بسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ
In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful.

إِنَّا فَتَحْنَا لَكَ فَتْحًا مُبِينًا {1}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 48:1]

In the sixth year of Hijra, the Holy Prophet had a dream that with his followers he made circuits round the Ka-bah, and performed all the ceremonies of hajj.

Six years had passed since the Holy Prophet had left Makka. Islam had grown during these six years. The pagans had tried to attack the Holy Prophet at various times, but had been defeated. The Holy Prophet desired to perform the umrah in the month of Dhiqada, unarmed, but accompanied with his followers. A large following joined him, to the number of fifteen hundred. Early in the month, the Holy Prophet led his followers to Dhul Hulayfa on the road to Makka. They carried no arms but sheathed sword of a traveller. When they drew near to Makka, they were warned that Quraysh had gathered their allies against them, and that their cavalry under Khalid bin Walid was on the road before them, and with him was Ikrima bin Abu Jahl. As the Holy Prophet did not come to fight, he turned towards the right. At Hudaybiya his camel, Qaswa, stopped and knelt down. The Holy Prophet took it as a divine command and encamped there. There was no water there as the wells were choked up with sand. The Holy Prophet planted an arrow in one of the wells and the water immediately surfaced. The Quraysh sent three emissaries, one after the other, to enquire about his intentions. Urwa, a chief from Taif, said to the Holy Prophet that the Makkans were desperate and that they had resolved to die rather than allow him to enter. He also emphatically told him that as soon as the Makkans would fall upon his followers, they would run and desert him. At this Abu Bakr protested and resented the remark. The emissaries expressed their conviction in the sincerity of the Holy Prophet’s intentions but the heathens did not listen to them. Kharrash bin Ummayya and Uthman were sent to the Quraysh but they could not convince them. They only agreed to allow Uthman, if he wished, to perform the rites of umrah.

In view of a possible confrontation, the Holy Prophet summoned all those with him and standing under a tree, took oath from each, of resolute adherence to him, never to flee from the battle field and to fight to the end. Refer to the verse 18 of this surah. This pledge is called “The pledge under the tree”.

Mindful of the rout at the day of Khandaq at the hands of Ali the Makkans sent Suhayl bin Amr

with some other representatives to conclude a treaty of peace with the Holy Prophet as soon as they heard of the pledge under the tree. When the terms of the treaty were settled the Holy Prophet asked Ali, his vicegerent, to write down the terms of the treaty. Ali began with “bismillahir rahmanir rahim” but Suhayl said that it should begin as the Makkans used to do: Bismika Allahumma. The Holy Prophet agreed. Again when Ali wrote that “This is the treaty made between Muhammad Rasullullah (the messenger of Allah) and Suhayl bin Amr”, Suhayl said that had they accepted Muhammad as the messenger of Allah they would not have taken arms against him, therefore “Muhammad bin Abdullah” should be written. Ali hesitated, then the Holy Prophet himself erased the word rasulullah and wrote bin Abdullah after his name, and told Ali that he would likewise face a similar situation in future. This prophecy came true when a treaty was concluded between Ali and Mu-awiyah after thirty years.

The following terms were put down in the treaty.

(i) There shall be no aggression on the part of any of the two parties for the next ten years, neither shall attack the other or their allies.

(ii) Whosoever wishes to join Muhammad and enter into a league with him shall have the liberty to do so. Likewise whoso wishes to join the Quraysh shall have the liberty to do so.

(iii) If any one goes over to Muhammad and is claimed back by his guardian he shall be sent back; but if any one from the followers of Muhammad returns to the Quraysh, he shall not be sent back.

(iv) Muhammad and his followers shall go back this year without entering the holy precincts.

(v) Next year Muhammad and his followers may visit Makka for three days, when the Quraysh shall retire therefrom. They will not enter it with any arms, save with a traveller’s sword.

The text was written by Ali and was witnessed by some of the most prominent companions.

It is mentioned in Sahih Bukhari, Tazkirat al Karim and Rawdat al Ahbab that Umar bin Khattab expressed himself plainly that he had never before suspected so strongly the truth of Muhammad being the messenger of Allah (it means he had doubted many times before); and said: “Are you not a true messenger of Allah? Why should we then put a blot upon our faith and bear the brunt of humiliation if we are in the right and our adversaries in the wrong?” The Holy Prophet replied: “I am but a messenger of Allah and can do nothing against His will. He will help me.”

The treaty of Hudaybiya, which though at the time seemed a set-back to the Muslims, proved in fact the greatest victory for Islam, moral and social, as well as political, and its lessons are expounded in this surah-victory comes from cool courage, devotion, faith and patience.

By virtue of this treaty every individual, each family, clan or tribe was given freedom of choice to join the Holy Prophet in his mission, to profess Islam and convince others to come into the fold of the religion of Allah without any risk of persecution from the disbelievers. Islam was making steady progress throughout the land.

 

لِيَغْفِرَ لَكَ اللَّهُ مَا تَقَدَّمَ مِنْ ذَنْبِكَ وَمَا تَأَخَّرَ وَيُتِمَّ نِعْمَتَهُ عَلَيْكَ وَيَهْدِيَكَ صِرَاطًا مُسْتَقِيمًا {2}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 48:2]

If even a fleeting thought crosses the mind at the mention of “sinning and being forgiven” to connect it with the conduct of the Holy Prophet, it must be condemned as the worst form of blasphemy.

