The Holy Qur'an (Maulana Muhammad Ali)/110. The Help

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Revealed at Mecca

(3 verses)

General remarks.

This chapter speaks of the great Divine Help and victory (from which it receives its title) with which the Holy Prophet's endeavours in the cause of truth were crowned. According to I'Ab it was an indication of the Holy Prophet's approaching end (Bkh). And Ibn-i-'Umar is reported as saying that this chapter was revealed during the last pilgrimage of the Holy Prophet, and that he lived only eighty days after its revelation (AH). Hence, though classed with the Medinian revelation, it was actually revealed in Mecca. As a complete chapter it may be said to be the last revelation of the Holy Prophet, and, coming down at Mecca, it showed how those wonderful prophecies, announced in utter loneliness and helplessness, were now fulfilled at Mecca by the Prophet visiting that sacred city with over a hundred thousand followers.

In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful. بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّحِيمِ ۝
1 When there comes the help of Allah and the victory,[1] إِذَا جَاءَ نَصْرُ اللَّهِ وَالْفَتْحُ ۝١
Ar. thou seest. 2 And you see men entering the religion of Allah in companies; وَرَأَيْتَ النَّاسَ يَدْخُلُونَ فِي دِينِ اللَّهِ أَفْوَاجًا ۝٢
Ar. thy. Or, protection. 3 Then celebrate the praise of your Lord, and ask His forgiveness;[2] surely He is oft-returning (to mercy). فَسَبِّحْ بِحَمْدِ رَبِّكَ وَاسْتَغْفِرْهُ إِنَّهُ كَانَ تَوَّابًا ۝٣
  1. The great victory which had come, and been followed by the conversion of Arabs in companies, was the conquest of Mecca in the year 8 a.h., while the next year was the year of deputations from Arab tribes embracing Islam one after another. The great and wonderful prophecies of the conversion of Arabia and of its subjugation being thus clearly fulfilled, the Prophet was given to understand that the time had now come when he should prepare to meet the Lord.
  2. Here the Prophet is told that when that great victory is attained which will make the truth of Islam shine as the midday sun, so that people would enter into the religion of Islam not by ones and twos but in whole companies, as happened after the conquest of Mecca, then he should give glory to Allah for bringing about this wonderful change and fulfilling his promises, at the same time asking Divine forgiveness for the people who would then enter Islam. For the truth is, not only were those people guilty of the gravest atrocities against the Holy Prophet, but they had also wrought many other wicked deeds, and deserved to be severely punished by the Lord; but as the Holy Prophet himself forgave them all their tyrannies against him and his companions with a magnanimity of which history cannot present another single instance—the victor passing over all the atrocities of his cruellest oppressors just at the time of the greatest excitement, the hour of victory, when all those tyrants lay at his mercy, and when the most humane general could not but punish those who had spent their whole lives in striving for the utter extinction of the victor and his followers—at such a moment, when the Holy Prophet was to lay open the unique vastness of his compassionate mind in forgiving his deadliest foes, he was further required to ask Divine forgiveness for his very oppressors. "Forgive thine enemy" is an easy injunction to utter, but let history be searched if it can present another instance of the forgiveness of one’s deadliest enemies under such circumstances; a forgiveness not only of their crimes against the Prophet and his companions, but also a forgiveness, through prayer to the Lord, of all the enormities and sins which those enemies had committed against the Divine Being, and for which Divine punishment would surely have overtaken them, had it not been for the Prophet’s intercession, which he is here commanded to exercise on their behalf. And how peaceful the end of one who departs from this world not only with the satisfaction that he had achieved the great goal of his life and raised his friends and followers to the highest position to which man can aspire, but with even a greater satisfaction than that, that he had not taken revenge upon his oppressors, but had forgiven them without uttering a word of reproof, and even interceded on their behalf! Here is an example of intercession not on behalf of friends but on behalf of foes! Does history present any other single instance of this kind?