Saturday 7 October 2023

Man laments: When will Allah’s help arrive? Allah reassures: Behold, Allah’s help is close by

Many a nation came and gone without any trace who disobeyed Allah and His messengers. They did not live a second a day when the wrath of Allah befell them for hindering the ways of His prophets and hurting them physically and mentally. But those who were steadfast and braved the hardships to keep the Divine message from being spread, were finally successful, both in this world and the hereafter. 

However, propagating the word of Allah and His religion is an arduous thing. Even prophets have sometimes lost heart and lamented for Allah's help. Like for instance the case of Prophet Yunus (Jonah, may peace be upon him) who when could not make a headway to convince his people to follow the straight path, lost heart and without waiting for help from Allah abandoned his people. You may read his story at: Prophet Yunus (Jonah) and Allah's displeasure.

But man is still man, fragile and weak from inside. Thus, a stage may come when his patience wanes and he cry to Allah in despair for he sees no Divine help at hand. Even Prophet Muhammad ﷺ too at times was so disheartened by the cruelty of pagans of Makkah, that he would look towards the sky for any signs of Divine help. And he was reassured by Allah that he should not lose heart for Allah's help was at hand. This is the theme of 214th verse of Surah 2. Al Baqarah (The Cow) as mentioned below. However, in it, there is a caution for the true believers to bear the hardships and never lose hope for Allah's will ease their sufferings and make it heavy for those who obstruct their way and hurt them:

اَمۡ حَسِبۡتُمۡ اَنۡ تَدۡخُلُوا الۡجَـنَّةَ وَ لَمَّا يَاۡتِكُمۡ مَّثَلُ الَّذِيۡنَ خَلَوۡا مِنۡ قَبۡلِكُمۡؕ مَسَّتۡهُمُ الۡبَاۡسَآءُ وَالضَّرَّآءُ وَزُلۡزِلُوۡا حَتّٰى يَقُوۡلَ الرَّسُوۡلُ وَالَّذِيۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡا مَعَهٗ مَتٰى نَصۡرُ اللّٰهِؕ اَلَاۤ اِنَّ نَصۡرَ اللّٰهِ قَرِيۡبٌ‏ 
(2:214) Do you suppose that you will enter Paradise untouched by the suffering endured by the people of faith who passed away before you? They were afflicted by misery and hardship and were so convulsed that the Messenger and the believers with him cried out: “When will Allah’s help arrive?” They were assured: “Behold, Allah’s help is close by.”
A whole story has been left out between this verse and the preceding one, for this verse itself points to it and because it had already been related in detail in the Surahs which were revealed before this at Makkah. In the preceding verse it was stated that the Messengers, were sent to remove those differences which had arisen in religion, but the story of their hardships and long persecutions was omitted because it had already been described in detail in the Makki Revelations. Hence the believers are warned that the Messengers and their followers have always had to struggle hard with the rebels against Allah in order to establish His Way, and that the true Faith of Islam has never been a bed of roses. One has to exert one's utmost to establish it and to fight against all those evil forces that oppose its establishment, even at the sacrifice of one's life, if need be

Tafsir Ibn Kathir: Victory only comes after succeeding in the Trials

Allah said: (أَمْ حَسِبْتُمْ أَن تَدْخُلُواْ الْجَنَّةَ Or think you that you will enter Paradise) before you are tested and tried just like the nations that came before you. 

This is why Allah said: (وَلَمَّا يَأْتِكُم مَّثَلُ الَّذِينَ خَلَوْاْ مِن قَبْلِكُم مَّسَّتْهُمُ الْبَأْسَآءُ وَالضَّرَّآءُ ...without such (trials) as came to those who passed away before you, they were afflicted with severe poverty and ailments) meaning, illnesses, pain, disasters and hardships. 

Ibn Mas`ud, Ibn `Abbas, Abu Al-`Aliyah, Mujahid, Sa`id bin Jubayr, Murrah Al-Hamdani, Al-Hasan, Qatadah, Ad-Dahhak, Ar-Rabi`, As-Suddi and Muqatil bin Hayyan said that (الْبَأْسَآءِ (Al-Ba'sa') means poverty. Ibn `Abbas said that (وَالضَّرَّآءِ ...and Ad-Darra') means ailments. (وَزُلْزِلُواْ and were so shaken) for fear of the enemy, and were tested, and put to a tremendous trial. 