In the light of what has been written in the commentary of several verses so far studied, the sublime, superior-most and infallible nature of the Holy Prophet’s being rules out any possibility, however far-fetched, of laying a sinful act on his doorstep.

In addition to other verses call to memory particularly the commentary of the following verses:

Fatihah: 6 and 7.

Baqarah: 2, 30 to 39, 40, 78, 89, 124, 253, 285,

Ali Imran: 48, 81.

Bara-at: 105,

BaniIsrail: 1,55.

Ahzab: 21, 33.

Mumin: 55.

Muhammad: 15 and 19.

In the commentary of Mumin: 55 the issue of sinning and forgiveness has been thoroughly discussed and there is nothing to add here to reject the preposterous idea of attributing sinning to the Holy Prophet.

Verses 2 to 9 of Najm alone are enough to establish the fact that if any one dares to slander the Holy Prophet with the outlandish conjecture that “as, after all, he was a human being it was natural for him to make mistakes”, he is accusing Allah of making those mistakes.

In reality there are two schools of thought among his followers.

One school of thought follows the philosophy of the companions, among whom the shaykhayn (the first and the second caliph), Abu Sufyan and his son Mu-awiyah were very active in giving currency to the theory of “Muhammd was a man like unto us”, which created so much confusion about the personality of the Holy Prophet that a large number of Muslims, in all ages, meekly surrender to whatever they have said about him. It was deliberately planned to bring the status of the Holy Prophet to the level of ordinary men so that the run of the mill rulers, whom they wanted to present as heroes of Islam, could be respected and honoured by the common people. To belittle the highest position of the Ahl ul Bayt, established by the sayings and doings of the Holy Prophet which have been mentioned by almost all the authors of traditions, history and tafsir, they found it imperative to spread the mist of incredibility around the infallible messenger of Allah, even by distorting and ignoring the clear and decisive verses of the Quran.

The point of view of the followers of “Muhammad and ali (Ahl ul Bayt) of Muhammad” has been clearly mentioned in the interpretation of all the relevant verses of the Quran. Verse 9 of Najm describes the nearness in perfection of the Holy Prophet to the absolute perfection of Allah as “at a distance of two bows, or still nearer.” What the “still nearer” implies is yet unknowable to man. It may have no frontiers. There is no limit to his nearness to Allah’s perfection.

As has been mentioned in the commentary of Mumin: 55 and Muhammad: 15 and 19, Allah has granted protection to the followers of the Holy Prophet against their adversaries by the treaty of Hudaybiya. Two years later when the Holy Prophet entered Makka, after the unconditional surrender of the pagans, he had ten thousand men with him. A great victory it was indeed, surpassing all others in its far-reaching effects.

The interpretation of ghafir and zanb have been given in the commentary of Mumin: 55.

The sins of those who opposed the Holy Prophet but afterwards embraced Islam, and the sins of those who would, in future, oppose the religion of Allah but might become Muslims, would be forgiven, as also mentioned in Zumar: 35.

For the completion of Allah’s favour refer to the commentary of Ma-idah: 3 and 67.

Guiding the Holy Prophet to the right path after seventeen years of preaching the divine message is meaningless. The people are addressed here through the Holy Prophet, because the welfare of the people is the responsibility of the messenger of Allah. It refers to the guidance provided by Allah in the person of Ali, after the Holy Prophet, at Ghadir Khum, in order to secure the religion of Allah for ever from distortion and corruption.

Aqa Mahdi Puya says:

About the messengers and prophets of Allah the Quran says:

(i) They have been freed from any possibility of sinning.

(ii) Shaytan has no authority over them.

(iii) They follow nothing but revelation revealed to them by Allah.

(iv) They are always on the right path. So every man prays to Allah to keep him on the path of His chosen representatives (Fatihah: 7).

(v) Najm: 2 to 5 say:

“Your companion is not led astray, nor does he err, nor does he speak of his own inclination, it is naught but revelation revealed, taught him the mighty in power,”

Though the above verses refer to the Holy Prophet in particular, but they also cover all the prophets of Allah in general. Now if any sin is connected with them, the Quran would become an unreliable book.

The word zanb should be interpreted as the shortcomings necessitated by the nature of creation in all created beings, because Allah, the creator, is alone above and free of all inherent or intrinsic shortcomings. This is the fact towards which the Quran points out when it is said therein that Allah has freed His prophets from shortcomings and that the holy Ahl ul Bayt have been thoroughly purified, which is the result of ghafar (protection) He grants to His chosen servants.

Ghafir in this verse refers to the redress made available by His grace, otherwise victory in any sense cannot be the cause of forgiveness of any misdeed done under the influence of evil.

Zanb here refers to the state of mind of the Holy Prophet in view of the opposition of the disbelievers and the hypocrites to retard the progress of Islam, which came to an end by the decisive victory mentioned in verse one, political as well as spiritual. It is these kind of shortcomings which can be removed by the victory, or it can prevent its recurrence in future-the completion of Allah’s favour on the Holy Prophet.

