Al-Bukhari recorded that Qays bin Abi Hazim said, "I saw Talhah's hand, it was paralyzed, because he shielded the Prophet with it.'' meaning on the day of Uhud. It is recorded in the Two Sahihs that Abu `Uthman An-Nahdi said, "On that day (Uhud) during which the Prophet fought, only Talhah bin `Ubaydullah and Sa`d remained with the Prophet.''
Sa`id bin Al-Musayyib said, "I heard Sa`d bin Abi Waqqas saying, `The Messenger of Allah gave me arrows from his quiver on the day of Uhud and said, `Shoot, may I sacrifice my father and mother for you.''' Al-Bukhari also collected this Hadith. The Two Sahihs recorded that Sa`d bin Abi Waqqas said, "On the day of Uhud, I saw two men wearing white clothes, one to the right of the Prophet and one to his left, who were defending the Prophet fiercely. I have never seen these men before or after that day.'' Meaning angels Jibril and Mika'il, peace be upon them.
Abu Al-Aswad said that, `Urwah bin Az-Zubayr said, "Ubayy bin Khalaf of Bani Jumah swore in Makkah that he would kill the Messenger of Allah. When the Messenger was told of his vow, he said, `Rather, I shall kill him, Allah willing.' On the day of Uhud, Ubayy came while wearing iron shields and proclaiming, `May I not be saved, if Muhammad is saved.' He then headed to the direction of the Messenger of Allah intending to kill him, but Mus`ab bin `Umayr, from Bani Abd Ad-Dar, intercepted him and shielded the Prophet with his body, and Mus`ab bin `Umayr was killed. The Messenger of Allah saw Ubayy's neck exposed between the shields and helmet, stabbed him with his spear, and Ubayy fell from his horse to the ground. However, no blood spilled from his wound. His people came and carried him away while he was moaning like an ox. They said to him, `Why are you so anxious, it is only a flesh wound' Ubayy mentioned to them the Prophet's vow, `Rather, I shall kill Ubayy', then commented, `By He in Whose Hand is my soul! If what hit me hits the people of Dhul-Majaz (a popular pre-Islamic marketplace), they would all have perished.' He then died and went to the Fire,
(So, away with the dwellers of the blazing Fire!) (67:11).''
This was collected by Musa bin `Uqbah from Az-Zuhri from Sa`id bin Al-Musayyib.
It is recorded in the Two Sahih that when he was asked about the injuries the Messenger sustained (in Uhud), Sahl bin Sa`d said, "The face of Allah's Messenger was injured, his front tooth was broken and his helmet was smashed on his head. Therefore, Fatimah, the daughter of Allah's Messenger washed off the blood while `Ali was pouring water on her hand. When Fatimah saw that the bleeding increased more by the water, she took a mat, burnt it, and placed the ashes in the wound of the Prophet and the blood stopped oozing out.'' Allah said next,
(There did Allah give you one distress after another) (3:153),
He gave you grief over your grief. Ibn `Abbas said, `The first grief was because of the defeat, especially when it was rumored that Muhammad was killed. The second grief was when the idolaters went up the mount and The Messenger of Allah said, `O Allah! It is not for them to rise above us.'''
`Abdur-Rahman bin `Awf said, "The first distress was because of the defeat and the second when a rumor started that Muhammad was killed, which to them, was worse than defeat.'' Ibn Marduwyah recorded both of these. Mujahid and Qatadah said, "The first distress was when they heard that Muhammad was killed and the second when they suffered casualties and injury.'' It has also been reported that Qatadah and Ar-Rabi` bin Anas said that it was the opposite (order). As-Suddi said that the first distress was because of the victory and booty that they missed and the second because of the enemy rising above them (on the mount). Allah said,
(by way of requital to teach you not to grieve for that which had escaped you), for that you missed the booty and triumph over your enemy.
(nor for what struck you), of injury and fatalities, as Ibn `Abbas, `Abdur-Rahman bin `Awf, Al-Hasan, Qatadah and As-Suddi stated. Allah said next,
(And Allah is Well-Aware of all that you do.) all praise is due to Him, and thanks, there is no deity worthy of worship except Him, the Most High, Most Honored.
(154. Then after the distress, He sent down security for you. Slumber overtook a party of you, while another party was thinking about themselves and thought wrongly of Allah -- the thought of ignorance. They said, "Have we any part in the affair'' Say: "Indeed the affair belongs wholly to Allah.'' They hide within themselves what they dare not reveal to you, saying: "If we had anything to do with the affair, none of us would have been killed here.'' Say: "Even if you had remained in your homes, those for whom death was decreed would certainly have gone forth to the place of their death,'' but that Allah might test what is in your breasts; and to purify that which was in your hearts (sins), and Allah is All-Knower of what is in the breasts). (155. Those of you who turned back on the day the two hosts met, Shaytan only caused them to err because of some of what they had earned. But Allah, indeed, has forgiven them. Surely, Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Forbearing.)
Allah reminds His servants of His favor when He sent down on them tranquility and slumber that overcame them while they were carrying their weapons and feeling distress and grief. In this case, slumber is a favor and carries meanings of calmness and safety. For instance, Allah said in Surat Al-Anfal about the battle of Badr,
((Remember) when He covered you with a slumber as a security from Him) (8:11).