An authentic Hadith narrated that Khabbab bin Al-Aratt said, "We said, `O Messenger of Allah! Why do you not invoke Allah to support us Why do you not supplicate to Allah for us' He said: «إِنَّ مَنْ كَانَ قَبْلَكُمْ كَانَ أَحَدُهُمْ يُوضَعُ الْمِنْشَارُ عَلى مَفْرَقِ رَأْسِهِ فَيَخْلُصُ إِلى قَدَمَيْهِ لَا يَصْرِفُهُ ذَلِكَ عَنْ دِينِهِ، وَيُمْشَطُ بِأَمْشَاطِ الْحَدِيدِ مَا بَيْنَ لَحْمِهِ وَعَظْمِهِ، لَا يَصْرِفُهُ ذلِكَ عَنْ دِينِه» (The saw would be placed on the middle of the head of one of those who were before you (believers) and he would be sawn until his feet, and he would be combed with iron combs between his skin and bones, yet that would not make him change his religion.)

He then said: «وَاللهِ لَيُتِمَّنَّ اللهُ هَذَا الْأَمْرَ حَتَّى يَسِيرَ الرَّاكِبُ مِنْ صَنْعَاءَ إلى حَضْرَمَوْتَ، لَا يَخَافُ إِلَّا اللهَ وَالذِّئْبَ عَلى غَنَمِهِ، وَلَكِنَّــكُمْ قَوْمٌ تَسْتَعْجِلُون» (By Allah! This matter (religion) will spread (or expand) by Allah until the traveler leaves San`a' to Hadramawt (both in Yemen, but at a great distance from each other) fearing only Allah and then the wolf for the sake of his sheep. You are just a hasty people.)

And Allah said: (الٓمٓ - أَحَسِبَ ٱلنَّاسُ أَن يُتْرَكُوٓا۟ أَن يَقُولُوٓا۟ ءَامَنَّا وَهُمْ لَا يُفْتَنُونَ - وَلَقَدْ فَتَنَّا ٱلَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِهِمْ ۖ فَلَيَعْلَمَنَّ ٱللَّهُ ٱلَّذِينَ صَدَقُوا۟ وَلَيَعْلَمَنَّ ٱلْكَٰذِبِينَ Alif-Lam-Mim. Do people think that they will be left alone because they say: "We believe,'' and will not be tested And We indeed tested those who were before them. And Allah will certainly make (it) known (the truth of) those who are true, and will certainly make (it) known (the falsehood of) those who are liars.) (29:1-3)

The Companions experienced tremendous trials during the battle of Al-Ahzab (the Confederates). 

Allah said: (إِذْ جَآءُوكُمْ مِّن فَوْقِكُمْ وَمِنْ أَسْفَلَ مِنكُمْ وَإِذْ زَاغَتِ الاٌّبْصَـرُ وَبَلَغَتِ الْقُلُوبُ الْحَنَاجِرَ وَتَظُنُّونَ بِاللَّهِ الظُّنُونَاْ - هُنَالِكَ ابْتُلِىَ الْمُؤْمِنُونَ وَزُلْزِلُواْ زِلْزَالاً شَدِيداً - وَإِذْ يَقُولُ الْمُنَـفِقُونَ وَالَّذِينَ فِى قُلُوبِهِم مَّرَضٌ مَّا وَعَدَنَا اللَّهُ وَرَسُولُهُ إِلاَّ غُرُوراً When they came upon you from above you and from below you, and when the eyes grew wild and the hearts reached to the throats, and you were harboring doubts about Allah. There, the believers were tried and shaken with a mighty shaking. And when the hypocrites and those in whose hearts is a disease (of doubts) said: "Allah and His Messenger promised us nothing but delusion!') (33:10-12)

When Heraclius asked Abu Sufyan, "Did you fight him (Prophet Muhammad)'' He said, "Yes.'' Heraclius said, "What was the outcome of warfare between you' Abu Sufyan said, "Sometimes we lose and sometimes he loses.' He said, "Such is the case with Prophets, they are tested, but the final victory is theirs.'