According to the Ahl ul Bayt zanb, in this verse, means the sin of the people, not of the Holy Prophet.

 

وَيَنْصُرَكَ اللَّهُ نَصْرًا عَزِيزًا {3}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 48:3]

A comprehensive promise of help is given to make the Holy Prophet’s mission triumphant and spread all over the world.

 

هُوَ الَّذِي أَنْزَلَ السَّكِينَةَ فِي قُلُوبِ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ لِيَزْدَادُوا إِيمَانًا مَعَ إِيمَانِهِمْ ۗ وَلِلَّهِ جُنُودُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ ۚ وَكَانَ اللَّهُ عَلِيمًا حَكِيمًا {4}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 48:4]

Tranquillity was sent down on those who had no doubt at all at any time about the truthfulness of the religion of Allah preached by the Holy Prophet.

Ibn Abbas says that the Holy Prophet first infused the unity of Allah (tawhid) into the minds of the people, then prescribed salat, sawm, zakat, hajj and jihad, and after that enjoined love of Ali. The love of Ali was enjoined to provide mankind with the ideal to be followed in every walk of life, material as well as spiritual. The Holy Prophet and Ali are from one and the same light, infallible and thoroughly purified. They never worshipped any ghayrallah (other than Allah). See commentary of Baqarah: 124.

There are forces at the command of Allah which, if directed, control the thoughts and feelings of the living beings in the universe and mobilise them to serve the fulfilment of the will of Allah. In addition to the physical strength and intellect of the believers, these forces also played their role in the success of Islam.

Aqa Mahdi Puya says:

Those, to whose hearts the bounty of sakina (tranquillity) is sent down, never deviate from the right path under any circumstances. This is a manifest distinction on account of which a true believer can be recognised.

 

لِيُدْخِلَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ وَالْمُؤْمِنَاتِ جَنَّاتٍ تَجْرِي مِنْ تَحْتِهَا الْأَنْهَارُ خَالِدِينَ فِيهَا وَيُكَفِّرَ عَنْهُمْ سَيِّئَاتِهِمْ ۚ وَكَانَ ذَٰلِكَ عِنْدَ اللَّهِ فَوْزًا عَظِيمًا {5}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 48:5]

As said in verse 2, the sins of those to whom tranquillity is sent down (refer to the preceding verse) will be removed, because such men never have doubts about the bonafides of the messenger of Allah, as done by one of his companions mentioned in the commentary of verse one.

The facility of pardon, forgiveness and protection is not available to deserters, deviators, doubters and hypocrites as made clear in verse 6. The wrath of Allah will encircle the doubters. There is no greater evil than to throw doubt upon Allah and His prophet. Doubting is a disease which takes roots when there is no sakina (tranquillity) in the heart.

 

وَيُعَذِّبَ الْمُنَافِقِينَ وَالْمُنَافِقَاتِ وَالْمُشْرِكِينَ وَالْمُشْرِكَاتِ الظَّانِّينَ بِاللَّهِ ظَنَّ السَّوْءِ ۚ عَلَيْهِمْ دَائِرَةُ السَّوْءِ ۖ وَغَضِبَ اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلَعَنَهُمْ وَأَعَدَّ لَهُمْ جَهَنَّمَ ۖ وَسَاءَتْ مَصِيرًا {6}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 48:6] (see commentary for verse 5)

وَلِلَّهِ جُنُودُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ ۚ وَكَانَ اللَّهُ عَزِيزًا حَكِيمًا {7}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 48:7]

Refer to the forces at the command of Allah mentioned in the commentary of verse 4. In addition to the visible forces in the physical world, with which Allah works out His plan, these invisible forces played a decisive part at Hudaybiya. Those who believed in Allah and His prophet were certain of the victory of Islam in the end, as a result of the treaty of Hudaybiya, but the doubters could not see the inevitable because they were not sure of Allah’s power and wisdom.

 

إِنَّا أَرْسَلْنَاكَ شَاهِدًا وَمُبَشِّرًا وَنَذِيرًا {8}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 48:8]

The Holy Prophet is not only a testifier of Allah’s unity and His supreme authority over the universe but also a witness to the acceptance or rejection of the message he has brought from Him. He gives glad tidings of Allah’s grace and mercy to those who believe in Him, submit to His will, and obey His commands; and warns sinners, hypocrites, disbelievers and doubters of the consequences of their evil.

 

لِتُؤْمِنُوا بِاللَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِ وَتُعَزِّرُوهُ وَتُوَقِّرُوهُ وَتُسَبِّحُوهُ بُكْرَةً وَأَصِيلًا {9}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 48:9]

Aqa Mahdi Puya says:

As mentioned in Araf: 157, the people must believe in the Holy Prophet, honour him and help him, and celebrate the glory of Allah day and night. Those who believe in the Holy Prophet, revere him and honour him, in fact, glorify Allah.

 

إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يُبَايِعُونَكَ إِنَّمَا يُبَايِعُونَ اللَّهَ يَدُ اللَّهِ فَوْقَ أَيْدِيهِمْ ۚ فَمَنْ نَكَثَ فَإِنَّمَا يَنْكُثُ عَلَىٰ نَفْسِهِ ۖ وَمَنْ أَوْفَىٰ بِمَا عَاهَدَ عَلَيْهُ اللَّهَ فَسَيُؤْتِيهِ أَجْرًا عَظِيمًا {10}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 48:10]

As the vicegerent of Allah the Holy Prophet had the full authority to accept oath of allegiance from the people on behalf of Allah. Swearing fealty to him was swearing fealty to Allah (as also said in the preceding verse).

