Allah encourages His servants to perform righteous deeds and to rush to accomplish the acts of obedience. Allah said,
(And march forth in the way (which leads to) forgiveness from your Lord, and for Paradise as wide as the heavens and the earth, prepared for the Muttaqin (the pious)) (3:133)
Just as the Fire was prepared for the disbelievers. It was reported that the meaning of Allah's statement,
(as wide as the heavens and the earth) draws the attention to the spaciousness of Paradise. For instance, Allah said in another Ayah, while describing the couches of Paradise,
(lined with silk brocade) (55:54), so what about their outer covering It was also said that Paradise is as wide as its length, because it is a dome under the Throne. The width and length of a dome or a circle are the same in distance. This is supported by what is found in the Sahih;
(When you ask Allah for Paradise, ask Him for Al-Firdaws which is the highest and best part of Paradise. From it originate the rivers of Paradise, and above it is the Throne of the Most Beneficent (Allah).)
This Ayah (3:133 above) is similar to Allah's statement in Surat Al-Hadid,
(Race with one another in hastening towards forgiveness from your Lord (Allah), and Paradise the width whereof is as the width of the heaven and the Earth) (57:21).
Al-Bazzar recorded that Abu Hurayrah said that a man came to the Messenger of Allah and asked him, about Allah's statement,
(Paradise as wide as the heavens and the Earth) (3:133); "Where is the Fire then'' The Prophet said,
(When the night comes, it overtakes everything, so where is the day) The man said, "Where Allah wants it to be.'' The Prophet said,
(Similarly, the Fire is where Allah wants it to be.) This Hadith has two possible meanings. First, when we do not see the night during the day, this does not mean that the day is not somewhere else, even though we cannot see it. Such is the case with Hell-fire, for it is where Allah wants it to be. The second meaning is that when the day overcomes this part of the world, the night overtakes the other part. Such is the case with Paradise, for it is in the utmost heights above the heavens and under the Throne. The width of Paradise is, as Allah stated,
(whereof is as the width of the heaven and the Earth) (57:21).
The Fire, on the other hand, is in the lowest of lows. Therefore, Paradise being as wide as the heavens and Earth does not contradict the fact that the Fire exists wherever Allah wills it to be.
Allah said, while describing the people of Paradise,
(Those who spend (in Allah's cause) in prosperity and in adversity) (3:134), in hard times and easy times, while active (or enthusiastic) and otherwise, healthy or ill, and in all conditions, just as Allah said in another Ayah,
(Those who spend their wealth (in Allah's cause) by night and day, in secret and in public) (2:274) These believers are never distracted from obeying Allah, spending on what pleases Him, being kind to His servants and their relatives, and other acts of righteousness. Allah said,
(who repress anger, and who pardon men;) (3:134) for when they are angry, they control their anger and do act upon it. Rather, they even forgive those who hurt them. Imam Ahmad recorded that Abu Hurayrah said that the Prophet said,
(The strong person is not he who is able to physically overcome people. The strong person is he who overcomes his rage when he is angry.)
This Hadith is also recorded in the Two Sahihs. Imam Ahmad recorded that Ibn `Abbas said that the Messenger of Allah said,
(He who gives time to a debtor or forgives him, then Allah will save him from the heat of Jahannam (Hell-fire). Behold! The deeds of Paradise are difficult to reach, for they are on top of a hill, while the deeds of the Fire are easy to find in the lowlands. The happy person is he who is saved from the tests. Verily, there is no dose of anything better to Allah than a dose of rage that the servant controls, and whenever the servant of Allah controls it, he will be internally filled with faith.)
This Hadith was recorded by Imam Ahmad, its chain of narration is good, it does not contain any disparaged narrators, and the meaning is good.
Imam Ahmad recorded that Sahl bin Mu`adh bin Anas said that his father said that the Messenger of Allah said,
(Whoever controlled rage while able to act upon it, then Allah will call him while all creation is a witness, until He gives him the choice of any of the Huris (fair females with wide, lovely eyes - as mates for the pious) he wishes.)
Abu Dawud, At-Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah collected this Hadith, which At-Tirmidhi said was "Hasan Gharib''.
