Verily, the believers are those who, when Gods name is mentioned, their hearts sink with fear; and when His signs are rehearsed to them they increase them in faith; and on their Lord do they rely; who are steadfast in prayer, and of what we have bestowed upon them give in alms; these are in truth believers; to them are degrees with their Lord, and forgiveness, and a generous provision.
As thy Lord caused thee to go forth from thy house1 with the truth, although a sect of the believers were averse therefrom. They wrangled with thee about the truth after it was made plain, as though they were being driven on to death and looked thereon; and when God promised you that one of the two troops should be yours, and ye would fain have had those who had no arms. God wished to prove the truth true by His words, and to cut off the hindermost parts of those who misbelieveto prove the truth true, and to make vain the vain, although the sinners are averse.2
When drowsiness covered you as a security from Him, and He sent down upon you from the heavens water to purify you withal, and to take away from you the plague of Satan, and to tie up your hearts and to make firm your footsteps.3
When your Lord inspired the angelsVerily, I am with you; make ye firm then those who believe; I will cast dread into the hearts of those who misbelieve,strike off their necks then, and strike off from them every finger tip.
O ye who believe! when ye meet those who misbelieve in swarms, turn not to them your hinder parts; for he who turns to them that day his hinder parts, save turning to fight or rallying to a troop, brings down upon himself wrath from God, and his resort is hell, and an ill journey shall it be!
Ye did not slay them, but it was God who slew them; nor didst thou shoot when thou didst shoot, but God did shoot,4 to try the believers from Himself with a goodly trial; verily, God both hears and knows. There! verily, God weakens the stratagem of the misbelievers.
If ye wish5 the matter to be decided, a decision has now come to you; but if ye desist, it is better for you; and if ye turn back we will turn too, and your troop shall avail nothing, great in number though it be, since God is with the believers!
Verily, the worst of beasts in Gods sight are the deaf, the dumb who do not understand. Had God known any good in them, He would have made them hear; but had He made them hear, they would have turned back and have swerved aside.
O ye who believe! answer God and His Apostle when He calls you to that which quickens you; and know that God steps in between man and his heart; and that to Him ye shall be gathered. And fear temptation, which will not light especially on those of you who have done wrong; but know that God is keen to punish.
Remember when ye were few in number and weak in the land, fearing lest people should snatch you away; then He sheltered you and aided you with victory, and provided you with good things; haply ye may give thanks.
But God would not torment them while thou art amongst them; nor was God going to torment them while they asked Him to forgive. But what ails them that God should not torment them while they turn folk away from the Holy Mosque, though they are not the guardians thereofits guardians are only the pious?but most of them know not.
Verily, those who misbelieve expend their wealth to turn folk from the path of God; but they shall spend it, and then it shall be for them sighing, and then they shall be overcome! Those who misbelieve, into hell shall they be gathered!that God may distinguish the vile from the good, and may put the vile, some on the top of the other, and heap all up together, and put it into hell!These are those who lose!
Fight them then that there should be no sedition, and that the religion may be wholly Gods; but if they desist then God on what they do doth look. But if they turn their backs, then know that God is your Lord; a good Lord is He, and a good help; and know that whenever ye seize anything as a spoil, to God belongs a fifth thereof, and to His Apostle, and to kindred and orphans, and the poor and the wayfarer; if ye believe in God and what we have revealed unto our servants on the day of the discrimination,the day when the two parties met; and God is mighty over all. When ye were on the near side of the valley, and they were on the far side, and the camels were below you; had ye made an appointment then8 ye would have failed to keep your appointmentbut it was that God might accomplish a thing that was as good as done! that he who was to perish might perish with a manifest sign; and that he who was to live might live with a manifest sign; for, verily, God hears and knows!
When God showed thee them in thy dream as though they were but few; but had He shown thee them as though they were many, ye would have been timid, and ye would have quarrelled about the matter;but God preserved you; verily, He knows the nature of mens breasts!
And when he showed them to you, as ye encountered them, as few in your eyes; and made you seem few in their eyes; that God might accomplish a thing that was as good as done; for unto God do things return!
O ye who believe! when ye encounter a troop, then stand firm and remember God; and haply ye may prosper! and fear God and His Apostle, and do not quarrel or be timid, so that your turn of luck go from you; but be ye patient, verily, God is with the patient. And be not like those who went forth from their homes with insolence, and for appearance sake before men, and to turn folks off Gods way; for all they do God comprehends.