As said in the commentary of verse one, although the Holy Prophet came, unarmed, to perform umrah, the heathens of Makka did not allow him to enter into the city. In view of a possible confrontation those who were with him swore their fealty to him, by placing hand on hand according to the Arab custom. It was an impressive demonstration of surrender or submission of the will of every believer to the will of the Holy Prophet. It is also called bayt al ridwan (fealty which earns Allah’s pleasure). Its another name is “bayt taht-ush-shajarrah” (fealty under the tree) as stated in the commentary of verse 1. They placed their hands on the Holy Prophet’s hand, but the hand of Allah was above them-He accepted their fealty.

“Whosoever breaks his oath, does so to the harm of his own soul” indicates that the oath of allegiance will be broken. So when some of the swearers ran away from the battle of Hunayn the Holy Prophet addressed them:

“O swearers of bayt al ridwan, whither are you going?”

The distinguished companions of the Holy Prophet including Umar bin Khattab had also taken to flight. See Sahih Bukhari, Tarikh Abul Fida, Tarikh al Khamis and Zadal Ma-ad. Only Ali, Abbas and his son Fazl, Abu Sufyan bin Harith and his brother Rabi-a stood firm by the Holy Prophet. See commentary of Bara-at: 25 to 27.

 

سَيَقُولُ لَكَ الْمُخَلَّفُونَ مِنَ الْأَعْرَابِ شَغَلَتْنَا أَمْوَالُنَا وَأَهْلُونَا فَاسْتَغْفِرْ لَنَا ۚ يَقُولُونَ بِأَلْسِنَتِهِمْ مَا لَيْسَ فِي قُلُوبِهِمْ ۚ قُلْ فَمَنْ يَمْلِكُ لَكُمْ مِنَ اللَّهِ شَيْئًا إِنْ أَرَادَ بِكُمْ ضَرًّا أَوْ أَرَادَ بِكُمْ نَفْعًا ۚ بَلْ كَانَ اللَّهُ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ خَبِيرًا {11}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 48:11]

When the Holy Prophet started from Madina on the journey to Makka, he asked all the Muslims to join him in the pious act of performing umrah, and he had a good response, but some stayed back and made excuses. They wanted to save their skins from the possible attack by the Makkans. No power on the earth or in the heavens can intervene if Allah intends to give any people loss or profit.

 

بَلْ ظَنَنْتُمْ أَنْ لَنْ يَنْقَلِبَ الرَّسُولُ وَالْمُؤْمِنُونَ إِلَىٰ أَهْلِيهِمْ أَبَدًا وَزُيِّنَ ذَٰلِكَ فِي قُلُوبِكُمْ وَظَنَنْتُمْ ظَنَّ السَّوْءِ وَكُنْتُمْ قَوْمًا بُورًا{12}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 48:12]

وَمَنْ لَمْ يُؤْمِنْ بِاللَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِ فَإِنَّا أَعْتَدْنَا لِلْكَافِرِينَ سَعِيرًا {13}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 48:13]

وَلِلَّهِ مُلْكُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ ۚ يَغْفِرُ لِمَنْ يَشَاءُ وَيُعَذِّبُ مَنْ يَشَاءُ ۚ وَكَانَ اللَّهُ غَفُورًا رَحِيمًا {14}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 48:14]

Evil must inevitably have its punishment, but there is one way of escape-through repentance, but the mercy of Allah may bring pardon or the justice of Allah may inflict penalty. It depends upon the independent decision of the Lord.

 

سَيَقُولُ الْمُخَلَّفُونَ إِذَا انْطَلَقْتُمْ إِلَىٰ مَغَانِمَ لِتَأْخُذُوهَا ذَرُونَا نَتَّبِعْكُمْ ۖ يُرِيدُونَ أَنْ يُبَدِّلُوا كَلَامَ اللَّهِ ۚ قُلْ لَنْ تَتَّبِعُونَا كَذَٰلِكُمْ قَالَ اللَّهُ مِنْ قَبْلُ ۖ فَسَيَقُولُونَ بَلْ تَحْسُدُونَنَا ۚ بَلْ كَانُوا لَا يَفْقَهُونَ إِلَّا قَلِيلًا {15}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 48:15]

Soon after his return from Hudaybiya the Holy Prophet decided to proceed against the Jews of Khaybar, and declared that he would take with him only those who had accompanied him to Hudaybiya, because those who stayed behind at the time of going on that journey and now desired to be there when booty could be available, were debarred from joining the jihad. Jihad is not for personal gain or booty. Jihad is striving hard, in war and peace, in the cause of Allah.