Allah's statement: (مَّثَلُ الَّذِينَ خَلَوْاْ مِن قَبْلِكُم ...without (such) (trials) as came to those who passed away before you) meaning, their way of life. 

Similarly, Allah said: (فَأَهْلَكْنَآ أَشَدَّ مِنْهُم بَطْشاً وَمَضَى مَثَلُ الاٌّوَّلِينَ  Then We destroyed men stronger (in power) than these ـ and the example of the ancients has passed away (before them)) (43: 8) and:

(وَزُلْزِلُواْ حَتَّى يَقُولَ الرَّسُولُ وَالَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ مَعَهُ مَتَى نَصْرُ اللَّهِ ...were so shaken that even the Messenger and those who believed along with him said, "When (will come) the help of Allah.'')

They pleaded (to Allah) for victory against their enemies and invoked Him for aid and deliverance from their hardships and trials. Allah said: (أَلاَ إِنَّ نَصْرَ اللَّهِ قَرِيبٌ Yes! Certainly, the help of Allah is near!)

Allah said: (فَإِنَّ مَعَ الْعُسْرِ يُسْراً - إِنَّ مَعَ الْعُسْرِ يُسْراً  Verily, along with every hardship is relief. Verily, along with every hardship is relief.) (94:5, 6)

So just as there is hardship, its equal of relief will soon arrive. This is why Allah said: ( أَلاَ إِنَّ نَصْرَ اللَّهِ قَرِيبٌ Yes! Certainly, the help of Allah is near!)

Javed Ahmad Ghamidi Explanation:
Ie., when the worldly retribution of people takes place in the time of the messengers of the Almighty, it always does so when people are fully made aware of the truth and they deny it in spite of being convinced about its veracity. Believers are granted success after they are made to pass through certain very trying circumstances. Here, the aforementioned Hypocrites are prodded that the Almighty’s help will not come in a manner they want it. This is an established practice of the Almighty which He never abandons.

Tafsir Qur'an Wiki:
As it comes to a close, this highly instructive passage addresses the fearful adversity the believers encountered as a result of their disagreement and confrontation with the Arab unbelievers on the one hand, and with the followers of earlier religions, such as the Jews, on the other. The sūrah reassures the believers that what they faced was part of the experience and education they needed to qualify for God’s reward in paradise. Believers must defend their faith and, in doing so, have to face up to numerous challenges and hardship. They will experience triumphs as well as setbacks. If they persevere and stand firm and hold on to their beliefs and convictions, they will earn God’s succour and trust. They will deserve to be the custodians of God’s message in this world. Their reward will be in paradise in the life to come. It is a fitting reward for their courage in defeating their own selfishness and greed, resisting all manner of temptation, and refusing to surrender their life and destiny to any other power or authority except that of God Almighty.

With these poignant and profound words, and in this direct manner, God addresses the founding community of Islam, drawing their attention to the experiences of their fellow believers before them who were entrusted with the same task of establishing the divine code of living on earth. Nevertheless, the message in these words is timeless. It is directed to all human groups to whom God assigns that honourable task.

It is an awesome experience that drives God’s own Messenger and those who have accepted the faith close to despair and makes there cry out with frustration: “‘When will God’s help come?’ “It is a picture of great trepidation and unimaginable apprehension that cause a believer’s faith to be tested so severely and shaken in such a profound manner. However, with determination and steadfastness, God’s help is sure to arrive, for “Surely, God’s help is close at hand.”

God’s support that ensures victory is reserved for those who earn it: those who persevere and stand firm to the end in the face of all adversity and misfortune, never wavering but always certain that God’s help is on its way. No matter how severe the ordeal may become, true believers will always look to God, and to God alone, for salvation and support. By displaying such faith and trust in God, believers are deservedly rewarded by being admitted into paradise.

The dynamic of social and religious struggle reinforces the human spirit and encourages man to rise above his own ego and so emerge purer and stronger, ready to uphold the faith with greater energy and vigour. Thus, believers become a shining role model even for their most ardent adversaries, some of whom are liable to be impressed and join ranks with the believers, as witnessed throughout human history.

