Exposition of the Holy Quran – 48 Al-Fath (G A Parwez)

Surah 48: Al-Fath

(Victory)

(1) We (O Rasool) have laid open for you the visible path for success and victory; and a decisive revolution is about to take place.

(2) The objective is to provide you with protection from the negative effects of certain accusations and aspersions which your opponents have either been concocting against you or will do so in future. (These achievements will become living proof of the validity of your claim and serve as a reply to the accusations against you – 40:55, 47:19.) He will also bestow upon you the full measure of blessings which He has promised (24:55). Thus, along with your associates, you will continue on the straight and balanced path.

(3) (In other words) Allah will bestow upon you an overwhelming hold over them (and they will see that truth has at last overcome falsehood).

(4) This proclamation is from Allah Almighty, Who bestowed calmness and peace in the hearts of momineen, so that their eiman can be further strengthened. This is done by heavenly forces which are continuously fulfilling His programme – 9:26 (so that every human deed is accurately manifested – 45:22, 53:31). Everything happens according to Allah’s knowledge and wisdom.

(5) The objective is to bestow on the Jamat-ul-Momineen, as a result of their eiman and righteous deeds, a blissful heavenly society in which pleasures never lessen; and also to remove social inequalities from their society. According to divine laws this is the highest achievement.

(6) The triumph of truth means eventual defeat of falsehood. The establishment of the divine order means that the opponents, such as munafikeen and mushrikeen men or women, will get due punishment for their deeds. They had been extremely suspicious about the divine order. It was the conviction of the mushrikeen that the divine law alone was not enough; that it must also have the support of other forces. The munafikeen were sitting on the fence with a dubious attitude. Now they will be caught in the web of their own misfortunes. They will be deprived of the pleasures of life which are the compulsory consequences of their eiman and constructive deeds. Their efforts at opposition will produce no positive results and the jahannam of destruction will be ready for them. What an awful abode that will be!

(7) (As has been said before) All this will happen with the support of heavenly forces which are continuously making the Law of Mukafat a living reality (45:22). In this way it will become clear how powerful and wise the divine law is.

(8) (But this system will be established by you and your companions. For this purpose We have given you a programme on which you are working. It is therefore your duty to) Keep a watch over the actions of all members of your jama (2:143) and reassure them about how pleasant and wonderful the result of righteous deeds will be; and how erroneous deeds take human beings towards destruction.

(9) And the Jamat-ul-Momineen should believe the divine order which is being established through this Rasool; and extend him full help to strengthen the order and extol Allah’s glory and reverence (7:157). They should always remain active and busy for achieving this objective (33:41-42).

(10) (This divine order has actually been suggested by the Almighty Himself and He has fully explained it in His book. However, it is implemented by the Rasool. And after the Rasool this duty is performed by his successors. Therefore, whatever pledge the Jamat-ul-Momineen makes with Allah Almighty, is in actual fact made with the Rasool. And for all intents and purposes the responsibilities Allah takes upon Himself are practically fulfilled by this divine order. For instance the Jamat-ul-Momineen had made a pledge to sell their lives and property to Allah Almighty – 9:111.) In practice they made this agreement with you. An agreement with you substitutes the agreement made with Allah. Therefore, when they make their pledge, it is not your hand over theirs but (consider that) it is Allah’s hand. This is the practical form of this order.

Subsequently, whoever breaks his covenant will himself suffer loss (because as a result of this, Allah’s pledge with him will also be broken; and he would be deprived of the fruitful results of the divine order which he would have from this contract). Allah would bestow a great reward on whoever fulfils his covenant with Him. (This great reward can be achieved through heavenly life in this world and in the hereafter. This is the second part of this agreement – 9:111.)

