But they were soon brought to their senses. Jerusalem was destroyed by Titus in A.D. 70 and the Jews have been scattered ever since. “The Wandering Jew” has become a bye-word in many literatures. On the other hand, those who followed Jesus permeated the Roman Empire, brought many new races within their circle, and through the Roman Empire, Christianity became the predominant religion of the world until the advent of Islam.

So is it promised to the people of Islam: they must prevail if they adhere to the Truth. Badr (A.H. 2) was a landmark against Pagan Arabia; Qadisiya (A.H. 14) and Madain (A.H. 16) against the might of Persia: Yarmuk (A.H. 15) against the might of the Byzantine Empire in Christian Syria; and Heliopolis (A.H. 19) against the same Empire in Christian Egypt and Africa.

These were symbols in external events.

The moral and spiritual landmarks are less tangible, and more gradual, but none the less real. Mark how the arrogance and power of Priesthood have been quelled; how superstition and a belief in blind Fate have been checked; how the freedom of human individuals has been reconciled with the sanctity of marriage in the law of Divorce; how the civil position of women has been raised; how temperance and sobriety have been identified with religion; what impetus has been given to knowledge and experimental science; and how economic reconstruction has been pioneered by rational schemes for the expenditure and distribution of wealth.

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