Ultimate Sacrifice: Commentary of the Quran (Chapter 2:153-157, Part-4) By: Mohammad Sobhanie

Commentary of the Quran (Chapter 2:153-157, Part-4)

By: Mohammad Sobhanie

Ultimate Sacrifice

بِسْمِ اللَّـهِ الرَّحْمَـٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اسْتَعِينُوا بِالصَّبْرِ وَالصَّلَاةِ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّـهَ مَعَ الصَّابِرِينَ ﴿١٥٣﴾ وَلَا تَقُولُوا لِمَن يُقْتَلُ فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّـهِ أَمْوَاتٌ ۚ بَلْ أَحْيَاءٌ وَلَـٰكِن لَّا تَشْعُرُونَ ﴿١٥٤﴾ وَلَنَبْلُوَنَّكُم بِشَيْءٍ مِّنَ الْخَوْفِ وَالْجُوعِ وَنَقْصٍ مِّنَ الْأَمْوَالِ وَالْأَنفُسِ وَالثَّمَرَاتِ ۗ وَبَشِّرِ الصَّابِرِينَ ﴿١٥٥﴾ الَّذِينَ إِذَا أَصَابَتْهُم مُّصِيبَةٌ قَالُوا إِنَّا لِلَّـهِ وَإِنَّا إِلَيْهِ رَاجِعُونَ ﴿١٥٦﴾ أُولَـٰئِكَ عَلَيْهِمْ صَلَوَاتٌ مِّن رَّبِّهِمْ وَرَحْمَةٌ ۖ وَأُولَـٰئِكَ هُمُ الْمُهْتَدُونَ ﴿١٥٧

Translation:

2:153 O ye who believe! Seek help with patience, perseverance, and prayer; for Allah is with those who patiently persevere.

2:154 And do not say of those who are slain in the way of Allah, “they are dead.” In fact, they are alive but you do not perceive that life.

2:155 We will certainly test you with some fear and hunger, and some loss of possessions and lives and crops. But give good news to the steadfast (in these trials).

2:156 When a misfortune comes to them, they say, “We are Allah’s and we shall certainly return to Him.”

2:157 Their Lord will bestow great blessings and mercy upon them; such are the people who are rightly guided.

Commentary:  The verse 2:150 in chapter Al-Baqara asserts that those who are slain in the way of Allah (SWT) are not dead [(لِمَن يُقْتَلُ فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّـهِ أَمْوَاتٌ)]. They are actually alive, though we do not perceive it [(بَلْ أَحْيَاءٌ وَلَـٰكِن لَّا تَشْعُرُونَ)]. The verses 3:169-171 in chapter Al-i-Imran clarifies that these martyrs are so close to Allah (SWT) in the realm of the Hereafter as if they have with Him their sustenance, [(عِندَ رَبِّهِمْ يُرْزَقُونَ)]:

وَلَا تَحْسَبَنَّ الَّذِينَ قُتِلُوا فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّـهِ أَمْوَاتًا ۚ بَلْ أَحْيَاءٌ عِندَ رَبِّهِمْ يُرْزَقُونَ ﴿١٦٩

3:169 Think not of those slain in the way of Allah as dead. Indeed, they alive, and with their Lord they have their sustenance.

The mission of the Prophet of Islam lasted 23 years: 13 years in Mecca and 10 years in Medina. In Mecca, the tribe of Quraysh persecuted the Prophet and harassed and tortured his followers. Nevertheless, the tenacity of the Prophet and faith of his followers kept the light of the divine message illuminating in Mecca, though his enemies were determined to extinguish it. Some of his followers in Mecca were so determined that they refused to recant their faith and were consequently killed under torture.

Amongst these followers were Yasir and Sumayyah, who were parents of Ammar, the great companion of the Prophet (SAWA) and Imam Ali (AS). The family of Yasir were slaves of Abu-Jahl.

When Abu-Jahl discovered the conversion of Yasir and Sumayyah to Islam, he first asked them to renounce their faith but they refused. Soon, Abu-Jahl begin to take them outside and strenuously torture them. Eventually, both died under the torture. They are considered the first martyrs in the history of Islam. The opening verses of chapter Al-Ankabut were revealed in response to this tragic event, [TafseereNamoona, Vol. 16, P. 203, see also https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ammar_ibn_Yasir].

After the migration of the Prophet to Medina, the Quraysh waged many uneven wars against the Prophet. In all these battles, the Prophet and his followers fought in the battlefields with the zealous aspiration for martyrdom. Their ultimate sacrifices paid off and the religion of Islam was finally established on Earth.

All Muslims in the era of the Prophet witness to their faith by saying “There is no God except Allah (SWT) and Prophet Mohammad (SAW) is his messenger.” Yasir and Sumayyah went beyond this. They witnessed the truth of their faith by sacrificing their lives, similar to the martyrs of Karbala. What is more valuable than one’s life? Thus, in Islamic tradition those who are martyred for the sake of God are called shaheed [(شَهِيد)], which literally translate to “witness”.

Allah (SWT) had privileged some of his elite servants, such as His messengers and Imams, to be an eyewitness over people’s deeds and conducts. They are referred to in the Quran as shaheed [(شَهِيد)]. They hold very noble and prestigious ranks in the view of Allah and will hold these ranks on the Day of Judgment. Those who sacrifice their lives in the way of Allah (SWT) will be honored by being in the ranks of the shuhadaa [(شُهَدَاءَ)] on the Day of Judgment.

اللَّهُمَّ أَحْسِنْ عَاقِبَتَنَا فِي الْأُمُورِ كُلِّهَا وَأَجِرْنَا مِنْ خِزْيِ الدُّنْيَا وَعَذَابِ الْآخِرَة

Appendix:

بِسْمِ اللَّـهِ الرَّحْمَـٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ

الم ﴿١﴾ أَحَسِبَ النَّاسُ أَن يُتْرَكُوا أَن يَقُولُوا آمَنَّا وَهُمْ لَا يُفْتَنُونَ ﴿٢﴾ وَلَقَدْ فَتَنَّا الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِهِمْ ۖ فَلَيَعْلَمَنَّ اللَّـهُ الَّذِينَ صَدَقُوا وَلَيَعْلَمَنَّ الْكَاذِبِينَ ﴿٣

29:1-3 Alif-Lam-Mim. Do men think that they will be left alone on saying, “We believe”, and that they will not be tested? We did test those before them, and Allah will certainly know those who are true from those who are false.

 

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