(11) (After this introductory explanation, consider again the expedition which is before you. In this battle) The Bedouins (wandering Arabs) will not join you. They will lag behind and say, “All this happened because we were busy looking after our cattle and households, and we could not take part in the jihad. Therefore, it should not be held against us.” However, all these are lame excuses as their intention was different. Tell them that the divine law will take its decision and no one has the power to avert any benefit or harm which comes to you. Allah is fully aware of everything you do. His law will decide your fate. (This would not be at anyone’s personal discretion, or even mine.)

(12) (Tell them that) You thought that the Rasool and his companions would perish in the battle and none would return to their homes. The very thought pleased you immensely (and therefore you decided not to take part in this battle). This was an evil thought; and these are the reasons that have made you worthless.

(13) The fact is that only those who believe that the divine order will not be successful indulge in such thoughts. Whoever indulges in such (wicked) thoughts will perish because the divine order is bound to succeed.

(14) They should know that control and authority in the universe belongs to Allah. (It is therefore inconceivable that the system being implemented to establish Allah’s authority cannot succeed.) Hence, the system will protect those who want to be protected by it; while whoever wants to ruin himself by going against it, will be destroyed. At the same time, keep in mind that the divine law intrinsically seeks your protection and nourishment. Only opposition to it causes destruction.

(15) Such is the condition of these Bedouin tribes that when they are sure that you are about to set forth on a battle that promises booty, they will say to you, “Allow us to accompany you.” In other words, they desire that Allah’s decision, based on the divine order, to deprive them of the pleasures of life should be changed. Tell them this cannot happen, as Allah has already declared that they cannot accompany you.

In reply they say, “You are jealous of us and that is why you say so.” Actually, their understanding is very limited. (In fact it is not difficult to understand. Only those people can join you, who do so, purely for the sake of establishing the divine order, irrespective of worldly gains. The ones who join only when they see some gains, and find excuses as soon as they fear a loss are not worthy of your companionship. There is no question of jealousy in it.)

(16) Tell those wandering Bedouins who lagged behind, “Your sincerity will be tested by sending you to fight against a powerful and mighty force, with the instruction that you should continue to fight till they surrender. If you obey this order it will be understood that you are true in your claim and you will get a handsome reward from Allah. However, if you turn away as you had done earlier, you will be grievously chastised.”

(17) Those who are blind, lame or sick are exempted from this order, because they are not physically fit to take part in the battle (9:91).

The principle is that Allah will admit any person who sincerely obeys the divine order to the bliss of heavenly life, the pleasures of which are ever fresh. And Allah will inflict grievous punishment on anyone who turns away.

(18) According to this principle when, in spite of strong opposition and great danger, the Jamat-ul-Momineen were pledging their allegiance to you under the tree (48:10), their action was according to the divine laws. They were doing precisely what had to be done under such circumstances. Moreover, their action was not just a formality. It was done with their full and genuine consent and was fully known to Allah. It was because of this attitude that despite the dangerous circumstances they were full of confidence. That is why God opened up the way to imminent victory.

(19) And they received a lot of spoils of war. Allah’s Law of Mukafat is indeed powerful and full of wisdom.

(20)      O Jamat-ul-Momineen! (As a result of your righteous deeds) You are likely to obtain in plenitude. Whatever you have obtained so far is only a small part of what you can get. However, the greatest achievement is that hostile rebellious forces have been stopped from opposing you. (The purpose of this war and bloodshed was to stop these people from opposing you in establishing a system of justice and balance. Receiving spoils of war was a secondary gain.)

Victories such as these symbolize and reaffirm that Allah’s promise that the divine order will prevail is based on reality; and that the path to which He is guiding all of you will lead to the proper destination.

(21) Besides this recent success, there are still many other conquests which at present are not within your reach. However, Allah’s Law of Mukafat has already reserved them for you. This will happen later on. Allah has devised measures (laws) for everything; and everything happens according to these measures.

(22) Had the opponents waged war against you, there would have been no one to protect them or help them and they would have retreated in defeat.

(23) All this is not happening by chance or accident, but according to the divine laws. These have been in force forever; and they are permanent and unalterable. They never change.

