Nov 12, 2021 12:46 UTC

Welcome to another episode of our weekly series titled “Path towards Enlightenment” which is an endeavour to make you and us familiar with an easy and fluent explanation of God’s Final Scripture to all mankind, the holy Qur’an, which was revealed to the Last and Greatest of all Messengers, Prophet Mohammad (blessings of God upon him and his progeny).

As you know from our explanation so far of Surah Fat’h or Manifest Victory, which God Almighty describes the Prophet’s Treaty of Hudaybiyyah with the pagan Arabs of Mecca, several Bedouin tribes who claimed to be Muslim but whose hearts were devoid of Islam, disobeyed Divine commandments and resorted to lame excuses, lies, and hypocrisy for their failure to accompany the faithful, since their main concern was booty and not faith, even though the All-Merciful readily forgives those who repent and reform. 

We continue from where we left you in our last episode a week ago and here are Ayahs 22 and 23 of Surah Fat’h:

“If those who disbelieve were to fight you, they will turn their backs; then they will not find any protector or helper.

“Allah’s precedent (i.e. your triumph and the disbelievers’ fear of being defeated) has passed before and you will never find any change in Allah’s precedent.”

If you might recall, in our last Friday’s explanation of the previous Ayahs of this Surah we said the favours promised by God included the fall of the Israelite fortresses of Khaibar to the Muslims who succeeded in defeating the plots against Islam, thanks to the remarkable feats of bravery of the Prophet’s dearest cousin, son-in-law, and future Vicegerent, Imam Ali ibn Abi Taleb (AS), who also played a prominent role in the peaceful surrender of Mecca to the Muslims. It means if Muslims are steadfast and firm of faith they will indeed be rewarded with both spiritual and material in the world, in addition to the bounties of Paradise for the true believers.

The Ayahs that we recited to you now refer to the rumours spread by the hypocrites that the Treaty of Hudaybiyyah with the pagan Arabs of Mecca was a sign of the Muslims’ weakness. In response, the Almighty informs the Prophet that if the disbelievers from Banu Asad and Banu Qatafan tribes intend to impose a war on the Muslims, He will cast fear into their heart to make them turn away from the battlefield and flee. It means the polytheist Arabs will be defeated, denigrated, and helpless at all times, since they have neither friend nor helper. It is an allusion to the truth that God Almighty is the only true friend and support.

Ayah 23 means to say, this has always been the Way of Allah that Truth and the followers of Truth triumph over disbelievers, since falsehood disappears before truth and God Almighty is the Best of protectors, as was proven earlier in the battles of Badr and Khandaq which the pagan Arabs imposed on the Muslims, but were defeated and fled.

These Ayahs teach us that:

  1. Whoever denies the One and Only God of the universe is deprived of Divine help and protection, as is the case with the atheists, the idol-worshippers, and all other deviant groups.
  2. Victory of truth over falsehood is among the definite Divine precedents and requires the firmness of faith by Muslims to materialize it.
  3. Divine laws are transcendental, that is, beyond time and space; hence they are always fresh and never become outdated.

Now let us listen to Ayah 24 of the same Surah:

“It is He who withheld their hands from you and your hands from them in the valley of Mecca after He had given you victory over them and Allah sees best what you do.

This Ayah refers to the Truce of Hudayibiyyah, which was a manifest victory gained by the Muslims without armed battle and bloodshed, since amongst the people of Mecca there were several monotheists who concealed their faith from the dominant polytheist group of the city. In other words, during the heated discussions at Hudaybiyyah before the truce, any incident might have embroiled the pagan Arabs and the Muslims into an armed confrontation. On one hand, the Muslims though unarmed had pledged to stand together, and in case of a fight the Prophet could have forced entrance to the Ka’ba. On the other hand, the pagan Arabs were prepared to push back the Muslims by any means, including armed confrontation. Thus, Allah restrained both sides from anything that would have resulted in bloodshed.

There were two clear gains for the Muslims in the Truce, which was a clear victory for Islam. First was preservation of the sanctity of the sacred precincts of the Ka’ba that could have been defiled in case of fighting, The second were conditions stipulated in the treaty that foresaw the increase in the number of Muslims. Since Muslims did not shed the blood of any of the Meccans, they were able to perform the pilgrimage the next year, and two years later Mecca surrendered itself without a fight to the Muslims.

From this Ayah, we learn:

  1. God the All-Wise prevented unnecessary fight, in which case the Muslims would have branded as aggressors.
  2. In case of an armed battle, the glorious gains that the Muslims achieved in the next two years would have been impossible.
  3. The Truce of Hudaybiyyah was thus a manifest victory for the Prophet.

Let us now listen to Ayah 25 of Surah Fat’h as the last Ayah of this week’s episode.

“They are the ones who disbelieved and barred you from the Sacred Mosque and kept the offering from reaching its destination. And were it not for faithful men and faithful women (living in Mecca), whom you did not know (We would have given permission for battle, which We did not) - lest you should trample them, and thus blame for [killing] them should fall on you unawares; so that Allah may admit into His mercy whomever He wishes. And had they been separate We would have surely punished the faithless among them with a painful punishment.”

This Ayah means to say that though pagan Arabs of Mecca prevented Muslims from entering Masjid al-Haraam and returned the seventy camels brought by the Noble Prophet as sacrificial animals from the sacrificial place, God Almighty lifted the command of war, since believing men and women lived in Mecca who concealed their belief out of fear. Had there occurred a battle between Meccan polytheists and Muslims, these monotheists would have been among the victims of war – being killed by their own co-religionists without being aware. The Muslims were thus saved from shedding the blood of believers, thanks to the Truce of Hudaybiyyah, which not only saved the lives of the believers living amongst the Meccans, but also of those who became Muslims afterwards and served Islam. As is clear, for the safety of the believers living in Mecca amongst the disbelievers, Almighty did not chastise the pagan Arabs, who would have deserved a painful punishment, if not for the believers in their midst.

This Ayah teaches us the following points:

  1. At times, peace could be a great victory to the benefit of the Islamic society.
  2. When the enemies avoid fighting, the Muslims should also cease hostilities.
  3. Mecca was not the property of the pagan Arabs who had no right to prevent the entry of pilgrims.
  4. During armed confrontation, the innocent and the civilians should not be killed.
  5. The enemy should not be given any pretext to tarnish the image of Islam and Muslims.