Surah Al Imran: Ayats 141 – 150
141. Allah’s object also is to purge those that are true in Faith and to deprive of blessing those that resist Faith.
142. Did ye think that ye would enter Heaven without Allah testing those of you who fought hard (In His Cause) and remained steadfast?
143. Ye did indeed wish for death before ye encountered it: now ye have seen it with your own eyes, (and ye flinch!).
144. Muhammad is no more than a Messenger: many were the Messengers that passed away before him. If he died or were slain, will ye then turn back on your heels? If any did turn back on his heels, not the least harm will he do to Allah; but Allah (on the other hand) will swiftly reward those who (serve Him) with gratitude.
145. Nor can a soul die except by Allah’s leave, the term being fixed as by writing. If any do desire a reward in this life, We shall give it to him; and if any do desire a reward in the Hereafter, We shall give it to him. And swiftly shall We reward those that (serve us with) gratitude.
146. How many of the prophets fought (in Allah’s way), and with them (fought) large bands of godly men? but they never lost heart if they met with disaster in Allah’s way, nor did they weaken (in will) nor give in. And Allah Loves those who are firm and steadfast.
147. All that they said was: “Our Lord! Forgive us our sins and anything we may have done that transgressed our duty: establish our feet firmly, and help us against those that resist Faith.”
148. And Allah gave them a reward in this world, and the excellent reward of the Hereafter. For Allah Loveth those who do good.
149. O ye who believe! If ye obey the Unbelievers, they will drive you back on your heels, and ye will turn back (from Faith) to your own loss.
150. Nay, Allah is your Protector, and He is the best of helpers.
Translation: Abdullah Yusuf
Tafsir (Explanation) for Ayat 144
When the rumour of the Prophet’s martyrdom spread during the battle, it disheartened most of the Companions. The hypocrites who were in the Muslim camp began to advise the believers to approach ‘Abd Allah b. Ubayy so that he might secure protection for them from Abu Sufyan. Some went so far as to say that had Muhammad really been the Messenger of God he would not have been put to death, and for that reason they counselled people to revert to their ancestral faith. It is in this context that the Muslims are now told that if their devotion to the truth is wholly bound up with the person of Muhammad (peace be on him), and if their submission to God is so lukewarm that his demise would cause them to plunge back into the disbelief they had cast off, then they should bear in mind the fact that Islam does not need them.
The ‘ones who are grateful’ are those who fully appreciate God’s favour in making the true religion available to them, and thereby intimating to them knowledge of a realm that is infinitely vaster than this world. Such people appreciate that God has graciously informed them of the truth so that the consequences of human endeavour are not confined to the brief span of earthly life but cover a vast expanse, embracing both the present life and the much more important life of the Hereafter.
A grateful man is he who, having gained this breadth of outlook and having developed this long-range perception of the ultimate consequences of things, persists in acts of righteousness out of his faith in God and his confidence in God’s assurance that they will bear fruit in the Hereafter. He does so even though he may sometimes find that, far from bearing fruit, righteousness leads to privation and suffering in this world. The ungrateful ones are those who persist in a narrow preoccupation with earthly matters. They are those who disregard the evil consequences of unrighteousness in the Hereafter, seizing everything which appears to yield benefits and advantages in this world, and who are not prepared to devote their time and energy to those acts of goodness which promise to bear fruit in the Hereafter and which are either unlikely to yield earthly advantages or are fraught with risks. Such people are ungrateful and lack appreciation of the valuable knowledge vouchsafed to them by God.