(24) All this happened according to the laws of Allah, Who stopped your opponents from attacking you; and stopped you from raising your hand against them. In this way the valley of Makkah remained safe from bloodshed, although you had clear supremacy over them. Allah watches over everything you do.

(25) He also knows that these very people had refused to accept anything you said and stopped you from performing the Hajj of the Ka’bah. Even your offerings and gifts were not allowed to reach their destination (the Ka’bah). (In spite of this, Allah stopped you from waging war against them because) At that time in Makkah there were many momineen men and women, whose whereabouts were not known to you. Had you attacked the city these innocent people might have been unjustly trampled along with the opponents. This would have been your own loss which you would have inadvertently suffered. (That is why We stopped you from war and created an atmosphere of peace so that) Anyone from among the residents of Makkah who wanted to join the divine system of Rabubiyya and Rahma could do so. Otherwise, had the momineen men and women been separated from the kuffar, We would have let the enemies suffer at your hands.

(26) (We also know that) Just as ignorant and uncivilized people nourish feelings of dislike, enmity, stubbornness and prejudice, the opponents too had very strong feelings of hatred and discrimination against you. Previously, you would have reacted very strongly to such feelings, but eiman brought a great psychological change in you, therefore) Allah created a feeling of tranquillity and reassurance in the heart of His Rasool and his momineen companions; and further strengthened their resolve to guard the divine laws. (Being stubborn and discriminative like ignorant people did not suit them.) In fact, they were most worthy of it; and every decision of Allah is based on absolute knowledge.

(27) (O Rasool!) It was because of your intense desire for the custodianship of the Ka’bah (2:144), that you dreamt you were entering the inviolable Mosque (in Makkah) as a conqueror (17:60). Since your aspirations are according to Our promise, We shall certainly ensure that your dreams come true.(1) You shall enter the Ka’bah in peace and security without any bloodshed and perform the rites of Hajj, like shaving the head or cutting the hair short, without any fear. You will not be afraid of anyone. He knows what you know not; and in the near future He will bestow on you another victory.

(28) This is because Allah has sent his Rasool with the divine code, which is a system based on absolute truth. It can thus overcome all other man-made systems. Allah alone can watch over this to ensure that it does come true.

(29) And this will happen at the hands of Muhammad, the Rasool of Allah and his companions. What unique and wonderful people constitute this jama! Such is their resolve that they deal with the opponents of truth with rock-like firmness, but are kind hearted and sympathetic amongst themselves (5:54). You see how they bow down to shoulder heavy responsibilities and present themselves as the embodiment of submission before the divine laws.  (This is not a group of monks who abandon worldly affairs.) They strive hard to search for sources of nourishment according to the divine laws. At the same time they keep in mind that every action of theirs should be fully compatible with the divine laws and that their personalities should exhibit divine attributes. The inner peace and real happiness that they obtain as a result of this are apparent from their faces (83:24). The previous divine books, the Torah and the Bible, also had identified such signs.

The way they established and nurtured the divine order can be explained by a parable. When a healthy seed germinates, its first shoot is very soft and delicate. As its roots become stronger, its stem gradually becomes strong enough for it to stand firmly on its own. (It then produces the stalk which in turn ripens to become grain.) This process immensely delights the grower, for he sees the fruits of his labour; but the same becomes a torturous agony for his opponents.

This is how Allah Almighty extends His promise to every jama which, after professing eiman on the truth of His laws, acts upon His programme. (And it is His law that) The tiny seed of their efforts will remain safe from dangers and bear the best of results (24:55). (However, this will require the same degree of hard work and perseverance that is shown by the farmer. The unchangeable conditions needed for a crop to ripen are proper seed, complete harmony with the laws of nature, continuous effort and perseverance.)

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(1)          If Makkah had already been conquered when this verse was revealed, it could also mean “We have most certainly seen that your dreams do come true.”

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