 

قُلْ لِلْمُخَلَّفِينَ مِنَ الْأَعْرَابِ سَتُدْعَوْنَ إِلَىٰ قَوْمٍ أُولِي بَأْسٍ شَدِيدٍ تُقَاتِلُونَهُمْ أَوْ يُسْلِمُونَ ۖ فَإِنْ تُطِيعُوا يُؤْتِكُمُ اللَّهُ أَجْرًا حَسَنًا ۖ وَإِنْ تَتَوَلَّوْا كَمَا تَوَلَّيْتُمْ مِنْ قَبْلُ يُعَذِّبْكُمْ عَذَابًا أَلِيمًا {16}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 48:16]

It is said here that those who stayed behind at the time of journey to Hudaybiya where there was danger and no prospect of booty, would soon be summoned to fight against ferocious fighters.

Aqa Mahdi Puya says:

Some commentators say that “the people of mighty prowess” refers to the Romans or Persians against whom the Muslims fought after the Holy Prophet; but the prefix “sin” in satud-una indicates “near future” and also “if you turn back, as you have done before” refers to reversal and desertion which took place in Tabuk, Muta and Hunayn in the lifetime of the Holy Prophet.

 

لَيْسَ عَلَى الْأَعْمَىٰ حَرَجٌ وَلَا عَلَى الْأَعْرَجِ حَرَجٌ وَلَا عَلَى الْمَرِيضِ حَرَجٌ ۗ وَمَنْ يُطِعِ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ يُدْخِلْهُ جَنَّاتٍ تَجْرِي مِنْ تَحْتِهَا الْأَنْهَارُ ۖ وَمَنْ يَتَوَلَّ يُعَذِّبْهُ عَذَابًا أَلِيمًا {17}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 48:17]

The blind, the maimed and the infirm are exempted from active compliance with the call to jihad. Those who obey the Holy Prophet’s call to jihad will get the spiritual rewards of the hereafter, and those who turn back, desert and abandon the Holy Prophet will be punished. See commentary of Bara-at: 25 to 27 to know about the deserters.

 

لَقَدْ رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنِ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ إِذْ يُبَايِعُونَكَ تَحْتَ الشَّجَرَةِ فَعَلِمَ مَا فِي قُلُوبِهِمْ فَأَنْزَلَ السَّكِينَةَ عَلَيْهِمْ وَأَثَابَهُمْ فَتْحًا قَرِيبًا{18}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 48:18]

The mention of believers among those who swore allegiance at Hudaybiya under the tree (see commentary of verse one and 10 of this surah) prove that there were believers as well as hypocrites among the swearers. As mentioned in the commentary of 4, 5 and 6 of this surah the believers are promised tranquillity (sakina) and victory in near future (at Khaybar).

Aqa Mahdi Puya says:

Allah is pleased only with the believers to whom alone He sent down tranquillity which helped them to stand firm with the Holy Prophet in the subsequent battles. The hypocrites who were among the swearers of fealty and exposed themselves by running away from the battles were naturally not the recipients of the tranquillity. In other matters also they demonstrated lack of tranquillity before and after the revelation of this verse.

 

وَمَغَانِمَ كَثِيرَةً يَأْخُذُونَهَا ۗ وَكَانَ اللَّهُ عَزِيزًا حَكِيمًا {19}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 48:19]

وَعَدَكُمُ اللَّهُ مَغَانِمَ كَثِيرَةً تَأْخُذُونَهَا فَعَجَّلَ لَكُمْ هَٰذِهِ وَكَفَّ أَيْدِيَ النَّاسِ عَنْكُمْ وَلِتَكُونَ آيَةً لِلْمُؤْمِنِينَ وَيَهْدِيَكُمْ صِرَاطًا مُسْتَقِيمًا {20}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 48:20]

“Promise of many gains” refers to the conquest of Khaybar and fall of Makka.

“He has restrained the hands of people from you” refers to the restraint which the powerful tribes of Bani Asad and Bani Ghaftan exercised, effected by Allah, when they were planning to attack Madina.

“A sign for the believers” is the valour of Ali he demonstrated in the battle of Khaybar.

Since after the Holy Prophet’s immigration to Madina, the Jews, jealous and apprehensive of the evergrowing power and authority of the Holy Prophet were constantly hatching plots to stop the march of Islam. In Shawwal, 6 Hijra, the Jews of Khaybar began a fresh campaign to launch an attack against the Holy Prophet and his followers. Therefore in Muharram, 7 Hijra, he undertook an expedition against them to put an end to their plots. The Jews rallied round their chief, the king of their nation, named Kinana. He lived in a strongly fortified citadel of Khaybar named al Qamus. The siege of al Qamus was the most trying task for the Muslims, who had never before forced their way into such a stronghold. Abul Fida writes in Tarikh Abul Fida that the Holy Prophet handed over his standard to Abu Bakr directing him to lead the assault, but he was vigorously repulsed by the Jews and forced to retreat. Next the Holy Prophet sent Umar bin Khattab, but the result was no better than a forced retreat (Tabari; Sirat Muhammadiya, Rawdat al Ahbab; Tarikh al Khamis). The soldiers, coming back to the Holy Prophet, charged their leader, Umar, with cowardice, while Umar blamed them of lack of courage (Tabari; Sirat Muhammadiya).