Ibn Marduwyah recorded that Ibn `Umar said that the Messenger of Allah said,
(There is not a dose of anything that the servant takes which is better than a dose of control of rage that he feels, when he does it seeking Allah's Face.) Ibn Jarir and Ibn Majah also collected this Hadith.
(who repress anger) meaning, they do not satisfy their rage upon people. Rather, they refrain from harming them and await their rewards with Allah, the Exalted and Most Honored. Allah then said,
(and who pardon men;) They forgive those who treat them with injustice. Therefore, they do not hold any ill feelings about anyone in their hearts, and this is the most excellent conduct in this regard. This is why Allah said,
(verily, Allah loves the Muhsinin (the good-doers)).
This good conduct is a type of Ihsan (excellence in the religion). There is a Hadith that reads,
(I swear regarding three matters: no charity shall ever decrease the wealth; whenever one forgives people, then Allah will magnify his honor; and he who is humble for Allah, then Allah will raise his rank.)
(And those who, when they have committed Fahishah or wronged themselves with evil, remember Allah and ask forgiveness for their sins) (3:135).
Therefore, if they commit an error they follow it with repentance and ask forgiveness. Imam Ahmad recorded that Abu Hurayrah said that the Prophet said,
(A man once committed an error and said, `O Lord! I committed an error, so forgive me.' Allah said, `My servant committed an error and knew that he has a Lord Who forgives or punishes for the error. I have forgiven My servant.' The man committed another error and said, `O Lord! I committed an error, so forgive me.' Allah said, `My servant knew that he has a Lord Who forgives or punishes for the sin. I have forgiven My servant.' The man committed another error and said, `O Lord! I committed an error, so forgive me.' Allah said, `My servant knew that he has a Lord Who forgives or punishes for the error. I have forgiven my servant.' He then committed another error and said, `O Lord! I committed an error, so forgive me.' Allah said, `My servant knew that he has a Lord Who forgives or punishes for the error. Bear witness that I have forgiven My servant, so let him do whatever he likes.') A similar narration was collected in the Sahih.
`Abdur-Razzaq recorded that Anas bin Malik said, "I was told that when the Ayah,
(And those who, when they have committed Fahishah or wronged themselves with evil, remember Allah and ask forgiveness for their sins,) was revealed, Iblis (Shayatan) cried.'' Allah's statement,
(and none can forgive sins but Allah), means that none except Allah forgives sins. Allah said,
(And do not persist in what (wrong) they have done, while they know), for they repent from their error, return to Allah before death, do not insist on error, and if they err again, they repent from it. Allah said here,
(while they know) Mujahid and `Abdullah bin `Ubayd bin `Umayr commented, "Whoever repents, then Allah will forgive him.'' Similarly, Allah said,
(Know they not that Allah accepts repentance from His servants) (9:104), and,
(And whoever does evil or wrongs himself but afterwards seeks Allah's forgiveness, he will find Allah Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.) (4: 110) and there are several examples similar to this Ayah.
Next, Allah said after this description,
(For such, the reward is forgiveness from their Lord) (3:136), as a reward for these qualities,
(forgiveness from their Lord, and Gardens with rivers flowing underneath (Paradise)) carrying all kinds of drinks,
(wherein they shall abide forever) and ever,
(How excellent is this reward for the doers) Allah praises Paradise in this part of the Ayah.
(137. Many similar ways (and mishaps of life) were faced ﴿by nations (believers and disbelievers) that have passed away﴾ before you, so travel through the earth, and see what was the end of those who denied.) (138. This is a plain statement for mankind, a guidance and instruction for the Muttaqin.) (139. So do not become weak, nor be sad, and you will be triumphant if you are indeed believers.) (140. If a wound has touched you, be sure a similar wound has touched the others. And so are the days, that We give to men by turns, that Allah may know (test) those who believe, and that He may take martyrs from among you. And Allah likes not the wrongdoers.) (141. And that Allah may test those who believe and destroy the disbelievers.). (142. Do you think that you will enter Paradise before Allah knows (tests) those of you who performed Jihad and knows (tests) those who are patient) (143. You did indeed wish for death before you met it. Now you have seen it openly with your own eyes.)