Al-Bukhari recorded that Anas said that, Abu Talhah said, "I was among those who were overcome by slumber during the battle of Uhud. My sword fell from my hand several times and I would pick it up, then it would fall and I would pick it up again.'' Al-Bukhari collected this Hadith in the stories of the battles without a chain of narration, and in the book of Tafsir with a chain of narrators. At-Tirmidhi, An-Nasa'i and Al-Hakim recorded from Anas that Abu Talhah said, "On the day of Uhud, I raised my head and looked around and found that everyone's head was nodding from slumber.'' This is the wording of At-Tirmidhi, who said, "Hasan Sahih''. An-Nasa'i also recorded this Hadith from Anas who said that Abu Talhah said, "I was among those who were overcome by slumber.''
The second group mentioned in the Ayah were the hypocrites who only thought about themselves, for they are the most cowardly people and those least likely to support the truth,
(and thought wrongly of Allah - the thought of ignorance) (3:154), for they are liars and people who have doubts and evil thoughts about Allah, the Exalted and Most Honored. Allah said,
(Then after the distress, He sent down security for you. Slumber overtook a party of you), the people of faith, certainty, firmness and reliance (on Allah) who are certain that Allah shall give victory to His Messenger and fulfill his objective.
(While another party was thinking about themselves), and they were not overcome by slumber because of their worry, fright and fear,
(and thought wrongly of Allah - the thought of ignorance).
Similarly, Allah said in another statement,
(Nay, but you thought that the Messenger and the believers would never return to their families) (48:12).
This group thought that the idolaters achieved ultimate victory, when their forces took the upper hand in battle, and that Islam and its people would perish. This is typical of people of doubt and hesitation, in the event of a hardship, they fall into such evil thoughts. Allah then described them that,
(they said) in this situation,
("Have we any part in the affair'') Allah replied,
(Say: "Indeed the affair belongs wholly to Allah.'' They hide within themselves what they dare not reveal to you.) Allah exposed their secrets, that is,
(saying: "If we had anything to do with the affair, none of us would have been killed here.'') although they tried to conceal this thought from the Messenger of Allah .
Ibn Ishaq recorded that `Abdullah bin Az-Zubayr said that Az-Zubayr said, "I was with the Messenger of Allah when fear intensified and Allah sent sleep to us (during the battle of Uhud). At that time, every man among us (except the hypocrites) was nodding off. By Allah! As if in a dream, I heard the words of Mu`attib bin Qushayr, `If we had anything to do with the affair, none of us would have been killed here.' I memorized these words of his, which Allah mentioned later on,
(saying: "If we had anything to do with the affair, none of us would have been killed here.)''
Ibn Abi Hatim collected this Hadith.
Allah the Exalted said,
(Say: "Even if you had remained in your homes, those for whom death was decreed would certainly have gone forth to the place of their death,'') meaning, this is Allah's appointed destiny and a decision that will certainly come to pass, and there is no escaping it. Allah's statement,
(that Allah might test what is in your breasts; and to purify that which was in your hearts,) means, so that He tests you with whatever befell you, to distinguish good from evil and the deeds and statements of the believers from those of the hypocrites,
(and Allah is All-Knower of what is in the breasts), and what the hearts conceal.
Allah then said,
(Those of you who turned back on the day the two hosts met, Shaytan only caused them to err because of some of what they had earned) (3:155),
because of some of their previous errors. Indeed, some of the Salaf said, "The reward of the good deed includes being directed to another good deed that follows it, while the retribution of sin includes committing another sin that follows it.'' Allah then said,
(but Allah, indeed, has forgiven them), their giving flight,
(surely, Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Forbearing)
He forgives sins, pardons and exonerates His creatures. Imam Ahmad recorded that Shaqiq said, " `Abdur-Rahman bin `Awf met Al-Walid bin `Uqbah, who said to him, `Why did you desert `Uthman, the Leader of the Faithful' `Abdur-Rahman said, `Tell him that I did not run away during Uhud, remain behind during Badr, nor abandon the Sunnah of `Umar.' Al-Walid told `Uthman what `Abdur-Rahman said. `Uthman replied, `As for his statement, `I did not run away during Uhud,' how can he blame me for an error that Allah has already forgiven. Allah said,
(Those of you who turned back on the day the two hosts met, Shaytan only caused them to err because of some of what they had earned. But Allah, indeed, has forgiven them).
As for his statement that I remained behind from participating in Badr, I was nursing Ruqayyah, the daughter of the Messenger of Allah, until she passed away. The Messenger of Allah gave me a share in the booty of Badr, and whoever gets a share in the booty from the Messenger of Allah will have participated in battle. As for his statement that I abandoned the Sunnah of `Umar, neither I nor he are able to endure it. Go and convey this answer to him.'''
(156. O you who believe! Be not like those who disbelieve and who say to their brethren when they travel through the earth or go out to fight: "If they had stayed with us, they would not have died or been killed,'' so that Allah may make it a cause of regret in their hearts. It is Allah that gives life and causes death. And Allah is All-Seer of what you do.) (157. And if you are killed or die in the way of Allah, forgiveness and mercy from Allah are far better than all that they amass.) (158. And whether you die or are killed, verily, unto Allah you shall be gathered.)