“Fought For The Cause Of Allah And Were Patient…” – Surah 16:110

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Background

Scholars are of the opinion that this verse was revealed in Makkah (Mawdudi and Dr. Muhammad Asad). [1] [2]

Analysing Verse

“Then, indeed your Lord, to those who emigrated after they had been compelled [to renounce their religion] and thereafter fought [for the cause of Allah ] and were patient – indeed, your Lord, after that, is Forgiving and Merciful.” – Quran 16:110

16:110 – The verse refers to a group of Muslims who were persecuted in Makkah and eventually exiled out of their own homes. Those believers who fled, from persecution, after which they were tortured and some were forced to abandon their faith in Islam. Thereafter when they fled, the hostile enemies were once again after the Muslims (Tafsir al-Tustari and Asbab Al-Nuzul by Al-Wahidi). Here God says that they will be rewarded with abundance in the afterlife.

Related article: ‘Lies & Deception: Surah 16:106 ?

Commentaries

Tafsir Ibn kathir:

“This refers to another group of people who were oppressed in Makkah and whose position with their own people was weak, so they went along with them when they were tried by them. Then they managed to escape by emigrating, leaving their homeland, families and wealth behind, seeking the pleasure and forgiveness of Allah. They joined the believers and fought with them against the disbelievers, bearing hardship with patience. Allah tells them that after this, meaning after their giving in when put to the test, He will forgive them and show mercy to them when they are resurrected.” (Tafsir Ibn Kathir on Surah 16:110 – Online Source)

 

Tafsir al-Jalalayn:

“Then indeed your Lord — as for those who emigrated, to Medina, after they were persecuted, [after] they were tortured and [compelled to] pronounce [words of] unbelief (a variant reading [for futinū, ‘they were persecuted’] has fatanū, in other words, ‘[after] they disbelieved’, or ‘[after] they turned people away from belief’), and then struggled and were patient, in obedience — indeed your Lord after that, that is, [after] such a trial, is Forgiving, of them, Merciful, to them (the predicate of the first inna, ‘indeed’, is indicated by the predicate of the second one).” (Tafsir al-Jalalayn on Surah 16:110 – Online Source)

 

Maulana Muhammad Ali:

“106a. Only very rare instances are met with in the early history of Islam in which the converts even under compulsion ever recanted. For instance, Yasir and Sumayyah, husband and wife, suffered death at the hands of the disbelievers because they would not recant, the latter being put to death most cruelly, her legs being tied to two camels which were made to run in opposite directions. Their son ‘Ammar, however, was not so resolute. The cruellest persecutions were inflicted on those slaves who had become converts to Islam. Muir says: “These were seized and imprisoned, or they were exposed upon the scorching gravel of the valley to the intense glare of the midday sun. The torment was enhanced by intolerable thirst, until the wretched sufferers hardly knew what they said.” Yet even under these trying circumstances, which would have maddened even the most resolute man, there were those among these slave-converts who were as firm as a mountain; as in the case of Bilal, of whom it is recorded that “in the depth of his anguish the persecutors could force from him but one expression, Ahad! Ahad! (One! One! God)” (Muir).
110a. It should be noted that the struggle (Ar. jihad) spoken of here is certainly not in connection with fighting, for the verse was revealed at Makkah. Note also that God is spoken of here as being Ghafur, translated as Protecting, to those who flee from their homes on account of persecution and then struggle hard to establish Truth. Both these are deeds of sacrifice, highly virtuous deeds, and therefore God’s being Ghafur is in relation to the exaltation of their degrees by protecting them from the commission of sins, not the pardoning of any sins which they may have committed, for it is their acts of sacrifice that are spoken of here, not their sins. For fuller explanation of the word Ghafur, see 2:286a.” [3]

 

Dr. Muhammad Asad:

“133 Lit., ‘except’ – but the Arabic construction of the sentence that follows makes it necessary to render the simple particle ills in the manner adopted by me (‘and this, to be sure, does not apply to …, etc.).
134 Lit., ‘one who is coerced, the while his heart is at rest in [his] faith’. This relates to believers who under torture or threat of death, ostensibly ‘recant’ in order to save themselves. Although the Qur’an makes it clear in several places that martyrdom in the cause of faith is highly meritorious, ‘God does not burden any human being with more than he is well able to bear’ (Cf. 2:233 and 286, 6:152, 7:42, 23:62, and many other Qur’anic statements to the same effect).” [4]

 

Malik Ghulam Farid:

“1580. Whereas vv. 109, 110 referred to those who revert to disbelief and open up their hearts to it and join the ranks of the enemies of Islam, the verse under comment deals with such persons regarding whom judgment had been reserved (verse 107). The judgement given in their case is that if they migrate from their homes and strive in the cause of God and endure with patience all the hardships that may befall them in the way of Islam, then, and not till then, will God pardon their previous sins, for only then will it become established that they have made full amends for their past lapse. The Surah being of Meccan origin, ‘JIHAD’ MENTIONED IN THE VERSE IS NOT FIGHTING WITH THE SWORD BUT IS ONLY ‘STRIVING’ TO PROMOTE THE CAUSE OF ISLAM’.” [5]

 

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References:

[1] Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi:
“The following internal evidence shows that this Surah was revealed during the last Makkan stage of Prophethood” (Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi – Tafhim al-Qur’an – The Meaning of the Qur’an – Online Source)
[2] Dr Muhammad Asad:
“Mecca Period: ACCORDING to almost all the authorities (including the Itqan), this Surah was revealed a few
months before the Prophet’s emigration to Medina. Although some commentators maintain that
the last three verses belong to the Medina period, there is no evidence for this more or less
speculative view.” The Message of The Quran translated and explained by Muhammad Asad, page 559
[3] The Holy Quran – Arabic Text with English Translation, Commentary and comprehensive Introduction [Year 2002 Edition] by Maulana Muhammad Ali, page 556 – 557
[4] The Message of The Quran – translated and explained by Muhammad Asad page 589
http://www.usc.edu/schools/college/crcc/private/cmje/religious_text/The_Message_of_The_Qura__by_Muhammad_Asad.pdf
[5] The Holy Qur’an – Arabic Text With English Translation & Short Commentary By Malik Ghulam Farid,
page 541

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