Allah states to His believing servants who suffered losses in the battle of Uhud, including seventy dead,
Many similar ways (and mishaps of life) were faced before you), for the previous nations who followed their Prophets before you, they too suffered losses. However, the good end was theirs, and the ultimate defeat was for the disbelievers. This is why Allah said,
(so travel through the earth, and see what was the end of those who denied). Allah said next,)
This is a plain statement for mankind), meaning, the Qur'an explains the true reality of things and narrates how the previous nations suffered by the hands of their enemies.
(And a guidance and instruction) for the Qur'an contains the news of the past, and,
(guidance) for your hearts,
(and instruction for the Muttaqin) to discourage committing the prohibited and forbidden matters. Allah comforts the believers by saying,
(So do not become weak), because of what you suffered,
(nor be sad, and you will be triumphant if you are indeed believers), for surely, the ultimate victory and triumph will be yours, O believers.)
(If a wound has touched you, be sure a similar wound has touched the others) (3:140).
Therefore, the Ayah says, if you suffered injuries and some of you were killed, then your enemies also suffered injuries and fatalities.
(And so are the days, that We give to men by turns), and at times - out of wisdom - We allow the enemy to overcome you, although the final good end will be yours.
(and that Allah may know (test) those who believe,) meaning, "So that We find out who would be patient while fighting the enemies,'' according to Ibn `Abbas.
(and that He may take martyrs from among you) those who would be killed in Allah's cause and gladly offer their lives seeking His pleasure.
(And Allah likes not the wrongdoers. And that Allah may test those who believe) (3:140,141), by forgiving them their sins if they have any. Otherwise, Allah will raise their grades according to the losses they suffered. Allah's statement,
(and destroy the disbelievers), for it is their conduct that if they gain the upper hand, they transgress and commit aggression. However, this conduct only leads to ultimate destruction, extermination, perishing and dying out.
Allah then said,
Do you think that you will enter Paradise before Allah knows (tests) those of you who will perform Jihad and (also) knows (tests) those who are the patient) (3:142).
The Ayah asks, do you think that you will enter Paradise without being tested with warfare and hardships Allah said in Surat Al-Baqarah,
(Or think you that you will enter Paradise without such (trials) as came to those who passed away before you They were afflicted with severe poverty and ailments and were so shaken...) (2:214). Allah said,
(Alif Lam Mim. Do people think that they will be left alone because they say: "We believe,'' and will not be tested) (29:1,2), This is why He said here,
(Do you think that you will enter Paradise before Allah knows (tests) those of you who will perform Jihad and (also) knows (tests) those who are the patient) (3:142) meaning, you will not earn Paradise until you are tested and thus Allah knows who among you are the ones who struggle and fight in His cause and are patient in the face of the enemy. Allah said,
You did indeed wish for death (martyrdom) before you met it. Now you have seen it openly with your own eyes) [3:143].
The Ayah proclaims, O believers! Before today, you wished that you could meet the enemy and were eager to fight them. What you wished has occurred, so fight them and be patient.
In the Two Sahihs it is recorded that the Messenger of Allah said,
(Do not wish to encounter the enemy, and ask Allah for your well-being. However, if you do encounter them, then observe patience and know that Paradise is under the shade of swords.)
This is why Allah said here,
(Now you have seen it): death, you saw it when the swords appeared, the blades were sharpened, the spears crisscrossed and men stood in lines for battle. This part of the Ayah contains a figure of speech that mentions imagining what can be felt but not seen.
(144. Muhammad is no more than a Messenger, and indeed Messengers have passed away before him. If he dies or is killed, will you then turn back on your heels And he who turns back on his heels, not the least harm will he do to Allah; and Allah will reward the grateful.) (145. And no person can ever die except by Allah's leave and at an appointed term. And whoever desires a reward in the world, We shall give him of it; and whoever desires a reward in the Hereafter, We shall give him thereof. And We shall reward the grateful.) (146. And many a Prophet fought and along with him many Ribbiyyun. But they never lost heart for that which befall them in Allah's way, nor did nor they weaken nor degrade themselves. And Allah loves the patient.) (147. And they said nothing but: "Our Lord! Forgive us our sins and our transgressions, establish our feet firmly, and give us victory over the disbelieving folk.'') (148. So Allah gave them the reward of this world, and the excellent reward of the Hereafter. And Allah loves the good-doers.)