Then the Holy Prophet said:

“Tomorrow I shall give my flag to one who loves Allah and His Prophet, and who is the beloved of Allah and His Prophet, a fearless constant charger who never turns his back upon a foe, at his hands the Lord will give victory.” (Waqidi, Bukhari; Muslim; Ahmad bin Hanbal, Nasa-i, Tirmidhi; Tabari; Ibn Athir and Suyuti).

Everyone of the Holy Prophet’s chief companions was anxious to be signalised on the morrow as the “beloved of Allah and His Prophet.” No one thought of Ali, the ever victorious hero of all the previous wars, the vicegerent of the Holy Prophet, because, suffering with sore eyes, he was not present (Tabari; Tarikh al Khamis).

The Holy Prophet, however, as commanded by Allah, recited Nadi Ali:

“Call on Ali,

(He) is able to bring about the extraordinary.

You will find him an effective supporter in all calamities.

(All) worries and sorrows will soon disappear.

O Ali, O Ali, O Ali.”

As soon as the Holy Prophet called Ali, he appeared on the scene. The Holy Prophet, taking Ali’s head into his lap, applied the saliva of his mouth to his eyes. At once his eyes become so clear as if he had not suffered from the disease at all (Ibn Hisham; Tabari; Nasa-i).

Then he gave his sacred banner into the hands of Ali, and thus Ali became the beloved of Allah and the Holy Prophet (Ibn Hisham; Tabari etcetera). The Holy Prophet told Ali: “Go and conquer the fort”.

To provide guidance to the people in every age the Holy Prophet, under the command of Allah, gave every opportunity to his senior most companions to prove their abilities, but they failed, and their failure is recorded in the history for ever.

A Jewish monk, when he came to know that the name of the new commander was Ali, told his men that it was mentioned in their scripture that a man named Elia would conquer the fort of Khaybar. Harith, a Jewish champion, who had successfully repulsed the attacks of Abu Bakr and Umar, stepped forward to meet Ali in single combat. Ali slew him. The brother of Harith, Marhab, was a man of gigantic stature. He was unequalled in valour among the Jews. To avenge the death of his brother, he came out, covered with a double coat of mail, with a huge sword and a big spear with triple-forked sharp pointed heads.

“I am Marhab ,” he cried, “as all Khaybar knows, a warrior bristling with arms in a furiously raging war.”

Ali advanced in response to his challenge and said:

“I am he whom his mother named Hayder, a lion of the wilderness.”

As they came near each other, Marhab thrust his three-pronged lance at Ali, missed and lost concentration and balance for a brief moment, and before he could recover, Ali dealt him a blow with the dhulfiqar, which passed through his iron head-gear, skull, head, chest and body down to his saddle, severing him in two equal parts. “Allahu Akbar”, said Ali and all knew that Ali was victorious. When Harith, Marhab, Antar, Rabi-i, Dajij, Dawd, Morra and Yasir, the most distinguished Jew warriors, were killed by Ali, the Jews retreated into the fort and closed its huge iron gate. Ali jumped over a trench and wrenched the door of the irongate off its hinges and used it as a sheild. In some traditions it is reported that he spread the door over the trench as a bridge to make easy the entry of the Muslim soldiers into the fort. It is mentioned in Sirat Ibn Hisham, Tarikh Kamil and Tarikh Abul Fida that, after the war, several men tried to turn it over but failed. This is the “sign” referred to in this verse for the guidance of the believers unto the right path.

After the conquest of al Qamus, the remaining strongholds capitulated and their lands were subjected to a tax of half of the produce. When the inhabitants of Fadak gave their land to the Holy Prophet verse 26 of Bani Israil: “Give to the near of kin that which is due,” was revealed. Ibn Hisham, Tabari, Zarqani and Abul Fida say that as the income from Fadak belonged wholly to the Holy Prophet on account of its being given to him without use of force, he gave it to Bibi Fatimah (Kanzal Ammal by Ali Muttaqi). Refer to the commentary of Bani Israil: 26; Naml: 15, 16; Nahl: 90 and Maryam: 2 to 15 for the issue of Fadak.

While the Holy Prophet was at Khaybar, an attempt at his life was made by a Jewess, daughter of Harith, who dressed a lamb, poisoned it with a deadly poison and sent it as a gift when the evening repast was being served to him. As soon as the Holy Prophet took a bite of the meat he knew at once that it was poisoned, so he spat it forth. Bishr bin Bara, in the meantime, swallowed some of it and at once fell down and died without even stirring his limbs. The poison was so deadly that, though it only touched the Holy Prophet’s tongue, it slowly spread to his neck. During his sickness, before his departure from this world, when the mother of Bishr came to see him, he told her that the same poison, which killed her son, was now killing him.

Thus the death of the Holy Prophet occurred as a martyr.

 

وَأُخْرَىٰ لَمْ تَقْدِرُوا عَلَيْهَا قَدْ أَحَاطَ اللَّهُ بِهَا ۚ وَكَانَ اللَّهُ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرًا {21}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 48:21]

“Other gains” refers to the prevalence of Islam as a moral and spiritual influence in the human society till the end of this world, in all ages. If it is restricted to immediate future then the battles of Hunayn, Tabuk and other advantages the Muslims obtained by steadily reducing the sphere of influence of the disbelievers under the leadership of the Holy Prophet should be construed.