But even if this were not the case, something else much greater and much more admirable happens: advocates of God’s order are liberated from subordination to any worldly power or temptation. Life and its comforts become of no real consequence, and man assumes control of his world, which can only mean a triumph for humanity and the human spirit as a whole.
The ingredients of success are faith, hard work, sacrifice, and perseverance. With those, victory is guaranteed and the road to greater, everlasting rewards, to eternal bliss, is direct and clear.

This verse is any eye opener, my brothers and sisters. Allah's help is always there for those who have complete faith and trust in Him, have patience and perseverance. If we remain strong and steadfast no matter how bad the times we are facing are, Allah is surely to help and take us out of our difficult times.
May Allāh (سبحانه و تعالى‎) help us understand Qur'ān and follow the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ, which is embodiment of commandments of Allah contained in the Qur'ān. May Allah help us to be like the ones He loves and let our lives be lived helping others and not making others' lives miserable or unlivable. May all our wrong doings, whether intentional or unintentional, be forgiven before the angel of death knocks on our door. 
وَمَا عَلَيۡنَاۤ اِلَّا الۡبَلٰغُ الۡمُبِيۡنُ‏ 
(36:17) and our duty is no more than to clearly convey the Message.”
That is Our duty is only to convey to you the message that Allah has entrusted us with. Then it is for you to accept it or reject it. We have not been made responsible for making you accept it forcibly, and if you do not accept it, we shall not be seized in consequence of your disbelief, you will yourselves be answerable for your actions on Day of Resurrection.

Reading the Qur'ān should be a daily obligation of a Muslim - Reading it with translation will make it meaningful. But reading its Exegesis / Tafsir will make you understand it fully. It will also help the Muslims to have grasp over social issues and their answers discussed in the Qur'an and other matter related to inter faith so that they are able to discuss issues with non-Muslims with authority based on refences from Qur'an.

May Allah forgive me if my posts ever imply a piety far greater than I possess. I am most in need of guidance.

Note: When we mention God in our posts, we mean One True God, we call Allah in Islam, with no associates. Allah is the Sole Creator of all things, and that Allah is all-powerful and all-knowing. Allah has no offspring, no race, no gender, no body, and is unaffected by the characteristics of human life.

You may read more posts on similar theme in our series of posts related to: Al Qur'an guides and helps those who sincerely seek Divine Guidance and Help.

For more Selected Verses, please refer to our reference page: Selected Verses from the Qur'anYou may also refer to our Reference Pages  and Understanding Al Qur'an for knowing more about Islam and Qur'ān.
Photo | Tafsir References: | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4

An effort has been made to gather explanation / exegesis of the surahs of the Qur'ān from authentic sources and then present a least possible condensed explanation of the surah. In that the exegesis of the chapters of the Quran is mainly based on the "Tafhim al-Qur'an - The Meaning of the Qur'an" by one of the most enlightened scholars of the Muslim World Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi.  
In order to augment and add more explanation as already provided, additional input has been interjected from the following sources: 
  • Tafsir Ibn Khatir
  • Muhammad Asad Translation
  • Yusuf Ali Translation
  • Translation Javed Ahmad Ghamidi / Al Mawrid
  • Qur'an Wiki
  • Verse by Verse Qur'an Study Circle
  • Towards Understanding the Quran
In addition, references of other sources which have been explored have also been given above. Those desirous of detailed explanations and tafsir (exegesis), may refer to these sites.

Disclaimer: The material for this post has been collected from the references given above. If anyone differs with the material contained in this post, one may consult the references and their authors.  If someone has more material about the subject, he/she is most welcome to share in the comments box to make the post all encompassing.

If you like Islam: My Ultimate Decision, and to keep yourself updated on all our latest posts to know more about Islam, follow us on Facebook

Please share this page to your friends and family members through Facebook, WhatsApp or any means on social media so that they can also be benefited by it and better understand Islam and the Qur'ān - Insha Allah (Allah Willing) you shall be blessed with the best of both worlds.


Post a Comment

Twitter Delicious Facebook Digg Stumbleupon Favorites More