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The Believer is Tested and Hears Grieving Statements from the Enemy

Allah said,

﴿ لَتُبۡلَوُنَّ فِىٓ أَمۡوَٲلِڪُمۡ وَأَنفُسِڪُمۡ

(You shall certainly be tried and tested in your wealth and properties and in yourselves), just as He said in another Ayah,

﴿ وَلَنَبۡلُوَنَّكُم بِشَىۡءٍ۬ مِّنَ ٱلۡخَوۡفِ وَٱلۡجُوعِ وَنَقۡصٍ۬ مِّنَ ٱلۡأَمۡوَٲلِ وَٱلۡأَنفُسِ وَٱلثَّمَرَٲتِ‌ۗ

(And certainly, We shall test you with something of fear, hunger, loss of wealth, lives and fruits) (2:155).

Therefore, the believer shall be tested, in his wealth, himself, his offspring and family. The believer shall be tested according to the degree of his faith, and when his faith is stronger, the test is larger.

﴿وَلَتَسۡمَعُنَّ مِنَ ٱلَّذِينَ أُوتُواْ ٱلۡكِتَـٰبَ مِن قَبۡلِڪُمۡ وَمِنَ ٱلَّذِينَ أَشۡرَكُوٓاْ أَذً۬ى كَثِيرً۬ا‌ۚ (and you shall certainly hear much that will grieve you from those who received the Scripture before you (Jews and Christians) and from those who ascribe partners to Allah) [3:186].

Allah said to the believers upon their arrival at Al-Madinah, before Badr, while comforting them against the harm they suffered from the People of the Scriptures and the polytheists;

﴿ وَإِن تَصۡبِرُواْ وَتَتَّقُواْ فَإِنَّ ذَٲلِكَ مِنۡ عَزۡمِ ٱلۡأُمُورِ

(but if you persevere patiently, and have Taqwa, then verily, that will be a determining factor in all affairs.)

Therefore, Allah commanded the believers to be forgiving, patient and forbearing until He brought His awaited aid.

Al-Bukhari recorded that Usamah bin Zayd said that Allah's Messenger rode a donkey with a saddle covered by a velvet sheet and let Usamah ride behind him (on the donkey). The Prophet wanted to visit Sa`d bin `Ubadah in Bani Al-Harith bin Al-Khazraj, and this occurred before the battle of Badr. The Prophet passed by a gathering in which `Abdullah bin Ubayy bin Salul was sitting, before `Abdullah bin Ubayy became Muslim. That gathering was made up of various Muslims as well as Mushriks, who worshipped the idols, and some Jews. `Abdullah bin Rawahah was sitting in that gathering. When the Prophet reached `Abdullah bin Ubayy, the donkey caused some sand to fall on the group. Then, `Abdullah bin Ubayy covered his nose with his robe and said, `Do not fill us with sand.' The Messenger of Allah greeted the gathering with Salam, called them to Allah and recited some of the Qur'an to them. `Abdullah bin Ubayy said, `O fellow! No other speech is better than what you said, if it was true! However, do not bother us in our gatherings. Go back to your place and whoever came to you, narrate your stories to him.' `Abdullah bin Rawahah said, `Rather, O Messenger of Allah! Attend our gatherings for we like that.' The Muslims, Mushriks and Jews then cursed each other, and they almost fought with each other. The Prophet tried to calm them down, until they finally settled. The Prophet rode his donkey and went to Sa`d bin `Ubadah, saying, `O Sa`d! Have you heard what Abu Hubbab said (meaning `Abdullah bin Ubayy) He said such and such things. 'Sa`d said, `O Messenger of Allah! Forgive and pardon him. By Allah, Who sent down the Book to you, Allah brought us the truth that you came with at a time when the people of this city almost appointed him king. When Allah changed all that with the truth that He gave you, he choked on it, and this is the reason behind the behavior you saw from him.' The Messenger of Allah forgave him. Indeed, the Messenger of Allah and his Companions used to forgive the Mushriks and the People of the Scriptures, just as Allah commanded them, and they used to tolerate the harm that they suffered. Allah said,