And when Satan made their works appear seemly to them, and said, There is none amongst mankind to conquer you to-day, for, verily, I am your neighbour! and when the two troops came in sight of each other, he turned upon his heels and said, Verily, I am clear of you! verily, I see what you see not!9 verily, I fear God, for God is keen to punish!
Verily, the worst of beasts in Gods eyes are those who misbelieve and will not believe; with whom if thou dost make a league, they break their league each time, for they fear not God; but shouldst thou ever catch them in war, then make those who come after them run by their example,11 haply they may remember then.
And shouldst thou ever fear from any people treachery, then throw it back to them in like manner; verily, God loves not the treacherous. Deem not that those who misbelieve can win; verily, they cannot make (God) powerless!
Prepare ye against them what force and companies of horse ye can, to make the enemies of God, and your enemies, and others beside them, in dread thereof. Ye do not know them, but God knows them! and whatever ye expend in Gods way He will repay you; and ye shall not be wronged. But if they incline to peace, incline thou to it too, and rely upon God; verily, He both hears and knows.
But if they wish to betray thee, then God is enough for thee! He it is who supports thee with His help and with the believers; and reconciles their hearts! Didst thou expend all that is in the earth thou couldst not reconcile their hearts, but God reconciled them, verily, He is mighty and wise!
O thou prophet! God is sufficient for thee, with those of the believers who follow thee! O thou prophet! urge on the believers to fight. If there be of you twenty patient men, they shall conquer two hundred; if there be of you a hundred, they shall conquer a thousand of those who misbelieve, because they are a people who did not discern.Now has God made it light for you; He knows that there is a weakness amongst you: but if there be amongst you but a patient hundred, they will conquer two hundred; and if there be of you a thousand, they will conquer two thousand, by the permission of God,for God is with the patient!
It has not been for any prophet to take captives until he hath slaughtered in the land! Ye wish to have the goods of this world, but God wishes for the next, for God is mighty, wise! Were it not for a book from God that had gone before, there would have touched you, for that which ye took, a mighty punishment.12
O thou prophet! say to such of the captives as are in your hands, If God knows of any good in your hearts, he will give you better than that which is taken from you, and will forgive you; for God is forgiving and merciful.
Verily, those who believe and have fled and fought strenuously with their wealth and persons in Gods way, and those who have given refuge13 and help, these shall be next of kin to each other.14 But those who believe, but have not fled, ye have naught to do with their claims of kindred, until they flee as well. But if they ask you for aid for religions sake, then help is due from you, except against a people between whom and you there is an alliance; for God on what ye do doth look.
Those who believe and have fled and fought strenuously in Gods cause, and those who have given a refuge and a help, those it is who believe; to them is forgiveness and generous provision due. And those who have believed afterwards and have fled and fought strenuously with you; these too are of you, but blood relations are nearer in kin by the Book of God. Verily, God all things doth know.
Note 2. The occasion alluded to was one when Mohammed had made preparations for attacking an unarmed caravan on its way from Syria to Mecca, when Abu Sufiân, who was in charge of it, sent to Mecca and obtained an escort of nearly a thousand men; many of Mohammeds followers wished to attack the caravan only, but the prophet and his immediate followers were for throwing themselves on the escort. [back]
Note 3. The Muslims were fewer in number than the enemy, and the latter had command of the water, at both of which circumstances their hearts sank. In the night, however, rain fell, refreshed them and supplied their wants. [back]
Note 4. Alluding to the alleged miracle of the gravel thrown into the eyes of the Qurâis at the battle of Bedr, to which the Muslim victory was due. [back]
Note 5. An address to the Meccans who, when threatened with an attack from Mohammed, took sanctuary in the Kaabah, and prayed to God that if they were right He would help them, but that if Mohammed was in the right he would help him. [back]
Note 9. The angels who were fighting on the Muslim side. [back]
Note 10. I. e. beguiled them into attacking a force superior in numbers. [back]
Note 11. That is, make them an example to all future opponents by the severity of thy dealing with them. [back]
Note 12. Mohammed here blames them for having accepted ransom from the captives which they took at the Battle of Bedr; but acknowledges that previously revealed passages of the Qurân did in the strict letter allow of such ransom being taken. [back]
Note 14. The Ansârs and Muhâgerîn, that is, those who lent aid to, and those who fled with Mohammed were at first regarded as next of kin and heirs to each others property to the exclusion of blood relationship, until the above passage was abrogated by the last words of this chapter. [back]