 

وَلَوْ قَاتَلَكُمُ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا لَوَلَّوُا الْأَدْبَارَ ثُمَّ لَا يَجِدُونَ وَلِيًّا وَلَا نَصِيرًا {22}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 48:22]

سُنَّةَ اللَّهِ الَّتِي قَدْ خَلَتْ مِنْ قَبْلُ ۖ وَلَنْ تَجِدَ لِسُنَّةِ اللَّهِ تَبْدِيلًا {23}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 48:23]

Refer to the commentary of Anfal: 7, 8; Bani Israil: 81 and Ahzab: 62.

“The practice or dispensation of Allah” refers to the conflict between truth and falsehood which ultimately ends in the defeat of falsehood and triumph of truth.

 

وَهُوَ الَّذِي كَفَّ أَيْدِيَهُمْ عَنْكُمْ وَأَيْدِيَكُمْ عَنْهُمْ بِبَطْنِ مَكَّةَ مِنْ بَعْدِ أَنْ أَظْفَرَكُمْ عَلَيْهِمْ ۚ وَكَانَ اللَّهُ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ بَصِيرًا{24}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 48:24]

During the course of events at Hudaybiya any incident might have plunged the Quraysh and the Muslims into a fight. On the one hand, the Muslims, though unarmed, had sworn to stand together, and if the Holy Prophet wanted he could have forced entrance to the Kabah, and on the other hand the Quraysh were determined to keep out the Muslims by resorting to armed confrontation, if necessary.

Allah restrained both sides from anything that would have resulted in bloodshed. Refer to the commentary of verse one to know that the treaty of Hudaybiya was a victory for the Holy Prophet.

 

هُمُ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا وَصَدُّوكُمْ عَنِ الْمَسْجِدِ الْحَرَامِ وَالْهَدْيَ مَعْكُوفًا أَنْ يَبْلُغَ مَحِلَّهُ ۚ وَلَوْلَا رِجَالٌ مُؤْمِنُونَ وَنِسَاءٌ مُؤْمِنَاتٌ لَمْ تَعْلَمُوهُمْ أَنْ تَطَئُوهُمْ فَتُصِيبَكُمْ مِنْهُمْ مَعَرَّةٌ بِغَيْرِ عِلْمٍ ۖ لِيُدْخِلَ اللَّهُ فِي رَحْمَتِهِ مَنْ يَشَاءُ ۚ لَوْ تَزَيَّلُوا لَعَذَّبْنَا الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا مِنْهُمْ عَذَابًا أَلِيمًا {25}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 48:25]

There were believing men and women in Makka, observing taqiyyah, not known to their brethren from Madina. Had a fight taken place in Makka, they would unwittingly have killed some of these believing men and women, and thus would have been guilty of shedding the blood of believers. This was prevented by the treaty. It not only saved the lives of the believers among the Makkans but also of those who became Muslims afterwards and served Islam.

If the Muslims of Madina could have distinguished the believers intermingled with the pagans population in Makka, or those believers could be separated, the Muslims might have been allowed to punish the disbelievers.

 

إِذْ جَعَلَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا فِي قُلُوبِهِمُ الْحَمِيَّةَ حَمِيَّةَ الْجَاهِلِيَّةِ فَأَنْزَلَ اللَّهُ سَكِينَتَهُ عَلَىٰ رَسُولِهِ وَعَلَى الْمُؤْمِنِينَ وَأَلْزَمَهُمْ كَلِمَةَ التَّقْوَىٰ وَكَانُوا أَحَقَّ بِهَا وَأَهْلَهَا ۚ وَكَانَ اللَّهُ بِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ عَلِيمًا {26}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 48:26]

While the disbelievers, in the zeal of ignorance, played with words (see commentary of verse one), the Holy Prophet, calm and collected, finalised the treaty which is described as a great victory of Islam by Allah.

For tranquillity see commentary of verses 4, 5 and 6 and 18 of this surah. Also see commentary of Bara-at: 40 to know that tranquillity was sent to the Holy Prophet; but his companion was ignored, because only those who remain steadfast to the faith under all circumstances receive tranquillity.

 

لَقَدْ صَدَقَ اللَّهُ رَسُولَهُ الرُّؤْيَا بِالْحَقِّ ۖ لَتَدْخُلُنَّ الْمَسْجِدَ الْحَرَامَ إِنْ شَاءَ اللَّهُ آمِنِينَ مُحَلِّقِينَ رُءُوسَكُمْ وَمُقَصِّرِينَ لَا تَخَافُونَ ۖ فَعَلِمَ مَا لَمْ تَعْلَمُوا فَجَعَلَ مِنْ دُونِ ذَٰلِكَ فَتْحًا قَرِيبًا {27}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 48:27]

The Holy Prophet had had a dream that he was entering the sacred masjid at Makka with his followers, after which he decided to go to Makka. For the events which took place at Hudaybiya see commentary of verse one. The treaty of Hudaybiya was concluded due to which he and his followers could enter, next year, the city of Makka and perform the pilgrimage with all the customary rites. The effect of the phrase inshallah was clearly visible when all those who accompanied the Holy Prophet in the journey to Makka in the year of the treaty of Hudaybiya were present next year in the house of Allah to perform the hajj.

The “victory near at hand” refer to the conquest of Khaybar.