﴿ وَلَتَسۡمَعُنَّ مِنَ ٱلَّذِينَ أُوتُواْ ٱلۡكِتَـٰبَ مِن قَبۡلِڪُمۡ وَمِنَ ٱلَّذِينَ أَشۡرَكُوٓاْ أَذً۬ى كَثِيرً۬ا‌ۚ

(and you shall certainly hear much that will grieve you from those who received the Scripture before you (Jews and Christians) and from those who ascribe partners to Allah;) (3:186), and,

﴿ وَدَّ ڪَثِيرٌ۬ مِّنۡ أَهۡلِ ٱلۡكِتَـٰبِ لَوۡ يَرُدُّونَكُم مِّنۢ بَعۡدِ إِيمَـٰنِكُمۡ كُفَّارًا حَسَدً۬ا مِّنۡ عِندِ أَنفُسِهِم مِّنۢ بَعۡدِ مَا تَبَيَّنَ لَهُمُ ٱلۡحَقُّ‌ۖ فَٱعۡفُواْ وَٱصۡفَحُواْ حَتَّىٰ يَأۡتِىَ ٱللَّهُ بِأَمۡرِهِۦۤ‌ۗ

(Many of the People of the Scripture (Jews and Christians) wish that they could turn you away as disbelievers after you have believed, out of envy from their own selves, even after the truth has become manifest unto them. But forgive and overlook, till Allah brings His command) (2:109).

The Prophet used to implement the pardon that Allah commanded him until He gave His command (to fight the disbelievers). When the Messenger fought at Badr, and Allah killed, by his hand, the leaders of the disbelievers from Quraysh, `Abdullah bin Ubayy bin Salul and the Mushriks and idol worshippers who were with him said, `This matter has prevailed,' and they gave their pledge to the Prophet and became Muslims.''

Therefore, every person who stands for truth, enjoins righteousness and forbids evil, will be harmed in some manner. In such cases, there is no cure better than being patient in Allah's cause, trusting in Him and returning to Him.

﴿ وَإِذۡ أَخَذَ ٱللَّهُ مِيثَـٰقَ ٱلَّذِينَ أُوتُواْ ٱلۡكِتَـٰبَ لَتُبَيِّنُنَّهُ ۥ لِلنَّاسِ وَلَا تَكۡتُمُونَهُ ۥ فَنَبَذُوهُ وَرَآءَ ظُهُورِهِمۡ وَٱشۡتَرَوۡاْ بِهِۦ ثَمَنً۬ا قَلِيلاً۬‌ۖ فَبِئۡسَ مَا يَشۡتَرُونَ
﴿ لَا تَحۡسَبَنَّ ٱلَّذِينَ يَفۡرَحُونَ بِمَآ أَتَواْ وَّيُحِبُّونَ أَن يُحۡمَدُواْ بِمَا لَمۡ يَفۡعَلُواْ فَلَا تَحۡسَبَنَّہُم بِمَفَازَةٍ۬ مِّنَ ٱلۡعَذَابِ‌ۖ وَلَهُمۡ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ۬
﴿ وَلِلَّهِ مُلۡكُ ٱلسَّمَـٰوَٲتِ وَٱلۡأَرۡضِ‌ۗ وَٱللَّهُ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَىۡءٍ۬ قَدِيرٌ

(187. (And remember) when Allah took a covenant from those who were given the Scripture (Jews and Christians) to make it (the truth) known and clear to mankind, and not to hide it, but they threw it away behind their backs, and purchased with it some miserable gain! And indeed worst is that which they bought.) (188. Think not that those who rejoice in what they have done (or brought about), and love to be praised for what they have not done, think not that they are rescued from the torment, and for them is a painful torment.) (189. And to Allah belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth, and Allah has power over all things.)

Chastising the People of the Scriptures for Breaking the Covenant and Hiding the Truth

In this Ayah, Allah chastises the People of the Scriptures, from whom Allah took the covenant by the words of their Prophets, that they would believe in Muhammad and describe him to the people, so that they would recognize and follow him when Allah sent him. However, they hid this truth and preferred the small amounts and the material gains instead of the rewards of this life and the Hereafter that they were promised. This is a losing deal and a failing trade, indeed.

