Al-Quran Surah 3. Al-i'Imran, Ayah 121

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وَإِذْ غَدَوْتَ مِنْ أَهْلِكَ تُبَوِّئُ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ مَقَاعِدَ لِلْقِتَالِ ۗ وَاللَّهُ سَمِيعٌ عَلِيمٌ

Asad : AND [remember, O Prophet, the day] when thou didst set out from thy home at early morn to place the believers in battle array.90 And God was all-hearing, all-knowing
Khattab :

˹Remember, O  Prophet,˺ when you left your home in the early morning to position the believers in the battlefield. And Allah is All-Hearing, All-Knowing.

Malik : O Muhammad, remember that morning when you left your household at an early hour to assign the believers to their battle-posts (in the battle of Uhud): Allah hears and knows everything.
Pickthall : And remember when thou settedst forth at daybreak from thy housefolk to assign to the believers their positions for the battle, Allah was Hearer, Knower.
Yusuf Ali : Remember that morning thou didst leave the household (early) to post the faithful at their stations for battle: and Allah heareth and knoweth all things. 442
Transliteration : Waith ghadawta min ahlika tubawwio almumineena maqaAAida lilqitali waAllahu sameeAAun AAaleemun
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Asad 90 This reference to the battle of Uhud, to which many verses of this surah are devoted, connects with the exhortation implied in the preceding verse, "if you are patient in adversity and conscious of God, their guile cannot harm you at all". Since this and the subsequent references cannot be fully understood without a knowledge of the historical background, a brief account of the battle would seem to be indicated. In order to avenge their catastrophic defeat at Badr in the second year after the hijrah, the pagan Meccans - supported by several tribes hostile to the Muslims - mustered in the following year an army comprising ten thousand men under the command of Abu Sufyan and marched against Medina. On hearing of their approach, in the month of Shawwal 3 H., the Prophet held a council of war at which the tactics to be adopted were discussed. In view of the overwhelming cavalry forces at the disposal of the enemy, the Prophet himself was of the opinion that the Muslims should give battle from behind the fortifications of Medina and, if need be, fight in its narrow streets and lanes; and his plan was supported by some of the most outstanding among his Companions. However, the majority of the Muslim leaders who participated in the council strongly insisted on going forth and meeting the enemy in the open field. In obedience to the Qur'anic principle that all communal affairs must be transacted on the basis of mutually-agreed decisions (see verse 159 of this surah, as well as 42 : 38), the Prophet sorrowfully gave way to the will of the majority and set out with his followers towards the plain below the mountain of Uhud, a little over three miles from Medina. His army consisted of less than one thousand men; but on the way to Mount Uhud this number was still further reduced by the defection of some three hundred men led by the hypocritical 'Abd Allah ibn Ubayy, who pretended to be convinced that the Muslims did not really intend to fight. Shortly before the battle, two other groups from among the Prophet's forces - namely, the clans of Banu Salamah (of the tribe of Al-Aws) and Banu Harithah (of the tribe of Khazraj) almost lost heart and were about to join the defectors (3 : 122) on the plea that because of their numerical weakness the Muslims must now avoid giving battle; but at the last moment they decided to follow the Prophet. Having less than seven hundred men with him, the Prophet arrayed the bulk of his forces with their backs to the mountain and posted all his archers - numbering fifty - on a nearby hill in order to provide cover against an outflanking manoeuvre by the enemy cavalry; these archers were ordered not to leave their post under any circumstances. In their subsequent, death-defying assault upon the greatly superior forces of the pagan Quraysh, the Muslims gained a decisive advantage over the former and almost routed them. At that moment, however, most of the archers, believing that the battle had been won and fearing lest they lose their share of the spoils, abandoned their covering position and joined the melee around the encampment of the Quraysh. Seizing this opportunity, the bulk of the Meccan cavalry under the command of Khalid ibn al-Walid (who shortly after this battle embraced Islam and later became one of the greatest Muslim generals of all times) veered round in a wide arc and attacked the Muslim forces from the rear. Deprived of the cover of the archers, and caught between two fires, the Muslims retreated in disorder, with the loss of many lives. The Prophet himself and a handful of his most stalwart Companions defended themselves desperately; and the Prophet was seriously injured and fell to the ground. The cry immediately arose, "The Apostle of God has been killed!" Many of the Muslims began to flee; some among them were even prepared to throw themselves upon the mercy of the enemy. But a few of the Companions - among them 'Umar ibn al-Khattab and Talhah - called out, "What good are your lives without him, O believers? Let us die as he has died!" - and threw themselves with the strength of despair against the Meccans. Their example at once found an echo among the rest of the Muslims, who in the meantime had learnt that the Prophet was alive: they rallied and counter-attacked the enemy, and thus saved the day. But the Muslims were now too exhausted to exploit their chances of victory, and the battle ended in a draw, with the enemy retreating in the direction of Mecca. On the next day the Prophet started in pursuit of them at the head of seventy of his Companions. But when the Muslims reached the place called Hamra' al-Asad, about eight miles south of Medina, it became obvious that the Meccans were in no mood to risk another encounter and were rapidly marching home; and thereupon the tiny Muslim army returned to Medina.

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Yusuf Ali   
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Yusuf Ali 442 The battle of Uhud was a great testing time for the young Muslim community. Their mettle and the wisdom and strength of their Leader were shown in the battle of Badr (iii. 13 and note), in which the Makkan Pagans suffered a crushing defeat. The Makkans were determined to wipe off their disgrace and to annihilate the Muslims in Madinah. To this end they collected a large force and marched to Madinah. They numbered some 3,000 fighting men under Abu Sufyan, and they were so confident of victory that their women-folk came with them, and showed the most shameful savagery after the battle. To meet the threatened danger the Messenger of Allah, Muhammad Al-Mustafa, with his usual foresight, courage, and initiative, resolved to take his station at the foot of Mount Uhud, which dominates the city of Madinah some three miles to the north. Early in the morning, on the 7th of Shawwal, A.H. 3 (January, 625), he made his dispositions for battle. Madinah winters are notoriously rigorous, but the warriors of Islam (700 to 1000 in number) were up early. A torrent bed was to their south, and the passes in the hills at their back were filled with 50 archers to prevent the enemy attack from the rear. The enemy were set the task of attacking the walls of Madinah, with the Muslims at their rear. In the beginning the battle went well for the Muslims. The enemy wavered, but the Muslim archers, in disobedience of their orders, left their posts to join in the pursuit and share in the booty. There was also treachery on the part of the 300 "Hypocrites" led by Abdullah ibn Ubai, who deserted. The enemy took advantage of the opening left by the archers, and there was severe hand-to-hand fighting, in which numbers told in favour of the enemy. Many of the Companions and Helpers were killed. But there was no rout. Among the Muslim martyrs was the gallant Hamza, a brother of the Prophet's father. The graves of the martyrs are still shown at Uhud. The Messenger himself was wounded in his head and face, and one of his front teeth was broken. Had it not been for his firmness, courage, and coolness, all would have been lost. As it was, the prophet, in spite of his wound, and many of the wounded Muslims, inspired by his example, returned to the field next day, and Abu Sufyan and his Makkan army thought it most prudent to withdraw. Madinah was saved, but a lesson in faith, constancy, firmness, and steadfastness was learnt by the Muslims.

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