 

هُوَ الَّذِي أَرْسَلَ رَسُولَهُ بِالْهُدَىٰ وَدِينِ الْحَقِّ لِيُظْهِرَهُ عَلَى الدِّينِ كُلِّهِ ۚ وَكَفَىٰ بِاللَّهِ شَهِيدًا {28}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 48:28]

After the advent of the Holy Prophet, as also mentioned in the former scriptures (see commentary of Baqarah: 40, 89 and 253) the religion of Allah, Islam, was promulgated, superseding all the previous religions and laws. Refer to the commentary of Baqarah: 253, 285; Bani Israil: 55; Ali Imran: 81 and Bara-at: 33.

For the final victory of Islam see commentary of Bara-at: 32 and 33; when Imam Mahdi al Qa-im, the last of the twelve Imams (see commentary of Baqarah: 124) will appear to establish the rule of Allah over the world.

 

مُحَمَّدٌ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ ۚ وَالَّذِينَ مَعَهُ أَشِدَّاءُ عَلَى الْكُفَّارِ رُحَمَاءُ بَيْنَهُمْ ۖ تَرَاهُمْ رُكَّعًا سُجَّدًا يَبْتَغُونَ فَضْلًا مِنَ اللَّهِ وَرِضْوَانًا ۖ سِيمَاهُمْ فِي وُجُوهِهِمْ مِنْ أَثَرِ السُّجُودِ ۚ ذَٰلِكَ مَثَلُهُمْ فِي التَّوْرَاةِ ۚ وَمَثَلُهُمْ فِي الْإِنْجِيلِ كَزَرْعٍ أَخْرَجَ شَطْأَهُ فَآزَرَهُ فَاسْتَغْلَظَ فَاسْتَوَىٰ عَلَىٰ سُوقِهِ يُعْجِبُ الزُّرَّاعَ لِيَغِيظَ بِهِمُ الْكُفَّارَ ۗ وَعَدَ اللَّهُ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ مِنْهُمْ مَغْفِرَةً وَأَجْرًا عَظِيمًا {29}

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 48:29]

Refer to the commentary of preceding verse. For those who are compassionate to the believers and severe unto the disbelievers see commentary of Ma-idah: 54 and 55.

At all events the hypocrites, the deviators, the doubters and the deserters mentioned in the commentary of Ali Imran: 121, 122, 128, 140 to 142, 144, 151 to 156, 159, 166 to 168; Anfal: 16; Bara-at: 25 to 27 Fat-h: 1 and 20, are not to be included among the category of above mentioned believers.

For the role of Ali played in the service of Islam see commentary of the abovenoted verses for the battles of Uhad, Hunayn and Khaybar, and commentary of Baqarah: 207 and Anfal: 30 for the night of hijrat; Baqarah: 241, 251 and Ahzab : 1 to 3, 9 to 27 for the battle of Khandaq; Ali Imran: 13 and Anfal: 5 for the battle of Badr.

For spending in the way of Allah see commentary of Baqarah: 3; Ma-idah: 55 and Dahr: 8 and 9 which illustrate the highest degree of generosity in giving in the cause of Allah whatever Ali and the Ahl ul Bayt had.

The first to pray salat with the Holy Prophet was Ali. His devotion and concentration at the time of praying salat was so intense that his close friend Salman had, on several occasions, took him to be dead. Once, in a battle, an arrow broke into his heel, and it was removed when he was praying.

Books of history written by well-known Muslim scholars record that immediately after the departure of the Holy Prophet from this world, the companions of the Holy Prophet began to harass and persecute the Ahl ul Bayt. Refer to the issue of Fadak in the commentary of Bani Israil: 26; Naml :15, 16; Nahl: 90 and Maryam: 2 to 15. After depriving the daughter of the Holy Prophet from her lawful inheritance, they set her house on fire. A door fell on her and proved to be the cause of her death. Refer to page 51 (commentary of Baqarah: 2 to 5) for what the Holy Prophet and the Quran say about those who harassed and persecuted the daughter of the Holy Prophet. Such companions cannot be included in the believers “who are with the Holy Prophet.” The association referred to in this verse pertains to spiritual affinity, identity and purity described in Ahzab: 33. As said in the commentary of Baqarah : 124 the Holy Prophet and Ali were the only two persons among the Muslims who had never worshipped any ghayrallah at any time in their lives, from cradle to grave, whereas every companion was polluted with idol worship. A complete identity with the Holy Prophet, in spiritual as well as physical range, is found in Ali, Fatimah, Hasan, Husayn and the nine holy divinely chosen Imams in the progeny of Husayn.

The Holy Prophet said:

“The first of us is Muhammad,

the middle of us is Muhammad,

and the last of us is Muhammad.”

For the appointment of Ali as the successor of the Holy Prophet see commentary of Ali Imran: 52 and 53; Baqarah: 207, Anfal: 30; and Ma-idah: 67.

This verse refers to Ali and the holy Ahl ul Bayt.

Aqa Mahdi Puya says:

According to some commentators “those who are with him” refers to all those who were physically in his company, but the description given in this verse renders them inadmissible. The last portion of this verse confirms that only some of the companions are included, not all.

 

 
Source:quran.al-islam.org


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