These Ayat also contain a warning for the scholars not to imitate their behavior, so that they do not suffer the same fate and become like them. Therefore, the scholars are required to spread the beneficial knowledge that they have, encouraging the various righteous good deeds. They are also warned against hiding any part of their knowledge. A Hadith states that the Prophet said,

« مَنْ سُئِلَ عَنْ عِلْمٍ فَكَتَمَهُ، أُلْجِمَ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ بِلِجَامٍ مِنْ نَار »

(Whoever was asked about knowledge that he knew but did not disclose it, will be tied with a bridle made of fire on the Day of Resurrection.)

Chastising Those Who Love to be Praised for What They Have not Done

Allah's statement,

﴿ لَا تَحۡسَبَنَّ ٱلَّذِينَ يَفۡرَحُونَ بِمَآ أَتَواْ وَّيُحِبُّونَ أَن يُحۡمَدُواْ بِمَا لَمۡ يَفۡعَلُواْ

(Think not that those who rejoice in what they have done, and love to be praised for what they have not done), refers to those who show off, rejoice in what they do and claim to do what they have not done. The Two Sahihs recorded that the Prophet said,

« مَنِ ادَّعَى دَعْوَةً كَاذِبَةً لِيَتَكَثَّرَ بِهَا، لَمْ يَزِدْهُ اللهُ إِلَّا قِلَّة »

(Whoever issues a false claim to acquire some type of gain, then Allah will only grant him decrease.)

The Sahih also recorded;

« الْمُتَشَبِّعُ بِمَا لَمْ يُعْطَ، كَلَابِسِ ثَوْبَيْ زُور »

(He who claims to do what he has not done, is just like a person who wears two robes made of falsehood.)

Imam Ahmad recorded that Marwan told his guard Rafi` to go to Ibn `Abbas and proclaim to him, "If every person among us who rejoices with what he has done and loves to be praised for what he has not done will be tormented, we all will be tormented.'' Ibn `Abbas said, "This Ayah was revealed about the People of the Scriptures.'' He then recited the Ayah,

﴿ وَإِذۡ أَخَذَ ٱللَّهُ مِيثَـٰقَ ٱلَّذِينَ أُوتُواْ ٱلۡكِتَـٰبَ لَتُبَيِّنُنَّهُ ۥ لِلنَّاسِ وَلَا تَكۡتُمُونَهُ ۥ فَنَبَذُوهُ وَرَآءَ ظُهُورِهِمۡ وَٱشۡتَرَوۡاْ بِهِۦ ثَمَنً۬ا قَلِيلاً۬‌ۖ فَبِئۡسَ مَا يَشۡتَرُونَ

((And remember) when Allah took a covenant from those who were given the Scripture (Jews and Christians) to make it (the truth) known and clear to mankind, and not to hide it, but they threw it away behind their backs, and purchased with it some miserable gain! And indeed worst is that which they bought.) then the Ayah,

﴿ لَا تَحۡسَبَنَّ ٱلَّذِينَ يَفۡرَحُونَ بِمَآ أَتَواْ وَّيُحِبُّونَ أَن يُحۡمَدُواْ بِمَا لَمۡ يَفۡعَلُواْ

(Think not that those who rejoice in what they have done, and love to be praised for what they have not done)

Ibn `Abbas said, "The Prophet asked them about something, and they hid its knowledge, giving him an incorrect answer. They parted after showing off and rejoicing in front of him because they answered him, so they pretended, and they were delighted that they hid the correct news about what he had asked them.'' This was recorded by Al-Bukhari, Muslim, At-Tirmidhi and An-Nasa'i.

Al-Bukhari recorded that Abu Sa`id Al-Khudri said, "During the time of the Messenger of Allah , when the Messenger would go to battle, some hypocrite men would remain behind and rejoice because they did not accompany the Prophet in battle. When the Messenger would come back, they would ask him to excuse them swearing to having some excuse, and wanting to be praised for that which they did not do. So Allah revealed,

﴿ لَا تَحۡسَبَنَّ ٱلَّذِينَ يَفۡرَحُونَ بِمَآ أَتَواْ وَّيُحِبُّونَ أَن يُحۡمَدُواْ بِمَا لَمۡ يَفۡعَلُواْ

(Think not that those who rejoice in what they have done, and love to be praised for what they have not done),''

to the end of the Ayah.'' And Muslim recorded similarly.

Allah said;

﴿ فَلَا تَحۡسَبَنَّہُم بِمَفَازَةٍ۬ مِّنَ ٱلۡعَذَابِ‌ۖ

(think not that they are rescued from the torment, ) Do not think that they will be saved from punishment, rather it will certainly strike them. So Allah said;

﴿ وَلَهُمۡ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ۬

(and for them is a painful torment.) Allah then said,

﴿ وَلِلَّهِ مُلۡكُ ٱلسَّمَـٰوَٲتِ وَٱلۡأَرۡضِ‌ۗ وَٱللَّهُ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَىۡءٍ۬ قَدِيرٌ

(And to Allah belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth, and Allah has power over all things.) He is the Owner of everything, able to do all things and nothing escapes His might. Therefore, fear Him, never defy Him and beware of His anger and revenge. He is the Most Great, none is greater than Him, and the Most Able, none is more able than He is.

﴿ إِنَّ فِى خَلۡقِ ٱلسَّمَـٰوَٲتِ وَٱلۡأَرۡضِ وَٱخۡتِلَـٰفِ ٱلَّيۡلِ وَٱلنَّہَارِ لَأَيَـٰتٍ۬ لِّأُوْلِى ٱلۡأَلۡبَـٰبِ ٱلَّذِينَ يَذۡكُرُونَ ٱللَّهَ قِيَـٰمً۬ا وَقُعُودً۬ا وَعَلَىٰ جُنُوبِهِمۡ وَيَتَفَڪَّرُونَ فِى خَلۡقِ ٱلسَّمَـٰوَٲتِ وَٱلۡأَرۡضِ رَبَّنَا مَا خَلَقۡتَ هَـٰذَا بَـٰطِلاً۬ سُبۡحَـٰنَكَ فَقِنَا عَذَابَ ٱلنَّارِ رَبَّنَآ إِنَّكَ مَن تُدۡخِلِ ٱلنَّارَ فَقَدۡ أَخۡزَيۡتَهُ ۥ‌ۖ وَمَا لِلظَّـٰلِمِينَ مِنۡ أَنصَارٍ۬ رَّبَّنَآ إِنَّنَا سَمِعۡنَا مُنَادِيً۬ا يُنَادِى لِلۡإِيمَـٰنِ أَنۡ ءَامِنُواْ بِرَبِّكُمۡ فَـَٔامَنَّا‌ۚ رَبَّنَا فَٱغۡفِرۡ لَنَا ذُنُوبَنَا وَڪَفِّرۡ عَنَّا سَيِّـَٔاتِنَا وَتَوَفَّنَا مَعَ ٱلۡأَبۡرَارِ رَبَّنَا وَءَاتِنَا مَا وَعَدتَّنَا عَلَىٰ رُسُلِكَ وَلَا تُخۡزِنَا يَوۡمَ ٱلۡقِيَـٰمَةِ‌ۗ إِنَّكَ لَا تُخۡلِفُ ٱلۡمِيعَادَ

(190. Verily, in the creation of the heavens and the Earth, and in the alternation of night and day, there are indeed signs for men of understanding.) (191. Those who remember Allah standing, sitting, and lying down on their sides, and think deeply about the creation of the heavens and the earth, (saying): "Our Lord! You have not created this without purpose, glory to You! Give us salvation from the torment of the Fire.) (192. "Our Lord! Verily, whom You admit to the Fire, indeed, You have disgraced him; and never will the wrongdoers find any helpers.) (193. "Our Lord! Verily, we have heard the call of one calling to faith: `Believe in your Lord,' and we have believed. Our Lord! Forgive us our sins and expiate from us our evil deeds, and make us die along with Al-Abrar (the most righteous).) (194. "Our Lord! Grant us what You promised us through Your Messengers and disgrace us not on the Day of Resurrection, for You never break (Your) Promise.'')